Shandrani..

Shandrani Resort and Spa is a unique 5 star all inclusive hotel set within a private peninsula, surrounded by a Marine park and three amazing beaches, including my personal favourite; “the wild beach”

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Those looking for action and adventure will not be disappointed with what the Shandrani Resort and spa can offer, the Beachcomber Sports and Nature programme, you are only a short boat ride away from I’lle aux cerfs and I’lle aux Aigrettes nature reserve. If you are interested in sailing, take a short stroll along the beach to the Shandrani Sailing Club – they actually managed to teach me. – Now that is amazing !! and dont forget to try the PADI certified dive centre and 9 hole pitch and putt course and tennis courts. Truly something for everyone.

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For those looking for some relaxation a visit to the spa, is a must. “La Source wellness centre creates a blend of luxury and simplicity, definately a haven of peace within this stunnig setting on the South Eastern coast of Mauritius.

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Recently renovated rooms and family apartments are tastefully designed and light and bright with that tropical Mauritian flavour.

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Serenity Plus” is a unique all inclusive package, including sumptuous buffets and a choice of a la carte or meny du jour in the resorts restaurants. Nick would highly recommend a visit to the Thai Restaurant.  Unlimited Champagne from 6pm, premium wines and famous brands of spirits. Beach and pool service and mini bar.  Along with a 45 minute massage in the Spa, unlimited water skiing and kids club.

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Nicks top tip ” Visit the Cirius Bar at sunset and enjoy a Shandrani Surprise whilst watching the Indian Ocean sun disappear into the crystal clear waters”

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Nick travelled to Mauritius in December 2015 courtesy of Beachcomber Tours and British Airways

For more information concerning The Shandrani Resort and Spa or any other Beachcomber Hotel, contact Nick on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk or call into our store at 8 The Boulevard,      Balham High Road, Balham, London,SW17 7BW (opposite DuCane Court)

 

The No.1 Address in Mauritius

The Royal Palm long regarded as the number one address in Mauritius and its is clear from the moment that you arrive, the discreet personnel anticipates the guests every whim. Set within quite but yet elegantly casual surroundings the most prestigious address in Mauritius has recently unergone a facelift and has restablished itself as the leading hotel in Mauritius.

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Located on the sheltered North West coast, the pure white sandy beach, the finest haute cuisine inspired by an award winning chef and a simply fabulous Clarins Spa make this a unique place.

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Nick travelled to Mauritius in December 2015, courtesy of Beachcomber Tours and British Airways

For more information concerning any Beachcomber Hotel contact Nick on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk or call into our store at 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, London, SW17 7BW (opposite DuCane Court).

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Trains…Planes and then Luxury Trains…

Step on board the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and experience the excitement of luxury train travel.

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From the moment you join the train, you are transported to a world of pure indulgence. Take a seat in the vintage carriages that once ran on legendary 1920s services such as The Brighton Belle and The Golden Arrow.

Glide through stunning scenery to destinations all over Britain as champagne flows and gourmet cuisine is served. Expect glamour, fun and a dash of adventure on all the  UK day trips and weekend excursions to cities, country houses and sporting events.

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The Belmond British Pullman luxury train embodies everything that was fabulous about the roaring 20s and 30s. Today, each carriage has been lovingly restored and refurbished so that you too can experience the glamour of vintage rail travel.

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Arguably the World’s Most Famous Train gift vouchers for the Belmond British Pullman or Belmond Northern Belle are fantastic presents, so why not watch the documentary and get inspired?

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Enjoy special occasions on board from £235pp for Valentines Day, Mothers Day Lunch, Mothers Day Afternoon Tea, Christmas Lunch and New Years Eve.

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Dining Experiences from £195pp including Afternoon Tea, Spirit of Travel Dinner, Belmond Le Manoir Aux  Quat’Saisons, The Variety Dinner and Celebrity Chef Dinners .

Best of British Experiences from £295pp including Chatsworth House, Bath, The Golden Age of Travel, London and Edinburgh

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Nick traveled on the British Pullman in December 2015, for more information call him on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk or pop in to our store, at Travel Designers, 8 The Boulevard,Balham, London, SW17 7BW (Opposite DuCane Court)

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A Romantic Rendezvous

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Romantic Rendezvous, located in Saint Lucia has always been one of my favorite hotels in the Caribbean. I was so lucky to visit this lovely hotel this November.

