JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has maintained that contrary to arguments made by Opposition Member, Karl Samuda the Sandals Whitehouse Negril Hotel in Westmoreland is in fact a five-star establishment and is not identical to the Beaches Turks and Caicos Hotel.
Responding in the House of Representatives yesterday (Oct. 25) to questions previously tabled by Mr. Samuda, the Prime Minister explained that a comparison between the hotels would “readily reveal that the guest rooms at the Jamaican property are bigger and more lavishly appointed.”
Accommodation at the Jamaican property, according to Mr. Patterson, was “more detailed and [features] elaborate finishes in the hotel’s guest rooms.”
He highlighted the fact that Sandals Whitehouse also had “exotic tiles and tile trimmings in the bathrooms; bigger conference facilities; and more advanced back of house facilities, in size and scope”.
Speaking further, the Prime Minister said any objective comparison would show that the Jamaican hotel was “far superior in quality and standards than the Turks and Caicos Hotel.the only significant similarity between the two hotels is the village concept.the two hotels are definitely not identical”.
Providing an explanation as to why the initial concept for the Jamaican hotel changed from a Beaches-brand to a Sandals brand, he said as mentioned in Ministry Paper 33, the concept changeover was influenced by tourism trends following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
In light of 9/11, the Prime Minister said given the global tourism trend, “it was expedient to pursue an upgraded product that would offer a more attractive option to tourists.”
He added that “within the tourist industry, operators felt the Sandals chain of hotels (with the attendant increase in the quality of facilities and amenities), was internationally recognized and was a stronger brand in the marketplace.”
Continuing, he said the change in the hotel brand concept was easily facilitated by the superior designs and standards which the consultants had already requested, but it also resulted in additional features. These included facilities to allow for room service to be offered; Jacuzzi baths in some suites; expansion of suite concierge facilities; upgrade of conference facilities; and the significant improvement in the guest room finishes.