Sandals building Jamaica resort under a new brand

Sandals Resorts International will begin a $100 million reconstruction this year of the old Dragon Bay Resort in Port Antonio on Jamaica’s northeast coast. Sandals acquired the property in March 2002 and it has remained closed since then.

Sandals targets a 2019 opening of a 157-suite resort under a new brand yet to be named.

“The hotel will not be a Beaches or Sandals,” said Sandals CEO Adam Stewart. “Innovations are going to be part and parcel of Dragon Bay. It will be the introduction of a brand new concept.”

Stewart said that the hotel had long been a dream of his father, Butch Stewart, founder of Sandals. Back-to-back hurricanes over a 10-year period and poor road conditions in the area derailed plans since Sandals purchased the property.

However, with the completion of the Portland leg of the North Coast Highway from Ocho Rios and the commitment of the government to make the Ian Fleming International Airport east of Ocho Rios on the north coast accessible to commercial aircraft by expanding the runway, the project will now move forward.


Originally published in Travel Weekly by Gay Nagle Myers /


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