Sandals Resorts

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Sandals Resorts
Industry Hotel
Founded 1981
Founder Gordon Stewart (Chairman)
Headquarters Montego Bay, Jamaica
Number of locations
15 Resorts
Area served
Key people
Adam Stewart (CEO)
Number of employees
Parent Sandals Resorts International (SRI)
Website Sandals

Sandals Resorts is an operator of all-inclusive resorts for couples in the Caribbean and part of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, Fowl Cay Resort and several private villas. Founded by Jamaican-born Gordon "Butch" Stewart in 1981, SRI is based in Montego Bay, Jamaica and is responsible for resort development, service standards, training and day-to-day operations. Sandals Resorts International has properties throughout the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Turks & Caicos, and most recently Barbados, and Grenada with fifteen Sandals Resorts, three Beaches Resorts, two Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, one Fowl Cay private island resort and four villa properties in Jamaica.

Sandals Resorts properties include:

  • Sandals Montego Bay;
  • Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island;
  • Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort;
  • Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa;
  • Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa;
  • Sandals Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica;
  • Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay, Jamaica;
  • Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort;
  • Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in St. Lucia;
  • Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia;
  • Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa;
  • Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island;
  • Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma, Bahamas;
  • Sandals Barbados Resort & Spa; and
  • Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa Grenada

In July 2009, SRI partnered with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to bring customizable Martha Stewart Weddings to brides and grooms having a destination wedding at any of the 15 Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts beginning January 1, 2010. The companies also announced that they will introduce Martha Stewart Crafts classes for adults at Sandals Resorts and craft camps for families at Beaches Resorts in 2010.[1]

A section of the main pool at Sandals' Cuba resort.

In August 2009, SRI announced the purchase of the former Four Season Great Exuma, which debuted as Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas on January 22, 2010.[2]


Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman and Founder: Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 6, 1941, he grew up along Jamaica’s north coast.

After rising to the position of sales manager for the Dutch-owned Curaçao Trading Company, Stewart left in 1968 to start Appliance Traders, Ltd. (ATL). Founded as an air-conditioner service and distribution company, ATL soon grew, adding refrigerators, freezers and other appliances. Today, ATL makes or sells everything from water pumps and electrical generators to cars and auto parts.[3]

The first government-owned, “all-inclusive” resort opened in Ocho Rios and ATL was contracted to supply kitchen appliances and air conditioners. Stewart then purchased an old hotel on one of Montego Bay’s largest beaches, despite having no hotel experience.[citation needed]

As of 2007, he controls what analysts estimate to be a billion dollar, privately owned Jamaican-based empire that includes 25 Caribbean resorts, Appliance Traders Ltd., and The Observer newspaper.[4]

Adam Stewart, CEO: Adam Stewart is the CEO of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which owns and operates Caribbean-based Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts. Stewart oversees all areas of SRI operations, which is headquartered in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He has held this position since 2006.[citation needed]

Stewart was born on January 27, 1981, the same year that his father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart purchased his first hotel and launched the Sandals Resorts chain. Adam Stewart was raised in Jamaica and graduated from Florida International University’s Hospitality Management Program in Miami, FL.[5]

In March 2009, Stewart launched The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International.[6]

In August 2009, Adam Stewart was appointed as Deputy Chairman of the family-owned ATL Group comprising the Jamaica Observer and a chain of appliance outlets.[6][7]

Sandals was in the news over discussions around limiting beach access during negotiations.[8][9] [10][11]

Corruption allegation settlement[edit]

In January 2013, Sandals agreed to a settlement of US$12 million around corruption allegations, without admitting any liability.[12] [13] [14]

Refusal of service to gay couples[edit]

The company had a long-standing policy dating from 1981 which banned gays from their "couples-only" resorts. The policy was variously stated by characterizing the accommodations as "resort for couples (heterosexual) only", or "Couples only. A couple is defined as one female adult and one male adult", "policies require male/female couples only", or "couples of the same gender are not accepted." Sandals' anti-gay policy received a great deal of publicity when stays at their resorts were offered as prizes in various promotions by companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, and US Airways in 1999.[15] Later reports indicated that some resorts also made no accommodations for the handicapped, prompting the ACLU to opine that companies offering Sandals stays as prizes, or otherwise doing business with Sandals resorts, might be the targets of lawsuits. The companies involved promptly severed their relationships with Sandals, stating they were unaware of its discriminatory practices.[16] Adverts for the company were banned from the London Underground in 2003 after public objections were raised.[17] One possible cause for this policy may have been that homosexuality was illegal in Jamaica. Sandals ended its policy of refusing service to gay couples in August 2004 after further gay rights protests. Their current policy is similar to their guest policy on "public displays of affection" and topless women on their beaches: Use discretion. If other guests complain, management may request a change in behavior. Two of Sandals resorts have small discreet clothing optional beaches, quite widely known but not overtly advertised. Both are located on small discreet areas of private reef islands belonging to the resorts. Access to the islands, which have other amenities, is limited to ferry boats from the main resorts.[18][19]

As of 2013, Sandals does not allow singles at most of their properties. Sandals has allowed gay couples at their properties since 2004 [20]


  1. ^ Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Sandals Resorts to Launch Martha Stewart Weddings Program in the Caribbean
  2. ^ Sandals Resorts International Purchases Four Seasons in Great Exuma, Bahamas
  3. ^ "Gordon "Butch" Stewart". Wikipedia. 
  4. ^ Allen, Desmond. "Gordon 'Butch' Stewart – Jamaica's First International Superstar Businessman". Bonita Jamaica. 
  5. ^ "People: Adam Stewart". Hotel & Resort Insider. 
  6. ^ a b Evans, Hope. "Sandals Foundation Now a Reality". Jamaica Gleaner. 
  7. ^ "The Luxist Awards". Luxist. 
  8. ^ "BUTCH STEWART SPEAKS OUT". Turks & Caicis Sun. 22 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "US helps Turks and Caicos recoup millions from Sandals Resort". The Miami Herald. 23 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "BREAKING NEWS - January 23, 2013 - Sandals (Owned by Butch Stewart) reaches an Agreement with SIPT for $12 Million". The TCI Journal. 23 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "SIPT settles with Sandals for $12m". FP Turks and Caicos. 25 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Gay rights travel flap snares Microsoft, Yahoo
  16. ^ The Microsoft & US Airways Anti-Gay Sweepstakes Controversy – February 1999 – complete information, press releases, screen captures
  17. ^ Muir, Hugh (June 5, 2003). "Tube bans 'anti-gay' holiday firm adverts". The Guardian. 
  18. ^ Liberty Line – 11/16/04
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ NY Times 10/24/2004

External links[edit]