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Sandals Emerald Bay brings unprecedented luxury to the easy-going rhythms of the Bahamian Islands.
Sandals Emerald Bay brings unprecedented luxury to the easy-going rhythms of the Bahamian Islands.

For our 10th anniversary, my wife and I want to splurge, but don't want to be disappointed. Any advice? Add to ...

The question: For our 10th anniversary my wife and I want to splurge, but don't want to be disappointed. I travel the world for my work and appreciate the finer things on vacation. Any advice?

TRAVEL CONCIERGE: First off, kudos for celebrating the mere 10-year mark with a holiday. Please alert my husband. (And tell him that those years we cohabited count).

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For this getaway, Ann Layton, a public-relations maven who represents luxury hotels around the world, recommends the Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It's part of the One&Only chain, and descriptions such as "posh" and "exclusive" are thrown about here, so let's add, "Your wife will be mighty impressed too."

"This is a sure bet for a private, luxurious holiday in the Caribbean sun," says Ms. Layton, president of Siren Communications. "While not an adults-only resort, this property is high on discretion and service, and you will not be disturbed."

Your better half will appreciate the amenities from 24-hour butler service to a spa offering massages - sorry, "ceremonies of indulgence" - that begin with floral foot washes to cleanse away the world. The colonial manor-style hotel features mahogany furniture, vases filled with orchids and Versailles-inspired gardens. The high-end cuisine is crowned by Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Dune, an ideal spot for an anniversary meal, Ms. Layton says.

On the other hand, if you're looking for upscale all-inclusives, Bob Curley, the Caribbean guide for About.com, has two suggestions: Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas (part of its "Luxury Included" brand), and Paradisus Palma Real Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The experience at both properties goes beyond the buffet: scuba diving among the turtles and black coral at Emerald Bay, or teeing off at a converted coconut plantation-turned-golf-course at Paradisus.

Rates available on a recent search for a four-night-stay in February at the Ocean Club start at $795 a night (all amounts in U.S. dollars); rates at Emerald Bay start at $586 a night and rates at Paradisus start at $635 a night. And, even if you're not counting pennies, check out the deals online.



E-mail your travel questions to concierge@globeandmail.com.

Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor.

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