I often see articles suggesting that you should plan to book your
Honeymoon 4 to 6 months in advance and often that is fine, but
frequently it is far too late!
Depending on the destination you
have in mind, and the type of experience you desire, reservations
should be confirmed more like 10-11 months in advance
you are headed to Orlando, FL or Las Vegas, NV for example there are
dozens of flights that can get you from where you are to where you want
to be at decent rates even 30-60 days in advance, but if you are
interested in something a bit more off the beaten path such as St Lucia or
Grenada or Bora Bora then you had better reserve your spots several
months previous or be prepared for overnight layovers and significantly higher prices
The Pitons in St Lucia- view from an open wall suite with in-room infinity pool at Jade Mountain
if you are thinking you would like to enjoy something really special
such as a swim-up suite or a private plunge pool or even an overwater
bungalow then you need to remember that those are the first to be reserved,
often more than a year in advance so plan accordingly!
best advice is to get with a travel planning specialist at your
earliest convenience, as soon as you have your wedding date
established, so that you and your Honeymoon specialist can work through your best alternatives
EZTravelPad is a travel agency specializing in Honeymoon and Destination Wedding planning. If you are not currently working with a travel consultant then get in touch with "Your friends....in the travel business" at EZTravelPad
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St Thomas, USVI is good choice for All Inclusive Resort
A large part of my job as a travel consultant/advisor with EZTravelPad revolves around touring, experiencing and understanding a wide variety or resorts to better be able to help people with deciding what their best choices are on their next vacation
Often there is a great deal of similarity between resorts and even between destinations, but sometimes I find something that is unique, and I believe Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St Thomas to be one of those - a family friendly resort that is not fancy, but delivers on their promise of being a laid-back spot, managed by the owners
and it’s definitely the kind of place WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR NAME!
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is a family friendly
resort located on the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. As
such, a passport is not required for US citizens to visit so this is a popular choice
for those people wanting to experience an authentically Caribbean island
feel without straying too far from the feel of the US. It is
significantly more affordable than the other US island destination of
Hawaii, which is also very popular for Honeymoons (but Hawaii does not offer
Couples wanting to enjoy a tropical island without the need of a passport should consider the US Virgin Islands
the surface the Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is a bit primitive- not fancy
or luxurious in the least, but when you scratch the surface and look a
little deeper the friendly service and family feel of the resort more
than make up for the rather dated accommodations.
Upon entering the resort, honestly, I was a little disheartened with what felt like a motel that hasn't changed much in the last 40 years - as depicted in this photo of the front desk
The rooms were very basic, the restaurant and common areas were not grand, and the beach was not vast
BUT- I had a total change of opinion ofter spending only an hour or so with my resort host Colleen (who quite obviously DOES know everyone's name)
Sure, Colleen was welcoming and polite and nice, as all resort management always is when hosting a travel agency having a look around - but this went a little deeper. She was more engaged with her staff and more friendly with the guests....and more American (a California transplant to the island many years ago) than most - in short, she sold me on the fact that this place is different - it's like going to your home.... in the Caribbean!!
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort may not be fancy - it's not luxurious - but it is most definitely welcoming and friendly and clean and comfortable, which is not a bad thing!
For so many people comfort and clean and friendly are more inportant
than luxury and the "wow" factor, and if this describes you then this
might be an excellent choice for your next vacation to the Caribbean
Honeymoon couples staying 7 nights can enjoy inclusions such
a sunset catamaran cruise
a catamaran cruise to snorkel
with sea turtles
a la carte dining including lobster, steaks
and much more...
Competitive pricing vs. other resorts in the USVI make this resort with an all-inclusive option a strong contender for those vacationers (especially Honeymooners) who choose not to
acquire a passport and would prefer to saty on "U.S. soil"
Some fun things to do include
Oh - and napping under a palm tree - that's a fun thing too!!
There is much more to convey, so when you are ready to decide on your next vacation turn to EZTravelPad where we like to think of ourselves as - "Your friends....in the travel business"
The announcement has finally been made - Sandals La Source in Grenada will be accepting reservations for December 2013 beginning in 2 days - March 23, 2013
The anticipation has been high, and with good reason - based on these renderings (photos will be available soon I am certain) the newest Sandals resort - La Source in Grenada looks terrific. Check out some of what you can expect below-
The pool in the Tahitian Village section
Swim out suites in the more exclusive Italian Village
The Oceanview Sky Pool Suites....
