LTADPodcast

Reveling in the Richness of Sandals and Beaches Resorts

August 11, 2023 LTAD Podcast Season 1 Episode 10
LTADPodcast
Reveling in the Richness of Sandals and Beaches Resorts
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready for a Caribbean adventure? We're ecstatic to bring you a delightful conversation with Amanda Funk, the Business Development Manager from the opulent Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Together, we unearth the fascinating journey of the resorts' founder, Butch Stewart, and his transformation from an air conditioning seller to a luxury hotel owner in Jamaica. We also navigate through the unique offerings and traditions that make these resorts extraordinary, such as the touching tradition of bidding farewell to planes soaring above the Montego Bay location.

Our exploration doesn't end there. We separate Sandals and Beaches Resorts, highlighting how each cater to different clienteles, from couples seeking an escape to multi-generational travelers. We also get an insider's view of the adventurous dining experiences available at these resorts, where guests can revel in the luxury of all-inclusive dining without fretting about additional costs. With Jana's trip insights, we learn about unique offerings like soothing sounds of Peenie Wallies in the Caribbean nights. 

As we conclude, we shift focus to the wide variety of land and water sports that guests can enjoy. Hear the tales of the kid-friendly offerings that are sure to put parents at ease, knowing that their children are well taken care of. We unravel the extraordinary no-tipping policy that honors guests and makes them feel appreciated. And finally, get ready to join us on our upcoming trip to Jamaica and find out how you can follow our journey through our lively social media updates. It's a Caribbean expedition you won't want to miss!

Jana:

Welcome everybody to the LTD podcast. We hope everybody has had a fantastic week. We have been incredibly consistent Y'all. What is up with that? We're just way more better. Like when did we ever become consistent?

Dana:

Well, we're just way more better. Ok, we're way more better.

Jana:

Better. So we hope that for those who listened to us years ago, that you're enjoying these podcasts. We're having a good time recording them and today we're going to do something a little bit different. But first I want to go ahead and say we did not have any voicemails this week, so I don't have any voicemails to record. However, if everybody remembers, we had a guest on the last episode or two ago, zach from Circle of Parks podcast. I want to go ahead and give him a shout out because today is his birthday. So happy birthday, zach. Happy happy birthday, all right, awesome. So what we are going to do today is something a little bit different. We're not going to talk about the D word whatsoever. We are going to talk about something a little different, but something so so much more nicer, way, more better. Per se that seems to be our word is way more better. So I first want to introduce you guys to our special guest that we have with us this week. We have the business development manager from Sandals and Beaches Resorts, amanda Funk, with us today. Hi, amanda.

Amanda:

Hey friends, thank you so much for having me. You know I love being here, so we love you. I sing on the cake.

Jana:

She didn't get her Funky Town dance this morning, but we'll Funky.

Dana:

Town her out. We'll Funky Town you out the door, but anyway without you guys, I did.

Amanda:

I danced all the way through the door.

Jana:

We had someone walking to the parking lot looking in the window, amanda up here dancing.

Amanda:

She just waved.

Jana:

It's what we do right, it's what we do. We try these experiences that are fun and memorable, absolutely and when you visit the Caribbean because, yes, you all we are talking about the Caribbean today. There is lots of music and lots of dancing and lots of fun. It's just an amazing vibe when you go there. So we want to talk to you guys today a little bit about a resort chain in the Caribbean only. It's nowhere else in the world, just the Caribbean, and it was built in the Caribbean because the owners are from the Caribbean. But Stuart is the founder of Sandals and Beechers Resorts. He was from Jamaica.

Amanda:

That's right. Yeah, so we that's where our heartbeat is, is in Jamaica, and of course we love and care for that entire region. So a lot of the development has spread across the Caribbean and I don't want to give too many spoilers too early, but we can talk a little bit about our newest destination in the Caribbean Absolutely.

Jana:

For sure. Yeah, so Sandals and Beechers Resorts are special because Butch Stewart is from Jamaica the very first resort was built in Jamaica, in Montego Bay and tell us a little bit about the history of Butch, his resorts, his love for the Caribbean, everything that he did for those islands.

Amanda:

Perfect. Well, you'll have to keep a timer on us, because I could talk about this all day. So my favorite story about Mr Stewart was that he actually began selling appliances air conditioning. So if you can imagine, air conditioning in Jamaica, in the Caribbean, was probably a well-desired product. But, as you know, you've got to have supplies, you've got to have materials and to make sure you have that, you've got to have money. So one of the things was how do we create cashflow revenue into Jamaica so that we can continue to support this business? So he bought a hotel. Wow, he bought a hotel and the first one was small and it's funny to hear some of the stories about the decorations and the decor of the first resorts and he recognized early on that that first resort didn't really have enough rooms to turn a profit. So how can we make this a bigger value for clients? How can we drive a little more revenue when you can't build another room? So the idea of creating quality inclusions was really birthed out of that concept. How do we give more with the space that we have? You can't build more sometimes. So that's when you started seeing things. You may not know this, but hairdryers and mini fridge, mini refrigerators were not standard 40 years ago. This was kind of revolutionary, as we start to develop these inclusions, and now, really, that's where we hang our hat, with high quality inclusions that our guests love year after year.

Jana:

I would agree that guests do love it, because we sell quite a bit of Sandals and Beachers Resorts and we have people who come back, they read book, they go over and over. And it's funny how I introduce these resorts to my normal Disney family that's traveling to Disney. That makeup seems to be the perfect fit to turnover into a beaches because of its family, its beaches, and we'll talk about that in just a second. But it's for everybody. It's for absolutely everybody. It's not just for couples in love, although that is what it kind of birthed as originally was for couples in love there in Montego Bay. And let's go ahead and tell a little bit about the first resort in Montego Bay, set right underneath the airport or the line of fire, essentially for the planes to fly over. And how did Butch Stewart work with that?

Amanda:

So it's actually a fun thing. So all destinations develop their own vibe, their own personality, their own traditions, and you want to be a part of that. So those planes really represent folks coming to enjoy the Caribbean and they also represent folks that we hope will come back really soon. So the tradition at Montego Bay is that you wave hello, you wave goodbye to the ones that you love and see you soon. So it's a wonderful tradition and it's unique to the Montego Bay resort right, Because there are two that sit in the city. We also have sandals royal Caribbean down the road, but we don't wave at royal Caribbean.

Jana:

It's not the thing to do. It's not the thing there. We don't wave at those people.

Amanda:

We've got other traditions there though right Because we've got the private island experience Very nice.

Jana:

OK, so to familiarize everybody with the resorts we're talking about, we're specifically talking about the sandals resorts and the beaches resorts in the Caribbean. Can you tell us what islands we can find? All sandals properties? Absolutely.

Amanda:

So we're going to start at Jamaica, which is where our heart beats. We have two in the Bahamas, we have two in Barbados, one in Antigua, we have one on the island of Granada, known as the Spice Island, we have one in Kira South, and we have Turks and Caicos as well. Did I get them all?

Jana:

Well, turks and Caicos beaches, it's beaches. Oh, I miss St Lucia. Thank you so much, antigua St Lucia.

Amanda:

I'm counting, but I didn't use my normal acrimnims.

Jana:

That is all right, but then right now, sandals only has three beaches properties two located in Jamaica and one located at the Turks and Caicos.

Amanda:

Correct. So nine islands altogether at this point, a total of 20 resorts, three beaches, 17 that are sandals.

Jana:

Now we do have some new properties coming. I know we've got new beaches coming for sure to Jamaica.

