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!


Stuart, Managing Director

Date Visited:

Over 30 times since opening in 2004. Last stayed February 2015

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:

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

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.

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.

Recommendations:

What are you waiting for? Excellence represents amazing value and if you want to enhance the experience there is a vast choice of affordable upgrades. Why not call one of our agents today who can talk you through the upgrades and arrange a holiday for you that will live in your memories forever.


Angela, 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:

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

Who is this hotel perfect for:

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

The best thing you did:

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

Recommendations:

Take a picnic to the beach on the far side of the island, it's just a 10 minute bike ride.


Kevin, 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:

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

Who is this hotel perfect for:

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

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!

Recommendations:

Check-out the nightlife at Lyme Grove in St Lawrence Gap. Oistins Fish Friday is also is a must, as is a jaunt to the East Coast where surfers hone their skills on the energetic Atlantic Ocean. It's a complete contrast from the calm Caribbean Sea waters and powdery beaches on the West Coast of the island.


Sandals Montego Bay Gemma, Call Centre Manager

Sandals Montego Bay

Montego Bay, Jamaica

from £1527pp

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Gemma, 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:

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

Who is this hotel perfect for:

Honeymooners and younger couples, all the way.

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.

Recommendations:

Go stressed and come home chilled out. As they say in Jamaica "once you go, you know" and everything is "irie".


Sea Breeze Beach Hotel Kirsty, Personal Travel Advisor

Sea Breeze Beach Hotel

Christchurch, Barbados

from £1406pp

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Kirsty, Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited:

September 2014

Why it's your favourite:

Sea Breeze Beach Hotel is a small and friendly property with personalised service, amazing food, and an ideal location with a fantastic beach. Wins all round in my book.

Recommended tipple:

The cocktails here are made to perfection – there are too many to just choose one!

Who is this hotel perfect for:

Honeymooners, couples, singles, families – Sea Breeze Beach Hotel really is a great all-round hotel.

The best thing you did:

I had a fantastic meal at the Azul Restaurant (which I recommend to everyone). It serves up à la carte dining, sea views, and attentive service. I also went to a place called the Boatyard where you pay to get in but get credit to use against drinks and food. It has good music, a chilled atmosphere, and a wonderful beachfront. Check it out!

Recommendations:

Make sure you visit Bridgetown and partake in the duty free shopping! You should also take the opportunity to swim with turtles, hop on the bus and spend a night at Harbour Lights, and drink the rum whenever you can.


Playacar Palace Leighton, Sales Team Leader

Playacar Palace

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

from £1301pp

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Leighton, Sales Team Leader

Date Visited:

December 2014

Why it's your favourite:

It's located right next door to Playa Del Carmen and the beach is fantastic!

Recommended tipple:

Corona and the odd sneaky Mojito.

Who is this hotel perfect for:

Playcar Palace is great if you're looking for a twin centre holiday. Try a 4 or 5 night stop and sample the area around Playa Del Carmen, then ship out to another hotel for the rest of your holiday. Happy days.

The best thing you did:

Lazed on the beach all day and soaked up the rays, drinking plenty of water, corona, and mojitos.

Recommendations:

Upgrade to an Ocean View room - you'll wake up to a stunning view every day. The Beachfront here really is amazing!


Christina, 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:

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

Who is this hotel perfect for:

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

The best thing you did:

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

Recommendations:

The Bahamas house a wealth of amazing sights, so why not twin-centre with another gorgeous property?


Chris, Homeworking Support Manager

Date Visited:

June 2015

Why it's your favourite:

Las Vegas glamour with a Caribbean beach.

Recommended tipple:

An ice-cold Presidente beer whilst dining in the “Toro” Steakhouse. A perfect combination.

Who is this hotel perfect for:

Groups and families looking for an active holiday with loads of attractions and distractions without having to leave the site.

The best thing you did:

Made use of the Spa, a perfect way to spend an afternoon bearing in mind that we used our Complimentary Resort Credit to pay for it.

Recommendations:

Upgrade to Rock Royalty. It not only affords you the amenities of the VIP Section (Concierge facilities with private check-in and your own pool areas) but also a preferred Suite location towards the beach.


The BodyHoliday Jaclyn, Personal Travel Advisor

The BodyHoliday

Castries, St Lucia

from £1952pp

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Jaclyn, 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:

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.

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 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.

Recommendations:

Once booked you can contact Body Holiday via their website to start planning your treatments and any other programmes you may wish to be involved in. Know before you go!


Dave, Personal Travel Advisor

Date Visited:

January 2011

Why it's your favourite:

NO Jetlag, guaranteed sunshine, top quality dining, accommodation, facilities & location.

Recommended tipple:

Local Sakara.

Who is this hotel perfect for:

Good for families and couples with superb facilities and a great location.

The best thing you did:

Night trip into the desert & day trip to Cairo (1 hour flight), accompanied by an English speaking Egyptologist who took us to the Cairo Museum and Pyramids; this made the trip a fantastic day out full of interesting sights and memories (unfortunately this trip is not to be recommended at present for obvious reasons).

Recommendations:

This resort is located 15 minutes from the airport so there is no long transfer, it is directly on the beach and adjoining an area known as Soho Sq which has 15 International Restaurants, a British Pub, Sky Sports "on Tap", Shops, Culturama, Ice Bar, Bowling Alley, Outdoor Theatre; customers of the Savoy also get a 30% discount at the restaurants in Soho Sq.
The Savoy has the major benefit of this very up market area being right on its doorstep, making it a very pleasant area to be able to stroll around during the day or night as opposed to being shut away in a resort that has nothing outside of its boundary, like so many do.


Excellence Playa Mujeres Steph, Customer Service Supervisor

Excellence Playa Mujeres

Playa Mujeres, Mexico

from £1299pp

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Steph, Customer Service Supervisor

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:

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.

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.

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.

Recommendations:

Excellence Playa Mujeres is a great place for a wedding or celebrating a special occasion because they offer free specialist packages. If you're celebrating a birthday, the staff will decorate your room ready for your arrival, complete with birthday cake, a bottle of champagne, and fresh fruit. Live the dream!


Tom, 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:

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.

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.

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.

Recommendations:

Get yourself an accommodation in the Butler Village and bask in the glory of your own personal butler. They'll do everything from drawing a rose-petalled bath to serving you cheesecake at will, and they'll drive you around the resort using wicked little buggies. I can personally recommend Odave. The man's a hero. True story.


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