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Iberostar Playa Mita Best Kept Secret Amongst All Inclusive Resorts in Mexico


With the high cost of living, education and health care, families are finding it hard to afford much need family vacation time.  I work with all kinds of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico from budget to very upscale, and I have found a nice option for families who want an overall quality vacation experience without spending a fortune.  What constitutes a quality vacation?  If you talk to a mom, she will probably stress the importance of yummy food choices that she doesn’t have to prepare, nice beach and pools and it wouldn’t hurt to have a spaJ   Most dads would want anything that makes mom happy including exceptional customer service and golf. Kids just want to have fun activities and programs that keep their interest.  The Iberostar Playa Mita in Puerto Vallarta has everything to make mom, dad and kids happy, so you should definitely check it out.

There are many resorts that are super inexpensive, but offer awful food and boring buffet dining options or have terrible customer service.  I would suggest you save your money rather than compromise. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, fun and pleasurable.  The Iberostar Playa Mita is about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and can deliver a really nice vacation for the entire family without putting too much strain on the pocket book.

The resort features a main pool with infinity edge and swim up bar which looks out to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  You can also catch the famous Puerto Vallarta sunsets from the rooftop bar with glass of wine in hand before you meander to dinner.  The kids have their own pool and the kids programs at the Iberostar Resorts are outstanding.  Children ages 4-12 have their own section of the kids club with a special teen’s club for kids ages 13-17. Age appropriate activities go on all day for each and the program is free.  Also, kids age 12 and under are free at the resort, so you just need to buy them an airline ticket!

Under the Iberostar All Inclusive Plan, all meals and snacks are included, as well as unlimited imported & domestic drinks.  Each room is stocked with a mini bar, robes and slippers just like the fancy places. Two of my favorite restaurants for dinner at the Iberostar Playa Mita are Tsuba which features Japanese show cooking (it is a show and dinner all in one!) and the gourmet French restaurant which designed to make you feel like you are in a rail car travelling through France.   There is also a Steak House and Mexico restaurant for a la carte dining in the evenings.  If you want a good old American hamburger during the day, check out the beach grill. The burgers are delicious and HUGE!

     

Dad will enjoy the Litibu Golf Course designed by Greg Norman which is right next door while mom enjoys one of the special spa offerings in the full service spa.   For those who want to work off beer or chips and guacamole calories, no problem!  The resort has a gym with all kinds of equipment and a nice view out to the golf course.

Because of how inexpensively this resort prices out, it also makes an excellent choice for a destination wedding.   Keeping your guest’s budget in mind, the Iberostar Playa Mita makes a three night/four day attendance very doable even for those on the tightest budget.   The Iberostar Resorts only perform one wedding daily, so your magical moment will be special and executed by one of their wedding professionals.

How inexpensive is the Iberostar Playa Mita?  A typical one week all-inclusive accommodations for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids age 12 or under) is around $1500 total for the week.

We have a lot of favorite resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii.  We help find the perfect spot that ticks off items on your wish list and stays within your preferred budget and don’t charge fees to use our services.  So take the stress out of planning and scouring the internet, give us a call, email or request a quote.  We are happy to help your family enjoy the vacation you deserve!

Five Changes to Passport Services And Validity in 2018


If your passport has been gathering dust or if you travel often and have gotten lax about checking your passport, here are some changes that will be happening in 2018 that you should pay special attention to.

  • The U.S. State Bureau of Consular Affair will begin holding events around the country to help first time passport applicants with the passport application process. Look for those to pop up in your area, as they will walk you through the process and make it easier for you.
  • You will soon be able to renew your passport online (mid 2018)
  • Rather than checking new passport rules and requirements on the sometimes outdated website, starting in 2018 updates will come via mail and email.
  • Beginning on January 22, 2018, state issued driver’s licenses that don’t meet the REAL ID Act requirements will not be good enough to board domestic flights. Many states have been granted an extension, so it is important to check on your state.  For example, Washington State currently has an extension until October 2018.  You don’t want to get caught unprepared just flying to see Aunt Sue, so make sure you carry the appropriate ID.

