1. Popular Luxury Resort in Turks and Caicos Acquired by Sandals Resorts International

Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, has announced the purchase of The Veranda Resorts & Residences in Turks and Caicos, a luxury property with oceanfront views along Grace Bay.

The purchase will be an expansion of the award-winning Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa and introduced as the Key West Luxury Village on December 17. The Key West Luxury Village will feature studios, multi-bedroom suites and villas and will be the first major addition to the property since the grand opening of the resort's Italian Village in 2009. In addition to the 16 restaurants currently on property, guests will now have access to three new gourmet-dining establishments through the expansion, as well as a number of other luxurious amenities.

"It has been an exciting month for us and we are so pleased to continue the expansion of the Beaches Resorts brand in Turks and Caicos," says  Gordon "Butch" Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts. "Everything here is expressly designed for the way today's families live and travel and we have truly added upon what was already the Caribbean's most comprehensive, Luxury Included vacation for every member of the family. We have so enjoyed sharing the beauty of Grace Bay over the last 15 years and look forward to welcoming guests to this new piece of paradise."

All reservations on record for The Veranda after December 17 will be honored by Beaches Turks & Caicos. Beaches Turks & Caicos will also be recruiting existing staff of The Veranda to provide the award-winning service Beaches Resorts has become known for and to continue exceeding guests' expectations. Further details regarding the expansion will be released in the coming days.

Earlier this month, Sandals Resorts International announced it would be expanding to Grenada with the sale of LaSource, a popular luxury resort that officially closed its doors recently due to lingering financial woes. Travel Agent first got word that Sandals was planning a move to Grenada last year when we sat down with Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International.

Stewart told us back then that Sandals was considering expansions to both Barbados and Grenada. And with Grenada already confirmed, agents should keep on eye on a possible Sandals expansion to Barbados.

“Whether this is two years from now or five years from now, these are two destinations we can definitely see ourselves in,” Stewart told us back in June of last year. “When we looked at them, we looked at the usual things we look for in finding a great location for a resort, mainly a great beach."

LaSource, the 100-room resort on Pink Gin Beach, reopened in February of 2008 after drawn out renovations and improvements to repair massive structural damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. 


Visit www.beaches.com/main/tc/tc-keywest.cfm and keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this story.