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Category Archives: All Inclusive Resorts

The Royal Treatment at Sandals Royal Bahamian

By: Beach Bum Rachel

It’s that time of year.  The weather is dipping into cooler temps, the summer routines have faded away and Starbucks has brought back their benchmark fall drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  While many welcome the crisp, crunchy, cold joy of fall I slip into a tropical depression longing for another warm day at one of the Caribbean’s best all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Royal Bahamian.

It’s hard to believe that the tropical paradise of Nassau’s Cable Beach is so close.  Located less than 200 miles off the coast of Florida, getting there is a breeze.  And, once you arrive it’s just a short 10 minute ride from the airport to the resort!  It’s incredibly convenient and perfect for a quick (or long) getaway.

From the moment you arrive under the porte cochere at Sandals Royal Bahamian you know you’re in a different world.  Flowing fountains and friendly faces welcome you to your new home and haven to relax, revive and rejuvenate.  With ten restaurants, eight bars, six pristine pools, two white sand beaches with amazingly turquoise waters and a private island with it’s own pool, swim up bar, restaurant, spa and beach it’s the perfect retreat.  When you’re in the mood to socialize, the Windsor pool is the place to be but if you’re just looking to float around in a quiet atmosphere, the Balmoral pool is the spot for you.  It’s the perfect mix of unwinding and lively ambiances.

Sandals Royal Bahamian has perfected their selection of restaurants – from traditional Bahamian favorites at Café Goombay to Japanese Teppanyaki at Kimono’s there is delectable cuisine for every taste.  For breakfast, Baccarat Restaurant is not to be missed and I highly recommend the citrus French toast and vanilla waffles!  When I say highly recommend, I mean eat them more than once during your stay.  You won’t regret it.

For lunch or dinner, another favorite place to take a break from the sun and grab a bite to eat at is Café Goombay.  Just a 3 minute boat ride to the private island, Sandals Cay, you can enjoy island specialties such as conch fritters and canjun, creole and jerk dishes while looking out onto the captivating turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and sipping a Kalik.  It’s island living at it’s best.

At Sandals Cay, you’ll find more than a great meal.  On the backside of the island sits a peaceful beach with beautiful cabana beds, beach lounge chairs and thatched roof umbrellas allowing guests to spread out and enjoy their exclusive view.  If you’re into seeing what’s beneath the surface, grab a mask and snorkel at the watersports hut before you head over because it’s an excellent spot to see tropical wildlife.

The View of Sandals Cay from Sandals Royal Bahamian

Possibly the most amazing aspect of Sandals Cay is the opportunity to have a beachfront massage under the palms in the remote Red Lane Spa on the island.  The natural landscape, secluded location and spa treatments are the perfect way to reenergize.

Sandals Royal Bahamian takes pride in the royal treatment it provides each guest.  As the Balmoral Club in the 1940’s, the resort hosted many European dignitaries such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  The Manor Bar and Piano Lounge are adorned with photos, newspaper articles and personal letters from the royals who’ve visited in the past.  For anyone looking for the same royal treatment, Sandals Royal Bahamian offers Butler rooms complete with a personal butler trained by the Guild of English Butlers, complimentary VIP airport transportation in a Rolls Royce or Mercedes Benz, 24-hour room service and reservations at the exclusive Gordon’s on the Pier restaurant.  As our clients can attest to, once you go butler, you never go back!

As the fall and winter months approach, there’s no better time to plan and save on an end of the year getaway.  Contact your Beach Bum about an amazing Beach Bum Vacation to Sandals Royal Bahamian!  Also, don’t forget to like the Beach Bum Vacation Facebook page and keep a lookout for our Starbucks giveaways for the ultimate Pumpkin Spice Latte hookup.

Your Royal Seat in the Misting Pool

Visit Beach Bum Vacation on YouTube for a tour of Sandals Royal Bahamian at

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2eOS6pbxLY&feature=plcp

Wedding Talk: Unique Ceremony Locations

By: Beach Bum Marcie

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The Beach Bums have been assisting and recommending great destination wedding locations to couples for over 12 years now…and what we have found is the trends are ever-changing.  In order to keep up with the shift in fashion, we continually visit and share with our preferred resorts what it is our client is looking for right now.  We spend time exploring new properties and destinations, checking out the latest options for you, our client, to ensure we can offer exactly what it is that you envision for the most important day of your life!

