SANDALS Grande Antigua today rolled out the red carpet for its team members, who were returning to the resort for reorientation and training after more than two months since the property closed for maintenance work and renovations.
It was a festive atmosphere full of smiles, music, welcome hugs and dancing as team members reunited with each other, particularly since this was the first time in 26 years of operations that Sandals Grande Antigua had closed for renovations.
Sandals General Manager, Gaurav “Mr. G” Sindhi, said Sandals was particularly proud of the fact that practically all its full-time staff had returned to the resort.
“We are so happy and proud to have our team members back with us today as we prepare for the reopening of Sandals Grande on December 17. It was like a huge family reunion because that is what we are here in Antigua, a big united family, working together as one team and one Sandals to make sure we are ready to welcome our first guests next month,” he said.
A team of senior company executives will spend the next week working with the team members in line with Sandals’ commitment to ongoing retraining and development as the resort prepares for its reopening.
This follows an intensive marketing campaign over the past weeks, which has seen Sandals visiting over 21 cities in North America so far, heavily promoting Antigua and its other Caribbean destinations.
Director of Training and Service Standards, Dr. Phillip Browne, said he was blown away by the exuberant attitude and excitement of the returning team members and believes this bodes well for a successful reopening of Sandals Grande Antigua.
“Today has been awesome. The energy was amazing from both the management team and everyone who participated in this event. I thank everyone for making this such a success, but most importantly, I thank the team members for how they came back to the resort,” Dr. Browne said.
Dr. Browne added: “They have orientation this week in terms of going back over the standards, going back over ‘The House That Butch Built’, having an appreciation for where the resort was and where we are now. But, most importantly, it’s almost like a reconnection with them, for them to get a sense that we are one family, one team and one Sandals, and that at the end of the day we are in this together.”
The team members themselves, the majority of whom are from Antigua and Barbuda, said they were pleased to return to the company and were looking forward to bringing the plant back to life following the work that has been ongoing over the past months.
Joyann Looby-Bryan, a Watersports Attendant and team member of 26 years, said the first day’s session was very informative.
“I felt very welcomed, with the music and balloons and the managers there to meet us; I felt the love,” she said. “The session that we had opened up my eyes to realise the great history of Sandals. It was very informative.”