The FIFTH change is really a heads up about the length of time it might take to get a passport or renew your passport in 2018.  The norm has been 4-6 weeks, but because the government made passports required for travel from the U.S. to Canada, Caribbean and Mexico back in 2007, the onslaught of travelers back in 2007-2009 rushed out get their passports are NOW expiring and requiring renewal.  So it will be a busy year in the passport office.

Give yourself plenty of time and also remember that most countries require your passport to be valid 6 months POST travel dates.

Best All Inclusive Resorts for Families with Infants & Young Kids


Have you been dreaming about an all-inclusive family vacation but worry about the hassle of traveling with young children or a baby?  Do you have to drag all the equipment and accessories that go along with infants on your vacation?  The answer is no.  The Azul Resorts operated by the luxury chain Karisma  Resorts, give families travelling with infants or young children some fantastic and valuable perks that take the hassle out of travelling with kids. These perks are currently offered at all four Azul properties (three in Riviera Maya Mexico, and one in Jamaica), as well as their Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana.

If you are travelling with an infant, wouldn’t free baby amenities like cribs, bottle warmers, sterilizers, baby baths, changers, strollers, bath robes, baby sleepers, baby monitors, high chairs and pack n’ plays make travelling with baby SO MUCH EASIER?  As well as these things being included, the Karisma Resorts also offer Gerber baby food in all restaurants or from room service. Wow!   Other family all-inclusive resorts will have to take notice!

If you are travelling with children age 4-12 years old, The Azul properties have the Azulitos Playhouse to keep your children entertained.  They offer daily themed activities, as well as supervised activities. Daily activities include things like face painting, sandcastle building, cooking classes, piñata parties and the Nickelodeon experience.  Kids love the character meet and greets as Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer roam the property and integrate with the kids, posing for photo ops.

There are also kid’s movie nights with popcorn and dinner and exclusive gym programs for the active kids.  Fun things for your children equates to some relaxation time for mom and dad.  Yippee!  Win! Win!

You can experience these perks for kids at any of the Azul properties.  The Azul Beach Resort is a smaller more intimate resort located just south of Cancun providing a quiet and intimate setting.  If you would prefer a larger resort with more pools, dining, then Azul Sensatori , which is also just south of Cancun, has a lot to offer including three pools: a family pool, adult only pool and the premium section pool.  There is a kid’s splash pad and waterslide and three swim up bars.

Are you looking for multiple bedroom accommodations for your family?  Azul Fives which is located just on the north side of the cute town of Playa Del Carmen would be a great family vacation choice, as this specific property has lavish one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom suites that accommodate 6 adults and up to 8 persons total.  Suites this size are a rare find in Mexico! Also great for larger families with teenagers.

The Azul Sensatori Jamaica is on the beautiful Negril Beach where you have white sand and calm clear water, plus luxurious accommodations and family suites.  The resort is located right next to one of our favorite adult only all-inclusive properties, Sandals Negril.

Karisma Resorts offer gourmet dining at both their “adult only” all-inclusive resorts called the El Dorado’s, as well as their family all-inclusive resort options.  So whether Jamaica, Mexico or Punta Cana is your preferred destination, you will be eating like a king and also be enjoying top shelf liquors, all included. 

Joining the Azul/Karisma Resorts offering a top of the line family all-inclusive resort experience at high standards are a few of our other favorite chains like Beaches, Iberostar Resorts and the Hyatt Ziva Resorts.

We specialize in family vacations to Mexico and the Caribbean where you have all-inclusive resorts at all different price points and amenities to choose from.  We are happy to help you find the resort that translates into a happy, fun, relaxing and special family vacation.  We do not charge fees to use our services and take advantage of our expertise, so give us a call at 1-800-321-7907 or email us.  We are here for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Upgrade My Room At Sandals?


Honeymoon couples and fans of all-inclusive resorts frequently ask “Should I upgrade my room at Sandals? and “What do I get in an upgraded room?”.  With prices from $300 to more than $2300 night, a good answer depends on many factors but two things are crystal clear.