Destination weddings are up 400% since the early 2000s, as couples are finding that they want something less expensive, less traditional and to take it a step further, more unique.  However, as with any rise in popularity, the simple beach background becomes less exciting to some couples who picture themselves in the sun.  We speak to many brides and grooms who are now craving something new and distinctive.  Brides are wearing more formal gowns and wanting to sport their special wedding stilettos, which (let’s face it, girls!) don’t work so well in soft white sand!  Not only that, but the idea that people are eloping is becoming much less popular!  We find that most couples bring many guests who they would like to accommodate and the beach is not always the right choice for everyone.

As the needs for couples change, many of our favorite resorts are offering a refreshing take on their wedding location options and we could not be more excited to share the stand outs!

Top 5 Most Unique Beach Bum Vacation Wedding Locations

Sandals Resorts offers at least three locations per resort to choose from for your wedding ceremony from idyllic hilltops to gazebos overlooking the water on three sides to lush garden areas providing privacy and simplicity.  But one of our personal favorite locations is the poolside gazebo with beach and ocean views at Sandals Emerald Bay in beautiful Great Exuma, Bahamas.  Not only is this island the “Bora Bora of the Caribbean,” and by far, one of our top sellers in terms of “unqiue,” but the wedding gazebo provides everything a couple could ask for in a perfect wedding backdrop to recite their lifelong commitment to each other.  The reflecting pool and garden area delivers privacy, intimacy and romance without being right on the sand giving the couple everything they need in elegance and luxury for the unforgettable union of two surrounded by friends and family.

In beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico, Azul Beach Hotel and Azul Sensatori Hotel introduced the fabulous rooftop sky terrace location for couples interested in a perfectly private experience.  We cannot quite describe the sights you see from the highest building on each resort, which offers unobstructed views of the crisp blue Caribbean Sea boasting shades of turquoise for miles and miles!  Not only that, but the area is completely intimate away from other guests with breezes coming off the ocean and endless options for decoration to turn a blank slate into your wedding dream!  Decorate the gazebo with sheets of fabric in your wedding colors that blow in the wind behind you or leave it in its simple white glory, so the two of you are the spotlight.  The “sky” is truly the limit with these incredible rooftop locations.

Have you ever envisioned yourself on your own deserted island getting married with no one around except those nearest and dearest to you?  Well…your dream can easily become reality at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where they offer an unbelievable private island location option to host your wedding and reception, creating an unforgettable experience like no other!  The island becomes your own escape with no other guests but you and your wedding group.  It rests lazily just off the coast giving couples an opportunity to host their big day by transferring their friends and family via a unique watercraft off the mainland to the beautiful intimate beach or garden area within the island to witness their nuptials.  Once the island is rented, it is yours for the evening to host cocktail functions and an awesome reception for memories that expand beyond just saying, “I do”.

In stunning Cancun, Mexico on a stretch of beach that is to die for is beautiful family-friendly Gran Caribe Real and exquisite adults-only The Royal Cancun by Real Resorts.  These two properties offer an amazing oceanfront wedding chapel that is truly one of a kind, with glass walls that allow for a 180 degree view of the incredible azul sea and stunning white beach that runs along the east coast of this bustling tourist town.  The windows of the chapel are like a view into the couple’s soul, creating spectacular lighting and plenty of seating for larger wedding parties, as well as, offering Catholic couples the best of both worlds – a Catholic chapel with unforgettable sounds of the ocean waves as the background music to their romantic day.  How could a guest forget the reciting of the vows from their perfect pew with a gorgeous view?

There is something special about St. Lucia, wouldn’t you agree?  The “Hawaii of the Caribbean” got its name because of the insane landscape that ranges from stunning beaches to idyllic volcanoes!  This gorgeous country in southeast Caribbean has incredible weather all year round and has many options for a romantic wedding in the sun.  Sandals La Toc in Castries boasts two unique wedding locations that should not be overlooked when shopping for a beach-free locale.  Their cliff top verandah with its dark wooden deck and fantastic views is a great place for a small intimate experience at sunset, where guests can enjoy the nuptials and the incredible backdrop of the Caribbean Sea! But not only that, Sandals La Toc offers an amazing hillside deck with endless vistas for the perfect scene for your perfect day.  The height of romance is offered with the rolling hillsides serving as the extraordinary background creating fond memories for a lifetime.