Be among the first to enjoy this exciting new Sandals property located in Grenada and featuring-
o 231 rooms and suites
o 3 villages: Pink Gin Village, Tahiti Village, and Italian Village
o Just minutes from the airport
o 9 restaurants including a world class steakhouse restaurant – Butch’s Chophouse
o 3 pools plus 2 river pools
o State of the art fitness center and spa
o Meeting facilities
o 75 butler suites including millionaires suites, rondovals and skypool suites
o Romantic soaking tubs in all rooms and suites in the Tahiti and Italian villages
Continuing with the all inclusive format for adult couples only, Sandals La Source will be perfect for Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, and romantic escapes of all sorts.
The resort opens for reservations Mar 23 for arrivals beginning December 12
So you know what to do now - right? Contact "Your friends....in the travel business" at EZTravelPad
Recently the Sandals Grande Riviera resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica has reclassified many of the villa suites up on the hillside of the Manor section and now they all include butler service!
This is a huge deal - especially since it does not appear that prices have increased...yet
If you have experienced the Butler service at Sandals you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you haven't yet experienced it now is a perfect time to see what the fuss is all about at a very affordable rate
To learn more about how a butler can enhance your vacation experience check out this link
Imagine, a villa on the hillside at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios - with a semi-private pool and butler service at a price comparable to an entry level room at a competing resort....unbelievable!
The Sandals Grande Riviera resort is an excellent choices for either a Honeymoon or a Destination Wedding - and these semi-private poolside villas can be a perfect solution for guests in the wedding party - talk about a party to remember!
The Sandals Grande Riviera is a lively, fun and social resort that additionally offers the type of privacy shown above....plus great dining choices, many entertainment choices, gorgeous tropical gardens and a nice beach with beverage services all combine to make this a must visit resort - see more at the video here
For more info get with an expert who has been there and can guide you to your best choice - contact "Your friends....in the travel business" at EZTravelPad
A Review of Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, Bahamas
The storied history of the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort is enough reason to put it on the radar of any vacation seeking couple looking for a couples only resort in the tropics
In its heyday, the Balmoral Club on Nassau in the
Bahamas, hosted luminaries, Hollywood stars, and entertainers. The Duke
and Duchess of Windsor, President Nixon, and the Beatles, are all said to have frequented
the popular hotspot. This chic, high society club that was
once part of the resort’s property, inspired the new Balmoral Tower at Sandals Royal Bahamian.
Having recently toured the Balmoral Tower shortly after it's Grand Re-Opening I can tell you that is is in fine shape - gorgeous and stately.
The Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort is an all inclusive resort that serves adult couples exclusively. It is for that reason that many Honeymoon and Anniversary celebrating couples are drawn to the classy resort just a few miles from downtown Nassau
Check out this video tour to get a good feel for the property-
The recent remodeling of the Balmoral Tower and other upgrades totaling $17 Million was prompted after a bit of storm damage occurred. The refurbishment though, was much more than just cosmetics - there were large balconies added to many of the rooms which now make this one of the most desired properties in the Bahamas
Another much smaller aspect of the remodel were the additions of some beachside firepits that add greatly to the romance of the evening
Newely added Firepits along the beach pictured below
But it's not all about the Balmoral Tower - this resort consists of several buildings and many private villas for a total of 402 rooms and suites spread across 15 acres of beautiful Bahamian landscape located only 10 minutes from the airport
With numerous buildings there are many, many different room category choices with views ranging from good to awesome and service ranging from luxury to concierge to butler level!
Sandals offers it's butler level guests a special perk, complimentary private transportation from the airport in one of their Mercedes or Rolls Royce Sedans
Butler level guests are also afforded some of the most amazing rooms and suites in the Bahamas-
Often I hear people say that "the room doesn't matter - we won't be spending that much time in it anyway", but as you can see from this photo....Location matters!!
I mean, can't you just picture yourself reclining until late into the night on your lounge - sipping a fine wine - listening to the surf just a few meteres away....
Beyond the history and the accommodations and the inclusions-
10 Restaurants including French, Italian, Asian and Seafood a la carte options are featured so you will never get bored with the selection of cuisine-
Looking for something to do?Try the Red Lane Spa or Nightly Themes Parties and Entertainment -
One of the nice aspects of this resort is the ability to
use the Sandals "Private Island" known as Sandals Cay. This island takes
getting away from it all to a wholes new level.
