Diane’s Barbados Educational Visit – June 2014

The theme of my recent trip to Barbados with the Barbados Tourist Authority was “this is how I enjoy me life!” and for a few days we did enjoy all that Barbados has to offer. The other days were spent looking at hotels on the South & West coasts.The island has something to offer everyone with lovely beaches, water sports shops, nightlife and hotels for all budgets.

On our first day we visited the Concorde experience Here we saw a short film before we boarded the aircraft. Our next stop was the Boatyard. Here you can spend the day on the beach, buy drinks ,have food and try numerous water sports. Our final trip of the day was a cruise aboard the Jammin catamaran. The attentive crew ensured that drinks were available all day as we sailed up the west cost of the Island. Two stops were made and on the first there was the opportunity to snorkel with turtles. Before entering the water we spotted a large fish that looked like a shark, we were assured it was only a tarpon so dived in warily. Food was served at the second stop with a choice of meat or fish. On the way back we were all dancing on the deck lead by the crew.

The next 2 days were spent looking at hotels. 17 in total.

On the first day my favourite hotels were The Crane and Oceans 2. The Crane has a village feel with shops, restaurants and a village square. The grounds are spacious and well tended. You have a choice or pools and a large jacuzzi with sea views. There is a lift or stairs leading to the beach, which has been voted one of the best in Barbados. There are a variety of rooms and some have a kitchenette. Ocean 2 is a beachfront property with modern rooms and kitchenettes. It also benefits from a roof terrace and pool where the managers cocktail party is held. It also offers great views. Should you want to go out for the evening, restaurants and bars are easily accessible.

The second day was spent looking at hotels on the West coast. The sea is noticeably calmer here.Each hotel is different and will appeal to all types of holidaymaker. There is Sandy Lane offering ultimate luxury. With a wonderful spa golf & restaurants. The Colony Club had a lovely feel as you walked into the open reception area. The buildings are only 2 storeys high and scattered around the gardens. There is a choice of pools and some rooms have their own steps down directly into one of the pools. They have also started growing their own vegetables to served in the restaurant. The honey and mint ice cream is delicious. The House is a small boutique hotel ideal for honeymooners.

Crystal Cove is a spacious hotel offered on an all inclusive basis. The pools are freeform and there is a waterfall bar. Rooms are scattered around the grounds with brightly coloured balconies. For children there is a great kids club.Our last full day was spent checking out the excursions on offer to visitors. Atlantis submarine was great. You are taken down to a maximum depth of 150 ft before seeing a ship wreck and the reef. On the reef there are corals and lots of fish. We were even lucky enough to see turtles. No trip to Barbados would be complete without visiting the famous Mount Gay rum factory. Here after a tour you are given tastings of 3 different rums.Lunch can also be taken here.

Barbados offers numerous dining options so you do not have to stay in your hotel. All budgets are catered for. We visited Naru which is a Pan Asian restaurant; the food here was beautifully presented and very enjoyable. There are also craft stalls and shops as well as duty free shopping if you can bear to be away from the beach.

Can't wait to go back!