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all inclusive worth it?

Newport, United...
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all inclusive worth it?

I've booked my flights for Barbados- now deciding where to stay. We do like a drink or three. We've heard Barbados is expensive for food/drink- is this right? Are we better going all inclusive?

Thanks

Holetown, Barbados
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1. Re: all inclusive worth it?

In my view, All Inclusive Hotels are just not worth doing in Barbados . Food and drink is as cheap or as expensive as you choose it to be with every sort of food and drink outlet from Fine Dining to Rum Shops ( local Bars ) and eating gorgeous fresh home made food from the back of vans.

If you go self catering,or a breakfast only hotel, you can do what you like, when you like and above all, Barbados is the safest Island in the Caribbean and awash with things to do and places to see, so whether you like to just relax on the beach and in the sea, or get out and see things by bus at 2 Bajan dollars per ride, or in a hired car or taxi, you will be spoilt for choice.

Palm Beach Condos...
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2. Re: all inclusive worth it?

We echo everything Westigal says - Barbados is not known for its AI resorts - it is known for all the other benefits mentioned - and as for food and drink - Barbados is NOT expensive if you do not choose to dine in the most luxurious gourmet restaurants - it can be as inexpensive or as pricey as you choose - the options are unlimited. and IMHO going AI is a waste of money as most people can't eat enough, drink enough, or have stamina enough for all the sporting activities, and get bored with being 'confined' to the AI hotel when there are so many other places you will discover you'd like to visit.

Christ Church...
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3. Re: all inclusive worth it?

As a hotelier, I would agree with Westiegal3 on this one. I recently stayed at the 'new' Sandals and paid about US$400 a night. Had a really nice room, but the food was pretty ordinary and if (like my wife and myself) you don't eat a lot, could not justify the cost. I ended up eating hamburgers most lunchtimes, because I am not a buffet fan. We only had the chance of eating at the reservations-only waiter serving restaurant one night (not through our choice) and my steak was a very poor quality and inedible. I like wine with my meal, but only one red was available, a Spanish Merlot, which was awful. And as a rum drinker of forty years, I like Barbadian rum, but not a single brand was available at the resort, so I ended up buying a bottle of Mount Gay outside the hotel for consumption in the room.

Personally, I would rather have spent US$200 a night for the room (low season) and use the other US$200 daily for us to eat at a great selection of our restaurants.

Stafford, United...
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4. Re: all inclusive worth it?

Drinks are expensive in Barbados compared to those in the UK unless you drink beer or rum then it is quite cheap. For safety reasons there is no need to go AI in Barbados and the AI's are not like the ones you get in other Caribbean countries. I have stayed AI, full board and SC on the island and there is not much difference in price if you like a drink or three, I know many people who choose AI but it does not stop them from eating out, touring and sight seeing. I guess that some people like the convenience of AI's and it also gives them the added security of knowing that they can keep to their budget. Whatever you choose you will have a great time in Barbados.

Edited: 29 December 2013, 16:20
Sudbury, Canada
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5. Re: all inclusive worth it?

IMO it depends on what type of vacation you want and how long you are vacationing. We have done the AI thing on other islands and much prefer to do our own thing now. I agree with Westie and ASO food can be as expensive or cheap as you want and Barbados is set up for those who don't want an AI. Drinks... local beer is cheap, rum is cheap, wine is expensive (compared to the US or Canada don't know about the UK... Westie?) liquor at duty free in the baggage claim area is very reasonable.

Palm Beach Condos...
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6. Re: all inclusive worth it?

Barbados has an in-bound duty free at the airport here - one can purchase one bottle of liquor p.p. or 2 bottles of wine/champagne

Holetown, Barbados
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7. Re: all inclusive worth it?

NC French wine, is of course expensive, but wine from Calafornia and South America , though more expensive than the UK , is not prohibitive.

Bottles of spirits are available in the duty free on Arrival in Barbados and are cheaper than the duty frees in the UK . eg Absolut Vodka is only around £10 per litre and whisky a little more depending on the brand, Hennessy is much cheaper than for instance Gatwick Airport too. As has been said, Rum is very cheap of course.

If you consider Self catering, meat including beef steak (Triple A standard from the US ) is incredibly cheap and so much better than the UK that I never buy it when I'm in the UK any more, it's tasteless compared with US steak.Local pork and lamb is also cheaper than the UK and just gorgeous. Fish of course is cheap, fresh and freely available at local fish markets. Waitrose branded food is available in one big chain of supermarkets and cost more than in the UK although, some items are a little cheaper, it depends what they are. Fresh Fruit and veg are mostly imported although not all, and are therefore a little more expensive, and chocolate costs more, but on average, because many things are much cheaper, my food bills are pretty much the same as they are in the UK.

PMP
Cambridge, United...
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8. Re: all inclusive worth it?

We have done AI most of the time but this next holiday we are going self catering - and we are really looking forward to it. This time it will be like a totally different holiday even though we have been to Barbados many times in the past.

I know we are going to discover lots of eating places we might have walked past before because we knew we could have a meal at the hotel, but going AI doesn't mean you have to stay in the hotel day in day out.

Over the years we have been on quite a few tours and eaten out when we felt like it. But it did help us by knowing that if we wanted to stay in the hotel or on the beach and do nothing, we didn't have to go out every evening for our meal.

To be honest, it takes us a few days to get into Bajan time and usually the first couple of days we are ready for bed by 9:30pm, so having a meal in the hotel and then bed was quite relaxing.

Stafford, United...
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9. Re: all inclusive worth it?

I have never really enjoyed steak in Barbados but then again I am used to eating prime Aberdeen Angus. The pulled pork in Barbados cannot be equalled anywhere I have travelled to. Takes all kinds to enjoy what is on offer but it is not my choice to eat out of polystyrene packs at home or abroad so food served like that is not my scene. I can eat like that in the UK but I would never choose to.

Holetown, Barbados
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10. Re: all inclusive worth it?

That is the problem with Hotels and Restaurants JaneE If you buy your own meat you can buy the best, and my word it knocks spots off Aberdeen Angus, and the pork chops available in Supercentre are to die for. I don't find the pork in the UK fit to eat. As you say, it's down to taste, and of course if you only stay in hotels, so you don't have the opportunity to find out what is available.

Edited: 29 December 2013, 17:01