My husband and I just returned from our wonderful 7-night holiday in Barbados. We were in Barbados from November 10, 2003 to November 17, 2003. We stayed at the Amaryllis Beach Resort (formerly the Asta Beach Hotel). We booked with Sunquest Vacations and got a decent price for an all-inclusive package which they called Run of the House.
Flight To Barbados:
We left Toronto at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, November 10, 2003 on Skyservice. Let’s just say that we are frequent flyers and frequent vacationers and this was by far one of the worse flights we have had. It wasn’t air turbulence or air pockets or even the captain or crew…it was simply the fact that the airline didn’t offer any entertainment (music or movie), drinks are now paid for including water and soft drinks, meals are bistro style (what a joke!) and the air conditioning didn’t work properly. So you can imagine 170 very miserable people on this flight. Skyservice seriously needs to consider the services that they have available for their passengers and make sure that they keep the passengers in mind! Enough banter about the airline.
Arrival in Barbados:
We arrived about an hour late in Barbados. There was no problem with customs and we had our bags within 15 minutes of landing. The Sunquest Representative; Marcia was waiting for us and made sure we got to our driver. As well, she arranged an orientation for the following morning. The trip from the airport to the Amaryllis took about 15 minutes. The drivers are nuts in Barbados! This short trip to the resort convinced me that we were not going to be renting a car while we were on the island.
Resort / Check-In:
We had e-mailed the resort prior to our vacation and asked about the construction that was taking place at the resort. They e-mailed us back and informed us that there was hardly any construction and that only the handicapped rooms were being worked on. This was not totally the case. There was construction still going on…not that it interfered with our holiday. It was present.
This resort has had million of dollars of work done to it recently, so everything is still very fresh and clean.
Check in was very quick. Please be advised that they do not have the bracelet system at the Amaryllis and therefore you get a card and you will have to sign for everything you eat or drink. The porter took us to our room and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were given a one-bedroom suite with a partial ocean view.
Our one bedroom suite consisted of a full kitchen, dining room area, living room area with a 36” flat screen television set and French doors to a nice sized patio with two lounge chairs and a table. There was also a full bathroom and dressing room area. The bedroom had a king size bed, two night stands, a dresser with a 20” television set on top and a writing desk and a couple of chairs. The bedroom was very nice and bright. We were very pleased with our room.
Beach / Pool:
The beach is very beautiful. There is some shade available. They also have very nice new loungers available for the guests. Beach towels were a problem. We didn’t get some till the Wednesday of our holiday. Apparently there had been a mix up and they were sent to a different resort. The hotel allowed us to use our room towels and made extra towels readily available to us.
The pool is very small and clean. We didn’t use it but we saw a few people lounging around.
The food in general was very good. We were glad that we booked all-inclusive because it was expensive.
Breakfast was served at the Almond Tree Restaurant. Breakfast was the same everyday. They had an omelet station with a chef that made eggs they way you liked and pancakes. We managed to be creative for 7-days so we weren’t eating the same thing all the time.
Lunch was available at the Beach Bar (Turtle Nest Restaurant). This was a la carte. The food was very good.
Dinner was served five out of the seven nights at the Almond Tree Restaurant and two nights at the Turtle Nest Restaurant. Three nights were a la carte off the menu (2 appetizers to choose from, 4 main courses and a selection of desserts). The other four nights were theme nights.
Monday – Almond Tree – A La Carte Tuesday – Almond Tree – Manager’s Party (different selection of buffet items) Wednesday – Almond Tree – A La Carte Thursday – Turtle Nest – Mexico Buffet Friday – Almond Tree – A La Carte Saturday – Turtle Nest – Bajan Buffet
Sunday – Almond Tree – Seafood and Pasta Buffet (Excellent!)
There is a supplement on some liqueurs. Pina Colados were very good at the Beach Bar.
Excursions: We did two:
Nature and History ($125 Barbados dollars per person or $62.50 U.S. per person). This is a very good interior tour of the island. We visited Harrison’s Cave, the Flower Forest, Francia Plantation and the Mount Gay Rum Factory. This included lunch at the rum factory. Very good.
80-Mile Coastline ($100 Barbados dollars per person or $50.00 U.S. per person). This tour takes you around the island. This is about 6 hours long. We visited the Animal Flower Caves, Cherry Tree Hill, the Badsheba Coastline, St. John’s Church and Sunbury Plantation. This included lunch at the Atlantis Hotel.
We also treated ourselves and had dinner on Saturday night at The Cliff. This restaurant was apparently voted one of the top 50 best in the world. I would have to agree. This was magical! We spent about $210 U.S. for both of us and $30 U.S. on taxi’s to and from the restaurant but it was worth every cent.
Nice enough…We wouldn’t say it was the nicest but nice enough! We think in about two years the resort will be working very smoothly and everything will be really great. We would go back to the Amaryllis.
Flight Home To Toronto:
Same problems as before but now add double and triple seat assignments. Not fun at all. We arrived half an hour late.
This was our third trip this year, having travelled to Jamaica in May and St. Martin in August. We think of all our seven vacations together (Mayan Riviera, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Jamaica, St. Martin and now Barbados). We would have to say St. Martin was our favourite, but Barbados is second. We loved it! We called it paradise many times during my stay. The people are friendly at the resort and in general. Shopping was okay, go to St. Martin for deals! The food was very good. The beach was wonderful. What more could you ask for? Overall, we would say that the whole experience was positive and we will return to Barbados!