Dianne Cordell, DS, LS
Interests & Specialties
Dianne has been with Central Travel for 28 years and takes advantage of every opportunity to travel. She has a destination specialist certificate from The Travel Institute for Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, and North America and holds a lifestyle Honeymoon Specialist designation. Dianne has completed the following industry courses; Azamara Platinum Globe Travel Professional Program, Celebrity Cruise Line's Five Star Academy, Royal Caribbean Expert Plus Program, Kauai Destination Specialist, Globus Specialist, Sandals Specialist, NCL University, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Specialist Program. She is a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge and an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She has first-hand experience with Ireland, Cancun, Jamaica, Hawaii, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Dianne has achieved prestigious Commodore status in Princess Cruises’ Academy training program, certifying her as an expert cruise professional. As a Commodore, Dianne joins an exclusive group of travel agents who are now recognized by Princess at the Academy's highest level for their unique qualifications and knowledge as a cruise planning professional. Dianne has been a fan of Princess for many years and has sailed on the Crown Princess in the Eastern Caribbean, the Star Princess in the Mexican Riviera, the Sea Princess in Alaska and visited the Sea, Grand and Crown Princess on ship inspections.
Dianne is a graduate of The Globus Tour Expert program specializing in custom touring. She is also a graduate of the Monograms Booking Agent (MBA) program and Avalon Waterways Specialist program. Located at the Heatherdowns location in Toledo.
As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, Dianne Cordell is your source for a Disney Vacation! To say she's earned her "ears" is an understatement! Dianne will help you sort through the many options of a “Magical Gathering” and custom design your Disney Vacation to create memories of a lifetime. She has visited Disney many times over the last several years and has personal knowledge of the resorts, activities, dining venues and more. Would you enjoy La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil or the Hoop-dee-do musical revue? Should you stay at the Grand Floridian or the Yacht and Beach Club? Where is the best place to view the fireworks at Epcot? Should your “Magical Gathering” include a Disney Cruise Line component? So many choices! Honeymoons, anniversaries or family reunions, Dianne has first-hand experience of making a family vacation special. Ask her children! Check out the new Adventure by Disney River cruises here!
Dianne has completed an in-depth training program with Tauck joining than 1% of the company’s worldwide network of travel agents who have successfully completed the program. She completed Tauck Academy, and by successfully completing its curriculum, she becomes a Tauck Certified agent who qualifies for special benefits and other exclusive opportunities provided by the company.
Tauck is a 90-year-old leader in premium quality guided travel, with over 120 land journeys and cruises to more than 70 countries and all seven continents. The company was recently named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine for the second consecutive year, and Tauck has also been on the magazine’s list of the “World’s Best Tour Operators & Safari Outfitters” in each of past 17 years.
As a top producer with Delta Vacations I have recently returned from Grand Cayman – what a great destination!
The Westin Grand Cayman was our host hotel located directly on Seven Mile Beach, just a 5-minute drive of the Strand Shopping Center and Galleria Plaza. Truly a luxury resort with all the amenities one could want. The rooms were quite nice. The fitness center offered daily activities like Beach Yoga, water fitness and more. The Hibiscus Spa offered a variety of spa treatments. Ferdinand’s Restaurant was excellent and great service. The Lounge bar, Catboat Bar offered a nice open space to enjoy evening cocktails and evening music.
We looked at the Marriott Resort Grand Cayman. When a hurricane came through they lost their beach. The hotel is undergoing a major renovation that started in July of 2023 and is not schedule to be completed until March of 2024. The hotel right now offers 299 rooms and suites however after the renovation they will be at 301 rooms as they will be adding two family suites. After the renovation, each room will have their own routers in the rooms with fiber option WiFi; this should make the connectivity much better. I would suggest waiting until renovations are done before staying here.
