Our travels and ideas for planning your next trip!

Posts tagged ‘Caribbean’

Sandals Wrap

Sandals and Beaches resorts are a class of their own!  Known worldwide for their 5 star resorts in the Caribbean and more quality inclusions than any other resorts on the planet!!   When Gordon “Butch” Stewart offered me the opportunity last December of having my car wrapped with Sandals and Beaches advertizing, I jumped at the chance.  Here I am with Mr. Stewart last December in Antigua.  (OK, so he offered the wrap to 160 other agents too and had his picture taken with them as well, but, hey, this is me and it is him.  I’m just getting to know more Sandals up close and friendly.)

   

I absolutely LOVE having my car wrapped!  Thought I would share the experience with you.  Here is my car in the garage last week in snowy Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  BEFORE…   Eric from Sir Graphic out of Spokane arrived early in the morning, before I even had my first cup of tea.  My husband, Gene, welcomed him to our warmed garage.  By the time, I got my first glimpse, one side of the car was already done.  Wow!

 

             

Isn’t it beautiful?  Doesn’t it just make you want to be there?  Give me a call or email and I will make it happen for you.  Let me take the stress of putting together your honeymoon, destination wedding or vacation.  Let me take the stress, you take the beach! 

Anne DelVecchio, Your Travel Consultant

(208) 964-3578    4anne@dreamalongtravel.com    www.dreamalongtravel.com   http://www.honeymoonsbyannemarie.com

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Sandals Royal Bahamian

Hello Wanderer,

Today, I am posting my visit several weeks ago to the Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas on the island of Grand Bahama, near the town of Nassau.  This is a perfect location for couples, brides and honeymooners who would like a smaller, more intimate resorts.  It has a charming British ambiance, with tea served in the afternoon everyday.  Come with me on a tour of the Sandals Royal Bahamian.

       

Dreaming of a wedding, wouldn’t it be just perfect in this garden gazebo. 

To complete the English ambiance, a guard in the “tropical whites” iconic to the Bahamas, stands at attention.  Think the British have it hard, these guys are standing motionless in 80 something degree weather.

The Wine Bar has tasting lessons for those of us who enjoy a fine glass of wine.  Then we can amble on into one of the fine dining establishments to sup.

     A night cap in the pub and a bit of English style pool will do.

After and evening of fine food and drink, a good night’s sleep in Sandals premium beds, the butler will make our coffee and bring us breakfast.  Then imaging you and your honey wandering down to the pool for a quick dip, then off to the private island to laze away the day.

   

   

    Here I am with my travel agent friends partying on the island.  Take me back…

Cheers from Anne!

Sandals Emerald Bay

Last week I visited four Sandals resorts in the Caribbean with 160 other travel agents.  Four resorts on three different islands in four days.  Whew!  They treated us royally, fed us superbly and walked us until our feet ached.  I took lots of pictures so that you can get a view of these four resorts from an ordinary point of view (not a professional photographer).  Come stroll with me through the grounds of the first resort, Sandals Emerald Bay.

In case you have never been, let me acquaint you with Sandals.  These are couples only, luxury included resorts, which means all food, wine and licquor is included.  Sandals is the most well know, upscale resort in the Caribbean.  Butch Stewart, the owner of all Sandals resorts likes to say, “More inclusions than any resort on the planet.”  Each resort has its own personality and style.  I hope my notes will help you decide which Sandals of the four I visited suits your vacation dreams.

First stop, Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Personality: Quiet, Serene, Pristine Beauty, Isolated, A Place to soak in the sun, play in the silky sand, or just relax away from crowds and cities.

We were welcomed by a Junkanoo band, native to the Bahamas.  Cold fragrant towels and a bottle of water.

 

Then we wandered through the villas and bungalows, gazed at the blue sky and perfect white beaches.  The sand was so soft, white and wonderful, I brought a cup of it home with me.  It sits in a dish with shells so I can dabble my fingers in it and dream of the Caribbean.

 

   Doesn’t this look like a fun water toy…just ride it into the water.

Here is a view of a room decorated with a honeymoon welcome and a bungalow with an ocean front view.  Sandals offers butlers with some suites, complete with cell phones to call him/her at your whim.  “James, a fresh towel and a tequila sunrise by the pool, please.”

    This is the view out the bungalow window.

