Recommend April 2016 - (Page 18)

Caribbean 5 Adults-Only All-Inclusives Where Dinner Is an Art Ed Wetschler Top: The teppanyaki-style Kimonos restaurant at Sandals. Above: Poolside at Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro. 18 april 2016 Not that long ago, people went to the Caribbean in spite of the food; not because of it. But along came the wellness movement, the Food Channel, celebrity chefs and dining as sport. Expectations rose, so resorts, including many all-inclusives, hired better chefs, opened new kinds of restaurants, offered more fresh produce, upgraded their wines, and trained the servers better. The result: Dining has become a selling point and a competitive edge, especially at adults-only resorts. So, I asked some savvy travel agents and tour operators which all-inclusives are the culinary stand-outs. "Sandals comes right to mind," says Beth Skypeck, Virtuoso agent, senior travel advisor for Direct Travel, and Caribbean, weddings and honeymoons specialist. "As the all-inclusive market grew, Sandals upped travelers' expectations with its Gourmet Discovery Dining." It's not just the variety of restaurants at Sandals resorts; it's the quality, she explains. "If Sandals decides to put in an Indian restaurant, they're not just going to tell their chef to do Indian food. Instead, they hire a real Indian chef for an authentic experience." In addition to offering Robert Mondavi wines as house wines, Sandals has a Culinary Ambassador-Emmy Awardwinning chef Walter Staib-and dining concierges who make it easy for agents to book clients who have dietary restrictions. Skypeck offers an example about a booking at Beaches Turks & Caicos, which isn't adults-only, but the same Sandals principles apply. "I had a family going there, and Mom had to avoid gluten, sugar, and some other ingredients. They were so nervous, they thought they shouldn't travel. I e-mailed the dining concierge about their concerns, and shortly after they got there, the client e-mailed me. 'We met with the dining concierge; I feel so much better.' More e-mails like that followed. The concierge even arranged for a chef to make gluten-free blueberry cakes for the flight home."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend April 2016

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Hotels for Foodies
Tour Talk: Take to the Road With Enterprise
Cruise Lines Whip Up Culinary Treats
Viking Celebrates Agents
5 Adults-Only All-Inclusives Where Dinner Is an Art
Saint Lucia Loves Chocoholics
Accent on Food
Hotel Culinary Options in the U.S.
Culinary Travel: A Buffet of Options
Vegas Bites
Dining Through the Holy Land
Spotlight on Gastronomy
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Lovely Valencia
Thuringia: Germany’s Best-Kept Secret...Revealed
Devouring Asia

Recommend April 2016