Amanda:

Right, that will be in the Ocho Reyes area. As far as we know Now, all of these things until we see them come to fruition are soon come, as they say, in Jamaica. But that is the idea that we'll have an additional beaches property in the city of Ocho Reyes, and we just opened a beautiful top notch property there as well, which I know you get to visit very soon, I know.

Jana:

Spoilers no, so excited, all three of you are going.

Dana:

We are.

Jana:

So all three of us next week are flying to Montego Bay. We're going to be staying at Sandals Ochi. We're going to be visiting Beaches Ochi, Sandals, Royal Plantation, the golf course that sits there, which I've been to before. It's gorgeous and I think the oldest tree in Jamaica is found at that golf course, but they say it's a haunted tree. And they told me that they had a slang word for ghost in Jamaica, but I can't remember what it was. So when we get back we'll find out.

Mike:

We'll find out.

Jana:

And then we're going to also see absolutely beautiful brand new Sandals Duns River. So we're super excited.

Amanda:

We're so excited about this resort so you know that this was in the portfolio in the 90s.

Jana:

And this is actually the first Sandals resort I ever visited and stayed at with Sandals Duns River.

Amanda:

I didn't know that.

Jana:

I didn't know that.

Amanda:

So you're going to have this wonderful historical comparison and I bet you're not going to recognize the property. Oh, I'm sure I won't.

Jana:

Because what I specifically remember about Sandals Duns River was out on the beach. They had this oversized large hot tub and it sat under this tree and I can't remember what kind of tree it was, but these things that look like olives, but they were super hard, fell into the water when you were sitting there, so everybody made a big game. If you got hit in the head, you had to drink.

Amanda:

Oh my gosh, that sounds like a good time. Mike hated that game. Yeah, he hit the head. That's awesome.

Jana:

But yeah, so I do have a passion for this particular property, because it's where my Sandals journey began, so I'm looking forward to seeing it for sure, so you know that that's a special one for the Stewart family as well.

Amanda:

Our late founder, chairman, grew up on that beach and the story goes that he used to sell fish to the hotels in that area and that his grandmother's house was nearby. So there's a lot of special history, significance and legacy. This was also the last project that Mr Stewart got to work on with his son, adam, who is now our current chairman, and they say his DNA and the spirit is across the property. So I'm excited for you. You get to see it before I do. I won't get to go until later on in the month, but we'll compare notes. I wish you were going with us. I do too, I do too, I do too.

Jana:

Yeah, so for sure, we have the heat of Friday, Sometimes we have Margaret and Monday, Sometimes we have Taco Tuesdays, Guacamola Wednesdays we have an excuse to go to Mexican. So yeah, when we get back we will definitely sit down and talk about it and maybe we'll come back here and talk about it as well. I know something that we are going to try to do but keep in mind that Jenna and Tech are not two words that go together. We're going to try to take a recorder down and record a little bit live from the resorts and I really hope it works. And I posted on my Main Street Travel TikTok page and I believe the name is just Main Street Travel Co on that page In Jamaica one of my absolute favorite things, and it's funny how you'll go on a trip and you come back with just these little small details that just make the biggest memories for you. But in Jamaica at nighttime there are these insects and they chirp, and they chirp, and they chirp and it's the most amazing sound. It's so loud. If you were to listen to it recorded for a while you'd be like, oh my gosh, turn that off. But when you're there in person, I love that sound. I'm sure some people might be like, oh, it's too loud. I love the sound. It's a very Jamaica sound for me. It tells me exactly where I'm at, but the Jamaicans call them pinny wallies or peony wallies, so I did post. If you might want to see that, go to the main street trap. It's main street travel co-op. Leave on TikTok and check out that video. It's so nice and I'm so excited just for that alone. I'm looking forward to that.

Amanda:

So people think that we pipe that sound in because we are so used to being inundated with electronic sounds. But the spirit and the, the sounds, the colors, the smells, the wind, the sights, all of the senses are really tantalized in all of our resorts. But Jamaica is very special because of, because of that sound and you all. We're here in Tennessee so we're not, uh, unaccustomed to nighttime sounds, crickets and the bullfrogs and all of the things. So when you hear that you, you recognize it immediately as as a part of the ambience and the atmosphere and it makes that place special, so much to it, it adds so much to it.

Jana:

Like in Turks and Caicos. You don't get that. You don't get that. They're not there, you're like walking around. If you recall, dana, we were just there in May, so quiet.

Amanda:

It was so quiet there at night. But you see the geckos there. Oh, yes, you do. You see the right.

Jana:

We had a bunch of lizard friends. They were all named Larry and his brother Darrell and his other brother Darrell.

Dana:

We saw all the Darrells.

Amanda:

I love it. They had the little crossings, yeah, at the resort yeah.

Jana:

And it's just amazing how many there are in. You know, a lot of people hear that like, oh my gosh, I would never go. It's lizards. No, they. They avoid you. They stay off to the edges. They'll take off running when they feel your vibration coming, things like that. And these peony wallies in Jamaica I've never seen one. Never seen one. So it's not like you're going to have bugs landing all of you. I've never actually seen them.

Amanda:

It's a mystery. We don't know if they're tiny with a big voice or if they're you know, we don't know. Oh well, that's kind of crazy. I mean, I'm sure somebody from Jamaica would know. I'm sure you could google it. Let me contact somebody.

Jana:

Right, but I've never seen one in person. So let's talk a second about why sandals and beaches resorts are so special. So for me, I think they're so special and there's a completely different vibe at these all-inclusive properties versus other all-inclusive properties, because I think of the founder, but Stuart, and now Adam Stuart, and the people who created these resorts years ago that are still there today, absolutely, that are still contributing to these resorts, and I think there's a personality at these resorts that you won't be able to recreate anywhere else. So that's also special. And when you're there and the people who work there, first of all, the island of Jamaica is special period and I think that, because that is where but Stuart and Adam Stuart are from, that's what's being poured into the res, these resorts across all islands, so you're getting that Jamaican spirit period in these resorts. So for me, I do prefer these resorts over other chains because of that vibe, what that energy, whatever is there is what I like, sure.

Amanda:

So that vibe, if I have to put it in words, it's more a feeling than words, but it's that you are an honored guest. Your family, you want you to be there and we do want to know about your, your families, and we want you to come back year after year as if it were a reunion. And we do have guests. We have an over 40% return guest rate year over year, which is incredible in this industry, and you've got so many islands to visit that you don't really have a chance to get bored, you know, and who would get bored in Jamaica? anyway there's no right that's not going to happen, but if you are somebody who wants to see different corners of the world, you've got this familiarity, this welcome home feeling that happens at every resort, on all of the different destinations, and we absolutely want that to carry over. We do want to reflect the culture and the spirit of the various islands as well, though, right. So you know, jamaica is special, but so is Kira, so is Grenada, so is Antigua, and it's because of the people who are there, our teammates on resort who come from these destinations, who support their families, make their livelihood in these beautiful destinations and, honestly, they want to share it with us. They want to share it with the world, and I'm thankful for that. They're so gracious to be so welcoming of of us, you know, of foreigners who want a vacation in their home right share that everything the culture, the food, the love, the music, all of it.

