Trips are listed with the most recent first.
December 7-10, Sandals Grande
2014 Sandals Travel Agent Recognition Awards (STAR Awards)
Sandals never ceases to amaze with the events they organize. Top producing travel agents from the U.S., Canada, U.K, and Central & South America gathered in Ocho Rios. We were honored with our traditional "Best of the Best" and "Chairman's Royal Club" awards. The 3 day event ended with Jamaican recording artist Tessanne Chin (winner of "the Voice) putting on an impressive high energy private concert for the 300 or so of us in attendance.
June 10-13, 2014 Sandals Whitehouse
Chairman's Royal Club Retreat
Once again invited to join Butch Stewart (Chairman) and Adam Stewart (CEO) and 24 other Chairman's Royal Club Members for roundtable discussions, relaxation, and just a great time.
April 9-15, 2014 Sandals Emerald Bay
Another great (4th) trip to Sandals Emerald Bay. As usual, the resort is beautiful. The grounds, pools, rooms, restaurants, and golf course are simply awesome. This is by far the best beach of all the Sandals. Beach, golf, rooms, and food keeps us coming back!
The food was excellent, especially at the Drunken Duck and La Parisienne.
We wanted to go in April to get an idea of the early spring weather, knowing the Bahamas tend to be a little cool in the winter. The first few days were cloudy and a little breezy at times, but that was great for our kite flying activities. However, when cloudy, the main pool was to cold for anyone to enjoy. Only two or three brave souls spent any time in the water. Once the sun came out the pool heated up. Our last three days were the best, sunny and warm. It would add a lot of value if Sandals would heat the pools at the Bahamas resorts.
There are few staff members who lift themselves above the crowd. If you find yourself headed to Emerald Bay in the next few months seek out Dewittney in the Drunken Duck, Nestor at the pool bar, Anfroy at Barefoot, and Norma at Cafe de Paris. And, if in a butler room be sure to keep in contact with head butler Stephen.
As in the past, the only downside to Sandals Emerald Bay is the service. Not that service is bad, just not up to what we are accustomed to at Sandals. For those with nothing to compare it to, the service will be acceptable. However, if you are used to Jamaican hospitality, don't expect that same level of service or you will be disappointed. You will only find it here from the few remaining Jamaicans and a few Bahamians that are from the smaller islands. We spent a lot of time listening to other guests so we know our experience was similar to that of others. As long as you know this and are ready for it you will have a great time. We sure did!
February 28-March 3, 2014 Sandals Royal Bahamian
Chairman's Royal Club Retreat
It all started Friday with the stretch limousine waiting for me at the airport. Once at Sandals, check-in was quick. I has few hours to kill before the first scheduled function so I toured the property and checked out the new swim-up lagoon suites. These are very nice. The suites bask in great afternoon sun and were warm even this time of year.
The evening started with cocktails started on the dock at 6:00. Here I met Ellen Bettridge. Ellen is the new president of Unique Vacations, the company that handles markeing and sales for Sandals. Once everyone was gathered we boarded the boat and headed over to Sandal's private island for a cocktail reception, welcome dinner, and beach party. Even though there was only 25 Chairman's Royal Club members (maybe 50 of us total with Sandals staff) ,the spread Sandals put out could have handled a few hundred. Lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters on the half shell, ribs, jerk cheick and pork, dozens of salads, veggies, and desserts....
The entire next day (Saturday) was spent exchanging ideas with Butch Stewart (Founder & Chairman of Sandals), Adam Stewart (CEO), Ellen Bettridge, and other Sadnals executives in a round table meeting.
That evening we departed for a sunset cruise on Butch Stewart's sport fishiong yacht. Another amazing event, fully catered with great food and drink.
On Monday, Sandals provided their corporate jets to fly 18 agents (9 on each jet) to Grenada to check out the new Sandals La Source. Unfortunaley I drew a short straw, along with 7 others, and had to stay behind in Nassua! As a consolation, those of us left behind were invited to join Butch Stewart for lunch with the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas.
January 19 - 25, 2014 Sandals Whitehouse
Another unbelievable trip to Sandals Whitehouse!
The improvements just keep coming.
Took a day to vist Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril. Great things are happening there as well.