Sandals Resorts: A Travel Agent’s Perspective

This week I attended the Sandals’s Mega Fam trip (familiarization trip) where travel agents from all over the Midwest met up at O’Hare to take a chartered flight and visit three resorts on three islands in three days! We only got the itinerary on the Friday before we left, and I had to be at O’Hare at 3AM on Monday morning! That rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. How in the world did it take so long to get us the itinerary? Had I not asked my Sandals rep for our agency, I would never have known that I needed to get a hotel room for the night before as well as the night we came back since we got back so late! *sighs* … rant over.

Anyway, we went straight to Sandals Emerald Bay, which is in Great Exuma, Bahamas. It was gorgeous and warm and sunny and everything I wanted after being stuck with cold, grey weather up in Wisconsin! When we pulled up they had an awesome band playing for us, which really got us into the spirit. We went straight for lunch, my choice being the British pub called the Drunken Duck – I was so in the mood for fish and chips! This was followed by a tour of the Emerald BAy resort and then straight back on the plane to Beaches Turks and Caicos (a family resort by Sandals in the Turks and Caicos island).

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Grounds at Sandals Emerald Bay

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Salad at the Drunken Duck restaurant
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Custom drink at the Drunken Duck restaurant
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Banoffee pie at the Drunken Duck with a little added flair!
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Sandals Emerald Bay main pool
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Lovely chocolate display at Sandals Emerald Bay.
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Look at that gorgeous water! View from a Butler suite – Sandals Emerald Bay.
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Conch fritters! Super good!
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After a two hour flight we landed in Turks and Caicos. Being a family resort, Beaches partners up with Sesame Street so we were greeted by another band and a whole bunch of Sesame characters! I was also shocked to find that I had a one-bedroom suite all to myself! Two full bathrooms, fabulous kitchen, and complimentary bottles of wine that I brought back with me in my suitcase 🙂

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Big Bird!

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Swordfish dinner at the Neptune restaurant, Beaches Turks and Caicos
On Tuesday afternoon we did a resort tour of Beaches Turks and Caicos and then we had some down time for the rest of the afternoon. Fabulous! I even got a little bit of beach sand to add to my collection 🙂

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Gorgeous beach at Turks and Caicos
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Spa entrance, Beaches Turks and Caicos
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Cookie Monster getting his groove on at the Sesame Street parade! All the kids loved it.
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Enjoying the fun at the steakhouse Kimono, Beaches Turks and Caicos.
 

We left way too early from Beaches Turks and Caicos and hopped over to Sandals Grande Antigua in Antigua and Barbuda. This island was really hot and humid but perfect for beach-goers and lounging in the pool! Even though we only spent a few hours there I felt like this was my favorite. Driving from the airport, I could see how well-kept the houses and landscaping were. The resort itself was very lush and clean and was generally more inviting than the last two.

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View from the main entrance, Sandals Grande Antigua
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Private hut, Butler level. Sandals Grande Antigua
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Butch Stewart, Sandals owner
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Lobster lunch
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Lindsay, a girl I met from Ohio. At least I found some company!
image25[1] image26[1] image27[1]I admit I was pretty darn impressed with Sandals and Beaches – I would go there in a heartbeat! The only thing is that a guest I spoke with at Beaches told me that before we arrived the staff weren’t as excitable or involved with the guests and it seemed like they were really putting on a show for us. However, I would certainly recommend coming here to a client. Sandals has the reputation of being a top-notch resort and the chain basically runs the Caribbean. I’m sad I didn’t have more time to see some of the islands, though. I did decline taking a catamaran cruise to an iguana island while at Turks and Caicos and I’m very glad I did because Lindsay and I just lounged by the pool with our drinks and got free massages! Sometimes you just need to chill while traveling!

Have you ever been to an all-inclusive resort? I’d love to hear your opinions!

 

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