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Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort?

Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can enhance your vacation with perks, convenience, and also a little extra layer of magic! Staying on-site gives you extra opportunities that only resort guests can take advantage of. Here are just a few of the benefits you will experience when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort:

Proximity

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is over 40 square miles. The resort truly is an entire world of its own! With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, and hundreds of restaurants and shops, the Disney property has something for everyone! The massive resort is also home to over 30 themed Disney Resort hotels. Staying at a Disney Resort on-property allows you to make the most out of your vacation time with easy access to everywhere on-property. Staying off-site, you lose so much precious time by having to commute on and off Disney property each day of your trip.

Transportation

Staying on-site at a Disney Resort, you can enjoy the benefit of utilizing the Disney transportation system. All Disney Resorts have buses that can take you directly to all of the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and many other locations on Disney property. Some resorts even offer boat transportation to and from the parks! If you stay in the Magic Kingdom Resort area, you can even take a monorail straight from your resort to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom park! And don’t forget about Disney’s newest form of transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios – the Disney Skyliner, available at Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera Resorts.

Theming

Disney World Resort hotels are known for their immersive theming and attention to detail. When you stay on-property at a Disney Resort, you get to stay within the magic of Disney 24/7! The same creative team of Imagineers that design the parks and attractions also design the resort hotels! They bring the hotels to life through storytelling and hints of Disney magic everywhere you turn. Feel as if you are staying on a tropical island at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Discover the colorful city of New Orleans at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Relax in nature and luxury at Disney Wilderness lodge. Pamper yourself and step back in time to the beauty of the Victorian era at Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. When you stay at a Disney Resort, you truly get to have a vacation within your vacation!

View of Grand Floridian from the water

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Private Island: Great Stirrup Cay

We are getting so close to sailing again! As all of the cruise lines continue to prepare their ships for returning to the sea, I wanted to share a post I wrote in 2019 when some of the Must Love Travel Planners had the opportunity to sail on Norwegian’s brand new ship, the Norwegian Encore. It was incredible! And one of the highlights of our sailing was stopping at Norwegian’s own private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.

I will be honest. I had fairly low expectations for this private island. I’ve been to a few other private islands of major cruise lines (Disney, Royal Caribbean), and they are both bigger than Norwegian’s island. But WOW, I was completely blown away! Yes, it is small, but the beach is beautiful, the service is top-notch, the food was great, and some really spectacular excursions were available!

Beach

The beach was beautiful!! TONS of chairs, so you don’t have to fight for one. And there will be a towel waiting for you on each chair, so you don’t have to carry them off the ship. Bar service was excellent and fast, and there are plenty of water activities available for rent, such as floats and paddleboarding. If you want to splurge on a Cabana, those are available for an additional cost.

Lunch

There is a Main Grill and also a few additional food stations located throughout the beach area. The food is great, and there is plenty of it! We even found some light breakfast offerings (banana bread, etc.) available before the lunch was ready, which was perfect for those of us who got to the island early for an excursion.

Excursions

There are some really spectacular excursions, but what impressed me the most was how organized they were. In our group of agents, we were able to sample quite a few excursions. I personally went parasailing and rented a wave runner (jetski), while other agents rented kayaks, swam with pigs (that’s right, I said swam with pigs), and swam with the stingrays.

Overall, I was very impressed with this little slice of paradise. I could have easily spent another day there! Almost every Bahamas and Caribbean sailing on Norwegian makes a stop at Great Stirrup Cay, so be sure to ask your Must Love Travel Planner for more info on this island paradise.

Destination — Cancun, Mexico

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, Cancun attracts about four million visitors each year to its pristine white beaches, its top-notch resort and hotel scene and its crystal blue water. The city is home to hundreds of hotels that line the beaches in an area called the hotel zone, attracting all types of guests, from traveling business people to timeshare owners to families. The city is probably most famous for its Mayan ruins, which dot the landscape around this southern region of Mexico. From El Rey to Tulum, the ancient stone remains are unique archaeological attractions that tell the original story of the now bustling modern city. Many people also visit the area for its great dive sites. Colorful coral reefs and diverse sea life are located right offshore, and a variety of inland cenotes (deep natural wells) attract diving enthusiasts to explore the rich underwater worlds of Cancun.