This is the perfect place for a Caribbean wedding – you can choose to exchange vows anywhere on the property and the resort’s wedding coordinators take great care to ensure that your day is as special as you imagined

At Rendezvous, you can do as much or as little as you like. Whether you prefer to unwind at the Spa in the Water Garden or make the most of the amazing choice of activities, you are sure to find something right for you. Complimentary sports range from tennis, golf, archery and volleyball, to watersports and PADI diving.

Take a bike ride to explore the surrounding area or opt for an excursion to the rainforest and the majestic Pitons.

Enjoy casual daytime and elegant evening fare at The Terrace Restaurant, serving a varied choice of dishes. Dine in style in the renowned à la carte fine dining restaurant, The Trysting Place, where a sophisticated atmosphere complements great cuisine. For those who enjoy music, dancing and evening entertainment, the Terrace Bar is a place for you to mingle with fellow guests or enjoy a romantic cocktail.

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Rendezvous definately have some of the friendliest staff on the island, all committed to ensuring you have the Caribbean holiday of your dreams.

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Beverley traveled to The Rendezvous courtesy of Kuoni Travel UK and Virgin Atlantic Airways in November 2015

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For further information concerning Rendezvous contact Beverley on 020 7720 8484 or email beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or pop in to our store at 8 The Boulvevard, Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW17 7BW (opposite DuCane Court)

The Island of Gods…. Bali

Lesley traveled to Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali, bursting with arts and crafts and with a laid back cafe culture. Many selling goods from local artisans.

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The surrounding area’s rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples and shrines, are among Bali’s most iconic landscapes. Ancient holy sites include the Tirta Empul temple complex, intricately carved Goa Gajah (“Elephant Cave”) and Gunung Kawi with its rock-cut shrines.

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Ubud’s popularity continues to grow, adding on the vibe created by the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love.

She would highly recommend a three to four day stay in Ubud whilst visiting the magical island of Bali.

Viceroy Bali

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One of the few family owned and run resorts that I have visited in the world and you can truly see this with amazing attention to detail.  Set in a secluded location in Ubud, with amazing views over the striking ravine, the resorts has been featured in numerous magazine and tv shoots. With only 25 villas, each with a private pool and valley views.  Whilst staying at the Viceroy Bali I would highly recommend enjoying a cocktail in the bar whilst watching the sunset over the Petanu River.

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Alila Ubud

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A contemporary design hotel, set within one of most beautiful surroundings perched above the Ayung River.  Rooms are set on stilts like tree houses, and the amazing infinity edged swimming pool seems to float high above the river.

Even if you do not decide to stay at the Alila, I would highly recommend that you book a table here for dinner, The Plantation Restaurants serves a seasonal menu of Balinese and Western cuisine, along with a generous wine list and creative cocktail menu.

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Lesley travelled to Bali courtesy of Kuoni Holidays UK and Singapore Airlines in November 2015

For further information concerning Bali holidays, contact Lesley on 020 7720 8484 or email her on lesley@traveldesigners.co.uk or call in store at Travel Designers, 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW17 7BW (Opposite Ducane Court)

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Its all about the Body…?

If you are looking to get away and reconnect body and mind, The BodyHoliday is the ultimate destination. The real luxury here is the wide choice of activities available the all-inclusive package that are just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

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Facing a quiet beach, the hotel features a great range of rooms and suites set in the gardens and overlooking the ocean, while five restaurants offer an impressive range of dining options and nightly entertainment.

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The ethos of this energetic and health-oriented beachfront destination is simple: to facilitate total rejuvenation, however you choose to achieve this.

Awaken your senses with a daily complimentary 50 minute treatment at the wellness centre, where welcoming therapists will leave you feeling refreshed and soothed.  I was lucky enough to experience the Ashuatsu treatment. I would also highly  recommend that you personalise your wellness experiences to ensure you make the most of your time here

Take the opportunity to learn expert tips from golf and tennis professionals at the superb on-site facilities, or try your hand at fencing, archery or beach volleyball. Borrow bikes or head out on morning group walks to explore the beautiful surroundings. Expend some energy with the diverse range of fitness classes or make use of the state-of-the-art equipment at the fitness centre. Endless watersports are also at your disposal, including windsurfing, water-skiing, beach dives and sailing.

BodyHoliday is truly about the experience and reconnecting with your body, in a luxury beachfront setting on the magical island of Saint Lucia.

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and if you are a single traveller, don’t forget about Bodyholidays’ exclusive single weeks.

