Travel Happiness: Sandals Resorts
When it comes to Choice Awards, Sandals Resorts has hit a solid home run in the resort/hotel chain category. It won not one, not two, but five awards: Best Resort/Hotel Chain for Honeymoon/Romance, the best All-Inclusive Resort Chain, and the very Best in the Caribbean, not to mention the Best All-Inclusive Resort Chain for Travel Agent Support.
In the past few years, Sandals has rolled one superlative after another: in 2004, for instance, the hotel chain launched its popular Butler Service at the most opulent suites in the resort portfolio. That same year, the Caribbean-inspired Red Lane Spas were introduced at Sandals properties. In 2005, Sandals partnered with celebrity Wedding Planner Preston Bailey to Produce Signature wedding packages, and the company's first "new-build" resort, Sandals Whitehouse (with tree themed villages: French, Italian, and Dutch), opened in Jamaica. And in 2006, Sandals Grand St. Lucian Spa & Beach added what it calls the most luxurious room category in Sandals history: 10 Rondoval Suites, offering guests 1, 800 sq. ft. of luxury, complete with a private 350-sq. ft. pool deck where couples can take a dip in their own outdoor Jacuzzi or plunge pool featuring its own waterfall. Eight additional suites were added at the end of 2006.
Sandals Grande Antiqua Resort & Spa is offering couples what the company is calling the ultimate romantic getaway. Customers relish choice, which is true luxury and one of the things that separates Sandals from a crowded field of all-inclusives. Together, the Mediterranean and Caribbean villages at the Antiqua Resort represent the best of both worlds.
And more choices than ever will be available at the expanded resort, which will offer nine fine dining restaurants, six pools (the newest and largest in the Eastern Caribbean), an even larger Red Lane Spa (two new couples' sanctuary room with large Jacuzzi tubs), poolside cabanas with wireless Internet access and plasma TVs, and a shopping village that will include an art gallery displaying works from local and international artists.
The existing 193-room Caribbean village, including Rondoval Suite cottages, is often referred to as "World's Most Romantic Resort,' its palazzo-style Mediterranean Village sister will have 180 suites available in six categories and all featuring ocean views, top-of-the line amenities, large living areas, and plasma TVs, palatial marble bathrooms and his and hers vanities, Jacuzzi tubs built for two and rain showers in separate areas.
As in the Caribbean Village, the new Mediterranean Village will offer Butler Service in two room categories: luxury ocean village 1-bedroom suites with private plunge pool, waterfall walls and large private balconies; and Mediterranean penthouse 1-bedroom suites that include a separate living area and grand ocean views.
Antiqua has a special place in Sandals Resorts' history. It was the seventh hotel in the chain, yet the first to be built outside Jamaica.
Written by Richards World Travel, Inc. in Hagerstown.