Our very own Marty recently traveled across the globe to Fiji. I interviewed him about his trip and here is what he had to say:
1) Marty, I know your trip involved several components. Please describe your basic itinerary in Fiji.
2) Do you have any idea if this is how travel to Fiji is normally done or was it just because of the nature of the trip you won?
3) How long should someone set aside if they’re considering a trip to Fiji?
4) How long was the travel from Dallas to Fiji and what did it take to get there?
7) What’s the best advice you would give to someone contemplating a trip to Fiji?
Allow yourself plenty of time to see the sights you really want to see. Don’t be in a hurry for anything. Fiji consists of over 300 islands, so don’t expect to see everything in one trip.
8) What do you wish you had done that you didn’t do?
Go to the interior of the main island to see the rock formations, canyons and white water raft. It was a 15 hour day with a departure at 5:30am from the hotel. Although I wish I would have done it after the fact, I still don’t feel as if I missed anything.
Thanks, Marty! And, welcome home!
The Third Annual GIVC Awards Weekend was held this past weekend at the fantastic El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Philip, Cathi, Terrah and Marty were all thrilled to be in attendance.
GIVC stands for “Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant”. From the website: “A GI Vacation Consultant is a travel professional who is well versed, educated and prepared to provide exceptional service offering a tailor made vacation experience according to their client’s needs and expectations at El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels, by Karisma. A GI Vacation Consultant is a specialist in one or more of the following niche markets; destination weddings, honeymoons, adults only, romance, anniversaries, families and group travel.
A GI Vacation Consultant provides customers with confidence based on their first hand experience and knowledge after going through rigorous training and property site inspections at our hotels.”
Marty and Terrah are both GIVCs. This year they were both awarded four diamond status. Four diamond is the highest level possible. There were only a total of 18 four diamond awards given. Only one other company was awarded more than one four diamond award.
Another honor bestowed on Marty and Terrah was the designation of “Gourmet Inclusive Wedding Consultant”. Again, from the website: “The “GI Wedding Consultant” logo designates GI Vacation Consultants who are our most experienced and productive partners in Destination Weddings at our resorts. This select group of travel agents have undergone specialized educational experiences focused exclusively on providing clients with the best possible service when booking a Destination Wedding and have firsthand experience in booking destination weddings to our resorts.”
Additionally, Terrah was also recognized as a Top 10 Wedding producer at El Dorado Resorts as well as at Azul Hotels.
The biggest thrill of the night for me was when it was announced that Marty and Terrah had tied for the honor of “Best Storefront Agent”. This means that out of any travel agency that you could walk in to, anywhere in the country, ours does more El Dorado Resorts and Azul Hotels than anyone else.
In early October we closed down our office for two days and took our whole company down to Mexico for our first ever all company trip. We stayed at the fabulous El Dorado Seaside Suites. When we got back, I asked everyone in the office to write down their impressions of the resort. Here is what they said:
Philip: I had a great time at El Dorado Seaside Suites. Our room was large, beautiful, and very comfortable. The grounds are tropical. It feels more like a Caribbean island than Mexico. I tried Mia Casa (Italian) and Klay Talay (Asian) for dinner and both were outstanding. In the evening, I really enjoyed the live music at La Guacamayas Bar. All in all, it was a great trip and a wonderful resort
Briana: El Dorado Seaside Suites is the “just right” sized resort. Not so small that you feel isolated, but not so large you feel lost in a swarm. Every staff member was polite and approachable. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and immaculate. The soups are to die for. And the bartenders are generous. Its a wonderful property that’s just right for just about everyone.
Nicki: If you do not wish to ever be more than a few steps from the beach or if you like the convenience of a small property with the amenities of a larger property then the El Dorado Seaside Suites is perfect for you. Built across the beach and nestled south in the Riviera Maya, I love that El Dorado Seaside is small enough that the staff knows your name and preferences helping you to relax more easily. At the same time it is large enough that there is always something to do. It’s the perfect combination of liveliness and quiet which makes for a perfect vacation.
…And besides where else can you find a champagne cart?
Leah: El Dorado Seaside Suites. What can you really say about it? You have to experience it. You have to walk through the property and appreciate all the trees and foliage just as much as you appreciate the beach and the clear waters. You have to step into the room and feel like you’ve come home to your tropical palace.
Once you enter the property you have stepped into a jungle paradise with better food than you can possibly imagine. That kind of food probably doesn’t belong in the jungle, but it makes a world of difference.
You may have been to Mexico before. You may have even been to Paradise before. But, Paradise isn’t complete without El Dorado Seaside Suites.
Marty: El Dorado Seaside Suites still remains a favorite in my heart. Knowing most of the history and watching it grow, has only made my opinion of the hotel, quite strong. Now, having experienced it as a guest for the first time, I was not disappointed. The staff really went the extra distance to make my stay special. Food was amazing, as well as the ambiance of the resort.
