Monday, 16 January 2017

Bequia Beach Hotel Review


OK, so this is our third 2 week stay at this hotel and you might think, with two previous reviews there was nothing more to write about. Well there is! If ever there was a resort constantly improving on itself it is this one.

We arrived after a short connection in Barbados seamlessly AND with our hold baggage. If you are making such connections I really recommend tying a few yellow ribbons around your checked bag handles and then photograph them on say your smartphone. That way the folks in Barbados can quickly identify them and grab them off the incoming luggage belt. People we were with who did not do this only got their bags 24 hours later.
On our arrival in Bequia the hotel transfer vehicle was waiting for us. We got water and cool towels for the 10 minute transfer plus gave our welcome drink order which was ready for us when we arrived. Not bad.

On getting there they remembered both us and the room we stayed in and enjoyed 4 years and gave it to us again. Surprising in this day and age and very welcome.
Small improvements had been made all over the property like extra beach sunshades, improved bar area, leisure equipment etc.
The room was once again excellent and they really do seem to think of everything and, if they missed something (like overseas plug adapters) we simply asked and it arrived without fuss or repeat phone calls .WIFI worked well in the room and poolside.

We know the owner, resort M/D and the GM because all three were out and about talking to guests and checking on their stay. The rest of the staff were their brilliant and kind selves with the restaurant running efficiently and the bar team, particularly Kong already pre-guessing what you want. You almost start feeling like a welcome returning family member!

Food was good and a nice blend of Swedish and Caribbean as there are chefs from both regions working there. We were holidaying during the main lobster season and the special nights they did were a treat to the taste buds. Nothing like soft tasty lobster that you saw being bought from the fishermen up the beach served with well cooked vegetables and/ or fresh salad. Breakfasts were great with fruit, cereals, cheeses, bread and toast available in the buffet while juices, coffee and main courses served on order.I This was not a holiday to diet on unless you really want to. I never made the spa but from what people say it really is top notch too.

All in all a great holiday in a welcoming well run hotel but it did not stop there. The owner tries to think of everything and has branched wider. He has bought Jacks Bar and restaurant on the best beach on the island so there is a broader choice of cuisine. He has also bought at least one mega yacht which had just been delivered and operated its first sunset cruise. Not cheap but one hell of an experience I believe. Finally he seems to have thought deep enough about getting clients to Bequia by buying/leasing at least two King Air aircraft to operate key routes to connecting points. Not your average hotelier!
I know I have sung the praises of this resort but it, and the island of Bequia deserves it.I have no professional interests in this hotel but simply believe it is something very special. Why else would we return to the same place three times?!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Places to go back to again and again

I started writing about places I would (and would not want) to visit again. Having been blessed in the past with a large opportunity to travel in my work and holiday I visited many countries and islands more than once and here is my verdict on them. You might disagree with me about some but I hope this input may help you in your future decision making.

I feel like dedicating this blog to my very favourite places which can mainly been summed up in two words which are THE GRENADINES. Have you been there? No? Then you are missing somewhere very special and I would urge you to bear them in mind for future holidays. The islands are simply beautiful, the atmosphere is laid back but civilised and the people are mainly absolutely wonderful.

The two islands I spent most time in were Mustique and Bequia. The island of Mustique has a charm of its own and many people do not realise that you do not have to be a millionaire to enjoy it, although it helps! Take a look at my other blogs on this island and you will see why. You get there by taking a 40 minute connecting flight from Barbados on local airline SVG (very efficiently done) or an even shorter one from St Lucia. When you arrive it is like another world of fabulous beaches, lovely people and wide ranging accommodations including two hotels and  many private villas.

The island of Bequia can also be reached via Barbados or St Lucia or even St Vincent if travelling from the USA. In truth it is heaven to my wife and me and I cannot see it changing even with more tourism which is what will happen as its fame spreads. There are hotels, guest houses, villas, B&Bs,  in fact you name it and they have it across the full spectrum of accommodations.

When we go we always stay at the Bequia Beach Hotel. You would not need to ask me why if you had been there, it is that good. So good in fact that I am writing my second blog on the place which will be published very soon. People from The Grenadines are kind and honest by nature and the islands really are beautiful and well worth that extra flight which, as I said before, is very easy.

Bequia as an island is perfect with all kinds of different landscapes, terrain and beaches. Princess Margaret and Lower Bay beaches are calm, pristine and have places you can eat, drink or even hire/borrow beach chairs. The main 'town' is Port Elizabeth which is both colourful and easy to get around. It also has an ATM machine and a well equipped supermarket called Knights.

You owe it to yourself to go there at least once although I suspect you will want to go back again!

While on the subject of small pretty islands you also should try Anguilla. There are numerous beaches and a large range of hotels and restaurants. All this yet it remains unspoiled. A great thing about Anguilla is that the weather is probably the best in the Caribbean and the likelihood of it being hit by a hurricane is very small as its location seems to miss them as they pass either side. If you go in the quiet season the costs are much lower yet the weather is still fine most of the time. The island still has its links with the UK so Brits are particularly welcome.

Where to stay in Anguilla? Well, check my blogs but we tend to stay either in a beach villa at Meads Bay or the Cuisinart, a beautiful hotel on another perfect calm sandy beach.

So lets get back 'civilization' and a better know and well frequented island, Antigua.

Antigua is often compared with Barbados as they are both main destinations for global holidaymakers but I do not think them similar at all except for the international resorts located there.
This island is a bit smaller but does have a wide range of hotels and activities. It also caters for the adult only and all inclusive markets very well. I find it a place to be either very relaxed or very active, it is up to you if you choose your resort carefully. Recently we stayed at Galley Bay which is an adults only and all-inclusive resort on its own beach. We loved it and recommend you go there if you want peace, a 'few' drinks and one of the best sunset views in the region.

It must be pretty obvious to you that I would, and will, go back to these islands again, God willing. Where next? We plan to go to Nevis next as I have heard great thing about this island and the Nisbet Plantation resort there.

My final report in this trilogy will be in Europe covering Majorca, Kefalonia and Athens so I hope you read them and maybe get some new ideas for your own trips.