Out on the private island you will find
Swim up bar
So there is no getting bored no matter how long you decide to stay
Another piece of trivia - The Beatles filmed "Another Girl" from the movie "Help" on this same private island!
Even if you want nothing more than to get away from it all there are options- like this hammock...........
All in all Sandals Royal Bahamian is a fantastic option for an adults only couples getaway - be it a Honeymoon, Destination Wedding, Anniversary celebration, best friends getaway or just a much needed escape from bad weather...
For more info on this and many other resorts in the Caribbean and beyond get in touch with EZTravelPad.
Experience the EZTravelPad difference and see why we like to think of ourselves as "Your friends....in the travel business"
Unbelievable Special Makes Europe Affordable THIS Summer on Celebrity Cruise
Celebrity Cruises (the Premium brand of Royal Caribbean) has a fantastic special just unveiled this week and sure to stir up some business- Book a balcony stateroom on a European sailing for the summer of 2012 and receive $500 per person air credit if booked with their Choice Air department. This makes a Mediterranean cruise this summer instantly $1000 more affordable!
Combine that with the fact that the dollar has been improving against the Euro (so those activities on shore are also more affordable) and it's a Win-Win situation.
Here's an example- Cruise 11 Nights in Italy, Greece and Turkey from $1865pp including air - Unbelievable!
Here are some specifics-
Hard to believe...
Are you searching for a Destination Wedding location? Thinking you might like to get married at sea? You're in luck - Celebrity is one of only a couple of cruise lines that can make that happen!
Desire to get married at home but thinking you can't afford the European Cruise for your Honeymoon? Celebrity is a brilliant choice for a Honeymoon - the sophisticated vibe and more adult nature of the brand lends itself wonderfully to a Honeymoon couple interested in seeing the Mediterranean!
Also - Celebrity has a fantastic array of drink packages including beers, wines & cocktails!!
So what do you do now?
Call your Travel Agent - now! They know the inside details - they will get you the best deal possible - and they will do all of the legwork for you.
If you do not have a travel agent that you are working with currently then get with EZTravelPad - we're here to help make your life experiences richer (and save you money so you stay richer!)
Secrets Maroma Beach - Adults Only Paradise in Mexico - a Review
Maroma Beach, located about half way between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, south from Cancun in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is consistently ranked as one of the world's Top 10 Beaches and for good reason- Clear blue waters, powdery white sands & water sports galore conspire to create a beach lover's paradise.
One of the highly rated adults-only all-inclusive resorts located along this fine stretch of sand is Secrets Maroma Beach. Secrets is the adults-only brand served up by AMResorts (affiliated with Apple Vacations & sister property to Dreams, Zoetry, Now & Sunscape Resorts).
Not every all-inclusive resort offers the same sort of affordable luxury found at Secrets Resorts.
Frequently at all inclusive resorts you find limited selections of restaurants - limited choice in all sorts of food & beverages - limited access to bars and scant choice in restaurants. Spending a week at an all-inclusive resort and feasting at the same boring buffet several days in a row can be a bummer, but with 8 restaurants (most of which are luxurious a la carte options) and 7 bars fully stocked with premium fare you will not feel that your choices are redundant.
It's not all about food & beverages though - and one of the best features at Secrets Resorts are the suites which generally offer in room jacuzzis, after all - this is a romantic escape for 2, right?
Excellent Spa facilities
The spa facilities are great - as is the water sports area, common grounds, pool & more.
This is a fantastic place for a Honeymoon or Destination Wedding (assuming children will not be attending) also - a huge part of their business!
Check out this brief video tour
If there is one knock on the property it is this.... Time-share sales
I have personally encountered guests that were quite annoyed with the aggressiveness of the on-site salespeople, and so it is with some hesitancy that I suggest Secrets as a 1st choice, but if you don't mind being pestered a bit the product is fantastic
For more info on this and many other resort options in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean get with EZTravelPad - you'll be glad you did!
This Just In - Amazing Entertainment in Paradise this Summer!
