Personal Butler Service: Anticipating Your Every Need (part 3 of 3)

Posted on Sat , Nov 12, 2011

 

Sandals Personal Butler Service

Are you planning an extra special celebration such as a honeymoon, destination wedding, renewal of vows, anniversary trip or family reunion? Sandals Personal Butler Service is the cherry on top of the perfect Caribbean celebration.

In the video below, view how your every need is anticipated and catered to by your own personal butler.

 

To start planning your special celebration today, click below to request your complimentary travel consultation.

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Make sure you didn't miss Part 1 and Part 2 of this series!

Topics: destination wedding, honeymoon, Personal Butler Service

Sandals Emerald Bay: Chic and Sophisticated

Posted on Fri , Nov 04, 2011

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Once our workshop at Sandals Royal Bahamian had concluded, Robbie pulled a few strings and we were lucky enough to get to stay a night at Sandals Emerald Bay - the more recently acquired of the two Sandals resorts in the Bahamas. This was a TREAT! Sandals Emerald Bay is an exclusive resort on a small island - Great Exuma. Unlike Nassau, there is very little development on the island other than Sandals Emerald Bay. In fact, there are no stoplights on Great Exuma.

Sandals Emerald Bay's most notable features are a Greg Norman golf course, an untouched 2 mile stretch of beach, and the most impeccable service I have ever experienced.

Sandals Emerald Bay caribbean golf

The 18 hole Emerald Reef Golf Course boasts some of the most amazing views in the Caribbean - especially from a tee box. This is a well-kept par 72 Championship course designed by Greg Norman. The western end of the island is a long peninsula that curves in just a bit to form Emerald Bay. As you play through the first part of the back nine holes, you travel out to the tip of the island on the back side of the peninsula. Here, the waves crash against the rocks below, and you may catch a glimpse of the yachts in the 150-slip deepwater marina. As you play through the last few holes of the course, you will come around to the bay side, and you are greeted with a breath-taking panoramic view of the resort.

Sandals Emerald Bay all inclusive golf

Sandals Emerald Bay also offers 6 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts including a sunken stadium court. The tennis pro usually offers a complimentary tennis lesson to guests and is available to help coordinate matches. The magnificent Red Lane Spa facility includes separate men's and women's locker rooms and relaxation rooms, 16 peaceful treatment rooms and a state of the art fitness center. Yoga, aquacize and personal training sessions are available through the fitness center.

But you need not be a golfer or play tennis to find your perfect getaway at Emerald Bay. The resort's 2 miles of powdery white sand beach and the Bahama's signature turquoise water is any beach-lover's paradise. I highly recommend a room in one of the Beachfront Villas, which are painted to match the brilliant color of the bay. This is the true Emerald Bay experience. The rooms on the ground floor of the villas each have patios which step right off in to the sand. The beach here is so long, staying in the villas feels as if you have your own private beach. The rooms on the 2nd floor of the villas have balconies with gorgeous ocean views as well. My recommendation is the Prime Minister Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Suite. These are on the first floor of the villas and each has a private hammock, which is perfect for stargazing. Because this island has no city and very little ambient light, the stars are bright and fill the night sky. This is a very special vacation.

Sandals Emerald Bay best caribbean vacations for couples

The suites at Sandals Emerald Bay each have double marble vanities, glass enclosed walk-in showers, deep soaking tubs, and espresso machines. Some even have walk-in closets. The hotel facilities are new and fresh and beautifully designed. There are two pools on the property - a quiet one just past the zen garden and reflecting pool - and a more lively one - the Caribbean's largest zero entry pool at one-half acre. This pool is a destination in itself. It has a large swim-up bar, integrated hot-tub, and an elevated fire pit. Both pools are surrounded by pairs of cushioned chaise lounge chairs, some with umbrellas and others under draped cabanas. The larger pool even has ratton-style couches just in the water with over-stuffed cushions and pillows so you can sit with your toes in the water and admire the view of the ocean and the sky from the pool. If you are looking for a getaway to lounge by the pool and read a good book, spend time reconnecting with your loved one, or take a nap in the shade, this resort does it better than you can imagine.

