With stunning acrobatic performers and spectacular mermaids welcoming guests to the party, the Key West Luxury Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa marked its official grand opening with a lavish celebration Sunday night, May 18, 2014. The new village, which brings the already award-winning property to new heights, is the first major expansion since the grand opening of the resort’s Italian Village in 2009.
“We are thrilled to celebrate yet another addition to this marvelous destination and a new pinnacle at this resort,” said Mr. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Beaches Resorts. Speaking to an audience of government dignitaries, travel industry superstars and media from around the world, he added, “Beaches Turks & Caicos has earned a reputation as a leading destination for family fun in the Caribbean, and this investment helps us meet the eager demand of our guests wanting to visit the beautiful Grace Bay Beach.”
Prior to the ceremony, guests at the cocktail party were greeted with a grand family-friendly spectacle highlighting the beachfront vibe of the Key West lifestyle, with a traditional all-white theme, tarot card readings, caricature artists, jugglers and of course, Beaches Turks & Caicos’ very own “Ernest Hemingway,” collecting books and school supplies for the Sandals Foundation, the resort company’s non-profit organization.
The official proceedings began with the sound of conch shells and a performance of the National Anthem by the school choir from Enid Capron Primary, the resort’s adopted school. In addition to being graced by the presence of a number of dignitaries and Caribbean officials, Mr. Stewart and Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, were blessed by ‘good luck’ with a rain shower during the celebration.
“We started at this property with 150 bedrooms many years ago and have developed into one of the most luxurious and most popular family resorts in the world,” said Mr. Stewart. “We pride ourselves on exceeding the expectations of our guests time and time again, and this could not be done without the support from our friends in the region and the dedication of our staff.”
The evening continued with the introduction of Joseph D. Cinque, president of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) who presented the Chairman and CEO with two Six Star Black Diamond Awards for overall excellence in hospitality for the new Key West Luxury Village, as well as the Italian Village. In addition, Cinque presented a Six Star Green Diamond Award for forward thinking in environmental practices to the resort, as well as three Five Star Black Diamond Award for Mario’s and Le Petit Chateau, the resort’s authentic Italian and French restaurants, and the resort itself, for its commitment to excellence. The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences is renowned worldwide for rewarding excellence in the global travel and luxury services sector. Each year the AAHS bestows its coveted International Star Diamond Awards exclusively to establishments that are deemed to be of pinnacle quality.
The evening continued with speeches from government officials and dignitaries from Turks & Caicos Islands and throughout the Caribbean, all commenting and congratulating Mr. Stewart and Adam Stewart on their ongoing success and positive impact on the overall region. This sentiment was extended throughout the night during addresses by Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Leader of the Opposition, Turks & Caicos Islands; Hon. John Maginley, M.P. Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Culture, Antigua & Barbuda; Hon. Lorne Theophilus, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries, Saint Lucia; and Dr. The Hon. Kenneth Wykeham McNeil, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Jamaica.
Formal addresses were also given by Dr. The Hon. Rufus Washington Ewing, Premier and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Turks & Caicos Islands, who spoke to Mr. Stewart’s dynamic vision and attention to detail, as well as Her Excellency The Governor, Mrs. Anya Williams, Acting Deputy Governor of Turks & Caicos Islands, who echoed the sentiment and extended well wishes for future partnerships with the brand. The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica, closed the ceremony as the evening’s guest speaker who congratulated Mr. Stewart for being a “champion of the Caribbean” and commended Adam Stewart for blazing his own path for the future of the resort company.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, videos wowed the crowds, showcasing the evolution of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts and its impact on both the travel industry and popular culture. Sabrina Stewart, the Chairman’s daughter, also made an indelible mark on the night with an impactful performance of John Legend’s popular song, “All of Me.”
Following the official blessing of the resort, Dr. The Hon. Rufus Washington Ewing, Premier and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Turks & Caicos, Her Excellency The Governor, Mrs. Anya Williams, Acting Deputy Governor of Turks & Caicos, and The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica, joined both Stewarts, the resort’s general manager, Mr. Donald Dagenais, and the evening’s speakers for the ribbon cutting, marking the official grand opening.
The evening was capped with the Sesame Street® Carnival Celebration featuring dazzling costumes, and the beloved characters leading the way to an elaborate after-party based on Key West’s renowned Mallory Square. Featuring performances by legendary Jimmy Buffett cover band, “The Landsharks,” acrobatic gymnasts and firedancers, along with mermaids swimming in the Key West Luxury Village pool, the evening was capped by a fantastic display of fireworks that lit up the sky and elaborate display of Beaches Resorts’ Discovery Dining experience. To see photos from this exciting event, visit Beaches Resorts Facebook page here.
Combining the laid back lifestyle that the island paradise is known for with the signature Luxury Included® amenities found at all Beaches Resorts, the Key West Luxury Village is the perfect destination to relax and let worries slip away. True to its mission of offering the most comprehensive vacation for every member of the family, this new addition is thoughtfully designed with more than 150 suites and villas, three gourmet restaurants, private pools and more, to elevate the award-winning Beaches Resort in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.