With just four weeks left before its scheduled re-opening, Sandals Grande Antigua today afforded members of the local media the opportunity to tour the facility and see for themselves the maintenance work that has been ongoing since the resort closed over two months ago.
The media tour was personally led by General Manager Gaurav “Mr. G” Sindhi, who explained the need to close the resort to facilitate what had to be done.
“We have never closed in 26 years but we had to undertake this renovation to be able to upgrade the product to meet the demand in the market.”
During the walk through the resort, much of which is still a work site, members of the media got to see first-hand the remodeling of the restaurants, resurfacing of the tennis court, upgrades to the Caribbean Grove lobby, as well as empty pools that were being re-tiled and grouted.
Mr. Sindhi explained for instance, that it took several days to empty the main pool for the Mediterranean Village, which is the largest pool in the Eastern Caribbean holding some 450,000 gallons of water.
The media also learnt that maintenance work on the both the Caribbean and new Mediterranean Village involved the use of heavy scaffolding, some of which is still up, to conduct infrastructural upgrades and repairs. This would not have been a safe environment for guests.
New designs for the popular Bayside Restaurant will allow for an enclosed and air-conditioned buffet, although the guest seating area will remain al fresco. “The Courtyard Bistro Restaurant, which was totally gutted, had old tiles removed giving it a new look and new feel for our guests” Sindhi boasted.
“We are well ahead of the plan and we have been able to accomplish a lot in the short time that we had. We thank local contractors (and workers) that are helping us with pushing the work, our team members who have been here during the closure assisting us, our maintenance team, our housekeepers, and we are well ahead,” Sindhi said.
“We will open on December 17, 2017 and welcome our first guest.”
Media also saw work being done on a sea water intake pump which will improve the water production of the Reverse Osmosis plant, taking pressure off the regular water supply for residential consumers.
“That is going to assist, not only the resort, but the needs that we have from (Antigua Public Utilities Authority) APUA water, so they can focus more on the residents of Antigua and Barbuda,” Sindhi said.
The General Manager also revealed that a great amount of work has been done behind the scenes allowing for a much improved working environment for team members.
Seveny-five Sandals Grande team members from the maintenance, aqua centre, housekeeping, human resources, and finance departments stayed on as part of the upgrade crew during the closure.
Mr. Sindhi told the media that over 80% of the material used was sourced locally. All the paint for the resort was bought in Antigua, building on the linkages that the resort has maintained over the years with local suppliers.
“We have had a love with the country of Antigua & Barbuda for the last 26 years. Our chairman Hon Gordon “Butch” Stewart fell in love with the people and the beauty of the island,” the General Manager said.
Sandals Grande Antigua’s team members will return to work on Monday, November 20, for re-orientation and will be training right up to the re-opening.
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