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May Travel Report – Barbados

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White sandy beaches, turquoise waters, tropical weather… everything you’d expect to find in the Caribbean. But it’s the little things that make BARBADOS a must-visit.

Paradise is a term over-used when reading or indeed writing about exotic locations, but in relation to the island of Barbados, I can find no better superlative. It truly is, but in many forms. The stunning scenery, beaches and weather are a given, however it’s the little things that make this island a must-visit, as any kind of holiday can be catered for. From the super rich to those on a budget, Barbados has so much to offer.

Attractions

You can relax and party in equal measure, shop at street stalls or designer boutiques, eat from the back of a van or at one of the world’s best estaurants. Either way, the experience will be one to savour and enjoy, not to mention the plethora of sporting activities and tourist attractions on land and sea to be enjoyed on the island. With only 166 square miles to chose from, we based ourselves in the beautiful south west tip of the island.

Located on the idyllic Maxwell Beach, the Bougainvillea Beach Resort is a popular destination and its reputation is well deserved. The location is fabulous for all ages with its close proximity to the nightlife Mecca of St Lawrence with its bars, restaurants and nightclubs and the weekly must-see event every Friday night in Oistins – the world-renowned fish fry party. Locals and tourists gather in harmony in this tiny fishing village to eat a bounty of seafood – the flying fish are a speciality – drink incredible amounts of rum and dance to the reggae beats until the early hours. The resort is also a short journey from the A-list resort of Sandy Lane and the colourful and historic capital, Bridgetown.

The Bougainvilla is superbly presented with its Colonial-style studios and suites, all with breathtaking views of the beach, pool area, tropical gardens and waterfalls. The staff are very friendly and accommodating and the food is superb. The two restaurants boast the highest quality food at any time of the day with local delicacies and European cuisine available in a breezy beachside location.
The “swim up” pool bar is the place to be in the day where guests can enjoy an endless array of cocktails while cooling off from the tropical sunshine. Other facilities include a fitness centre, library, boutique, 24-hour taxi rank and full spa.

Wedding and honeymoon packages are also available and from what I witnessed while I was there, very popular. There is also a huge array of watersports available from the resort’s beachside kiosk.

Excursions can also be booked through the resort. The main highlights include the famous Mount Gay rum distillery, the overwhelming scenery and rugged coastline of Bathsheba and the historic and awe-inspiring Harrison’s Caves. Fishing trips, swimming with turtles and diving to the many wrecks should also be high on the agenda of any tourist.

A week is definitely not long enough in this friendly and vibrant island

Decadent

As with any holiday a little decadence should be a top priority and if you are a foodie in Barbados then you need to visit the Cliff restaurant. Located in St James this world-class eatery is casually etched into the cliff side and is a truly remarkable sight.

Fire lanterns adorn the terraces and illuminate what can only be described as an incredible eating experience. Let’s not beat about the bush, this place is pricey but the experience and the quality of the food make it justified.

Stingrays circled in the bay as we sat down to our eight-course tasting menu and every course was a feast to the senses. The service standard far surpassed anything I have experienced in the UK and my concerns of possible pretence and style over substance were eased straight away with a warm welcome by the staff and the openly relaxed ambience. The Cliff is also available for weddings and other special occasions all year round.

A week is definitely not long enough in this friendly and vibrant island as there is so much to take in and enjoy, but remember this paradise is only a mere seven-and-ahalf hours from Manchester Airport with its weekly Virgin Atlantic service every Monday afternoon and in my opinion should be experienced at least once in everybody’s lifetime.

It says a lot when the only negative thing I could find (and it was a real push) was the over-vociferous frogs that managed to keep us awake at night, but you do get used to it.

For further details, visit:
www.bougainvillearesort.com
www.thecliffbarbados.com
www.virgin-atlantic.com

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