We also did a site visit at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offers luxurious rooms and bath amenities in a resort that spans 144 acres of natural landscapes on renowned Seven Mile Beach. An unmatched collection of resort amenities and experiences await, including four signature restaurants and the Caribbean's only AAA Five Diamond dining experience, Blue by Eric Ripert. Other highlights include: The Ritz Carlton Spa; a Greg Norman-designed golf course; 3 clay and 2 grass tennis courts that are lit for night play; eco-adventures and family activities with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment; plus Starfish Cay, an interactive water attraction for families. The Cayman Cookout http://www.caymancookout.com/ is a famous food event on the island that the Ritz hosts. This is their 15th Anniversary of the event and it is held in January. Very popular.
The Kimpton Seafire is the only 5-Star hotel in the Kimpton Brand and it shows. The hotel is very stylish, with a modern yet retro flair. It is located directly on Seven Mile and has a very wide stretch of beach (we learned the owner brought in additional sand). The grounds are beautiful with lots of trees, flowering shrubs and lots of grass areas, which was different for the other properties we saw.
If the budget allows, this is the perfect resort for families. There are many rooms categories that can be combined (connecting can be confirmed prior to arrival) as well as many suites. We all loved the Two Bedroom Family Suite Oceanview that has bunk beds as well as a sofa sleeper underneath. It is perfect for large or multigenerational families. The rooms are chic and very clean. I loved the black and white motif with a pop of pink. The resort is very eco-friendly and is trying to remove single use plastic items. All rooms with have a water pitcher and bottle refill stations are found throughout the property. Most rooms have some sort of a small kitchen as well. The Kimpton has a wonderful complimentary waterpark for children with cabanas that are available for rent. Camp Seafire is an additional cost and we were told it is quite popular.
Cayman Turtle Centre-Tourist Attraction that breeds and researches The Green Sea Turtle. You can view and swim with the turtles. We took a guided tour and then we were left to tour the rest of the facilities on our own. There is also a bird sanctuary, Smiley the crocodile, shark reef, and butterfly house along with a fresh water pool and water slide. This would be a great place for cruisers to spend a half day or day on the Island.
Pure Art Gallery & Gifts-KY1-1105Way, Grand Cayman Grand Cayman, 5 Denham Thompson Way, George Town KY1-1109, Cayman Island
Pure Art Gallery & Gifts charming Cayman cottage has exhibited and sold local Fine Art, prints, jewelry, souvenirs and collectibles for over thirty years. Located just a mile south of George Town on South Church Street, this treasure trove of island gifts and art is sure to delight. Gift Certificates, Corporate or Wedding, home, Anniversary, kids corner, Birthday, relocating or gifts for yourself abound at Pure Art. Our Cayman Christmas Corner is year-round! This is a great place to have your clients go for gifts. If they want local coffee, salts, hot sauces, Ronnie from Cayman Islands Tourist Board recommends going to the local grocery stores.
My Bar & Seaharvest Restaurant- 390 South Church St Grand Cayman KY KY1-1106, S Church St, George Town, Cayman Islands
This is a great local bar at The Sunset House which is a hotel for divers by divers. We sat at the semi-outdoor bar and tasted a Caybrew (Cayman Beer) and had some bites. Great local vibe if you want to stay away from the more touristy bars and restaurants.
Ms. Piper’s Kitchen + Garden-22 Piper Way, KY1-1201, Cayman Islands
This is a MUST stop! Located at Hampton Inn and set in the backyard within the heart of 7MB, Ms. Piper’s cottage is a collection of keepsakes of her travels, inspiring our dishes, cocktails, décor, music and thoughtful details. Her kitchen is a testament of a journey greatly lived. An imprint of the cultural and spiritual life she has pursued and enjoyed. A celebration of graceful aging; that is abundant and eternal. We are creating a meaningful space with a nod to the free spirits, the stylish vagabonds, the young at heart and effortless feminine energy. Ms. Piper exists in our dreams. She is a figment of our imagination, yet lives in all of us, whispering: “LIVE A LITTLE.” Make sure you stop by for lunch or dinner and try the Cassava Cheese Bread. Wednesday nights they have local bands play.
More Adventures from Dianne Cordell, DS, LS ...