The beach is lovely and perfect for relaxing but when it comes to getting married away it’s not for everyone.  Luckily there are NO LIMITS to having your destination wedding and we can help match you up with the ideal spot for the two of you!  With so many unique choices out there, hook up with your favorite Beach Bum for a free wedding consultation to find your dream location and let’s get started making your wedding dreams come true today! Also be sure to check out out Destination Weddings by Beach Bum Vacation on Facebook for more insider tips!

Don’t Leave Out the Honeymoon

July 20th, 2012 | By sarah | Posted in All Inclusive Resorts, Beach Bum Vacation, Honeymoons | Leave a comment

By: Beach Bum Sarah

You are planning the wedding of your dreams and your reward at the end is an incredible honeymoon in paradise with the love of your life. If planned well, it will be relaxing and well worth the wait! Often times though the honeymoon gets overshadowed by all of the wedding plans and gets bumped to the bottom of the list. It’s a shame, because the honeymoon is the icing on the cake. The time you get to first spend together as a couple, relaxing, celebrating, creating memories and sharing an experience to last a lifetime!  Beach Bum Vacation is sharing the keys to honeymoon success!

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Start Planning Early
Reach out to your favorite Beach Bum Travel Concierge to start the laid back honeymoon planning process! We have years of knowledge and firsthand travel experience under our belt and will be able to guide you all the way to the beach (or down the sandy aisle if you decide a destination wedding is for you). We have a tried and true process that we walk brides and grooms through to ensure we are matching you up with the best destination & resort for your personality and what you hope to experience. Your Beach Bum will help you uncover what type of activities (or none at all- whatever your heart desires) you would like to experience on your dream honeymoon. One simple step and you’ll be well on your way to honeymooning in paradise! By starting early you will ensure you get the best value, first pick on flights, and room availability. Waiting until the last minute does not mean you will get a “deal” and your honeymoon is not something you want to leave to chance. Make it a priority and connect with your favorite Beach Bum early. Doesn’t every bride enjoy checking things off her wedding to-do list?

Don’t Skimp on Accommodations
“The room doesn’t really matter to us, we don’t plan to be in there much.” We hear this from brides and grooms on a regular basis. The Beach Bums beg to differ. You will indeed spend time in your room. You just pulled off the wedding of your dreams and will be exhausted and ready for some rest and relaxation. This is your time to enjoy one another and not lift a finger for a week before you have to return to the daily grind. Room service offering you breakfast in bed, a swim up suite, a jacuzzi tub, nice balcony, stunning view of the ocean, maybe even your own personal Butler are all things that you may not think make a big difference but they do. You want to have are room that feels like a true escape, a retreat where you will enjoy being pampered. Trust your Beach Bum Travel Concierge and listen to his or her recommendations, the room matters.

Don’t Compromise
Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience. It truly sets the stage for what’s to come. Make it a priority to budget $4k and up from there depending on the experience you want to create. Often times the difference of a mere $500 can make a world of difference in your overall experience. Don’t sacrifice your honeymoon and definitely don’t skip the honeymoon in the wedding budget. It’s a crucial part that needs to be accounted for from the beginning. This is your time to really relax and rejuvenate after all of the stress and planning that goes into a wedding. It’s your first time to be husband and wife before returning to reality. Let’s put it this way, will you remember your wedding flowers or rather the lasting memories you create on your honeymoon? I’m going with the memories and trust me, they will be special and unique memories to hold near and dear to your heart forever.

Enhance Your Experience
Take your honeymoon to the next level by enhancing it with special features such as a personal Butler to tend to your needs and wait on you hand and foot. Book an amazing excursion such as a Zipline Canopy Tour through the jungle for the adventurous at heart. Turn up the romance with a private beachfront candlelight dinner for two. Add in a helicopter transfer (and better yet, surprise your new bride) and experience the island from the sky upon arrival. Truly majestic! Pre-book a couples Beachfront Sky Massage overlooking the water under a thatched roof bungalow. It’s the little things that enhance your experience and make it special. Do you want an average honeymoon experience or a unique one that stands out from the rest making it a truly unique honeymoon experience from start to finish?

It’s important that your honeymoon experience is what you really want it to be. Life is short, don’t compromise. Let us help guide and support you all the way to the beach! Congrats and here’s to successful honeymoon planning with your favorite Beach Bum on your side!

