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Jamaica or Barbados - any recommendations please?

(31 Posts)
ChicRock Sun 01-Oct-17 18:09:19

We're looking at July next year and have never been to either place.

There's me, DH and 14 year old DS. We want a lovely hotel, ideally all inclusive but that's not a must. We do like to go out of the hotel on trips and have a few nights out.

We usually stay in Sensatori hotels so I've looked at the one in Jamaica, any other hotel recommendations or specific areas to stay in/avoid please?

user1471453601 Sun 01-Oct-17 18:13:01

No idea as I haven't been to either, but DS NiL reckon Barbados is THE Caribbean Island to visit. They've been to both.

Mind you, BiLs family are originally Barbadian, that might just colour their view

CariadzDarling Mon 02-Oct-17 04:46:51

Jamaica isn't anything to write home about. I'd give it a miss.

Reppin Mon 02-Oct-17 05:49:31

Where would your 14 yo prefer? Wouldn't an all-inclusive beach holiday be a bit boring for a teenager?

FairfaxAikman Mon 02-Oct-17 05:51:47

My grandfather was in the Merchant Navy on a Caribbean Line and he reckons Barbados is the best place out there - he recommended it for our honeymoon (we stayed in the UK).

Haint Mon 02-Oct-17 06:45:15

We really didn’t like Jamaica. It was very very hassly. Perhaps less so if you stay within the confines of your hotel but outside it was a constant barrage, often quite threatening as well as aggressive and insistent offers of drugs and prostitutes everywhere we went.

I wouldn’t go back. Perhaps it was the area we stayed (Negril but away from the main strip)

Also the coast was cliffs and rocks and all the sandy bits were private or attached to hotels so if you fancied wandering to a new bit of beach you’d have to pay to use it

2014newme Mon 02-Oct-17 09:24:55

In Barbados all beaches are public yes even the one at the sandy Lane Hotel.
We enjoyed exploring the island although there is a lot of trash and vacant lots. Food is great, good restaurants. No hassle.
I've not heard good things about jamaica although have never been

ChicRock Mon 02-Oct-17 09:26:43

Barbados it is then!

2014newme any hotel or particular area recommendations?

Teddy7878 Mon 02-Oct-17 09:30:31

Barbados is a million times nicer. Jamaica was underwhelming and a bit scary in parts.
Just keep in mind that you could get some rain storms at that time of year. Last July I got heavy rain for 3 days out of 7. Blazing sunshine the rest of the time though

Jins Mon 02-Oct-17 09:33:58

I'd look at the south coast. The beaches aren't as good and the sea is a bit wilder but there's lots to do.

Having said that it's easy to get round the island by public transport and car hire is worth doing. Go direct to the car hire firms for the best price.

There are some great AI hotels dotted around but AI is generally three meals plus drinks and some beach activities. We went AI with DSs around the age of yours and we probably made our money in drinks alone.

2014newme Mon 02-Oct-17 09:43:23

I'd stay west coast for the sunsets!
8ve looked at going back with dc but I can't find a good hotel that isn't megabucks I. E 8-10k

Jins Mon 02-Oct-17 09:56:02

West coast sunsets are great but South coast aren't too shabby.

I don't think it matters too much where you stay as its so easy to get round. Atlantic coast is stunning but not suitable for swimming. South coast is busier with excellent transport links. West coast is calm seas and lovely beaches but £££ for hotels.

There were a couple of decent hotels in the Hastings/Bridgetown area that we keep looking at.

I don't think there are many areas to avoid. Personally I'd not go as far up the West coast as Speightstown but that's only down to public transport options.

ChicRock Mon 02-Oct-17 10:52:40

Thanks folks. Lots for me to have a look at.

We'll definitely hire a car or get out and about using public transport whilst we're there.

I know we're likely to get some rain, it'll be great if we don't but we're stuck with going during school holidays. We're not ones for lying all day every day in the sun so I'll make sure I've lined up plenty of things to do.

Reppin DS has no particular preference. Wherever we go we will make sure there is snorkelling, scuba diving, all kinds of water sports, table tennis, pool table, various daytime activities, an x-box/PlayStation games room, free wifi, we'll have 4 or 5 days out and a few nights too. So no, I don't think it'll be a bit boring for him. Have you been to either place, do you have any recommendations to give?

Sunnydaysrock Mon 02-Oct-17 10:56:08

Would not go back to Jamaica if you paid me! Hope Barbados is located lovely for you.

