I wish I could convince everyone that they need to go to Barbados at some point in their life because it really is paradise, it is everything you can imagine and more. The clear water, the white sand beaches, the “no worries” atmosphere that is consistently set, and the ever so welcoming Barbadian people. We were there for 10 days and loved every minute of it even the crippling sunburn and the almost been killed by a barracuda monster fish.
Like any holiday the travelling to a place is never an issue as you are just buzzing to get there but realistically even when you are excited the travelling can be pretty grim especially on long haul flights but I can honestly say that British Airways make it very comfortable and pleasant. We had no queue in the airport, they took all hand luggage bar my handbag, and getting on the plane they call people by section so there is none of that queueing onto the plane. On the flight we had so much space to stretch out and be comfortable, there was an unbelievable amount of films choice (I watched sex and the city 1, Muriel’s Wedding, and Bohemian Rhapsody), and the food was actually edible obviously it wasn’t a Marco Pierre white recipe but it was far better than what I have experienced in the past. The flight is 9 hours which isn’t very long but I found the 9 hours to Barbados with BA far more bearable then I do the 40 minutes to Paris with Ryanair – I know I should support my homeland airline but lets me real it’s a tin can in the sky with airhosts who are fuming with their life.
We stayed at Mango Bay Resort in Holetown which was absolutely incredible. The resort has a real intimate feel about it and from the second you arrive you feel at home. We pulled up and were met by the Concierge to take our bag and were then greeted with Rum Punch and cold towels while we checked in. We were then given a tour around where we were shown the spa, the pool, the restaurant, the beach, and areas we could relax in. After the tour we were shown to our room and told that we had been upgraded to the superior suite (Yas! Act cool and stay calm Kaylen). We had a room that overlooked the pool and bar area from the balcony and we could see the beach from it too. The beaches are public in Barbados but each resort has their own area which was just a couple of steps from the restaurant and bar area.
Like I said previously it’s an all-inclusive resort so all food and drinks are paid for already which is great because you don’t have to carry cash everywhere, but the best thing about mango Bay is that all water sports and activities are also included like Water skiing, Kayaks, Paddle boards, Boats, Boat trips, Snorkelling gear etc. so you really have no need to leave the resort unless you want to do non complimentary activities which the staff will book on your behalf at request. The restaurant is fine dining so the food was superb it was always fresh and always a different menu. Breakfast was an all you can eat buffet that had chefs on hand at the egg station to make you
any kind of eggs to go with your breakfast. Lunch was a 3 course meal every day (sometimes buffet), afternoon tea was served from 4pm to 5pm, and then dinner was multiple course too but a BBQ on Saturdays. Some nights they did a buffet for dinner but majority of food was by menu. I can honestly say I am sick of eating (congratulations barbs you did it – I’m finally full) you just eat nonstop and drink cocktails from morning
till night so it’s just a never ending feast.
The Bajan cuisine is similar to American or British food but they have their own special dishes of course and a lot of fish which I loved but if you are a picky eater then this is the place for you because they will also just make whatever you want to eat. Also because its fine dine all women must dress up and all men must wear a shirt and trousers for dinner so if you think the dress code is just a guideline then be prepared to be asked to leave the restaurant which many have been when they rock up in shorts, trainers or jerseys.
What I would recommend while dining in Barbados is that if there is fish on the menu then always choose it because it will be like none you have ever had before.
A lot of people have been asking me about the wildlife that roams about so aside from what’s in the sea there is nothing scary or life threatening about. At our hotel there was some Mongoose running about and one day when we were in the pool we saw one near us then heard a splash which made Keith run out of the pool and leave me to die but the Mongoose didn’t jump in the pool it was just coincidental timing. There are tiny lizards and frogs around which we saw often on the wall near our room but they are really tiny and cute so there is nothing to be weary of. There are monkeys about and plenty of signs in the resort saying don’t feed them coz they will end you but we didn’t see any while we were there nor did anyone that we asked. So if you are someone who is scared of spiders and snakes then Barbados is ideal for you because Barbados isn’t here for that kinda stuff.
We did some incredible things while we were in Barbs and two of my favourite things were the glass bottom boat tour and the catamaran turtle trip which were both complimentary with our all-inclusive. The glass bottom boat took us along the coast where we were able to see 1000's of fish and the boat stops over a ship wreck which I found amazing. The ship wreck was an old barge that when it was too old for any more use it was placed on the sea bed purposely to give the fish a home (I know – Cute).
While the boat is stopped you are giving the opportunity to snorkel which we jumped at the chance of course but I was not prepared for what I was about to see when I got in the water from the slide at the back of the boat and went under because I was completely overwhelmed by the THOUSANDS of fish that just swim around me – it was incredible just swimming and floating amongst them. The catamaran trip is similar but it brings you off the coast along a scenic route of the island and then you swim with huge turtles. The turtles are the cutest things that just swim under and around you and then every few minutes one will just pop his head up beside you to get some air. I loved both of these trips so much and would highly recommend doing this.
We spent most of our days just lying around drinking cocktails and swimming but every day we did an extra activity like snorkelling or water sports. We took out paddle boards which is a lot of fun, Keith fell off 3 times but I didn’t at all coz I’m like a Gazelle on a board of course. Keith went jet skiing with one of our friends there, and after some convincing I also did it on the last day which is my only regret because if I’d known how fun it was I'd of never got off the thing but I do admit it is probably for the best because once I realized I was safe and had control of the jet ski I was absolutely mad for speed and was hitting over 75km on it at points which is not safe nor is standing up on it but I get these notions sometimes where I think I’m invincible and become reckless at times, oh well I lived to tell the tale. Every day we went snorkelling out to the coral reef that was just a couple of minutes’ swim away and this became our favourite thing to do because we would see so many different fish all of the time and they were always in groups or their family so I loved to just watch them for ages. On one of the days I saw a Sting Ray come in over the coral but I bailed pretty fast - RIP Steve Irwin!