Wedding Talk: The Worry-Free Wedding

By: Beach Bum Marcie

Destination Weddings are one of the hottest trends in the travel industry right now. It can be a stress-free, fun, romantic, laid back atmosphere for planning the wedding of your dreams when you carefully choose the right professionals and resort to work with. Destination wedding couples come with an array of wants, needs, and often, envision their perfection in such a simple form – the two of them, their friends/family members and the beach.  No fuss.  So many couples will say that they just want to enjoy their experience and not worry.  They don’t want the stress that often accompanies hosting a function in their hometown, with oversized guest lists, choosing vendors and researching venues.

Beach Bum Vacation Wedding Specialists have taken the stress out of the research side by matching our clients up to the perfect resort for their wedding experience, and lucky for us, Sandals and Beaches have really taken the worry out of the wedding planning!  We are so excited to be partnered with Sandals and Beaches to tell you all about “Your Wedding. Your Style,” which simply means – NO WORRIES, MON!

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Giving couples the choice between trendy Customizable Themes in the latest beautiful colors and Martha Stewart’s stunning pre-designed packages allows the couple to decide what works best for them!  But not only that, it is so easy to legally get married at Sandals and Beaches, with simple, easy paperwork, inexpensive government fees and minimal residency requirements. They will ensure all the details, legalities and worry are removed by working with us to manage your time-line, guest list and what extras would work best within your budget!

Mostly, we are so happy to share that they are listening to the needs of the Millennial Bride, allowing them around the clock access to their wedding details and providing constant wedding coordinator care to pre-plan every detail before heading to warmer climates.

The days of cookie-cutter wedding choices from Sandals and Beaches is gone, with the new Wedding Designer, which allows couples to build their dream wedding online with multiple color options, floral arrangements, photography packages and so much more.  With the ease and simplicity of clicking your choices for a very relaxing wedding planning experience, it takes planning to an all new level and is easily accessible 24/7! You truly get the opportunity to design your custom wedding package to reflect your own personal style!

Nadine Dennis, Sandals and Beaches Wedding Manager, was asked why she believes Sandals and Beaches is the best option for a “no worries” experience and this is what she had to say: Our weddings provide a  worry free experience, so that brides and grooms can focus on what matters most – each other! We find that our weddings are worry free because we have created a seamless planning process for the bride and groom, providing and sourcing all of the services needed to create a dream wedding at each resort.  Our properties offer the most magnificent backdrops, whether it’s a beach wedding or intimate garden wedding giving so many easy options to each couple.”

The Beach Bum Certified Travel Concierge Wedding Specialists could not agree more!  After spending four luxurious days last month becoming Certified Sandals Wedding Specialists (on location in Jamaica where the sun is always shining and the water is refreshing), the Beach Bum team saw firsthand how Sandals and Beaches Dream Makers are truly creating memories to last a lifetime for their destination wedding couples.

The new Customizable Wedding option is so special creating multiple color palettes with the favorites of couples today!  They realize that providing this option to create your own vision is truly where the Millennial Bride envisions herself and that no two weddings should ever be the same!  Nadine went on to tell us The items featured on our website provide ‘inspiration.’ But with the Wedding Designer, couples can share their own ideas with us, and we would be happy to work within our resources to make it a reality.”

“Your Wedding. Your Style” is truly just the beginning and the sky is the limit for creating beautiful wedding day memories!  Beach Bum Vacation Wedding Specialists and Sandals and Beaches can help make your dreams come true as well by customizing, not only your wedding experience, but your overall resort experience by matching you and your family up to a resort that best fits what you are looking for in an amazing experience!  We want you to enjoy wedding planning, choosing the details and this time before you walk down the aisle.   We would love to take you through our “no worries” step by step process to ensure that you have all the knowledge you need to make the best decision for you!  Come with us, as we take the worry away!

Beach Bum Tells All: Sandals Emerald Bay

By: Beach Bum Hayley

Calling all Beach Bums! News Flash: we’ve discovered the Bora Bora of the Caribbean! Exuma, Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay Resort & Spa where the only thing missing is over water bungalows (don’t think we didn’t put it in the suggestion box! 😉 ). The one mile stretch of pristine powder white sand beach snuggles up to the most sparkling turquoise blue ocean I’ve ever seen!  Zero beach solicitation, no crowds, no commercialization, a true tranquil, exquisite Paradise where service is second to none!

