From the moment I stepped into the British Airways Clubworld cabin I knew this trip was going to be special. With Barbados Tourist Board and B.A. as our hosts, we it was clear we were in good hands. I got to experience business class comfort for our 8 hour flight. This meant a few hours sleep in a flat bed with a real duvet and full-size pillow, but not before a glass of champagne at take off and a three course meal and a movie. Bliss! We arrived fully rested and ready to go! We were greeted at the airport with cold towels and bottled water, just what we needed as boy it was hot, hot, hot! Beautiful blue skies, palm trees and sunny smiles, welcome to the Caribbean!
My room for the next five nights was at the divine SeaBreeze Resort. It is a boutique All Inclusive hotel, with a really inviting atmosphere; the hotel crew are really relaxed and friendly and always make sure you have a rum punch or coffee, or whatever you need. The small sweep of beach has beautiful white sand. When lying at the adults only pool, or out on the beach the staff bring cocktails, extra towels, little bowls of sorbet, without you ever having to move.
We were 60 travel agents from the UK and Ireland on a trip to experience the best of Barbados. Every morning we had an early start and hotel inspections, and every afternoon we got to relax for a few hours by the pool. Each evening was different. We went to a fine dining seafood restaurant one night and ate lobster while the waves crashed against the side of the terrace. British Airways organised a mini festival at an old plantation house up in the mountains one evening, with a who's who of Barbados tourism in attendance. We had amazing fish tacos and breadfruit and lots of things I have never tried before, including limbo dancing!
Another evening we got to sail on a catamaran for a sunset cruise; that was so much fun. I felt like I was in a Duran Duran video with my hair blowing in the wind, champagne in one hand, holding onto the ropes for dear life with the other! We got to snorkel on that cruise and we met beautiful turtles swimming all around our boat. Another evening we went to a Caribbean dinner dance show. If you think of a trip to Johnny Foxes when you have tourists in town, well this was that but Caribbean style. Dancers on stilts, fire eaters, whirling dervishes, pumping samba music and kettledrums and a barbeque on the beach. This is a once weekly experience not to be missed by anyone on holiday here.
One morning we went on a jeep safari and drove right across the island, we saw Rihanna's home place, Simon Cowell's apartment, we drove through sugar plantations, but actually far more interesting were all the rural villages, each notable for their beautiful little churches and obligatory rum shops. These are tin shacks selling rum and other drinks and they are all over the island. The highlight of the jeep safari was a bumpy ride to the top of the hills in the west, where we got an incredible view of the coastline below. The beaches of the west coast are exactly how you imagine the Caribbean to be; blue, blue sea and white soft sand. The south of the island is better for water sports and surf and it is where you find the clubs and party areas. You can easily get everywhere during your stay in cheap taxis though, so it is worth exploring.
Everybody walks really, really slowly in Barbados. I went to take a photo one day and strayed from the group. As I was running back a woman actually stopped her car, rolled down her window and said to me "hey lady, no running, you're on holiday!" She was right. What was the rush? When you are in the Caribbean you have to slow down, unwind, and enjoy. Life will take care of itself.