In the world of Caribbean all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is a dominant player. Founded by Jamaican entrepreneur extraordinaire Gordon "Butch" Stewart, SRI has had three distinct brands:
- Sandals Resorts - all inclusives designed for couples
- Beaches Resorts - all inclusive resorts designed for families, with kids' programs and special features such as Sesame Street characters
- Royal Plantation Collection: boutique resort Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Royal Plantation Island, private island, Exumas, Bahamas (six luxury villas, kids welcome); Royal Plantation Private Villas.
In March 2008, SRI launched a new lower-priced brand named Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.
Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts
As at the other SRI resort brands, all-inclusive vacations include all meals and snacks, unlimited premium-brand beverages, nightly entertainment, and non-motorized watersports. Meanwhile, rates may be as much as 35 percent lower than at the Beaches or Sandals resorts.
Note, however, that while Grand Pineapple is less expensive when compared to Beaches and Sandals resorts, this does not necessarily mean that rates are in a low price range. Value is relative. Always look for bargains and packages to bring down the rates.
Meanwhile, the Grand Pineapple Beach experience "above all is about quality," according to Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International (and son of Gordon "Butch" Stewart.) Guests can expect good food, a warm welcome, and a great beach.
There are two budget-oriented Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts in the Caribbean. Both welcome singles, couples, families, and groups. Note, however, that neither resort offers a dedicated children's program. While these resorts lack the bells and whistles of higher-priced properties, they offer comfortable standard rooms and basic amenities along with beachfront locations.
Grand Pineapple Beach Negril
Located centrally on Negril's famous Seven Mile Beach, this colorful all-inclusive resort offers a value-minded vacation in the sand and surf in Jamaica. It's a small resort with just 65 rooms. The resort's stretch of beach is relatively small, yet there's a freshwater pool and snorkeling right off the beach. You can also play pool and life-size chess. Note that some of the rooms are located across the street from the beach, so be sure to request a beachside room.
Grand Pineapple Beach Club Antigua
This unpretentious resort is located on Long Bay Beach, one of the island's most beautiful and serene beaches. With just 180 rooms, this resort has a more intimate atmosphere than you find at some of the Caribbean's huge resorts. There's a 1,600-foot-long stretch of beach, two freshwater pools (including one lagoon pool), and non-motorized watersports, including windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking and sailing
- Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
This brief profile is meant to introduce this resort to family vacationers; please note that the writer has not visited in person.