The Sandals Grande Antigua will close on Sept. 20 for
maintenance work and will reopen Dec. 17.
The closure is the first in the resort's 25-year history,
according to Butch Stewart, chairman and founder.
"There is no convenient time to inconvenience people,
and while many hotels in Antigua have traditionally closed on an annual basis,
we have not and we recognize the dramatic consequences this action has on our
staff, industry, destination partners, vendors and, of course, our guests,"
A letter of intention to close the property was shared with
Antiguan government officials late last week.
Original estimates forecast that the maintenance work would
take five months to complete but following a detailed assessment and new
project plan to condense work flow, the reopening date was moved up to coincide
with the start of the peak season.
Stewart appointed COO Shawn DaCosta to take necessary steps
to engage with affected staff, union representatives and government officials.
"The local economy is tied to ours and we sincerely
hope our efforts to shorten the closure period is helpful to them,"
Sandals is working with travel agents and tour operators to
re-accommodate guests, who have a couple of options. They may choose to return
to the resort within one year of their original travel date and Sandals will
honor the original rate and pay any airline change fees or penalties. Or, they
can choose to travel on their original date but switch to a different Sandals
or Beaches resort and the airfare will be covered.
In either case, travel must be completed by Dec. 18, 2018.