Teresa Villanueva and
Raymond Anderson of Sandals/Beaches
Erica Henry-Jackson, Antigua Tourist Board with Thomas Cook’s
Carolina Suarez, Susan Carvalho and Diane Pedroso of ACV
You must be doing something right when you can lure 500 travel agents to downtown Toronto on the eve of the winterâ€™s first snow storm.Â
Oh, and itâ€™s the same night that our very own Golden Girls were in Vancouver, skating their way to gold in womenâ€™s hockey.
Well the folks at Sandals and Beaches obviously have the golden touch themselves, because the Delta Chelsea Inn was buzzing with travel agents â€“ some from as far away as Calgary – and almost 50 Sandals/Beaches staff. We knew that Butch Stewart had influenceâ€¦could he possibly have arranged the snow to make us all think of sunnier climes?
The gala dinner was preceded by a trade show attended by the tourist boards whose islands are home to the various resorts. Agents also had the chance to glean first-hand info and updates from the loyal Sandals and Beaches staffers. Where better than to get the inside scoop on which resorts are the best?
According to Wayne Noseworthy, Director of Product Development at Thomas Cook, Sandals White House is the place to be: â€œThe location, the butlers and Neptunes Restaurant.â€
Sandals and Beachesâ€™ own training manager Lorna Richards has seen it all, and reports that each has its own ambience.Â Her faves? â€œFor pampering?Â Royal Plantation. For an active holiday? Sandals Montego Bay.â€
ACVâ€™s Diane Pedroso admitted that while each resort reflects the destination, sheâ€™s partial to Sandals Royal Bahamian, â€œSo charming â€“ I love it!â€ Her colleague Susan Carvalho voted for one thatâ€™s not even open yet: â€œI know Sandals Great Exuma is going to be my favourite â€“ itâ€™s going to have all butler service!â€
Travel agent Monique Powell of Uniglobe Instant in London â€“ who herself has visited 11 of the 13 Sandals properties and all four Beaches â€“ also declares White House a winner. â€œBecause of the beach, the layout, the awesome gym and dive facilities.â€
Now if theyâ€™d only send a butler or two up to help shovel my driveway!