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Beverley travelled to BodyHoliday courtesy of Kuoni Holidays UK and Virgin Atlantic Airways in November 2015

For more information concerning BodyHoliday call Beverley on 020 7720 8484 or email Beverley on beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or call into our store at Travel Designers, 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, Balham, SW17 7BW.  (opposite DuCane Court)

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You can travel to The Bodyholiday for 7 Nights staying on an All Inclusive Basis with flights from London Gatwick from Appoximately £1975 per person in June 2016

 

Sumptious Sugar Beach

I can now see why Forbes Magazine described Sugar Beach as one of the “most sexiest, most secenic spots in the Caribbean”.

Matt Damon chose to renew his vows to Luciana Barroso, guests included Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner,and  Chelsea Clinton to name a few. Sugar Beach definately in my opinion has true star quality.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the twin Piton mountains and the Val des Pitons form a breath-taking setting for Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. White walls contrast with dark wood floors, a private plunge pool glitters on the terrace and in the butler-serviced villas a claw foot bath promises deep-soak relaxation.

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Just steps from the water’s edge lies a small collection of stylish beachfront bungalows, with larger residences available around the bay. You can satisfy your gourmet cravings in the charming Great Room, the Palm Court Terrace for afternoon tea or at Bayside on the beach. After dinner, in the Cane Bar the resident rummelier will pour your preference from an impressive specialist rum list.

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Tucked away in the rainforest, the spa has unique treehouse-style treatment rooms for high level pampering.

Non-motorised watersports such as snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing are complimentary; diving is available on site or for the simplest of pleasures, take a nature walk under the rainforest canopy.

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The Spice Club for teens and tweens has its own sailing club whilst the Sugar Club is available for younger guests.

An amazing resort for families and couples, no visit to Saint Lucia would be complete without a stay at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort.

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Beverley traveled to Saint Lucia and Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Hotel with Kuoni and Virgin Atlantic Airways in November 2015

You can travel to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, including flights from London Gatwick with 7 Nights All Inclusive in Sugar Mill Luxury Room in June 2016.

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For up-to-date pricing including all our amazing special offers to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, Saint Lucia, call Beverley on 020 7720 8484 or email beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or call in to our store at 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW17 7BW (Opposite DuCane Court)

 

 

Jade Mountain – Escapism with the Stars…

Harpers Bazaar list Jade Mountain as one of the preferred hideaways of the”A” List.  The winner of many award, far to many to mention, this hideway and gem of Saint Lucia is the brain child of the amazing owners   Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy- nothing is too much trouble and the attention to every detail is obvious from the moment you arrive.

24 super stylish Infinity Pool Sanctuaries and 5 Sky Jacuzzi Suites benefit from overwhelming views of the ocean and the dramatic Gros and Petit Pitons.

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Each residence only has three walls with the fourth left open, integrating the accommodation with the dramatic panorama, while the open bathrooms are simply magnificent. Cross your individual bridge and slip into a world of total relaxation devoid of modern communications to help enhance the sense of peace and relaxation.

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Guests can access two beaches via Anse Chastanet and take advantage of the fabulous snorkeling and PADI scuba diving centre, as well as yacht excursions. Tennis, beach Yoga, mountain biking and hiking are also available at Anse Chastanet, while Jade Mountain itself has an exquisite boutique spa, Kai en Ciel.

“Jade Cuisine” is, just like the resort’s design, fresh, unique and utterly decadent. With most of the produce supplied by the hotel’s own organic farm and chocolate factory. Sip cocktails on the terrace at the scenic Jade Mountain Club or  dine in the privacy of your own Sanctuary.

Top Tip

“When night falls, head to the Celestial Terrace which offers stunning views over 600 acres. Dance on the deck serenaded by one of Saint Lucia’s most famous saxophone players and sip fine Champagne until the sun sets on the horizon ”

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Amazing views from Jade Mountain

Guests of the exclusive Jade Mountain are welcome to use the facilities of Anse Chastanet.

Beverley traveled to Jade Mountain in November 2015 – She traveled with Kuoni and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

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The wonderful beach at Anse Chastanet available for Jade Mountain Guests.

To speak to Beverley concerning  Jade Mountain and Saint Lucia call her on 020 7720 8484 or email beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or call into our store at 8 The Boulevard, Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW17 7BW (Opposite DuCane Court)

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Wonderful views of the Pitons from the Bar and Restaurant at Jade Mountain

7 Nights All Inclusive with flights from London Gatwick along with Private Transfers staying in an amazing Sky  Jacuzzi Suite from £3999pp

Luscious Saint Lucia

Impossibly picturesque, her jagged, jungle-clad peaks rising from the sea like dragon’s teeth, stunning Saint Lucia is rightly feted as the Caribbean’s most romantic island.

