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Best all inclusive

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Best all inclusive

Hi all

I'm looking for the best all inclusive on Barbados without spending a fortune. To Qualify that statement, I recently stayed in Antigua at both the Grand Pineapple and Curtain Bluff. One cost £120 per night and one cost £500 (Dohh!!) per night. One was awfull, whilst the other was great. I don't want to spend £500 per night, but I don't want another of those Cheapo 3 star + places. Want nice location with beach if possible and rooms must be comfortable and clean. Pleasant staff and good food to finish off would be the icing on the cake.

Does anyone know of any hidden Gems down there that punch above thier weight please?

Thanks, Gerald.

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51. Re: Best all inclusive

Thanks Scary, I'm glad my post didn't come off as over the top.

I don't want to sound as if I ever condone very poor service but I do believe attitude is contagious. If I go to a resort and demand and act pushy and show no gratitude why should I expect these workers to trip all over me? What am I teaching my children? I would rather be as pleasant as could be, after all I'm on vacation, talk to them, learn from them and treat them as peers.....other human beings.

That being said there are some that simply don't like their jobs and you can be as nice as you want and they still just don't like their jobs/lives. Nothing I can do about that one.

Obviously as mentioned before money does talk. A couple nice tips tends to keep me taken care of my entire vacation and that's fine with me. I understand the need for the money and I don't think you should be staying at some high priced resort if you can't afford to leave a few bucks for the service people. There is a general joke amongst Americans that is "we tip for everything". It is pretty much true, we are used to tipping just about everyone who does anything for us. I'm not sure how much it differs in the UK but I know it does to some degree.

So all sides have been said and I think we all understand it both ways and I'm glad for that. Maybe positive change will arise eventually when travelers have made it clear what is acceptable service and what is just absolutely unacceptable. Waiting a few extra minutes at the front desk or for food is acceptable, your not going to die, it's called patience. A virtue that has been more and more difficult to pass down to our children in this hurry up society of instant gratification that we live in. One of my rules to my kids: Don't you dare think of bringing a video game on vacation to the islands, you will never see it again. Learn to wait, be patient, listen, watch and learn. Learn that not everyone lives like you do and appreciate how lucky you are to not have to worry about your next meal and so on. It's a very good lesson for them.

Ok off the soap box :)

Scary: Its a good resort??? Is it a GREAT resort or just good? LOL, please tell.

Atlantic Shores...
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52. Re: Best all inclusive


I'm beginning to understand your position better. I believe you expect a high quality level of service at a reasonable price. This is your right as a traveler. The rub comes when defining what constitutes that level of service and at which price point you consider it to be reasonable. From the posts here I think clearly there are diverse opinions but we all agree: Barbados is expensive. No getting around that.

What I fail to understand, however, is the recent groundswell (not just your post) that makes it seem as if Barbados is unique in that respect. Having traveled most of the Caribbean, I just don't see it. Of course, Mexico is cheaper but Mexico is not solely dependent upon tourism. And of course, Florida is cheaper. Your comment...

>It will be a big villa in Florida for me for two weeks in

>March for the cost of a couple of nights in Barbados.

... is what we in the US call a no-brainer. I can find you a month's rental at a huge house on the Texas Gulf coast for half what you're paying in Florida for two weeks. But what would be the point? You're comparing apples and oranges.

Similarly, the level of service at most US resorts will reflect our culture. Not always, but most of the time it will be apparent. Hopefully without sounding too zen-like, the Caribbean is what it is. Slower, very expensive. Less customer-oriented. Occasional shortages of staff and supplies. Cultural differences about service than Europe/UK/US.

One either accepts this and pays the asking price or one takes one's money elsewhere, as you have done. Based on your experiences in Antigua and with Barbados clearly you do not see enough value for your pound. I have no problem with that as it's the essence of a free-market economy. But millions of other visitors to the islands feel differently. I certainly would prefer to spend less but the benefits to me are worth the cost.

As a former Florida resident, I wouldn't book a vacation there at any price. But that's just me and not an indictment of the state. Florida is what it is. The Caribbean always has and always will be at once frustrating and sublime. I just feel you'll be happier elsewhere.

Off-topic: Curious to know which aircraft you are currently flying.

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53. Re: Best all inclusive

Hello bpfife.

Sorry for delay in reply. Been off for a few days to view and buy a holiday villa in very pleasant Sunny Southern Europe.

However........ Very interesting comments, particularly those about Florida after having lived there.

I would move on though to address one of your comments

"millions of people go there (caribbean) and love it"

I can give you my honest experience and tell you it's because a lot of them are going for the first time. The word "caribbean" conjours up all sorts of magic in one's imagination. The reality - on arrival - is for a lot of people quite different. They find it nowhere near lives up to its image. Just check out the general comments on trip advisor and you will find many unhappy customers that specifically state that it's not what they consider to be worth the money. I have lost count of the people I have spoken to regarding my experiences there and many have agreed. They have either been themselves, or had relatives go, and the general consensus has been "what a let down for the money", "never again". This includes people visiting directly and those dropping in on cruise ships!!

However.... I digress.

I will go elsewhere.


P.S. On the Boeing 737 now. (Home every night, luxury).

