Remember a long long time ago, when I told you how we would be booking our mini-moon (dubbed “Nectar Moon” by Mr. Ly) through Groupon or LivingSocial or some other flash sale travel site? Yeah…that didn’t happen.
As we got closer and closer to the 100-day mark, I got more and more nervous that we didn’t have a place set yet for our Nectar Moon. I looked through as many travel sites as I could think of from Cheap Caribbean to Groupon to JetSetter (through Gilt) and every other travel site out there. The prices for January, when they were even available, were WAY more than we were hoping to spend…or the resort had terrible ratings for the rooms and/or food and/or staff, or was somehow tied to a timeshare company (one of the one things we did NOT want for our short trip was to be hassled to sit through a sales pitch!). So, we were left with a few options—the first being to not go away. I definitely did not like this option, at all. The second option was to go somewhere close/driveable. And the third option was to up our budget and splurge on our Nectar Moon. We went for option three. When we originally budgeted for our four-day trip, we wanted to spend about $2,000 on everything including airfare, taxes, tips, and all food & drinks. This seemed doable, and truth be told, if we were less picky about the resorts we were willing to stay at, we could have most definitely done this. After my failed LivingSocial deal, I decided I would just hand over the responsibility to Mr. Ly and let him choose where we would go.
In the end, he ended up going through a travel agent, and we are going to be heading to the warm beaches of Jamaica for four glorious days and nights of all-inclusive goodness. It only ended up being a few hundred dollars higher than we originally budgeted, and by going through a travel agent, we didn’t have to pay the full amount all at once like we would have had we booked it online/through a flash sale site. This made it even more manageable, and we decided almost immediately where we wanted to go!
Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios is where we’ll be spending our first few days as husband and wife(!!). I hope the skies are this blue and the water this inviting when we’re there—I absolutely cannot wait. I like that we are going to an adults only, well known all-inclusive. We didn’t need anything super fancy, or something that breaks the mold. It’s our first time staying at an all-inclusive, and we didn’t want to have a lousy experience. Sandals is definitely well known and well liked.
Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios
The beach at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios
This is the style/level room we’ll be staying in. We don’t need anything fancy for the four days we’re there, just a bed and a bathroom, so long as it’s clean and comfortable. We don’t plan on spending a ton of time here, but enough that we want it to be nice. The bath was the most important thing to me—I LOVE big jacuzzi tubs, and that was probably my only requirement.
The Great House Oceanview Room at Sandals Grande Riviera
The balcony of the Great House Oceanview Room at Sandals Grande Riviera
So while we tried to save some money by booking through a sale site, we’ve found that by expanding our budget a bit, we were able to get a much higher quality of resort for not too much more than we would’ve gotten on our own. There are a few areas where I truly believe you end up getting what you pay for in quality, and after seeing what our “cheaper” options were, I wasn’t ready to risk our Nectar Moon in a dump!
Any recommendations on what to do while we’re in Ocho Rios? We don’t really plan on leaving the resort (four days of eating, drinking, and sleeping in the sun is all that our agenda has on it currently!), but we could be swayed by some good suggestions!