  • An upgraded room will cost more. The days of free upgrades are over!
  • You’ll get additional services at Club Level and Butler Level

What you may get with a room upgrade at a Sandals Resort

  • Better location and view
  • Special features like soaking tub, private pool or swim out room
  • More space and lavish bathroom

This is where details matter because each resort is different. As a Preferred Sandals Agency we know all the resorts well and recognize that each couple has a unique wish list and budget. We also understand it can be overwhelming to choose the best vacation or honeymoon with 16 resorts on 7 islands and a zillion room categories. Which brings us back to room upgrades!

        

Let’s go through a few scenarios –

Couple #1  – You’ve narrowed your search and fallen in love with Sandals South Coast in Jamaica.   Fantastic choice!  You want a room with a nice ocean view and balcony. At this resort, you can get both in an entry level room.  Cool!  So now you ask, is it worth it to upgrade to Club Level?   Club Level rooms have an in room bar stocked with beer, wine and four full bottles of liquor. Plus Club Level rooms at Sandals South Coast offer room service from 7am to 10pm.

Your ocean view standard room would not have room service or alcohol in the room.  So if you would enjoy a glass of wine while getting ready for dinner or having breakfast served on your balcony, then spending an extra $100-$240 per night for those amenities would be worth the cost and add value to your vacation. That same upgrade could include a whirlpool bathtub and lavish bathroom.

Couple #2  – You’ve chosen Sandals largest resort, Sandals Ochi, because you like the huge variety of dining options and lively environment.  You’re leaning toward a Riviera Beachfront Club Room which is beachfront, gives you club amenities and has an ocean view but then you start thinking about butler service and how nice it would be to be pampered throughout your stay. The upgrade to butler doesn’t cost much so you’re thinking, personalized butler service without breaking the bank…. sign me up!

But slow down partner. Most of the butler suites at Ochi aren’t beachfront, they are nestled on the hillside far from the beach and don’t have an ocean view.   Now you must choose between seeing the ocean from your balcony in a busy part of the resort or having a quiet secluded environment with personal butlers to wait on you hand and foot. It’s your call, but if it’s your honeymoon, we say go for the pampering and make this special occasion an unforgettable experience! All the butler villas come with a private or semi private pool!

Couple #3 – St Lucia is your chosen destination and the standard rooms near the beach are really affordable. Your fiancée spotted a photo of a suite with private pool overlooking the ocean and hinted that the Millionaire’s Suite sounds nice. Does anyone really spend that kind of money???  Is it worth it to upgrade your room?

Well… (you know the answer) It depends! If there are lots of zeros in your bank account or grandma has offered to pay for the honeymoon of course it is worth it! Total privacy, private pool, private Jacuzzi, spectacular ocean view and a butler. But the Millionaires Suite is high up a hill and far from the beach. So if the more affordable rooms fit your budget better perhaps a Club Level Beachfront Room with Tranquility Soaking Tub would be the right upgrade and compromise.

The Sandals Specialists at Totem Travel know all the Sandals Resorts and rooms really well. We go back every year and have stayed in standard rooms, Club Level Rooms, Butler Suites, even the Millionaire’s Suite. So if you have questions and would like expert guidance at no extra cost please call or email. We’d love to help you choose the best Sandals Resort for your next vacation!

Sandals Montego Bay’s New Look For 2018


I just got back from the newly renovated Sandals Montego Bay “Couples Only” all inclusive resort.  MoBay is Sandals’ flagship property and has remained extremely popular with the highest repeat rate of all 16 Sandals Resorts. Now, after major renovation, the resort has a whole new look and as you take your first step out of the airport shuttle your eyes are immediately drawn through the completely redesigned lobby to the turquoise Caribbean Sea that sparkles in the distance.  Wow!

How does three sexy river pools in three different buildings with swim up suites (all oceanfront or with an ocean view) sound?   Suites with soaking tubs on their private balcony, all luxurious and NEW! The last of the renovations are scheduled to be completed in early 2018, leaving almost every room category in the resort looking fabulous and a great choice.

Guests at Sandals Montego Bay can also dine and play at nearby Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Inn. New at Royal Caribbean are the crème de crème of posh accommodations, the over water bungalows.  So much newness to experience at these two resorts in Jamaica and yet the updates don’t stop there.  Sandals South Coast, a longtime favorite of ours in the office, has also renovated a good portion of their accommodations and has added a guest favorite, the overwater bar.  And with the over water bungalows positioned in the shape of a heart this resort will be tough be beat, as South Coast has it all!

