Small is beautiful

The Sandals Ultra Convention at Birmingham Metropole Hotel“Despite a room full of operators to talk to in the morning, I was determined to get to know the Sandals product. I started by heading to the Royal Plantation hotel at Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

I had visited this hotel a few years ago, but wanted to find out how it had changed. It’s a niche hotel and very different from the other Sandals properties, with the emphasis firmly on tranquility and luxury. The key to selling this property is being able to identify who would appreciate the ambience of this hotel.”

Are butlers worth it?

“I haven’t sold a butler-service holiday yet, so I wanted to know what clients get for paying that bit extra. From mixing the perfect gin and tonic to running a deep bubble bath at the end of a long day, I only wish I could have taken him home to sort out my pile of ironing. It’s definitely a service I’ll recommend.”

Village life

“The Sandals Grande Antigua stand had a scale model of the new Mediterranean Village. I was taken through all the different room types of the 180-suite addition, which opens in February.”

Wedding add-ons

“I always thought the pictures of the Sandals weddings in brochures were fantastic, but there’s nothing like seeing the set up in its true glory. The free weddings are still part of the Sandals package, which has always been a huge selling tool, but I also found out about add-on wedding packages that give clients something extra special as well as boosting my commission.

“As Sandals now promotes a range of gowns designed by Alan Dessy, I am hoping that I can start earning money on selling these too. These gowns have been specially designed for travelling.”

Spa treats

Travel Counsellor Sue Verrall gets to grips with Sandals spa product at the Sandals Ultra Convention“I’ve been lucky enough to experience Sandals’ Red Lane Spas first-hand. They use local products including Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, sweet oranges, brown sugar, honey and almonds.

“I was pleased to learn I can now pre-book clients’ treatments before they leave the UK and earn extra commission on everything sold.”

Rewarding business

“The marketing seminar was very relevant. Sandals has incentivised everyone with its marketing bank: each booking earns you money, which is used to pay for any Sandals or Beaches promotions agents do.”

If you have been impressed by a training event, tell us about it at travel.weekly@rbi.co.uk.