I have just returned from an amazing trip to Switzerland traveling with Signature’s Destination Specialist, Queen of Clubs, a luxury lifestyle service provider that works strictly with Travel Trade only. They strive for excellence in both quality of product and quality of service for each bespoke itinerary curated. On this 5-night Signature Educational Journey, I experienced Switzerland on a different scale of comfort and luxury.
I flew from Detroit to Zurich and I upgraded my airfare to Delta One and it was the best money I have spent on airfare. (I am hooked and I won’t go back to main cabin.) I added on one night in Lucerne so when I arrived into Zurich I had a 1.5 hour train ride to Lucerne. Delta One definitely made this much easier not being exhausted. Trains are down to the minute so if you have a train at 11:38am don’t get on a train at 11:34am. Once the train leaves then a car attendant will come around and verify tickets and passports. I was met at the train station by a member of the Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern for the transportation to the hotel. The hotel was amazing and the staff thinks of what you need before you know you need it.
• My itinerary began in Zurich with stunning views of the lake and a town rich in European history reflected in its architecture and subtle works of art. The growth in innovation and excellence in this metropolitan city is unmatched and only compliments this city's rich history.
• I then explored one of the most impressive upland valleys in Switzerland in the Andermatt, a ski-haven during winter, a nature photographer's dream in the summer. We did a walking tour of the village – only 1200 people live there – truly authentic Switzerland. We were then off to Pontresina which is close to St Moritz. This village has breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps and the Grand Hotel Kronenhof has 175 years of history
• Lake Lugano, located on the southernmost tip of the Italian Alps borders Switzerland. This retreat to a relaxing spa day with scenic views of the tranquil mountains was amazing.
• Then, I hopped onto the Bernina Express to St. Moritz, Switzerland, the birthplace of Apline winter. Exploring this fabulous city and the world-class services it offers from high-end restaurants to luxury-brand shopping was too much fun!
Queen of Clubs can create any experience of what your clients might be looking for. We did a carriage ride with a private lunch next to a lake. We also did caviar tasting in a small store that sells caviar to people around the world that tasted the caviar there first. We also did boat tours on Lake Lucerne and also Lake Lugano. One of the highlights was the Bernia Express from Pontresina to Tirano Italy. It’s a 2 hours trip that passes by 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, and is truly a breathtaking journey.
Our trip was from Salt Lake to Denver so the flights from our area were easy and non-stop on Delta. I arrived in Salt Lake early and used the Airport TRAX line which is the train from the airport to the hotel that we were staying in for the first night which was the Grand America. The TRAX line is very easy to use and easy to find once you claim your luggage. The cost is $2.50 each way and you purchase the tickets right there. The Grand America was at the Courthouse station which was about five 5 stops.
Hotels are really nice in Salt Lake and Denver, but they are not 5 star in Moab or in the Glenwood Springs areas.
In Salt Lake they use the Grand America hotel – The rooms are amazing and it was a great way to kick off the tour. The rooms were great and they offer several dining options on property. They also use the hotel across the street the Little America and you can dine and use the amenities at both locations. http://www.grandamerica.com
We then had a city tour of Salt Lake and there is so much to see and do that adding an extra day for some is a must do. http://www.visitsaltlake.com/things-to-do
We then left Salt Lake and headed to Moab and this is a 5 – 6 hour motor coach ride. The first several hours were just highway so it’s not the most scenic route. We did stop in Price Utah for a lunch stop and they gave us the link to pre order our lunch when we were on the Salt Lake City tour. It was really good food and it supported local business. (which Rocky Mountaineer likes to do) http://www.tangerineeatery.com
We arrived into Moab and we stayed at the Element Moab, and the location is just outside of town (it’s about a 1.5 mile walk from the city center). The rooms are nice and this is where clients could start if they want more time to explore. I would fly guests into Moab and add an extra nights because there is so much to see and do. Rocky Mountaineer partners with Moab Adventures so they actually do a pick up for the train at the Adventure center for the train itself. This area is really good for any family that is adventuress but depending on the time of year they need to plan what they want to do and the temperature during the day. We were there in early June and it was 103 so for hikers they need to include an extra so they are not hiking in the heat of the day. We had two nights here and some families may want two additional nights so they can hike and kayak. http://www.moabadventurecenter.com
From Moab we then got on the train and the train only offers silver leaf and silver leaf plus – there is NO gold leaf as the gold rail cars are too tall to enter the tunnels. Service was amazing on the train they really go out of their way to make it special. When reservations are made the system it will assign seats and those are for both days of the trip. This day we had dinner and drinks on the train and they give you several options for meal choices and can accommodate most meal requests. They did say that if someone is vegetarian or Vegan to make sure they are aware so that a meal can be ordered specifically for them.