Jana:

You know, grenada has a very specific vibe and culture too. You're getting that Jamaica welcome there, that that same Jamaica family. You're coming in as family vibe. But Grenada is very special. First of all, they call it the spice island. It is such a lush tropical island. Look at the pictures, it's incredible. But they also had a very energetic vibe on top of that. So it wasn't just now. Jamaica has an energetic vibe too, but it's a different type of energy there as well, and it was so fun, so uplifting just everything about these resorts. I could say something good about every single resort, and I also could say something very good about the beaches property that everybody considers the worst. I love that property. I think it's fantastic, and we're going to talk here in a minute about the all-inclusive plan that these properties. But at beaches Ochi, which is my absolute favorite property, not only do you come in, they know your name, you check in and now suddenly everybody knows your name. It's the oddest thing. It's like, well, how do you know who I am, but they know who you are. But our favorites, mike, are the bartenders at the Smumup Barth pool. So there's two stories here. I'm going to tell the most recent one, though, but we were getting ready to have a very special event with my daughter and her then fiance and he was going to propose to her on the beach at a candlelight dinner, but we were still up at the pool before dinner time. You know, the day was winding down and we needed to get dressed and go prepare to sneak and hide the bushes and get pictures and stuff right. So Mike is in the, mike is in the pool and we we have these tumblers with us and they're like what are they? 20 ounce, 22 ounce those are big 32.

Amanda:

Yeah, you've got like a court going on 32 ounce, whatever what.

Jana:

Mike had been going up to the bar and they were refilling his tumbler and after a while it's like you got to stop. We got something to do later and he was like, okay, just one more, just one more. I said, no, don't get any more beer, you need to stop. I need you to be lucid later this evening. So he said, okay, okay, one more with Karen, get me a coke.

Mike:

Well, he goes up you act like we had a lot to do. We had to walk 10 feet and shoot video. That's it, no.

Jana:

That's it, no more so he's going to the bar to get his, to get his coke or whatever, and I look over in this bartender is got the beer tap pulled filling that mug up and I looked at that bartender because he's like watching he's like, he was like yeah he knew I had cut. Mike off and he's looking out for me and I look over and we make eye contact and he went oh, oh, it's for me, it's for me and I was like take one for the team. I did the figures to my eyes and the figures that I'm watching you. It was so funny, so fun. You know my son sitting there throwing football with some random lady in the pool, um, everybody is having a good time, um, it's just a amazing resort. Once you get there and you know it's vacation and it doesn't matter if it's the Caribbean, if it's Disney, if it's Universal, if it's Europe. Things happen on vacation and you can make of your vacation what you want, a hundred percent. And you know, in Jamaica they are most definitely on island time. It's a way of life and us, as Americans, we are so spoiled, rotten, and we demand stuff instantaneously and we get that through our cell phones and our computers and our TVs. You cannot expect that when you leave this country. So, for Jamaica, you know you might see a lot of people getting upset over the silliest little things, but you can't do that. You. You've got to slow down and you've got to, um, get into the spirit and the mood of where you're at. Absolutely, if you go to Jamaica, you better be prepared to sit back and relax and stop rushing everything. It's just such a great, great destination and you will come home First of all, 10.

Erica:

Or lost Right.

Jana:

And then, second of all, relaxed and um, it is a little hard to jump back into life when you come back here, so, but let's go ahead and talk about these all inclusive plans. Let's start with beaches. Okay, we're going to start with beaches, because beaches include just a few more things than a sandals does, but literally, the only difference between sandals and beaches is Amanda, I'm going to let you fill that one in.

Amanda:

Sure, the biggest difference is the clientele. So we are looking for two people in love. We're a place for sandals. You're going to be closer in the Caribbean is sort of the direction that tagline is going in. Um, and sandals are for beaches, it's for everybody. So we're looking at multi-generational travel and and the. The joke which is not really a joke, it's a reality is that our sandals couples grew families and then it was well, wouldn't it be nice if there was a sandals for families? So beaches was born out of that entire idea.

Jana:

Yeah, so you have mom, dad, kids, grandma aunts, Cousins and Sally, cousin Eddie like everybody can come. You can even do girls trips at a beach, absolutely. You can do guys trips at a beaches, but sandals are specifically for couples and loves. So the difference in the all inclusive plan is that beaches is going to have more for kids. You're going to have a kids club. You're going to have the Parrots Island water park, which is so fun. We always go, we always do the slides.

Amanda:

Um, well, you've got the surf simulator, the swim up bar where they can get their own smoothies, and the the water park alone. And I mean, I've got five kids, you know, like they're happy with a puddle and a stick right, but you give them this, this water park and the surf simulator and the kids club, and now it's a vacation for everybody. Nobody is miserable, nobody's crying, we're not waiting in lines. It's, it's incredible.

Jana:

And for those of you who are like well, my kids won't swim in a pool all day long. Wait, you've got the Xbox lounge. Oh, I forgot about that. Yeah, You've got the.

Amanda:

Xbox lounge and the beach. And then we're not even talking about the big inclusions. Yet I'm going to let you cue me to get there. But you know, with with beaches you arrive, so let's just jump into that.

Jana:

Are you ready? Yeah, absolutely.

Amanda:

When you arrive, you're greeted, of course, and we're always going to greet you with a warm smile, a hug, a welcome home, uh, and this wonderful wet towel that's lemongrass.

Jana:

Oh well, that's my favorite. I love lemongrass.

Amanda:

I do too, so there's nothing like that transition.

Jana:

Like you've not had that before. Erica has never been before, so y'all need to record her reaction.

Amanda:

Yeah, I'm very excited.

Erica:

This is my first time not only going to Jamaica but seeing a sandals property in person. I'm so excited just to go and experience it because I can read everything, I can do all the training, I can retain that information. But it's so different when you go somewhere for the first time and it just makes you that much better at what we do. But I will say, we're theme park people, my family, we are theme park people and it has taken a lot of convincing on my end to say, hey, let's, let's try something different. And not only are we not doing Disney next year, um, my husband, I are actually going to a sandals so I remember, I remember our first conversation

Amanda:

about this and I thought man, I don't know if I've got enough spirit for this intervention. Disney is strong with this one.

Jana:

You do. But you know, erica, what I want to say is you can read all the information you want. It's not going to describe your experience. When you walk in from like you landed the airport, you get in the car, which, by the way, is one of the included items. Your airport transportation round trip is completely included. You don't pay extra for that. But when you step out of that car, at, to say, at sandals, they literally greet you as you're stepping out of the vehicle and they hand you these wet cool. Because when you get to the Caribbean and you get to the airport, you're going to start wondering, oh Lord, where's their conditioning?

Dana:

What have I done?

Jana:

So when you get to that lobby and they give you that fresh lemon grass in a infused cold towel and you wipe it all over your face that lemon grass has such an energizing property to it you can't, you. You can't even imagine what that feels like until you do it. It's one of my favorite parts and again, for me it's these tiny little details that might mean absolutely nothing to anybody else. That's what I sticks in my head, that's what I remember and that's what I like oh, I didn't even know to expect that.

Dana:

And, like she said, getting out of the transfer vehicle and stepping down, there they are these wonderful, friendly staff and the what I got from the towel was like it, almost the, the, like this, the peace and just the kind of just like I felt it just like wash all over me and it was like oh, I'm so excited, oh yeah.

Erica:

I didn't know. I was so excited Like that's your sign.

Jana:

That's your sign you are here and it's time to relax and take a step back in life and just enjoy the week. Don't think about what you left at home. Think about this amazing therapeutic water in the beach. They call it vitamin C for a reason. Um and and it starts the second you say actually, it starts at the airport. To be honest, even once you can get through the country you're at, customs and things like that. That service starts at the airport. Even our transfer drivers are always so friendly so amazing. And talk to those people because they will tell you some really cool history, A lot of local culture. I remember one time this in Jamaica this driver started singing this song about this man cheating on his wife and how the wife found out about it and what she did. It was the best song ever. I loved it. So, yeah, it's a lot of fun. So, okay, back to the inclusion back to beaches and the inclusions.

