Rated in the top 4 Best Beaches in the World, Sandals Grande Antigua is an escape from the pandemic world we’ve been living in. A much needed escape at that.
While our 2020 has not been the year we all planned for – I was finally able to return to our beloved resorts this past week for a much needed, relaxing vacation. And where better to do that than Sandals Grande Antigua! The first of the Sandals resorts that reopened amid a pandemic, and who has been welcoming guests back for 6 months now. I had full confidence in the Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness, Cancellation protection, and Travel protection, however I completely understand the anxiety that goes into the current travel processes.
Antigua requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test 7 days prior to arrival, well for us – that meant Thanksgiving and we all know no testing was happening then so my partner and I scheduled our CVS tests for Black Friday. My test was at 10am, his at 3:50pm (he still goes into work), my results were returned Monday at 11:40am however HIS results we waited…. and waited…. and waited for. We got down to the wire as our flight was leaving Wednesday at 7:20am and our last resort was to ship me out on the flight, negative test in hand and if we didn’t receive his results in time he’d follow on a later flight. Lucky for us (and enough stress to go around) we received his results at almost 4am on departure day! We were READY!
Charlotte airport was easy breezy to get through at 5am on a Wednesday, we approached the ticket counter and handed over our printed Negative Results and passports to receive our boarding passes and then through TSA Precheck! Yes, we were required to wear masks through the airports and for the duration of each flight. Our arrival into V.C. Bird International Airport we were greeted with hand sanitizer as we waited for our turn for the medical check; a temperature check and handing over our medical questionnaire (which was handed to us in flight but you could download it before traveling) and then through customs & immigration. We were greeted at the Sandals desk by a private transfer!
We were accommodated in the BEAUTIFUL Mediterranean Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet Oceanview Penthouse One Bedroom Butler Suite. YUP! BUTLERS!!! We were catered to by Kevin, Karen, and Jason all week. They were available to our every need via butler smart phone provided in the room and took care of booking every dinner at each Restaurant so we actually got to enjoy all 11 dining options during our stay!
Yes, I was on vacation, but you know me…. There was a Learn, Book, Earn FAM trip happening during my stay! So I made sure to throw on my uniform and join the resort tour!
While masks are not required all the time on resort I chose to wear mine while touring to ensure the comfort of the Travel Advisor group – I believe every advisor was wearing a mask for the tour! The only places that request you wear a mask on resort are: The Resort Gift Shop, Snapshots Photo Studio and Loyalty & Travel. However you are encouraged to wear your mask anytime you are in close proximity to other guests or within an enclosed space.
Since we are divers, we made sure to get ourselves signed up for the dives (after a quick refresher course!) and headed out to the open water in search of fishes, barracuda, and my personal favorite… SHARKS! Austin is NOT a fan of Sharks – but come on… Nurse Sharks are the Puppies of the Sea!
We also made sure to book an Island Routes, Best of Antigua driving tour which took us to historical and UNESCO world heritage sites like Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley’s Heights, and a bit of local flair in St. John’s! We decided to grab a cab the next day to go back and enjoy a local restaurant called Alligator’s! it was DELICIOUS.
In addition to soaking up the warm 86 degree sunshine, frolicking in the gentle baby waves caressing that powdery soft white sand beach, and having our chairs reserved with a stocked cooler all week – we made sure to indulge in all the Cookie Crumbles from Cafe de Paris and bring home a few Christmas Gifts.
What’s Christmas, without a Christmas Card though?! We HAD to do a photo shoot like no other for that perfect photo.. I think we found it – what do you think?! Its experiences like these that really make the vacation unforgettable. (we brought the hats with us)
Don’t be too upset you couldn’t be there with me – you CAN be there when you’re comfortable to travel! Contact your local Travel Advisor to have an extra layer of security! The resort team is ready and waiting for you and your clients to visit again and see familiar faces!