We arrived into Glenwood Springs about 6:00pm (this time can vary as the train shares the tracks with freight trains and we ran into about 45 minute delays) In Glenwood Springs they use a couple of hotels and I was at the Hotel Denver. This is where in my opinion travelers need an extra night. There is so much to see and do in the area but the train leaves the next day at 9:00am so you really don’t have much time see the sights. We did make the hike up to see the cemetery where Doc Holliday was buried but many people were disappointed that they didn’t have more time to enjoy the hot springs themselves. (They closed at 9:00pm)
We then took the train the next day from Glenwood Springs to Denver and they offer both breakfast and lunch on the train. The meals are served at your seat and drinks are also included with these meals. This part of the trip is a little slower because of the elevation of the train into Denver.
We arrived into Denver and they have coaches that pick up and move passengers to the different hotels again they use multiple hotels for Denver. I was at the Oxford and it is a really unique hotel. Found at the intersection of timeless elegance and modern luxury, The Oxford Hotel stands today as an iconic Denver landmark, rooted in its unique history and groundbreaking beginnings of 1891. In the bustling heart of downtown, guests step through our doors and feel taken back to a simpler, quainter point in time. From the classic artwork hung on our walls to the custom, tailored service reminiscent of the Gilded Age, The Oxford offers guests a truly unique Denver hotel experience. The hotel offered a speak-easy which was really fun and we enjoyed dinner there. http://www.theoxfordhotel.com
Getting to the airport from downtown Denver is usually pretty easy they say, and you can take the train. (Oxford hotel is a two block walk to the train station) We were getting ready to purchase our ticket you can purchase them the day prior so you have it. We were advised that the train would not be running because they were doing maintenance on the tracks. The train is $10.50 per person one way and takes about 30 minutes to arrive. Some people tried to use Uber and the cost was $53.00 for a car for 2 people. I booked mine through the hotel and it was $65.00 for the one way and was a Cadillac SUV and could accommodate four people. http://www.denver.org/about-denver/transportation/denver-airport-rail
This trip is not for people who can’t climb at least 5 steps; this is for the train and also for the motor coaches and the national parks do not have ADA accessible walk ways in all parks. The parks try to have paths that may be gravel or paths that are smoothed out but some have larger stones and may not allow for easy walking even with a cane. They do try and advise how far someone could walk with a cane if they think they want to try a path.
The scenery was beyond amazing and pictures don’t do it justice!
Thoroughly enjoyed my recent experience on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas! We sailing roundtrip from Miami to Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Roatan Honduras, Cozumel and Puerto Costa Maya Mexico.
The ship can accommodate just under 5500 – 3100 were schedule to sail but only 2850 actually boarded the ship. (We had amazing service) We were upgraded to a Grand Suite for no additional charge and now there’s no going back to a regular cabin!
Requirement- Vaccinated travelers must take a Rapid Antigen test 2 days prior to sailing and we ordered 3 tests from Royal Caribbean and they were $99.00. I ordered our test from http://store.optum.com/royal-caribbean-tests/.
We knew that this was a relaxing vacation as we had done the ports prior so we didn’t get off the ship only in Cozumel to do a tour called Island Roots, Honey and Chocolate traditions and we had a great time. The tour is four hours and the cost is $50.00 per person. Highlights:
>Mayan Cacao Company: Learn about chocolate, its origins, manufacturing process, and take part in a demonstration.