  Every Sandals resort comes with a Red Lane Spa.  Treatments are an extra cost, yet how wonderful to rejuvenate with a spa treatments.  Every detail is attended to.

For weddings, Sandals offers Martha Stewart packages.  Set up here is the “Natural” package.  Couples can be married in the gazebo or on the beach as well.

 

If total rest and relaxation in a serene location is calling you, grab your honey and fly to Sandals Emerald Bay.

Next stop, Antigua,

Anne

Robin to Barbados

Several  months ago, I introduced you to my associate, Robin Hawkey.  Boy has she been traveling lately…Jamaica, Barbados, Riviera Maya all this summer.  Between the two of us, we check out many resorts every year just so we can make good recommendations to our valued travelers.  We like to wine and dine, lay on the beach and tour the local sites.  That way we are confident your vacation will be one of relaxed luxury.

Robin loved Barbados!  She enthused over the tropical landscape, monkeys, and turtles.  “This is definitely an island for my clients,” exclaimed Robin when she got home. This island is safe. The locals are friendly and glad to have you there.  It is a clean and well-cared for British island, very beautiful.   Here are a few of the many pictures she took so you can get a feel of Barbados.

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Robin and her good friend Gail at the Almond Resorts

       

    

 

Adventuring about the island on a tour was a great way to experience all Barbados has to offer!

     

And then there was snorkeling off the catamaran, shopping and street parties. Even the bathrooms were cute!

 

If tropical water, sun and sand is your dream vacation, honeymoon or destination wedding, Barbados is worth checking out!

Affordable Luxury – Robin to Jamaica

Couples Resort Jamaica, May 2011

Couples Swept Away

     Robin Hawkey and I have been in the travel business together from the outset.  She is the owner of Bridal Honeymoons, HoneymoonsbyRobin.com, Wine Country Connections, and Personal Wine Tours.  She is one fantastic travel agent knowlegable in all the exotic sand and sun locations.  As a life long resident in the California wine country, her expertise is invaluable for those wanting a destination wedding in Sonoma or Napa County.

Now that I have introduced Robin, let’s go to Jamaica!  Robin just spent eight days with her husband Randy at the Couples Resort in Jamaica and boy did she have fun!  Couples is for….well who do you think?….COUPLES.  No kids allowed.  So if you and your honeybunch want a trip just for two this is a place we highly recommend. They have several locations and one of them is just right for you.   Three of my brides are headed to luxury, pampering and PARTY at Couples this summer and I don’t know how many Robin is sending also.  Couples is big on sales so we can grab you a great price PLUS EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED!  Robin told me she was planning on taking some tours but there was so much to do at the resort along with just laying on the beach, she just never had time to leave.  Oh my, what a problem…anyone want to go there soon?

Check it out!

                                                  Good Morning from Jamaica!         

We chose a garden view room, which was quite nice as we could still see the ocean.    At Couples the water sports are included free.

                                         

We just loved this Jamaican man singing on the beach!

Can’t wait to get into the pool.  Randy, the catamaran cruise is a must do!  Hey, do you want to make a hat?

   

There are so  many fun things to do.  Not only did we learn about Jamaican cooking we enjoyed it.  The food was fabulous!

    

We took the Couples transport to a sister resort Couples Negril.  This is the famous massage tree house at Couples Negril. The Rock House of Negril is just the place for Pirates of the Caribbean….Whooo.

A couple was getting married while we were there and even though it rained shortly before the wedding, it was so beautiful.  Later the bride trashed the dress in the surf.  (Robin caught it on video and promised to send it to me for this blog.)

Love checking out resorts for my honeymooners!
Tough Job, but someone has to do it! lol
Honeymoons by Robin

     That’s it for today.  Would love to do a blog about your travels.  Just email me at 4anne@dreamalongtravel.com your pictures and your story.  Happy Dreaming,  Anne Marie

A Superior Eco-Friendly 5 Star Resort!

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          It takes a lot to make it to the top of my list of resorts, especially when I have not yet even visited it.  Recently, while taking a class on the Yucatan Peninsula, I discovered Hacienda Tres Rios and couldn’t wait to share it with you.  It is one of a kind.  I can’t wait to go there!

