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All Inclusive. . .is it worth it?? Need advice for June honeymoon!!!

All Inclusive. . .is it worth it?? Need advice for June honeymoon!!!

Jan 26th, 2003, 12:54 PM
Posts: n/a
All Inclusive. . .is it worth it?? Need advice for June honeymoon!!!

Hi...my fiance and I feel pretty confident about our choice to go to Barbados for our honeymoon, but we cant decide if AI is the way to go or not. Is is really worth the money? Two places we've liked in particular are Turtle Beach and Bougainvillea but I'm wondering if the West Coast wouldnt be more enjoyable. . .we're late twenties, have never been to the Caribbean, and would like to feel a bit pampered though not spend too much. Any advice would be much appreciated, especially if anyone has recently been to these resorts! Thanks in advance!!!
Jan 27th, 2003, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 725

I guess it feels "safest" going All Inclusive, but you'd miss out on many great restaurants on the island if you do that. I've heard mixed reviews about Turtle Beach (although reading their ads makes it sound fabulous).

My husband and I have stayed at the Bougainvillea Beach property several times and it is beautiful. The beach is nice if you like waves. This property is not all inclusive unless they are giving you some special rate that is MAP (breakfast & dinner).

We don't think the food is that great at either property.

Some things that might help me give you better information - where are you from, when will your honeymoon be.

The West Coast is more convenient to the fabulous restaurants that are too great to miss. I can suggest some if you are interested.

Actually on the South Coast there is a great property on a gorgeous beach -- Coral Sands Beach Resort -- it's an all-suite property that is about 2 years old. We think it's be best beach in Barbados. That would put you within walking distance of "The Gap" - the area all late-20 somethings enjoy for nightlife & also lots of moderately priced good restaurants. You'd be better off doing this in my opinion.

Give me a little more detail, and I will be able to offer you more specific comments. Regards, Lois
Lois is offline  
Jan 27th, 2003, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
Turtle Beach has white sand bech, and does get honeymooners. It has an open-air restaurant that serves creative cuisine. The more casual restaurant offers more casual food. They also have Italian. They offer you the option of eating at their sister places - Coconut Creek and and Crystal Cove.
The Bougainvillea is a good deal. They have suites, but the bathrooms are small and it isn't real exciting.
You may be happier on the west coast of the island. It's more tranquil and the beaches are better. Unfortunately, it's more expensive.
Because you are on your honeymoon, I'm guessing you are looking for a little bit of paradise in a peaceful, stunning, beautiful setting. Did you look at Coconut Creek Hotel?
Knowing is offline  
Jan 27th, 2003, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Lois. . .I seem to be having technical difficulties, I though I posted a reply, but it hasnt popped up. Anyway, I'll repeat myself I guess. . .I am soooo glad you found/replied to my message, I've read several entries and you appear to be the 'expert!' We are planning our honeymoon for June 17-25th, and we are from southern New Hampshire (I'm originally fomr Mass, went to school around Boston.) We have not traveled much together, and while I've traveled a bit in my young life, my fiance has even less, and he was the one in favor of AI's. I would hate to miss out on some of the fabulous places you've mentioned, like Carambola and The Cliffs. The West Coast did seem a bit pricey, and while cost is definitely a factor, we do still want to made to feel truly like honeymooners, since we dont do this very often! I saw Coral Sands' website but it didnt give too much info, I'll call or have our travel agent look into it! I loke the fact that room service is an option there, though limited it may be, and that they are suites.
Thanks again for the help! I wonder how many peoples' vacations you've helped make better?!!
kimk is offline  
Jan 27th, 2003, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 725
Hi Kim,

I too am originally from MA (Pittsfield); and have a sister now who is Town Manager of Derry, NH (small world).

If you'd like to write me directly, I've got lots of tips you might benefit from to make your first trip to Barbados a memorable start to what might be many future trips. My husband and I just completed our 16th and this Oct/Nov. will make #17.

You can reach me at:
[email protected]


Lois Swanson
Lois is offline  
Jan 28th, 2003, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 444
We have been on 2 AIs to Barbados. On our last one we ventured out to the Gap a couple of times and found that prices were far more reasonable that we'd thought. And we both love the local Mount Gay rum so having a drink was very cheap for us! When we worked out how much the AI part of the holiday was actually costing a day we could easily have spent less by going accomodation only. Remember that if you go AI and then decide to eat out you have "wasted" that money.
As you are going on your honeymoon you would want to go to some of the great restaurants. I would stick with the hotel recommended by Lois. ( I am assuming here that it is NOT AI) You will like the nightlife in the Gap. One restaurant recommendation there is Pisces- great food and a lovely setting over the water.
Another recommendation is to go to Oistins on Friday night. The locals have a ball then! There are loads of stalls all serving the most delicious fish. There is music in the streets and locals and tourists party.
For a day to be spoiled go on a Tiami catamaran cruise. They can not do enough for you. You swim with turtles; stop beside a wreck to snorkel in amongst hundreds of beautiful fish; finally they stop at a quiet beach where there are millionares homes.
The lunch is first class and that and the drinks are included in the price.
finally, if you are feeling brave, try the island safari. You spend the day on a landrover 4x4 and go off track to places a bus tour wont take you. (Just make sure you do not have a "hangover" from the night before!)
fiona is offline  
Mar 7th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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Fiona- WHICH all inclusives have you stayed at in Barbados, as I too am contemplating Turtle Beach....????

