KHM Travel Agents Discover What’s New with Sandals on Jamaica FAM
Written by: Amanda Bates on September 08, 2016
GOGO Vacations hosted 58 KHM Travel Agents from August 25th through 29th, 2016 for a Sandals FAM trip in Jamaica. They experienced first-hand the romance and luxury Sandals offers, and gathered valuable insight to help their clients plan their next memorable getaway.
Their host resort, the newly-renovated Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, provided a chic, scenic backdrop for this FAM. At the welcome dinner on the pier at Kimono’s, agents met and mingled with each other, the KHM Travel Group staff, and our representatives from GOGO Vacations and Sandals while enjoying ocean views.
As for accommodations, the FAM group was split between the Riviera Seaside Village side of the resort, and the All-Butler Village side, which features four-suite villas with private pools.
Another valuable take-away from this trip was the CSS workshop on Friday morning, led by Sandals Regional Sales Director Dawn Bolte. Upon completion of the workshop, each FAM attendee became a Certified Sandals Specialist (CSS), an accreditation that will allow them to book Sandals and Beaches Resorts with confidence.
After the CSS workshop was the site inspection of Ochi Beach Resort. A highlight was seeing a Honeymoon Romeo and Juliet Suite in the All-Butler Village, which was featured on a previous season of The Bachelor.
The Rabbit Hole, which is a true 1920’s style speakeasy lounge, was the most popular entertainment venue that evening. Agents enjoyed the vocal talents of Lady Phylea (aka “Momma”), whose powerhouse vocals wowed the crowd.
The agents were busy with site inspections the following two days. On Saturday, they visited Sandals Golf and Country Club, which included a tour of the pro shop and of the entire course grounds via golf cart. At the next stop, the family-friendly Beaches Ocho Rios Resort, our group was greeted by Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and many more characters from the Sesame Street cast. After the resort tour, the characters and Resort Manager Brian Roper joined the group for a private lunch at the Venetian.
The final site inspection that day was at Sandals Royal Plantation, which is a boutique, all-butler resort near Sandals Golf and Country Club. This property’s historic, yet sophisticated and charming atmosphere makes it perfect for a truly warm, relaxing getaway.
On Sunday, our group toured three more resorts: Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort, Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Carlyle. After touring the gorgeous main resort at Sandals Royal Caribbean, we were whisked over to the resort’s private island to get a closer look at the Jamaica’s first overwater suites.
Five of the suites were under construction, and due to open in November. While on our tour, we also learned that Sandals has 12 additional overwater suites planned, that will be in the shape of a heart!
Each suite is perched on a deck, floating above the Caribbean’s turquoise waters and includes see-through glass floors for ocean viewing, a tranquility soaking tub, an over-the-water hammock for two, and a private infinity pool.
Montego Bay, which boasts a pristine private beach, is the original Sandals resort. Much of the decor was been updated to give the property a contemporary, playful vibe. Agents learned that more changes are underway, including the addition of swim-up suites that will connect to the resort’s swim up pool and piano bar. This resort is near the airport, so travelers should be made aware of the regular noise they’ll experience from overhead.
Finally, our FAM group toured the Carlyle, which Sandals describes as a “52-room hideaway.” It embraces more of a bed-and-breakfast feel, but guests here still get to enjoy premium amenities with free transfers to both Royal Caribbean and Montego Bay. This property is a fabulous option for agents to offer to destination wedding groups.
We celebrated another successful FAM with our hosts from GOGO Vacations and Sandals at the Farewell Dinner on Sunday, with an exclusive, pre-dinner cocktail hour at The Rabbit Hole to start the evening. The following morning we said good-bye to sunny Jamaica, and to this fun, fantastic group of agents!
Thanks again to everyone who made this our Sandals Jamaica FAM memorable, including the Sandals staff, our hosts GOGO Vacations, and of course, our agents!
To see more photos from each of the resorts we visited and more from this FAM, visit our collection of Flickr albums. If you’d like to learn more about KHM Travel’s upcoming event schedule, visit TravelAgentMeeting.com.
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