Staff favourites

Nothing beats first-hand intel when it comes to choosing your next dream holiday, so we've given some of the team a little space on the soapbox. This selection of our favourite resorts offers you a catalogue of inspiration for your next dream holiday. Enjoy!

Excellence Riviera Cancun

Stuart Wilson

Managing Director

Date Visited

Over 30 times since opening in 2004. Last stayed October 2016

Why it's your favourite

Excellence has a magic of its own and the more times you visit the more you see why it appeals to so many holidaymakers. It is without question my personal favourite, having been a regular visitor since experiencing the opening in October 2004. I love afternoons at leisure chilling out around the lazy river pool, and the aromatherapy scents drifting out of the spa are exquisitely relaxing. After enjoying your in-suite Jacuzzi there is no better way to start the evening than experiencing the Martini Bar, and the selection of restaurants allows you to enjoy the tastes of the world every night for a full dining experience. Excellence gives you the choice to enjoy privacy with your partner or experience a vast choice of resort entertainment, creating the perfect atmosphere for adults - and that's why it's my favourite.

Recommended tipple or dish

Mango Tango, a lush blend of Strawberry & Mango Daiquiri with rum!

The best thing you did

So many amazing moments, but celebrating our 4th anniversary in 2010 was a highlight. We enjoyed a special menu in the evening on the pier with personal waiter service and a harpist who helped set the mood with beautiful music. A bottle of champagne as the sun set and then a bottle of our favourite Rioja. The atmosphere was amazing, as was the setting, views, meal, service, and wine. To share this with your partner can only be described as Excellence.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Excellence Riviera Cancun is perfection for adults. I've tried most of the adults only resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, and I always compare them to Excellence Riviera Cancun. I'm yet to find another to surpass my favourite.

Palm Island Resort

Angela Wilson

Director

Date Visited

September 2013

Why it's your favourite

Palm Island is a secluded paradise with an intimate feel, and the most amazing beach outside of the Maldives

Recommended tipple or dish

Rum punch of course - it's a Caribbean classic!

The best thing you did

Take the catamaran tour around the nearby Grenadine Islands, they're stunning!

Who is this hotel perfect for

Those who want to get away from it all. No TV, limited wifi, pure relaxation.

Colony Club by Elegant Hotels

Maxine Rowland

General Manager

Date Visited

December 2013

Why it's your favourite

What's not to love in Barbados? Beautiful beaches, great people, great food, an island you can explore. It's a very safe and happy place.

Recommended tipple

It has to be a rum punch.

The best thing you did

Released newborn baby turtles into the ocean! The Island Jeep Safari was great fun, especially visiting the less-frequented North and East coasts of Barbados.

Who is this hotel perfect for

The Colony Club is ideal for discerning guests who enjoy a touch of luxury in a relaxed setting. Spa treatments for the relaxing days and a spot of watersports if you're feeling a bit more energised. They serve amazing food with a healthy choice always available. The hotel also runs a garden tour of the grounds which is very interesting for any green-fingered Holidaymakers.

Rendezvous

Phil Barratt

Head of Product & Contracting

Date Visited

December 2016, my 3rd visit.

Why it's your favourite

Rendezvous is a truly romantic couple-focused resort and I’m an old romantic at heart. Everything at Rendezvous is aimed at 'stealing back time' as a couple, from candle chandeliers in the trees to secluded hidden corners of the lazy river. It’s just lovely.

Recommended tipple or dish

The Malabar Beach Club restaurant. Check-in your shoes for a genuine ‘toes in the sand’ dining experience. Don't forget the champagne tasting every evening in the champagne Bar too.

The best thing you did

There are so many things to do at Rendezvous with all the land and water sports on offer, including my second love (after my wife of course) sailing. Malabar Bay is just perfect for an exhilarating blast across the ‘briny blue’ under sail.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Rendezvous feels exclusive and offers superb value for money. This is a resort for couples or groups of couples who want an unforced and unhurried romantic getaway.

Sandals Montego Bay

Gemma Pyatt

Call Centre Manager

Date Visited

October 2010

Why it's your favourite

It encapsulates Jamaica. The fun, laid back attitude of the resort coupled with the white sandy beach and pristine waters make it a serious contender as my number one resort.

Recommended tipple or dish

Rum Punch (Made with Appleton's Rum of course).

The best thing you did

Climbed Dunn's River Falls, went out on the Sandals Catamaran, and watched a thunder storm out at sea from the Asian Restaurant.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Honeymooners and younger couples, all the way.

Constance Moofushi Resort

Chris Goate

Homeworking Support Manager

Date Visited

May 2011

Why it's your favourite

Unparalleled quality with unassuming service.

Recommended tipple or dish

There are over 200 wines on the all-inclusive list, don’t make me pick just one!

The best thing you did

Snorkelling from the Water Villa over one of the largest House Reefs I’ve ever seen.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Couples and families looking for high quality without any fuss or pretence. Perfect for Holidaymakers who are looking for quality time with their friends and family.

