December 1-4, 2016 Beaches Turks & Caicos (BTC)
Sandals STAR Awards
(Sandals Travel Agent Recognition Awards)
The 2016 Sandals STAR Awards returned to Beaches Turks & Caicos forteh 2nd time in three years. As usual BTC pulled out all the stops, providing a great celebration. Things started off Thusday night with a beach party as only Sandals can put on.
September 21-28, 2016 Sandals Grande Antigua
Wow! The new airport in Antigua is a welcome improvement over the old one. It was raining hard when we arrived. The covered jetway was a nice surprise since at the old airport we would have to walk throught the rain to the terminal. Immigration was one of the most efficient and friendliest we have experienced in the Caribbean. Maybe because the the work enviorment is so nice now!
A twenty minute ride delivered us to the Mediteranean Village lobby. Much to our surprise we were greeted by our butler (which meant we had been upgraded to a Butler Suite). This was followed by an even bigger surprise we taken the the 7th floor and shown into our Oceanview Penthouse One Bedroom Butler Suite! (One of the best rooms a the resort). What a view of Dickenson Bay and Sandals Grande Antigua!
A great beginning to our stay only got better from day to day. Great service at the pool bar, restaurants, spa, and every where else. The staff here is the best! Food was awesome, weather was perfect (we left hours before Hurrican Matthew wandered into the area).
May 11-17, 2016 Another great time at Sandals Emerald Bay
Getting there required a 5 hour layover in Miami from 5 am to 11am. If you have a long layover I highly recommend you spend the time in either the Admirals Lounge or Centurion Lounge. As usual it is a quick trip through immigration and customs in Exuma. Then about a 10 minute ride to Sandals.
It took longer to check in and get to our room then we spent at immigration, customs, and the transfer to Sandals. Never have figured out why it takes so long to get checked in at Sandals. We ended up in a 2nd floor one bedroom ocean view room in Beach House #2. We like the upper floor for view and privacy. (3rd floor has better views but only a pergola for shade on balcony so can get a little hot). Great room for both location and comfort.
The beach was in great shape with very little in the way of seaweed and of course not a rock to be found. (In my opinion this is Sandals’ best beach) The sand at Emerald Bay is so fine and deep it is very hard to walk in. Once you get to the water's edge it is firm enough to walk or jog.
Restaurants were humming right along and the food was very good. Not much different from my last trip in January.
Our butler service was hit and miss. The Bahamian butlers were not very attentive or on the ball. We had one butler form Jamaica and he was awesome.
Bar service at the pool bar was excellent one day and horrible the next. Seems it depended on who was bartending. Bar service at the piano bar was usually very, very slow. We didn't care - having too good of time.
Got in a three rounds of golf. The course was in excellent condition. If you are a golfer be sure to bring your own clubs. The rental clubs are old and in terrible shape. Also bring lots of golf balls. If you run out it will cast $15 per sleeve (3 balls). Unless you have a very low handicap you can count on losing a whole lot of balls. Low handicappers will lose a few too.
January 27-31, 2016 Sandals Emerald Bay Annual Golf Trip
This was a quick 4 day golf vacation for two guys. Even though Sandals is “couples only”, as long as two guests you can book however you want. We simply requested a rollaway and all was good.
Because we wanted plenty of room we booked a Prime Minister One Bedroom Beachfront Villa. This was a perfect room choice that had two bathrooms with showers, huge living room area and large bedroom. It was right on the beach with a great beach front patio to hang out on after golf. A little pricey, but well worth it.
January provided perfect golf weather, however not such great weather for water activities. The main pool was pretty much deserted most days. Only one day provided the full sun starting at sunrise that is required to warm the water enough to be enjoyable. Most mornings started overcast with full sun taking over from about 1pm on.
The beach was awesome and ocean temperature was tolerable.
The food was excellent at all restaurants, no complaints. The only bad night was the street party night. Lots of buffet food, but no place to sit (the tables were full) and music was unbearably loud. We just walked around and sampled different items.
Each morning started around 9 am with a round of golf on Sandals Emerald Bay golf course. The course was in great shape. This is a great golf course. Most of the back nine at Sandals Emerald Bay is right on the ocean. It is very challenging. We were glad we brought lots of golf balls!
Our butlers took good care of us hauling our golf clubs back and forth to the course. We called them from the 9th tee and they would have lunch ready for us to pick up at the clubhouse when we made the turn: pizza one day, sandwiches the next, etc.
We plan on making this an annual trip.