Happy Holidays everyone! This week I had a birthday, turning 28, and Christmas is just two days away. Birthday’s and the holiday season tend to evoke introspection and reflection for me. My 27th year was one of my best years filled with adventure and big milestones. My husband and I celebrated our first year of marriage, we moved into a new place, traveled to Europe, got a puppy, and we both got promotions at work. My 27th year was also filled with some of the biggest challenges of my life both personally and professionally but I’m certainly looking forward to the year ahead.
With that said, looking back at some of my favorite memories, I thought it would be a great time to recap my favorite trip of all – our honeymoon! Better than Europe, better than Disney, was our wonderful honeymoon to the Bahamas.
At first, when discussing our honeymoon I wanted to do something beyond the traditional all-inclusive resort. We explored the idea of a road trip to California, or Europe, or Florida. Eventually, though, the attention required for planning our wedding had exhausted and overwhelmed me to the point that planning details of our honeymoon (something I typically love) didn’t seem manageable.
Sandals had come recommended by many friends and family as a premium resort and with the Bahamas being the shortest flight time from where we live in upstate New York, our minds were made up. With that, we booked our stay for 1 day after our wedding at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.
I’ll admit, part of the wonderful travel experience begins during the planning phase for me. The research, the excitement of finding the perfect restaurants to eat at, where to stay, and what to do, brings me joy. The idea of an all-inclusive seemed boring since you seemingly just sit on a beach and have limited choices of what to do. I am here to tell you how wrong I was because we couldn’t have loved our experience more.
Pulling up to the grand entrance of the Royal Bahamian resort, we were greeted with cool lemon scented washcloths, champagne, and were quickly whisked away to lunch after a seamless check-in process. We had fish sandwiches and watched the sun reflect off the bluest ocean I’ve ever seen. Even on our full stomachs, we couldn’t resist and we quickly changed into swim gear and went into the ocean.
Our room was spacious with a beautiful four-poster chestnut wooden bed. Our room had a private porch that housed a small patio table, shaded by tall tropical trees becoming our little oasis for morning coffee and breakfasts.
The Royal Bahamian resort is special because they have a private island, which is for Sandals guests only. In the morning we’d hop on the boat to the island, our hair happily whipping in the air. This island was the house of a spa, beautiful cabanas, a quiet beach, a pool, swim-up bar, and an open concept restaurant. This quiet island was where we spent most of our days.
On our third day an employee gave us snorkel gear and tipped us off that wild sea turtles lived on the backside of the private island. He instructed us to head out beyond the rocky beach where you can spot them. Having never snorkeled before we weren’t sure what to expect. We slowly paddled our way out to the clearing beyond the island, roughly 50-feet from shore. During our swim, we saw multi-colored seashells line the bottom of the ocean floor while the warm water enveloped us. We spotted tiny fish darting around and got lucky enough spotting a family of beautiful sea turtles! They swam elegantly amongst us with their deep green shells, unaffected by our presence. We were even able to get close enough to gently pet one of their shells. It was the most remarkable experience of my entire life.
Nearing the end of our trip, Phil and I laid lazily in the sun, popping in and out of the water. Phil had disappeared to get us more frozen drinks and came back with a surprise. He instructed me to throw on my beach cover-up and to follow him. Following a small pathway to the edge of the island was the Red Lane Spa. Phil had booked us a couples massage! We laid on our stomachs in a cabana that sat right on the beach with the wall of the cabana facing the ocean rolled up so all we could see and hear were the quiet waves crashing onto the beach. It was heavenly.
The rest of our honeymoon was spent reading, playing cards, walking around the resort playing ping pong or shuffleboard and eating the most delicious food. We didn’t plan ahead for any meals except for one, at the French restaurant, Baccarat, which required a reservation. This was the best meal of our trip as we enjoyed escargot and tomato crostini salads to start. For our main course, Phil had a filet and I had an artichoke crepe. The beautiful thing about an all-inclusive is you can eat and drink as much as you want. This was our first time ever trying escargot but it was no risk since we didn’t have to pay for it as we would a typical restaurant. We actually ended up loving it so much we ordered a second round.
This trip was special because it was our honeymoon but also because the experience was incredible from start to finish. The epitome of relaxation, beauty, and true peace was this trip and it will forever hold a special place in my heart!
We can’t wait to go back to another all-inclusive but can’t decide which island we want to try. Let me know your recommendations!