News / Now open: The all-new Sandals Dunn’s River
Photo: Sandals Dunn's River's grand opening celebration
Sandals Resorts International threw a massive party to celebrate the grand opening of the all-new, 260-room Sandals Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Originally built in 1957 as the Arawak Hotel, the all-inclusive resort brought out an impressive lineup of dignitaries, distinguished guests and renowned Jamaica performers for its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 19. These include Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness of Jamaica and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica Edmund Bartlett, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) CEO Gebhard Rainer, Grammy-award winning artist Shaggy, and ‘The Voice’ winner Tessanne Chin.
Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica (center); Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (fifth right); and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (fourth right), during the Sandals Dunn’s River ribbon cutting ceremony on May 19th. Also pictured from left to right: Deryk Meany, General Manager, Sandals Dunn’s River; Gebhard Rainer, Chief Executive Officer, Sandals Resorts International; Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance; Mark Golding, Leader of the Opposition; Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism; Karl Samuda, Minister of Labour and Social Security; and Marsha Smith, State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and the Member of Parliament.
Shaggy performs at the grand opening party alongside Jamaican Dancehall artist Teejay
In his main address, Prime Minister Holness recalled a conversation he had with the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, SRI’s founder and former Chairman, about purchasing the property.
Guests were met with cocktails crafted with local ingredients and paired with an array of cuisines from the resort’s restaurants, including concepts entirely new to the Sandals brand. The resort’s outdoor spaces were transformed into a retro supper club, complete with lounge music, gold accents and SWAG servers, a new take on the ‘cigarette servers’ from decades past. A 40-member choir from the University of the West Indies, the Edna Manley College and the Ashe Company also performed a touching tribute to the late Stewart.
Like the resort itself, whose design inspiration is pulled from nearby Dunn’s River Falls, the event celebrate Jamaica culture from start to finish. Guests were treated to a nighttime spectacle complete with a steel-drum band, ribbon dancers, aerial performances, local musicians, a state-of-the-art video mapping of the Falls and a rousing performance from the cast of STOMP, fresh off their Broadway run. Entertainers also performed in the pool floating on original bamboo rafts custom made by Jamaican artisans. The celebration culminated with an epic performance from Shaggy and an impressive fireworks display.
For more information about the all-new Sandals Dunn’s River, go to sandals.com/dunns-river.
Performers floating on bamboo rafts
The international cast of STOMP performs their stage show