Located a very quick flight from Ft Lauderdale, Miami, or Atlanta (nonstop from Toronto, Canada also) Sandals Emerald Bay is a short 10 minute shuttle from the airport, which coincidentally looks like someone’s home, too cute! Just love the charm & simplicity Exuma exudes, not to mention the overly accommodating, friendly people who are obvious products of their Heaven-haven 80 degree year round temperature surroundings. It’s no wonder celebrities like Johnny Depp, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, & David Copperfield have homes on the island! Spot the celebs’ oceanside mansions on the awesome “007 Thunderball Tour” available through your Beach Bum Travel Concierge via Island Routes Tour Co. A must do during your chilaxation on Exuma at Sandals Emerald Bay.

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Opened in January 2010, Sandals Emerald Bay is the newest of Mr. Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s collection. I daren’t say that it’s also the one he’s most proud of by the ear to ear smile that comes across his face when talking about it & rightfully so!  In 2011 Sandals Emerald Bay was voted Best Honeymoon Caribbean Resort by Bride’s Magazine. It is also the recipient of Travel Weekly’s 2010 Magellan Gold Award for Golf Course Design (a stunning 18 hole beauty designed by Greg Norman). The World Travel Awards voted Sandals Emerald Bay the Bahamas’ Leading Spa Resort, and it’s Red Lane Spa has earned the Six Star Diamond Award!

Speaking of awards, during our stay at Sandals Emerald Bay General Manager, Jeremy Mutton, presented Beach Bum Vacation with an Appreciation Award! Thank you Mr. Mutton, you & your staff’s hospitality was second to none. A+

Sandals Emerald Bay is perfect for couples. Looking to celebrate a new marriage or rejoice in a milestone, it truly is romantic, luxury, relaxation, secluded with everything included. It features two fresh water pools, including the Caribbean’s largest zero-entry pool with a fire pit in the center.  There are couches, chairs, poolside cabanas with misters, and tables in the pool so you may lounge around in comfort. There are 6 delightful dining options including Il Cielo (Italian), La Parisienne (French), Bahama Bay (Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican or Italian flares throughout the week), Dino’s (Pizzeria, Pasta, Stromboli), Drunken Duck (British Pub), Barefoot by the Sea (Local Specialty), & Café De Paris (Patisserie). Let’s not forget, every suite includes 24 hr room service!

While it is a more quiet resort, there is still plenty of action. At Sandals, all-inclusive really means just that! Complimentary to all the guests are dance lessons, introductory golf and tennis lessons, live music, jazz performances and piano sing-alongs. If water sports are what you’re seeking; kayaks, windsurfing, hobie cat sail, snorkeling, scuba diving, or take out a paddle boat, all included. Social events such as White Nights, Opera Singers,  Beach Parties, & Chocolate Late Night Buffets also keep you entertained.

One of my favorite experiences here at Sandals Emerald Bay was touring the golf course. Greg Norman designed this 7001 yard, par 72 Championship course, which features 6 Signature Oceanside holes. To me, that means nothing because I’m not a golfer, but trust me when I tell you that this course MUST be experienced. The beauty of the contrast between the green fairways and the turquoise waters, the peacefulness of the waves crashing against the rocky shore…WOW! A great place for a photo opp!

Sandals Emerald Bay is truly a luxury property in every sense of the word. Each room comes with personal Concierge service, and if you stay in a One Bedroom or more, you will get your own professionally-trained Butler, who will take note of all of your preferences and make sure you are always refreshed with a drink and stocked with everything you need to enjoy your vacation or honeymoon experience to the maximum. Stephen was our butler, he was absolutely AMAZING! Check out our phenomenal Prime Minister Beach Front One Bedroom Villa Suite, WOW!

BEACH BUM’S HIDDEN FINDS IN EXUMA: Check out Chat “n” Chill – a relaxing hang out on its own island just a short ferry ride from downtown Georgetown. Feed the friendly stingrays right from knee deep transparent waters, drink a delightful Goombay Smash or 2 😉 while relaxing under a palm tree, try the most amazing conch salad prepared by AJ right in front of you, or do absolutely nothing at all! Tell KB the Beach Bums sent you.

Catch A Fire Restaurant & Bar, offering an amazing ambiance Wed and Sat evenings for the most beautiful sunsets, musical entertainment, & the best curried lobster! Tell Tony & Neville the Beach Bums sent you.

Contact your favorite Beach Bum Travel Concierge today to get started planning your ultimate luxury getaway to Sandals Emerald Bay! We can’t wait to help guide and support you all the way to Great Exuma!

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