Sandals makes enhanced MICE offers for a choice of five islandsIf you imagine the perfect holiday on a Caribbean island, then the chances are that in your mind’s eye you will be seeing an image of a Sandals resort, as described by Paul Tidy. Paul has taken on the enviable task of spreading the word about what Sandals’ Resorts have to offer to group organisers.
‘We can offer 20 resorts including a private island’, he summarises, ‘on six islands. The resorts go under three different brands of Sandals, Beaches, Grand Pineapple and our private island, Fowl Cay. There are ten resorts on Jamaica, three on St Lucia, three in The Bahamas, one in Turks and Caicos and two on Antigua and one in Grenada. We are extremely excited about the opening of our newest resort Sandals La Source in Grenada at the end of the year.’
He goes on to say that group organisers who have held events in the resorts have been extremely impressed by the beautiful sandy beaches, warm waters, and friendly staff ready to help in every way and superb, fresh food. Organisers are also very pleasantly surprised, he maintains, when they ask for quotes ‘because we can fit into unexpectedly small budgets’.
‘There is a growing demand for all-inclusive packages’, Paul confirms, ‘and we can provide quotes from £69 per person per day with double occupancy for Grand Pineapple Antigua and from as little as £100 per person for a Sandals Resort. This encompasses not only accommodation and food, but also sports and leisure activities such as golf and scuba diving as well as premium beverages.’
This includes function spaces and comprehensive a.v. equipment. Another important plus for members of corporate groups is that there are no gratuities on the resorts. ‘Our personnel’, Paul assures everyone, ‘are motivated by the desire to please guests and not for tips. That comes over very strongly in all the comments we receive after events’.
The Luxury All Inclusive Sandals Resorts have been going strong for over 30 years and is still a Jamaican family-owned enterprise. It is becoming more and more successful in the MICE market and continuously introducing new benefits to organisers. These include free additional places for delegates that make events even more affordable, as well as a remarkable free week’s holiday easily earned by planners.
‘Once a group is booked into a resort’, Paul points out, ‘we offer as much flexibility as possible. Each resort has an impressive selection of restaurants and cuisines from across the world including Japanese, British Pubs, French and Caribbean. One of our unique selling points is our dine-around programme, where we have more than one resort in the region; groups can enjoy all the facilities and services across the resorts. For example, groups staying in any of our Saint Lucia properties will have access to 22 restaurants across three resorts at no additional cost.
‘We have indoor function spaces, of course, but organisers can choose to use our outdoor spaces if they prefer.’ Some of the resorts can offer private islands, which the group can utilise exclusively. This is perfect for President Clubs and gatherings of Chief Executives or Finance Officers, where the guests can network in complete privacy.’
Departing from the United Kingdom the resorts can be reached from London Heathrow, London Gatwick on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic or out of Manchester with Thomas Cook. The preferred length of visit seems to be about five days, but there are flight combinations that permit organisers to opt for four days or seven days, say, to fit in with their schedules. It is not uncommon for groups to be assembled in London from various parts of Europe or the rest of the world and to then fly out together. The islands also have excellent direct links with the States and Canada.
Sandals also has its own DMC, Island Routes, that is highly experienced in Meet & Greet services and in setting up tailor-made excursions and team-building activities with catamarans, zip-lines and so on. ‘We have it all ready and waiting for MICE organisers’, Paul sums up. ‘They just have to get in touch with me, and we can talk through requirements, logistics, aspirations and budgets and hopefully we can start to tailor anything from 5 rooms to a Resort Buy-out and to assist in the delivery of a truly memorable and successful event.’