Alison MacCarty, manager of our Christchurch travel agents, spent a wonderful week in the Caribbean, visiting a number of different islands to get an idea of the different cultures in this part of the world. Below, she tells us about the hotels she stayed at and her favourite things included in the trip.
Operator/Host: Essential Detail
(Hotel names/Ship name): East Winds – St Lucia, Bequia Beach – Bequia, Young Island, Good Little Harbour – Barbados, Curtain Bluff – Antiqua
Duration: 8 Nights
The international flights were good. We left Gatwick on time and arrived in St Lucia on schedule.The choice of films and TV programmes was extensive and the catering was good.
The short, internal flights with LIAT were on time and, due to the short stops, there was no catering.
I was lucky enough to visit this hotel for dinner whilst on a Caribtours educational a few years ago, just after it changed hands, but to stay and see it in daylight really bought the hotel to life. The changes made have been subtle and thoughtfully planned in keeping with the original hotel style, enhancing the property even further. The hotel is set in 12 acres of tropical paradise and the rooms are of a very high standard. I did a Pilates class and the teacher was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
This is a beautiful hotel and with an amazing beach. It’s perfect for couples and those wanting to escape the 21st century for a few nights or longer. The rooms are beautiful in their design and knowing I stayed in Johnny Depp`s room for a night will allow me to remember this hotel. It’s famous for serving six homemade breads at every meal including banana, cinnamon and raisin - they were delicious.
Well, what can I say,apart from wow! This is a fabulous hotel with fantastic staff; a real jewel of the Caribbean that would not disappoint anyone. Both of the restaurants we dined in produced amazing food and the staff interacted well with everyone, making their stay extra special. The interior design of the rooms is of a very high standard, mixing modern colonial style with luxury.
For anyone wanting to cater for themselves or eat out, this hotel offers flexibility. The villas would suite mixed generations wanting to spend time together and the menu at the Fish Pot restaurant caters for all tastes.
If you’re looking for a larger hotel with more facilities, this would be ideal. The food at the Tamarind Restaurant was excellent but, personally, I found it to be impersonable compared with other restaurants we dined in. The Sea Grape restaurant on the beach had an excellent choice of food for lunch but, unfortunately, it did not open in the evening for us to sample dinner. The spa area was impeccable and my massage was first class. The children’s beach side pavilion offered a range of activities.
I had my own room throughout and all meals were included – except a couple of lunches when we were flying or catching ferries.
I was lucky and had two massages; one at East Winds and another at Curtain Bluff. Both were very relaxing and soporific.
At East Winds, we had a rum tasting experience where we got to try different rums that highlighted alternative flavours of this popular Caribbean spirit.
On Saint Vincent, we visited Wallilabou Anchorage, the set for first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Black Pearl.
Whilst staying at Bequia Beach, we made our own cocktails and gave them a name. There were some very strange tastes and names, I have to say!
In Barbados we visited St Nicolas Abbey and had a ride on a steam train around the local area.
I fell in love with the island of Bequia; it really is beautiful but only seven square miles in size.
The Bequia Beach hotel is nestled in the hillside and mixes modern day chic with what you would expect from a luxury hotel. I would definitely stay here on my own holiday.
I would recommend each of the five hotels individually and look forward to allocating customers a property to suit their needs and wants.
Must see? The tropical landscape that is the Caribbean
Must do? Swim in the Caribbean Sea
Must try? A rum punch, of course
If you would like to enjoy a luxury holiday for yourself, in the Caribbean or somewhere else around the world, our team is always happy to help. Visit your nearest branch for more information; we have travel agents in Colchester, Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Bury St. Edmunds and along the south coast.