New Beaches to open in Jamaica

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The Sandals and Beaches Resorts family welcomes a new member in Jamaica this winter, representing another opportunity for agents to earn 13% per booking.

Also planned is a future expansion into the Dominican Republic and the opening of another Beaches resort in Jamaica in 2003.

Recently opened properties include Beaches Grande Sport at Ciboney and Beaches Royal Plantation Golf Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios, signature properties in the adults-only Beaches resort collection for guests ages 16 and older.

The 230-room Beaches Resort and Golf Club at Boscobel in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, which will open Feb. 1, joins Beaches Negril and Beaches Inn in Negril, Jamaica and Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa, according to Butch Stewart, chairman.

The Boscobel name, familiar to many agents as the former family resort that opened in 1959, is about the only similarity between the new resort and the former property.

An $18 million renovation and expansion project blanketed the 10-acre property, from tiled floors to tiered gardens.

Specifics include the enlargement of the original guest rooms and the addition of 48-foot Mastercraft dive boats to the water-sports fleet.

Facilities include a 2,000-square-foot fitness center, a pool and swimup bar, a whirlpool, five restaurants and six bars, meeting space, water sports with instruction, complimentary nearby golf and airport transfers. Still to come is a state-of-the-art spa.

Junior travelers have access to a video center and a disco. A Kids Kamp has separate programs for infants, toddlers and teens.

Stewart said that the new Beaches will come on board "at a very good time. Although we are carefully watching the economy, we've seen no downturn in our business, and have had our best year yet so far."

He described winter season bookings as "firm."

Future openings for the inclusive chain include the 360-room, adults-only Beaches Whitehouse in Westmoreland, Jamaica, east of Negril in 2003.

Sandals also acquired an inn in Port Antonio, Jamaica, that will be renovated for a boutique property.

Construction will start early next year on the 370-room Spa Beaches Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The resort will be the firm's first in the Dominican Republic and will be located between Club Med and Punta Cana Yacht Club on the island's Caribbean coast.

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