Celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary at a resort that they have come to call home — Sandals Ochi Beach Resort — Gordon and Elizabeth Craig, Scotland natives, have racked up more than 350 nights at different Sandals resorts.
The Craigs, who started their relationship with the resort chain 20 years ago, have unofficially adopted the island of Jamaica and Sandals Ochi Beach Resort as their home away from home.
Faced with a 30-hour round trip each time, the Craigs have singled out the dynamic vacation amenities of the resort as being the reason for them consistently returning.
"Sandals Ochi is the most unique place to enjoy your vacation. Whether you are seeking to enjoy the party vibes or you want to relax and enjoy a slow and quiet period, this resort provides the option. The staff members here are simply amazing as they will greet you by your name and have you feel like family. There are not shy on teaching you the local culture while they share with you the country's historical facts," said Elizabeth.
"The unique experience here at Sandals Ochi is awesome. From the Speak Easy [Rabbit Hole] entertainment package to the numerous culinary delights that each guest gets the opportunity to explore, to the lush nature of the almost 100-acre property, this place is simply a delight," added Gordon.
He also mentioned how much they appreciate the warmth of each team member's personality.
"Each day we set out to learn the names of new staff we meet as we always see them as family. These people are just incredibly polite and warm in their interaction with each guest. They make you feel as if you are their only guests each time," said Gordon.
Director of guest services at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Maxine Williams, weighed in on the joys of interacting with the couple.
"The Craigs are two of the most amiable people you could meet. They know more than a third of the staff here by name and the teams from entertainment, food and beverage and the bars top the list for them. Jamaicans at heart, they tell us they encourage friends and family to choose Sandals Ochi Beach Resort for their vacation," said Williams.
While sharing the many reasons for their stay being comfortable, the Craigs made mention of the smooth communication flow displayed by the resort's management team.
"Sandals Ochi's management and staff are proactive when it comes to providing world-class service. There are more than 15 dining options available with just as many bars. Excellence is when the bartender can consistently serve up your favourite cocktail and even encourage you to try different varieties. The culinary leaders consistently provide delectable meals, demonstrating a level of mastery of what's required in the hospitality industry," said Elizabeth.
As she shared his many experiences with the entertainment team, Gordon was quick to add to the list of exceptional service. "The playmakers are extremely inventive. These creative geniuses have activities for all age groups, whether you're at the Ochi Beach Club or one of the main pools. Their musical repertoire is impressive. They easily transport you back in time while also teaching you the latest dance moves. The full entertainment package each night keeps you engaged throughout your vacation," Gordon added.
The couple has also been involved with the philanthropic arm of the organisation, the Sandals Foundation, over the many years.
Elizabeth, a retired elementary teacher, had fond memories of their experience with sharing in one of the Reading Road Trips organised in partnership with Island Routes.
"One year we went to a primary school and while sharing a story with a particular class, I demonstrated a 'splish splash' activity. The following year when we returned to the school, while I was preparing to start my activity in another class, two students started sharing with an adjoining class noting that 'Ms Splish Splash is back'. This gave me a warm feeling — just being able to engage with the children while enjoying my vacation."
Shadine Reid, loyalty and travel manager at Sandals Ochi, described the Craigs as an amazing couple.
"Their dedication to the Sandals brand is exceptional, and with each visit, they are more pleased with the service. They've already visited nine Jamaican resorts, and they've already booked trips to Grenada, Curacao, in addition to Sandals Ochi.
The Craigs have been major donors to the Sandals Foundation for many years, with this visit being no different as they donated a number of items to the charity.