Back to the updates at Sandals Montego Bay!  Here is the scoop.

The lobby has been completely redone.  Much like knocking down walls in a house, this common area now has a very open concept, allowing you spectacular views of the beautiful Caribbean from any comfortable sofa or oversized chair.  The lobby has even been renamed and is now referred to as the “living room”.  There is a small stage with big screen where they feature slide shows, and live music on certain days. One of the new focal points in the “living room” is the new bar which leads you to a nice patio area with sexy fire pits and more comfortable sofas with a front row view of the sparkling Caribbean.  The Snap Shots photo shop and Loyalty Desk are also part of the new living room as well as the Island Routes Desk where you can reserve fun off resort activities.

To one side of the lobby, you have the newly renovated Almond Building which offers all oceanfront suites featuring balconies with majestic ocean views and your own private tranquility soaking tub. The bathrooms are nicely appointed with a large walk in shower and double vanity sinks surrounded by quartz countertops. These suites have a walk in closet versus your standard closet, so plenty of space for storage.  At the far end, you have private new swim out rooms and your own lagoon pool to grab a dip from your balcony.  You have many big mega resorts with swim up rooms, but few are oceanfront!!

Near the Almonds building is the newly renovated Wedding Chapel which is one of a kind to find a chapel on a resort. And behind the chapel are the two lighted tennis courts which have obviously been resurfaced during the renovation as well.

On the other side of the resort is where you have the newly renovated Palms Building (one of my favorites) which has everything from top floor one bedroom butler suites overlooking the main beach and sea to spacious and modern club level suites also with a nice balcony, tub and view.

There is also a new beachfront butler building complete with lavish suites and another sexy lagoon pool.   And due to be completed a bit later in the year is the NEW Seagrapes Building featuring a lagoon pool with swim up butler suites on the main level and luxury/standard rooms located on floors two and three.  Now you can get a nice suite without having to pay club and butler level prices!!!  Sandals Montego Bay has new luxurious rooms at all price points and service levels.

The Millionaire One Bedroom Butler Suites are still the bomb and the top category right down to the tiny details like decorated with reclaimed wood and a retractable glass wall separating the bedroom from the living room. And the spa inspired bath…….to die for!

With all the changes going on at Sandals, we are often asked if upgrading room categories is worth it.  This question is worth a separate blog post so look for the answer to that question in the following weeks.  In the meantime, we love selling Sandals Resorts, know the properties well from personal experience and enjoy sharing our knowledge with our clients who are planning a special “adult only” All Inclusive vacation.  Call us 1-800-321-7907 or email us.  We are happy to help and share our excitement with you.

New At Sandals Emerald Bay for 2017


Sandals Emerald Bay “Couples Only” All Inclusive Resort, located on the pristine and quiet island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas, reopened following a brief two month closure due to damage from Hurricane Matthew in early October. In true Sandals fashion, they quickly fixed all damaged areas and took advantage of the unplanned closure to spruce up and enhance the adult only all inclusive resort experience.

New at Sandals Emerald Bay are four more dining options to add to their existing culinary lineup. Emerald Bay now has a Jerk Shack open for lunch so you can enjoy scrumptious jerk pork and chicken right off the Barbie, as you head to the pool or beach. In the evening, Sandals Emerald Bay has added three delicious and diverse A la Carte dining options that will satisfy your palate. Bombay Club featuring flavorful cuisine from India will captivate you with bold and exotic flavors. The new Soy restaurant offers exotic sushi creations and rounding off the additions is the ever popular Kimonos which in addition to tantalizing your appetite, provides delightful entertainment from skillful Chefs who are crafty on the iron.

If you prefer to enjoy a more leisurely meal, Barefoot by the Sea is one of my favorites for a beachfront lunch or dinner and another popular option is Dino’s wood oven pizza which cranks out the ever popular pies by the slice or by the box.  Speaking of pies, the cottage pie at Drunken Duck Pub is absolutely delicious so check that out along with fine dining options at Il Cielo and Le Parisienne when it’s time for an elegant evening.

