Sandy Lane rides repeat clients to 'fine' winter

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NEW YORK -- The U.S. market held up "fine" this winter at the 112-unit Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados, according to Colm Hannon, the property's general manager.

Hannon, interviewed during a visit here, said the Sept. 11 attacks did not adversely affect winter bookings for the property, which features 96 rooms and 16 suites.

Sandy Lane, situated in St. James, Barbados, posted a 92% occupancy in March and enjoyed heavy repeat business, he said.

Since the property reopened in March 2001 after a three-year, $450 million reconstruction, more business has come from the U.S. than prior to its closing in 1998 -- 50% vs. 23%, Hannon noted.

Agents earn 10% commission on summer room rates, valid through Oct. 31, that start at $600 per night, single or double, and are supplemented by several value-added packages to stimulate demand.

U.S. tour operators that sell Sandy Lane include Island Destinations in Larchmont, N.Y.; Gogo Worldwide Vacations in Ramsey, N.J.; and Classic Custom Vacations in San Jose, Calif.

Business from agents remains important to Sandy Lane, Hannon said, adding that the resort has no plans to reduce or eliminate commissions.

In fact, the resort relies upon members of the Virtuoso agency network for at least 35% of its U.S. business, he noted.

"Virtuoso clients receive amenities at Sandy Lane, such as a complimentary lunch, island tour or a spa treatment," Hannon said.

Sandy Lane offers a special agent rate of $300 per night, single or double. It includes breakfast and a free upgrade to an oceanfront unit if available.

Guest rooms average 900 square feet, and all are equipped with verandas, flat-screen TVs and DVD and video players.

In-room registration, 24-hour butler service, a private bar and pressing and room service are standard features for Sandy Lane guests.

A 47,000-square-foot health spa and a country club for golfers are among the resort's new facilities.

For more information, call (866) 444-4080. The Web site is at www.sandylane.com.

Resort's summer packages target the active, families

NEW YORK -- To bolster summer business, Sandy Lane resort introduced two value-added packages that offer free nights on stays of five or more nights.

On the Sandy Lane Active Choice and Family Fun plans, both valid through Oct. 31, the fifth night is free when four are paid, and the eighth, ninth and 10th nights are free when seven are paid.

The five-night Active Choice plan is priced at $420, per night, double; the 10-night version is $480.

The rates covers room, daily breakfast, daily golf at the Old Nine or Country Club courses and one massage treatment at the property's spa. Also covered are a personal fitness assessment and unlimited water sports.

The Family Fun plan covers a room with daily breakfast, 50% off a connecting room for children ages 3 to 12, one spa treatment for each adult and unlimited use of the Tree House Club for children plus four hours of babysitting per night.

Nightly rates for the five-night package start at $240 per person, double. The 10-night plan is priced from $210.

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