Tag: Resorts

Social Distancing Is Always A Luxury At Sandals Resorts | Sandals

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

Yes, Sandals has taken safety measures to another level. But take a long look and you’ll notice that the qualities travelers crave more than ever have actually been at these resorts all along.


Image: The pristine Sandals Grande Antigua Resort, providing the space you need, with the luxurious all-inclusive privacy you want.

Just before midnight, the navigation lights on American Airlines flight #2405 could be seen descending onto the island of Antigua. The landing of the plane at V.C. Bird International Airport carried so much significance on this night that local television showed the event. Matthew Cornall, General Manager of Sandals Grande Antigua, was among those watching.

“It’s difficult to put into words the emotions,” says Cornall, who had gathered dozens of his team members around a TV. “When I looked around, I saw tears in their eyes.”

The arrival of the commercial flight meant Sandals Grande Antigua would be the first of 15 Sandals All-inclusive Resorts to re-open to travelers since COVID-19 forced the world economy to shut down in mid-March. Given a panoramic view of the property, you’d never know it had been closed. In the stillness of the previous 10 weeks, crews kept the landscaping and pools in their Instagram poses — a constant state of readiness, same as the resort team.

Sandals-Grande-Antigua-Beach
Image: Beach huts adorned in the sand make for the perfect seaside napping spot.

“Do you hear that?” Cornall asks about the sounds in the background. “The laughter and the singing? That’s who we’ll always be. We’re a team and… I don’t want to overstate this… we really are family.”

The environment is casual and warm. It’s as normal as normal can possibly be, given the protective masks and gloves worn by team members, reminders of the headlines that say: “Travel will never be the same.” True. You can’t turn a corner at any Sandals resort without passing a hand-sanitizer dispenser or seeing someone wiping down touch points every 15-30 minutes, whether the points have been touched or not.

But before diving deep into the “never the sames,” Cornall wants to stress something else that is just as important at all Sandals properties:
“For us, some things will always be the same.”

Sandals-Grande-Antigua-Long-Beach
Image: The Sandals Grande Antigua resort is situated on Dickenson Bay’s longest stretch of white sand beach.

A Wide-Open Perspective

Cornall walks more than ever. He says “Good morning… Good morning… Good morning” as he passes team members; many responsible for sanitizing air ducts every time guests depart a suite and using black lights on surfaces to make sure there are no stray imperfections.

He stops at the elevator and allows two people to take the next ride. “One couple at a time,” he says politely. When he arrives at the third floor, he steps onto the landing and stops again.

“I think we’ve all learned to be less hurried and more aware of our surroundings,” he says.

Sandals-resort-pool
Image: Built for romance and relaxation, the Mediterranean Village Pool is just one of 6 captivating freshwater pools at Sandals Grande Antigua and home to Sandals’ iconic swim-up pool bar.

From where he stands, your eyes can follow one couple strolling along an extra-wide path of pavers toward a humongous pool and beyond that to a perfectly blue sky and an even bluer sea. All of it merging into a space that’s spectacularly infinite. The view itself is just as it’s always been, but the perspective might “never be the same” because doesn’t everyone crave space more than ever?

“Six months ago, couples would pause here and say ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ for maybe half a minute,” says Cornall. “Now it’s five minutes. They just stare and breathe it all in.”

Sandals-beach-front-suite
Image: Feel the Caribbean’s ocean breeze from your own private balcony overlooking the idyllic sea at Sandals Grande Antigua.

With that comment he’s awakened perhaps the most ominous concern for travelers: breathing used air. Which must explain why one couple after another pauses in spots like this. Allowing the Caribbean sunshine to melt away the concern. The constant trade winds disintegrating whatever’s left. Taking time to breathe.

“Honestly, I felt more safe at the resort than I do in my hometown,” says Joanna Baumann, who traveled to Sandals Grande Antigua with her husband, Andrew, in June to celebrate their wedding anniversary. “The staff made us feel more protected than ever, but at the same time we didn’t lose that relaxed Sandals vibe.”

The open views, open minds, and open spaces are not just phenomena on the 3rd-story balcony in Antigua. What’s true here is also true where couples breathe 1,000 miles away, all the way to Sandals’ home island of Jamaica.

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Image: The romantic Sandals South Coast Over-the-Water Bungalows, perfect for privacy and seclusion.

