The Sandals FAM Experience….. Sandals Royal Barbados Part 1 of 3


We asked 3 of our ABC Members regarding their experience at the most recent Sandals Fam at Sandals Royal Barbados.   Our first recap is from ABC Member Marian Hilliard from North Carolina.

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I have attend 2 Sandals Fam Trips, and this one had a different schedule from the first.  This Fam we toured the property the day after arrival, and the training session took place on the 3rd day, the entire day.  I would have liked the session to be broken up within two days, but there was a positive side to the long day session – it was out of the way which gave us more time to socialize and network.  Our dinner times were assigned to us. This allowed us to meet new ABC members we normally may not have had dinner with if this was not done. I truly enjoyed not knowing who I was having dinner with. It allowed for new ABC member friendships while creating more in-depth friendships with others we already knew.

What I LOVED about Sandals Royal Barbados was the lush gardens. It truly had a tropical vibe with the gardens, and it was truly a gardeners oasis. The variety of pools where wonderful. There were relaxing tranquil pools, party-vibe pools, and infinity pools. The swim up bar was a big hit among the guest. There were numerous overly abundant areas for couples to sit together alone or with larger groups. The new modern vibe with timeless decor was pleasing to my eyes.

The training became full circle once you are on property. Doing the CSS training in the US or while at conference does not compare to doing the training onsite. There is a different level of education while onsite. You get to use all five of your senses while on property. This allows you to understand the depth of all-inclusive. We had fine dining throughout the training, and as a foodie myself, I was able to try new entrees I normally would not try at home since these entries could be costly, plus running the risk of not liking the food choice. The activities we did were open cocktail hour. The decor was breathtaking and would make for a magical intimate wedding. Dinner was held on the beach the first night. I have done this prior at one other property, but this time it was a buffet full of numerous food stations…needless to say, if you went hungry it was your own fault. We had a desert and pool party one night. At first, I thought pool party, you have to be kidding me! Reality is this was a fun way for us ABC members to let our guard down and have a blast. This did not excuse the fact that major networking was still taking place, plus education was still going on while some of us where fully clothed in the pool. Memories of a life time! The last night we had a masquerade ball.


This was truly fun getting to see the Barbados culture and watching the band with the fabulous dancers. The room was gorgeous designed, and truly was my favorite design of the week. We learned the culture dance style, and it created a contagious vibe for everyone to take place in the fun festivities. Dinner that night was YUMMY…I had   lobster! I only eat lobster in two locations, Sandals and Ruth Chris’.

This opportunity allowed me to connect with other ABC members I didn’t not know. It allowed me to create new friendships and bonds with others. I was allowed to network to increase my education nuggets, as I call them. I truly loved that we were required to eat dinner with others we didn’t know. I feel this is something that annual conference could incorporate sometime in the future to allow us to all grow more in-depth.
























Marian Hilliard, Owner/Lead Planner

Association of Bridal Consultants Member
Triad Event Professional Member
Planner’s Unplugged Co-Author
Sandals & Beaches Rep
Autism Certified Travel Specialist 


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