Barbados: A fabulous holiday

Day One

If you want a really special airport experience, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is the way to start your Bajan experience in style. Bucks Fizz, Full english breakfast and the option to have spa treatments, anything ranging from a manicure to a luxurious massage… If you’ve booked ‘Upper class’ with Virgin Atlantic you can automatically enter this exclusive area. However if you’ve booked your holiday through Virgin Holidays/Ponders Travel in economy or Premium Economy I believe you can pay a little extra to have lounge passes, a very worthwhile ‘extra’ I would say.

We flew in Premium Economy which was a real treat. The large and comfortable leather seats give lots of leg room and the glass of champagne before take off is a nice touch. Our meal was chosen from a menu and consisted of a starter of King prawns in a citrus dressing, a main course of thai green vegetable curry and rice and a scrumptious cheese cake for desert. Drinks were offered regularly but could be ordered whenever you fancied one. I managed to watch 3 movies on the in flight entertainment system and even fit in a couple of hours sleep before the ‘high tea’ was served before landing. There was certainly no shortage of food and drink and we definitely started as we meant to go on.

On arrival to Barbados airport, the familiar hit of heat surrounded us as we stepped down from the Virgin Atlantic Jumbo we had flown in. This is a feeling that I really love about holidays, it never gets old and every time brings a wide smile to my face.

After a swift journey through customs we collected our luggage and were met by a friendly driver holding a sign with our names on it, we were then transferred to our hotel, The Tamarind. The journey only takes about 30 minutes from the airport and it’s so interesting taking in all the local surroundings; corn sellers on the side of the roads, the infamous reggae buses the quirky and colourful shacks and beautiful bright flowers were just some of the sights we were able to take in of this stunning island.

We were welcomed with warm smiles on arrival to the Tamarind, and a glass of rum punch of course! The Caribbean style decor sweeps through the lobby which leads out on to Paynes Bay, one of Barbados’s most awarded west coast beaches, first impressions are everything and Tamarind does not disappoint. We were shown to our Pool view Junior Suite which is impressive in size and gorgeous in decor. The generous sized balcony looks over the pool as promised and also offers a partial sea view (room number 206) which I would recommend as we could still see the dazzling blue sea over the pool. If you would prefer a direct sea view there are plenty of other suites to choose from.

Our first walk on the beach was amazing as the sun was starting to set but the air was still so warm, around 27 degrees, so a dip in the sea was a must… After an hour lazing between the pool and the bar (and a few more cocktails) we made our way back to our room to dress for dinner.

Tonight we dined at the 246 restaurant at Tamarind which offered a varied and interesting a la carte menu in an al fresco setting. The food was impressively presented and just as impressive in taste – yummy! After such a long day we opted for an early night after dinner and retired to the comfortable beds in our beautiful Junior Suites…


Day Two

After a very comfortable sleep we woke very early (jetlagged!) So opted for an early breakfast. We were seated by the pool and guided to the extensive breakfast buffet. Omelettes and eggs were made to order, an array of cheeses, hams and pastries were also available as well as bacon, sausage, tomatoes, beans, cereals… The list is endless! Fresh coffee, tea and juices were served and the early caribbean sunshine shone as we tucked in to our first delightful meal of the day.

At 845, aqua aerobics commenced in the spa pool area. A gruelling workout but needed after the breakfast! It was a well attended class with about 10 ladies choosing to join in. There is a daily programme at the Tamarind with various activities for guests to choose from, however, if you’re anything like me you will find the best positioned sun lounger and set up camp there for the day!!

After 3 chapters of my book, a couple of naps and a dip in the sea it was time for lunch. Chicken ceaser salad served by the pool at the Tamarind was very reasonably priced, around 15 USD and was delicious! An afternoon of more relaxation followed… Although Tamarind is a B & B property, the friendly staff bring round fresh fruit refreshments, cold flannels and ice lollies throughout the day which are always very well received.

This evening I had planned to go to The House to see the recent refurbishments. The House is an adults only exclusive haven, a home away from home, situated next door to Tamarind and Daphne’s restaurant. With only 34 suites, this boutique property is ideal for romantic retreats. The bedrooms are all beautiful in design and layout and the ambassador service is a great concept, this is my favourite Elegant Hotels property.

We were treated to a mouthwatering watermelon martini on the decking of The House before dinner at Daphne’s. Daphne’s is also owned by Elegant Hotels and is one of the most awarded Italian restaurants on the island. The setting is picture perfect, right out on the beach and was clearly very popular among couples. The beef tenderloin was divine, served with a mushroom and truffle sauce, asparagus and mozzerella croquette potatoes, washed down with a bubbly prosseco. Three of us had 3 courses, a bottle of prosecco and a bottle of pinto grigio to a total cost of 300 USD which although might seem high, the setting, the service and the quality of food make for an unforgettable night and I would urge anyone staying in Barabdos to treat themselves to a night at this stunning establishment.

Our first full day in the sun, a lovely evening and delicious meal was the perfect way to kick start the holiday and we are all now completely relaxed and ready for tomorrow…


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