A July 2005 trip
to Barbados by MJB1103
Quote: Our friends were getting married, so we decided to make the week a vacation and second honeymoon. There is much history to see and two oceans to swim in--how many places can say that?
Take a small fold-up cooler with you to use at the beach and plenty of sunscreen.
Your hotel should have a listing of local events.
Water sport rentals are available at the beach. If you get quoted a price from one guy, stick with him!! His so-called brother will try to steal you away and charge you something different. Their selling tactics are confusing, and none of these guys are really working together. Be careful!
Car rentals - Beware, as they drive on the opposite side of the road, just like in the UK. There is a bus system that is less costly and easy enough to use. Keep track of your time, because buses do not run 24 hours a day. I believe they stop at midnight.
At check-in, the receptionist was friendly and appeared to be helpful. She stated a tray of food would be sent up to us since we arrived so late and the dinner service had ended. We had to call three times, and it took an hour for our food to arrive. Our room had a running toilet, a broken air-conditioner, and doors to the balcony that allowed for the constant flow of bugs. Nothing, however, compared to the musty, damp, stale odor that filled our room. The next morning, we went to reception to see about a room change, and the receptionist at that time stated there was nothing available--they were completely full, and we already had an upgrade since it was our honeymoon, which meant we got a four-poster bed instead of a regular bed.
That evening, when we inquired about checking out early to find another hotel, the manager all of a sudden found three rooms for us to look at if we wanted to move. Imagine that! The service ran hot and cold, certainly not what I would expect from a hotel who charges $300 for a nothing room per night. Yes, the island is expensive, but I still think that if you charge the prices, you ought to provide the service.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 17, 2005
Restaurant | "The Tides Restaurant"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 17, 2005
St. James, Barbados
The quick history lesson: Horticulturist Iris Bannochi left this 6 acres of garden to the people of Barbados to be run by the Barbados National Trust in 1988. The blooms and exotic plants are from all over the world. If you love nature, this is a "must" on your to-do list.
Andromeda Botanic Gardens
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2005
St. Nicholas Abbey
Cherry Tree Hill
Sunbury Plantation House
St. Phillip Parish
St. Philip, Barbados
Attraction | "Stiletto Catamaran Tour"
Stiletto Catamaran Cruises
Aberfoyle, Maxwell Main Road
Christ Church, Barbados
There is currently only one synagogue situated in Bridgetown. Built in the 17th century (1654), it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831, rebuilt, fell into disrepair, and sold in 1929.
In 1983, it was bought back by the Jewish community and restored to its present state, with its beautiful Gothic arches, and is now a Barbados National Trust-protected building and an active synagogue.
About 300 Jewish people of Recife, Brazil, persecuted by the Dutch, settled in Barbados in the 1660s. Skilled in the sugar industry, they quickly introduced the crop and passed on their skills in cultivation and production to the Barbados landowners.
With their help, Barbados went on to become one of the world's major sugar producers
It was the first synagogue built in the Western hemisphere. Built by the Jews who came here from Brazil to pass on their expertise in the sugar industry, the synagogue is now in use by the Jewish community in Barbados. It is a proud winner of the American Express Preservation Award.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 18, 2005
On the customer service side, the hotel was awful times ten. Tamarind Cove ran hot and cold all week. I can only believe this is normal practice. Where one receptionist wanted to help, the other could care less, and answering even a simple question seemed to be too much effort. When the security guard offered to help us in getting ice, he then refused to give us the full bucket in exchange for our empty one. They were identical. That interaction was plain weird. The Oasis bar next to the restaurant, allows a dinner menu, but ordering at 9pm meant dinner didn't arrive until 10pm. The kitchen is 20 paces away, and I know it doesn't take an hour to cook a hamburger. The rooms were okay--nothing special. The hotel is part of "The Elegant Hotel Group". I'm unsure who the people are who created this group, but Tamarind Cove is equal to a motel or lower-budget hotel. They are slowly renovating rooms, but I have no idea what the finished product will look like. I would think in the mean time, they should lower their prices to fit their service and older amenities. The in-room safe is archaic. It is a key on a chain that goes to a paperweight size lock. They state you have the only key, great for the single person but what about a couple and why make your beach guest carry one more thing down to the water? I haven't been in a hotel without a digital safe with personal key code in over 10 years. They have all the other modern electronics, Internet, cell phones, cable TV, why not in-room safes??
The island is a mix of new and old. There seems to be no zoning laws so the rich and poor live next to each other. The streets appear congested and cluttered which gives the appearance of unkept or dirty.
Our friends stayed in a couple of Villas in Holders Hill/Polo ridge. While these were beautiful and kept well. The staff was great and service much enjoyed, and I didn't understand the security. For an island that boasts safty and tourism, these very expensive villas became known as the compound. More than once, my husband and I had been there visiting past 11pm, when the security guards told us we should just stay since the doors were all locked for the night. Locked for the night? For what? We called a cab and went about our way. This we were unsure if it was too much for them to turn a lock or if we were in fact in danger and from what? No one could find an answer to the extreme security at the villas, compared to the lax security of our hotel one mile away.
Monte Gay Rum is in/near Bridgetown and offers tours. We understand it is quite nice, though we did not have the time to go ourselves.
Bridgetown is the major port of Barbados. That is where the cruise ships dock. During the summer months, they usually get two or three ships a week, whereas in the winter months, they get two or three ships a day! It can be a very busy port of call.
Madison Heights, Michigan