29 Jan Fun in the sun with Sandals
Recently we were heading out to the Caribbean with Sandals Resorts to see what the islands of Antigua and St Lucia had to offer groups. Admittedly if you’re organising groups you may not think of Sandals as your first stop as a resort but what I came away with is that you should. Known for hosting couples and honeymooners it may not be your first thought for incentives but with the level of service and standard of rooms and restaurants, the aim of this trip was to change the perception and it did just that.
Antigua is a beautiful island. From the moment we touched down we couldn’t have received a warmer welcome. What was very apparent was that the people of Antigua are very proud of their island and they’re genuinely excited for you to be there. Our taxi driver to Sandals Grande Antigua gave us the most memorable journey for all the right reasons ensuring that we were excited to arrive at the resort, and the property didn’t disappoint.
Greeted with a smile, a cold towel and a glass of bubbles we were explained the concept of the resort and what was available to us. With two accommodation blocks on site, we were staying in the ‘Mediterranean block’ with stunning views across the pool and out to the sea. The rooms here were spacious with fantastic amenities, with the ability to choose what gets put in your own minibar so that everything is to your taste. The facilities on site you really couldn’t fault, with an excellent pool area, beach, spa and brilliantly equipped gym. Something to appeal to everyone here! There are also water sports available from the hotel and we took the sunset cruise that left directly from the beach to see a little more of the island and take in the stunning scenery, washed down with a rum punch! The restaurants on site were excellent catering to all dietaries and the grounds were beautiful, lending themselves to receptions and dinners for groups of all size. What really made the property stand out here was the staff. From Matthew the GM, right through to sales, waitstaff and housekeeping we all felt sure that no request would be too much and that anything was possible if you needed something.
From Antigua we took an hour’s flight to St Lucia – an island of true beauty! There are three Sandals properties in St Lucia and we stayed at the Sandals Grande St Lucian just a 15-minute transfer from the domestic airport. This resort really wows you right from entering the property with its luxurious lobby set high up overlooking the grounds and its stunning pool. I was lucky enough to stay in a Rondoval Butler Suite with my own private pool which is truly the most spectacular room I’ve had the pleasure of staying in… anywhere! Again, when dining here there are many options. We sampled the cuisine in Gordon’s Pier Restaurant as well as Bombay Club and it has to be said we also sampled a beverage or two in the ‘Olde London Pub’. With a day excursion out on a catamaran to take in the spectacular views of the famous Pitons and an unforgettable trip to the Sulphur Springs, memories were created that are never going to be forgotten.
All this was done in 5 days, proving that long haul incentives can be done in a short time without feeling the trip has flown by too quick. With the perception of Sandals changed, I now can’t wait to suggest it for a group and would be more than happy to accompany them and show them what the Caribbean has to offer!