Beach Bum News
Beach Bum News

Category Archives: Bahamas

Beach Bum Vacation Honored at Prestigious Sandals Resorts S.T.A.R. Awards

Sandals Resorts has recently recognized Beach Bum Vacation for their outstanding achievement by Sandals Resorts at the 11th Annual Travel Agency Recognition S.T.A.R Awards held recently at the elegant Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, Nassau, Bahamas.

This prestigious event honoring travel agents from across the U.S., Canada and Latin American and recognized top travel agencies for not only their exemplary sales performance and marketing expertise but for their commitment to using their extensive product knowledge of the world’s best Luxury Included® resorts in creating dream vacations for their clients.

Beach Bum Vacation’s awards included:  Best of the Best, Top Suite Concierge, Top Producing Sandals Agency, & the prestigious Chairman’s Award appointed to Founder & President/CEO of Beach Bum Vacations: Hayley Whorrall.

“Each one of our resorts is unique and offers more quality inclusions than any resort on the planet – from luxurious suites with exclusive butler service, to 17 dining options per resort, to unlimited land and water sports – even golf’,” says Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts.  “A Certified Sandals Specialist and a Preferred Sandals Agency is specially trained and qualified to best recommend the resort that is perfect for you.”

Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, honeymoon, romantic getaway or a family vacation at Beaches Resorts, Beach Bum Vacation has all the latest information on developments and services at Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.

Beach Bum Vacation specializes in Caribbean vacations, honeymoons, family reunions, corporate incentive travel, & destination weddings.  Beach Bum Vacation is based out of Fishers, IN but operates nationwide, 7 days a weekPlease call 317-577-7775 or toll free 1-877-943-8282 to find out more about Sandals & Beaches Resorts. www.BeachBumVacation.com

Beach Bum Cares visits the Bahamas AIDS Foundation

By: Beach Bum Nanda

Agents of Beach Bum Vacation and philanthropic volunteers launched Beach Bum Cares about two years ago in a mission to provide children & their families aid, relief, & educational supplies.  While traveling, we always make an effort to visit a school, orphanage or other institution in need. During our latest trip to the Bahamas at the beginning of September we had the opportunity to team up with the Sandals Foundation and visit the Bahamas AIDS Foundation in Nassau.

For two and a half years the Bahamas AIDS Foundation has been offering a program which provides assistance to pre-teens, adolescents and their families whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.  Currently, they are working with 30 students and by extension their families for a reach of over 100 people.  Their program ensures medical adherence, improvement in school attendance and GPA and a better quality of life inclusive of goal setting and attainment.

The outreach program does not have a graduation period, however as students progress from one grade level to the next, the dynamics of support they receive from the program may change.  For example, students begin receiving help with grade level subjects and progress to assistance with national examinations, work skills and training inclusive of interviewing techniques, completing job applications and adhering to dress codes.

On September 4th we arranged a back to school party where we served lunch, donated supplies and played fun games :)  We donated school and teaching supplies including a laptop which came just in time as the one they were using had just broken, medical supplies (this is always important as it’s so expensive on the islands) and of course we brought candy!  The kids were so excited for the gum and would playfully fight over it.  We know to bring more next time!

With 24 agents contributing, the amount of supplies we were able to donate was quite overwhelming, totaling over $700.00 in value!

It’s a blessing to be able to give back and make these visits a part of our travels. With combined efforts we know we can make a tremendous difference in so many lives. Seeing the joy that such simple gifts brought to those children is something we won’t soon forget.

We’d love your help in raising funds to provide aid, relief and educational supplies to our partner schools or organizations!  If you are interested in participating in a donation trip while you are traveling please let us know and we can help you set it up!

It is a unique and fantastic opportunity for Beach Bum Vacation to give back to the communities that provide our clients and us amazing destinations to visit.

 

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

Beach Bums Experience James Bond 007 Thunderball Tour Great Exuma, Bahamas

By: Beach Bum Rachel

Visiting Great Exuma is the type of experience you could never duplicate anywhere else.  Bahamians light up when describing the electric blue, deep turquoise and crystal clear waters surrounding the 365 islands and cays.  The beauty of Great Exuma attracts travelers from all across the globe as the landscape is not just to be seen, but experienced as well.