If you have not gotten your summer vacation plans set yet then this may be a must see -
With several area resorts to choose from you can't miss - whether you would prefer to experience the adults only sophisticated chic of Le Blanc Spa - or the laid back nature of Playcar Palace, tickets are comp & so is the transportation to see the show
If you were not already aware, on stays of 5 nights or longer Palace includes $1500+ in resort credits to be used for cool things such as swimming with dolphins, golf, spa & more -
For more info and to check availability get with your travel agent.
What, don't have one? Then get with EZTravelPad - you'll be glad you did!
Reviewing & Touring Secrets Capri Resort - Riviera Maya near Playa del Carmen
The smallest of the Secrets brand resorts along the scenic stretch of beach south from Cancun, Mexico known as the Riviera Maya may just be the best. Unless you are looking for more, bigger, mas, grande then Capri really is a great option.
With a scant 290 suites (by comparison some other resorts in the neighborhood are 10x larger or more!) Secrets Capri offers a great balance of choice and convenience. It's not over-the-top fancy like some resorts. There are not 20 choices of room categories. What there is though makes up for it. With 6 restaurants and 5 bars the small property offers much.
This is a good resort for a romantic getaway, an anniversary celebration, a Honeymoon or a Destination Wedding as well. At a resort like this with less than 600 guests even a small wedding party of a dozen or so will not feel lost - in fact the entire staff will likely know who is getting married and who the guests are! You can choose from a beach wedding in the sand, or something a little more stately like in this awesome gazebo
Check out this short video tour to get a better sense of rooms, beach and overall feel
Restaurant choices include a la carte such as
Himatsu - Asian
Oceana - Seafood
Portofino - Mediterranean
La Riviera - Mexican
Seaside Grill - as the name implies
Cactus Club - Taco & Ceviche Bar
Secrets is the adults-only brand from AMResorts which also offers additional family friendly brands such as Dreams, Now and Sunscape as well as the Wellness & Spa boutique resorts named Zoetry
There are Secrets Resorts located all across Mexico as well as in Dominican Republic and Jamaica. You can see the Secrets Capri brochure at this link
So how do you know which resort is the best fit for you? What is the best way to research your next vacation?
Simple - OUTSOURCE it to your travel consultant (travel agent).
A travel agency should be able to insure that you receive the best value (value = price + service), but more importantly your travel consultant should work hard to make sure they understand what it is specifically that most interests you. Your travel consultant should act like your personal shopping concierge understanding what you want to achieve then presenting the best options to save you incredible amounts of time and frustration!
Don't have a travel consultant that you work with? Then contact EZTravelPad and see why we consider ourselves "Your friends....in the travel business"
Reviewing Le Blanc Spa Resort (a Palace Resort) in Cancun, Mexico
Le Blanc Spa Resort is an adults only all-inclusive resort located in the hotel zone of Cancun, Mexico. It is located very close to the middle of the hotel zone actually, but exists a world away from what you would traditionally associate with Cancun all-inclusive resorts that often cater to the Spring Break crowd.
This resort is a far cry from typical and in high demand for Weddings and Honeymoons catering to the sophisticated crowd - urban chic, like something out of South Beach. You almost expect Rico Tubbs (Miami Vice) to walk around the corner at any minute...
The Beach is powdery white sand
The water is an blue as you dreamed it would be and The infinity pool says it all...
As you would expect, guest rooms are extremely well appointed and are as functional as they are luxurious featuring private balconies to enjoy the outdoors and 2 person in room jacuzzis to enjoy indoor.
Offering butler service in rooms, concierge service at the pools, Haute Cuisine in 5 a la carte restaurants and superior service at every turn, Le Blanc is very much a luxury oasis in Cancun. Nightly turndown service with petit fours, higher end bath products, pillow top beds that you will never want to leave all combine for a very nice package. See more at their website at this link
Beyond the typical amenities Le Blanc offers unlimited free phone calls back to the US, unlimited internet service, and best of all, $1500 resort credits on a 5-8 night stay (other levels exist for shorter and longer stays) that can be used for spa, room upgrades, wedding packages, swimming with dolphins, tours, golf at Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf & much more!
So can you tell that I liked it? Can you tell that I can't wait to go back?
Le Blanc is not for everyone, but if you consider yourself a person of discriminating taste that would prefer to be located close to the action and shopping in Cancun's Hotel Zone as opposed to further away down along the Riviera Maya then Le Blanc may just be for you when it's time to celebrate your Anniversary, Honeymoon, Destination Wedding or even just a luxurious retreat