That Barracuda Bitch
So like I said earlier I was almost killed by a Barracuda this is not exactly accurate but to me it is true. One afternoon we went for a snorkel with another couple that we made friends with (Danny and Laura) along the sea front which is a pretty long swim but when we were a bit away from our resort we came across a platform in the water which we all climbed up on to so we could jump off etc. while we were on it we heard a random splash behind us so we all looked over to see what it was then a few seconds later the Barracuda Bitch came up out of the water just a few feet away from us with its long silver body (2-3ft is the average Barracuda Bitch) and a mouth full of teeth. You can imagine the dramatics from me and how it took a good half hour to get back in the water knowing that the Barracuda Bitch was still out there but eventually after making the two boys test the water us gals jumped in and I swear to God we could have set a world record with the speed we swam back to shore. To be clear Barracudas don’t attack humans and after some research I only found one story where one jumped up and knocked a kayaker out of its kayak but let’s be real here I wasn’t going to just jump in and assume it wouldn’t eat me but to be fair after the amount I ate while there the Barracuda Bitch could of ate for months so I would have been a good choice of prey.
In Holetown there is a street party right outside the door of Mango Bay Resort every weekend which is an absolute must while you are there. The streets are filled with a mix of locals and tourists who just drink and dance together while the bars open up on to the street and have Karaoke on. There are a few bars in the area of the party and there are a few street food vendors but it’s mostly all about the dancing in the street while drinking rum. This was a bucket list item for me to dance in the streets with locals on a Caribbean Island which I can now confirm is ticked off. Sunday night is the main night to go to this so we went on a Sunday with the Barbs Squad and had such a good laugh dancing and taking it all in. The local talent for singing and dancing is pretty high, and then ya get the typical “Brits abroad” who have to sing Sweet Caroline with their shirt wide open and beer belly out in full force but with all due respect if no one sings Neil Diamond or Tom Jones are you even on holiday?
Sandy Lane Hotel
I will probably do a blog post solely on this topic at some point because it deserves its own write up. As most people know Sandy Lane is a uber luxury resort in Barbados that accepts bookings by application. A round of golf will set you back £2000 so you can only imagine how Boujee this place is. I booked afternoon tea for me and Keith on a Tuesday afternoon which we got to do while there and it was incredible. I have had my fair share of afternoon teas over the years in some pretty Boujee places but in comparison to Sandy Lane those places were like a meal deal from Salisbury’s. This resort and service is a level of class that is borderline uncomfortable but because Barbadians are such kind people you do manage to relax and enjoy it. The resort itself is magnificent and the food that was served was exquisite. Now that I’m thinking it over I will definitely do a write up on Sandy Lane so I won’t say any more about it coz I would be insane not to give it its own post after I’ve seen it for myself and had first hand account of what its actually like.
In The Area
Across the road from our resort is the fashionista famous lime grove lifestyle centre which we went to twice once to browse and once to buy. What you should be aware of is yes this is mostly designer shops BUT Barbados is Tax free and Duty free - the discount for being a foreigner is huge so it’s not a purchase it’s an investment to buy something (or so I convinced Keith). Also in the area is a huge Super Market which we went to a few times to buy sun cream but also to walk around because me and Keith have this weird obsession with super markets in other countries we spend hours just wandering around them and looking at the random fruit and items.
Barbados is awesome for this because it has all the locally sourced food but then it's brands are American or (weirdly enough) Waitrose. We did buy Cheetos to eat while walking around and I bought lots of cool aid which I smuggled back to the UK. Next to the Super market is a little place called Chattel village where there is a few outdoor bars and boutique shops which is a really lovely place to walk around or in our case buy Cuban cigars which I did not smuggle back to the UK. Holetown has all the things you need and if you need to go anywhere else you can do so by Reggae bus which for those of you who don’t know – the reggae bus is a local bus service that does not have bus stops you just flag down the bus that is blaring music and the driver is almost definitely wasted drunk or high.
July is the beginning of hurricane season in Barbados but they have not had a Hurricane in decades so don’t let that put you off. It is always Summer in Barbados just different versions of it so when we went it was the beginning off wet season/hurricane season so there were a few scattered showers on two of the days that we were there. The rain in the Caribbean is not like the rain in Ireland or the UK as it’s a tropical down pour so its heavy, quick, and hot. The humidity is high during June so the pool and sea is much needed to stay cool and if you don’t have air con then I do not know how anyone would survive. There was a breeze from the sea so unfortunately that meant I could not feel that I was getting sunburned and even though I had sun cream on I got badly burned on my first day and ended up in bed with mild sun stroke which was not cute. Keith also got burned the first day but he missed an area with cream so he ended up with a bandage for the remainder of the holiday so after that experience I encourage you all to cover every area and to start with factor 30 or 50 – nothing lower! Aside from minor cremation of the skin the weather is incredible and the locals said that they prefer June, July and August as opposed to the peak season of November.
I could talk forever about this holiday and I know I will be posting pictures on my Instagram for the next 6 months (soz) but I am just so in love with this little Island and feel like my life wasn’t complete until I saw a Bajan sunset. We will 100% be returning and we are already considering it to be the place we go on holiday every second year so that we aren’t the people who do the same holiday every year but still going there regularly. It really is paradise and like living in a postcard so if perfection is what you are after then Barbados is where you will find it.
You have a piece of my heart Barbs! Stay Boujee xx