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Jamaica Observer:–  Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has described a video that has gone viral on social media regarding its hiring practices as misleading and downright spurious.

The video asserts that the Jamaica-based resort is racist; employs only expatriates as general managers and executive chefs; has contributed significantly to the displacement of several local entertainers; and its contractor, Hah-R-Mony Entertainment, employs foreigners.

However, Sandals, which has in its employ more than 24,000 Caribbean workers, said that this was far from the truth.

“While Sandals prides itself on providing the aforesaid international flair, catering to the requirements of its visitors, the allegations surrounding racism could be no further from the truth as at SRI, the ratio of expats to Jamaicans is less than two per cent,” said a statement from the resort chain.

The hotel chain further refuted accusations in the video that it had sent home two Jamaican heads of entertainment, David Ellis and Weston Haughton, leaving one foreigner in its employ.

“This is blatantly false and/or misleading as David Ellis currently spearheads all entertainment operations at Sandals’ largest resort, Beaches Turks and Caicos, and has been in that position, at his own request, since leaving Jamaica in 2012.”

Weston Haughton, former group creative director, retired after 17 years with the company. However, he remains a valued consultant, said the organisation, and is frequently hired. Two nights ago (Thursday), Haughton hosted the company’s largest staff-recognition event, its Ultimate Award Ceremony, honouring top team members from across the Caribbean, who were flown in for a week of VIP treatment.

Sandals “categorically declares that several general managers highlighted within the said video are very much born-and-bred Jamaicans”.

SRI restated its commitment to emphasising Jamaican culture and its people in the entertainment that the hotel chain offers. In this regard, it approached several companies that were known to manage talent in the form of dancers, singers, and musicians. In the end, it said, Hah-R-mony proved more feasible.


  1. The food is not so good there ! They missed house keeping my room twice while I was on my Eighth Day vacation with them…. Think twice before booking them….

  2. We Jamaicans have given ourselves a lot of bad names so I understand why they would employ foriegnors.

  3. Thanks for all that historical data Sandals but unfortunately there is much truths to that video. I am Jamaican born but have lived overseas from the age of 15 years. I can afford and love vacationing at various resorts in Jamaica and to be honest upon observation of your practices my travel team, family and I chose not to stay with your resort again. One very prime example should persons pay attention to your TV advertisement in Canada there is no person of color in them. In a time such as this shame on you and so very sad.

    • Yes you are right. I have also noticed that the sandals advertising to foreigners is very biased. All the people in the promotional, advertisement are white and black people are servants to them. Black people also goes on vacations they are also successful as well. There are other nationalities who does vacations to jamaica as well.

  4. Although I am not able to verify the information in the video, I believe the video is mostly correct based on the Jamaica I know. We are in denial about racism and classism in Jamaica and have always view lighter skin people and foreigners as better than darker skin Jamaicans. Until we start addressing the racism and classism that is deeply enthrenched in our society, sandals could deny as much as they want the fact still remains that
    the practe they’re accused of is privallent in our predominantly dark skin country.

  5. We have vacationed at Sandals at both Barbados and Nassau and are booked again next year. The food has been great at both locations. The staff very attentive. Excellent resorts in every way!

  6. The government of Jamaica is sleeping. Take a trip to Mexico and check out their touristism industry….all the jobs are given to Mexicans. It is a requirement by the Mexican government. Its how that government provides work for its people. Those hotels have to use local produce before importation of food, therefore farmers have work. The Jamaican government has sold Jamaica to the Chinese and anyone they can. The Jamaican people need to wake from there partying and realize that if our foreparents did not flight the English man, we would still be slaves today. If we continue to turn our eyes away from what our government is allowing and the actions of these companies, our children will be slaves again without even knowing understanding it. Mr. Prime Minister, I know you can’t do this alone, but awake the pride of your leaders, to awake the pride of our people. Mr. Prime Minister !! Stop selling out out your country and its future generation.

  7. The video about sandals is true. Very RACIS.i would not recommend sandals”” to anybody.

  8. Yes those Sandals advertisements I’m always trouble by it white people on vacation black people serving. There no advertisements with back people or any other race.

  9. I think these people who look at the ads are the ones who are racist…why not lis ten to what service are offered at the hotel and the scenery of Jamaica…anything to tear down a company that is providing jobs…how many of you who are throwing stones have anything to offer Jamaica

    • Sadly you seem a little hurt and misinformed but what they are saying is remarkably true. I will first say kudos to Sandals for doing a great job at creating so many jobs. HOWEVER, as a former employee and close to a lot of those managers, a number of the chefs and high ranking managers are expats. It also had been brought up many times by staff and even guest about the disparity between the actors in their ads and who actually visits the resorts (They do cater to the white populous). In their defense, they have pride themselves on creating a culinary atmosphere that is authentic so they do try to hire persons of said cultural background. I can’t say much for their advertising schemes. There is still room tho for innovation and I would love to see more locals taking up higher roles within the business. With all that being said, Sandals creates huge avenues for self development and if it bothers you that locals are not getting their just dues, I employ you to take advantage of those avenues and put yourself in a better position to leave for something better, Sandals is not the only hotel chain.

  10. I would love for Sandals to publish,how many Natives they have in their employment as Executive Chefs in their various locations in the Caribbean.

  11. This is widely known and your exception PR defense says nothing to the thousands of carribbean natives with remarkable credentials who are displaced hand over fist for european counterparts. The acquisition for talent unmatched intrinsically the Sandals and others like it are relying on their novelty not actually advancing the touristic experience with authentically Caribbean milestones. Folks return from a trip completely sterile and deficient by all accounts: culinary, hospitality, entertainment and overall ambiance disparities. There is no ratio to defend just look at the amount of unemployed Jamaican for instance world class and trained cabaret shows, dancers singer chefs responsible for the whole Caribbean narrative of forget your worries and come to Jamaica are now incapable of putting food on their own plates and a great majority has lost their homes to being racial discriminated and undervalued. People who left their heart the the respective stages to no reward or acknowledgment. People “lucky” to secure employment cant justify their employment because the wages are inconsequential for human dignity. If you believe capitalism doesn’t erode the socio economic promise and perpetuate racism your are not only in denial but you have buried humanism with your ignorant statue quo. The government has opened the pits of hell that has liberated these callous practices. Hotels like Sandals should grow a pair and stand up to their faults and implement ethical changes.

    Jamaica for one has always practiced ethnic cleansing in these passive aggressive practicing aristocracy has never put Jamaican on the map. It is on the sweaty backs of black national that our story is told.

  12. Very sad….sandals need to stop this foolishness, be it in J’ca, B’dos or G’da the abuse needs to stop!

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