Couples looking for a luxury wedding or a spicy celebration bursting with entertainment will find what they want in Cancun. Convenient to travel to from origins throughout the U.S., Cancun was designed with the needs of a tourist in mind, which makes it easy to design a dream wedding experience. Including a traditional Mariachi trio during the destination wedding cocktail hour adds a beautiful and soulful soundtrack to make sure guests never forget their incredible experience. Or hosting the reception at sunset on a catamaran allows guests to enjoy the wedding and a breathtaking Mexican sunset at the same time.

 

Destination Quick Facts:

  • U.S. travelers: Valid passport needed for entry
  • Official language: Spanish (English is widely spoken)
  • Official currency: Mexican peso (American dollars are widely accepted)
  • Climate: From October to March, average temperature is 68-86° F and from April to September, average temperature is 75-91° F
  • Currency converter
  • STEP Program
  • Mexico entry requirements

Over-the-Water Bungalows at Sandals Grand St. Lucian

These gorgeous Over-the-Water bungalows convey an intimate connection to the Caribbean Sea and deliver complete immersion of the fine turquoise waters and rich marine life below.

Glass floor panels and lit water ensure you can enjoy undersea views at any time. Couples can also admire the beauty of the ocean from their private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub for two or over-water hammocks.

Every bungalow captures the height of luxury with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, custom crafted king-size beds adorned with soft linens, and plush pillows for the ultimate sleep experience.

Inside, each bungalow is also equipped with a smart TV and a large ceiling fan to stay cool while enjoying fresh Caribbean breezes. The bathrooms are equipped with his and her sinks, a large backlit mirror adorned with mosaic tile, and a walk-in rain shower.

Outside, your private patio is also equipped with an extended sun deck, outdoor shower, sun loungers, and a bistro set for two.

Butler Elite service, which handles every detail of your vacation with unobtrusive grace, private airport transfers, and 24-hour room service, is included to complete your over-water vacation.

9 Family-Friendly Hawaii Resorts

Whether it’s unforgettable pool experiences, new kids club offerings, robust keiki (children) day programs, or kitchenettes to make travel just a bit easier, our friends at Marriott International have a portfolio of hotels and resorts offering exquisite options on all four major Hawaiian islands.

Travel insights from Marriott International in Hawai’i have put together a collection of 9 of the most family-friendly Hawaiian resorts:

1. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

Celebrate the best of Honolulu from Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Widely known as the “First Lady of Waikiki,” our historic hotel first opened its doors in 1901 and offers a seamless blend of Victorian elegance and contemporary comfort. Boasting an unbeatable beachfront location, we’re just steps from the immaculate shores of legendary Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of Honolulu’s most beloved shopping, dining and entertainment attractions. For your convenience, we provide three distinct, sophisticated room layouts, each one overflowing with thoughtful amenities. In addition, our hotel features a towering banyan tree, a shimmering outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the only beachfront spa in Waikiki and six on-site bars and restaurants. Host an event with us here in Honolulu to take advantage of stunning outdoor venues and top-quality planning and catering. Allow Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach to raise the bar for beachfront luxury

2. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches along its namesake white-sand beach on the Island of Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is known for its world-class shoreline as well as for the cultural and archaeological gems nestled between its centuries-old lava fields. Our resort’s contemporary style contrasts with our lush, manicured gardens and the endless blues of the sky and the ocean. Enjoy our four reimagined dining venues influenced by the island’s bounty. Hit the links on our award-winning 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course designed by Arnold Palmer. Cool off in two swimming pools, including a 6,800-square-foot freeform family pool and an adult-exclusive infinity pool, overlooking Hapuna Beach. Our WestinWorkout Center and Crossfit Studio are complemented by the Hapuna Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation. Our resort boasts more than 85,000 square feet of newly refreshed function space for productive business meetings and inspiring social events. Choose from 249 oversized guest rooms, including 17 suites.

3. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Edging the western coast of Hawaii’s breathtaking Big Island, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is a beachfront haven in a stunning travel destination. Find your respite in scenic hotel accommodations with contemporary comforts and signature amenities. Elevate your experience in select suites and resort rooms overlooking beautiful Anaeho’omalu Bay. Ignite your senses with delectable dining at our hotel restaurants, and be sure to attend our Sunset Luau for music, dancing and classic Big Island fare. Hone your golf game at two championship courses or spend the day lounging on an immaculate white-sand beach. Host flawless meetings, weddings and social affairs in inspiring event space with custom catering and expert planners. After a full day in Hawaii, refresh your well-being with massage, beauty and wellness therapies at our hotel spa. With three sparkling outdoor pools, a waterslide and covered beachfront location, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is an island oasis on the lovely Big Island of Hawaii.