Terrah: The El Dorado Seaside Suites is a little piece of paradise. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the renovated suites. They were absolutely beautiful. Guacamayas was also impressive. I now know that El Dorado Seaside Suites can party it up just like the peeps over at the El Dorado Royale. Laura (the general manager) is always truly a pleasure to visit with. She is always so professional and poised. The lady going around with a champagne cart was also impressive. That cart was a wonderful surprise. Lastly, the spa. Rumor has it that they are working on making the spa bigger and more elaborate. I am excited to see that happen because I believe it will be an excellent asset to the resort.
Pets are an important part of the lives of many people. According to the CDC, there are many health benefits to having a pet in your life. Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and your feelings of loneliness.
In honor of Take Your Pet to Work Day we present…..the Dogs of Legacy Travel:
This is Mike Tyson Beckford McKee. Tyson for short. He belongs to Briana, our office assistant. Reportedly a big baby with a sensitive digestive tract, he is afraid of heights and won’t jump off a bed without help.
Next up, we have Lucy and Taz, who own Marty Boehlke. Lucy is really more like a cat than a dog in that she will only play when she feels like it. Taz is reputed to be a high energy dog (Marty calls her “Taz the Spaz”).
This is Lucy – pictured above.
Next up is Roxanne Rominger (Roxy), who runs Terrah’s house.
Our next dog owns the heart of Nicki. He is the newest of the Legacy Travel dogs. His name is Charlie. Charlie is a bundle of energy and is almost housebroken.
And, finally, Kingston Lacy Banks. Lacy is a Golden Retriever who was originally a Christmas gift to the Banks children, and now lives every day as a gift to the whole family. She is kind and gentle and well behaved unless there are socks involved.
Antigua (Pronounced An-tee-ga by the locals), is a beautiful island in the Caribbean. I had the opportunity to travel there recently and fell in love with the destination. I definately look forward to going back.
I stayed 4 night at The Verandah Resort and visited 13 additional properties while there. The Verandah is a great property. Is is spread out on a peninsula with hilltop bungalows overlooking a small bay and the ocean. Although the property is spread out and seems large, there are only 200 rooms.
My favorite resort, though, is Hermitage Bay. A small resort with less than 50 rooms, and each room is your own private bungalow. There are standard, hilltop and hilltop with plunge pools. All bungalows are partial to full on oceanview. My recommendation is the hilltop plunge pool room.
My second favorite is actually a tie between The Inn at English Harbour and Carlisle Bay. Both small resorts on beautiful beaches with so much to offer. Carlisle Bay is compact and contemporary feeling while The Inn is a bit spread out on the beach and hillside and much more traditional.
Blue Waters and Galley Bay are also at the top of my list. Blue Waters is fantastic because of the 6 to 9 bedroom villas that an entire party can rent out or just book a room to have a villa feel. There are also standard hotel style rooms that are quite nice, too. Galley Bay’s standard rooms are quite unique. You have a private plunge pool in the courtyard and there is a building for your bedroom and a separate building for the bathroom. Of course, you have a private gate and fence surrounding your room, so nobody can see you walk from the bedroom to the bathroom.
The two hotels that surprised me most were Coconut Beach Club and Cocobay. Both small hotels and owned by the same person. Although the rooms at Coconut Beach are a bit gaudy, the room sizes, layout of the resort, and location are ideal. Cocobay has small individual bungalows, some with plunge pools, has a great view and is out of the way.
A must, is an excursion on a sailboat. That is if you are a boat lover. The small sailboat was fun and interesting. I chose to just sit on deck and watch the world pass by. Eventhough I did that, people do have the option of actually helping the crew sail. The OnDeck sailing crew was outstanding.
Another excursion was the Barbecue at Shirley Point. It is a historical hilltop fortress built by the British to protect the island from the French. The owner of the property decided to hold a local, weekly Sunday barbecue, some 30 years ago. He eventually opened it up to the public and started inviting big name local bands. The barbecue is definitely not for those of you who do not like crowds. If you do decide to go, go early.
I had so much fun in Antigua. I saw hotels for every budget and personality, for couples and for families. Nevermind the long flight to the destination, it is worth the stay.
September 9 through 16 was a magical week spent in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The first 3 nights I stayed at THE ROYAL in Cancun in a Royal Oceanview Junior Suite. The view from the large private balcony that overlooked the Caribbean was magnificent. The first day was spent at the beach and pool area just to relax and do nothing. That evening, I had the opportunity to dine in their small, 1 seating, 16 person, specialty restaurant called Chef’s Plate. The second day was devoted to a spa day. Several hours in the spa with treatments and a healthy lunch was well deserved. Another day was for playing “tourist.” I took a bus tour to Chichen Itza for the first time in all the years I have been traveling to the area. The tour itself was nothing to write home about, but the ruins were exceptional. There was so much to see and so much history.