Now that temperatures are plummeting it’s time to plot your Holiday and Valentine’s Day escapes, and we know just where you should go: to the all-inclusive Sandals Emerald Bay, a couples resort in Great Exuma, Bahamas. The water looks like crystal blue ice and the mile-long beach is pristine and peaceful. You’ll feast like royalty and be massaged into bliss at the Red Lane spa. The many offbeat delights at this ultra-friendly resort include Limbo, tennis, lawn chess, water biking, golf, wine tasting, pool at the Drunken Duck, croquet, and excursions to with the area’s famous swimming pigs — which is not something you can do just anywhere.
THE SPA: If you’re a lover of spa treatments, you’ll find the Red Lane spa experience is spectacular and broad-based. Couples can rejuvenate with aromatherapy treatments, couples massage, exfoliation scrubs, beach massages, salt bath soaks, Honey Ginger Wraps, Firm & Glow treatments and the soothing Sunburn Rescue Treatment. The Caribbean Seaweed wrap is great for replenishing damaged skin too. Other treatments include Hot Stone Therapy, Reflexology, States of Slow Massage, various face treatments (Quench & Cooling is ideal post-sun), boosters, and numerous other spa offerings. Go there and revel in it: http://www.redlanespa.com.
THE PRODUCTS: You can have your hair and nails done at the Red Lane Spa — perfect for a wedding party (and groom’s packages too). In 2015 the Red Lane will debut its own all natural and effective skin care line based on essential oils from the Great Exuma region: lime + sweet night blooming jasmine (Island Essence), petitgrain citrus + blood orange (Wild Sugar), lemon myrtle and lavender (Sea Breeze), lemongrass and lemon verbena (Fevergrass), and cardamom, pepper and ylang ylang (Spice). Corporate Spa Director Patrick Huey has made it his mission to ensure that couples relax, connect and enjoy their time together, so he creates an unforgettable and transformational experience at the spa. He also uses Caribbean elements in treatments such as coffee, coconut, raw sugar cane, and warming ginger.
THE FOOD: Alternate between seven superb dining options with various offerings: Il Cielo (upscale Tuscan), La Parisienne (a gorgeous setting for French feasts, including Filet de Boeuf et Loup de Mer), the Drunken Duck Pub (casual fare, Fish & Chips), Barefoot By the Sea (al fresco dining, fresh fish, Bahamian Conch Chowder), Bahama Bay (buffet heaven), Dino’s (casual for pizza) and Café De Paris for coffee, tea, and incredible desserts. If you don’t feel like leaving the pool, plop yourself on an underwater stool at the Swim Up Bar. There’s also a Quiet Pool Bar and for late nights, the Drunken Duck and Junkanoo Lounge are vibrant and fun. Couples can arrange for their own table for two under the stars with a four-course meal, private white glove service, long stem rose, wine, and balmy breezes. Ooh-la-la.
ACTIVITIES: The Fitness Room is located near the Spa’s beautiful Garden Sanctuary Courtyard, and you can also sweat it out with yoga, pilates, Caribbean Cardio and other tailored workouts near or on the beach. Apart from swimming and tennis, try beer pong, bread baking, a piano sing-along at the Il Cielo Lounge, a Junkanoo Street Party, volleyball, a nature tour, bocce ball, scuba diving and snorkeling, boating, and a reggae party. The pool is always open, even for midnight or 3 a.m. dips.
THE ACCOMMODATIONS: There are 249 ocean view suites and ocean front suites and butler service for selected suites. Amenities include wi-fi, flat screen TVs, room service, comfortable beds, spacious suites and coffee makers. There are also Beach Front Houses and a Royal Estate Villa on the beach with its own private pool and butler service.
THE RESULT: if your couples getaway is all about escaping the sleet and snow together, then Mission Accomplished at this sunny slice of paradise. If your getaway is for Valentine’s Day, then you can’t go wrong with six bars, spa massages, dancing, and romantic beach dining with award-winning food. Hearts will be won. Book it at http://www.sandals.com.