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On a recent Beachcomber Tours fam to Mauritius, the agents took part in a mock wedding at Shandrani Resort & Spa. This was no missed vocation for Karl Cushing

Create lasting memories in Costa Rica

“Groom” Gary Bagnall and “bride” Ria Smith of Beachcomber’s UK office

Laying the table for the wedding feast

C Towel swans are harder than they look

peninsular on which the hotel sits. With surf-lashed rocks to one side and the beautiful tree-lined beach arcing to the right, it’s a lovely spot. As the agents gather in their assembled finery, admiring the artful decorations and dramatic vista, rumours abound as to the identity of the couple before it is revealed to be Gary Bagnall and Ria Smith of Beachcomber’s UK office. Then, as night falls, with the mock ceremony complete, we retire to the spa’s walled off central pool area for speeches, a slap-up dinner and one crazy party. Naturally, there is a serious side to

the proceedings as the day serves to showcase Beachcomber’s in-house wedding planners (masterfully aided by us, of course) and wedding

packages. Limited to one a day, they come in regular and luxury flavours, equating to £665 and £1,135 respectively for the five-star, 327- room Shandrani, where most guests stay on an all-inclusive basis. The exercise also helps to illustrate the freshly rebranded Beachcomber’s new Art of Beautiful concept and its accompanying “rituals”, including one that sees the couple mix beakers of coloured sand before symbolically emptying the results into the surf. For Karin Roberts, director at City

Travel & Tours, in St Asaph, the day is “a fabulous opportunity”. “It was a great way of making us appreciate how much effort the Beachcomber team takes when preparing for a wedding. Their attention to every

Agents learned how to make a bridal bouquet

detail was second to none and I will take from this 100% satisfaction that my clients will receive the best day of their lives.” Words echoed by seasoned

weddings specialist Nikki Curran of Atlas Travel, in Margate. “Having experienced a Beachcomber wedding from the preparation to enjoying the full festivities, I can assure any couple thinking of a Beachcomber wedding that the attention to detail, love and time that goes into each wedding or vow renewal is unparalleled,” says Curran, adding: “True romance in paradise guaranteed.” Education aside, it is also great

fun, and while I discover I totally suck at wedding planning, I do learn how to make a towel swan. Kind of. ■

osta Rica accounts for just 0.03% of the earth’s surface, its rich land is home to an

astounding 5% of the world’s biodiversity and its waters contain 3.5% of the world’s marine life. Officially zoned-protected territory makes up 26% of the country, which demonstrates the value Costa Rica places on preserving its environment and the natural plant and animal species that call it home. The Central American country

is the perfect destination to create lasting memories; walking in the mist covered mountains, to enjoying the vibrant and diverse nature, flora and fauna, or listening to a tropical rain shower cuddled-up in a cozy cabin. The more adventurous can try horseback riding, trekking, white water rafting or ziplining through the tree-top canopy. Every couple dreams of walking

hand in hand, along an idyllic beach, feeling the softness of the sand while the water laps against their feet. For those who prefer to explore below the water's surface, visitors can dive, sail around the coast, play among the waves in a kayak, fish or visit natural reserves. In Costa Rica visitors enjoy

spectacular natural surroundings and beautiful landscapes. Holidaymakers can revel in peaceful retreats or, if they prefer, get involved in a vast choice of action and adventure, both at the beach or in the exotic forests. Find out more at

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