When you think of Sandals, you may picture couples relaxing on the beach. You may think of the tranquility tub for two, the king four post bed or even the swim-up bar. I bet if you closed your eyes right now, you could almost feel the peacefulness of spending time with the love of your life in a true paradise setting.
I know I was thinking about and picturing all those things as I boarded my first ever international flight to Antigua. I wish I could tell you that I only had happy, relaxing thoughts going through my head, however I also was faced with the realization that I’m flying to an island that I’ve never been before during a worldwide pandemic. Sandals claimed to be following several safety protocols, but what if this wasn’t true? What if we got there to find a bunch of strangers without masks, not social distancing and bumping into each other while coughing in your face? Will there be enough hand sanitizer around? What about hand washing stations? Well, as a travel agency owner, I felt it was my responsibility to go on this trip and see firsthand exactly how safe Sandals Grande Antigua was so I could report back to my clients.
I’ll start with my experience at the airport when we landed in Antigua. From the time we arrived through the time we got in a vehicle to take us to the resort, we had sanitized our hands six times. There were hand sanitizer machines at every section you had to pass through in the airport from security to immigration to customs to baggage claim. Then when a porter helped us with our suitcases, he wiped them down with sanitizer both when grabbing our luggage and when dropping it off with our driver to take us to the resort.
After checking into the resort, we were escorted to our room where we had to break the seal before entering the room. The room itself was very clean (and included more hand sanitizer). There was a checklist of everything they had done to make sure the room was cleaned properly with both a Suites Cleaning Touch Points and Bathroom Cleaning Touch Points guides left in the room showing what exactly was sanitized, how and how often.
Walking around the resort, you passed by Sandals employees and guests wearing masks. The fitness center had individually wrapped towels for guests to use while working out. The tables at restaurants were spaced out and even benches by the multiple fire pits were spread out far enough that people could socialize and keep a safe distance from each other.
Sandals Grande Antigua also made it very easy to stay compliant with the new CDC guidelines requiring a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of your international flight into the United States. When you arrive and advise them of your checkout date, they will call you the following morning to schedule a day and time for you to receive your complimentary COVID test from their onsite medical staff. When you arrive for your test, they have you complete a simple form and then you sit down, and the nurse gives you a nasal swab test. The results can be picked up on site the following morning between 9:30am-noon. They give you a document that you can take with you to the airport that follows CDC guidelines so you can re-enter the United States without any issue. Overall, I was very impressed with how safe I felt visiting there and would recommend how Sandals Grande Antigua was able to offer a very romantic and fun honeymoon destination while keeping with the safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now for more information on this resort and other Sandals and Beaches locations, visit https://www.sandals.com/?referral=154087 or https://www.beaches.com/?referral=154087. Of course you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org