>Mayan Bee Sanctuary: Learn about the importance of the Melipona Bee to the Mayan civilization; sacred, endangered and stinger-less.
>Tequila: Learn about the history of tequila, watch the tequila-making process, and sample tequila.
>Although easy walking, this tour is not wheelchair accessible.
>Consider physical fitness and medical history when selecting this tour.
>The order of the stops may vary.
>Guest must be of legal age to consume alcohol, please drink responsibly.
I do have to say that we did miss the sail away parties and the parades and parties in the promenade. They have live music but its schedule and scattered around the ship to help with physical distancing. People did tend to stay by themselves and we did miss the fun things going on around the ship that people would stop and just hang out. They worked hard to make sure everyone had fun and we did. They had a super bowl party and they were going to show it outside near the aqua theater and also in the mail theater. (It was slightly raining so it was in the main theater) but they had popcorn and pizza that you could take inside and it was a lot of fun.
I know that some people are not sure about cruising right now but NOW is the time to cruise with less people.
My Delta Vacations educational trip to Maui was excellent. I visited several resorts and have up-to-the-minute information on the island, properties and activities. If you have not visited Maui yet here are a couple high level observations:
• Golf – Some of the best courses in the US.
• Families – Many resorts for families and offer classes just for kids where they can learn Hawaiian culture.
• Ka’anapali is like the Cancun strip of Maui.
• Wailea is the Riviera Maya of Maui (Not much night life)
• West side of the island has the best sunsets.
• Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala now needs reservation to drive to the crater due to the fact that guests were climbing rocks and going to areas they shouldn’t by having reservations it allows the parks division to be in more control and provide a better experience. Go to for reservations and updates: http://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/haleakala-sunrise-reservations.htm
• During Whale season from December thru April – NO Jet Ski rental is allowed in the channels (have clients ask before making reservations)
The properties I visited were; Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Sheraton Maui, The Kapalua Villas Condominiums, Wailea Beach Resort, Aston Kaanapali Shores Condominium, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and my favorite the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort .
The Andaz Maui is an amazing resort! They focus on details so there is no big lobby desk for check in, they bring it to you while you relax. They offer a standard of 301 rooms and 11 villas that include 2, 3 & 4 bedrooms. The resort fee is a little higher than some resorts at $45.00 per night, but the inclusions are well above the fee. Some of the inclusions are:
• GoPro Hero 4 Camera - unlimited use
• GoPro experience lab
• Daily Outrigger Canoe Excursions
• Snorkel equipment unlimited use
• Yoga and Pilates Classes
• Other fitness classes
• Single & Tandem Bikes/helmets
• Guided Kayak Tours
• Ukulele lessons
• Hula lessons
• Coconut Husking
• 45 minute beach portrait session includes a $50 Photo Credit.
• Lei making lessons
• Stand up paddle board lessons
• Mixology class with 2 drinks (twice a week)
• Unlimited use of body boards
*GoPros, stand-up paddleboard lessons, group kayak, outrigger canoe tours, fitness and yoga classes are subject to limited availability. See Concierge for details and to book.
They also offer several dining/paring options and these change like cocktail paring it’s a 3 course dinner with cocktails rather than wine. Luau is $150.00 per person and is 15 courses and open bar and will only seat about 150 – 175 passengers. Definitely a great value and more true experience. Chefs Tables are six courses with wine and cost varies depending on season.
As one of Central Travel’s top producers for Delta Vacations, I was part of an incentive award trip this January to the Riviera Maya. We did site inspections at Ocean Riviera Paradise, Hotel Xcaret, Unico 20° 87°, Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita, Generations Riviera Maya, by Karisma and our host resort was the beautiful Grand Velas Riviera Maya. All resorts were 4.5 – 5 Star properties and we saw all room categories in each resort. There is certainly something for everyone in the Riviera Maya!
One of newest resorts is the Hotel Xcaret. This is a new build hotel and is a very eco-friendly resort built in the mangroves with lots of vegetation. This resort is for the family that wants to be active and is not for the families that are looking for a great beach. This resort is a very large resort of 900 rooms and more rooms will be added.