   

Current Sandals Resort specials for Emerald Bay include 2 free rounds of golf or unlimited golf depending on your stay and room category, and the 18 hole Greg Norman championship course is one of a kind in the Caribbean with the entire back nine oceanfront!  Sandals Emerald Bay is hosting LPGA events in 2017 and you can catch a glimpse of the fabulous course and favorite golfers on the Golf Channel.

Sandals Emerald Bay wowed us when we attended the grand opening back in February of 2010 and after several more visits it remains one of our favorite adult only all-inclusive resorts. Every room at the resort is Club Level or includes Sandals butler service and you simply can’t beat the white sand beach or clear turquoise waters found in the Bahamas. But this resort will not appeal to those wishing a lot of nightlife and you must be careful about weather patterns when traveling in the northern Caribbean. So please call or email if you have questions about the island, off property tours like swimming with pigs or need help choosing the best Sandals Resort for your honeymoon or all inclusive vacation. Both Linda and I are happy to help at no extra cost!

 

Upscale Luxury Family All Inclusive Resort – Review Of Finest Playa Mujeres All Inclusive Resort In Mexico


I really enjoyed this new resort which is located in a new area just 15-20 minutes north of Cancun.  Finest Playa Mujeres is part of the Excellence Group of Resorts which we have been sending clients to for years (Excellence Playa Mujeres, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Excellence Punta Cana and Excellence El Carmen).  Their “adult only” All Inclusive properties offer a quality adult only vacation experience with a high level of service and overall vacation quality.  So when I had the chance to experience their family friendly resort, I had high expectations.  Let’s just say, Finest excelled!  If you are looking for an upscale family all-inclusive resort, Finest Playa Mujeres will meet or exceed all your expectations.

The location is a big plus since it is just a short cab ride into Cancun, but out of the way of all the craziness of the city.  I find it also nice for those who have already been to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen and want to try a new area or for those with limited vacation time, this Playa Mujeres location is ideal.

     

The minute I stepped on property, I knew that Excellence Group had delivered a solid upscale family friendly all-inclusive experience.  All the details were in place from the stunning grounds to the wide variety of dining choices.  I hadn’t even gotten to see any of the rooms, beach or pool and I was already excited about what I was seeing.  As I walked along the pathways, the oasis of pools and landscaping was beautiful and all fringed by a 2 mile white sand beach.

The accommodations offered on property will fit any family comfortably.  You have your choice of regular junior suites with are nice and spacious and can even come with your own private pool or they have Family Suites which are an excellent choice for families with multiple kids.  This type of suite is hard to find in Mexico or the Caribbean. The family suites at Finest have a bedroom with two individual beds and another room with a King bed, so parents can have their privacy.  Of course the resort also offers luxurious story rooftop suites and an Imperial Suite so you can go as upscale as you like.  They also offer their Finest Club experience which gives you private check in and check out, a private lounge with concierge services, private pool bar, VIP toiletries and upgraded minibar, room service menu and more.

When you are not in your room, your kids can enjoy either the Imagine Kids lounge in the main lobby or the Imagine Kids club conveniently located in a central location where you can drop off your kids while you enjoy some “adult only” time.  The kids club has all kinds of activities and of course a water park where your kids can be supervised while they have a fun time.   In addition to all the kids programs and waterpark, you have 12 swimming pools overall and 4 are heated.  In the center of it all, you have the fun Aqua Bar where you can swim up and sip on a margarita or drink of your choice.

And you won’t be bored at the resort because the list of activities available at Finest goes on and on. They have everything from kayaks, windsurfers and paddle boards, to yoga, cooking lessons, beach volleyball, basketball, bicycles, table tennis and more. Or you can get your daily workout in at the Fitness Center which is equipped with all the latest equipment.   Need I mention the fabulous spa?  They have one and if pampering is what your vacation calls for, no problem!

Another quick mention of the dining options because I really think this is a huge asset for this property.  There are 9 various dining options on property and only one is buffet.  You have everything from Duke’s Lobster & Seafood, a Steakhouse, Italian, French, Mexican and Tapas to the spectacular Shoji which feature oriental flavors from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and China.  Something for everyone, even the pickiest of appetites and Finest can handle dietary restrictions with ease, for example gluten free.

