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Caribbean tour – Barbados

Filed Under: Luxury Family Hotel Review, Winter Escapes

Posted on 20th Nov 2013

Atarra had the enviable task of checking out our Caribbean family resorts. First stop Barbados!

“Barbados is a long established tourist destination, popular with the British, with an array of luxurious hotels, crystal clear waters, stunning white sand beaches, golf courses, nightlife and fun reggae buses! My first two glorious nights were spent at the recently renovated Fairmont Royal Pavilion which is tucked away in a beautiful cove on the west coast of the island and approximately 30 minute drive from the airport. It offers casual elegance in classic colonial style and all of its rooms and suites are right on the beach with unobstructed ocean views. In fact, the proximity to the ocean is amazing as they are only 20 ft from the beach.

The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is all about the beach as you can hear the sea when you go to sleep and you can hear it when you wake up – it’s superb! I stayed in an Ocean front deluxe room which was on the first floor with a large balcony and below me was the Beachfront Junior Suite which is larger, has a large private terrace. All guests staying in these Suites have the added bonus of being served by a dedicated butler for the ultimate in personalized care.

Facilities at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion include an outdoor fresh water swimming pool, an outdoor heated Jacuzzi and a half-mile stretch of secluded white-sand beach. Complimentary non motorised water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding and hobbies wave sailing are available. Other water sports such as Scuba diving and fishing are available and swimming with turtles which is a must! There are tennis courts, a fitness centre and two oceanfront restaurants – Taboras & the Palm – which offer speciality contemporary Caribbean Cuisine. Breakfast was scrumptious and you must try the passion fruit cocktail which was so heavenly that I had two in the space of an hour!

There is no Spa here but they offer a private in-room massage service. The Fairmont welcomes children but only between 15th March – 31st October and 20th Dec – 5th Jan as during other times the resort is primarily couple-oriented. There is no kids club but they provide complimentary daily kids activity and entertainment which include kayaking, beach cricket, soccer, Bajan sporting games, treasure hunts and movies. If you like exploring as I do then it’s worth taking a visit to Holetown which is approximately 5 minutes by car and is filled with restaurants, cafes and shops. Sea Cat which serves up delightful Caribbean food, seafood as well as fish & chips at affordable prices is delightful, as is The Cliff which is on the pricier side but superb. If you want to sample the more livelier side of the island you must visit St Lawrence Gap which is filled with an array of bars and restaurants.

Whilst in Barbados I also visited several independently owned luxury holiday villas which are a ideal if you’re looking for peace and quiet and the freedom to come and go as you please with no set itineraries or meal times to keep to. I was blown away by the Villas that I saw, as they are fully staffed which is included in the rental cost – house keeper, chef or cook, they range from beachfront location to inland, small intimate style villas to the more expansive, but they all provide a superb family villa experience. Families can really enjoy can enjoy space, privacy and flexibility, children can have hours of fun splashing around in their own pool and the villas can be equipped with baby/child items at a small charge such as cots, convertible toddlers beds, child’s fold away beds, highchairs, bouncy chairs, walker, baby bath tubs, baby changing mats, sterilisers, bottle warmers, baby monitors, safety gates and bed rails………they really do think of everything! Outdoor family friendly activities can be arranged at a charge such as horse riding, archery, snorkeling, swimming with turtles and Zipline adventures (minimum age 12 years). Special activities for children can be arranged at your villa at a charge, such as children’s face painting, art and craft and birthday parties. The cost of meals is not included in the rental price but the charming chefs are at hand to purchase grocery items required and prepare all meals as and when you wish. I recommend hiring a car when staying in a villa and Tots Too can arrange this for you. We can also provide the baby/child car seats.

On my way back to the airport bound for Antigua I stopped off at Sandy Lane which also has a perfect location on a glorious sandy beach, stunning views of the Caribbean sea, a Palladian style building offering elegance, class, high end service and attention to detail. The hotel reminded me very much of a large luxurious mansion house with a warm homely feel and not as glitzy and as ‘bling’ as I had expected it to be. All the rooms and suites have the latest mod con amenities such as heated bathroom mirrors, parabolic speakers on the balcony and in the bathrooms and huge plasma wide-screen televisions. Children are made to feel very welcome: they receive complimentary breakfast and dinner during the Summer months, they can have lots of fun in the Treehouse Club which is for little ones from 3 years, with age appropriate toys and games. Children under 3 years can attend the club when accompanied by an adult (parent, nanny or baby sitter). The teens can also have their own fun in The Den which is houses a lounge, games room, electronic games, a jukebox and a computer station. Sandy Lane’s facilities include an array of superb restaurants and bars specialising in Bajan and international cuisine and fresh island seafood as well as a Culinary School which offers hands on learning as well as cooking demonstrations. The 7,500 sq ft pool which is located next to the Spa is magnificent and has a cascading waterfall and the tennis centre with 9 floodlit tennis courts and 45 hole championship golf course is more than impressive!”

Coming soon – Atarra’s next stop is Antigua


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