AMResorts' Caribbean Commitment
PHOTO: Sunscape Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic will be the seventh new resort in AMResorts’ Sunscape brand. (Photo courtesy of AMResorts)
No company is expanded faster in the Caribbean than AMResorts, the hospitality division of Philadelphia-based Apple Leisure Group. The company is continuing its vigorous program of expansion, quickly adding new properties to its six all-inclusive resort brands, nearly all of which are located in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
Its brands – Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Now Resorts & Spas and Sunscape Resorts & Spas – run the gamut, providing everything from luxury boutique hotel stays to high energy adults-only resort experiences to feature-rich vacations suited for the entire family.
AMResorts’ brands comprise far more than fancy window-dressing for largely analogous properties, says Alex Zozaya, Apple Leisure Group’s CEO. Instead, AMResorts has sought to expand the all-inclusive resort category by eliminating tiresome practices associated with the allinclusive category, upgrading culinary options and creating properties targeted to reflect travelers’ styles and preferences. “When we set out to launch AMResorts, we wanted to redefine the all-inclusive concept overall to appeal to the North American traveler,” says Zozaya. “This meant doing away with wristbands and reservations [and] providing high-quality food and beverage options, including multiple à la carte dining options.”
AMResorts’ multiple brands “each target a specific segment of the market,” he says. “The two brands we most recently created, Breathless Resorts & Spas and Now Resorts & Spas, are examples of the need to differentiate to gain market share. We develop [brands] to address specific markets and the programming at these resorts reflects this effort.” Thus AMResorts’ adults-only Breathless Resorts & Spas brand courts travelers seeking active vacations that emphasize a “social and chic” experience.
Conversely, Now Resorts & Spas is designed for “a segment that has been mostly overlooked by all-inclusive resorts: families with preteens or teenagers,” says Zozaya. The company has moved quickly to launch brands and expand its hotel capacity across the Caribbean and Mexico, which, Zozaya says, “continue to be priority markets” for the company. Currently,
AMResorts operates 38 properties in such destinations as Cancun, Huatulco, Los Cabos and Riviera Maya, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; plus Curaçao and Costa Rica. It will launch another 10 resorts within the next three years, says Zozaya, including the company’s first property in Aruba, Zoëtry Isla di Oro Aruba in 2018. Last December AMResorts launched the first of two properties – Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa – to open in Panama.
This year AMResorts will open a Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts property in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at the site of the Coyaba Beach Resort & Club. The resort will undergo an extensive renovation to reflect Zoëtry brand standards before reopening in December. AMResorts will operate the revamped property, which will be renamed the Zoëtry Montego Bay Jamaica. Located within a 10-minute drive of Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, the property’s amenities, facilities and services will reflect the resort’s focus on active, upscale adults.
Guests will have no required check-in or check-out times and also enjoy thrice-daily maid service, 24-hour concierge service and private in-suite dining options. The 46-room property will also feature a new spa and fitness center, meeting rooms, new pools, and a new wedding gazebo. Three à la carte restaurants will offer an assortment of organic food and beverage selections; two bars will serve unlimited branded spirits.
AMResorts’ expansion program across destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico is propelled in part by company officials’ recognition of these regions as offering a multitude of diverse experiences for travelers. Unlike at some other all-inclusive resorts, guests at AMResorts’ properties are encouraged to explore their surroundings.
“The culture, local attractions and cuisine of each destination are what demonstrate how different these destinations are from one another,” says Zozaya. “Differentiation among the Caribbean islands helps drive rates and encourages guests to extend the length of their stay.”
In the final analysis, AMResorts works toward ensuring that its guests experience well-rounded vacations. “More and more guests want to visit a nearby city, experience natural attractions or learn more about the destination at a historic site,” says Zozaya. “We strive to give guests opportunities to venture out from the resort to enjoy the local culture, as we know that having an authentic experience sets vacations apart.”
More by Brian Major
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A version of this article appears in print in the February 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.
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