I booked Southern Surf apartments after reading the rave reviews here on TA. At first there was no availability at all, but then the goodluck fairy waved her wand and someone cancelled and the lovely people in the office contacted me to offer me apartment 12 in mid January; I changed my plans and booked in for 2 weeks starting January 18, at rate of $135 US a night including taxes. I am so glad that I did so.
The apartments are fantastically located - absolutely everything you need (laundromat, second hand bookstore, supermarket, restaurants, fast food place Chefettes...) is within a 5 minute (10 if the heat gets to you as it did me at times) walk from the front gate AND there is that incredible beach calling you directly opposite the front gate. No wonder everyone I met (a VERY friendly bunch) had been coming here for years (decades in some cases!) and book “their” apartment for next year as soon as they get here: I have to admit that I did exactly the same thing mid trip - I’ll be back next year.
I was in studio 12 - top of the building, far corner and it was perfect - private, view of both the pool and the beach, incredible breezes blowing through when you open the door. Funnily enough, I didn't even mind all the stairs - it made me feel better about the lying around all day doing nothing... The apartments are small studios; the main room has 2 singles made up into a king bed, a small table and two chairs, two bedside tables, a chest of drawers and a double wardrobe and a matching cupboard with a digital safe. The floor is tile. The kitchen is truly the tinest kitchen I had ever seen but in it is a small fall-sized fridge/freezer, an electric stove/oven, a microwave, toaster, kettle (and coffee maker). It is fully equipped with plates and cutlery, pots and pan, kitchen utensils, and some tupperware storage containers, mixing bowls etc. You wouldn’t want to be cooking for a dinner party but its absolutely fine for basic holiday cooking. The bathroom is likewise small with a shower over bath, lavatory and sink. I couldn’t get the light over mirror (the only light in the bathroom) to work, but I managed without a light ok.
The balcony is a really nice big size with 3 chairs and a table, and I spent many hours in the shade reading, and drying my togs and towels in the sunny half in the afternoons - and the view was a delight. It IS noisy - the cars never stop going up and down that road, and a couple of times we got big noisy motorcycles and boy louts with their stereos: I took to sleeping in my foam earplugs and it was fine after that: each morning at 5am I would turn off the air con and open the doors wide and then lie in bed in the delicious cool breeze watching the sun come up: paradise.
There is wireless internet - it was definitely patchy and kept cutting out, but again, I managed to check my email every day and download some of the TV shows I was missing from the itunes store - it took a few days but i got there. One day the server was down and the office staff gave me money to go to the internet cafe down the road so I could check in.
Which brings me to the other fantastic thing about Southern Surf: the staff. They are just wonderful, friendly, professional, willing to help you in any way they can. They were all fantastic, and a big part of the experience. They really go make you feel like a part of the family and I could tell that this was a huge part of the reason that their guests keep coming back year after year. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!
Just a couple of other tips: I went out with Calabaza for a catamaran snorkle trip and they were fabulous - the turtles were so friendly, it was amazing. to be honest the snorkling was pretty so-so: we went to Folkstone Marine Park, where they have sunk a couple of vessels for the tourists to look at, but the coral is dull and not that plentiful and while there were lots of a couple of types of fish, it really wasn’t all that impressive. The snorkling at Accra (man made reef off the beach) was better. But I would go out with Calabaza again just for the experience. I also went out with Ted for his famous Ted’s Tour and it was INCREDIBLE - he is just hilarious. The bad jokes start rolling the minute you get on the bus and they just don’t stop until you get off again at the end of the day; they’re so bad they’re funny. We went all the way around the island, with 4 stops (Speightstown, Cherry Tree Hill, Bathsheba (lunch stop), and St Johns) which doesn’t sound like much but it was a full day with tons of great photo opps. Loved it - if you have a day, definitely don’t miss it.
other highlights - Bridgetown is a small and interesting city - make sure you have a hat and sunscreen (I ended up using my umbrella as a parasol - its HOT) and a walking-tour already planned out before you go; it would be easy to give up in the heat and that would be a shame, the church, the synagogue, the museum at Parliament, Queen's Park - they are all worth checking out. The buses are cheap and well organised and will take you anywhere you need to go...
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- Also Known As:
- Southern Surf Beach Apartments Hotel Christ Church
- Southern Surf Beach Apartments Barbados/Christ Church Parish