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All-Inclusive WeddingsMay 26, 2010 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
Nighttime view of the wedding gazebo at Dreams Punta Cana
When tying the knot or celebrating a honeymoon abroad, one way to cut costs besides trimming the guest list is by staying at an all-inclusive resort. But with so many great resorts for a wedding in the Caribbean, keeping up with the latest all-inclusive developments won’t be easy. So Travel Agent caught up recently with the most notable all-inclusive representatives for the latest updates.
Two More Secrets
In March, AMResorts officially opened the much- anticipated Secrets St. James resort in Montego Bay. The resort has 350 suites from Junior Suites to Grand Master and Presidential Suites and comes with an extra measure of romance and sensuality in luxury settings for adults.
|A Junior Suite at Secrets St. James, Montego Bay|
Sitting atop an island that was once part of the British empire, Secrets St. James presents guests with a quiet, relaxing, oceanfront setting. From suites to the 15,000-square-foot Spa, the resort’s classic furniture and contemporary fabrics echo a modern take on the sophistication of the Victorian era.
For the ultimate in amenities, there’s Unlimited-Luxury, with 24-hour room service, cabanas on the beach, nine gourmet restaurants, nine bars and lounges, the world-class Spa and nearby championship-caliber golf. Should a guest want to kick up the excitement a notch, there’s Secrets Wild Orchid next door, with its welcoming Jamaican vibe.
From indigenous art to chic design, the resort, which opened in April, takes its inspiration from the island’s gorgeous surroundings, steeped in the Ethiopian roots of Jamaica’s African ancestors.
Made for the young at heart, guests will discover a vibrant, hip locale with all the exclusive amenities of Unlimited-Luxury. All of its 350 suites have an oversized four-poster bed, unlimited use of minibar and a whirlpool tub.
For details on either of the Secrets properties, agents should contact Director of Sales Heather Roye (876-953-6600, [email protected]).
AMResorts has also put together a slew of new wedding packages. At all of the company’s Zoetry products, clients can opt for the Wedding in Paradise package, which costs $2,499 and includes the assistance of an onsite wedding planner, hotel-airport transfers for the bride and groom with a glass of champagne and strawberries on arrival, hotel-airport transfers for all guests, a room upgrade for the bride and groom (based on availability), unpacking service for the couple, preparation of wedding-day attire, delivery of couple’s welcome amenities to their guests’ rooms, a wedding menu tasting for the bride and groom the day before the wedding, the service of a judge or a nondenominational minister, a personalized gift for the bride and groom upon arrival back home, a bride’s bouquet, a romantic dinner for the couple and much more. This package is in addition to Endless Privileges and is complimentary when booking eight rooms at the group rate for a minimum of three nights each.
Another impressive Zoetry offer for your clients is the Love in Paradise wedding package. It’s $3,499, and besides all amenities of the Wedding in Paradise package, it includes a Love in Paradise cocktail party, which comes with a choice of canapés and one-hour open bar with premium liquors. The cocktail party is for up to 20 people. For additional guests, a charge of $30 per person applies.
|A Sandals premium bedroom|
For a more family-friendly property and affordable package, AMResorts’ Dreams products are worth a look. The Dreams Wedding in Paradise starts at $799 and is complimentary when booking a Honeymoon Suite category or higher for a minimum of seven nights or if five rooms in any category are reserved for a minimum of three nights. This package also applies for a renewal-of-vows ceremony.
This package comes with the services of justice of peace or minister and wedding coordinator, preferential location of the room in the category reserved, preparation and ironing of the wedding dress and groom’s tuxedo/suit, complimentary room for the groom the night before the wedding (based on availability), 15 percent discount on all spa treatments (product purchases not included), use of the wedding gazebo or beachfront casita and more.
A $100 deposit is required to hold and confirm the wedding date. This deposit will be applied to the total cost of the package. If the couple receives this as a complimentary package, the deposit will be used to cover any upgrades that they opt for. If the couple does not purchase any additional amenities for the wedding itself, this credit will go toward phone charges, spa treatments, logo shop purchases, etc. at checkout. The balance will be refunded.
Sandals Adds New Amenities
The latest from Sandals, among the most popular romantic all-inclusive getaways in the region, is that its Montego Bay property recently added a fire pit on the beach, where guests can unwind and relax. Select room categories have been upgraded with soft furnishings, a color scheme that includes sophisticated earth tones, new furniture and updated light fixtures and makeup mirrors.
Contact Sales Manager Dwight Anderson (876-952-5510, [email protected]) with queries.
Beginning last month, the highest category at the Sandals Carlyle resort, the Carlyle Club Oceanview Penthouse Room, has exclusive Sandals Butler Service.
The entire third floor has been renovated—rooms and the hallways have been repainted, floor tiled, balcony furniture upgraded and ceiling fans added. The bedrooms now have earth tones and new soft furnishings, renovated bathrooms, energy-saving lights and mini-refrigerator units. The lobby was also recently upgraded and sports a new look.
Agents should contact Hotel Manager Lisa Gardner (876-952-4140, [email protected]) with queries.
At Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa, 42-inch plasma TVs have been installed in select room categories. The property recently added 14 new beach huts. For details, agents should contact Sales Manager Jeffrey Burke (876-957-5216, [email protected]).
At Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, soft renovations have been completed in Butler Suites. Sixteen suites have been thoroughly redone with new furniture, bed linen and drapes. Suites have also been repainted in fresh tones. Agents should contact Sales Manager Glendon Lowe (876-640-3000, [email protected]) for details.
Joann Delgin, director of romance for Sandals Resorts International told Travel Agent the Caribbean resort company has seen double-digit increases since its inception. “We are working on new collections to give our brides more experiences than ever, constantly staying ahead of the trends and focusing on what today’s brides really want for their wedding,” says Delgin.
Around the Caribbean
In mid-March, Club Med inked a partnership with Imagine Weddings and Events for revamped wedding packages at six of its properties—the Sandpiper in Florida; Punta Cana; Cancun; Ixtapa Pacific; Columbus Isle in the Bahamas; and Turkoise, which is in Turks and Caicos.
The packages are priced at $4,200 and include a personal wedding coordinator and all other requirements of a bride and groom on their wedding day, from music to bouquets to a wedding cake and more. However, the marriage license is not included. Agents receive a commission based on the rooms booked.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts just announced a new Grand Weddings program in which clients who book their wedding at a Grand Hotel will receive a sixth room free for every five rooms booked. Also, the bride and groom get a room upgrade. The promotion code is Sixth Room and the booking dates are now through June 15 for travel now through December 15.
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia specializes in highly personalized experiences and does only one wedding a day. Couples can choose what they desire without worrying about any scheduling or location conflicts. Wedding packages are $999 and vow renewals are $350.
The choice of weddings and locations include Barefoot on the Beach, Gazebo by the Sea, In the Garden, Estate Hillside Villa or Going to the Chapel. The packages come with wedding coordinator services, flowers, musical accompaniment, preparation of documents and marriage license, marriage officer and witnesses, cake and photography.