Finest Playa Mujeres, By Excellence

Naomi Johnson

Sales Team Supervisor

Date Visited

May 2016

Why it's your favourite

There’s something to suit everyone. Plenty of restaurants to choose from, even for fussy eaters like me. The rooms are spacious, modern and come with a huge Jacuzzi with amazing views of the resort. The service was second to none and everyone went the extra mile to help you. What’s not to love?

Recommended tipple or dish

Mango Tango Cocktail

The best thing you did

Hopped over to Isla Mujeres and hired a golf buggie and drove round the island.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Everyone; families, couples, friends, honeymooners. You name it, they'll love it.

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort

Christina Ball

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

December 2013

Why it's your favourite

The stunning beach at Sandals Emerald Bay is just bliss, especially when combined with the couples-only Sandals Resorts philosophy.

Recommended tipple or dish

The cocktail bars will serve you any drink you can imagine, so pick your favourite and get refreshed.

The best thing you did

We went to Pig Island and swam with pigs! It was amazing!

Who is this hotel perfect for

Sandals Emerald Bay is perfect for couples who want to crank up the WOW factor.

Excellence Riviera Cancun

Dave Simkiss

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

November 2014

Why it's your favourite

An adults-only haven with the finest choice of restaurants.

Recommended tipple or dish

It has to be champagne.

The best thing you did

Enjoyed pure relaxation.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Couples and honeymooners looking for exceptional service and superb dining.

Sea Breeze Beach Hotel

Emma Bailey

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

June 2014

Why it's your favourite

Amazing staff, wonderful food, great location and the best cocktails!

Recommended tipple or dish

The Pina Colada is to die for.

The best thing you did

So many things to mention; Oistins Fish Fry is a must, the Jeep Safari had me laughing constantly, but just relaxing on the beautiful sandy beach was heaven.

Who is this hotel perfect for

There really is something for everyone with an adults-only pool and a family-friendly pool and it's close to St Lawrence Gap for those who want to go out and soak up the Bajan atmosphere.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana

Suzanne Gibson

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

April 2016

Why it's your favourite

The entertainment was fantastic. I had my two little boys with me and there was so much to keep them entertained.

Recommended tipple or dish

Any of their mouth-watering cocktails.

The best thing you did

Spent time on the beach, it was amazing.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Holidaymakers seeking a joyful, lively getaway. It's great for families, couples and groups of friends alike.

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Carly Davis

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

September 2016

Why it's your favourite

It's the best of both worlds; a wide range of activities to keep you entertained and plenty of space to do absolutely nothing!

Recommended tipple or dish

Sandal's BBC cocktails are my fave! Baileys, bananas and coconut.

The best thing you did

Enjoying the swim up bar and meeting the staff and locals who are the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Couples in love.

The BodyHoliday

Jaclyn Wood

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

May 2013

Why it's your favourite

The strapline for the hotel is "Give us your body for a week and we'll give you back your mind". Absolutely spot on! Put it this way, I'd not been there 10 minutes before I yomped up to the Wellness Centre for a yoga class. It was 2 days before I noticed that there wasn't a TV in the room! There's everything you could want to help you to relax, from a daily 50 minute spa treatment included in the price to the (very) optional classes which include everything from stretching, yoga, pilates, spinning, beach fit plus tennis, golf, and sailing to name just a few.

Recommended tipple or dish

The smoothies at The Deli. Not only did they taste wonderful but they were each designed for a specific purpose such as detox or energy boosts.

The best thing you did

The Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage. 50 minutes of heaven. The hexagonal treatment room was light and airy room with stone filigree style walls letting in natural light and breezes. There was no sound other than the birds and the gentle breeze wafting through the tropical jungle outside. I don't think I've ever felt so relaxed in my life.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Anyone who wants some real relax. There is no pressure to do anything at all, but if you want to get active it's all there for you. It's also great for people looking for a healthy holiday because much of the food and drink helps maintain most diets.

The Makadi Spa Hotel

Dave Wilson

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

Over 6 times. Last stayed October 2016

Why it's your favourite

It's a mid-haul flight delivering you to guaranteed sunshine and quality accommodation.

Recommended tipple or dish

All of the delicious food at the Asian.

The best thing you did

A mix and match of sunbathing and snorkelling.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Holidaymakers looking for relaxation in the sunshine.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana

Hayley Booth

Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited

December 2011

Why it's your favourite

It's got the WOW factor oozing out of every corner. The layout and decor is second to none; incredible attention to detail and home to a Caribbean feel with a modern edge.

Recommended tipple or dish

Cocktails from the Sun Bar, the atmosphere is fantastic.

The best thing you did

The Moon Rockers Tour absolutely rocked.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Apart from myself? It's got something for everyone.