Amanda:

But the towel is where that experience starts and I would miss it if it weren't there. I think everybody would do part of the brand at this point, would miss it, and we want you to experience it so that you know what we're talking about and you want to take it with you, right, you want?

Mike:

to walk in there, like you can put your towel up there Like no.

Jana:

I'm going on to this for a little while. Keep it forever.

Amanda:

Sniff, sniff sniff, you know. So that's where it starts. And then you've alluded to this, but the transfers are included, and that's customary for every trip, and it's very seamless, it's extremely easy and intuitive to know where you need to go next. You see a sign, you see a smile and you're escorted. You're greeted and escorted to that next space. What's next is typically a signature cocktail, or a glass of water, or a bottle of water, if that's what you're into right, which is another one of the inclusions, friends. So we're talking signature cocktails with premium brand liquors on offer. You know, you see, you feel like no, no wristbands.

Dana:

No wristbands here. Absolutely not, absolutely not.

Jana:

Everybody is equal. Yeah, this is how everybody is treated.

Amanda:

Your check-in experience is going to be seamless. We know that you're coming. We have your name on file. Your checked you know, confirmed at the airport, you're confirmed at the gate, you're greeted at the lobby and then you know. The next thing you're probably thinking is man, it's been a long travel day, what's to eat? So they're going to let you know what's available, where the next restaurant is, which restaurant is open now and if you need reservations for later on that evening. So we're taking these inclusions as they come, right. So transfers, alcohol, food, food and beverage is included. After that we are looking at. Well, let's go back just a minute, you know what's happened to me.

Jana:

Let's talk about food and beverage first yeah, yeah yeah, there's no specialty restaurant here. You don't pay extra to eat at the nicer restaurants. Reservations are key, though, and you need to be making reservations upon arrival. So when I arrive, I get my lemon grass towel, I take my first drink. I'm going to stop right there and make my dining reservations for the week. There are a couple of restaurants usually only one per resort but there's a couple that are going to be hard to get into if you don't do it immediately upon arrival. But the key here is that you don't pay extra for the top level restaurants at each resort.

Amanda:

They're included, it's all included and there's a way to avoid that crunch too, right? So if somebody might be thinking, oh, that gives me a little bit of anxiety to think I've got to make dining reservations, well, our Butler level guests have no problem getting into those, no problem, no problem, I'm working on my Jamaican accent, can you tell? They have no problem getting into the restaurants that are most desirable, and it's not a one and done either. So my favorite, my favorite indulgence is to go to our sushi restaurant for appetizers. Every night of my stay I'm having sushi and then I'm going to the Italian restaurant or to the steakhouse or to the seafood restaurant.

Jana:

Oh, me and Dana have stories about the Italian restaurant.

Amanda:

I remember those pictures.

Jana:

We tried one of literally everything on the menu.

Erica:

We said you tried octopus.

Jana:

Yes, bring it all to us. That was at Neptune's, but at Mario's we had them. Bring us one dish and we, of course it was two of us. We split because we're like can we just try everything?

Mike:

They brought everything. I just can't. I still the tentacles are. It's just really weird.

Dana:

It was gross.

Amanda:

My husband loves, octopus, he loves it.

Jana:

It's hard to get past the texture, even if it was good, just the look of it Right.

Mike:

No judgment, no judgment.

Amanda:

And I'm proud of you for trying it. And didn't it feel nice to try it and not have to spend extra money on it, Dana?

Jana:

I had to look at it for a few minutes before I could put that in my mouth, but the taste was fine. It did not taste fishy, it didn't taste like crab, it didn't taste like lobster, it don't taste like anything. It's octopus but it doesn't have a fishy taste, which I think most people expect. But the texture was hard for me to get through. But the server there at the restaurant, he was from Turks and Caicos. We were at Neptune's at Turks and Caicos and I asked him. I talked to him before I did it and I said can you tell me about this? And he talked about it. He talked through it as no big deal and it really wasn't. It was served with a tomato paste. Sure, the taste was fine, but I struggled with the texture because those little suction cups on their legs are hard to get past.

Erica:

Yes, well see, amanda just made a really good point, like everything's included and if you can try, it and doesn't feel better because you didn't pay for it. Correct, I didn't pay for it.

Jana:

And so I kind of scooted it to the side and I had ordered something along with it because I knew I probably would not eat the whole bowl of octopus. So I had ordered two entrees and you can do that. The very first time I ever had lobster with sandals, duns River way back when right, yeah, I'm not a lobster person and I said to the guy I said well, what if I get in and I don't like it? He said no problem, I'm going to bring you something else. So, and I got no Jamaican accent either. That's your tendency, jamaican right there, but sorry for anybody in Jamaica who might hear this.

Mike:

I just I'm sorry.

Jana:

I just I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but then I ordered a steak, so I got to try things I would have never in my life paid for. They were included. Try it. If you don't like it, that's okay. Order something else. You want to order everything on the menu? Do it Me and Dana also in Turks went to the Parisian restaurant and ordered every single dessert. Oh my gosh.

Amanda:

But the crème brûlée is where you lost that, yeah, take this one, so I got the crème brûlée on resort. It doesn't matter where I'm eating, I'm finding.

Jana:

And what was it? Oh gosh, name is escaping me. Adrian is an Adrian. Is that right at Royal Bahamian? Adrian is no, no, no, no. Who is it? Oh gosh, his name escapes me, but we were sitting there eating dessert and he walked in he's upper level management sandals. I can't remember what it was Nope. He was in Joe's latest video, Stuart's latest video oh. Mr Laird, mr Garth Laird.

Erica:

There you are, Sorry.

Jana:

Garth. I'll be the way into your Garth, how's that? But he walked in and he looked at our plate. He said, yeah, you're enjoying, we are enjoying so good. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with trying multiple dishes. You're on vacation, do something different, all right. Erica is absolutely correct. When we get there and I know Erica has an itinerary- A minute. She's a planner Two minutes A itinerary of what she's going to have at Sandals Ochi. On that last night that we have the free time, I've had about three restaurants, so far.

Erica:

Oh, yeah, she's. I know where I'm eating breakfast every day. I know when I'm gonna go with a point. Yeah, that's just how I am, though.

Amanda:

But that's how you are. Yeah, and that's okay.

Jana:

But you don't have to, erica. I have a feeling just like when you went to Disney with me. When you go to Jamaica with me. My goal is to slow you down. My goal is to relax all those thoughts that go through your brain every single minute because you're in Jamaica and Jamaica is it happens, it happens, you need to Now. We can still do all the restaurants.

Erica:

I'm not playing with that.

Jana:

I just need to give up.

Erica:

I just need to let go. But it's just and just let go.

Jana:

Yes, we're gonna get a drink and we are going to just roam and what happens happens.

Amanda:

That's what we're gonna do, so and you're gonna start sending me pictures.

Erica:

I'm so happy with you when you're first.

Amanda:

Bob Marley. I mean, it's kind of a Christian.

Jana:

It is. It is you gotta have a Bob?

Erica:

Marley, and then I'm not even gonna ask what it is, I'm just, I'm gonna trust all of you.

Amanda:

Just give it to you and she's gonna have a dirty banana.

Erica:

I just want a paddleboard, that's all paddleboard and my little boat with my little sail and you all take your pictures. She's gonna do this whole catamaran, oh yeah.

Jana:

I love all of those things.

Erica:

So if we don't stop talking about these tiny details, we're never gonna get through this they're so much included, but I think you're but you're really onto something, though, because it's those little details that you're not gonna get anywhere else, and when you look at everything that is included and you haven't even touched on everything that's included- I think we've known three things.

Jana:

Three things, yeah, but the key thing is track. That's not even everything that's included.

