Sandals say “no” to annual closure rumours

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa said it will not be closing for annual renovations amidst rumours that the hotel will close during the low season.
Sunil Ramdeen, head of public relations for Sandals Eastern Caribbean, told OBSERVER media that there is “absolutely no truth” that the resort would be closing this year and will continue to close annually.
“There is no truth to that claim. I am not sure where those rumours would have come from,” Ramdeen said in a recent interview.
Several of the 600 plus workers contacted our newsroom in the last few days claiming that they were informed that the property would close again this year because the renovation that was started last year has to be completed in time for the winter peak season.
However, Ramdeen said most of the renovation that commenced last year was done and the work is still being done.
“The work that we had to do last year is done, we got a lot of it done, some of it we are doing incrementally, but, it is not going to impact the hotel in terms of closing. That was a one-time thing, something that we just had to do last year, it is not an annual thing,” he said.
“We were very transparent with what we did last year, the hotel had not closed for 25 years and over the course of 25 years some work was needed.”
In July 2017, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union received notice that the Sandals Grande Antigua will close for up to five months beginning in September. The announcement came after news that the Verandah Resort and Spa would also close from August to October.
Employees, contractors, vendors and many affected by the closure were quick to add their displeasure with the closure.
After revisiting the decision, Sandals reduced the time to three months.
Meanwhile, Ramdeen said low bookings for May is traditionally par for the course for the resort and bookings are expected to increase during the latter part of the year.

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