Sandals has expressed an interest Jolly Beach Resort, says Melford Nicholas


Sandals Resorts International has reportedly expressed an interest in the dormant Jolly Beach Resort.

Information Minister Hon. Melford Nicholas provided the update at this week’s post-cabinet media briefing, indicating that the interest from SRI is one of the options in the medium to long term plan for the property which sits on a prime beach-front location.

Sandals, a Jamaican hotel chain started by the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, currently operates sixteen other resorts across the Caribbean, including the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa.

Minister Nicholas says in the interim, work will begin next week for the short-term rehabilitation of the property readying it for the November start of the winter tourism season.

Editor’s Note: This report was first published by state media. Readers should note that ABS is not known for reporting fairly and truthfully on topics involving the government.



  1. I also have an interest in Jolly Beach Melford. But not at any price. I’ll give you a dollar as a symbolic offer. Then I’ll give it to Sandals with the promise that they will put in $200 million to build a five-star hotel on that location. And after five years you can come back to the table and negotiate a proper price for the property. You guys want to have your cake and eat it, but that cannot happen. Demolition alone cost millions of dollars. If you offset that with the value of the land nothing is left. Otherwise, you go ahead and demolish the property and clear the land and then come and sell it as undeveloped land at market value. You guys are too obsessed with filling the back of the plane. Well perhaps we need to entice the airlines to have no back of planes at all. I travelled on a flight from Newark to Boston and there was hardly any so-called back of the plane seat. It had First Class, Business Class and a small Economy Class. That is the type is flights we need to encourage to come to Antigua. The airlines ern much more with these high-class travelers that don’t mind paying the premium on their tickets. I once indicated the problem when the Boss and Janitor go on vacation to the same place and travel on the same airline and swim on the same beach. Surely the boss will not return to that destination.

    • From The Sideline, if the janitor saves for years for a once in a lifetime experience, what the heck is wrong with that? Isn’t he a human being? He’s hardly likely to afford the same kind of room in the same part of the hotel anyway. Since when do we encourage discrimination to make a dollar? I guess being racist is wrong but being classist is fine and dandy?

      • You seem to be missing the point. It’s about what clientele we are catering for. Antigua used to be known as the Island of the Rich and Famous. But Lester allowed the Jolly Beach Hotel to be built and that brought down our tourism product. On top of that they were ALL Inclusive. Guests in All Inclusive hotels do not tip and spend hardly any extra money. The staff in those hotels work as hard or even harder than in upscale five-star hotels but are getting paid less and receive no tips. Even Taxi driver can tell you of rich guests that tip them so generously, that they were able to live on one trip from such a guess for the day. I always say, I’ll rather eat the crumbs from the rich man’s table than that from the poor man. So, the point is catering for high-end tourism will be better for everyone in the industry. And the mass tourism is already crowded by countries like The Dominican Republic. And just on wages alone we cannot compete. Their wages are so low. Same if we compare wages in the Eastern Caribbean, Antigua has the highest. By the way, in the other Caribbean Islands the beaches are not public like in Antigua. That is why certain hotels have private beaches. Locals cannot come to those beaches for security’s sake. I have vacationed in Barbados, and in Santa Domingo and the beaches were not public. And security was very tight.

  2. Melford boy this Jolly Beach Hotel fiasco has made the government look so stupid and incompetent. What will you guys com with next. I will be listening.

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