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The magical pitons as seen from Jade Mountain

Accommodation ranges from rustic rainforest retreats and boutique beach hotels to some of the most staggeringly luxurious resorts in the caribbean .It’s no surprise that Saint Lucia is a favourite for couples on their honeymoon, but a host of high-octane pursuits and watersports also make it a great destination for the more adventurous traveller, as well as for active families looking for more than just a beach holiday.

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The view from the amazing spa at Bodyholiday

Culturally, Saint Lucia is an intoxicating mixture of English, French and African influences, tangible in everything from the exotic markets in the capital, Castries, to the lilting rhythms of Kweyol, the French creole spoken by the locals. Reminders of Saint Lucia’s colonial past can be found in the fortifications at Pigeon Island, while the ‘drive-in’ volcano at Soufrière in the south offers up clues to a more ancient history, when Saint Lucia’s otherworldly landscape, dominated by the towering Piton mountains, was made from molten rock.

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A Volcanic Mud Bath

Eating and drinking here is a real treat, whether you’re sampling haute cuisine at the hotel restaurants, tucking into tasty street food or enjoying a rum and coke at a local bar. Saint Lucians love to party too – for a slightly sanitised experience, try the Jazz & Arts Festival in May, or for the real deal, head down to Gros Islet on a Friday night and dance with the locals and the yachties to the thundering sound systems set up on the street corner. A word of warning, go easy on the rum punches – they’re strong!

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Jade Mountain, Simply Breathtaking

Beverely travelled to Saint Lucia courtesy of Kuoni Travel and Virgin Atlantic in November 2015.

For more information about the magical island of Saint Lucia please call Beverley on 020 7720 8484 or email beverley@traveldesigners.co.uk or call in to our Kuoni Partnership store at 8 The Boulevard, Balham, London, SW17 7BW (opposite DuCane Court)

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Sandals Royal Bahamian – Royal by name but is it really?

IMG_0459Boarding the BA flight to Nassau I take my seat as I’m handed a glass of champagne and asked if I would like a newspaper, upgrading to Club Class is the ultimate luxury in travel. Menu cards given out and I’m asked how I would like my steak cooked, there is time to catch up on some of the movies on board and even a quick nap as I had to make full use of my lie flat bed with its comfortable pillow and duvet and before long we are touching down in Nassau.

I’ve never been serenaded by a steel band on arrival so this was the first time and a wonderful welcome and we enter the arrivals hall. Once we’d collected our luggage and cleared immigration its just a couple of steps to the new Sandals Lounge before long we were on an air-conditioned transfer minibus and on our way to the Sandals Royal Bahamian.

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It’s was only a short transfer of around 10 minutes, we were escorted into the Club Lounge where after given a cold towel and a delicious cocktail as we checked in we were then shown to our rooms.  Club Sandals transforms the concierge experience into one that overflows with extraordinary privileges and service offers, although for ultimate luxury than I would suggest upgrading to a Club Butler room where you will have the services of your own trained butler who will handle all the details of your holiday from running a rose-petaled candlelit bath to pressing your wardrobe and the important dinner reservations, your butler is there to make sure that your stay is flawless.

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I was staying in the newly refurbished Windsor Tower in one of their Windsor Club Rooms which was luxuriously decorated in an old-world colonial style with a huge four poster bed and large bathroom, comfortable seating area, spacious bathroom and terrace leading out to the gardens and because it was a Club room the fridge is fully stocked with soft drinks, wine and champagne and there are full bottles of rum, vodka, gin, whisky and red wine as well as coffee machine which I made full use of every morning.  There are a number of room types available and I can help you pick the right one for you, one of my favourites were the new Crystal Lagoon Swim-up suites.

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With no time to spare it was a quick change before I headed out to the Windsor Pool which was situated in front of the Windsor Tower, picking up a towel and desperate to cool down I stepped into the pool, ermmm not so refreshing it was heated!! So the only way to do it was to swim to the swim up pool and grab myself a frozen cocktail or two….. oh ok three!   This is also the pool where they have the entertainment and music playing but if you prefer it quieter than the Balmoral Pool is a little quieter and cooler, still with a swim-up bar, floating lilos and plenty of comfortable sunbeds around it. The fun blue thrones in one of the small pools are unique and cute and a great place to chill out and enjoy a drink, however they are just a snapshot of the playful style of this resort.  No one takes themselves too seriously here, but the service and food is excellent.

