Sandals Resorts International is redefining the term "all-inclusive" to fit the needs of pandemic-era travelers.
The vacation company operates beachfront properties under the Beaches and Sandals banners in Saint Lucia, Jamaica (the Sandals Royal Caribbean is pictured above), Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Turks & Caicos, and Curaçao.
No, the company is not throwing in free spa treatments to wipe away the wrinkles added to our faces in the past year. But the chain is making it easier to safeguard hard-won vacation dollars with a raft of just-announced guarantees.
CFAR travel insurance: Guests won't have to pay extra for this anymore. The most flexible type of travel insurance that includes a CFAR ("cancel for any reason") provision will be included in the cost of all bookings. Automatically, that entitles Sandals and Beaches travelers to full refunds if they cancel 31 days or more before vacations, with no need to provide reasons for canceling. That's a key provision, because it means customers may simply back out if they get nervous about infection rates. If they cancel less than a month in advance, guests receive a full travel credit instead.
Airfare: If a trip is canceled or interrupted, each guest will automatically receive a replacement airfare credit of up to $500.
Interrupted vacation: If a trip is aborted midway through or canceled before it begins, the company will now furnish a full replacement vacation for use within 12 months.
Free quarantine: If a customer has to quarantine at one of its resorts, Sandals and Beaches will cover all costs for 14 days.
Free Covid-19 tests: The company now provides complimentary tests that are approved by the origin country of each booked guest, which makes the process of returning home smoother.
These revised terms apply to trips booked before December 31, 2021, for travel until the end of 2022.