Erica:

When you compare that to a different type of vacation whether that be a cruise or a theme park this is so much more and it's so much better. I feel way more better, way more better.

Jana:

Correct. You all can use our hashtag.

Amanda:

Oh yeah, we'll use that.

Jana:

Okay.

Amanda:

So transitioning out of a meal is tough. How long did you sit at the restaurant waiting on them to bring you a check before you knew it was okay to get up?

Jana:

Well, you are asking the wrong person because I've been there, done that, so it's just like we did sit there. But we sat there because at Marios and Neptune's, both the servers will just come and engage and talk with you. And one of the things I love to do is ask about life on the island, ask how's this, how's that? And it's not offensive to them. They're happy to tell you about their life and how they live. But you're just so relaxed at this point, by the time you get to your first dinner, everything is gonna sink in. Some people might not let it sink in the first night, but you really gotta embrace the relax when you're on these trips, right, but you sit there and you enjoy the rest of your drink. They'll refill your drink, have another dessert, go to another restaurant, but you literally just get up and walk away. There is no check, there's nothing to sign, nothing's being charged to your room, it is all included.

Amanda:

It's that social cue that we wait on. You know, we're like okay, where's it at, let's go. And then you're like, oh no, that's not how this works. I'm free to go. And you talk about a different kind of experience and a wake up call when you're coming back home and you get to that first meal, maybe at the airport. Oh man, right, like, oh, that's an expensive meal. Yeah yeah, we're not, it's not fun when it happens. Yeah, so, but that also brings us to the next big inclusion that I don't think people think about often, and that's tipping. We have a no tipping policy, so no tipping. Your gratuities are included, and it's a wonderful experience to not have to have a soggy single, you know, down at the pool to get your next beer, your next water or Coke, or Balmarlay or dirty banana or whatever it is right, Whatever it might be red stripe. Yeah, Recently, you know, we went to South Coast. I got to take my husband for the first time and he in the room before we went to dinner and he's like, and I don't need my wallet, right, Right, lock it up, Lock it up, Lock it up. We'll get it out when we get ready to go.

Dana:

And at that moment I felt the switch for him Right Deep breath that we've already had. I can imagine that.

Amanda:

This is different. Yeah, and he'll tell you. It was one of the most relaxing experiences, and he's ready to go back.

Jana:

Yeah, when we took Mike, because a couple of years ago Mike had never been. So we went down with Mike and when you first, because he was dreading the whole trip, he didn't want to go to Jamaica, he was not interested in going essentially drug him there, had to force him to get a passport, all the things right. So why don't you talk a little bit about where? Once you got there, at what point during that trip did you be like, ooh, I like this.

Mike:

It would be like. I mean, it took a while to get adjusted Because when we got there, first of all they brought liquor to the room, which was great, but then the next morning when we ate breakfast, it was still. We were still when they were bringing us. They wouldn't let us get up and grab our own drinks, or I mean they would, but they would try to. You know everything trying to stop.

Amanda:

They were trying to take care of you Exactly. They were trying to get spoiled and you didn't know that experience, that feeling Right, and it's a weird adjustment.

Mike:

It took like two days to not feel like you have to. Like you said, break your wallet out and tip and pay the bill. And it was just. Everything was just done, it was. I loved it.

Jana:

So what he's referring to is at the buffet at Beach's Ochi. You know, they do see you. You don't see it yourself. They will see you, even at the buffet. They'll see you and then they'll pour water, they'll take the napkin off the table, lay it in your lap and then and they'll say may I pour you your first cup of blue mountain coffee this morning? Yes, but I think for Mike the biggest thing is they kept looking at me and I was like, well, I'm gonna go get this, noma lady, noma lady, I'll get it for you. And I think that was an adjustment for Mike letting someone do for him versus him doing it for himself. Now you do get up and get your plate and serve your food, but they refill your drinks, they bring the coffee, they bring the water, so it's kind of a buffet, but it's a buffet table service mix, because the food part get up and go get it, but the rest of it is done for you. But everywhere we went, even when the gentleman brought the alcohol to the room, mike opened a bottle. He took a few swigs out of it. The next day was a brand new bottle sitting there. So I think it was an adjustment for him because it was just such a strange experience that we've never had before outside of a Sandals Resort. It's just that they do everything for you. It's just completely different.

Amanda:

But Well, you're an honored guest and that's the experience that we wanna convey. If you went to someone's home, your best friend's home, in a different city, in a different state, you sort of get that kind of treatment too right, Like they're taking care of you.

Dana:

They're showing care to you.

Amanda:

They're helping you with your meals. I mean my friends, you better not come to my house. Come to my house, Jenna, because that's how I'm treating you too.

Jana:

But it's because we care. I'd be like the kitchen's in there, get you a drink.

Dana:

But beware of Steve.

Jana:

I do not have Sandals and Beaches service in my home, so you better take care of yourself.

Amanda:

Well, I mean, I guess I should say I don't either, because the first thing Eric says to me when we come back home is like he's gonna make coffee, Correct? Oh right, it's your turn. It's your turn.

Jana:

You know, you can set up your coffee maker to do it for you. Mr Coffee makes it. That's still somebody's job it is it is it's true, it's true, okay.

Amanda:

All right, let's move on down the list. Yep, all right, so we've hit some of the big ones Transfers, food, alcohol, the no tipping and the gratuities being included. Let's look at the land sports and the water sports. Oh, man. Because what are you gonna do on resort, besides read relax, roll over.

Jana:

You know what I do as far as eating, drink is what we're gonna do. I snorkel all day long. I sign up for every snorkel spot. We did that and we were sore after the vacation because we snorkeled so much.

Amanda:

But you know, snorkeling's supposed to be a lazy man's sport, right man? We were working it.

Jana:

We enjoyed every last second of the snorkeling. It was our favorite thing to do.

Mike:

Yeah, make sure you don't get the wrong size flippers Right. You gotta make sure you get the right size flippers. That makes a difference.

Jana:

Yes, or they're not too big, because they'll cramp you up. Oh, cramping bad, but that is something included. It's absolutely included, erica. What were some of the inclusions you saw that you're looking forward to?

Erica:

Oh, paddle boarding.

Jana:

And the water sports and land sports Paddle boarding.

Erica:

For sure, I think she wants a paddle board, I want a paddle board?

Jana:

I'm not sure, maybe not.

Dana:

Seems like she might be most interested in something like that, I mean I thought I heard her say paddle something Maybe.

Erica:

Paddle something. The board Paddle board. I think that's what it's called Paddle boarding. She wants to Google it. The first time I went to Beaches Turks.

Jana:

I went with Kelly and we did the little kayak, the two-seater kayak, and we went way out in the ocean. We got some really cool pictures. Me and Mike also did that and my kids did that at Beaches Ochi, so that's a fun one as well that we enjoyed. We saw people trying to do the stand-up board with the surf on it. What?

Mike:

do you call that the windsurfing? We saw the dad trying to teach the son how to do it and he was. I mean, he had directions, he knew how to do it, and then dad got on it and it was a catastrophe.

Erica:

It was a whole whole big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big. We should try that, dana. Let's do that, let's do that, let's do that.

Dana:

I'll watch you from the shore and you know they have all kinds of like soccer balls and stuff around at Beaches.

Jana:

Ochi, the last time we were there, the guys who worked the water sports there on the beach, they had this entire soccer game on the beach with some of the guests, the kids, the adults. It was this big game, just a random game that broke out.

