My story begins at Gatwick Airport, where our party gathered and we enjoyed breakfast in the V-Room, a dedicated lounge exclusive to customers of Virgin Holidays, which was bright, airy and spacious and had a great kids area too.
During our flight we enjoyed dinner, breakfast and had non-stop entertainment in true Virgin style.
On arrival in Barbados I quickly discovered that Bajan is not only the language of Barbados but also used as the shortened version for anything Barbadian.
Our first stop was Savannah Beach, a four star beach resort on the pristine south coast. As a restored historic 19th century plantation house, it makes it a distinctively different place to stay plus it has easy access to the historic Garrison area. It’s an all-inclusive hotel with style, set right on the beach. It is simply a Caribbean paradise that must be experienced!
Whilst staying there we got the chance to visit the lively nightlife of St Lawrence Gap and Oistins fish market where we experienced first-hand the locals and tourists mingling. On Friday nights in particular, a popular thing to do is go to the fish fry at Oistins, where the food is the main draw. It’s all cooked on the spot right in front of you. The atmosphere is electric with its entertainment and reggae music making it a great place to spend an informal night, and it is suitable for children too.
Following our experience in the south we headed to the exclusive west coast, and checked into the four star Crystal Cove Hotel. This is a bright and spacious hotel, very welcoming, with a beach front location and has a superb swim up bar! All rooms have been recently refurbished, and are ideal for all – couples and families alike.
It was here that we were delighted to have the chance to experience a jeep safari. Seated in the back of a 4x4 we were taken on an adventure through pine forests, swamps and bridges, where we truly got a chance to ‘unleash our mojo’, as the Virgin Holidays’ strapline goes! It was amazing to get a tour of the island from an ‘off the beaten track’ perspective.
The following morning we visited the Colony Club, the sister hotel to the Crystal Cove, which can be accessed by water taxi transportation along the coast. Here we thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing and delicious beach BBQ hosted by the hotel manager.
This trip gave me invaluable insight into Barbados. There are different hotels to suit different folk’s tastes and pockets - from two to five star hotels. There are superb beaches and excellent trips including ones that take in the island’s history. For instance, I learned that in 2011 the World Heritage Committee put a heritage stamp on the island’s historic capital of Bridgetown and its Garrison, meaning the site now features on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Barbados has something for everyone, and if you are thinking of Barbados think of me (tel 028 9263 5205). It would be a pleasure to personally advise and share the knowledge of this beautiful island.
What an experience a holiday to Barbados is!
By Debbie Mulholland, Travel Executive, Lisburn