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Barbados familiarisation trip with Funway Holidays
At the end of September I had a short trip out to Barbados with Funway Holidays to go and see several of the Elegant Hotel chain they feature as well as a few other properties.
We flew with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick, the flight was on time and we arrived in Barbados just before 3.00 pm, passport control was very slow but you can pre-book and pay for a fast track meet and greet on arrival. The first hotel we stayed at was Turtle Beach Hotel and this was only a 15 minutes transfer from the airport, so you arrive in plenty of time to get sorted before dinner.
Turtle Beach Hotel is a large family All Inclusive resort on the South Coast. It has 171 rooms, 3 restaurants, 2 swimming pools and an adult only Jacuzzi. The main dining room is buffet, there is a beachside restaurant that is open daytime and for themed evenings and an A la Carte Italian restaurant which caters for 12 years and higher. Reservations must be made for this restaurant but there is no limit to the number of times you dine there.
Rooms are Pool or Ocean view and all have safes, hairdryers, coffee machines, irons & ironing boards. All of the bathrooms have showers over the bath. Turtle Beach has a kids Club and Teens Club and they also offer a full baby-sitting service. Non-motorised sports are included from the sports centre located at the far end of the beach.
Being on the South coast the sea is generally rougher than the West Coast so the hotel operates a flag system on the beach with a lifeguard during the day.
Whilst down on the South Coast we visited several hotels which were all very conveniently located in St Lawrence Gap, these hotels offer Room Only or Bed & Breakfast as they are all close to a selection of restaurants and bars.
4* South Beach Hotel is a contemporary boutique hotel with just 49 suites, the hotel is not beach front but it was just over the road and each of the hotel rooms have access to 2 beach beds, beach umbrellas are available for $5.00 per day.
Full kitchenette facilities are available in 1 bedroom suites or higher.
4* Ocean Two Resort is located next door to Turtle Beach and offers accommodation on a Room Only or Bed & Breakfast basis but does have an amazing on site restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Ocean Two offers hotel room, 1 and 2 bedroom suites, the suites have full kitchenette facilities.
The following day we left Turtle Beach and headed up to the West Coast for our last 2 nights, we visited several hotels within the Elegant Hotel Group.
4* Colony Club, this was my favourite hotel of the trip, the hotel offers Bed & breakfast, Half Board or Full Board – it does not offer All Inclusive. The hotel has 96 rooms and all rooms are located either within the beautiful gardens and meandering pools or they have views of the ocean. This hotel I would recommend for couples of all ages and is extremely popular with repeat customers or honeymoon & anniversaries. The hotel does not accept children throughout the month of February. The Laguna Restaurant offers a semi open air setting overlooking the gardens, pool and ocean.
4* Crystal Cove is another All Inclusive hotel option in the Elegant Hotel Group but smaller than Turtle Beach with just 88 rooms. This hotel is a firm favourite for families, it has 3 small lagoon pools, fitness centre, tennis courts and also offers complimentary motorised and non-motorised water sports. The hotel has a buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner and a Beach Bar & grill for informal open-air dining.
After lunch at Crystal Cove we took the water taxi from the beach to Waves Hotel & Spa which was our home for the next 2 nights. Arriving from the sea the hotel didn’t look anything special and it looked slightly worn but on entering the hotel it was a very smart boutique hotel. Waves is an all-suite hotel with rooms located either in the main building overlooking the beach or in the spa rooms which are located across the road and have pool and garden views.
The hotel has 2 restaurant, the Seascape Restaurant which is buffet and open daily for breakfast lunch & dinner and also Shiso which is Asian-Fusion dining for adults only.
Exchange Dining is also available between the other Elegant Hotel Resorts.
Whilst in Barbados we took an afternoon Jeep Safari excursion operated by Island Safaris, this took us inland through sugar cane fields, and over to the East Coast – I would highly recommend this excursion and a really fun way to see the interior of the Island.