The long swath of sand framing the western side of Sandals South Coast in Jamaica is still cool under the feet at 8:30 a.m. Secluded as the beach is, the overwater suites at the end of a long boardwalk are as visible-yet-distant as the moon. It’s impossible to tell if anyone is home out there, where the sea breeze flows over the outdoor soaking tubs and eventually into the open-air restaurants along the beach. These “always the sames” — the seclusion, the breeze, the tropical air — are just as disinfecting as the stringent protocols found in the thick handbook on Sandals’ Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness.

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Image: As part of the Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness, all team members wear protective face gear and can be seen smiling through their warming eyes.

We have dedicated inspection teams at each resort that follow the strictest guidance from medical professionals, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the local Ministries of Health in each country we call home,” says Sandals Resorts’ Founder and Chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart.

Sandals-Resorts-Cleaning-Protocols
Image: Sandals has always adhered to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety protocols, and now with additional measures in place, guests can have peace of mind when enjoying their romantic escape in the Caribbean.

Among the hundreds of details: The water in the pools is checked every hour. Every surfacedoor handles to coffee makers — is inspected at least three times a day. Bar stools and tables are pulled farther apart. Dive gear is immediately stored in sanitization solution. The spraying and wiping are continuous, as is the presence of the black light.

But perhaps the most effective “protocol” is one that’s been in place for decades:
Our commitment to romance. To us it has always been synonymous with seclusion… luxury… privacy” Stewart continued.

Beach huts adorned in the sand make for the perfect seaside napping spot.
Image: Couples enjoying personal beach cabanas, because love has always required privacy and seclusion – a concept that Sandals Resorts has built its brand on since the very beginning.

Another term comes to mind: Social distancing. Look again at the overwater villas, alone over the Caribbean Sea. Or the Rondoval Suites spaced along the beach in St. Lucia. Or the skypool suites reachable only by a wind-blown feather in Grenada. “Social distancing” might be new to the everyday language, but it isn’t a new concept at these resorts.

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Image: A Sandals Grenada Skypool suite, so private that a breathtaking view and swim are only as far your balcony.

“Actually, we’ve never felt like we’re in a crowd at Sandals,” says Baumann. “It’s as exclusive as we want it to be, but now it’s at a whole different level. They’ve put a lot of thought into spacing everything out, and that made us comfortable about safety the minute we arrived. And then… it felt like the resort was all ours.”

Ideas called innovative, even radical, in Sandals’ quest for the ultimate romantic experience now appear fortuitous. Private infinity-edge pools. Private tubs on the verandas. Private in-suite bars. On beaches two miles long, couples can practically claim an acre of sand to remain distant. The decisions to include as many as 105 private pools, up to seven expansive main pools, and 16 restaurants on one giant property have never been for the sake of attracting crowds. It’s to diminish them.

Sandals-Royal-Barbados-Rondoval-Butler-Suite
Image: Plunge right into a Sandals Royal Barbados Royal Rondoval Butler Suite; a romantic escape that comes with its own private pool and a luxurious tranquility soaking tub for two.

Occasionally, one other person does appear: The butler. For couples in such a suite, the butler is the only human touchpoint — using white gloves. What the guests do not notice is that each butler, and every single team member, goes through a new daily routine upon arriving on property. There’s a temperature check, mandatory changing of clothes, and a “shoe bath” to clean and disinfect shoes.

Being squeaky-clean extends beyond the staff and into all guests’ suites, too. It’s another stop-and-take-it-in moment. The soft fabrics have just been steamed, the sanitizer station filled, the bathroom disinfected with hospital-grade products. Every nuance, from bedframe to sliding veranda door, has passed the tests.

“Now, even the bottles of Appleton Estate Signature Blend and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks are shining,” says Cornall.

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Image: Sandals Grande Antigua, where privacy has always been a luxury, and white sand and turquoise waters are standard.

Whenever Joanna and Andrew Baumann would walk to a restaurant or to the beach, they’d look around and listen. Taking in, as Joanna says, “the familiar Sandals vibe that we came for.” If anything, the vibe is thicker. It’s inescapable. And — let’s just be honest and say the word — it’s contagious. The freedom to breathe and move and drink in the casual mood is fantastically contagious. Take it from those who have been among the first to return: It’s the same as always, and just maybe it’s even better than ever.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

The 15 Top Ski and Snowboarding Resorts in North America – Add to Bucketlist , Vacation Deals

By MM Travel and Tours in Destinations to Travel

Skiing and snowboarding offer adventurous travelers both thrills and stunning locations. North America has an abundance of spectacular spots for these sports. Here are the top 15 skiing and snowboarding resort locations.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA

The Jackson Hole ski resort is over half a century old and is still atop spot for both skiing and snowboarding. It is popular for both the level of snowfall there and its challenging terrain. The recent addition of a fast ski lift has also aided in making this place one of the best snowboarding and skiing destinations on the continent.

