According to a recent survey from Sandals® Resorts’ Institute of Romance, a newly launched trend-house created by the resort company to analyze and spot the latest global news in modern love, relationships, and intimacy, more than half of American women (55%) wish their relationships mirrored those of the couples from their most beloved romance novels. In its first expression, to help couples bring the sugar and spice found in their favorite books from ‘page to reality,’ the Luxury Included® romantic vacation experts have partnered with Avon Books, the romance imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and best-selling author, Tessa Bailey, to offer tips, on-resort programming and a giveaway to turn partners into #BookBaes.
“With 49% of women preferring to read on vacation – from the initial plane ride to beachside – and romance novel sales skyrocketing over the last two years, this felt like a natural place for us to lend our 40 years of expertise in the romance space,” said Marsha-Ann Donaldson-Brown, Director of Romance, Sandals Resorts. “With this partnership, we are helping bring to life the sometimes swoonworthy, but nearly always attainable relationships our guests read about in their favorite books, creating a meaningful and lasting connection on and offvacation.”
Seek a Happily Ever After on the Page and Beyond
Of the more than 1500 American women surveyed between the ages 18-54, 81% say they read romance novels and 45% say they’ve increased their consumption of the genre over the last two years, citing the comfort of happily ever after (44%), the flirty banter (36%) and steamy scenes (30%) as the primary reasons.
Bailey, whose new book Hook, Line and Sinker debuted March 1, points to the data to explain what women most often find lacking from their real-life relationships in comparison with romance novels – better communication (55%), spontaneous romantic gestures (54%), and more satisfying sex life (34%). “Sometimes it’s as simple as incorporating a 10-minute conversation before bed or a flirty glance across the dinner table. It’s not always the large expressions of love that fill the pages – even the smaller, quieter gestures can have a great impact,” says Bailey.
Taking a cue from the Sandals Institute of Romance’s newly collected data, Sandals Resorts will be developing ways to prompt spontaneous romantic moments of connection throughout guests’ stays – such as reminders to hold hands, ask a meaningful question or share a compliment. Surveying past guests, as well as travelers in committed relationships, the Sandals Institute of Romance will collect data on an ongoing basis via biannual global surveys, with results inspiring new integrated on-resort programming and innovative partnerships geared towards enhancing the guest experience before, during, and after their vacation.
Share the Pages to Turn Up the Attraction
While more than a third (36%) of respondents shared they fantasize about fictional characters more than their significant others, 55% say reading romance novels makes them more likely to want to connect with their partner and 38% say reading romance novels have made them feel more fulfilled in their relationships. “There’s nothing wrong with the fantasy and sharing it with your significant other can often be even more fulfilling,” says Bailey. In fact, a quarter of women say they’ve gotten their partners to join them in reading romance novels – and to impressive results. Two-thirds of women whose partners have dabbled in the romance genre believe their partners look sexy or handsome while reading and 34% say it made them appear intellectual.
“There’s something inherently attractive when a partner takes an interest in something you’re excited about – whether it be reading a new book from one of your favorite authors or trying a new activity together. It’s why we encourage couples to experience adventures together on vacation – from learning to scuba dive to taking in a round of golf. We always tell couples to be intentional about the time they share with each other; make it meaningful,” says Donaldson-Brown.
Creating opportunities for connection and for couples to quite literally share the pages, Sandals Resorts is creating a ‘romance library’ of titles curated by the experts at Avon Books for guests to borrow while on vacation. Beginning at Sandals all-inclusive resort in Grenada, the initial library will include a selection from Bailey, as well as popular titles from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and authors Talia Hibbert, Olivia Dade and more.
Bring the Pages to Life
“Books are a place for escapism, of course, but also a destination for discovery,” says Bailey. Nearly half (49%) of women surveyed say they’ve learned something from reading a romance novel that they’ve brought to their real-life relationships, with 53% engaging in more meaningful communication, 48% spicing up their love life and 35% setting time aside for romantic getaways.
