Oh how time flies! Feels just like yesterday when my husband and I were sunning ourselves on the beautiful white sandy beaches of Barbados. In fact, it’s been just over a month and the holiday blues are still very much apparent.
Turning the dirty thirty wasn’t a welcomed transition for me. So much so that my husband decided that the only way to soften the blow was to whisk me away to an island far far away from the barrage of questions as to why I haven’t bore a child yet (my fellow Indians will understand the annoyance of such questions). I couldn’t have picked a better destination for putting my reproductive clock on the back burner.
This was our first visit to a Caribbean island; which is quite shocking considering that we both thoroughly enjoy travelling, particularly to unknown destinations. When booking our honeymoon, we had considered a Caribbean island, but settled on the Maldives simply for the isolated beaches. I must say, there’s no comparison between the two. Although the beaches in Maldives are far better than the Caribbean, there was a lot more to do in Barbados.
Slightly different to my regular posts, I’ve decided to take you all on a trip down memory lane and perhaps inspire if you are looking to visit in the near future.
Welcome to the colourful island of Barbados…
We visited many of the beaches along the west and south coast of Barbados. The north and east coasts tend to be reserved for hardcore water sport enthusiasts due to the wide wind-blown beaches. The west and south coasts are far more popular for holiday makers looking for gentle shores.
Barbados has more than 70 miles of pink and white sand beaches; all of which are accessible to the public. Great for those who like to beach-hop around the island, but terrible for those who are looking for exclusivity.
With much reservation I managed to conquer my fear of open water. There were a lot of tears and tantrums, but the water was so warm and inviting I couldn’t back down!
Straw sun hat : Primark £4
Baroque Sunglasses : Prada £207
We’ve all seen the tv ads and we’ve all envisioned ourselves as one of the beautiful models running in slow motion across crisp white sandy beaches. Sandals is the Caribbean and the Caribbean is Sandals. My husband has always known that it’s been a dream of mine to reside within a Sandals resort and he made my dream come true. The Sandals resort in Barbados was exactly what I had seen on the tv. Daily entertainment, wonderful beach parties, incredible food and over-the-top pretentiousness that only someone as superficial as I am would truly appreciate.
There were 11 dining options in the resort, including this chic Parisian cafe right outside of our suite. From lattes to freshly baked crepes, there was a daily rotation of fresh goodies to enjoy through out the day. Around 5pm, on a daily basis, we would grab a cold coffee and the world’s best red velvet cupcake whilst taking in the beautiful scenery around us.
If there’s anything that the Bajans and I have in common it would be our love for hot sauce. A meal isn’t complete without a bottle of the hot stuff and I made sure to stock up on plenty of different flavours. Thankfully I wasn’t stopped by customs on the way back home, because the potency of this stuff could easily contribute to an atomic bomb.
When we were looking to cool down, there was always a local nearby selling fresh aloe vera juice cut straight from the cactus. Aloe vera has high levels of hydration and cooling properties which is perfect under the blazing sun. Now I would rather skin myself alive than drink neat aloe vera juice so I opted for a topical use instead. This guy was kind enough to give me an amazingly refreshing foot massage using freshly cut stems.
Miami Vice cocktail : recipe found here
The Sandy Lane hotel. Vacation home to the rich and famous. You unfortunately cannot even breathe upon this hotel without a reservation; which thankfully we had. However, if you’re not a resident, you’re watched upon like a hawk throughout your entire visit. Completely understandable as Jay Z and Beyonce don’t particularly want any old riff raff around their dinner table. Be warned, this hotel is not for the faint hearted. The over the top marble fixtures and impeccable service makes this hotel as famous as its name. We had dinner at one of their beautiful adorned restaurants and despite its pretentiousness, the food was incredible good and VERY filling!
Number one Sandy Lane; which resides next door to the famous hotel, houses 8 10,000 sq ft apartments. Rihanna calls one of them her home during her frequent visits back to her home town. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside, but I imagine it is just as opulent as the hotel.
One of the best ways to view the island in all its glory is by boat. There are many excursion agents around the island who can arrange this.
The Atlantis Submarine is an absolute must for those closet Ariels out there looking to explore under the sea (sorry I had to). Travelling 150ft beneath the water’s surface, you can experience the busy reef life and encounter numerous discoveries which are normally reserved for experienced scuba divers. Considering that I can get claustrophobic, it was a fairly comfortable journey and definitely a tick off the bucket list.
Coconut palms and tropical flowers are abundant all around the island. Barbados houses 700 species of indigenous plants, two of which are unique to the island. Phyllanthus andersonii and Metastelma barbadense bear small white flowers in vine-like plants.
Beautifully perfumed Hibiscus flowers
Last, but certainly not least is the private beach dinner that my thoughtful husband planned on the eve of my birthday. Listening to the waves crashing against the shores whilst enjoying copious amounts of champagne and freshly grilled food was most definitely the highlight of my trip. Of course, the company wasn’t too bad either.