We work with a wide variety of resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico including other upscale family friendly resorts like Beaches Resorts, so please call, request a quote or shoot me an email. We can find the best fit for you and your family and do it at no extra cost!

 

 

 

 

My new favorite adult only all inclusive resort in Mexico


I just can’t keep it a secret!  Secrets Akumal “Adult Only” All Inclusive Resort on the Caribbean side coastline of Mexico is one of my new favorite resorts for couples looking for a vacation sans kids or honeymoon couples looking for a tropical and romantic ambiance.  There are so many things I really like about this special property and  the resort not only compares nicely with other strong resort chains like Excellence, El Dorado’s and even Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean islands, but the location offers some unique and hard to find attributes.

Secrets Akumal opened last year and if you check out the reviews, the secret is starting to get out and everyone is in love with this beautiful resort.   Every detail has been thought of from the infusion of natural elements with modern amenities to the oceanfront infinity pool with the Caribbean as the backdrop, to the serene grounds with walkways and koi ponds throughout the property.  If you want to get away to paradise, look no further.  The charming fishing village of Akumal is just a ten minute walk down the beach if you want to access deep sea fishing or just take in the culture of the area.  Also only 15 minutes away are the Tulum ruins where you can explore and be marveled by the ancient Mayan people and how they lived.

     

Have ever noticed how most All Inclusive resorts in Mexico will say that non-motorized water sports like snorkeling are included, only to find out that means the will lend you a mask and fins so you can snorkel from the beach.  White sand and blue water is pretty, but without a reef system, that is about all you will see.  Secrets Akumal is located on a beautiful white sand protected beach with a large reef system just offshore.  You can actually check out a mask and fins or a glass bottomed kayak and see all kinds of colorful fish and even sea turtles which are known to frequent the reef.   So while you don’t have a snorkel boat that goes out to a reef daily like at the Sandals “couples only” All Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean, you can still enjoy snorkeling just a few flips of your fins away from your beach chair.

And like their other Secrets properties in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta and Costa Rica, Secrets Akumal excels at offering a high level of service, and a nice variety of gourmet dining options.     The resort even comes with a unique beach bar where you can sip on your margarita sitting on your chair swing!  They thought of everything!

I have seen hundreds of resorts in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean and Secrets Akumal is on my top 5 list without question.  Linda and I love it when we find a new favorite or rediscover an old favorite that is back on top again like Sandals South Coast, so call or email us and we will share our knowledge and help you plan your next getaway at no extra cost!

Best places to vacation in Jamaica


Jamaica is a fun destination full of white sand beaches, turquoise water, lively music, tasty jerk chicken and friendly smiles that welcome tourists every year.  The island is full of dozens of all-inclusive resorts which can make choosing the best place to stay over your next vacation very difficult.

If you are a couple looking for a romantic “adult only” or “couples only” all-inclusive ambiance to celebrate a special anniversary with butler service or honeymoon sans kids, we highly recommend starting with looking at one of the seven Sandals Resorts on the island. Sandals has been adding sexy new suites to many of their properties that would make any getaway feel special and they have been including activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and other water sports for years.

Other good choices for this type of ambiance are Secrets Wild Orchid, Hyatt Zilara , Jewel Dunns River or one of the four Couples Resorts on the island. Each resort has something different to offer honeymoon couples and adults seeking an great all inclusive vacation.  For those couples who are looking for a more unique, smaller, upscale feel and quiet atmosphere, The Caves and Jamaica Inn are excellent choices.  If you want activities nearby like golf, swimming with dolphins, ziplines or unique activities to Jamaica like Appleton Rum Estate Tour, Floyd’s Pelican Bar or Rick’s Café, let us know and we will help you select a resort that allows you to easily escape off property and check them off your bucket list.jamaica-kids

For families looking for fun in the sun and Jamaican smiles, it really depends on your budget.  You can have two and three bedroom butler service accommodations and your water activities included at the super all-inclusive Beaches Negril Resort or you can stay close to Montego Bay for a quick family vacation at either the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall or Iberostar properties which are all within 20 minutes of Montego Bay Airport.

Singles who want to have fun and spend time at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, might want to look at two new “adult only” resorts that have recently opened.  Close to Montego Bay and the famous hip strip, Breathless Montego Bay is lively, upscale and modern and Riu Reggae Resort is only one quarter mile from shopping and nightlife.