4. Sheraton Kauai Resort at Poipu Beach
Sheraton Kauai Resort at Poipu Beach

Aloha from Sheraton Kauai Resort, a welcoming hotel oasis nestled on the shores of Hawaii’s world-famous Poipu Beach. From this enviable vantage point, our hotel offers guests intimate access to the Garden Island’s endless charms—from spectacular beaches, lush rainforests to world-class golf courses. Relax in our newly-renovated guest rooms and suites, where either sparkling oceanfront or lush garden views await. Spend your days soaking in the sun on Poipu Beach or relaxing in a shaded cabana next to our Ocean Pool. Dine at our array of authentic eateries, serving fresh Hawaiian fare in a tropical setting; RumFire Poipu Beach is our signature restaurant boasting spectacular sunset views. Showcasing an array of indoor and outdoor event venues, our hotel is also a brilliant location for a corporate retreat, wedding or family reunion in Kauai. Whatever brings you to Hawaii, our golden-sand beaches and misty sea breezes ensure you’ll never want to leave. We look forward to hosting you at Sheraton Kauai Resort.

5. Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay

With an unparalleled location on the iconic lava rocks of Hawaii’s Kona Coast, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay offers a captivating blend of adventure, culture, heritage and hospitality for your trip to Kailua-Kona. Our hotel overlooks Kailua-Kona’s manta ray coastal feeding grounds and offers access to Kona Coffee farms, snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay and Volcanoes National Park. Embrace Kona life in our hotel pool, pamper yourself at Ho’ola Spa or try traditional Hawaiian activities like snorkeling, cultural tours and hula lessons. Bask in the Kona sunshine at our poolside resort bar, sample fusion cuisine at Rays on the Bay or enjoy history and entertainment at Haleo Luau. Explore our adaptable indoor venues, as well as 100,000 square feet of outdoor space with awe-inspiring views. Unwind in expansive hotel rooms and suites with private lanais and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. Find your own slice of paradise in Hawaii at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

6. Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani invites you to experience the Aloha spirit at our hotel in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii. Our inviting hotel is situated one block from Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment. Hotel guests have proximity to attractions like Diamond Head, Hawaii Convention Center, the Aloha Tower and Honolulu Zoo. Well-appointed hotel rooms and suites include Wi-Fi (for a fee), mini-refrigerators, private lanais and our Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience with premium linens. Those planning events on Oahu can explore our hotel’s modern venues, which can host as many as 500 guests. Whatever your reason for visiting Hawaii, we know you’re going to love your stay at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.

7. Residence Inn Maui Wailea
Residence Inn Maui Wailea

Find your home away from home at Residence Inn Maui Wailea, a modern all-suite hotel in near Wailea’s world class golf courses, Wailea Blue Golf Course, Kihei Town, Ulua and Wailea Beach. With our complimentary shuttle service in the Wailea Resort Area, our extended-stay hotel makes it easy to access all the best local dining and shopping at The Shops at Wailea. Enjoy your time in Maui by relaxing with a hotel breakfast buffet in the morning. Our hotel bar offers curated cocktails and scenic views of the Pacific. For your comfort, our pet-friendly suites feature ocean-inspired designs and plush beds. Upgrade to a spacious two-bedroom suite to ensure ample space for the whole family. After a day spent exploring, prepare a homemade meal in your suite, complete with a refrigerator, microwave and stovetop, or opt for the convenience of complimentary grocery shopping services. Whatever it is that brings you to Maui, make the most of your travels by booking a stay with Residence Inn Maui Wailea.

8. Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport

Providing modern convenience in a soothing setting, Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport will elevate your island getaway. With our free shuttle service to and from Kahului Airport, you can expect effortless travels. Ignite your next Maui adventure at premier attractions such as Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Lahaina Front Street and Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. After soaking up the Hawaiian sun, gather in the comforts of our hotel rooms and seamlessly transition between work and play with our flat-panel TVs and ergonomic workstations. To satisfy you cravings, visit The Bistro for energizing breakfast options, along with tempting dishes and handcrafted cocktails for dinner. Committing to healthy habits? Burn off some calories at our 24-hour fitness center or outdoor pool. If you’re hosting an event, enliven conferences and celebrations alike with our AV equipment and catering options. Whether you’re conducting business, or exploring the beautiful area, revel in relaxation at Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport.