andy is offline  
Apr 7th, 2003, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1
Lois - Trhing to find you (your email) b/c you seem to be a wealth of information to others. Going to Barbados and having trouble deciding whether to stay at the Divi Heritage or Southwinds. Only looking at those b/c we are in points with RCI and they are available. We love to snorkel and boogie board. AL would be nice but seems so expensive. Do you know both of these resorts and what would be your pick? Do the men need long pants to go out to eat in the evenings? We would like to rent a car for a few days to see the island - suggestions? Would you not rent at the airport to drive yourself in? Unfortunately, we are getting in after dark - 9 pm. Husband has driven all over the Caribbean on the left side of the road but still does not like it Best snorkeling beaches? Least expensive places to eat? Thank you for your help. My email is [email protected]
jbmcginness is offline  
Apr 8th, 2003, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 160
I can't comment on the resorts but we honeymooned at an all-inclusive last year and we really enjoyed it. It too was our first trip to the Caribbean and we are in our mid-twenties.

All-inclusive all depends on what your priorities are. If you are set on having a spectacular dinner every night of your honeymoon, then I would not go to an all-inclusive. The food is good, but not great. It is most likely going to be buffet style for breakfast and lunch. This didn't bother us at all. The food was never bad and as long as our tummies were filled, we were fine (we were there for the beach and each other). We enjoyed having access to the watersports equipment anytime we wanted. Also, we never had to carry cash (tips are included) so this made for a very relaxing vacation. We didn't think about finances for an entire week!

Congrats and enjoy whatever you choose!
beachlover99 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2003, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7
My wife and I are from Maine and we just returned from ten days at the Bougainvillea. Here is what I thought about the hotel and dinning in Barbados.

Our hotel suite at the Bougainvillea Beach Resort was very comfortable; it included a bedroom, bath, kitchen/dining room (the kitchen was stocked well enough to make breakfast and lunches with ease. It had serving dishes, glasses, coffee mugs, and cooking dishes. The dinning area could comfortably seat four), living room and balcony. The resort provides shampoo, conditioner, soap in each shower and a hair dryer which is located next to the large bathroom mirror. There was an ironing board and iron provided as well as a programmable safe. Our private balcony overlooked the ocean and was covered with colorful bougainvillea. The hotel is not like a typical hotel. By that I mean there is no bank of elevators to serve each floor and there is not a central corridor serving each room on each floor. The stairs serve four rooms on each floor. So there is a staircase that serves four rooms on floors one through four then a short distance away there is another staircase serving four more suites on each floor.

The staff at the hotel were wonderful. Everyone that we met, from the Front Desk, Housekeeping, the Beach Crew and the restaurant were friendly, but yet professional in their duties and always very helpful.

The ocean water was turquoise blue and the sand powder-fine and white. The waves roll in on the South Coast much more than they do on the West Coast area, rough enough to be interesting but not so high as to make swimming difficult.

Food is expensive that is true. If your clients are the type that want or need to eat three meals a day then they may want to look into a property that offers an all-inclusive plan. However, we ate a late breakfast and then we had dinner around 7 or 8:00 p.m. each night. When you make the currency conversion from Bajan money to U.S. dollars ($1.95 BDS = $1 US) and then factor in only two meals a day it wasn’t prohibitive. We tried several different restaurants and enjoyed delicious traditional Bajan meals every night, including flying fish and squash soup. We went to the Cliff, on the West Coast. In St. Lawrence Gap we ate at Pisces (twice), Bellini’s, Café Sol and Harlequin. We ate at The Water’s Edge, which is at Sand Acre, the sister-property to the Bougainvillea. We also enjoyed a night of fine dinning and live jazz at the Waterfront Café in Bridge Town. The meal we had at the Cliff was my favorite meal but I honestly don’t think we had a poor meal during our stay. However, the Cliff was definitely the most memorable. La Terra, a very good restaurant that used to be located at Baku Beach in Holetown, on the West Coast, is now located at the Royal Westmoreland Golf Course. Although we didn’t eat at La Terra several people told us that it rivals The Cliff.

I have posted a review that has more detail than this reply if your interested. I'd also be happy to answer any questions you may have.
IslandBob is offline  
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