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New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Atlanta
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New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

We are planning a Caribbean vacation in early May '07 with our friends. We will not be taking any children. Not familiar w/ Barbados. Which beach is the best. We love crystal clear blue water. For us the quality of the beach/water is the whole vacation. Also want an island with a "Caribbean" feel. With that in mind I don't even know which hotels to begin looking into. ALso are there any all-inclusives in Barbados?

We are going to choose between Barbados, Domincan Republic, or British Virgin Islands. If anyone has been to all 3 and can compare that would be fantastic.

Also, any good restaurant recomendations?

Which hotel would you consider the nicest. We recently stayed @ Riu property and really loved it.

Again, all help is appreciated! Can't wait for vacation!

Stirling, United...
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1. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Hi ATLGARED!

I have not been to BVI but I have been to both Dominican Republic and Barbados. I am about to book something like my 8th or 9th trip to Barbados, because I absolutely love it.

The biggest difference for me between these two is that I never felt safe in DR (or in St Lucia). In Barbados I am totally relaxed, and I would have no hesitation in going somewhere by myself, or walking back after a night out with my husband. Obviously it makes sense to take the same care that you would at home.

The beaches are public so consequently you can go to any beach you want. If you get somewhere and you don't like it, you can drive or walk to the next one.

The West Coast is where the island meets the calm Caribbean Sea. The water is clear an azure blue, and you can see the bottom a long way out; ideal for swimming. Most of the big hotels are based along this coast. If you look at the list of hotels on this site, Sandpiper, Mango Bay, Tamarind Cove, Sandy Lane to name but a few - they are all on the West Coast. There are reviews for all the main hotels on this site which will help you to choose.

Most hotels will offer you a wide range of watersports and activities.

What you will need to do is decide on a budget. Barbados is not cheap, and particularly when you compare it to the US and Canada!

There are also beautiful beaches on the South Coast and the new Hilton has had many positive reviews on this site. Personally, the last thing I would want in Barbados is use the same hotel chain that I use when I go to work. That would be a nightmare!

The East Coast (and by far my favourite), is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the island. Mostly unsuitable for swimming but utterly spectacular and breathtaking. Crane Beach is stunning.

My favourite hotel is the Sandpiper, others will have their own opinions which will be useful for you. It is in the pricey but affordable bracket and has an excellent name.

Nowadays, we rent a villa or a condo, with a pool near the beach. This can be very cost effective, particularly if there are four of you.

We go to the many fantastic restaurants (The Tides, The Cliff, The Mews) when we want to be spoiled, and we BBQ on the days when we can't be bothered!! We hire a car and explore every square inch. We get out and about and talk to the local people and that is where the real caribbean feel comes from.

The people are friendly and welcoming and always willing to stop for a chat or give you advice. I have even experienced a car reversing for 100 yards to offer help, when we were clearly somewhat confused with the translation between our Scottish map-reading skills and Bajan map drawing!!

I make sure I buy fruit, veg and fish from the road side stalls, I go to the church fetes if they are on, and I go to Oistins on a Friday for the fish fry. My personal view is that you get out what you put in, and to really experience a place, you need to make a bit of effort (nothing too taxing you understand)!!

How does that sound? See you in May?

Emelda

Atlanta
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2. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Emelda.......FANTASTIC review! So much info! Thank you so much. We are looking for an all-inclusive. I have been to St Lucia and didn't feel safe @ the Jump Up.

I looked @ the Mango resort. The hilton looks really nice but it isn't AI is it?

DR I have heard was dangerous in the past but it is supposed to have improved greatly.

Thanks for all the tips you were very helpful! I

Stirling, United...
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3. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

No bother at all!

And here is a link to my trip report from February this year, which gives more info on restaurants and prices.

You are right about the Hilton. It's not AI and very expensive to eat when you look at the reports - $50 for three hamburgers. What is that all about?

Heard very good reports on Mango when I was there and afterwards. It has just been refurbed and was looking pretty shiny!

It would be a real shame for you to miss out on some of those fabulous restaurants. There's a beach bar very close to Mango called Cocomos - good for lunch and snacks. I also go to the Chefette for a roti - like a wrap filled with curried beef or chicken and potato - yum, yum!

The Cliff to the Chefette - an island of contrasts!

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147262-i230-k4635…

Emelda

Atlanta
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4. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Emelda...we usually go to 1 very nice restaurant even though we have paid for AI. It sounds like a really beautiful island. I will prob contact you in the future here once we make a decision. Again, thanks for all your help!

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Elemda - It rained every day in February?? Is that common for Feb? I sure hope not because we'll be there at the end of Jan early Feb 2007.

Dan

GEM
Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Tanner -----Like Emelda said in the review it can rain for 5 minutes and thats it. The 15 days I was there in Feb/Mar it only rained one evening for a few hours. Most of the time they have quick showers. By the time the people cleared the beach the rain was over and the sun was back out. I think the east coast got a little more rain then the south coast as I had a friend staying there during one of the same weeks. Don't worry about the rain.

Stirling, United...
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7. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

Hi all,

Sorry to have worried you about the rain. Good news because it does usually last for only a few minutes or so. If you want to be really smart take an umbrella with you as it is very handy. One or two people even had a sun umbrealla which they had managed to bring with their luggage!

I noticed some dedicated sunworshippers had them in their bags on the beach, and when it started to rain out they came. The supercool sunbathers had umbrellas which matched their swimwear!!!!!!!

Me, I head straight to the sea with the other mad folk and have a float about and a chat!

Also found rainy afternoon perfect for visit to the Flower Forest, and Bathsheba is simply, breathtakingly, amazing when a storm is approaching and the surfers are out. You can sit almost on the beach in your car, and watch and admire whilst eating your sandwiches!

Emelda

Hove, United Kingdom
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8. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

I've heard Mango Bay is a really nice place to stay.

I've stayed at Crystal Cove and Almond Beach Club on the West Coast - both really good AIs and Turtle Beach on the South Coast - again another really good AI in the Elegant Resorts group, as is Crystal Cove.

I'd recommend any of them! Barbados is the most amazing destination in the world - I love and try to get back every year. I've been visiting for 17 years now!

Went back in January and am looking towards the next trip!

9. Re: New to Barbados...Help Appreciated!

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