9. Courtyard Waikiki Beach
Courtyard Waikiki Beach

Stay, play and explore everything we have to offer at Courtyard Waikiki Beach. Located in the heart of Waikiki in Honolulu, HI, our hotel is a short walk from Waikiki Beach and several top local attractions, including the Honolulu Zoo. In addition, find many leisure activities nearby, like golfing, surfing, biking and hiking, then return to our hotel where we offer a 24-hour, state-of-the-art fitness center, a calming spa with a variety of treatments and two refreshing outdoor pools. After a busy day in Honolulu, stop by our hotel’s authentic Italian restaurant serving freshly prepared cuisine and signature cocktails. If you want to host your wedding in Waikiki, take advantage of our group booking offers and special hotel room rates. Additional hotel amenities include valet parking, on-site laundry and car rentals. At the end of the day, retire to a contemporary, newly refurbished hotel room or suite with free Wi-Fi, an outdoor balcony and modern media offerings. Make us your tropical oasis in Honolulu.

Puerto Rico’s Picture-Perfect Postcard Regions

There are many reasons to explore beyond San Juan and truly discover everything Puerto Rico has to offer. This Caribbean island measures approximately 100 by 35 miles, so in a couple of hours, you can drive around the whole island, but allow yourself plenty of time to discover its six different regions. Each one has a unique identity featuring local cuisine, diverse cultural activities, tourist attractions, adventure tours, and more.

Read more about Puerto Rico’s six different regions in this article shared by our friends at The Compass.

Jamaica – The Heartbeat of the World

 

Rich in history, cultural diversity, and nature at its very best, it’s no wonder that Jamaica is referred to as “The Heartbeat of the World.” The very mention of this island paradise conjures up images of romance, with its sprawling beaches, tranquil Caribbean waters, lush tropical landscapes, and spectacular sunsets, making it an ideal spot for weddings and honeymoons. Add to that its sunny climate and vibrant nightlife, and you’ve got a unique destination that truly has it all.

The “Home of Rhythm and Sway” has friendly island hospitality down to a science. Nothing is a problem here, where soft reggae sounds harmonize with waves lapping on the shoreline, the Blue Mountains tower over verdant plains, and 10 championship golf courses with breathtaking views invite visitors to get into the swing of things. From its famous meat patties and jerk chicken; to some of the most celebrated rums, liqueurs, and coffee in the world, the cuisine of Jamaica is nothing short of amazing.

Jamaica hotels pioneered the all-inclusive vacation concept in the 1970s, and while operations have been redesigned since the pandemic, the heart of the all-inclusive model hasn’t changed. The luxury is still there—but more innovative. The recreation is still there—but safer. The selection is still there—but with a focus on hygiene. And even though new sanitation requirements are rigorous, they’re also unobtrusive. Travelers continue to get that vacation feeling they’re accustomed to. Plus, with reduced occupancy, stays feel more private and services more white glove, actually enhancing the experience.

Home to a modern international airport, Montego Bay is perfect for short stays and extended trips. The Hip Strip brings a festive vibe, the Rose Hall Great House contributes legend and culture, and rafting down the Martha Brae adds the thrill of adventure. On the north coast, Ocho Rios draws visitors to Dunns River Falls, where they can climb the falls and swim in natural pools that drain into the Caribbean. The Cool Runnings Dunns River Day Cruise makes even getting to this iconic site fun. Thirty minutes from Runaway Bay is Nine Mile, the birthplace of Bob Marley, with a mausoleum dedicated to this musical icon. On the island’s western tip, Negril, the “Capital of Casual,” beckons visitors to the white sands of Seven Mile Beach. Discover the “Capital of Casual” on the Negril Beach and Sunset Tour, with ample time to swim, shop, visit Margaritaville, and end the day at Rick’s Cafe to witness locals diving from 35-foot cliffs as the gorgeous sunset illuminates the horizon. Exciting excursions are available from all the resort areas, and in most cases, guests are picked up right from their hotel lobby!

So whether you want to enjoy exhilarating adventures or simply relax to the max under the tropical sun, the proud and friendly Jamaican people are waiting with wide smiles to welcome you back to their island home.

Courtesy of The Compass and Funjet Vacations

The Grounds of the Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort

We’ve talked about the food, and we’ve talked about the beach. Now let’s take a look at the grounds of the beautiful Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort. You’ll find touches of romance everywhere you look and plenty of places to relax and soak up the sun.