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The culinary experience at Sandals Emerald Bay is unrivaled in the Caribbean. Whether you crave an evening of sophisticated conversation and fine dining, the barefoot elegance of oceanside dining, a refined afternoon tea, or a lively night at an authentic English pub, seven unique restaurants offer a cuisine and atmosphere to suit every mood. During our stay, we had a lovely, quiet breakfast at Bahama Bay, a casual dining setting that offers buffet dining experience three meals a day with nightly themed dinners. We enjoyed a Caribbean-style seafood lunch with our toes in the sand at Barefoot by the Sea, one of Sandal's signature restaurants. Sitting at picnic tables under thatched roofs on the beach with cloth napkins, we enjoyed delicious conch fritters and grouper sliders. When we arrived on resort, our butler secured an 8:00pm dinner reservation at Il Cielo, the Italian restaurant requiring reservations, on our behalf. So, in the early evening, we stopped at the Drunken Duck, the resort's English Pub, for hot wings and beer. I would not usually order hot wings in the Caribbean, but we had heard these were exceptional, and we were NOT disappointed. When we walked through the doors of the Drunken Duck, it was as if we had been transported to the UK. This pub is authentic from the British manager to the Guinness on tap and New Castle in the bottle. Once we'd had our snack, and enjoyed the sunset from the couches in the pool while we finished our drinks, we headed to our suite to get ready for dinner.

Sandals Emerald Bay fine dining

We were early - 8:00pm dinner is a little late for these East TN girls - so we had a drink in the Il Cielo bar while we waited. The ceiling in this bar a restaurant is at least 20 feet high and painted the color of the Caribbean sky. (Il Cielo is Italian for the sky.) The bar in this lounge is tall and mahogany with a marble top. The lighting is sophisticated and modern. We could tell we were in for a treat. Of course, once the hostess at Il Cielo knew we were there, she offered to seat us immediately. Our waiter was a proper but friendly young Bahamian studying biochemistry at the university on the main island. (The adult literacy rate in the Bahamas is 95%. Impressive.) We enjoyed a five course meal complete with a pasta course of the most amazing risotto I have ever had. If you've ever had risotto (or if you've ever watched Hell's Kitchen), you know, it is hard to do right. And as the daughter of travel agents, I've had the privilege of dining in fine restaurants in many countries. I know, this is a lot of sentences to cover a pasta course, but I want you to understand, this was Fabulous! And after that build-up, the entrée course was no disappointment, either. The Snapper tempura I had was very good. Robbie had Sea Bass, which she used the adjective "succulent" to describe. (She also noted that she is pretty sure she has never used the term succulent to describe food before.) After the entrée course, we knew we were experiencing something remarkable, and we asked our waiter to send our compliments to the chef. A few minutes later the handsome, young Chef Francesco of Bologna appeared at our table to thank us for the compliment. This is an important point that sets the Sandals resorts apart from their peers. Their themed restaurants are authentic from the decor to the menu because they are run by master chefs originating from the theme country. And last, of course, an extravagant dessert course was served, and we were apologetic that we only had room for a taste.

Other restaurants at Sandals Emerald Bay include La Parisienne - the French fine dining restaurant requiring reservations, and Café de Paris (pronounced like the French), which serves espresso, pastries and hand-dipped ice cream or gelato. Dino's Pizzeria serves made-to-order pizzas from a wood-fired oven for lunch and dinner, and room service is available to all rooms any time.

There are so many details I'm leaving out here, but you really need to experience this resort for yourself. If you are a golfer, a beach-lover, or if you just appreciate great service, this resort is not to be missed!

Are you Planning a Honeymoon? Click below to download the Sandals Luxury Included Honeymoon eBrochure:

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Topics: honeymoon, Sandals resorts, Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay, golf getaways

Sandals Royal Bahamian: Escape to Elegant Romance

Posted on Tue , Nov 01, 2011

Sandals Royal Bahamian all inclusive resort

Robbie and I had the privilege of staying at the Sandals Royal Bahamian this weekend while we completed the Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist training workshop. We left this resort with a renewed sense of the elegance of the Bahamas. Of the Caribbean island nations, the Bahamian Islands are high on the scale of British influence. At Sandals Royal Bahamian, the elegance of royal hospitality is married with the carefree intimacy of the Caribbean, and the love affair is very Romantic.

As you'll remember, the Sandals portfolio is a line of luxury all-inclusive Caribbean resorts for couples and specializes in romance. As they say, at Sandals, love is all you need because everything else is included.

