It was a true “whirlwind” trip. It began at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday as two of my co-workers, and our “cabana boy” (one of their husbands), and I got up and headed to the Atlanta airport to meet 200 other travel agents and our Sandals & Beaches hosts for the weekend. 4 hours later we boarded our chartered plane and headed to Grand Exuma Island, where we would spend three hours touring and experiencing the food and activities of Sandals Emerald Bay.
As our plane approached the island, it was obvious that the waters surrounding Grand Exuma were probably the most beautiful blue color that I had seen in the Caribbean. It was breath-taking. The resort was equally as amazing. Sandals Emerald Bay is an elegant resort that sits along that beautiful beach. Sandals greeted all 200 of us with a continental breakfast before we began our tour. On the tour we were able to see several of Emerald Bay’s gorgeous suites. Every room in this resort is not only spacious and elegant, but it also comes complete with your own butler. The grounds were absolutely beautiful as well. Sandals was so gracious to provide a caribbean buffet for us before we headed back to the Exuma Airport ~ which wins the prize for being the smallest airport that I’ve ever been in. The stop over in Exuma was a quick one, but so very informative and enjoyable!
Our next stop….. Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. Having been to this island just 2 months ago, I could not wait to return! I knew what waited for me there!!! I could pick out our resort from the sky as we descended onto the island… Beaches, Turks & Caicos. While Sandals resorts are the adult only Luxury Included resorts, Beaches resorts are the family version. Again, it would be a quick stay, only about 36 hours, so we needed to make the most of it!
After checking in to our room in the Caribbean Village, I took a quick run and visited the gym for a little while. I actually am proud to say that after two stays at Beaches, I have my own 3 mile run route around the property. Then, we got dressed for the evening and were fortunate enough to to catch the Sesame Street Parade come through our building. Big Bird, Count, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Zoe, Bert and Ernie were all there. What a blast from the past! It was fun, even for us adults!
And again, thanks to our Sandals hosts, we were able to experience and incredible dinner that night. Sandals and Beaches have a partnership with Martha Stewart, and every Sandals wedding is a Martha Stewart created wedding. Brides and grooms have several incredible choices to choose from, and we got to experience what a Sandals wedding reception would be like.
And no night is complete without Club Liquid …. dance club for teens until 11 p.m., and adult only after 11. We danced the night away, even though we’d been up for 20 hours, just because we didn’t want to waste a single minute of the time that we had there. Knowing that we had to be up early for a Sandals Resorts Workshop and Tour in the morning, we didn’t close Club Liquid down, saving some energy for night #2.
Sunday began early, breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at the restaurant of our choice, and there are MANY to choose from! After our morning workshop we enjoyed lunch at yet another incredible restaurant, Mario’s Italian. And then onto our Beaches Resort tour. What an incredible resort… the newest addition, The Italian Village is my favorite. The two bedroom suite sleeps up to 6 people and has incredible views of the pool and the ocean. Some rooms come with butler service, which is a service that completely enhances your stay at Beaches. The Caribbean Village is also a great choice, with many options for room categories, some with ocean view, and most with the pool view. The French Village is a very quaint place as well. There is not a bad room on the property.
Fortunately our tour guide was quick and to the point which gave us a few hours to enjoy at the beach and the pool. We ran into Bill, the manager of all of the restaurants on the property, who set up an incredible dinner for us at Kimono’s the Japanese hibachi restaurant. Not only did he set up our dinner, but at my request he also set us up with “iPod” the singing cook, and sent us a bottle of champagne as well. That is just an example of the awesome staff at this resort. They go above and beyond for their guests. We had a fabulous, tasty, and entertaining dinner and wrapped up the night at Club Liquid.
Our last leg of the trip began at 6:30 the next morning, where we boarded our flight towards Nassau. Our last island, and resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian awaited the 200 travel agents. And again, we were not disappointed! Although it was a little overcast, and we had a little rain, it did not put a damper on what Sandals provided for us. After our resort tour, we boarded boats and spent the day on Sandals private offshore island. Grilled lobster, shrimp cocktail, and fried conch were just a few of the delicacies. We had live entertainment, only to topped by having a surprise visit from Butch Stewart, the founder of Sandals who spoke to us for a few minutes and stayed for pictures. It was a lovely afternoon!
“Sadly”, we almost were stranded on this beautiful piece of paradise when the waves got too large for us to return to the mainland. However, it all worked out, and even though we were several hours later than expected, we finally made it home…. 52 hours and 3 islands later!!!