Of course, the day I was taking most of these pictures was rainy! Just my luck. But the sun did clear after only about an hour of actual rain, and the next day was bright blue skies. You’ll see a mix of sunny and overcast pictures below!

Let’s start with the little touches of romance and happiness you’ll find throughout the resort.

You’ll find plenty of hammocks to relax, take a nap, read a book, or enjoy the Caribbean breeze.

This was the view from the hammock. I relaxed on it while the rain came through. It was lovely!

The Main Pool was lively and fun, with great bartenders and afternoon activities.

The Main Pool looks so cool at night, and there is often evening entertainment in this area. Check out my Chocolate Martini! I enjoyed it while waiting for that evening’s show, which happened IN the pool. It was so cool!

There are two quiet pools. One is located very close to the Main Pool. You can still hear the fun happening next door but in a more relaxed setting.

The other quiet pool is located farther away and is called the “Lovers Pool”. And look — it’s shaped like a heart.

You can enjoy massages at the end of the pier during the day.

You’ll find lots of fire pits located throughout the resort. They are great places to relax during the day and come to life at night.

 

The Food at Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort

Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort has beautiful grounds, a stunning beach, over-water bungalows, and delicious food. This week I’m going to take you on a little food tour from my recent visit.

Our first night was an amazing alfresco dinner at Gordon’s Over the Water Restaurant. Gordon’s is the most upscale restaurant at Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort.

Here is a view of our seating area. There is also covered seating, but I was delighted to watch the sunset and dine under the stars.

My appetizer – Pan-fried Scallops. These were amazing, and the portion was much larger than I’d expect at an All-Inclusive Resort.

My entree was the Surf and Turf, and this one really blew my mind! I am typically a light eater, but I finished the entire dish.

I had the carrot cake for dessert, and it was the perfect way to end this wonderful meal.

We had a cocktail reception before dinner, walked along the beach to have dinner on the pier. The sunset was spectacular!

I had a light breakfast at Toscanini’s. My favorite part was the iced coffee. I realize iced coffee may not seem very exciting, but most of the time, when I’m at an All-Inclusive resort, and I order an iced coffee, I am brought hot coffee that was poured over ice and immediately melted. At Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort, the waiter brought me an actual iced coffee. I could tell the coffee had been chilled, and the ice didn’t melt. It’s the little things in life that make us happy!

I ordered the Smoothie Bowl for breakfast. It was tiny but very delicious.

I was extremely excited to have lunch at the Jerk Shack. It smelled so good every time I walked by. I finally had the opportunity on my last day. But sadly……..

…it wasn’t good. I ordered the Jerk Pork, and the flavor was just not there. Also, the pork was extremely fatty. I literally left after 2 bites.

But the good news is Dinos Pizzeria was just a few steps away! The pizzas are sized for 2 people to share. As I was traveling solo, I decided to eat my half by eating only my favorite part of the pizza — the middle. The joys of traveling solo!

The kind waitress brought me a crepe, and I did have a few bites. WOW! It was seriously one of the best crepes I’ve ever had! I wish I had started my meal with the crepe!

Dinner at Bombay Club was my favorite. The food is all small plates designed to share. Luckily, this night I was dining with two other Travel Advisors and my host at Sandals.

These were just the appetizers! And there are a few you can’t see in this picture. I was so excited, and I totally forgot to take pictures of the entrees. But trust me, they were good! We were all too stuffed to order dessert.

Barefood by the Sea was one of my favorite spots. Your feet are in the sand, and you can’t beat that view.

I ordered the Popcorn Shrimp Salad, and it was perfect. The salad was crisp, and the dressing was light. And who doesn’t love popcorn shrimp?

The morning I departed, I ordered room service to enjoy breakfast on my balcony. The iced coffee was not as good as the one at Toscanini’s, but it was ok. Luckily I asked for extra ice, so I made it work. The oatmeal was delicious. I asked for a “side of eggs,” but as you can see, they sent a full meal with hash browns and bacon. Ahhhh, the All-Inclusive life!

I’ll end with a picture of my first glass of wine, which I enjoyed from the open-air lobby overlooking the ocean. I want to point out that I am a bit of a wine snob, and oftentimes at All-Inclusive Resorts, I don’t drink much wine because the house wines aren’t that great. But the Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort had the absolute best house wine I’ve ever had. Below is the Sauvignon Blanc, my favorite.

