I recently returned from a whirlwind visit to three Sandals/Beaches resorts, and I have to say that the trip left me surprised, impressed, and very, very tired 🙂
The “surprised” part relates to my tour of Beaches Turks and Caicos. Having never visited a Beaches resort in person, I had a certain picture in my mind – and I had definitely pigeonholed these family-friendly properties as being aimed at parents with young kids. And while they DO appeal to young families, of course, I was pleased to see that they offer so much more than that as well! The Italian village at Beaches Turks and Caicos, with its sophisticated poolside cabanas and beautiful oceanview suites, would be perfect for a girls’ getaway or a multigenerational family reunion (some of the suites accommodate 10 or 12 people!) Active teens would love the waterpark, and my son, in particular, would never want to leave the XBox 360 Game Garage.
The “impressed” part of my trip came during our unexpected detour to Sandals Royal Bahamian. We had been headed to Turks and Caicos, but were detoured due to Hurricane Earl, and forced to land in Nassau. With no more than an hour’s notice, Sandals Royal Bahamian came up with shuttle transportation, lodging, and meals for 200 travel agents. They even put on a fantastic show for us that evening, with limbo dancing, a fire eater, and more. Any management team (and staff) that can show so much grace under pressure, and can rally together to take such good care of unexpected guests, can certainly handle a garden-variety mishap in someone’s vacation. I am confident that the management here (and at the other resorts in the chain) would take equally good care of my clients.
And finally, the “tired” part of the trip was due to the schedule. We toured three resorts on three different islands (the third was the brand new Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma), met with staff and management, received four hours of classroom training about Sandals and Beaches resorts, and spent far too many hours in airports and on planes trying to stay ahead of the hurricane. And even though I never even got to dip my toes in that beautiful Caribbean water, it was all worth it – because there’s nothing like being able to match a client up with the right resort, on the right island, in the right room category for them, and being able to say “Yes, I’ve been there, and you’re going to love it!”
If you want to see for yourself, my photos are here.