Barbados & St Vincent - By Anita Crowson In September I visited Barbados and St Vincent courtesy of Sunset Faraway Holidays, Virgin Atlantic, Elegant Hotels and Harlequin Hotels and Resorts. At check-in we were fortunate to be upgraded to Upper Class so our amazing experience started in the Virgin Club lounge at Gatwick Airport. What a wonderful way to start a holiday, and the service in Virgin Upper Class, as expected, was second to none. Barbados The first part of our trip was a stay in Barbados, an island which has something for everyone. It really is an ’all round’ destination with a vast range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
St Vincent After a 45 minute flight from Barbados you will arrive in St Vincent in the Grenadines. Buccament Bay is the only all-inclusive resort on the beautiful southwest coast of St Vincent. The guest villas are absolutely stunning with a huge range of modern amenities ensuring your utmost comfort. With a selection of restaurants including ‘Jacks’ where I can honestly say that I had one of the best steaks I have ever had in the Caribbean. Safron, the Indian restaurant, and Bay Beach Club where you can enjoy casual à la carte all day dining, accompanied by tropical cocktails. They also have a coffee, ice-cream and cake shop for those mid-morning or afternoon treats!
Elegant Resorts have two all-inclusive hotels - Turtle Beach, an all-suite hotel on the south coast, and Crystal Cove, on the west coast of the island. Turtle Beach shares a lovely long soft-sand beach with other hotels on this beautiful stretch of coastline. Whilst the location is peaceful, the bars of St Lawrence Gap are only a fifteen minute walk away. Crystal Cove, on the more gentle west coast, provides a more typical Caribbean experience. The rooms are located in brightly coloured cabana style buildings and has much more of a Caribbean feel. During the day, the hotel operates a water taxi between the hotels to offer you a change of scenery and, at no extra charge, you can also dine at the Turtle Beach property whilst on the all-inclusive basis. Within the Elegant Resort properties is the Tamarind, a contemporary resort with a Mediterranean style and a laid back Caribbean feel - ideal for families and couples alike. Next door is the famous ‘Daphne’s’ restaurant and on the other side of Daphne’s is the very unique 34-roomed adultonly hotel called ’The House’. This hotel is small and the communal areas have such a homely feel. It offers a full champagne breakfast every morning, afternoon tea at 4pm and canapés at 6.30pm.
The Colony Club is a family friendly hotel, offering a choice of four swimming pools, smart rooms, fantastic food and a range of activities near Holetown. Here, we tried our hand at ‘paddle boarding’ - stand up boards apparently offering a fun and relaxing way to play on the water. Wish I could agree! I guess in theory it could be right, but you have to manage to stay upright, paddle the board, and move forward at the same time - easier said than done! I feel that Elegant have a hotel to suit everyone and the food and service in each hotel was amazing.
High profile sports stars regularly visit Buccament Bay to provide coaching for guests, usually at no extra charge. They also have a performing arts school (normally in the school holidays). The hotel offers a weekly sunset cruise (weather permitting) which we were lucky enough to do.
This was lovely with cocktails and canapés being served on board whilst awaiting the sunset. Unfortunately we missed out on the sunset as the heavens decided to open and give us a really heavy shower at this point! However I could certainly imagine how beautiful it would have been! For those of us who stayed out on deck during the shower, we were given an amazing show by dolphins alongside the boat - well worth getting a soaking for after all! If you do leave the resort you’ll discover that St Vincent has lots to offer - La Soufrière volcano, the Darkview Falls and the Vermont Nature Trail are some of the most popular attractions, as is a visit to one to the film sets from Pirates of the Caribbean. Two beautiful islands which I can highly recommend.