Some of us have a real love-hate relationship with all-inclusive resorts. But for most Canadians looking to escape the snow, an all-inclusive holiday is the quickest and easiest way to get a dose of sun, sand and surf once the mercury begins to drop. The biggest downside when it comes to booking one of these package holidays? Physically getting there. And we’re not just talking about the plane.
You know the scenario. Plane lands, everyone claps before pushing each other to get off. Of course it doesn’t matter if you’re first or last, because no matter what you’ll be stuck in the same cattle-like line through customs, which usually involves a stuffy room thick with cigarette smoke. And even airports that have banned smoking are still filled with nicotine-craving, impatient people who just want to get outside to light one up.
Next up is the mob scene at the luggage carousel, the stressful search for your hotel’s shuttle bus (with a hundred men trying to take your bags for you) and then finally the treacherous three-hour drive to your resort crammed into a hot, sweaty bus with cheap booze, no bathrooms and about a dozen other stops before you reach your final destination. It’s enough to make you wish you’d just stayed home and hit the tanning salon with a bottled margarita or mojito.
Luckily, major resort brands like Sandals have heard our cries of despair and created a number of luxury services in their all-inclusive packages to jump-start your vacation the minute you land.
The Sandals Difference (it’s called that for good reason), includes extra perks like air-conditioned airport lounges that are free of cigarette smoke and have complimentary wifi, drinks and bathrooms. There are also direct hotel transfers in roomy, air-conditioned vans or if you happen to be travelling to the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau, a sweet ride in a Rolls Royce a la Beyoncé. It’s the small things, right?
Though it’s still a far cry from a private jet and a bypass line through customs, at least you’ll know that once you make it through that part the red carpet will be rolled out. All the way to that sweet, glorious sand.