SANDY Dannhauser is a big fan of the luxurious family resort Beaches Turks & Caicos. She has vacationed at the largest hotel complex in the country some twenty times, going back as far as 1998, three years after the hotel was opened to the public.
She has seen the evolution of Beaches Turks & Caicos recalling the early days of those first basic rooms to today where it comprises four distinct villages, namely The French Village, The Caribbean Village, The Italian Village and now the new Key West Village.
"The service at Beaches Turks & Caicos is second to none and the staff is extremely courteous and well trained. The hotel does the country credit and the people of the Turks & Caicos are absolutely fantastic.
"I have five kids and the girls are in their early 20s now and we have all been coming to Beaches TCI since they were six and seven. It is a wonderful family vacation destination," said Dannhauser who last vacationed at the resort in March of this year.
She recalled how on the family's very first stay, they booked the basic room before upgrading to the Presidential Suite. This was before Beaches TCI's renowned butler service existed.
Back in 2005, Aide Aida provided butler services for the Dannhauser family and Mrs Dannhauser fondly recalls his professionalism and courteous nature. Today Aide is a most respected butler at Beaches TCI.
"The attention to detail really enhances the holiday experience at Beaches TCI. For a family with young children it is hard to beat. You can bond as a family and there are plenty of activities for kids. The nannies are second- to- none and you can spend quality time with your spouse at Soy, Kimonos, Sapodillas, Mario's and the other wonderful restaurants there. The staff -- from waiters to management -- is great and make you feel most welcome. Hospitality is Beaches' watchword."
And Sandy Dannhauser would know. Her husband James Dannhauser worked as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Six Flags, serving the company for 11 years. Six Flags is the largest regional theme park company in the world, entertaining over 50 million customers a year. Obtaining a doctorate from Harvard Law School, James Dannhauser is the founding member of WD Capital LLC.
"When Jeremy Jones was general manager, he managed to galvanise the staff and always had the personal touch. I will always be grateful to him because he was particularly attentive to our needs.
"One year, my daughter who was 12 at the time had an ovarian cyst, which leaked and caused her a great deal of pain. My husband wanted to fly her back to the United States for immediate medical attention but we stayed in the Turks & Caicos and Jeremy (Jones) put us up in a two-bedroom suite for three extra days and personally saw to it that we were transported back and forth to the medical clinic. He even gave us a US$200 spot credit. I'll never forget what he did and how he did it.
What it demonstrated is that Beaches TCI is willing to go the extra mile for its guests and places their welfare at the forefront of its operations."
Last year the resort was affected by a strike that impeded flights from the airport, leaving many of Beaches guests in a pickle. Again Dannhauser points to the magnanimity of the hotel's management staff with the hotel manager Lucky personally driving the family endlessly to the airport in an effort to ensure the family returned home and didn't remain stranded.
She notes that under the management of General Manager Don Dagenais, the resort has made a quantum leap, becoming one of the best hotel properties in the Caribbean.
"Operationally, Don (Dagenais) has it ticking like clockwork. He has put together a great team and morale is always high. He continues to be an invaluable asset and is a credit to the Sandals Group," said Sandy Dannhauser.
With the Key West Village opening its doors next week, Beaches TCI will have 775 keys equating to around 1,100 rooms, mainly suites. It will now employ a total of around 1,900 people making it the largest private sector employer in the country.
Last year Sandy Dannhauser vacationed at Beaches TCI on three separate occasions Her daughter Casey who studies Oceanography gained her scuba diving certificate from the hotel.
The family, who hails from New York but will soon be moving to Cape Cod, normally spends a week at a time at the resort but are thinking about extending their stay to ten days. The family is fond of the Italian Village and are yet to spend time at the French Village.
"Our family loves Beaches TCI and look forward to our next visit. Compared to other family resorts it is the very best and we remain always impressed," declared returning guest, Sandy Dannhauser.