The ALL-FUN INCLUSIVE® program redefines the traditional all-inclusive plan into a more complete experience. In addition to day and nighttime activities and elegantly crafted cuisine at the resort, you can enjoy full access to Experiencias Xcaret’s nature parks and tours, as well as each of their dining plans.
They offer two buildings that are adults only for those clients that want tours but not kids. They also offer some fun new technology similar to (Disney) where your wristband opens your room door. A fun feature they offer is 10 "selfie spots" throughout the resort and photos can be viewed on your phone or purchased from the resort. You also have the ability to use your phone to connect to the TV and access things like Netflix and 55” screens.
With their EVERYTHING FLOWS® service your experience will become magical, let the concierge team gets in charge of everything, just kick-back and enjoy. I’d be happy to assist with your next journey!
I have recently returned from Disney’s Earmarked Conference in Orlando. Only Top Producers for Disney are invited and I have the ‘inside scoop’ on what’s new.
Animal Kingdom Lodge – They are getting ready to update the lodge and its needed – the resort is tired. However, the cast members are more than willing do anything to be helpful. When the updates are complete this will; be a lovely property.
Yacht Club – Beautiful resort, it is being updated and will be finished shortly.
Pop Century – this resort as many of the resorts are undergoing renovations, most of the rooms they are going to a Murphy bed to give guests more room.
Disney Springs - They will have more stores and restaurants opening in 2018 check the website for up to date information: http://www.disneysprings.com
Disney Affiliated Hotels - Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is the only 5-star resort On Disney property. AMAZING resort!! Rooms are a minimum of 500 square feet. They also offer character dining on site and it includes Mickey and Minnie - very intimate setting and is guests only.
You can count on me to match you with the right resort and make your Disney dreams come true!
I have recently returned from a lovely trip to Italy! I traveled to Rome, Tuscany, and Florence with Europe Express – an excellent experience.
Our first hotel was the Rose Garden Palace. It was about a 20-minute walk to the Spanish steps and across the street from the US Embassy. The hotel was very nice and the rooms were a variety of size and configurations. There are a lot of areas in Rome that are not accessible by coach or car, so I would suggest a walking tour to familiarize yourself with the city. We did a two-hour walking tour and it took us to areas that were beautiful and clients won’t see unless they do a tour.
We then drove through Tuscany to Florence, and we stayed at the Villa Pitana. Originally a Benedictine monastery Pitiana’s beauty and charm open a door to the past. The villa still retains the articulated architecture of a millenary history, from the foundation as a fortified farm to the utilization as the Benedectine monastery and eventually to the conversion in nobleman elegant Villa in the IXth century – lately revised into a tourist residence. Architecture, decorations, and furniture maintain the memory of flowing of ages and styles.
Italy was an amazing trip and pictures just don’t do it justice. I would love to assist with your Italy adventure!
Tauck French Waterways on the ms Swiss Emerald
We began our journey with 2 nights in Paris. Then savored the French flair for living from Paris bistros and culinary Lyon to Beaujolais tastings and Provençal pleasures featuring a 7-night Rhône cruise. The ms Swiss Emerald is designed with an open, airy plan that makes great use of natural light. It is the perfect riverboat to cruise France's Rhône and Saône rivers through the colorful Provençal landscapes and villages dotting the lush Rhône Valley wine country that so enthralled and inspired the impressionist painters of the 19th century.
I had sailed with Uniworld and was looking forward to comparing both products. Both products are excellent but here are some of the differences. Uniworld offers excellent land tours but only one Uniworld staff member for all the groups and each group has a local guide, they usually have 2 groups and one easy walker group. (Moves at a slightly slower pace). Tauck's land tours have a staff member from Tauck with each group, and they have 4 groups – 3 regular groups and one easy walker group. (All are staffed with a local guide and a guide from Tauck). The food is amazing on both lines but Tauck offers more upgraded “house wines” and all liquor is included with Tauck.
It was an amazing experience and I would be happy to assist you with your next river cruise!
