Sarmento takes on the role at this resort following its recent acquisition by Belmond, a global collection of luxury hotel and travel adventures, and will oversee day-to-day operations for the beachfront resort, as well as direct a comprehensive renovation of the property, including the development of 25 new beachfront villas or suites.
The refurbishments will get underway by early 2018 and will include interior upgrades to all suites and villas, the introduction of new culinary concepts, enhancements to the spa and new and renovated public areas. Upon completion of the renovation, Belmond will have invested a total of approximately $121 million.
According to Rui Reis, regional managing director for Belmond, Sarmento has a stellar track record in the hospitality industry – as well as impeccable international credentials – and is ideally equipped to oversee Belmond Cap Juluca’s restoration.
He was most recently general manager for Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, the only luxury resort in Brazil’s Iguazu National Park. Prior to that, he spent 18 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts overseeing properties such as the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico and the W Vieques Retreat and Spa on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island.
“We are thrilled to have Tiago direct Belmond Cap Juluca’s operations as we restore this Caribbean gem to its iconic status,” Reis said in a written release. “His tireless work ethic and extensive global experience will be instrumental as we work to raise the profile of this exceptional property.”
The addition of the 96-room resort marks an important milestone in the strategic development of the Belmond brand, which is committed to doubling the size of its portfolio by 2020.
In July of last year, the owners of Cap Juluca issued a written statement informing travel media that they were exploring the idea of selling the resort.
In November of 2011, it was reported that Cap Juluca was facing auction of some of its assets. According to that report, the owner of the property, Adam Aron, had reportedly failed on his payment to the previous owner Charles Hickox at the end of July and still owed some $67 million.
After shutting down briefly, Cap Juluca reopened under the original ownership of the Hickox family on November 15, 2012. Since taking the property back over, the Hickox family has invested more than $12 million into the property, as of July of last year.
Belmond was established 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice and now owns and operates 48 hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most popular luxury destinations.