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Barbados - Self catering or AI?

(19 Posts)
Tequilamockinbird Thu 23-Jun-16 20:49:54

Have always wanted to go to Barbados and thinking about booking for DH and I to go next year.

Looking on Virgin Holidays, most of the hotels are SC, which is a bit unusual for package holidays to the Caribbean.

Is there a reason for this? Is it better/cheaper to eat out in Barbados?

Has anybody been and can give any advice?

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Jun-16 17:27:25

We went room only with virgin years ago and ate out, some really lovely restaurants overlooking the sea etc. If you are doing that make sure you are somewhere with local restaurants. It also can make the holiday more expensive.
Barbados is lovely but not as well kept as some of the other West Indies islands, more vacant lots/trash, less rainforest but beautiful beaches and stunning coastline on the more rugged coast as well. We really liked it there. All beaches are public so you can use any hotel beaches you want.

Tequilamockinbird Fri 24-Jun-16 18:45:13

Thanks mouldy. The hotel we're looking at looks like it's on a street with a few bars and restaurants so should be ok.

Did you find it expensive in bars/restaurants? Also, I assume it's safe to walk about at night etc?

mouldycheesefan Fri 24-Jun-16 19:11:00

Yes the better restaurants are expensive. Depends where you are re walking around at night, taxis and communal buses are cheap.

Tequilamockinbird Fri 24-Jun-16 20:12:47

Great, thanks smile

BIWI Sat 09-Jul-16 13:23:22

Barbados is lovely! My favourite place.

We've been to the same hotel several times now, and generally go AI - which is the norm I think - simply because we usually only go for a week, and it's just easier. We tend to go out for dinner a couple of times to really treaty (i.e. expensive!) restaurants, like The Cliff, or Tides.

The West coast is the most expensive, because the sea there is much calmer. On the South coast, it tends to be a little rougher - and the East coast is the Atlantic, so lots of big waves, and swimming is often prohibited.

As far as I know it's a pretty safe island, so walking around - with the usual caveats about personal safety - should be OK.

RebelandaStunner Sat 09-Jul-16 13:38:16

We've been a few times on the west coast. We went AI it was waiter service for evening meal and hotels not huge so a completely different experience to AI in the Med. We did lots of watersports- canoeing, jet skiing and catamaran trip, swimming with turtles as well as a few trips - caves, green monkeys, cricket ground (DH) Bridgetown and trip around the island. Also lots of rum and rum cake!
Lovely place and very friendly.

Tequilamockinbird Sat 09-Jul-16 18:51:44

Thanks BIWI and rebel - any specific hotels that you'd recommend? We were looking at Savannah Beach, don't suppose either of you have been there?

4forksake Sat 09-Jul-16 19:25:35

I'm about to go to Barbados for my 6th time & although we stayed AI the first time, I'd never go AI again. In fact, we always stay in an apartment/villa as we have youngish kids. We stay on the west coast on one of the nicest beaches at a place called Glitter Bay. They vary from 1-3 bedrooms with all the comforts of home, so you can eat in if you fancy.

There are gorgeous restaurants in Barbados which you'd miss if you stayed AI & you can eat st cheaper or high end places. The island is safe unlike some other Caribbean islands, so you don't need to stay inside your hotel.

It's definitely worth looking for alternative accommodation other than hotels, you'll be surprised at the difference in price.

Tequilamockinbird Sat 09-Jul-16 19:47:42

Thanks 4. How do you get about on the island? Do you hire a car or get taxis/public transport?

Also, if we went self catering, how much would you say we'd need for a 2 week holiday? Roughly. We like to eat out so would probably do that twice a day - not bothered about high end though.

4forksake Sat 09-Jul-16 20:17:11

We sometimes hire a car, but often just use the reggae buses or normal buses & taxis. The buses are $2 (Barbados) per person (which is about 50p) & you can travel pretty much the whole island for that price & the buses are pretty frequent. If you want to go exploring to some of the sites, you'd probably be better off with a car. They drive on the left so same as here & local drivers are pretty accommodating to tourists in hire cars. Taxis are handy at night as lots of the roads aren't easy to walk along (Not lit very well & not great paths).

There's quite a good post on trip advisor Barbados forum with prices of things . I'll see if I can find a link for you.

If you stay in/around Holetown, there are nice cheaper restaurants like Zaccios, Surfside, Just Grillin, JuJus, Santi, Cafe bar Carizma & then higher end restaurants. Haven't been to the south coast that much so can't recommend much around there. You can also go to chefette restaurant (fast food but much nicer than Mcd's). Obviously if you go self catering, there's the option of eating in or even hiring a chef to cook for you.

4forksake Sat 09-Jul-16 20:26:58

If you look on here you can find prices of some things.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1183194-i12573-k9619738-Priceoffoodanddrinks-OistinsChristChurchParishBarbados.html

Some of the less expensive restaurant menus, the prices should be in BDS $

http://www.chefette.com
http://www.justgrillinbarbados.com/menu
https://www.diningwithus.net/surfside-menus-uploaded/
http://zaccios.com

There are obviously high end restaurants where you can spend much more, & some of the beach bars don't have menus.

4forksake Sat 09-Jul-16 20:28:31

Also, if you look st the likes of Home&Away holidays or Owners Direct you can get some good deals on villas/apartments.

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 09-Jul-16 20:28:56

We went to Savannah Beach in January

Loved it and will go again

But .. We only went for a week , were exhausted and work in catering , so we just wanted to lie on a sun bed and be fed and watered ( rum punched )

We upgraded to club room , you get nice comfy sun beds , parasols and a drinks service ,

We stayed in a pool access room , the road is very busy and noisy so you don't want a room on the front

Virgin rep was hopeless , but all the local staff were lovely , kind and chatty

Reggae bus was great fun and easy to use

Copacababna (sp) is beautiful and there is a free shuttle bus twice a week from the hotel

Do the Tiami catamaran trio , it's amazing

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 09-Jul-16 20:30:59

Copacabana is a nearby beach ^^

Vixxfacee Sat 09-Jul-16 20:32:58

Definitely self catering. So many lovely restaurants. I went last year and for flight and hotel we got a great deal of about £500.

Tequilamockinbird Sat 09-Jul-16 21:57:53

Great info. Thanks all.

I'll look at those links too 4forks, never thought of TripAdvisor!

BIWI Sat 09-Jul-16 22:37:57

We stay at Turtle Beach, which is on the South coast.

mouldycheesefan Sun 10-Jul-16 20:28:56

Have stayed at the Savannah we were room only, no self catering facilities. Ate out. Hotel is convenient location for local bus or taxi. Good beach although it was a lot of years ago before the Hilton was built further along the beach.

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