To continue the learning experience and help women transform their partners into the ultimate #BookBae, one lucky couple will be selected to win a 4-day/3-night stay in a Love Nest Butler Suite® at any of 15 Sandals Resorts and a 30-minute virtual experience with Bailey to learn first-hand how to bring the romance from ‘page to reality’ before their trip.
To learn more about the Sandals Institute of Romance and enter Sandals Resorts’ #BookBae Getaway Sweepstakes, visit sandals.com/bookbaegetaway.
Sandals® Resorts offers two people in love the most romantic, Luxury Included® vacation experience in the Caribbean across its 15 stunning beachfront settings in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, and new 16th location coming to Curaçao in 2022. Celebrating 40 years, the leading all-inclusive resort company offers more quality inclusions than any other on the planet. Sandals Resorts exclusive include signature Love Nest Butler Suites® for the ultimate in privacy and service; butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers; the Red Lane Spa®; 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining, ensuring top-shelf liquor, premium wines, and gourmet specialty restaurants; Aqua Centers with expert PADI® certification and training; fast Wi-Fi from beach to bedroom and Sandals Customizable Weddings. Sandals Resorts guarantees guests peace of mind from arrival to departure with the Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness, the company’s enhanced health and safety measures designed to give guests the utmost confidence when vacationing in the Caribbean as well as the new Sandals Vacation Assurance, a comprehensive vacation protection program featuring an industry-first guarantee of a free replacement vacation including airfare for guests impacted by COVID-19 related travel interruptions. Sandals Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI), founded by the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, which includes family-oriented Beaches Resorts. For more information about the Sandals Resorts Luxury Included® difference, visit sandals.com.
The Sandals Institute of Romance:
Created in celebration of Sandals Resorts’ 40th anniversary and leveraging four decades of romance expertise, the Sandals Institute of Romance is a trend-house launched by the resort company to analyze and spot the latest news in modern love, relationships, and intimacy via biannual global surveys. Surveying past guests, as well as global travelers in committed relationships, the Sandals Institute of Romance’s data will drive the development of integrated on-resort programming, innovative partnerships geared towards enhancing the guest experience, and expert relationship guidance for couples before, during and after their Luxury Included® vacation.
Avon Books, a HarperCollins Publisher Imprint:
For more than 75 years, Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has been publishing award-winning romance and women’s fiction. Known for having pioneered the historical romance category, Avon’s editorial program now encompasses a wide variety of inclusive and emotional stories where love, in all its forms, always wins. Avon’s authors and books strive to reflect the myriad cultures, backgrounds, viewpoints, and voices of our authors, our readers, and the world in which we live. Avon believes that love is love, and everyone is deserving of a deeply personal, empowering happy ending, whether it is romantic, the love of family and friends, or finding happiness in loving yourself. The list of Avon authors is wide-ranging and diverse including Ilona Andrews, Alexandria Bellefleur, Alyssa Cole, Olivia Dade, Tessa Dare, Alexis Daria, Talia Hibbert, Eloisa James, Beverly Jenkins, Lisa Kleypas, Tracey Livesay, Sarah MacLean, Selena Montgomery, Suzanne Park, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Quincy, Julia Quinn, Alisha Rai, Jennifer Ryan, Lynsay Sands, Cat Sebastian, Jill Shalvis, Nisha Sharma, Mia Sosa, Julie Tieu, and Olivia Waite
New York Times best-selling author Tessa Bailey can solve all problems except for her own, so she focuses those efforts on stubborn, fictional blue-collar men and loyal, lovable heroines. She lives on Long Island, avoiding the sun and social interactions, then wonders why no one has called. Dubbed the “Michelangelo of dirty talk” by Entertainment Weekly, Tessa writes with spice, spirit, swoon and a guaranteed happily ever after. Catch her on TikTok at @authortessabailey or check out tessabailey.com for a complete list of books.
Image courtesy of Sandals Resorts