Aspen Highlands, Colorado, USA

Aspen Highlands reputedly offers some of the best skiing terrains in the state. Here you find some impressive routes for skiers of all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, experienced skier or even snowboarder, this is the place for you. The most beauteous and challenging area is the Highland Bowl. The ski lift network here serves the entire four-mountain area.

Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada

Revelstoke is great for snowboarders as well. Here you will find good ski lifts and the official “highest level of vertical descent” on the continent. The 5,620 feet drop is also a favorite of the adventurous. If you would like to get a bird’s eye view of the ski area here prior to hitting the slopes you can take a heli-skiing trip.

Vail, Colorado, USA

Vail is one of North America’s most well-known and longest-established resorts. In fact, it was specifically was modeled after a Bavarian mountain village ensconced in the highlands of Europe. There are 193 trails available as well as seven official skiing bowls here. If you’re a snowboarder hoping to hone your skills or simply looking to show off you can take advantage of the superpipe.

Sun Valley, Idaho, USA

Veteran visitors often praise Bald Mountain’s challenging ski slopes, especially the popular 3400-foot vertical drop. They are also generally sheltered from the wind, which makes for a more stable and enjoyable ski area. The adjacent Dollar Mountain features beginner and intermediate ski routes. There are a great terrain park and uphill transporter as well.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

The huge Whistler Blackcomb resort is less than a 2-hour drive from Vancouver. Almost every year it draws the highest amount of winter sports enthusiasts, with more than 2 million visitors during the season. The resort not only has enough ski lifts, restaurants and bars but it also has the longest and highest unsupported cable car span on the planet.

Stowe, Vermont, USA

Stowe is home to two mountains, Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield. The resort has a great gondola and ski lifts. Both mountains are linked by the system so transportation from slope to slope is easy.

Intermediate ski routes are also available for skiing and snowboarding. Don’t worry, though, if you’re an expert, they’ve got you covered here too. Luxury accommodations are available.

Big White, British Columbia, Canada

One of the big attractions at Big White is the popular 2,549-foot vertical drop. It also has several illuminated slopes and is thus Western Canada’s largest night skiing area. The resort features 16 ski lifts. Big White also includes extreme routes for those bored with the expert routes. There’s also a snow tubing course, a terrain park, and wonderful views.

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, USA

This is a nice place to be at any time of the year. In the winter, however, it’s a snow-white paradise perched high up in the mountains. This snow bowl is perfect for experienced skiers. More than half of their 110 trails are officially graded as “expert.” They also have snowmakers on both the beginner and intermediate ski slopes.

Deer Valley, Utah, USA

This is one of the few US resorts that does not presently permit snowboarding on the ski slopes. They have great snowmaking equipment and the varied slopes are well-maintained. The resort is actually upmarket and luxurious and offers good food and drink to boot. They have everything you need to have a very comfortable stay.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

The Lake Louise resort has one of the largest ski areas anywhere on the continent. The resort features 145 official marked trails. They welcome visitors of all skill levels from beginner through expert (and snowboarders too.)

There are a number of different off-piste opportunities as well. The resort offers different accommodation options too. Choices range from high-end digs to dorms in the hostel.

Lake Placid, New York, USA

Situated amidst the awesome Adirondack Mountains, this resort was once host to the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. A great place for winter sports, it includes the highest vertical drop on the east coast and a complete range of routes for all ability levels. The Lake area provides ample opportunities for hiking too. There are several choices of accommodations, bars, and eateries too.

Monterreal, Mexico

Experts say that the Monterreal is the “only real ski resort” in the country. The best time to visit is in the months of December and January. If there’s not enough actual snow for decent skiing there’s a special dry slope. So, if you are in Mexico and feel the need to ski or snowboard someplace unusual then this is the place.

Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada

Here at Sun Peaks ski routes are flanked by snow-dusted trees. They offer downhill racing areas, good cross country skiing trails, and Nordic skiing too. There is also a good variety of bars, hotels, and restaurants as well. There are even special paths to help visiting skiers get in and out of their various hotels.

Telluride, Colorado, USA

This mountain resort is perfect for any skier regardless of ability. It includes routes for skiers of varying abilities. It also features a fun, treeless bowl if you really enjoy the powder. The historic locale is perhaps most famous for being the home of the very first bank that the outlaw Butch Cassidy robbed. The village was specifically designed to easily accommodate skiers too.

Now go hit the slopes!

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.