I thoroughly enjoyed my sailing aboard the S.S Antoinette with Uniworld River Cruises. The Castles Along the Rhine itinerary sailed from Amsterdam to Basel Switzerland. What an amazing trip! What better then arriving in a port like Cologne Germany and being in the heart of the city. In just 30-45 minutes after arriving you can begin a city tour. You can walk off your ship and within minutes see the most beautiful sights of Castles and rolling vineyards.
The best part is that most all of your tours are included in your cruise cost. River cruising offers the most intimate way to see Europe and experience the best the cities have to offer. Call me today for more detailed information of my amazing trip along the Rhine River and start planning your dream vacation today.
I recently returned from a trip visiting some of the newest Sandals properties. Deep within the idyllic waters of the Exumas, the brand new Sandals Emerald Bay is breathtaking! Secluded within 500 tropical acres along a pristine, mile-long beach, civilized pleasure coexist with exotic adventures, from three impressive pools —including a half-acre, zero-entry pool with a dramatic fire pit in the middle — to five exceptional restaurants.
Play championship golf on a Greg Norman-designed course voted one of the Caribbean's Best by Travel & Leisure Golf. Relax in the first-ever 29,000 sq. ft. Red Lane® Dermalogica concept spa. Explore impossibly beautiful turquoise waters renowned for their boating, fishing and diving. A unique blend of seclusion and sophistication, this exotic private escape is so easy to get to, so close to home.
The Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau provides a sanctuary so alluring the Duke and Duchess of Windsor made it their epicenter for high society as the famed Balmoral Club of the 1940s. Today, transformed into the Sandals Royal Bahamian, it remains an oasis of European grandeur where guests are still treated as royals.
Voted “Top Spa Resort” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Sandals Royal Bahamian is considered to be the Caribbean’s most elegant resort. Seductive alabaster sand beaches and crystalline waters embrace tropical gardens and opulent suites—some the size of private villas—complete with every imaginable amenity, even your own butler.
Beaches Turks & Caicos is a one-of-a-kind, unbelievably exciting all-inclusive family vacation destination! A 45,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art waterpark; three magnificent villages, boasting the architecture and ambiance of Italy, France and the Caribbean; incredibly sumptuous hotel accommodations; a powder-white-sand, 12-mile beach lapped by clear turquoise waters; endless fun activities for everyone, from tots to tweens and teens, featuring Sesame Street® characters, the new Xbox 360® Game Garage and a sizzlin’ teen disco, Liquid at Beaches-all amidst some of the most gorgeous tropical scenery on the planet.
Set apart from the world and bordered by a natural reef system, this hotel is home to clear waters in hundreds of shades of turquoise and is one of the top 10 scuba destinations in the world. This tranquil resort welcomes singles, honeymooners, couples of all ages, and families with children.
I explored the El Dorado Resort hotel located in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. It is an amazing resort and one that everyone should enjoy! It is a gourmet all-inclusive resort, that is for adults only and that means total pampering from the time you check in to the time you have to end your incredible vacation.
The El Dorado is one of Conde Nast Travelers top 100 resorts in the world and has the prestigious AAA 4 diamond award, all of the restaurants are ala cart, and you won't find a buffet at this resort. The resort sets on over one mile of beautiful beaches and has 5 room categories to choose from to make the most perfect and romantic vacation.
Imagine having a fun day in the sun, taking advantage of all the water sports, then enjoying a relaxing massage in the spa and end the perfect day having a candlelit dinner on the beach. The El Dorado is truly a deluxe intimate resort and I would love to help plan that special vacation!
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Paris and visited several hotels. One of my favorite properties was Sofitel Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel. This hotel has a great location, only a 10 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe and also a 10 minute walk to the Scène. This hotel offers 103 rooms of those rooms 30 are suites, 53 are Deluxe and 20 rooms are Classic rooms (these are much smaller only 161 Sq. feet ) so I would upgrade to the Superior room (161/194 Sq. foot) or deluxe category (these rooms are 215/269 sq. foot have a small French balcony)
This hotel was completely renovated in 2017 the hotel used to be an MGallery hotel and in 2017 it went through a 50 million Euro renovation and emerged a Sofitel. The hotel was not only upgraded in the standard sense but also technology. They offer very high speed Wi-Fi and also an interactive board in the lobby that will allow you to map out your daily plans with a touch of a screen. They also have an extensive wine cellar on site. The service levels were amazing and they will do anything for your special occasion. They can do traditional things like champagne and chocolates but can also do some special things like embroidery on a bath robe. They focus on customer service and being the best they can be.