6 All-Inclusive Sustainable Resorts in Mexico

Mexico has always been one of the most popular vacation destinations. Not only for the beautiful beaches and Mexican hospitality but also because it is easy to get to from the United States.

Last week I showed you some of the most popular eco-friendly resorts in the world. But not everyone can easily get to Costa Rica or Antigua. Our friends at The Compass have put together 6 of the most popular, eco-friendly, and sustainable All-Inclusive Resorts.

The first resort on the list is one of my own personal favorites – El Dorado Royale, by Karisma. Karisma Resorts are known for their gourmet food experiences, and much of the food for all of the Karisma Resorts is grown right on El Dorado Royale’s grounds at their greenhouse farm. You can ask to take a tour of the greenhouses, so if you are a true foodie and care about the environment, El Dorado Royale is the perfect All-Inclusive vacation for you!

Check out the Compass’s full article to learn about 6 of the most impressive, eco-friendly resorts in Mexico.

7 Eco-Friendly Resorts Around the World

Some call it sustainable travel. Others call it eco-travel or responsible travel.

This type of travel supports the management of resources to fulfill economic, social, and aesthetic needs while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.

Read more in this article from our friends at The Compass about this super hot travel niche and 7 of the world’s most eco-friendly resorts.

The Beach at Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort

I had the pleasure of spending a few days at the Sandals Grand St. Lucian Resort, and it was amazing! I have pictures of food, rooms, restaurants, and more. Today I’ll show you the beach of this Instagram-worthy resort. The sunsets are spectacular!

This resort has a long beach with plenty of hammocks along the way to relax and enjoy the view.

The sand was lovely!

During the day, you can get a massage at the end of this dock. At night, it turns into a lively place to have drinks and sit by the fire.

Barefoot by the Sea – have lunch or dinner with your feet in the sand and stunning ocean views.

Those chairs are just asking to be on Instagram!

Two angles from my oceanview balcony.

STUNNING SUNSETS!

 

Hotel Xcaret Arte: Mexican Art Stays in You

Located on a stretch of white sand beach and Caribbean Sea approximately 45 minutes from Cancun, Hotel Xcaret Arte will open its doors on July 1st with 900 suites, nine restaurants, a spa, five distinct immersive cultural experiences, multiple pools, and expansive events and convention facilities.

The new luxury resort is an adult-oriented resort welcoming guests 16 years and older, and it is designed and built by 100% Mexican talent and infused with passion and respect for the surrounding Mayan region. In both form and function, the resort pays homage to Mexican art in its various iterations and will highlight the most important symbols of the country’s culture through the creation of five distinct Casas. Each Casa will be inspired by Mexican traditions and provide guests with the opportunity to explore and engage with the country’s heritage and nature. The Casas include Casa del Diseño, a textile workshop offering weaving lessons, Casa de la Música with dance instruction, Casa de los Artistas will inspire guests to paint, Casa de la Pirámide will explore Mexico’s rich and diverse pottery traditions, and Casa de la Paz, with cooking workshops specializing in vegan cuisine. Additionally, Casa del Patrón will serve as the resort’s main event and convention space.

Hotel Xcaret Arte will also feature Grupo Xcaret’s All-Fun Inclusive® concept, offering resort guests unlimited access to seven renowned eco-adventure parks – Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco, and Xenses, as well as its Xenotes and Xichén tours. Each theme park will transport guests to the natural wonders of Mexico’s extraordinary Yucatan landscape to create unforgettable experiences and lifelong memories.

Hotel Xcaret Arte also boasts nine culinary experiences by some of Mexico’s most renowned and world-class chefs. Dining concepts range from pre-Colombian dishes to regional Mexican recipes, and from ancient Mayan cooking to contemporary vegan. Additional restaurant concepts include cultural fusions of Mexican traditions with Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Mediterranean, and more. The list of chefs includes Michelin-starred Chef Paco Méndez, who will oversee signature restaurant “Encanta.” Jonathan Gómez Luna, the award-winning chef, will oversee “Chino Poblano,” a culinary concept that combines the cuisine of China and the state of Puebla with a fun and sophisticated culinary touch. Mexico’s most well-regarded chef, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, will delight the most demanding palates at “Xaak,” which celebrates indigenous foods from the Yucatan Peninsula. Additional renowned chefs include Alejandro Ruiz, a master in Oaxacan cuisine; Chef Roberto Solis, creator of the newly inspired Yucatecan cuisine; Chef Miguel Bautista with sensational vegan cuisine; Chef Orlando Trejo a master in comfort food; renowned Italian chef Franco Maddalozzo, who will fuse the flavors from both the Mediterranean and Mexican coasts; and Chef Luis Arzapalo, who will showcase the best of oriental culinary arts.