           Hacienda Tres Rios, a FIVE STAR resort, was BORN GREEN.  From its concept, being responsible to preserve and even contribute to the reestablishment of almost extinct native plants has been the mission of this incredible resort.  Guests of the Hacienda have exclusive admittance to the 150 acre nature park and a tour of the botanical gardens and nursery.  The resort has won the “Green Globe” award and awards from the Rainforest Alliance. 

 “Tres Ríos Nature Park in Playa del Carmen is an inspiring example of the Caribbean’s tropical plants and animals, including rainforests, mangroves, cenotes, exotic birds, tropical fish, and other wildlife, and is one of the few remaining natural habitats protecting threatened plants and endangered animals. In a once flourishing region now threatened by deforestation from natural disasters, human encroachment, property development, and subsequent pollution, nature conservation is Tres Ríos’ mission.”  Tres Rios

Not only that, it is a beautiful, spa pampering, gourmet, “now-this-is luxury” resort hotel. You can have a fabulous vacation, sensational wedding, beyond wonderful honeymoon in a romantic, fantastic garden of nature, while contributing to the health of our planet.

Check out their website at www.haciendatresrios.com .      Then call me to book your reservations so I can be sure you receive all the specials offered through my contacts.  

Happy Spring,

Anne

CONSIDER A DESTINATION WEDDING

                  Congratulations on your engagement!  Full steam ahead on planning the wedding.  Ready, set, go!  …..Hold it, hold it…have you considered a destination wedding?  This may or may not be for you but it is worth thinking about.  Here is a little survey for you to answer.  If you say “yes” to several of these questions, then a destination wedding is a good choice for you.

  1. Do you dream of sun, sand and simplicity?  Consider a beach wedding in Mexico or the Caribbean.
  2. Do you dream of a mountain top, lake side, or meadow, cave?  Consider a national park, ski lodge, or summer resort.
  3. Do you picture getting married aboard a house boat or cruise ship? Or cruising to a port and getting married on the beach?  Consider renting a house boat on a lake or working with a cruise ship wedding planner.
  4. Would you be happy with your immediate family and a few good friends at your wedding rather than everyone you know?  Your guest list will be drastically reduced the father away and the more expensive your destination.  Be sure this is fine with both the bride and the groom.
  5. Do the important people in your life support traveling far to your wedding?  Or are you just fine if they do not?  Having the enthusiastic participation of the people you care about most will go along way towards making your destination wedding wonderful.  Ask their opinions before you decide.  If you only want the two of you and a couple of best friends, then, no problem, an intimate destination wedding is a cinch.
  6. Would you enjoy an extended celebration over the weekend with your guests?  Guests traveling far away will most likely being staying the whole weekend; some may even stay the whole week.  This can be fantastic fun or too much. Discuss what each of you feel about both these scenarios.  What works for you?  That said, there are resorts where you get married at one resort then are whisked off to a sister resort for your honeymoon leaving your guests behind.    Or you can let guests who stay past the weekend know you will join them for dinner but during the day you want to be alone.  It’s up to you.  Just talk about it with one another.
  7. Would you like to sail away after a few hours leaving your guests behind?  On some cruise ships, you can get married at the departure port where your guests come aboard for the wedding only, then you sail away on your honeymoon alone.  Or you can cruise to a port, meet your guests who flew in for the wedding and get married ashore.
  8. Are you OK with surrendering some of the details of your wedding to a onsite wedding planner?  Since your wedding is far away, you will not have as much control of some aspects.  You will see pictures, talk with the wedding planner and be given choices but putting it all together will be out of your hands.  If this simplicity sounds great to you, go for it.
  9. Do you desire a very special wedding plus a romantic beach honeymoon but do not have funds for both?  At many of the beach resorts, the basic wedding package is free if you book your honeymoon with them.  So you can have your cake and eat it too. Yum!
  10. Do you have a generous budget but crave something exotic and fabulous?  There are luxury resorts that offer designer weddings, butlers, everything you ever dreamed about.  Another option if you have the budget is to offer to pay a portion of the cost of the resort for each wedding party member as your gift to them.

Sounds good?  Read on…

The two most popular destination wedding locations are to a) Beautiful resorts in the United States, b) Beaches in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Costa Rica is an up and coming place and Puerto Rico is great because a passport isn’t needed for US citizens.  My next blog will address choosing an US destination, questions to ask the resort and choosing support people who will make your destination wedding successful and stress free.  Then we will discuss exotic beach weddings, so stay in touch.

Anne