Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where to stay in Mount Dora? Bella Dora Bunaglow

As a travel agent, I inspect various properties all over the world so I can advise clients the best places to stay. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Bell Dora Bungalow, in Mount Dora. What a quaint, quiet, adorable place!

From the moment you step inside, you feel welcomed. Of course, it probably had something to do with Shirley Harris' smiling face (the owner). The home is beautifully decorated and pulls in the whimsical charm of Mount Dora.

This 2 bedroom, 1 bath is perfect for short and long term rentals. Once people find out about the bungalow, they keep coming back. Harris says she has northerners that have been renting the place for years and that they will be back next year.

Cook in the full equipped kitchen, grill out, or take in some of the cuisine from Mount Dora's and Tavares' local restaurants. Downtown Mount Dora is about 1 mile away and Tavares is approximately 3.7 miles.

Relax by the Koi pond and enjoy a glass of wine by the fire pit as the day comes to a close. As crickets serenade and the fire crackles, you will never forget your stay at the Mount Dora Bungalow.

Things to know:
Pet friendly (up to 20 lbs)
40 minutes from Orlando attractions (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World)

-Renovating your home?
-Needing a get-a-way?
-Participating in local events? Mount Dora Events Tavares Events
-Having a guest speaker to your church?
-Planning on having out of town guests?

I highly recommend Bella Dora Bungalow. You will not be disappointed.'ll be back.

For additional information, visit Bella Dora Bungalow.

Create memories, not regrets.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Look at Charming Curacao

Looking for some place different to go this summer?  Escape to Curacao for an adventure. Did you know Curacao has world class diving sites? Did you know that Curacao has dutch influence? And did you know you can visit the Hato Caves and see stalactites and stalagmites over 1,500 years old. Maybe you want to visit the Mikve Isreal Emanuel Synagogue?   What else can you do in Curacao?

Curacao was voted the favorite Caribbean destination the favorite Caribbean destination. Now that you've decided you want to visit Curacao, here are 3 lodging options.

1)  Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino

-All inclusive
-American pallet (Heinz ketchup)
-Great for all ages (couples, friends, family, teens, kids)
-Wedding packages available
-10 minutes from Hato International Airport
-6 gourmet restaurans (3 a la carte, 1 buffet, 1 grill, 1 cafe)
-4 bars and lounges (including swim-up bar)
-Theme nights, live shows and nightly entertainment
-Non-motorized water sports (snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaks, diving)
-Ocean front rooms are newly renovated

Trip Advisor Review

2) Curacao Marriott Resort & Emerald Casino

-Amsterdam charm
-3 restaurants
-3 bars
-15 minutes from Hato International Airport
-Optional inclusive plan available
-Water sports center
-Group and wedding packages available

Trip Advisor Review

3)  Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort (Formerly Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort and Spa Marina)

-3 full-service restaurants/3 lounges
-Marina with watersports (fee)
-Golf packages available
-Spa (fee)
-Group and Wedding packages
-3 pools

Trip Advisor Review

Contact me for special deals to Curacao.

If you've been to Curacao, I'd like to hear about your experience.

Create memories, not regrets!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why Use a Travel Agent

Frequently, I get asked, “As a travel agent, don’t you have a lot of competition because of the internet?” Although there are travelers who like to take care of their own travel arrangements, I provide a service to my clients that only a local business owner can provide.  My clients like the personal touch that I give and they understand the importance of building a relationship.
My office is in downtown Mount Dora.  As a result, several clients live within walking distance of my office.  Yesterday, I received a phone call from a client inquiring about a vacation in St. John. I researched several options and created a folder with all the information. 

Today, I called the client and asked him if he’d like to come to the office to pick them up or since it was a beautiful, sunshiny day, I could walk them over to him. The decision was made. Strolling down the streets of Mount Dora for a couple blocks, I delivered the travel documents to my client. That kind of service can only happen when you deal with a local travel agent.
Why SHOULD you use a travel agent

  • The biggest myth surrounding travel agents is that they “charge” for their services. For the most part, travel agents’ services are complimentary. This may not hold true for airline tickets because airlines no longer pay travel agents commission. For travel such as cruises, tours and land packages, the vendor pays the travel coordinators. This means a travel agent’s services are FREE to you!

  • When you call a local travel agent, you are probably going to deal with the same person each time. When you call a cruise line you might not ever get to talk to the same person. In fact, sometimes you don’t speak to a human at all, but rather you come across a voice automated system.  Where’s the personality and fun in that?

  • You get the BEST DEAL by calling on a Cruise Planners/American Express Travel Consultant. Agents don’t work for any one cruise line or tour operator. We search all cruise lines to find you the best deal for the best available cabin at the time of booking. The best part is a travel agent continues to work for you even after the deposit. So, if a cruise line has a rate change, we call and lower your price. Does the cruise line call you to let you know there has been a price reduction?

  • Another myth is that many online sites run exclusive promotions or hold space months in advance. This supposedly gives them an advantage on certain ships and sailing dates. Travel agents have access to all the best promotions as well. You might receive extra shipboard credit to spend onboard or pre-paid gratuities so all tipping is included. And on some itineraries a unique shore excursion is available. They aren’t available on all sailings, but if you book in advance you are more likely to enjoy a special extra perk.

Your time is valuable. Give your local agent a call and let them know what trip you are interested in and let them do all the work. Why should you spend hours and hours searching the internet or calling each cruise line? Let your local travel agent plan so you can play!
Create memories, not regrets!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beaches, Ocho Rios, Jamaica Part III


I hope you've enjoyed these last posts on the all-inclusive resorts in Ocho Rios. This is the last in the series and we'll feature Beaches, which is Sandals all-inclusive family resort.

Look who I bumped into. Bert and Ernie said to tell you, "Hi." I'm really just a kid at heart. Did you know that for a nominal fee you could have one of the Sesame Street characters tuck your child into bed? Wow! Talk about a lasting memory!

One of my favorite features on the property was the children's dining area. Notice the buffet, tables, and chairs are sized just right for the little ones. This is also where Cookie Monster gives baking lessons. Yum! Cookie Monster knows how to bake a tasty cookie.

If you are staying at any of the Beaches resorts, be sure to have your younger traveler bring a white t-shirt or a shirt they can tie dye. Beaches offer some creative arts and crafts classes.

As with other Beaches and Sandals all-inclusive properties, water sports are included. What makes the Beaches resorts so inviting are the water parks guaranteeing non-stop fun for everyone.

For more information on this property or any other all-inclusive resort, please get in touch with you.

If you've stayed here, what are your thoughts of the property?