Beaches and Sandals

Beaches and Sandals
Beaches All- Inclusive Resorts: My exclusive partners for family destination planning

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spotlight on: Sandals Emerald Bay, Exumas, Bahamas

Sandals Emerald Bay is located in the beautiful Exumas Islands of the Bahamas.  Over three hundred tiny islets and cays compromise the Exumas offering diving, fishing and yachting.  These islands are located 130 miles south east of Nassau, Bahamas. Nonstop flights are available from Atlanta or Miami. You fly into Georgetown International Airport. 

Sandals Emerald Bay is located on 500 tropical acres that includes a mile long beach, three pools include a zero entry pool, a 16,000 sq. Red Lane Spa  and a championship 18 hole, 72 par Greg Norman designed course with six oceanfront holes.   This resort was designed for quiet relaxation and luxury. 

After a day on the gorgeous beach or in the Caribbean’s largest zero entry pool, you can choose from one of seven resort restaurants or return to your seaside villa for an in-suite dining experience prepared by your butler. 

I loved the authentic touches like the Island-Style Stone Oven baking fruit flavored bread. Don’t miss the guava!  

Check out my photos from my visit: 



Dress Code
Resort casual by day, resort elegant by night. So while the sun is up, your shorts, tank tops, swim suits, short-sleeved shirts, sundresses and light slacks are the perfect attire. As the sun sets and you set out to enjoy the evening, proper attire is required (although elegant dress shorts are permitted in some restaurants).

Scuba Diving
Top-of-the-line equipment for scuba diving is included for certified divers; however, you're welcome to bring your own. You must remember your diver certification cards to enjoy full diving privileges. If you have any contra-indications to diving you must have a doctor complete and sign the physician section on the medical questionnaire form before you will be allowed to dive at any of our resorts.

Tips and Gratuities
Tips and gratuities are strictly prohibited for all staff except personal Butlers & Spa Therapists. In the event you wish to tip your Butler or Spa Therapist, it will be greatly appreciated but under no circumstance will a tip be required or solicited.

If you are looking for a place to get away from it all in quiet luxury on a gorgeous beach, then this resort may be for you. Contact me at Angie@TripswithAngie.com to learn more. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spotlight on: Beaches Turks and Caicos

I had a wonderful time during a site inspection at Beaches Turks and Caicos. I was very impressed with the 19 dining options, the gorgeous beach and the great pools. Even though this is a family resort, I could very easily see my husband and I really enjoying a vacation there. 

For the families, the amenities are amazing: kids' clubs for all ages, a water park including a lazy river, great shows, and suites from those that include bunk beds up to  4 bedroom villas to accommodate the extended family. 




While I was there, I also had a chance to interview the Chef in charge of accommodating guests with food allergies. I was really impressed with their program. Guests meet with Chef Marlene to go over their meals and she makes sure all the restaurants have the proper items for when the guest arrives. Because Beaches restaurants all use different kitchens, many allergies can be accommodated. Here's the interview: 




To plan your family's Beaches vacation, contact me at Angie@TripswithAngie.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Best Solo Vacation I ever had!

Cindy wanted a way to celebrate her 40th birthday solo! We picked a cruise on the Norwegian Getaway because it offered studio cabins, lots of activities, and a mix of pampering, fun, and great ports to visit. 

"Best solo vacation I have ever had….

The Norwegian Getaway set an entirely new standard for luxury and service.  Upon arrival I found my cabin colorfully decorated complete with a birthday cake.  The ship was truly a destination in itself.  The food was amazing and the entertainment possibilities were endless.  I enjoyed all of the islands, but St. Maarten, was by far the friendliest and most picturesque. After 7 nights, I didn't want to leave the ship. Thank you Angie for all of your recommendation's and professional advice along the way.  You made my 40th birthday a memorable one!"





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Top Ten Ways to Choose a Caribbean All Inclusive Resort



1.  Where do you want to go? – Are nonstop flights important? Do you want to explore jungles? Go zip-lining? See whales? Snorkel or scuba dive? See ruins? Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have the largest assortment of all-inclusive resorts.  