General thoughts on Paris:
Our tour by Walks (which is a Signature Travel Network preferred supplier) of Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle (stain glass is a must see) and the Concierge was excellent. Violet, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable, personable and funny. We all learned so much on the tour and would recommend it to anyone. Walking tours are great way to see the sights and plan ahead! Max on this tour is 15 and have headsets to hear the guide.
The metro is easy to use for major tourist sights, but difficult to use for smaller areas. Uber was relatively inexpensive and much easier to get around. A private transfer to Charles de Gaulle is the ONLY way to go. The traffic was crazy and our driver was great. Allow every bit of 3 hours with security tight and it does take time to get through it all.
Stop and enjoy a pastry and coffee. Taste Paris and take in sights that are like no other!
My trip to Jamaica in December of 2020 was a quick but fun experience!
First recommendation – you must use Club Mo Bay in the Montego Bay airport! Restaurants in the airport are not open and we are not sure when they will be. When I arrived at the airport Delta was closed but Club Mo was aware of my situation and made arrangements for someone to check me in and they took me directly to the lounge. Food and beverage are served to you directly – it’s a great respite before your journey back home.
The Moon Palace did not disappoint. This is an all-inclusive, beachfront resort in Ocho Rios that's perfect for couples, singles and families. Fringed by beautiful white-sand beaches, this beautiful resort boasts 705 comfortable rooms and five pools, which include waterfalls, plunge pools, the FlowRider Double Wave Simulator, a kids' pool and swim-up bar. I was upgraded to a Deluxe Ocean view with a balcony it was concierge level however that building that you would normally be in was closed due to COVID. The property was spotless and all COVID protocol is being followed. The restaurants were great, hand sanitizers and apps for menus. Room service has been extended to 24 hours.
I also enjoyed Couples Tower Isle. An all-inclusive 226 room couples-only hotel set amid 19 acres of lush, romantic gardens, this has always been a favorite of mine. Directly on the beach, the resort features nightly entertainment and a private off-shore island. The lobby was nice but small – so they are doing check in as quickly as possible to allow for social distancing. The rooms were nice and while they usually do room check in for villas but they can make exceptions for clients who would prefer to check-in at the lobby level. Rooms were very nice and they have been updated since I stayed here last.
I felt very comfortable traveling. Delta provided a great experience and the Jamaican people were thrilled to have visitors to the island!
This dining capital of the Caribbean offers visitors the unique experience of enjoying 2 distinct cultures on one stunning tropical island. Dutch St. Maarten is known for being lively and cosmopolitan, while French St. Martin is more tranquil and has the flair of San Tropez. This unique island also offers a wide range of accommodations, ranging from intimate boutique hotels that dot French St. Martin to larger, full-service resorts that showcase Dutch St. Maarten. Accommodations range from moderate to luxurious.
I thoroughly enjoyed the newly re-opened Secrets St. Martin. With only 258 rooms and tucked away on a half-moon cove, this resort offers a great spa and several room types. There are two buildings, and the rooms are the same in the categories but just a different view. The preferred club rooms face the marina usually on the upper floor, the lower floor has the swim up rooms.
The resort boasts one of the Caribbean’s largest freeform pools and offers a great spa. The Fitness Center is nice size and offers Matrix Equipment – they also have aqua bikes in the pool. The beach is rather short and it’s a cove beach but nice and snorkeling in one of the Caribbean’s calmest bays is great. There are several dining options to choose from and only Himitsu, the Asian restaurant requires reservations.
One note of caution, this is not a resort for anyone that has mobility issues – some areas don’t have elevator access though the resort does have elevators near rooms.