We checked in at Gatwick’s North Terminal for our flight to Barbados. Needless to say, I was excited at having been upgraded to British Airways’ Club World. My Club World experience started smoothly, no check-in queues, cases tagged and dispatched within minutes and then directed to the executive lounge to relax before the flight.
I strongly recommend taking advantage of the executive lounges at Gatwick. They are very spacious include complimentary drinks and pastries and provide a peaceful environment in which to relax, read or watch television
British Airways Club World is fabulous. I was behaving like a little child, so excited to be afforded the opportunity to sample the experience. My seat converted into a bed and was tested within 40 minutes after take-off. The refreshments were soon flowing and our main meal was a 4 course-dinner which could be chosen from an impressive menu, just like eating in an up-market restaurant I have never enjoyed a flight so much as I did this one.
My First impressions of Barbados were that I found the Bajans very friendly. I checked in to my hotel, the Mango Bay. My Superior pool room large and spacious with many amenities, including complimentary wi-fi. It wasn’t long before I was sampling the infamous Bajan cuisine at a hosted meal in the Almond Beach Village resort. I loved this hotel, it has something about it which separates it from the rest and the almost unique concept of an adults only section as well as a section for families means everyone is catered for
The following morning, we visited the Turtle Beach resort which is situated on Dover Beach, at the bottom of the famous St Lawrence Gap. This all-suite resort is very impressive and is within walking distance of the bars, clubs and restaurants at the Gap.
Our next port of call was Browne’s beach where members of our group experienced actually cooking on the beach and after trying some pretty strong local drinks we setoff for the harbour for our evening catamaran tour of the island. This is a trip not to be missed. Swimming with turtles was amazing, they are so elegant and graceful, I felt I was a part of one of those documentaries you often see on the Discovery TV Channel ! In true Caribbean tradition, the journey back to the harbour soon turned into a “party cruise” with the alcohol flowing freely and the party music playing loudly.
If the catamaran trip was fun, the Funfari the next day was amazing. In Barbados, they drive on what I describe as the correct side of the road, namely the left ! As a group, we were allocated a small fleet of “mini-moke” vehicles. We were split into smaller groups of four and each group designated a driver and a navigator. I was only too eager to put forward my driving skills and off we went on our land safari which covered most of the island. At first, I was rather nervous at the thought of driving on foreign soil but in Barbados, it is very easy.. As soon as I had turned out of the hotel complex I was fine. The driving was like at home except the sun was shining and there were no doors on the car ! The excursion took the form of a treasure hunt and driving around the island in this way enables you to see things which you would perhaps miss when taking a coach trip as part of the route took us off the beaten track, so to speak. This is something I would never have previously entertained doing overseas but the size and English-orientation of Barbados makes it a “must-do”
Barbados is a destination I have always wanted to visit and it did not disappoint me. The Bajan people help make their lovely island place so special with their hospitality and the beaches are stunning. The weather is fabulous all year round. I went in September in low season and it was hot and sunny. What more could anyone want.
If you enjoy a hotel with plenty to do and having a vibrant atmosphere, I strongly recommend you consider the Mango Bay resort. It is a relatively small hotel and is located within easy reach of local shops, restaurants and bars. This hotel is ideal for couples or single travellers who enjoy the more personal service in boutique-type surroundings
And so, after all of the exciting exploration of Barbados, we had to pack for home. As with all longhaul flights, it is required that you check-in 3 hours prior to departure. Usually, the waiting around for the departure to be called can be never-ending. However, at Barbados airport, we were able to take a tour of the famous Concorde aircraft which they exhibit. The 20 US Dollars charge was well worth the money and we even had some time left for the duty free shopping.
Barbados a fantastic destination ? You bet it is !