October 2016 - our 35th trip.  Once again we used Fast Track to bypass the long lines in the arrival hall at Grantley Adams Airport -- this is the best way to arrive.  Upon arrival we were met by FIVE STAR FAST TRACK’s representative.  She was outside the arrivals hall holding a card with our name so we could easily find her.  My husband and I bypassed a full arrivals hall going through a special special “VIP” area where we immediately went through customs without any wait.  She then assisted with our luggage and took us out to our rental car (by Stoutes) that was waiting for us. View their services at: www.fivestarfasttrack.com  You can e-mail them at:  reservations@fivestarfasttrack.com  For $54.99 US/adult each it is well worth the cost - especially when the arrivals hall is full.  We have used them since 2012.  If you use them, be sure to mention you heard about them on Barbados Tips.  

This visit there were just the 2 of us, so we got a Corolla from Stoutes Car.  As you exit the Customs Area of the airport they are to your left.  If you want excellent vehicles, good pricing and service, definitely book with Stoutes.  
www.stoutescar.com If you mention my name, Lois Swanson, they will give you a discount.

​This visit we stayed at a lovely apartment/condo resort - Plum Tree Club at Rockley.  We had a very nice, one-bedroom condo with a pool right outside our door.  It was a quiet week while we were there and most times we were the only couple in the pool.  The location is on the south coast in Christ Church, so it was very convenient to get to all of the south coast restaurants and not too far to drive to the wonderful west coast restaurants.  If you book there, please let Kris or Ann know that Lois Swanson recommended.  Here is their link:   http://plumtreeclub.com/  

​​We tried out some new restaurants this visit and were very pleased.  The night we arrived as we were so close to the Gap, we tried out Larry Rogers new restaurant there - Primo.  We watched a gorgeous sunset while we sipped on cocktails and then went upstairs and had rail seating overlooking the sea and had a fantastic meal from their summer menu (for 2 of us the cost was a total of $90 US - drinks cost additional).  The food and service were excellent.  In fact, we went back there our last night on the island for our farewell dinner.  They open daily at 5 pm.  https://www.primobarandbistro.com/

Another great find was The Cliff Beach Club. This is right next door to their sister restaurant, The Cliff on the west coast.  In fact we could see it from our table which was their prime spot.  They are open for lunch and dinner.  They have a spectacular bar area and the dining area is gorgeous too.  We loved the food and service and this was much more affordable than The Cliff.  The bill here came to $190 US which included several drinks, starters and mains.  Philip served us and was excellent.  We can definitely recommend this as a "must do".  http://thecliffbeachclub.com/BC/Default.asp

The Tides is another must do for us and this year the entire restaurant has been totally redone.  The construction crews were there for about 6 months and the finished restaurant will really wow you.  They now have an air-conditioned room which is great if you go for lunch.  We always enjoy eating al fresco.  The food and service were fabulous as always.   Dinner cost us $176 US.  They are on the west coast.  You can check it out at:  http://www.tidesbarbados.com/

Champers on the south coast was wonderful too. This time we went for lunch as well as for dinner.  At lunch there were 3 of us and that bill came to $156 US.  At dinner just for the 2 of us our bill came to $125 US. They have a beautiful setting - we were outside by the rail where we could really enjoy the sea while we ate.  This is definitely worth checking out.   http://champersrestaurant.com/

This visit we went back to Cin Cin on the west coast and we had some of the best food and service there.  Shortly after we visited they were devastated by flooding from a tropical storm, but quickly rebuilt and are better than ever.  Our bill here was $185 US including drinks.  Here is a link for the restaurant:  https://www.cincinbythesea.com/

Tapas on the south coast by the boardwalk was fantastic as always - visited this restaurant twice.  They have a wonderful menu of small plates, so we sampled several while sitting right next to the sea.  Alfredo, the owner, stopped by for a nice visit too.  Cost for 2 with drinks was $96 US.  This is one of our favorite restaurants on the island - you won't be disappointed.  Here is a link:  http://www.tapasbarbados.com/TB/Default.asp

Had some great sushi and small plates at Naru also on the south coast by the boardwalk.  We always love spending an evening here.  This year they will be doing some updating, so we can't wait to see the changes when we return.  Cost here for both was $123 US.  Their link is:  http://www.narubarbados.com/

Something different we tried this visit was to go to the culinary school on 2 Friday evenings and enjoy their gourmet, 7 course feast.  This is the culinary school at Barbados Community College (south coast).  Each time we went it was different, and we got to try some great food for reasonable prices.  The 7 course dinner for 2 which included a glass of wine each, and then we added an additional glass of wine each was $94 US. It was well worth it and you get a chance to talk with the students who prepared the meal and the chef as well.  This is only available during their school year, so if you are there during the summer you are out of luck. You need to make reservations in advance for this.  The restaurant is Muscovado.  They do lunch buffet daily (no reservation necessary) for about $15 US.   And they also do a Sunday buffet for about $30 US but we were too late in securing a reservation as they have limited seating.  Here is a link:   http://www.menuinternational.com/barbados/portfolio/muscovado-bar-and-restaurant/

​This visit there was no sargassum seaweed that we could find.  Our previous trip was spoiled a bit by it.  But this time the sea was clear and we really enjoyed the beautiful water on the south coast at Carlisle Bay. 

A great new discovery was Pirates Cove which is on Carlisle Bay closer to Bridgetown.   It makes for a nice day - beach chairs and umbrellas are available.  The bamboo bar is a great place to hang out and have a pirates brew or a signature pirates burger.    Local and international cuisine is available along with a craft market and souvenir stands to make your pirates experience a complete one.  The beach at Pirates Cove is lined with coconut trees and dotted with coconut thatched umbrellas.   Freshwater showers, changing rooms and washroom facilities are also provided for your comfort.

We were there for the 50th anniversary celebration of their independence and Bridgetown was lit up in November (see pictures below) and many special events were held for this special occasion.

I hope to post additional pictures of this trip soon.

October/November 2016 Trip Highlights

Lois Swanson Travel Tips