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-   -   Is Barbados as wonderful as it seems? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/is-barbados-as-wonderful-as-it-seems-644878/)

fllady Sep 7th, 2006 06:19 AM

Is Barbados as wonderful as it seems?
 
My husband and I have decided to leave the toddler home one more time and take a couple-only vacation. This past year we did San Fran, which we loved, so next year I'd like to go somewhere warm. We aren't snorkelers or scuba divers, although we have snorkeled before, and while my husband is a golfer, he works in the industry and doesn't want to golf on vacation. We do like the beach and just relaxing, but what we loved about our honeymoon to Maui was the ability to do nothing, or to go explore the island and see some of the "real" island, and not just the resort. Barbados sounds like it has a lot to see. Is there anything I should know before booking a trip there?

greenie Sep 7th, 2006 08:27 AM

I like Bds because you have beautiful beaches all over the island. Snorkeling, boogie boarding, great restaurants, beautiful scenery, great hotels, warm people, and good economy.

Peace, Greenie

francophile03 Sep 7th, 2006 08:32 AM

I visited Barbados once and wished I had opted to go there in July instead of Curacao. The beaches and scenery in Barbados are lots nicer and there are more restaurants to choose from.

Lois Sep 7th, 2006 08:41 AM

Barbados is a wonderful island with a variety of things to see and do. If you would like a very extensive list of Barbados Insider Tips (25 pgs) write me at:
[email protected] and I will send them to you (free). It may help with your decision making.

Lois

xkenx Sep 7th, 2006 08:59 AM

Yes it is!! In addition to others' comments, there is varied sightseeing: Flower Forest & Andromeda Gardens, two of the most spectacular tropical forest/gardens anywhere, Harrison's Cave, Nature preserve, restored plantation houses such as Francia Plantation & Sunbury House, rum factory. The island is more lush and tropical than Maui, warmer water, more birds, and the wonderful little tree frogs which serenade you all night long with a crystal-clear bell-like sound, prettier than most birds. Check out Coral Reef Club, the class act on the island. Family owned for 50 years, gorgeous grounds, low rise or cottage accomodations, plantation style, on a nice beach. See www.coralreefbarbados.com and www.barbados.org

fllady Sep 7th, 2006 09:39 AM

Thank you so much! It sounds amazing. I forgot to mention that I was checking out Peach and Quite, and Accra, as far as hotels. My husband definitely doesn't like anything too rustic though. Is the Peach and Quiet going to be a bad idea then? We can't go too expensive, but something moderate would be good.

clarson Sep 7th, 2006 09:41 AM

Not to rain on anyone's parade who loves Barbados, but within 24 hours or our arrival, my wallet and passport were stolen. We are seasoned travelers and this has never happened in all the trips we have taken over several years. Our mishap required quality time with the Barbados police department and the US Embassy so we could be allowed back into the country. If you have your heart set on Barbados, then fine. We ultimately had a reasonably good vacation. However, have you ever considered Bermuda? It is a lovely, friendly island with little poverty or crime. It is clear and 84 degrees there today. There are numerous options for accommodations - our favorites are Horizons and Cottages and The Reefs. Check out Restaurant Blu which is part of the Belmont Hills Golf Course. The food is great and the views at sunset are memorable. Have a look at www.bermuda.com or www.bermudatourism,com. We try to go to Bermuda every opportunity we have. We never tire of it. There are always things to do - or not. Just a thought.

fllady Sep 7th, 2006 12:06 PM

Thank you. Will it be too cold in January or February in Bermuda? Will there still be much to do at that time of year?

Barbara1 Sep 7th, 2006 04:23 PM

January and Frebruary are not good vacation times in Bermuda. I love Bermuda though. It is charming. but go there in July.
I just came back from a vacation in Barbados.
I absolutely love it there!
It is expensive but it is a beautiful island with great beaches and a lot to do. And the Barbados people are very friendly.
I live in the Caribbean and I think Barbados is one of the nicer Caribbean islands.

fllady Sep 7th, 2006 05:17 PM

Thank you Barbara. Can you recommend any other islands that are nice, but less expensive?

bosoco Sep 7th, 2006 07:11 PM

I have been to many islands. Barbados was my least favourite. Why? It is very bland and the some of the people who work in the service industry are downright sullen. I also encountered some of the worst hawking --- even when I was in the water. It is a very popular destination with package tour groups. I really think you could do ALOT better. To me Barbados is extremely overrated.

christiegr Sep 8th, 2006 03:12 AM

Why not consider Kaua'i, Hawaii.:)

Barbara1 Sep 8th, 2006 04:47 AM

I've been to Barbados several times and I have not had the experiences that bosoco has had.
Flady. the whole Caribbean is somewhat expensive I think.
Barbados tends to be more expensive I think because they have high import duties.
I'm not sure which island to recommend.
there are so many to choose from.
We did go last year to Tobago and found it beautiful and not expensive at all. It is not as built up as some of the other islands and it's a little hard to get to, but it is a special place.

