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When it comes to tourist accommodations — from huge all-inclusive mega resorts to charming B&B properties — the Caribbean has it covered. That is, except for one area: over-the-water suites, which have been a huge selling feature in the South Pacific. Over-the-water suites, which usually feature sea-viewing panels in the floor, amp up the romance level, making them an especially popular choice for honeymooners.
Wouldn’t it be nice if agents selling the Caribbean had this arrow in Cupid’s quiver? Luckily, they soon will, when Sandals Resorts debuts its Over-the-Water Villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Sandals has been developing a Caribbean over-the-water suites product for some time. The villas were initially slated to be built at Sandals Grande St. Lucian. But for one reason or another, the project stalled and was eventually withdrawn from consideration. The dream was shifted from St. Lucia to Jamaica — which is fitting, since the island is the birthplace of the Sandals brand.
The resort’s five private over-the-water villas will be available beginning Nov. 15, 2016, and agents can already begin booking them for clients.
“Enthusiasm by travel agents for the over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean has been tremendous,” said Gary Sadler, senior vice president of sales for Unique Vacations Inc., an affiliate of the worldwide representative for Sandals Resorts. “Our advice to agents seeking to reserve these incredible suites for their clients: Book as soon as possible. As the first of their kind in the region, demand remains high, and we don’t see that dissipating anytime soon.”
Clients may initially have sticker shock when they see the price — a hefty $4,321 per night. Even so, with only five of these suites available, they’ll no doubt be grabbed up quickly by couples looking for a dream honeymoon. The price doesn’t look as astronomical as it first appears, since clients won’t be paying for long-haul flights to the South Pacific, which would be a considerable cost in terms of both time and money. There are also lots of all-inclusive perks and upmarket features included in the booking.
The over-the-water villas include private infinity pools, outdoor showers, teak king-size beds and floating water hammocks. Clients will receive VIP treatment, such as private boat transfers from their suite to the resort and a Sandals butler trained to the standards of the Guild of Professional Butlers. The villas feature glass floors, providing intriguing views of colorful fish swimming below, and lighting features illuminate the water at night.
Clients booked in one of the over-the-water suites will have full access to the features and amenities at the all-inclusive Sandals Royal Caribbean, which includes eight restaurants, six pools, a Red Lane Spa, nightly entertainment and water activities, including free scuba diving. Sandals Royal Caribbean is conveniently located near Montego Bay’s international airport, so romance-minded couples won’t need to cool their heels in a long van ride from the airport to the resort. (Note: In the case of an impending hurricane, guests in the over-the-water villas would be relocated to land.)
Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, was inspired to bring over-the-water suites to the Caribbean when he and his wife honeymooned in the Maldives and were captivated by the experience. It became a dream of Stewart’s to make over-the-water suites part of Sandals’ offerings. The villas are the most luxurious and expensive that the brand has ever built.
“The over-the-water suites are part of a larger investment in innovation and part of our drive to impress our audiences and expand what it means to be a true, luxury all-inclusive resort,” Stewart said.