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Environmental, Health, and Safety at Beaches Resorts

This was a quick half day visit in this department, which was good, because our host manager moved quickly through all the functions of her department.   While not mentioned in the department title, licensing was a function for this office, and boy oh boy, do they have to deal with a lot of them – at least twenty different licenses required to run this sort of resort in Jamaica.   From a hotel license, food service, liquor, the waterpark, the beaches, watersports, and on and on went the list.  Some federal, some parish, some local.  While the U.S. has a fair number of licenses to contend with it seems like Jamaica has even more, some of which seem more for the purpose of generating revenue for government than for actually protecting guests or the public.

The environmental piece is somewhat limited, but growing.  Sandals/Beaches adheres to Earthcheck certification, and many of Sandals resorts have been master certified (15 years+), including the Beaches resort we stayed at.  There is a nominal effort towards recycling, namely plastic and paper, and specifically in the back office operation, as opposed to a guest-facing efforts to recycle.  Some housekeepers make an effort to fish recyclables from guest trash, and more effort will be made soon on that front.   The Beaches resort doesn’t use renewable energy, in large part due to the fact that the property is leased from an insurance company as opposed to all other Sandals property that is owned by the company.  So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to make the investment in something you don’t own.

As far as the safety aspect of the department, any “incidents” that take place get reported to the department for follow up and mitigation.  I guess my flipping the little sailboat and having to get rescued didn’t qualify (in my defense, I flipped it once and was able to right it and get sailing again, but the second time, it just got too waterlogged and wouldn’t drain).

And lastly, health, is always a big concern whenever you have a bunch of people clustered together, like at a resort.  Add to that, buffet style food, and it’s definitely a big deal to stay on top of any health issues.  During Covid, the department has a HUGE amount to deal with, including monitoring all quarantined guests, making sure they were fed and entertained, and being vigilant on testing.    Sandals Covid policy was quite generous.  Anyone who got Covid during their stay, was allowed to remain in their rooms free of charge during quarantine AND they received an entire matching free vacation for the same length of their original booking!   The Company has a similar policy for any guests disrupted by a hurricane.

Just a few other tidbits from this department (pun intended), food waste is donated free to local pig farmers, who use to to feed their animals, and it has been proven that those animals are far healthier than others feed with typical feeds. Paper scrap is donated to a local company for recycling.

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