Barbara1 Sep 8th, 2006 04:49 AM

by the way, take a look at the thread below:
"wanted inexpensive Caribbean destination"
there are some interesting comments there.

Lois Sep 8th, 2006 10:56 AM

Fllady - regarding Peach and Quiet. I think it would be a bad idea. Read the following to see why: (posted by someone recently):

The property is beautiful, it is right on the Ocean side of the island. The seas were very rough, and most of the coast line in the area was coral and rocks.

The "beach" that was in walking distance was about a ten minute walk through a residential neighborhood that was a little sketchy. The Beach as nothing more than a deserted strip of sand with plants and litter and very rough seas - not at all what you think of when you imagine a island beach.

The room could be described as rustic, but I think I would describe it as dumpy. There is a bed, with two light bulbs over the headboard. There is a home-made plywood closet with a safe, and a nice little private patio.

The bathroom was very rough - almost prison like. The lack of Air Conditioning was also a major issue - we had one noisy fan and basically sweat in bed all night.

Once the sun came up - forget about sleeping.

We were also told that this property was close to St. Lawrence Gap, but close is not how I would describe it. We once again had to walk through a residential neighborhood and wait for the "bus", which is really just a van with about 30 people stuffed inside. The 30 minute ride was hell, so when we came back we decided to take a Taxi which was MUCH more expensive.

So, as you can see, from what you have said you would like, I do not think this is it. If money is a problem, I would wait until you can afford the type of accommodation that will give you good memories of your stay in Barbados.

Lois

fllady Sep 8th, 2006 03:21 PM

Thanks Lois. I saw that on Trip Advisor, and it did concern me. We can spend a little, but nothing like our honeymoon when we stayed at the Four Seasons. But my husband is the one who's tight-fisted with the money, and he's the one who wants to stay somewhere "nice" in his opinion, so hopefully we can splurge a little. :)

starfish1 Sep 25th, 2006 09:22 AM

fllady, in defense of Peach and Quiet, the paragraphs that Lois has copied are one of the only negative comments on Trip Advisor. Four years ago we made our first trip to Barbados and are returning in November. Honestly, Peach and Quiet is exactly what keeps us going back. I think the review was written by someone who, in spite of all the other reviews describing the property quite accurately, had a preconceived notion of what they wanted it to be like. I disagree wholeheartedly with the review, would never think of the neighbourhood as being "sketchy", and found the bus trips to be alot of fun and part of being in the Caribbean. Peach and Quiet is not your average "resort" that is for sure and certainly not for everyone. The other reviews make this quite clear. But if you want simple, charming accommodation, wonderful food, gorgeous scenery away from the crowds and fabulous hosts, Peach and Quiet is the place. I doubt at this date you could get accommodation though as they book up a year or even two in advance. Now that tells you something.

Lois Sep 25th, 2006 01:26 PM

While you may not agree with the other reviewer's comments, Peach and Quiet posts this about their resort:

Peach & Quiet is a small unpretentious ocean fronted property located in 4 acres of tropical gardens on the southern tip of Barbados.

The hotel is comprised of 22 suites each containing bathroom, fan cooled bedroom with king size, two doubles or double bed, a lounge area with tea/coffee making facilities, ice box and personal safe.

Facilities include a restaurant, serving breakfast and candlelit dinners, a freshwater swimming pool, bar with lunchtime snacks and the islands only sea rock pool.

When someone says "unpretentious", it's really a pretty basic place - nothing fancy. There is no air-conditioning - only ceiling fans. Sometimes in Barbados it gets quite hot, and I've appreciated the air-conditioned bedrooms I have been in. Also, no tv.

It's location in Inch Marlow is very remote. The sea is very rough in that area -- used by windsurfers.

If that's what you are looking for, I'd check into it as Fodors claims it is perhaps Barbados's best-kept secret.

However, when I travel I prefer something a little more luxurious than what this resort offers.

Lois

TJBREW Sep 25th, 2006 02:41 PM

I agree with those who do not like Barbados. We've been to most of the islands and this is my least favorite. We like to go where locals go and do what locals do but did not feel safe to do so on Barbados and felt very unsafe more than once while there which is not typical of the islands. Probably our favorite islands are Aruba, St. John, St. Marten all for very different reasons. The best snorkeling we've done was in Curacao last year in knee deep water right off the beach absolutely beautiful. Sunset Waters resort is a must!

Lizzie518 Sep 26th, 2006 07:25 AM

I will disagree with bosoco about the Bajan people. We found them to be lovely; friendly, polite and never sullen, actually. I will agree about the hawking.....the vendors could be quite aggressive, but property management generally tries to keep them moving along. I never felt threatened by it, it was just annoying.

There is plenty to do on the island and there is a lot of history and culture to be found. The restaurants are excellent. We enjoyed our stay and found it to be very memorable. There are better beaches and snorkeling to be had in the Caribbean, but I still think it is a worthy destination.


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