Wherever you decide to stay, be prepared to come back with a whole new attitude, hooked on Jamaican patties and humming Bob Marley.  Remember in Jamaica, there are “no problems, just situations”.  If you want us to help with your next Jamaica vacation, feel free to call (800) 321-7907 and ask for either Patty or Linda.  We will help make this your best vacation yet….no problem mon!

 

 

 

 

Which Resorts Offer Free Weddings?


Free Weddings Resize

With the cost, stress and hassle of getting married stateside increasing every year, many brides are looking to cut their costs and stress levels and get married in Mexico or the Caribbean.  I can’t say I blame them, as it is pretty hard to turn down a free wedding in tropical paradise!  Yes, I said free.  Sandals Couples Only All Inclusive Resorts which are on the islands of Great Exuma, Nassau, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia and Antigua offer free weddings to couples without having to book a particular room category or stay for 7 nights. There are no room category restrictions at Sandals and the minimum night stay for the free wedding is only 3 nights.

The resorts take care of everything from flower details to decorations etc. and you can customize your own wedding through Sandals Wedding design website.  You will be given a personal wedding coordinator to work with when you first reserve your wedding space and then when you arrive on property, you will also be assigned a personal wedding coordinator who will hold your hand through the entire process and make sure your dream wedding comes true!  Because there are so many Sandals properties and each couple has different things on their wish list and their own budget requirements, we suggest these steps when you start the planning process:

  • Reach out and give us a call (-1-800-321-7907), shoot us a quick email, or Request A Quote on our website. Let us know your dates of travel, budget, originating city if you need help with air, what things are on your wish list and the target budget you would like to stay under.

We will use our experience at the resorts (we have been to all of them and travel to them often) to match up some of the better options given your wish list, time of year you are travelling and budget.

  • Once you have picked the perfect resort for your wedding, we will get you booked and help you reserve your desired wedding date and time. We will put you in touch with your Sandals Wedding consultant and act as your advocate should you need additional assistance in any way.

Your Sandals wedding consultant will set up a planning session and go over all the legal requirements for getting married (varies with each island) and help you get all that in order.  Then they will help you customize your wedding to make your wedding day and details just how you want them.

  • You arrive at the resort, all relaxed and ready for your special day! Your onsite wedding coordinator will take care of everything for you.  No worries!!

It just takes these three easy steps to plan a free destination wedding.  If you have guests, we can set up group codes for your guests as well. If you want something more elaborate than the basic wedding which is included, you can opt for a fancier package or add things to the basic package. Since Sandals are “Couples Only” Resorts, if you have families with children who might want to share in your special day, then Beaches Family All Inclusive Resorts would make an excellent choice and also offer the same free destination weddings as Sandals Resorts.

Other resorts in the Caribbean or Mexico that offer free weddings require at least 7 nights booked in a specific room category or higher in order to receive the complimentary wedding. This is never the entry level room category so you end up spending more money to save money.  Resorts like Secrets “Adult Only” Resorts or Dreams Family Resorts offer this option, so if you had planned on staying in a nicer room category for 7 nights anyway, these resorts are still a good option in addition to Sandals.  Otherwise, most resorts have basic wedding packages that start around $850 USD, but to get a free wedding, take a look at Sandals or family friendly all inclusive Beaches Resorts.  They often run promos that give you a $1000 Weddingmoon credit. So you get the free basic wedding ($500) and an extra $500 that you can use towards specific things related to your wedding/honeymoon. Government fees vary depending on the island, but you can even use part of your Weddingmoon credit towards your government fees at Sandals. Sandals Resorts run promos all the time and we can help you take advantage of any current promo that comes along.  Our job is to work with you to help find the best Sandals Resort for your wedding and provide counsel and guidance throughout the entire process. Free is great, but we also want your special day to be everything you dreamed it would be without stress and worry.

So if you are thinking about the possibility of a destination wedding, give us a call (800-321-7907) or send a quick email.  We have three Sandals Specialists in the office and we all work with weddings all the time.  We do not charge any additional fees to use our services and we would be both happy and honored to help plan your special day.

 

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