I’m writing this on the plane headed home from our glorious honeymoon and I already have post-vacation depression. Tell me I don’t have to go back to the real world! Can’t I just stay on the beach forever?
Kyle and I had an incredible vacation in Antigua at Sandals Resort. I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I thought about doing a few posts describing the vacation in chronological order, but I think it might be better to do a few topic based posts- so I will do one about the resort in general, one about the food, and one about scuba diving- our main activity on the honeymoon. Hope that’s okay 🙂
We left home on Friday and drove up to Indianapolis for our flight that evening. I knew we had a long trip ahead of us so I made some protein cookies to snack on at the airport.
Chocolate Protein Cookies
1 cup almond flour
2 scoops whey protein of choice
2 tbs cacao powder
5 packets of stevia (I used Truvia)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs coconut oil
½ cup chocolate chips
Mix all that goodness together, shape into flat cookies, and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
I also scored a salad at the Indy airport that was way better than any airport salad I’ve had in years! It had shredded chicken, bacon, avocado, and parmesan. Seriously bacon and avocado make everything better.
Our flight left Indy at 8pm and landed in Chicago at 8:05pm (time change) and then we hung out in Chicago until our flight to Newark at 10pm. We arrived in Newark around 1am and stood in line for a cab until close to 2! Our cab driver was even sleepier than we were. He stopped at a gas station to buy coffee and came back with donuts and bananas for Kyle and me. I have never in my life had a cab driver buy me a donut, but in my sleepy haze I didn’t ask any questions. I fell fast asleep but Kyle stayed awake and told me later that the cab driver was falling asleep at the wheel the entire time. He said at one point we were driving 20mph on the highway and Kyle had to yell at the driver! Good lord! Luckily we made it to JFK alive around 3:30am. Our flight to Antigua wasn’t until 8am so Kyle and I both curled up on the floor of the airport and tried to get a little sleep. We were so excited to get our honeymoon started we didn’t even mind the ridiculous trip there. We just wanted to get to the beach!!
We landed in Antigua around noon and took a bus to the hotel. As soon as we got off the bus we were greeted with cold towels, hors d’oeuvres, and champagne! Everyone checking in that day (there were tons of us) congregated in the lounge waiting to get checked in. We realized it was going to take a while, so we left our bags and headed down to the pool to get lunch. The first restaurant we came across was a little pizza place, so we both sat right down and ordered pizza. There are 11 restaurants at the Sandals Antigua resort and we made it to 9 of them during our trip.
Later on we checked into our room and unpacked our bags before quickly changing into swimsuits and going straight to the pool. We were both exhausted from our night of travel but we didn’t want to waste any time in the sun! After the pool we explored the resort for a bit and then headed back to our room, showered and collapsed into bed super early.
Our room was beautiful- we had a huge bathroom with 2 sinks, a walk-in shower, and a massive tub. The bed was super comfortable and the fridge was always stocked with water, soda, juice, wine, and champagne. The best part of the room was the little balcony that overlooked the ocean.
I have to admit to you- I was NOT expecting much on this vacation. Kyle and I booked Sandals Antigua on a whim and didn’t research it much at all. We thought the all-inclusive nature of the resort would be great for a honeymoon because it eliminates all worry about…. well basically everything!
But, we had done one all inclusive vacation before- a cruise- and I didn’t love it. The food was mediocre at best, the rooms were normal but not luxurious at all, the whole thing felt really touristy and tacky… I just didn’t like it much. So, I was really worried Sandals would be the same way. I was worried it would be SUPER cheesy and touristy, that the restaurants would all suck, and that if you wanted anything special you would have to upgrade and spend extra money.
I was SO wrong.
First of all, the resort was BEAUTIFUL. I seriously cannot get over how gorgeous it was. Every inch of the resort was taken care of. The landscaping was tropical with flowers everywhere and perfectly manicured gardens. The grounds were impeccably clean- not one bit of trash, weird smells, anything. Even the sidewalks were constantly swept clean so they didn’t have sand covering them. And we were on the beach for crying out loud!! It was mind-blowing! The pools were super clean and there were stacks of fresh towels everywhere. I really don’t think it could have been better maintained.
Also the service was astounding! They must employ hundreds of people because everywhere you turned there was an employee asking if they could help you. The swim-up bars at the pools were crazy busy and I felt so bad for the poor bartenders who were clearly working their booties off to make drinks all day long but you never had to wait longer than a few minutes to get a drink- no matter how complicated.
I think Sandals must treat their employees well because everyone was so kind! No one ever seemed annoyed or too busy to help. We were on first-name basis with quite a few of the employees by the end of our trip and they all felt like friends!
I visited the fitness center only twice while on vacation, but each time it was clean and had everything a nice hotel gym should have! I had 2 great runs on the treadmill and did 2 short arm workouts with dumbbells as well.
I really could go on and on about Sandals and how much we enjoyed it, but I will just say one more thing. I think it’s possible for people to have very different experiences while at the same resort. First, there are so many restaurants and different people prefer some over others. So, I think it’s key to find the ones you like and go there (even though I liked basically all of them). Second, the resort is HUGE. As we were getting on the bus to go to the airport today I realized I didn’t recognize any of the people leaving with us- and we had all been at the same resort for a week! There are quite a few different pools and different types of rooms. Kyle and I stayed in the large building on the “Mediterranean” side of the resort and very much enjoyed our room. Other people might prefer more private housing and enjoy the secluded cabanas on the “Caribbean” side of the resort. I really don’t think you could go wrong, but I did think that it was interesting how different your vacation could be from someone else even if you went to the same Sandals.
The last, and best thing (I think) about our vacation was how many wonderful people we met! We made friends with 4 couples while scuba diving, and spent a lot of time with them not only on the boat, but at the pool after diving, and at night when we would see them out at dinner. We also befriended an awesome couple from England (hi Lindsay and Matt!!) and got to spend a few days with them at the pool. Kyle and Matt played pool volleyball twice while Lindsay and I relaxed at the pool bar and cheered on our guys. They were on their honeymoon as well and we bonded over funny wedding and travel stories. I wish they didn’t live so far away!! Oh- Matt has a blog and you should totally check it out 🙂
Tomorrow’s post is all about the FOOD!!!
Have you ever stayed at a Sandals or other all-inclusive place?
Did you like it?
Where did you go on your honeymoon!?