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All-Inclusives UpdateJanuary 27, 2012 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
|Pool at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica|
Among several players making news on the all-inclusives front is Sandals Resorts International. Following a $60 million upgrade project completion in December, the newest Sandals Resorts property in Jamaica and the largest resort in the portfolio, Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, now has three resorts in one: Riviera Great House, Riviera Villas and Riviera Seaside. As part of the renovation, guests will find refreshing updates in all of the 529 upgraded rooms and suites throughout the three resort areas, including the newest and most luxurious suites on Jamaica’s north coast, the Riviera Villas.
At the brand-new Riviera Beach Club, guests can enjoy a grotto pool with poolside butler service, fire pits, expansive lounge areas, over-the-sand decks and much more. The Riviera Beach Club features chic white Balinese cabanas, a winding grotto pool and direct access to Ocho Rios’ most spectacular beach.
The Riviera Seaside provides barefoot luxury with chic cocktail lounges, outdoor decks and stunning ocean views from almost every location, including seven restaurants. With a total of 15 new and redesigned restaurants, in-room upgrades with suites now offering Plasma TVs and iPod docking stations, as well as newly outfitted bathrooms, the most discerning guests are sure to be impressed.
The resort’s Red Lane Spa also received a face-lift with updated porcelain tiled floors, a new color scheme, natural Indonesian paneling, and coral stone coping around the spa’s central plunge pools.
Travel agents should contact Suelin Simpson (876-974-5691, [email protected]), sales manager for Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, with queries.
Chairman’s Royal Club
A select group of top agents who have continuously produced results and showcased loyalty to the resort brand will soon be invited into the inaugural class of the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, allowing members to reap the extra rewards and opportunities available to those who have been especially successful at selling Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.
To become eligible for entry into the Chairman’s Royal Club, travel agents must sell more than 75 rooms per year and provide consistent, outstanding customer service to all Sandals Resorts guests. Agents are required to attend workshops annually, participate in fam trips, and score at least an 8 (out of 10) on a Mystery Guest Call.
Distinct benefits of membership to the Chairman’s Royal Club include reimbursement for promotional expenses up to 75 percent, a $100 Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours discount for each and every visit, up to $250 airfare reimbursement, complimentary Wi-Fi connection, and resort discounts of 25 percent on spa treatments and sundries. Perhaps best of all, agencies with Chairman’s Royal Club membership can earn 16 percent commissions on resort sales.
Elite Adds St. Lucia Resort
It was a busy month for Elite Island Resorts. The collection of beachfront resorts in the Caribbean announced earlier this month its acquisition of the former Almond Morgan Bay St. Lucia, now renamed Morgan Bay Beach Resort St. Lucia. The resort is set amid 25 acres of hillside gardens tucked into a private cove on the northern coast of St. Lucia.
|Balcony view from Elite Island Resorts’ Morgan Bay Beach Resort St. Lucia|
The all-inclusive, beachfront resort has 345 guest rooms and suites with ocean and tropical garden views. The well-appointed accommodations span a variety of categories, including one-bedroom suites and family suites.
Agents looking to book Morgan Bay Beach Resort St. Lucia should contact Elite Island Resorts’ Director of Reservations Cathleen Londre (800-858-4618, [email protected]).
Also, the company announced the appointment of Gwenn Feliciano as director of sales and marketing. Bringing 15 years of experience to her new role, Feliciano will help sell and promote the company’s ever-growing portfolio, specializing in resort destinations in Anguilla, Barbados, Grenada, Nevis, St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands.
Prior to joining Elite Island Resorts, Feliciano held the position of director of sales and marketing for Our Lucaya Resort in The Bahamas. Before her tenure there, she served as the vice president of U.S. sales for SuperClubs resorts in Jamaica, The Bahamas,
Curacao, Brazil and Panama, directing the areas of retail, groups, incentives and tour operator sales. She also headed brand marketing for Sandals’ Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts brand.
RIU Opens in Punta Cana
In early December, RIU Hotels & Resorts officially opened the Riu Palace Bavaro, becoming the 34th RIU resort in Latin America and the Caribbean. After an investment of more than $80 million, the all-inclusive property is the fifth hotel in Punta Cana and third in the luxurious range of Riu Palace, after the Riu Palace Macao and Riu Palace Punta Cana.
This hotel has 610 rooms distributed between the main building and the villas. There is wireless Internet access in the suites and junior suites. Wi-Fi service is also available in the lobby.
The new hotel presents a vast gastronomical selection of tastes in its main restaurant, four specialty restaurants, a lobby bar, as well as a sports bar open 24 hours a day. It also has four swimming pools, two of which have an integrated Jacuzzi; a children’s pool with a miniclub; a spa with sauna; a gym; casino; and a convention center.
Agents should contact Sales Manager Larissa Morias (809-689-2126, ext. 80552, [email protected]) for further information.
Deals and Discounts
Barceló Hotels & Resorts continues to tout the benefits of early booking, backed by a nationwide advertising campaign launched in September. Unlike typical “book by this date” promotions that limit the discount to a particular booking window, Barceló is giving guests the freedom to make reservations on their own schedule. Travelers can now book vacations to any all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic for travel between now and April 30.
Guests who book more than 120 days in advance will get 35 percent off; guests who book between 90 and 119 days in advance will get 30 percent off; guests who book between 60 and 89 days in advance will get 20 percent off; and guests who book between 31 and 59 days in advance get 15 percent off.
At Breezes Resorts & Spas, clients who plan ahead and book their 2012 getaways by February 15 will reap savings of up to 55 percent on travel now through October 31 at their choice of six Breezes properties in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Curacao and Brazil.