We were really looking forward to our 2 week trip to Barbados, and arrived after a good Virgin flight from Manchester to stay at Bougainvillea Beach Resort.
Airport transfer was simple - and 1/2 the price at $30 from what Virgin offered. Just get a cab at the front of the airport - the taxi coordinator will tell you the cost and get you a cab.
We'd booked a deluxe studio and had asked nicely for a high floor with sea view - we won a watch! Got room 5326 in the main building, with fab, uninterrupted views of Maxwell Beach - great. The room was large, with a little kitchen It had an excellent bathroom and big terrace where we ate breakfast every morning. The accommodation was spotless.
We'd asked the hotel to have some basic food in the fridge for us - great idea and not too expensive.
We hired a car from Stouts - great price, prompt service and good vehicle delivered to the hotel.
As many others had already mentioned food is not this hotels strong point - only ate one lunch and it was dire! But we didn't plan on eating at the hotel anyway. For an easy lunch pop out of the front door of the hotel and across the street - there is a lovely lady who has some great local food served fresh from her van - staff and guests were eating here daily.
We had some fantastic meals whilst on the island - most highly recommended: - Tides; Champers; Joseph's; Brown Sugar; The Atlantis Hotel (Sunday buffet); Tapas; Bert's bar - fab pizza; The Beach House - lovely staff - we felt really sorry for them having to deal with a party of picky, annoying Americans - sorry guys but get a life - you were on holiday, stop being so pathetic, you lot gave Americans a bad reputation!
We found a great little coffee/lunch place in the chantel houses around beside the Big B supermarket in the Gap area. Also, this was by far the best supermarket we found - really good selection.
Couple of things to point out - don't judge restaurants by their "street-side" appearance - most places are MUCH nicer inside with their waterside locations etc. If ordering a Chinese take out from the place in the Gap - be aware, the portions are huge!!
One of the best experiences of our entire trip was our 5 hour trip with Calabaza catamaran cruises. Wow - what a wonderful day - collected at the hotel, taken by taxi to Bridgetown and then a fab day, sailing up the West coast with Gina and the guys giving us lots of little insider tips. We then swam / snorkelled with turtles - and I was given some very thoughtful coaching. Then we sailed further up the coast and saw a wreck and more wonderful fish. Food was available constantly and drinks were free flowing. Only 12 guests max on the boat - 10 on our day.
When I saw the other "cattle-markets" of boats with 40-50 people squashed on board I was sooo glad we chose Calabaza - and very good value at only $100pp.
Overall we loved Barbados - no more costly for eating/drinking than at home in Edinburgh - and a fantastic relaxing atmosphere. South coast beaches were the largest / widest (but sea slightly rougher). Will definitely go back - and most likely at this time of year - I fail to see why people would choose high season with the VERY high prices and slightly lower temps. Yes it was humid, but we are from Scotland and by day 2 were used to it.
Low season is a bargain - next year is looking good for a return trip!