Sandals Royal Bahamian The Crystal Room

The Crystal Room is one of seven gourmet restaurants on Royal Bahamian and serves Elegant International cuisine. The crown jewel of the resort's dining facilities is a pure Baccarat crystal chandelier originally installed in The Crystal Room by the then Governor of The Bahamas, the Duke of Winsor. The Crystal Room is completed by a baby grande piano and impeccable wait staff. Baccarat Restaurant is just next door and serves French cuisine with white glove service. This very modern restaurant requires reservations (no additional charge), and it not to be missed! So make your reservations as quickly as possible after arriving on property. Or book a room with Sandal's Personal Butler Service, and your butler will make reservations on your behalf before you arrive. Ristorante Casanova is another gourmet dining option serving Northern Italian cuisine, and Kimono's Restaurant serves Teppanyaki-style Asian fare. Spices serves International cuisine three meals per day, Cafe Goombay serves Bahamian-style seafood, and Gordon's on the Pier is elegant a la carte dining exclusively for guests saying in Butler Suites. The resort also offers an outdoor grill-style restaurant, a stone-oven pizzeria serving made to order pizzas, and The Cricketer's Irish Pub. The resort's dining options are rounded out by 8 bars and cocktail lounges.

Sandals Royal Bahamian all inclusive for adults

While we were on resort, one building was undergoing "beautification," as the resort Sales Manager Cheddi put it. Hurricane Irene flooded part of one of the hotel facilities in Summer 2011, so Sandals has taken the opportunity to completely remodel this part of the resort. We are VERY excited about the amenities that the new rooms will have. Along with marble floors, his and her vanities with backlighting, and extended balconies, the ground floor rooms on the pool side will boast private fire pits! Yes, if you are staying in one of these rooms, resort staff will come around in the evening and start the fire on your patio, which I'm sure will be complimented by a cushioned love-seat under the stars. Talk about romantic...

The construction on this section is scheduled to be complete by the end of February 2012. And I'm sure the features we were told about are only a few of the exciting upgrades to this building. I often tell my clients that Sandals does luxury and romance with as much thought and attention to detail as Disney does fun and education. I will be encouraging my clients to be the first to stay in the new walkout suites with private fire pit.

[UPDATED: Construction on Balmoral Tower is now complete. See details of the rennovation here.]

This resort has many public areas where couples gather in the evening after dinner to chat and listen a local steel drum band or dance to the softer sounds of a jazz band. The most picturesque of these is the Beach Deck. This large, tiered wooden deck sits overlooking the resort's main beach and has large couches and beach-style arm chairs with overstuffed pillows all grouped around several fire pits and tiki torches. The sounds of the ocean, the bright stars, the sand under your feet, the fire, the music, the conversation is all intoxicating - a very authentic Caribbean experience.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Sandals Cay

The Sandals Ladies both agree that the private island here is the resort's most unique feature. One-half mile off the white sand beach of Sandals Royal Bahamian is Sandals Cay. The resort runs an hourly water shuttle to and from the island. On our ride over, the beauty of the turquoise water and the clear blue sky was breath-taking.

Sandals Royal Bahamian all inclusive caribbean

A member of the Sandals staff referred to Sandals Cay as "Summer camp for adults." And it is. When you first step off the ferry, you are greeted with rum punch and other iced beverages on the pier. As you walk up on to the island, you see spacious white sand beaches on either side of the pier with views of all the resorts that line the beaches of Nassau as well as any cruise ships that may be in port. Next, you will arrive at the pool with swim-up bar.

Sandals Royal Bahamian caribbean all inclusive

This quiet pool is surrounded by luxurious cushioned love-seats and is adjacent to the resort's seafood restaurant Cafe Goombay, which is open for lunch and dinner. Narrow pathways disappear in several directions from the pool and restaurant. As you walk along these quiet pathways, you come across many cozy little hideaways for couples including tree swings, hammocks hung between tall palm trees, and thached-roof cabanas with cushioned lounge chairs for two.

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Each private spot is perfect to enjoy the day with gorgeous views of the sand, water and sky. From the backside of Sandals Cay, you may spend hours contemplating the horizon of bright blue sky and deep blue water that seems to go on forever. Should you choose to continue along the path that leads East, you approach the Zen Garden and Red Lane Spa. Here, the Sandals spa staff offer individual or couples spa services in one of four private cabanas with views of the ocean.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Caribbean all inclusive

There is no need for sound machines in this spa. You will enjoy the sound of real waves crashing on the rocks as you experience complete relaxation.