2. Time of Year – When are you traveling? The rainy seasons change slightly depending on the islands. I also check to make sure all your “must do” activities are available. For instance, Jamaica severely limits water sports around Easter. 

3.  Kids? – Are you traveling with kids? Does the resort have rooms with separate accommodations? What is the kids’ programming? Are you trying to avoid kids? Some resorts are adults only.

4.  The Distance from the Airport – Depending how long your trip is, you may want a resort within 30 minutes of the airport. If you are staying for 7 nights, you may not mind an hour’s drive.

5.  The Beach  - Is a beach important? Do you want to swim or just relax with a great view? Some beaches are unsafe to swim because of currents. Other beaches are very rocky so you'll need water shoes.

6.  Dining - How many restaurants are available? Are they buffet or a la carte/ sit down restaurants? Do you need reservations?  

7.  Drinks - What type of alcohol is included? Some resorts only include domestic beer and spirits. Other resorts include wine, imports, and higher-end brand name spirits. What's your favorite drink? We want to make sure the resort offers it.  Some resorts also provide a mini-bar in the room. Is that something you'd like?

8.  Activities - Some resorts include scuba diving and snorkeling trips. Others have that as an extra charge.  Some resorts shut down in the evenings while other resorts have night clubs and piano bars. 

9. Room Location- Many resorts offer categories of rooms by the view: garden view, pool view, ocean view or ocean front.  It’s also important to check the room location. Are you okay overlooking the stage that hosts a 9 pm nightly show?  Is it important to be near dining, the beach or the pool? 

10. WiFi – Not all resorts have wifi. Other resorts charge for wifi or only have it available in the lobby. 

Does this seem a little overwhelming? That’s why I’m here to help. I can easily and quickly walk you through all these options. Just email me at angie@tripswithangie.com

Monday, October 27, 2014

Client Review: Lia's Disney Vacation




I planned a Disney vacation for Lia, her husband, her 4 year old and her 2 year old. We set up a monthly payment plan so she could just book it and forget it. I checked in with her after her trip and asked her about her trip. Here's what she said:

"It was amazing, thanks for asking!  I can’t believe how much I’d like to go again!

Here are the biggest factors that played into our successful experience:

1.       I think the smartest decision we made was to stay at a Disney resort.  It made the airport transfers, luggage, park transportation, meal plan, etc. so seamless. 

2.       The technology was also a huge blessing!  No lines with the fast passes, no wallets once we connected our credit cards to the bands, we were on the app all day long making adjustments to our plans and using the GPS map to check wait times, etc.  It really allowed us to use our time more efficiently.

3.       I’m glad we used a lot of the dining plan on character meals.  I would recommend this to anyone, as it helped us avoid spending our time in lines or our fast passes to wait for character meet and greets!

4.       Also, I didn’t really realize we were traveling during the Disney Halloween timeframe (just never occurred to me) and that was a special experience that we took part in at the last minute!

I’ll definitely reach out when we can afford to go again (in a million years :))."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Vacation Planning FAQ: When is the best time to book a vacation?



A lot of this is your personal preference. Some of my clients book one - two years in advance to be able save up and having something to look forward to. Some clients call me two weeks before they want to leave. Here's my general advice: 

For cruises - the sooner you can book the better. For most fares, the deposit is refundable so you have nothing to lose by reserving a cabin. I monitor the rates for my cruise clients to make sure they are getting the best price or the best upgrade. Right now,I personally have cruises on hold through 2016 because I loved the price and the promotion. 

For resort packages - Flights don't become available until 330 days from departure for many airlines and even less if you want to fly Southwest or JetBlue. If you want a specific resort or a specific room it's important to book early. If you are open - you can wait until about 6 - 8 months from date of departure. The availability of last minute deals really depends on the city you are depart from and the time of year so message me for more specific details. 

For Disney - Book early. You lock in the room you want.I monitor all promotions and can adjust your booking if the rate drops. 

How far out do you like to book vacations? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Great Vacations - at no additional cost to you.

Life can be complicated. Vacation planning shouldn't be. Let me design great vacations for you and your family - at no additional cost to you. 


TripswithAngie@Gmail.com

813-501-3106