Sandals Resorts

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Sandals Resorts
IndustryHotel, Resort, All-inclusive resort
FounderGordon Stewart (Chairman)
HeadquartersMontego Bay, Jamaica
Number of locations
16 Resorts
Area served
Key people
Adam Stewart (CEO)
Number of employees
ParentSandals Resorts International (SRI)

Sandals Resorts is a Jamaican 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 sixteen Sandals Resorts, three Beaches Resorts, one Grand Pineapple Beach Resort, 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 Ochi Beach Resort; (formerly Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort)
  • Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa
  • Sandals South Coast (formerly Whitehouse European Village & Spa)
  • Sandals Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica
  • Sandals Inn Montego Bay (formerly Sandals Carlyle), Jamaica
  • Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
  • Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in St. Lucia
  • Sandals Halcyon St. Lucia
  • Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa;
  • Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
  • Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma, Bahamas
  • Sandals Barbados Resort & Spa
  • Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa Grenada
  • Sandals Royal Barbados Resort & Spa

Former resorts:

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 16 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]

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, born in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 6, 1941, is the Chairman and Founder of Sandals Resorts International (SRI). 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), an air-conditioner service and distribution company. Gordon's son Adam Stewart is the current Deputy Chairman of SRI. Gebhard Rainer is the current CEO of Sandals Resorts International.


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.[3]

Adam Stewart is the current 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.[4]

In 1984, Sandals launched the Caribbean's first swim-up bar at its Montego Bay Resort in Jamaica.[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 Corporate University (SCU) - a regional adult education program for the 10,000 employees of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts - was launched in March 2012. Through partnerships with internationally-recognized universities, professional organizations, and local education institutions, SCU provides courses on skills such as customer service, leadership, the art of selling, and professional communications. [8]


Policy on gay couples[edit]

The company had a long-standing policy dating from 1981 that 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.[9] Later reports indicated that some resorts also made no accommodations for people with disabilities, 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.[10] Adverts for the company were banned from the London Underground in 2003 after public objections were raised.[11] 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 protest.[12]

Corruption allegation settlement[edit]

In January 2013, the government of Turks and Caicos Islands and Sandals agreed to a settlement of US$12 million around local corruption allegations, without admission of any liability.[13][14][15]

Television advertising[edit]

In late March 2018, student activists from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, including David Hogg, called for a boycott of advertisers on the television show, The Ingraham Angle on Fox News Channel, after comments host Laura Ingraham made apparently disparaging David Hogg (despite a public apology by Ingraham).[16] Dozens of advertisers on The Ingraham Angle subsequently vowed to no longer pay for advertising on The Ingraham Angle. Sandals Resorts continued to advertise on the show and represented ~25% of ads on The Ingraham Angle by the second week of June 2018.[17] Following Ingraham's controversial comments on her June 18, 2018 show regarding facilities used to detain minor children separated from their undocumented immigrant parents, David Hogg renewed his call for boycotts of The Ingraham Angle's advertisers, including Sandals Resorts.[18]


  1. ^ Inc., Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. "Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Sandals Resorts to Launch Martha Stewart Weddings Program in the Caribbean".
  2. ^ Resource, Hotel News. "Sandals Resorts International Purchases Four Seasons In Great Exuma, Bahamas".
  3. ^ Allen, Desmond (2007-02-02). "Gordon 'Butch' Stewart – Jamaica's First International Superstar Businessman". Bonita Jamaica.
  4. ^ "People: Adam Stewart". Hotel & Resort Insider.
  5. ^ Claire Ballentine (4 October 2019). "Love It or Hate It, the Swim-Up Bar Isn't Going Anywhere". Bloomberg.
  6. ^ a b Evans, Hope. "Sandals Foundation Now a Reality". Jamaica Gleaner. Archived from the original on 2010-02-21.
  7. ^ "The Luxist Awards". Luxist.
  8. ^ Linda Hohnholz (27 May 2020). "Sandals Corporate University: Higher Education with a Higher Purpose". eTurboNews.
  9. ^ "Gay rights travel flap snares Microsoft, Yahoo".
  10. ^ JA. "The Microsoft & US Airways Anti-Gay Sweepstakes Controversy - February 1999 - complete information, press releases, screen captures".
  11. ^ Muir, Hugh (June 5, 2003). "Tube bans 'anti-gay' holiday firm adverts". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Zezima, Katie (October 24, 2004). "TRAVEL ADVISORY; Sandals Resorts Ends Single-Sex Policy". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "US helps Turks and Caicos recoup millions from Sandals Resort". The Miami Herald. 23 January 2013.
  14. ^ "BUTCH STEWART SPEAKS OUT". Turks & Caicis Sun. 22 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Ad prices on Fox's 'The Ingraham Angle' fall in the wake of advertiser boycott".
  17. ^ " A weekly list of the top advertisers of Fox News".
  18. ^ "Fox News's Laura Ingraham says immigrant child detention centers are 'essentially summer camps'".

External links[edit]