Written By: Geoff Millar, Ultimate All Inclusive Vacations
This month we are going to look at two of the remaining Caribbean Islands with an All-Inclusive Resort presence, Grenada and Barbados. Neither of these islands have a huge all-inclusive resort presence.
First, we will look at the Island of Grenada. It is surrounded by the smaller islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, making up the spice islands. The main island is Grenada but the 3 islands tend to be sold as one destination. The island of Grenada was first settled by the Arawak Indians of South America. It was then ruled by the Spanish, the French and then the English. It gained its independence in February 1974. Grenada’s culture is influenced by it’s African slave, Caribbean, and French roots giving it a wonderful food and carnival atmosphere. The people of Grenada are some of the friendliest and social people in the Caribbean. The Island is very small encompassing only 133 Sq. miles. It is known as one of the most amazing vacation destinations because of its people and the islands unspoiled beauty.
Activities abound on the 3 islands. Everything from some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, snorkeling and scuba diving one of the many reefs, hiking the rain forest, sailing the pristine Caribbean waters, attending one of the year-round festivals held on all the 3 islands, shopping, and visiting one of the many historical sites, oh, and last but not least sampling the sumptuous African, Caribbean, French cuisine, they are not called the spice islands for nothing.
Grenada is probably more well known in the U.S. for its U.S. Army invasion 30 years ago during the Regan administration. Frustrated by the Vietnam war and the destruction of our Beirut Marine barracks, the Administration was looking for something to boost our military confidence so, they attacked a rebel government faction in Grenada. The invasion only lasted a few days but was not one of our finest moments. All has been forgiven and Grenada continues to grow as a top Caribbean vacation destination.
As far as accommodations on the Islands there is a wide variety from beach resorts to private villas. Most of the accommodations on any of the 3 islands are either privately owned apartments and Villas, smaller boutique hotels and one All-Inclusive Resort. The All-Inclusive Resort is the newer Sandals La Source Grenada Resort. This is Sandals newest Resort and is a true 5 star resort. This resort was the old La Source Resort Grenada before Sandals took it over and did a complete rebuild. As of now it is the only all-inclusive resort on any of the 3 islands.
The largest issue with Grenada is the same issue with most of the smaller Caribbean Islands and that is airlift.
We will now look at the island of Barbados. Barbados was settled by the British in 1624. The island is influenced by the British and African slaves. The founding settlement was made up of 80 colonists and 10 slaves. Barbados gained full independence in 1966 but chose to continue its British style of government. A little-known fact is that Barbados is the birthplace of rum. They have been distilling rum since 1703. Bridgetown and its Garrison have been declared a UNESCO World heritage site.
Barbados is one of the wealthier islands, very prosperous and forward thinking. People moving to Barbados must prove their means of support before they can move there.
There are a ton of things to do on Barbados in the water and on land. As far as water sports there is snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, jet-skiing, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, surfing, kite-surfing, swim with the turtles, kayaking, fishing, or take a catamaran cruise around the island. On land, there is also a lot to do, attend a polo match, attend a cricket match, golf, take an island safari, tennis, shop, take a tour of the historical sites, attend one of the many festivals on the island, tour a rum factory, or just relax on one of the many white sand beaches. In the evening, there are nightclubs and a wide variety of excellent restaurants to choose from and depending on the time of year you can party all night long at one of the many festivals held on the island.
As far as accommodations there is a wide variety to choose from. Select a 5-star hotel or a guesthouse on the beach and everything in-between. The island has a lot of upscale resorts to select from like the Crane Resort, and Sandy Lane Resort the islands top accommodation. This is where Micheal Jordan got married and it has been host to a number of celebrities over the years.
As far as some of the more moderate resorts you can choice from a long list including the Bougainvillea Beach Resort, the Hilton Barbados Resort, the Radisson Resort, and many more.
As far as All-Inclusive resorts, there are a number of good ones on the island. There is the Sandals Barbados, a great 4.5 star, couples only, all-inclusive resort on a beautiful beach. The Sandals resort used to be the Couples Barbados and was originally the Almond Beach resort. The 4 star Divi Resort, a very nice family friendly All-Inclusive resort, the 4 star Tamarind All-Inclusive family friendly resort, the 4 star family friendly all suite All-Inclusive Turtle Beach resort. As you can see, these All-Inclusive resorts are very nice 4 star resorts and they all sit on beautiful beaches. You just need to find out if your clients want a resort close to town or in a more remote location. None of them will disappoint and neither will the island. Also one thing to be careful of is if your clients want to be on a nice swimmable beach you should stick with resorts on the West and South side of the island as the East side has more of a rip tide, rougher water issue.
I thought I would finish with a short list of DO NOTS on Barbados although these can apply to other islands.
DO NOT wear any camo clothing on Barbados. It is illegal
DO NOT sit under a coconut tree. They are heavy and have been known to seriously injure people. This is good advice anywhere there are coconut palms
DO NOT swim on the East Coast. Rough water and a rip tide problem
DO NOT go topless on Barbados. It is illegal and the Island is very conservative when it comes to this
DO NOT disturb and nesting turtles or turtle nests. You can go to jail for doing this.
DO NOT show LGBT public affection as it is frowned upon on Barbados
DO NOT expect things to run on time. This can apply to many Caribbean Islands as they tend to run on Island time.
Until next month, safe and happy travels.