Colony Club by Elegant Hotels

Kevin Baskeyfield

Customer Relations Manager

Date Visited

Early 2013

Why it's your favourite

I love Colony Club because of its refined ambience, the stunning beach, the character of the locals, and the general awesomeness of the resort and its amenities.

Recommended tipple or dish

In Barbados it's a no-brainer: Mount Gay Rum. It's one of the best rums in the Caribbean.

The best thing you did

Circumnavigate the island in a Jeep. It's easy to do as they drive on the same side of the road as we do, and you can get around the island in a single day. Talk about seeing the sights!

Who is this hotel perfect for

Colony Club is perfect for honeymooners and mature couples, very relaxed and laid-back.

Colony Club by Elegant Hotels

Amy Bennett

Deputy Customer Service Manager

Date Visited

December 2012

Why it's your favourite

It's home to the best sunset I have seen in the Caribbean.

Recommended tipple or dish

Anything from the Sunset Bar & Grill. The incredible sunset makes the perfect accompaniment.

The best thing you did

Sitting with a cocktail watching the Sunset. Can you sense a theme here?

Who is this hotel perfect for

Discerning Holidaymakers looking for boutique luxury in a great location.

El Dorado Casitas Royale

Alice Whalley

Sales Support

Date Visited

June 2016

Why it's your favourite

I love absolutely everything about El Dorado Casistas Royale; the food, the amenities, the people, the cocktails. It’s such a peaceful hotel, you can do as much or as little as you like.

Recommended tipple or dish

The Frozen Peach Bellinis are a must.

The best thing you did

I stayed in a Swim-Up Casita Suite so dropping straight into the pool from the balcony every day was epic. It was perfectly positioned by the swim-up bar too.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Honeymooners, couples and those looking to completely chill-out and relax in complete luxury.

Excellence Playa Mujeres

Steph Mannock

Contracts Agent

Date Visited

September 2012

Why it's your favourite

Everything about this hotel is "Excellent"! From the moment I checked in to the moment I checked out everything was perfect. This holiday was to celebrate my mum's 50th Birthday, and the hotel went the extra mile to make it special. It's definitely a holiday we will never forget!

Recommended tipple or dish

Nothing beats a nice cool refreshing drink during the day! My mum and I become very fond of the Ice Cool Tequila Beers (which you totally need to try!). At night have a French Martini from the Martini Bar, the perfect drink for the night time.

The best thing you did

My favourite holiday pursuit is relaxing by the pool or beach to achieve the ultimate tan possible. In the Excellence Club section I didn't have to get up from my beach bed, because we were waited on hand & foot, sipping Champagne and Ice Tequila Beers. You get truly spoilt, and that's all part of the Excellence Resorts experience.

Who is this hotel perfect for

This is an adults only resort, making it perfect for couples, friends, and families who want a wonderfully civilised escape.

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Tom Malbon

Marketing Assistant

Date Visited

June 2015

Why it's your favourite

You better bring spare socks when you go to Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, because it'll leave those feet of yours bare as the day you were born. You'll never tire of Tweeting pictures of that gorgeous main pool, and the Ochi Beach Club is the hippest way to catch some rays. Do people still say 'hip'?

Recommended tipple or dish

Grab the ear of the nearest barkeep and have them rustle up a Reggaetini. It's a cocktail so fierce you could put it in a wig a call it Beyoncé. Perfect for rum aficionados.

The best thing you did

There's a secret bar called the Rabbit Hole. It's built in the style of a prohibition speak-easy, and you can only get in if you discover the password. It's the kind of clandestine hideaway that'll have you flustered-up, you little rogue, you. Sleuth around for the password and enjoy the cheekiest of tipples.

Who is this hotel perfect for

Sandals Ochi Beach serves up old-school adults-only luxury with a wistful modern finish. If that sounds like you're bag, get involved. You won't be disappointed.

Excellence Riviera Cancun

Martyn Fox

Marketing Assistant

Date Visited

February 2015

Why it's your favourite

Excellence Riviera Cancun has everything you could ever desire; from the best stocked all-inclusive minibar, to lavish theme nights that let you mingle with fellow Holidaymakers. I loved the traditional Mexican ambience of the resort. The staff go above and beyond to get to know you and really make it personal. You couldn’t ask for a better experience than at an Excellence Resort.

Recommended tipple or dish

Basmati Restaurant. I had the best curry I have ever had in my life, who knew I had to go all the way to Mexico to find it?

The best thing you did

I went on a trip to film for our InFocus video series which is a great way to explore the resort in a short space of time, we saw the highlights and best bits in a whirlwind visit. The incredible spa was one highlight, I just wish I had time for a treatment myself, they looked uber relaxing!

Who is this hotel perfect for

Anyone! As long as you are an adult of course. Holidaymakers' age ranges spanned decades and young and old mixed alike. Meet like-minded holidaymakers or simply take time to yourself and unwind in ultimate luxury.