Sandals Dunn’s River is back. Here are some of the resort’s most luxurious offerings

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  • Published on February 6, 2024
  • In Places

The Jamaican resort honors its former incarnation by maintaining a standard of luxury and top-notch hospitality.

Sandals Resorts reopened a historic destination. The all-inclusive, adults-only Sandals Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Jamaica made its reintroduction to the island’s hospitality industry in a lavish way in May 2023 and has been on the incline since.

The resort, which is only minutes away from the beloved Dunn’s River Falls, originally made its debut as the Arawak Hotel in 1957. The luxurious hotel was designed by the visionary architect Morris Lapidus, who was known for his flamboyant designs that were the exemplar of Carribean chicness and elegance in the 50s and 60s. The Arawak Hotel soon became a representation of Jamaica’s Golden Age of hospitality in the 50s, according to Travel Noire. In 1991, the resort joined the Sandals brand and became Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa until 2020. It, along with a waterfront property nearby, was reacquired by Sandals Resorts International for $30 million.

“This is the place where everything began for Sandals Resorts, and from where we stand, it’s a stunning representation of where we’re headed,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts. “Sandals Dunn’s River is the continuation of my father’s journey to better. It is a hero’s tale about an ambitious boy who began selling fish to local resorts and how he went on to change how people prefer to vacation, making Jamaica and the Caribbean the centerpiece of his efforts. An epic story about an incredible person who continues to inspire us to dream bigger, do more, and be better. It is the stuff of legends and that is what this evening is all about,” said Stewart.

The 260-room property harkens back to its roots by prioritizing luxury and the highest quality hospitality. Sandals Dunn’s River offers guests impeccable accommodations, including the Tufa Terrace One Bedroom SkyPool Butler Suite. The lavish space includes a first-of-its-kind balcony-length glass panel pool with an oceanfront view. The Coyaba Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Villa is also available and continues to elevate Sandals’ level of luxury. Each suite is a standalone villa that features a private pool, rooftop lounge, butler service, and stunning views. Guests can also play astronomer thanks to the resort’s Stargazing Concierge service.

Foodies can feast on mouthwatering cuisine from 12 different restaurants at the resort, including Jerk Shack, which offers classic Caribbean eats; Edessa, a Greek-inspired dining concept; and Dunn’s Rum Club, for those who want a taste of Jamaica’s iconic spirit. Various activities and entertainment including water sports, SCUBA diving equipment, and live daytime and evening shows are available for guests to enjoy.

With an improved vision and luxurious accommodations, the reimagined resort is seeing positive reception from guests. Sandals Dunn’s River general manager Deryk Meany told Travel Weekly that the resort was at 92 percent occupancy by late September, only four months after reopening. Meany also notes that the popular Rondoval villas are “booked solid into 2024.”

“We plan to add more,” he told Travel Weekly.

For more information or to book your stay, visit Sandals Dunn’s River’s website.

Roshae Hemmings is an arts and culture magazine journalist from St. Louis, MO. A graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism, Roshae has bylines in the Columbia Missourian, Vox Magazine and 5280 Magazine discussing topics ranging from pop culture, social justice and eat and drink. She is a foodie at heart and enjoys eating food as much as learning about the story behind it. You can reach Roshae via email at roshaehemmings@detourxp.com.

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