Amanda:

It's all about spending time together, right? That's the one thing that we have, that's the one thing that we don't have enough of, that we all share in common. And when you're there, it's like what can we do together? That's gonna create these memories. I did the kayaking at South Coast and I remember thinking, okay, are there limits here? Am I gonna go too far out? Is there a boundary here? And you know it's, you're safe, you can see the shoreline and you can really explore a big distance. That resort runs the stretch of two miles of beachfront right. So you've got this incredible experience that's not limited or restricted in a way that's noticeable, if that makes sense.

Jana:

So to go quickly through the list of water sports, be prepared, I'm gonna go quick Scoob diving, paddle board or water skiing with master craft boats, snorkeling and protected reefs, kayaking, hobby cat selling, banana boats, underwater vision, glass bottom boats, wind surfing, aqua trikes.

Mike:

Forget about the glass bottom boats.

Jana:

Oh yeah, we did the glass bottom boat too. That was cool.

Amanda:

Well, and I guess you know your listeners probably would want to know just a little bit about where they go to sign up for that, and it's at our water sports area, so we have this dedicated group of professionals whose primary goal and responsibility is to allow you to do these things safely and, you know, included no fee Right Now.

Jana:

The underwater vision, that's not at every resort, right, that's just at Turks.

Amanda:

Correct.

Jana:

But glass bottom boats are everywhere, wind surfing, aqua trikes everywhere, banana boats everywhere, hobby cat selling, kayaking everywhere, snorkeling everywhere, water skiing every, it's not at everywhere.

Amanda:

So we definitely have that in a grill and, I believe, at Royal Caribbean, if I'm not mistaken.

Jana:

How to boarding everywhere, daily scuba diving everywhere. But let's talk about this. There's a caveat to scuba diving. So, yes, scuba diving is completely included if you're certified, correct.

Amanda:

So you want to be certified before you go scuba diving. Taking your first breath underwater is not intuitive for anybody, right? There are some people who are more naturally inclined to be comfortable underwater and some of us, like me, take a little bit. So you want to make sure that you have those skills. If you are a professional not a professional, but a non novice diver you've dove within the last six months, you can show up at resort. You'll sign up for the morning dives. You get two complimentary tank dives a day.

Jana:

That's an incredible value yes, it is.

Amanda:

Private dive boats. We have our own dive boats, so you'll load up with our crew, they go out, they give you the instruction and that's you plan the dive, dive the plan. These are Patti certified organizations. We're consistently recognized as the leader in Caribbean diving because of the amount of diving that we do. They usually do a shallower dive, so maybe you're 40, 35, 40, 50 feet maybe, and then there's a deeper dive that follows that, and you can do both, or you can choose to do one or the other, and, as long as the weather holds and the diving conditions are good, you can do that every day of your trip, except for day of arrival, and then you wanna have 24 hours at sea level before you fly again.

Jana:

He was gonna do get certified in beaches and that's what happened. We waited too late to do it. So next time we go we're gonna know better sign him up the day after we arrive and get him going. On that I had some clients who just came home from Beaches. Tarts, him and his two sons got completely certified. They went out diving. He came back he said I walked on the bottom of the ocean for 40 minutes.

Dana:

That is fantastic.

Jana:

I think that's super cool. So there's a ton. Of course you're in the Caribbean, the water is the focus, it's the feature, but there's a ton of land sports included. Maybe you don't want to get in the water beyond your ankles. There's still tons for you to do, including golf, which is completely included, volleyball, tennis, beach soccer, shuffleboard, billiards and darts, croquet, basketball, table tennis, fitness. And now there's a lot of pickleball. Pickleball.

Amanda:

Absolutely so. There's, you know, tennis and the racket sports that are available, but pickleball is is the newest craze across the country. You're seeing it pop up everywhere and I love that. And here's the thing you don't have to fly with your equipment. So, just like we were talking about trying the food and not necessarily having to feel like you're out of pocket, you're not having to fly with your paddleboard. Do you own a paddleboard already, erica?

Mike:

No, but I want one. It's on.

Erica:

Christmas list.

Amanda:

Well, but that's. But that's the point, Like what a cool experience to try some of these activities that do require skill and equipment or an expensive equipment purchase yeah. Yeah, Before you get there you know, I mean before you invest in that yourself, you might discover your next love language, your activity love language. And you did that all while you were on vacation in this beautiful destination.

Jana:

Let's touch on the golf for a minute, because what everyone needs to know is golf is not included. It's included, but there's not a golf course at every single resort.

Amanda:

That's right, so which?

Jana:

resorts do not offer golf.

Amanda:

It's easy for me to go through the ones that do offer golf. So in St Lucia, you know we have the three resorts there St Sandals Grand, st Lucian, sandals Housing on Beach and Sandals Regency, latocque. There is a golf course nearby there and we offer the the complimentary shuttles both to and from. You can set up your T times when you get there, or I know you guys with Main Street would set up those T times for them in advance of travel as well. You don't have to fly with your equipment, so you can rent your shoes and you can rent clubs there. Cards are available, caddies are available. So you've got St Lucia as option one. Option two will be in the Ocho Rias area, which we've been really talking a lot about, the Ocho Rias area today, which is where you have beaches, ochi Sandals, ochi Sandals Royal Plantation and the brand new Duns River. So golf is complimentary there as well.

Jana:

And the new beaches, runaway bay will be there as well, correct?

Amanda:

And then the last place that we'll talk about that we've not mentioned yet is Sandals, emerald Bay. Oh yeah, so Emerald Bay features a stunning golf course that runs along the coast of that resort, and sometimes when you build a resort, you maximize the land for the resort, but there was due consideration for this golf course so that it has prime real estate and it's stunning. Wow, it's a Greg Norman designed course and they actually host the Corn Fairy Tournament there every January, which is a very popular part of the PGA tour.

Jana:

And Sandals. Emerald Bay is located on the island of Exuma and you talk about some of the bluest water. It's so blue, it's almost glowing.

Amanda:

It's like Kool-Aid right.

Jana:

It is. I call it Windex Blue.

Mike:

So if you look at a bottle of Windex.

Jana:

That's the color of the water there at Sandals, emerald Bay. So when you're on that golf course and you're overlooking those beautiful, beautiful green, green, green green ways, then, in contrast, you've got that beautiful blue water. It's incredibly stunning. It's jaw-dropping. Yeah, that's also a place where there is a fun excursion that this would be something you'd pay extra to go do, but you can swim with the pigs there. So that's a pretty. Is it Pig Island? I believe it is, and it's a pretty popular excursion. And, like I got Dana shaking her head, no, erica shaking her head.

Amanda:

yes, it changed my life. It was one of the best excursions. I would totally go do it. I would go to that island just for that excursion. I would take y'all's pictures.

Dana:

I would definitely photograph those memories for you.

Jana:

So it's not for everybody, but Xuma is very special in that you do have some really unique excursions you can do from there. Plus, if you are a golfer, that is probably the golf course Like you said, a Greg Norman golf course that you want to go play on at least once.

Amanda:

Yeah, it's in line with Pebble Beach right. Yeah, people will put this golf course on their list of I've got to do this because it's absolutely stunning.

Jana:

So let's get back to the little kids for a minute at Beecher's Resorts and we are like we got 10 minutes left so we better go quick.

Amanda:

Hey, we'll have a round two. We will have to have a round two, because this all inclusive.

Jana:

We could talk about this all day long. So for little kids like we're talking, your elementary, younger middle school kids First, they offer Sesame Street characters at all Beecher's Resorts.

Amanda:

Absolutely so. We want to partner with those Sesame Street characters, and these friends are so in tune because some kids are terrified.

Jana:

Right.

