Sandals South Coast: The Hub Of Innovation Is Spinning Again

The Luxury-Included experience takes another exciting turn at one of the Caribbean’s most natural locations.

The ride from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to the south side of the island is a scenic cruise through quiet sugar-cane fields and thick forest. From the seat of a complimentary Sandals airport transfer, you pass through sleepy tropical villages with promising names—Bluefields and New Hope—as the new butter-smooth road traces through what has been called “the uncharted land” of Jamaica.

Pure. Lush. Remote. Zero commercialisation. You get the picture.

But there’s something else going on, privately, in a small corner of this scene. Around a few gentle turns and down a lonely palm-tree framed lane is a secluded enclave. It’s tucked loosely between the relaxing Caribbean Sea and a 500-acre nature preserve. People in the rural community know it as Sandals South Coast. And anyone familiar with luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean recognises Sandals South Coast as a beautifully distant hub of innovation.

Just as Silicon Valley changes the way we look at technology, Sandals South Coast is where the lofty idea of being ensconced in Caribbean luxury is consistently reimagined. If it’s never been done somewhere else, then it could be a perfect fit right here.

“Sandals South Coast has the most important resources for us to innovate,” says Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts. “Water, nature and privacy.

And so, every year or two, a dreamy vision that unites those three resources with luxury turns into reality. Here, in this barely-touched haven.

“My wife and I have chosen to travel to Sandals South Coast six times and counting,” says Peyton Waddell of the Orlando area, “and every time we arrive, we see something stunning… I mean, literally stunning.”

Prepare to be stunned again—twice. Sandals South Coast is about to unveil
the brand’s first-ever Swim-Up Rondoval Suites… the first in the world. Yes, not just in the Caribbean, in the world.

Sandals previously introduced garden Rondovals and beachfront Rondovals in Antigua and Saint Lucia, followed by Grenada and Barbados—the circular designs, high thatched roofs, and isolation inspired by Sandals’ deep Caribbean heritage.

But until now the intimate Rondoval experience has never included a swim-out and swim-in pool weaving through it. Even the pool itself at Sandals South Coast creates its own new class: it spans 17,040 square feet, making it the longest swimming pool in the Western Hemisphere.

It’s true, the longest swimming pool in the Western Hemisphere meanders through conical-shaped suites with centuries of history in a remote reach of Jamaica.

“Innovation to us includes how well we can capture authenticity in a luxurious setting,” says Sandals’ Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart. “When I was growing up in Jamaica, we were always playing in the rivers and waterfalls and the sea. That’s why Sandals South Coast is the ideal destination to be creative. It’s an oasis, surrounded by nature and water.

If there could be such a thing as an oasis within an oasis, then the Dutch Village is it. Using water as a source of inspiration, Sandals South Coast has also reimagined the Dutch Village, a result of the Sandals design team envisioning an immersive Caribbean experience, inside and out.

All 16 Butler Elite suites and all 96 Club and Luxury Level rooms are positioned within a frame of ocean, and now boast two new swim-up pools that surround the Dutch Village buildings. And what cannot be duplicated anywhere else is the fact that the entire village fronts one of the most gorgeous stretches of the Caribbean Sea — a spot Butch Stewart chose for its unique peace and beauty nearly 20 years ago.

Each Dutch Village suite has been re-envisioned to allow couples to, among other things, relax in a free-standing interior shower, unwind in an outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub, and use the pool to swim out and swim back in, all in privacy.

Whether they realise it or not, guests at Sandals South Coast are bathing in innovation.

The inspiration behind the innovation

If you were allowed to venture deeper into the secret areas of the Sandals South Coast property, where only employees are permitted, you’d notice a message in big bold letters on the walls and above the doorways. They are constant reminders of what fuels the uniqueness of the resort.

“Exceed the expectations of the guest.”

It is not a marketing phrase. It’s a call to action from Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts. Which explains why the butlers across all Sandals Resorts are so proactive, knowing what and when to serve before being asked. But on a much grander level “exceed the expectations” is the most important blueprint for the innovating, especially here at Sandals South Coast.

Couples who’ve walked along the private two-mile-long beach often stop in their own footprints to marvel. There, at the end of a long boardwalk, are Sandals’ Over-the-Water Bungalows generously distanced from each other in a heart-shaped pattern. Keep in mind that Over-the-Water Bungalows were forever considered architectural wonders, found only in the South Pacific or Asia. But then Stewart and the Sandals team decided to dismantle the “can’t-be-done” notion and discovered a way to bring the complete overwater experience to their Jamaican home.

“I have always said that being on the water is where I am happiest,” says Stewart, “and these suites provide guests a direct link to the Caribbean Sea. They’re yet another level of innovating luxury.”

Up the beach from the Over-the-Water Bungalows, expectations are again exceeded because the ocean is the figurative pillar for Latitudes, an over-the-water bar. From the hug of a hammock, guests can take in a pure 360-degree view of the Caribbean as if lounging on the deck of a yacht.

And then, a little farther along the white sand is perhaps the most stunning sight of all. At twilight it appears as a mirage: An Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel with a glass floor positioned above the glass-calm water. Making you feel like you are one with the sea—a feeling you can’t get anywhere else.

Picture: Whatever you dream your wedding to be, the Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel at Sandals South Coast will make it one to never forget.

It all happens here—the Swim-Up Rondoval Suites, the longest pool in the Western Hemisphere, the Over-the-Water Bungalows, the over-the-water bar, and the over-the-water chapel—in this hidden sanctuary at Sandals South Coast. Where water and nature continually drive innovation beyond the loftiest expectations.

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Max Morales

About Max Morales

Max is a writer based in Miami. He received a B.A in Political Science and is completing a M.S in Entrepreneurship, at the University of Florida. He loves reading, rock-climbing & doing yoga.

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