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Ringing in the new year Sandals style

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor

All dolled up for the New Year's Eve celebrations at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios are members of staff Ingrid Ferguson (left), laundry director and Alma-Lee Gordon, senior accountant. - photos by 1Barbara Ellington

As the curtains came down on 2009, the island's hotels saw brisk business from locals and visitors alike. Sandals Grande Ocho Rios went all out with a black and gold themed dinner and New Year's Eve party to welcome 2010.

General Manager Brian Roper and his team lined the entrance to the large, white tent to personally greet and welcome each guest to the event. The tables, backdrop and stage area, were lavishly decorated. Following a welcomed glass of champagne (that flowed all night), guests proceeded to the buffet banquet that included just about every dish the imagination could dream of.


The disco and live band kept heads nodding and toes tapping and then, at 10:30 p.m., the consummate entertainer, A.J. Brown, hit the stage. He had everyone eating out of his hands as he went through a range of musical genres that had revellers on their feet and giving him standing ovations.

He was off to St Kitts on New Year's Day to perform at a function for that country's leader and told Outlook that former prime minister P. J. Patterson was expected to be at the event, among other special guests. Brown is now working on material for a new CD.

The countdown to 2010 saw everyone on the floor, singing, hugging, dancing and kissing. The party continued into the wee ours of the morning with soca, Latin, reggae, rock and roll and hip-hop blasting from the speakers. And throughout the night, the efficient and courteous wait staff, gave superb service as they anticipated every wish and delighted guests with their pleasant delivery.

Brian and Sally Roper (background) led hotel guests to the dance floor on New Year's Eve.