Although they say there is always a party at The Cricketer's Irish Pub, this resort is probably not for those looking for lots of night life on resort. But it is for couples that enjoy plenty of time on the beach and/or by the pool. The resort has a quiet pool and a more lively pool, both of which are very impressive with swim up pool bars and heavy wooden deck chairs with stuffed cushions. This resort is perfect for couples that like to find a cozy little hideout and spend the day together. The food here is fabulous, and the staff is very friendly. This resort is also ideal for those that wish to gamble - there is gambling within walking distance - and shop. The large downtown shopping area of Nassau is a $1.25US bus fare away. The flight from Atlanta to Nassau takes less than 2 hours, and the drive to the resort from the airport is around 10 minutes. And that's just MOST of the features of this resort that I wanted to share...

Maybe Sandals Royal Bahamian will be your next great Escape to Elegant Romance!

Topics: honeymoon, Sandals resorts, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Private Island, Bahamas

The All Inclusive Honeymoon

Posted on Mon , Sep 26, 2011

What does all inclusive mean?

Generally, when a resort is all inclusive, this means that the price of your stay includes meals and beverages, including drinks from the bar.

The Sandals and the Beaches resorts are Luxury All Inclusive resorts. The price of your stay includes airfare; transfers to and from the airport; unlimited gourmet dining; unlimited premium brand liquors, beer, wine and champagne; water sports such as SCUBA, snorkeling, sea kayaking, wind surfing, waterskiing and more; golf at some resorts; taxes, fees, gratuities and much more.

honeymoon couples resorts

Why should I choose an all inclusive resort for my honeymoon?

If you are like most couples, wedding planning means lots of thinking about budgets. And by the time the wedding day arrives, you are sick and tired of thinking about money. With an all inclusive honeymoon, you get a "two-fer:"

1. When you look at your wedding budget, you know exactly how much the honeymoon will cost. You pay for your honeymoon before you travel (like most any other trip), and after that you do not have to pay for ANYthing else. Compare this to a cruise. When cruising, you have an on-board charge account that all bar drinks (including sodas), tours, gratuities, etc. will be charged to. Before you leave the ship at the end of the cruise, you will be asked to settle that account by paying cash or placing it on a credit card. I've known honeymooners that spent almost as much to get off the boat as they did to get on. You don't want to leave your honeymoon feeling disapointed that you spent more money than you planned to. 

2. While you are on your honeymoon, you don't have to think about or discuss money. I tell honeymooners, you certainly don't want to be discussing what you can afford for dinner tonight. You want to be in the moment, making the most of your special time together. Compare this to a honeymoon in Paris. When traveling in a big city, each night you will choose a restaurant for dinner. You want to dine in romantic, gourmet restaurants, and you want him to be able to order a steak for dinner without worrying about how much it will cost.

honeymoon all inclusive

Why should I choose a Sandals resort for my honeymoon?

Here are some useful facts about the Sandals resorts:

  • There are 13 Sandals resorts. Each resort has a unique personality. One of them will be a perfect match for your vacation style.

  • There are Sandals resorts on 5 Caribbean islands - Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, and two islands in the Bahamas.

  • Sandals is for couples. You can rest assured there will not be children splashing in the pool or crying at the dinner table. This is not the case at every all inclusive resort.

  • Each Sandals resort has at least 7 restaurants. Most all inclusive resorts will offer multiple restaurants. The difference at Sandals is each restaurant has its own theme, its own kitchen and its own chefs. So the food in each restaurant is different and gourmet. You will have a unique dining experience each place you eat at the resort.

  • At Sandals, expect the best of everything. Each room has a 4-poster mahogony bed. At the bar you will see premium brand liquors. The beach chairs are actually comfortable. The skiboats are Mastercraft, and the diveboats are Newton. The staff is highly trained and exceptionally friendly.

At the end of the day, there are two reasons I recommend Sandals resorts to honeymooners. First, I am 100% confident my clients will have a honeymoon that exceeds their expectations. And because at Sandals, LOVE is all you need - everything else is included. 

honeymoon all inclusive

Are you Planning a Honeymoon? Click below to view Sandal's Luxury Included Honeymoon eBrochure:

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Topics: honeymoon