Before starting my new job in March (!) the JetBlue getaways lady on the phone convinced me to do a St Lawrence Gap weekend, Barbados style when I said we craved warmth, no humidity, the perfect beach, and told her our budget. And in style me and girl friend flew for our 4 day, 3 night escape.
We stayed at Time Out Hotel, and while I typically write a lot on the places I stay, it was definitely what it said: a budget hotel. It was very clean, had decent continental breakfast, a decent sized simple pool, but overall simple. There were no covers (only bed sheets – I talked our cleaning lady into giving us a cover to sleep under), towels are changed every 2 days, and you can get free beach towels if you ask reception. If simple is not what you’re looking for, or want to feel even a little spoiled, this is not for you. Hotel aside, Barbados had one of the nicest beaches ever, and the perfect temperature. I mean it truly felt like paradise, and I hear it’s one of the best islands for these two reasons in the Caribbean. Here’s how to spend a fun St Lawrence Gap Weekend, Barbados way:
The Boatyard – a quick taxi ride away to another spectacular beach (cleanest, bluest water I’ve seen). You pay money to enter, but you essentially get it back by receiving a $30 card to spend while there, which you’ll use for lunch and a drink (and the food is good, as are the drinks!). Chairs/cabanas on the beach included, pending availability. The highlights include a trampoline in the ocean, water wall, a rope to jump into the water from the pier, as well as multiple free shots at 2pm. Upon meeting a local family there, we learned that the local woman’s kids were taught English, French and Spanish in school.
Bridgetown – the capital of Barbados and a 5 minute walk from The Boatyard. A very, very colorful town. We went on a Sunday, when everyone is at church or at home with family, essentially making this a ghost town, so I’d recommend any day but Sunday. Nonetheless, clearly the place to go to see city life, where all the businesses are, the shopping, the culture, the government buildings, etc. We talked to a cop, who was profusely proud of how safe the city was, which was incredibly endearing to see.
This is also the central hub for where the main yachts, catamarans and fishing boats dock out of, which leads me to…
Catamaran – we booked the night before, and thus the “best younger recommended” catamarans were sold out, so we went with a tour group called Tiami. Older, laid-back crowd, which I still loved since I’m old at heart, but the whole day sailing consisted of snorkeling with massive turtles, (read about the time I swam with sharks in Belize) who upon “biting,” are essentially nibbling your skin, swimming in the ocean, drinking, eating, and making such good friends with the awesome crew that they let me and my friend essentially split the ride and drive the boat full of 45+ people back to shore.
Dover Beach – the beach across the street from the hotel we stayed. The water was incredible and serene (though not as perfect as the Boatyard, but definitely wonderful). Not too crowded, and if you’re coming to visit the beach but aren’t staying in the St Lawrence Gap itself, then there’s plenty of cafes and restaurants to walk past once you’re off the beach. You have to pay for a chaise and an umbrella, but its quite cheap for the day. Also saw the most amazing couple ever play frisbee flawlessly.
My two cents are worth four in Barbados!! Your comments are worth even more to me too. Barbados comments/thoughts?