Amanda:

Characters right. And then some are like come on, give me Elmo, bring me Cookie Monster, let's do this. So they're so intuitive at offering family-friendly entertainment across the resort. You'll have the nighttime shows, You've got parades, You've got breakfast with the characters or you've got the tuck-in time. Sometimes and you just see them kind of cruising the resort and you can have a storytime and it's a really incredible experience.

Jana:

It truly is, especially the tuck-in time, where they come in and read a story to your child and they tuck them into bed. That's so sweet Super sweet but like they have a kids club for ages two to four and then for ages five, seven and then eight to 10 and then 11 to 13 are the kids club, so there's something age appropriate for literally anybody who goes there and for the itiest bittiest of the guests.

Amanda:

This is amazing, this is amazing. This is amazing, this is amazing, this is amazing, this is amazing.

Jana:

So if mom wants and mom and dad like dad wants to go play golf, mom wants a spa appointment, You've got these accredited nannies. They're on resort who are there to take care of your kids. For you, Absolutely.

Amanda:

And it's our business to make sure that they're safe, that they're happy and that they want to be in those spaces. The worst thing in the world as a mom is to come is to have your kid be in an experience and then hate it.

Mike:

Oh yeah, you leave them crying, you come back, you come up there crying. You really want to go do that massage you leave them crying.

Amanda:

You come back, you come up there crying yeah, and that is not to be a kid. Who's there? You?

Dana:

can't relax, you can't relax Right now.

Jana:

And you know some of the activities, like if you think, well, what are my children going to do? They're just going to sit in the room and watch TV all day. No, they have beach excursions and story time. They have supervised play time because there are still land sports, there's little playgrounds, there's a giant chess set. There's so many things to do. Arts and crafts are going to be included and then, of course, literally all ages are welcome to participate in that nanny service. Then, for your older kids, you've got Trench Town and the Shadow Lounge and the kids' clubs and the Xbox Lounge. You've got all the things to keep everybody. You can go into one of the little Trench Town and areas and there's games. You can take board games back to your room. There are books, absolutely there are movies for in your room. There's so many things to do. They have got kids scuba programs as well. And if you recall, if you and I were at Turks back in May and we'd bought past that pool and they had that little boy in the pool oh yeah, teaching him, getting him certified to dive, and he was doing really good.

Amanda:

So I think the minimum age to certify is 10. But don't allow kids who are younger than that the opportunity to take their first breath underwater to discover scuba. And how much fun is it to be in the pool at night with scuba gear or your snorkel gear and glow sticks.

Jana:

Right, I think it's pretty cool.

Amanda:

I think it's neat.

Jana:

Something that me and Dana witnessed at Turks and Caicos, and if you know what I'm talking about, we'll just speak up and speak to it. But we went to dinner one of the first nights. Oh, the first night. Go ahead, okay.

Dana:

So my family also is a Disney family. We, you know, we go as a family. We have for years and we and if you've been to a theme park anytime of the year you know anytime during the day, but especially at certain times of the day, you're going to hear cranky, fussy kids. It's not always the happiest place in the world, fussy parents.

Jana:

You're welcome.

Dana:

So we were at dinner this first night I didn't have been a long day because it was our travel day and we decided what restaurant we were going to go to and we sat down and you know, like she said, they seat you, they, you know, lay your napkin in your lap, they bring you drinks, and so we're just. You know, it's another time we had the welcome cocktail party. It was beautiful. We sit down to dinner and there is a sweet little family sitting over here and everything was going amazing. There was another little family over there and the children were just sitting and eating and everyone was happy.

Jana:

There was no smiling, crying.

Dana:

There was no screaming. That was one of the first things I know, like we both noticed it.

Amanda:

Their needs were met. Yes, their needs were met. They were rested.

Dana:

They were rested and they probably enjoyed their day. Because we're speaking about these, these kids activities, the kids clubs and all the things that the kids can do, because I'm going to want to go, sit in my beach chair and just be all day long, provided I have enough beverage and food, but you know your, your eight year old, is probably not going to want to do that and you want them to be able to do what they want to do. Well, the world is open to them. At a property like this, at a beaches, they can choose all these different things that keep them busy and happy all day long and, like you said, when you come back with mom and dad for dinner, everybody's had a great day, everybody is happy. It's not like you made them stand in a long line for an hour to ride, ride in the hot, you know it was. That stood out to me huge.

Amanda:

It's just a completely different paradigm. It's a completely different vacation paradigm.

Mike:

Our 16 year old. One of me first got there, saw the basketball courts, was so excited about the basketball courts we never touched the basketball courts.

Amanda:

Oh really, oh, my goodness, you never made it to them because there are so many other things. They never made it past the water park the beach, the, everything else there was. He was probably thinking, well, I've got basketball back in Tennessee. True, we do the other things. Yeah, right.

Jana:

And speaking of teens, because teens are a very important category here.

Amanda:

Teens are tough too. Right, Teens are tough and we definitely pay attention to that teen market.

Jana:

So they can do their own thing. They can go around, they can do all the water sports, they can do the land sports, they can do their own thing. They have a liquid nightclub for teens specifically so they can come together in the evenings and meet other people. And there's a fun story where one of our clients met another client at a beach reserves resort. The boy lives in New York, the girl is here in Tennessee and they wound up going to prom together. They still communicate. They created that friendship. Yeah. They're kind of long distance dating at this point, but you meet people from all over the world, from different countries. It's not just Americans You're going to see when you go to the resort. You see people from literally everywhere. The teens have a beach shack, a beach shack, they have beach parties. So imagine a beach party at night, all lit up, the teens. They're having good, safe fun, supervised, of course, by the beach's staff Again. They also get access to the Xbox Play Lounge, trench Town Shadow Lounge. There are outdoor billiard y'all, swim up juice and soda bars, water skiing, windsurfing, daily school diving All the things are included. Penis clinics are offered, reggae jam sessions, karaoke and talent shows, dance parties. They're so, so much happening and we literally have about three and a half minutes left.

Amanda:

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, I don't know what?

Jana:

these last three and a half minutes, Amanda, I want you to quickly speak towards. We've talked about the kids and all the things there is to do for the kids. What about me? What about the adults? What can I do at a beach's resort?

Amanda:

So you're going to have everything on offer that you would have had at Sandals, like we talked about before, but the beach's experience to me is it's the quintessentially perfect resort because I'm getting to watch my family have fun and that, like you said, they're safe, it's supervised, and I have the option to do the activities alongside my kids, or I can go visit the spa, or I can go do some of the activities. we've still got the same paddle boarding that's available, but you know what it's probably my favorite is the fact that I get to date my spouse again yeah, or I get to have some girls time because, goodness knows that a BFF at a beach's property is is is out of the park right yeah so you get to reconnect with those people that you're traveling with and you get to be a human again, like as a mom traveling.

Jana:

I get to be a human again and not a dishcloth, yeah, you know, one of those experiences you can only get by going there and something that we experienced, mike and I, when we went, but that me and Dana witnessed when we were there is is how relaxed mom is, absolutely now, I am not knocking dad's dad at all you do an incredible job supporting your families and helping with the kids and getting us there sometimes. It's usually a double commitment for, but I think, on a woman's mind and I'm sure there's some men out there who have to do this you're in a position where you have to do this, but everything, every thought goes through our mind every potential catastrophe, every potential detail, every potential what if? And it's like what if this and what if that, and da, da, da, da. But when you get there in, those stresses of home and life are left behind and you get to a beaches and your kids are in safe hands here and you are in good hands, because when you all come together at the end of the day and you look over your family and everybody is smiling over that dinner, those little bitties are giggling and having a good time and they're rested, and then you get back to your room at the end of the night, everybody just crashes for the day it's. It's something to experience. It's something that you don't necessarily, as Americans, get in our daily life here.

