A Legacy of Luxury
Adam Stewart

What does “luxury” mean to Adam Stewart, the dynamic leader of Sandals and Beaches Resorts?
The principal of the best-known brand in the Caribbean has kept the corporation at the pinnacle of success, having been named The World Travel Awards’ “Leading Luxury All-Inclusive Company” for 22 consecutive years. An avid adventurer and faithful humanitarian, Stewart is at the helm of a collection of tourism and automotive enterprises. We asked the proud Jamaican about the brand’s amenities and the latest developments among the resorts.

How do you define “luxury”?

Luxury has a different meaning and interpretation for everyone, but its common thread is the search for something deeply meaningful and personal. Today’s all-inclusive customer is sophisticated; they understand what indulgence means to them and they are seeking personal, memorable experiences. At Sandals, beyond amenities like personalized butler services and first-of-their-kind suites — such as the Caribbean’s first over-the-water bungalows — we believe wholeheartedly in the idea of getting closer to place. Customers want to get out and explore, and our response to these trends is to expand the Sandals experience beyond the resort, including access to unique, memorable places that foster deeper connections to a destination.

What should we know about the newest Sandals property coming to Jamaica?

The opening of an all-new, wholly reconceptualized Sandals Dunn’s River is a tremendously significant moment filled with meaning for my family. This is where my father, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, grew up, a place that was close to his heart as well as thousands of guests who made memories here during its glory days as the Arawak Hotel in the 1950s and thereafter as a Sandals in the ’90s when my father realized his dream of sharing this most beautiful corner of Jamaica with the world. We’re bringing this storied resort back into the Sandals portfolio in all its Golden Age glory, with next-level amenities, accommodations and culinary concepts that are unlike anything the island has ever seen before. Think Tufa SkyPool Butler Suites featuring glass panels spanning the length of oceanfront balconies, and a reimagined Rondoval experience — the Coyaba Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suites — now featuring open-air rooftops with water pulled and circulated from natural reserves. Culinary concepts will pay homage to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, the Caribbean’s rum culture and more. These are just a few of the incredible experiences that guests can look forward to as they become reacquainted with this magical slice of paradise.

Resort placement is an important consideration during construction. How do you position your properties to maximize their locations’ natural beauty?

Simply put, we’re intentional about finding the right real estate that will make a Sandals a Sandals, or a Beaches a Beaches. Building a resort, especially when you enter a new destination, is a journey that requires a thoughtful approach, and we spend a substantial amount of time looking for the right place. When guests come to our hotels, they know they will be on the best beachfront locations in the destinations in the Caribbean where we operate. We intentionally build our resorts west-facing, not only for those aweinspiring Caribbean sunsets, but also because the trade winds go from east to west, which means our beaches are the calmest. When it comes to design, we’re inspired by a destination’s beauty and incorporate it into everything that we do, from the aesthetic of our rooms and suites to the infusion of the island’s natural wonders into our spa experiences to conceptualization of food and beverage offerings and more. Our approach is always to infuse the Caribbean into the guest experience because there’s truly nothing better than bringing guests closer to an island’s charm, magic and people.

How did you decide to add thatched roof villas to St. Lucia’s Sandals Halcyon Beach resort and what makes them exceptional?

The Rondoval has become one of the most coveted room categories for our guests and understandably so with their unique architecture, design and private nature that lends itself for the ultimate space for connection. St. Lucia, which boasts some of the Caribbean’s most incredible landscapes, creates the perfect backdrop for these additions. We even had some fun with the name, “Koko,” giving a nod to both the fruit’s abundance on the island and of course the iconic thatched roof. Steps from the sea and with a design that intends to bring the outside in, these villas will offer an entirely new way to enjoy this resort and destination. They will be exceptional.

Tell us about your partnerships with local farmers.

As one of the Caribbean’s leading tourism companies, we understand the impact that our operation and purchasing choices has on the island ecosystems as a whole – and this is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Our farm-to-table food sourcing not only ensures that the produce used throughout the resorts is of the highest quality, but also supports the local economy, and encourages the growth of small farmers, who are so passionate about quality and looking after their land. Over 90% of Sandals Resorts’ produce is harvested and purchased from local farmers – everything from herbs and spices to colorful and exceptional fruits and vegetables. Our talented chefs across our resorts curate menu items for guests that present our local produce in the best light while celebrating and bringing forward the unique flavors of the Caribbean.

For couples planning a romantic vacation, what are the ways to dazzle your significant other at Sandals?

As a company founded on love, we are invested in creating the ultimate setting for romance and connection. In fact, a recent study by the Sandals Institute of Romance, which explores trends in modern love, found that a majority of couples feel closest to each other while on vacation, with beach vacations topping the list of preferred ways to connect. In even more uplifting news, 88% of parents said they will make more time for romance this year and 76% expect to take a romantic vacation. At Sandals, we are all about creating opportunities for couples to connect in their own unique ways. From simple pleasures like taking in breathtaking Caribbean sunsets to exploring our islands or learning a new skill together like scuba diving – spending time together, alone, is such a powerful way to stay connected and keep the spark alive.

Beaches Negril in Jamaica recently added Firesky Reserve Villas and Eventide Penthouse Suites. Tell us about your favorite luxury features?

Giving generations of families a place to make incredible memories together is at the center of everything we do at Beaches Resorts, and the inspiration behind these stunning additions to our flagship family resort, Beaches Negril. The new Firesky Reserve Villas and Eventide Penthouse Suites are the perfect place for families to relax and enjoy each other’s company with plenty of space and an unmatched connection to the Caribbean Sea. With some spanning more than 3,700 square feet, Beaches Negril now offers some of the largest accommodations in our portfolio –a true home away from home – with up to four bedrooms, spacious kitchens and living areas, some with private oceanfront plunge pools, and private and shared rooftop decks overlooking the famous Seven Mile Beach. The way that the unique beauty and laid-back vibe of Negril has inspired these new additions – from the calm waters to the technicolor sunsets – is truly a work of art and so emblematic of how we want guests to experience our island.

Contact our agency today to start planning your dream vacation.