Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has bought the recently shuttered Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay in the Bahamas for an undisclosed sum.
The 500-acre property, which has been in receivership, features a championship Greg Norman golf course and excellent marina. It will become a Sandals Resort and will be called Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, according to Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Sandals Resorts’ founder and chairman.
Following enhancements customary to the Sandals Resorts brand, including a large new pool complex and additional dining establishments, the resort will open on January 22, 2010, says SRI.
“This is a remarkable moment in the history of Sandals Resorts,” says Stewart. “We are acquiring one of the most spectacular pieces of real estate in the Caribbean, which was operated by one of the world’s most highly regarded hotel companies. We look forward to bringing our Luxury Included experience to this special property, which has been kept to impeccable standards.”
Sandals Emerald Bay is set along a one-mile stretch of white sand beach on Emerald Bay on Great Exuma in The Bahamas. According to Stewart, the all-suite resort will offer a selection of 190 luxury accommodations with styles that range from beachfront villas to bay house settings. SRI promises all will be oceanfront, all will be very spacious and all will be serviced by butlers trained by Sandals Resorts through the company’s exclusive partnership with the Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Other amenities include a fully equipped tennis center featuring six Har-tru courts lit for night play, with professional stadium seating fit for competition; a full-service Red Lane Spa with 22 indoor treatment areas and six outdoor sanctuaries; and six gourmet restaurants, including four new concepts introduced by Sandals Resorts ― a fine-dining seafood restaurant, an authentic Italian brick-oven pizzeria, a French-style cafe and a traditional British pub complete with a pool and snooker room.
To complement its ocean views, the property will also feature three pools, including a brand-new freshwater pool. Encompassing over half an acre, this pool will feature a Jacuzzi, a swim-up pool bar and a unique fire-pit seating area in the center. Flanking the pool will be misting columns and cabanas equipped with wireless Internet access.
Whether poolside or on the beach, all guests will receive a full complement of butler services.
In addition, the resort will cater to business and meetings customers, offering 13,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space. This includes three large ballrooms with separate event entrance that can be converted into smaller rooms, all with access to a dedicated conference facility kitchen and two meetings rooms, which are all supported by round-the-clock conference and technology services.
SRI says that unique to the Great Exuma property is an 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course ― which the company says is reputed to be among the best in the Caribbean ― as well as a 17-acre, stand-alone Emerald Bay Marina by Sandals, the first-ever marina for any Sandals Resort.
This fully-protected, deepwater marina offers 133 slips and is equipped to accommodate and service yachts up to 300 feet in length. Open to the public, the marina also features a clubhouse with a full-service restaurant including al fresco dining on a wraparound terrace, a pool, a full-service Red Lane Spa and facilities to accommodate families with children.
Sandals Emerald Bay is the fourteenth Sandals Resort in the Jamaican-based company’s portfolio and the third investment the company has made in The Bahamas, already home to Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau and Royal Plantation Island at Fowl Cay in the Exumas.
“We have deep roots in The Bahamas. We know the people and these islands well and it is our distinct pleasure and honor to further our partnership in tourism here,” says Stewart, who credits the property’s receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers and the government of The Bahamas on their efficiency in bringing SRI’s purchase to a quick conclusion.
SRI is the parent company of the resort brands Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, The Royal Plantation Collection and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.