Amanda:

So beaches is special yeah, it's a gift of being present. Yeah, it's absolutely the gift of being present. You know, I think, when I think about me traveling, I'm packing. I'm the packer, right, of course two cases and I've just figured out how to pack them in the car and I figured out who's gonna carry what in the airport. So there's a lot of logistics that are going on that once you're there, you're there and it's over. That part is over and it's a complete opportunity to decompress and regenerate and rejuvenate that energy so we are looking forward next week.

Jana:

We live on Monday jealous, we will FOMO so I wish you were going with us. We fly into Montego Bay. We do not necessarily have Club Bay booked on arrival it's book solid but we do have it for departure we can talk about that another time but we are going to be staying at Sandals. Ochi, I'm so excited. I love this resort. I don't know which side of the resort will be on but, I don't either. I don't care that. We will be touring rooms at Sandals Ochi and beaches Ochi, which is officially beaches Ocherios, but I call it beaches Ochi, sorry. And then Sandals Royal Plantation, which we were just at last December. We got to tour that. We're gonna tour the golf course here in Ocherios, jamaica, which of course we've been to before. That was awesome. We'll get to drive little golf courts. So we're excited, and I'm excited to see that old ghost tree again too, see for me it's those hope.

Amanda:

The ghost is still there. This will be a mystery.

Jana:

I swear, for me it's just the little things that stick out yeah, and then, of course, we're going to see the brand spanking these sandals over the top, over the top.

Amanda:

So this resort is gonna represent the epitome and the the ultimate, the most epic resort that we've seen so far, and it really does set the bar for what we have coming forward so we are going to try to record, if Jana can figure out how to work the little box.

Jana:

We're gonna try to record because I and if I can't get it on the box, I'm definitely gonna record from my phone and bring you guys the sounds of Jamaica, the Peany Wallies, to you so you can hear them as well, and then we will come back and we'll tell you guys all about it, all about the experience, what we see, what it's like. I've been to all of these, except for sandals, duns River so I already know I absolutely recommend that everybody give sandals or beaches a chance, even if you are that every single year Disney family yeah, I'm going to encourage you to try something a little different. Don't get me wrong Disney is fantastic. I love it. This entire podcast, what 10, 15 years ago was based off of Disney, that's what we did. That's we lived and breathed it. But there come a point as a travel planner that of course I sell other things. I'm gonna have to go visit other things, and when I stepped foot on my first sandals, duns River property way, way, way like I think it was 2008, maybe, or nine is when I went. It changed a perspective for me. There are other things out in the world that are super fun for families to go do. It doesn't always have to be a theme park, and what I learned is what I didn't realize then, that I realized after I went to my first sandals and beaches property is how much work a theme park vacation is. It's a ton of work so the sandals and beaches is something completely different and of course, they are a very special brand of resorts. You don't get this all.

Amanda:

All, all inclusives are not equal so well, I haven't paid you to say any of that spectacular? No, you have it and your stories and your history with the company. Yeah, and we appreciate you. I can speak firmly from sandals and beaches perspective that we couldn't do it without you, without your company, and the support that you guys give us and helping your clients get to our resorts is incredible but what sandals and beaches needs to hear is that we couldn't do it without y'all either.

Jana:

Because you're here your brand your brand set apart and, and I think the biggest difference for me when I go to a sandals and beaches versus another all inclusive is the people at your properties make all the difference in the world, and I know that everybody has a bad day they do. We have come across it occasionally at a sandals and beaches property but for the most part, you have to let people be human too, so we understand that someone's having a bad day, but man though that they I don't know if they train them, I don't know if it's natural and their personalities I don't know what it is, but the people at the sandals and beaches resorts make this brand what it is in my opinion they hear that. I hope every single one of them out there here's that at least feels the love that you're saying yeah, and you know, in the event, that any of them do hear this is you make my vacation special, you make my vacation 100%, what I go home in my memories and what it is, and if I have a bad experience here and there, I can dismiss that, but you don't get that at sandals or beaches across the board.

Dana:

Yeah, maybe we work across one person, one person that maybe didn't purposefully look up and say you know, hi yeah but for the most part it was even the, the housekeeping. We passed down the hall. They would always look and make eye contact. It's just a little, it's important the ground keepers.

Jana:

They would stop that like if they're blowing grass. They'll stop and let you pass and they speak to you. It's friendly. So you can have all the inclusions in the world. You can give me the best top shelf lickers. You can give me free scuba and free snorkeling and free airport transfers. You can do all the things. But the people on property who I converse with on a daily basis, all day long, make the difference, and that's where I think sandals and beaches stands apart. Is that the people they have there. I don't know if they're training them that way or, like I said, if it comes as a natural in their personalities, but they're doing something right when it comes to their people and I hope they never, ever lose that. And I know I can send my clients to a sandals beaches resorts and they are going to take care of my people. I don't have to worry about my people being offended or being unservice or left in a dirty room or what not. They're going to be cared for by the family and we want to get it resorts.

Amanda:

It's so important that we get it right and I have heard the founders say if we don't get it right, we don't want your money. We want to get it right and they strive for that every day and they have tremendous support and they do hire based on personality. There, you know, give me some people who really genuinely care and who want to do this kind of work and I will train them on all of the skills. There's some skills there too sure, they're customer service oriented and a part of a process that people experience or expect, but for the most part you're right, we're looking for those folks that have the spirit that reflects what, who we are well, all of that.

Jana:

Jamaica is my favorite Jamaica. I think Jamaica has the best Jamaican spirit on the face of the planet. It's only here's like but you got to come see us. You can't say that. I haven't been there yet I haven't been there. I'll come see y'all promise, and I'll go with her. All right, y'all? Thanks so much for listening to us today. Talk about something a little different. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it was informative and I hope that you now are ready to give sandals and beaches resort to try. You know that we are travel planners. We but absolutely love to help you plan your trip to sandals and beaches resorts. Our services are completely free. It does not cost you more to book with us. That price is going to be the same regardless. Clearly, we have firsthand experience and knowledge of these properties. We would love to help you have the best and perfect vacation that you can have. If you would like to call, then leave us any comments or thoughts on any of our shows. You can reach us at 615-246-5892 3. Leave us a voicemail. We will play you on the show as soon as we get the voicemail. So, amanda, thank you so much for coming here today. Now you do have to come back because we get to finish.

Amanda:

I would love to do this every day with you guys is a pleasure. You've made it easy, fun and right in line with way more better. Yes, it is.

Jana:

We have a pretty dog on good. All right, dana and Erica, I will see you at the airport bright and early, well dark and early dark and early on Monday morning and I hope the rest of you guys have an amazing week and you can be thinking about us in Jamaica while you're at work. All week long you can follow you on your socials. Follow us on our social media, our Facebook pages main street travel co. All spelled out. Our Instagram is main ST travel co and our TikTok is also main ST travel co. So follow us along. We will put some of them penny Wiley sounds out there and we'll show you some ghost trees at the golf course.

Mike:

I'm gonna show you Erica's dance and.

Jana:

I'm gonna show you Erica's face when she puts that lemongrass rag on her face with her melt yeah, so all right, y'all have a great week.

Caribbean Sandals and Beaches Resorts
Exploring Sandals and Beaches Resorts
Differences Between Sandals and Beaches
All-Inclusive Resort Dining Experiences
All-Inclusive Experience and No Tipping Policy
Sports and Activities at the Resort
Beach Resort Activities for Families
People at Sandals and Beaches Resorts
Airport Meeting and Social Media Updates