Sunnydaysrock Mon 02-Oct-17 10:57:05

Just lovely. Not located lovely grin... Though I think it is.

CariadzDarling Mon 02-Oct-17 14:38:14

So I was being polite.

Jamaica is awful.

ChicRock Mon 02-Oct-17 19:09:31

Haha Cariadz I've been into the travel agents this afternoon and the woman taking my booking said the same.

Anyway, we're all booked... 2 weeks in the Waves hotel, flights and car hire all booked with Virgin - all inclusive with water taxis to use facilities at their sister hotels on the island too. And all water sports are free including motorised water sports.

Thanks everyone for the advice.

worcestersauce29 Mon 02-Oct-17 19:57:20

We stayed at Mango Bay in Holetown, only a small all inclusive but incredible. Food great, free watersports, gorgeous sea, vvvvv friendly. Great position on the Island, we felt very safe when venturing out into the local area and hotel booked island tours were fab, would recommend

somewhereovertherain Tue 03-Oct-17 06:43:49

Off their in January can’t wait. Booked a villa via Airbnb and flights separately.

decena Tue 07-Nov-17 20:33:24

How sad to find so much dislike for Jamaica! Sounds like folk were in downtown Kingston! We had 2 weeks in Jewel Runaway Bay with kids and loved it! Beautiful private beach, waterpark, heaps to do. Did lots of trips outside, loved Mystic Mountain bobsleigh, water tubing, zip lining, lots of scuba diving, caves, rafting! We got taxis and local guides and never got hassled or felt unsafe.

We loved the locals, the men in particular were so friendly and up for a laugh. Women were helpful but more reserved.

Please don't let anyone be put off Jamaica, it was one of our best holidays (and we travel a lot).

4forksake Mon 13-Nov-17 19:28:16

Good choice with Barbados. I go most years so thoroughly recommend. There's loads of jet skis, tubing, water ski type water sports in Holetown/Alleynes beach/Paynes bay area if he's into those sorts of things. There's a fab bar on Alleynes beach called Santi & there's a fun boat moored off there most days (nothing to do with the bar but you could rent beach loungers & drink rum while he goes on it.)


There's also a watersport section at the Fairmont Royal Pavillion (same beach as above) where you can do all sorts of water sports.

The boatyard on the south coast might be worth a visit (never ventured there yet)

Also, depending on when in July you're there, the annual Cropover festival is on. Kadooment (the big parade) is on Monday 6th August on the south coast which is good fun (but hot).

If the weather's rubbish, the Concorde experience at the airport is worth a visit & the Limegrove cinema in Holetown is a good way to fill a few hours & watch a film (food service available & loungers on the front row)

Ribc Mon 04-Dec-17 20:36:42

Have not been to Jamaica but stayed at Ocean One, Barbados with a 2 and 4 year old. Not the most salubrious part of Barbados (but was cheaper). Lovely hotel (apartment style) with pool and beach. Would definitely recommend bringing your driving licence (which I stupidly forgot) as you can easily hire a car and drive round. There are quite a few activities to do - submarine, Georgetown, the caves, boat trips. We really enjoyed it.

Jassmells Sat 20-Jan-18 21:24:24

I have only just seen this thread, I know you've booked now but just wanted to say I love both! Barbados I have a softer spot for and it is easier to get around but Jamaica is such great fun please ignore the negative comments earlier. Barbados is also fun and a good atmosphere whilst being somewhat tranquil at the same time. More to see in jamaica considering it's a beach destination you literally could not sit down for 2 weeks if you wanted (Dunns river, Martha Brae, Bob Marley house, Blue Mountains, beach horse riding, etc etc) but barbados also has a lot to see (Mount gay factory, helicopters, Concorde, Bridgetown, Malibu club, Oistins, etc) so you can be as relaxed or quiet as you want. Both have amazing food scenes. Enjoy. You won't want to go anywhere else after!

Dapplegrey Sat 20-Jan-18 21:36:09

You'll have a great time. I adore Barbados.
I second pp who said take driving licence. There's lots to see and driving around (and getting lost ) is fun.

BubblesBuddy Sat 20-Jan-18 22:07:17

The best holiday in the Caribbean is hiring a boat with a skipper and cook for a week around the BVIs . Barbados is ok but these islands are something else. Utterly picture postcard. Snorkelling off the boat and lots of islands to see. Stay in Virgin Gorda for the second week in a villa. You won’t go back to Barbados!

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