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Before dinner a great place to head to is the Cricketers Pub for a pre-dinner cocktails, the pub is based on a traditional English pub and all the traditional aspects that go with it such as offering traditional dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash all paired with a wide range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails all within the beautiful setting of The Bahamas.

Sandals RB RestaurantsThere are 10 speciality restaurants to choose from and we ate in a number of them, when you enter a restaurant they ask if anyone has any allergies and as I have recently turned Gluten Free they were very accommodating, the only downside is that I wish we’d had more time there so that we could have eaten in all of them!  Gordons on the Pier is situated at the end of the pier and is the ultimate romantic location offering a delicious selection of their signature Steak and Seafood delights all with amazing views over the sea. Kimonos is a Teppanyaki style restaurant serving up exotic cuisines from the Far East with an interactive twist as the tables are laid out around the chef you get to make friends with some of your fellow travellers whilst the food is cooked in front of you showman and sometime singing chef, or maybe you want to head to Stew Fish, which has the character of a luxury beach house and which is situated on the off-shore island where is pays homage to its Caribbean roots

Spices is the main restaurant we had breakfast in there, the egg station is very popular where your eggs or omelettes are cooked to order, you just have to learn if you want them over easy, under easy or sunny side up!

The resort has not just one beach but it also has the Private Off-Shore Island which is just a short journey away, the ferry runs every hour on the hour from 10am with the last one coming back at 4.45pm.  The island is like having two holiday destinations in one, there is a chic Beach club with a pool and swim-up bar, whirlpool, spa and restaurant.  Throughout the island you will also stumble across shaded hammocks and private cabanas as well as the islands two secluded beaches, one which is perfect for snorkelling and the other for water sports, remember that they are all included when you are on a Sandals holiday and if you are a qualified scuba diver you even get to dive as many times as you like during your stay, or maybe you prefer to chill and relax in one of the hammocks in the sea… the hardest decision you may have it which sunbed to choose.

Private off shore island

mondavi_230x230 (1)That evening we had dinner at Casanova’s the Italian restaurant, there are no supplements to pay at Sandals so you could even choose to have lobster every night if you wanted.  The anti-pasti station was excellent for choosing a variety of starters and our delicious dinner was all washed down with a great choice of wines from the Robert Mondavi Vineyard, a new partnership that Sandals now has, and it’s all included in the price!

Nightime takes on a life of its own, with the pools lit up and comfortable seating areas surrounding romantic fire pits.  Most of the evening entertainment centres around the Royal Theatre where they hold many of the theme nights such as White Night, Reggae Party or the Staff & Guests Talent Night, we went to the Chocolate Night, a fantastic display of all things chocolaty including a chocolate fountain and delicious chocolate martini’s and then to the Balmoral Bar & Piano Lounge where after a few drinks you too will be singing along with everyone else around the piano whilst Fluffy and Cupcake, the barmen (everyone calls them that) who not only remember your names but also your drinks, which they keep topped up all night long and if you want to continue just head back to the Cricketers Pub which is open until 3am!

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Not that this visit was all about food, but in a short time we tried as many place as possible and so the next morning we visited Baccarat, the French a la Carte restaurant which offers an a la carte breakfast, it’s not often I have steak and eggs for breakfast but I certainly could here every day all washed down with a mimosa (bucks fizz to us).

For lunch we headed to Bella Napoli Pizzeria, now you could have your pizza to take away and eat around the pool but it was very hot so we thought a table in the shade would be perfect, so pizza and a local beer it was, both Sand and Kalik beers are very good; they even offer a gluten free pizza base so there’s no need to miss out, we followed it by ice-cream at the Royal Cafe from one of the self-service ice-cream machines, it’s also a great place to get any snacks should you feel hungry, after all you may not have eaten anything for a couple of hours!

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All too soon my visit to Sandals Royal Bahamian was over but I would certainly return.

We travelled on the 1st September 2015 with Sandals Resorts and travelled in BA Club World

Royal Bahamian Night

Sandals Royal Bahamian Offer

2nd September 2016

BA World Traveller Plus flights from London Heathrow

7 nights in a Windsor Honeymoon Club Level Oversized Suite

From £5337

Call Travel Designers on 0207 7208484 or email us at nick@traveldesigners.co.uk