Ten bars and lounges spread throughout the property from poolside to rooftop feature fresh, local ingredients in custom cocktails for a range of high-end contemporary mixology experiences. Speakeasy bar “Deseo,” a hidden and cozy space will delight guests with live jazz entertainment.

Hotel Xcaret Arte will also be the center stage for big events and celebrations, offering two Convention Centers and an entertainment stage that can host between 1,140 and 2,065 people, respectively. Additionally, the resort is home to an oceanfront Ecumenical Chapel offering different types of ceremonies for up to 120 guests.

Muluk Spa, an indulgent and mystical wellness center surrounded by the iconic coves of Hoteles Xcaret, features a plethora of treatments and facilities, including a variety of hydrotherapies, flotation spas, mudrooms, and vapor treatments. In addition to an Alchemists Studio where guests are invited to create their oils, scents, lotions, and potions, making their Spa treatment a personal and unique experience.

Courtesy of The Compass

TSA Pre Check: You Can Leave Your Shoes On

Do you want to make your travel experience easier? Apply for TSA Pre Check!

I’ve had TSA Pre Check for years, and I can’t imagine flying without it. It eliminates the stress I used to feel going through airport security. And I’ll do anything not to have to take my shoes off in public!

Our friends at The Compass share some TSA Pre Check Basics to help get you on your way to never having to take off your shoes again!

TSA Pre Check Basics

TSA Pre Check is a program that gives travelers leaving from the U.S. access to an expedited security screening program at the airport. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent U.S. residents can apply for the program and undergo a screening process to become a “trusted traveler.”

Perks of TSA Pre Check

Anything to make your airport experience better is worth it, right? And probably one of the least enjoyable parts of air travel is the security process. TSA Pre Check pretty much eliminates that less-than-desirable part by giving trusted travelers these perks:

  1. Expedited security screening – There’s a shorter line for TSA Pre Check members. The average wait time is less than 5 minutes!
  2. Less to do to prep for security – You don’t need to take off your shoes, belts, or light jackets, and you can leave your laptop and liquids in your bag.
  3. Share it with the fam – A parent or guardian with TSA Pre Check can bring family members ages 12 and under along with them in the expedited lanes.

The Pre Check Process

It’s really not that bad – just three steps.

  1. Travelers can apply online on TSA’s Universal Enroll Pre Check page. The application has four sections, and it’s mostly basic information to help TSA verify your identity and citizenship.
  2. Next is to schedule the in-person appointment for a background check and fingerprinting within 45 days of completing the online application. The appointment can be made online or by walking into a TSA application center. This TSA web page lets you enter a zip code, city, or airport code to help you find the most convenient one for you.
  3. And then, at the appointment, which TSA says only takes 10 minutes, applicants must bring the required documents and provide their fingerprints. There are some options to determine what type of documents are acceptable, but TSA has a helpful web page to help sort it all out. It can be as simple as just a valid driver’s license and passport if the names on both documents match – that’s it. Then the applicant pays a non-refundable fee of $85 that’s valid for five years. That’s $17 a year – less than a tank of gas nowadays!

After an applicant is approved as a trusted traveler with TSA, they’ll get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in the mail within two to three weeks. You can enter your KTNs for each traveler when booking your flights. So make sure to give your Travel Advisor your KTN!

What is Must Love Travel Chat?

Here at Must Love Travel, we’ve spent the last year creating a weekly video series called Must Love Travel Chat, focused on one simple theme — what’s going on in the World of Travel!

We started by talking about the current state of travel, certain destinations and countries that are welcoming back travelers, and some of our favorite resort brands. As Universal Orlando and the Walt Disney World Resort reopened, we had many chats with Travel Advisors who had recently returned from their own vacations and were excited to share their experience.

While we will continue to do all of this, we have also added some exciting talks with representatives from some of our favorite Suppliers, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival. We’ve covered private island tours and focused on new ship features and destinations.

We’ve also done a lot of crossover with Rick Howard from the popular Travel With Rick vlog! And there’s a lot more of that to come, so stay tuned!

Check out our newest episode for more information.

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