The locals will tell you, anyone making a visit to their highly esteemed island must take in the James Bond 007 Thunderball Tour.  Operated by Exuma Water Sports, the James Bond 007 Thunderball Tour is “one of the world’s most spectacular tours” allowing adventurous visitors to experience the beauty and hidden secrets of 150 islands and cays stretching from Great Exuma to Compass Cay.  As destination experts, your Beach Bum Vacation team knew this was an experience not to be missed.  The morning started out on an up beat, everyone stirring with excitement as we boarded the 35 foot, 600 HP sea rocket and took off on what we knew would be an experience of a lifetime.

Captain Ray Lightbourn along with his first mate and son, Justin were the perfect hosts.  We’d be flying through the islands and come to a quick stop so they could point out a site of interest we’d never have picked up ourselves – a sunken plane visible through the turquoise waters here, a celebrity home there, the last lighthouse in the Bahamas and at one point Justin dove off the boat to grab a starfish resting just 10 feet below on the ocean floor for us all to see.  Not only do they know the sites but they explain the significance of the landmarks which helped us all to better understand and appreciate the island history.

After an exhilarating ride and site seeing tour, it was time to get to the action.  We started by pulling up to what seemed like an uninhabited island but as soon as we hit the shore, iguanas started descending from the hills knowing we were waiting for them with delicious grape kabobs.  The friendly lizards were all too happy to entertain us by dancing and smiling for our cameras.

Among the next few stops was one of our favorites.  The famous Swimming Pigs were just as anxious to see us as we were to see them.  They paddled their way out to the boat and we jumped in for a swim with them.  While we were having fun, these pigs were on a mission to eat as many rolls and turkey dogs we could feed them.  As soon as our supply was out, they ditched us for shore, and we were off to our next exciting adventure.

The James Bond 007 Thunderball tour has attracted the attention of celebrities and national media crews looking to see one of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean, the Thunderball Grotto.  As the ‘headlining act’ of the tour, we were excited to slip our fins on and dive in and see what all the hype was about.  After a quick lesson on navigating through and under the rock walls, we swam with ease into the Thunderball Grotto.  The most amazing rush of tropical fish surround you as you enter into the cave, and taking a rest on the inside walls allows you to marvel at the hidden cove of sea life inside the rock.  Ducking through the passages makes you feel as adventurous as James Bond himself!  After all, it is the location where the fight scene between James Bond (Sean Connery) and the SPECTRE henchmen was filmed in the 1965 classic Thunderball!

Throughout the day we enjoyed cruising along with plenty of refreshments, fresh pineapple slices and coconut cookies.  For lunch we stopped at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and sampled their fresh specials including conch fritters, the mahi mahi sandwich and of course, the Goombay Smash!  The day would have not have been complete without a sweet ending of home-made rum cake on a secluded sandbar out in the middle of the ocean.  All in all it was a delicious, adventurous, beautiful day every beach bum should experience!

After living on Caribbean and Mariana islands as well as traveling extensively abroad, Beach Bum clients Melissa and Rick agree that the tour was the best they’ve ever experienced.

“Our Beach Bum, Robert, recommended that we take the 007 Thunderall Tour during our trip to Exuma to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  Let me just say it was the highlight of our trip.  We took lots of pictures and I display them on a digital picture frame in my office.  People always ask about the “swimming pigs” and laugh when they see it!  It is a tour that I also recommend and when I tell them about all the activities and experiences they are amazed.   The beauty of the ocean and abundance of sea life leaves a lasting impression and wonderful memory to cherish for a lifetime.  This has been one of my best days ever!!!!!  I want to go again!”

Don’t just take our word for it, put it on your bucket list and contact your Beach Bum about planning your own trip of a lifetime to Great Exuma.  It’s much closer than you might think!

Be sure to check out Exuma Water Sports on Facebook!

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!

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