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54. Re: Best all inclusive

Well, I never thought this post would turn out to be so interesting! Just thought I'd add my own very small contribution, which is this: when I go to Miami, I usually stay at Loews on South Beach. It's considered a very high-end property (and with prices to match) but although it is directly on the beach, I always request a *city view* room, because, no matter what the rate of any Miami, or indeed Florida hotel, there is really no point in attempting to compete with the views of the Caribbean sea! I live on the ocean here and, in my opinion, the view from a Florida hotel room will never match up to what we offer here (and yes, I've been around that coastline, not just Miami).

If considering a vacation to Barbados, I'd pay for the view, warm waters and lack of chain-type hotels and restaurants alone. I do agree that Barbados is not cheap, but what you are paying for in the long run is a vacation as individual as you are.

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55. Re: Best all inclusive

Yes. That's a perfectly fair statement.

The Beaches are stunning, thats what struck me on arrival. Her indoors was bowled over, she had eyes like saucers. It made me happy to see the smile on her face.

The only problem (entirely from my point of view) is that beaches do nothing for me. After two days at the resort in Antigua I was climbing the walls. As for one or two weeks of it........ Oh no!!

Obviously this is a personal thing as alluded to in your previous post. As you can imagine though, if one takes away the love of Sea and Sand this does detract from one of the Caribbeans biggest pulling powers (for me).

To qualify that last statement and to revisit the opening of my last post, I have just invested in a lovely property in Southern Europe. After visiting and viewing many properties we decided to buy a good 20 minutes inland. The location is superb, out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by open spaces, and with National parkland as our backdrop / backyard. Lots of hiking trails, horse riding, loads of fresh air. Finally, you can hear a pin drop and the birds singing. We viewed several located at beaches but how long before we get fed up of that day in day out?

We both agreed, without having to think too long. You can visit the beach any time, just jump in the car and go join the crowds. But that National parkland with powder blue sky against those beautiful green fir or pine trees and mountain peaks...........Oh boy!!

Horses for courses I suppose (no pun intended).

Cheers, Gerald

Hampshire UK
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56. Re: Best all inclusive

I think that people who are disappointed with the Caribbean in general are expecting the Indian Ocean type of beach, they don't realise the sun goes down by 6-pm, it isn't as "hot" as for instance Greece & it does rain. Why the rain is a surprise on a bright green island I dont know, you'd think the term rain forest would give a clue!

On the "service" subject there is bad service everywhere, UK included (especially?) maybe it is the shyness of some Caribbean peoples that make them appear sullen.

Cost is another matter entirely- I always look for the best deal- I often find travel agents get the best prices ,It can't be acceptable to pay huge sums of money for an unsatisfacory experiance however misguided the original plan may have been.

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57. Re: Best all inclusive

Good luck JetJockey, your idea of paradise isn't mine 'horses for courses' comes to mind. I love cities and culture but for my 2 week winter break Barbados is for me, going back soon for my 10th visit - meet up with people who return every year. I dont think the prices are much higher than the UK with better service and smiling locals.

Bridgetown, Barbados
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for Bridgetown, Barbados
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58. Re: Best all inclusive

I have to say that Barbados is not Antigua Jet jockey, and an awful lot of tourism to Barbados is repeat business so your opinion is not quite right there. If so many people don't like Barbados why do they keep coming back? Obviously I cannot speak for how people feel about the rest of the Caribbean but I can assure you that is they way the vast majority think about Barbados once they have been here.

Anyway everyone is entitled to their opinion!


Atlantic Shores...
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59. Re: Best all inclusive


After your explanation I understand your dissatisfaction. I don't agree with some of your premises, but respect your decision.

>...it's because a lot of them are going for the first time.

I guess it depends on how we quantify "a lot". And then determine how many were disappointed and fail to return. My experiences are at odds with yours -- in fact I'm surprised at the number of repeat visitors at the places we frequent.

>...you will find many unhappy customers that specifically

>state that it's not what they consider to be worth the money.

I recall seeing these types of comments about specific properties, but not about the Caribbean in general. And again, we have to define "many" and ascertain whether that is a majority opinion, minority, significant minority, etc. I wouldn't agree that the majority of visitors feel that way about the majority of the Caribbean, for example. And honestly, I think we could find that sentiment regarding any vacation destination. Value and worth are such personal concepts. I might consider Sandy Lane to be worth it, but not a great value. Others of more means than I may yet consider it a good value compared to the even more expensive places they frequent.

>The only problem (entirely from my point of view) is that

>beaches do nothing for me.

I have a co-worker who feels similarly. He would rather spend weeks in Colorado's Rocky Mountains than a day at the beach. I, of course, am exactly the opposite. We find each other's point of view incomprehensible ;-) Similarly:

>You can visit the beach any time, just jump in the car and

>go join the crowds.

I would say, I can visit a park or the mountains any day, but to live near the Caribbean... ahhh. Fortunately for us both, we have options.

Based on your preferences, if you have not visited any of the big US national parks, I strongly recommend places like Yosemite or Yellowstone. They can be crowded at times but are so vast there are many places one can commune with nature in a manner I believe you would truly enjoy.

Linden, Michigan
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60. Re: Best all inclusive

I know I am sllighly getting off subject, but may I be so blunt in asking which hotel in Antigua you liked better? You don't have to tell me the cost (I can figure that one out myself). Thanks