Singer Shaggy and the Jamaican Prime Minister were among the distinguished guests at the grand opening party for a new-look resort which has been billed a “game-changer” for the island’s tourist industry.
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, which has 529 rooms and suites spread over 40 hectares on Jamaica’s idyllic north coast, is at the forefront of Jamaica’s tourist influx and setting the bar high for five-star all-inclusive luxury.
After the multi-million dollar renovation project, no expense was spared at a spectacular party earlier this month as carnival dancers strutted their stuff, revered DJ Tracy Young served up a lively set around the Great House Pool and a jaw-dropping firework display lit up the Caribbean sky.
Shaggy put on a show in his country of birth, whipping revellers into a frenzy with classics Boombastic, Angel and It Wasn’t Me.
The elaborate entertainment was a fitting celebration of the transformation of what was previously known as Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort.
Guests can now stay in an All-Butler Village – where the stunning Romeo & Juliet Sanctuary Villa Suite comes complete with a private pool – and dine in 16 different restaurants with cuisine from all over the world; ranging from the Jerk Shack to a high-end French restaurant.
Accommodation has been upgraded, Jamaica’s first Speakeasy Bar – The Rabbit Hole – adds another chic touch of class and the Ochi Beach Club creates a stir during the day and night.
There are two serene spas and the more adventurous guests can clamber up the Caribbean’s largest rock-climbing wall, take an Island Routes catamaran cruise or head for a round of golf while taking in sensational views.
So it is little wonder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, was so satisfied when speaking at a ceremony before later joining Shaggy on stage.
“Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is a game-changer for the all-inclusive resort experience in Jamaica,” said local businessman Stewart.
“With this relaunch, we’ve not only enhanced the resort, but did so with a re-imagined guest experience in mind, solidifying Sandals Ochi as Jamaica’s most comprehensive resort in the region.
“We’re leading the next generation of resorts in Jamaica, and while others may try to follow, we will continue to do what we do best, exceed guest expectations.
“This resort never lets me forget where I began, where I come from and what is possible here in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller said: “Sandals’ story is a well-known one in these parts and most of us here in Jamaica and throughout the region have watched with interest as Sandals has embarked on a meteoric rise to becoming one of the most well-known brands in the world.”