Barbados Travel Guide
Rihanna, who filmed an episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” during the summer where she took the media queen around her Barbados childhood home, signed a three-year contract with the Barbados Tourist Authority to be the official “face” of the Caribbean island. BTA chairman Adrian Elcock, made the announcement at the Hilton Barbados Hotel during the island’s annual Crop Over Festival that the ads would be released in time for the island’s winter high season.
The 24-year-old songstress, whose new album “Unapologetic” officially drops November 19th, returns to Barbados often, so it’s no wonder she was a choice for the BTA, despite her frequent, and often unpleasant mentions in the news with paramour Chris Brown, alcohol and drugs.
But it’s no secret she’s a proud Bajan and a fan of hip hotels like The House. We do wonderin this new role if she’ll promote The Crane, an island institution (and its oldest private hotel), which is about to go IPO in hopes of raising BDS$120 million. Seems a little stuffy for her taste, but she's also brought lucky fans for tea and an overnight at Sandy Lane, one of the most high falutin' resorts on the island, so one never knows.
We’ve seen a few of the photos that were supposedly “leaked” of the new ad campaign and we're divided in our opinion of them.
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Thanks to a new thrice-weekly American Airlines route from DFW to the Caribbean island, though, we recently got the chance to stay at the hotel, and here’s our photo gallery and video walk-through of our Executive Room.
We all know that hotels have gotten hip to Facebook, offering their new fans and friends special deals through the social networking site. But sometimes it also pays to be a fan of a tourism agency on Facebook if you're looking for some vacation deals.
Fans of the Barbados Beat on Facebook can log in daily for promotional codes to stay, spa and dine at the best destinations on island or access different deals via status updates. And like any other "savvy" social media plan, the hotels know to also tweet their deals on Twitter.
If helping a worthy cause makes you feel a bit less guilty about vacationing in far-flung, exotic spots, then the Hilton Barbados has a package designed just for you – the Hilton Barbados Turtle Swim Package. Yep, help the turtles and have fun all at the same time.
The package includes a 50% discount on participation in the Turtle Swim experience at the Hilton, but also gives 5% of the cost of your package as a donation to the Barbados Sea Turtle Project to take care of the protected hawksbill turtles of the area. With nightly package rates starting at $229, they also include breakfast for two and a complimentary upgrade if it's available.
Helping the turtles has been done before – the Westin Puerto Vallerto has done it, and so has the Marco Island Marriott, just to name a couple. But c'mon, turtles are still cute and we don't really care if it's not such an original idea, we still want to help them out.
Over on USA Today’s Hotel Check-In blog, guest blogger John Newton culled a few fun Father’s Day hotel deals worth sharing. The column caught our eye due to how well he summed up our sentiments: “As the parent of a freelance travel writer attempting to survive the crash of American print media, my dad will have to be satisfied with Sunday brunch,” he writes. (Or, er, a well-meaning card sent cross-country.) Regardless, Newton goes on to share four options for those whose financial situations are “a little more rosy.”
Though Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa’s four-nights-for-the-price-of-three package (just $130 a night!) in Thailand sounds pretty sweet, we must say our own dad might be getting a little, um, mature for the resort’s dive center, wind-surfing classes, and sailing charters.
Nah, if we had a bottomless bank account for spending on a Father’s Day gift, we’d opt for the “Golf & Spa” package at the Sandy Lane in Barbados, which includes anywhere from five nights and two rounds of golf to 14 nights and eight rounds of golf. We would settle towards the middle with seven nights and four rounds of golf at the Country Club for a cool 6K, breakfast and one spa treatment included. Our links-loving dad would totally feel bad about not lending us the car more growing up. After all, this is the exclusive spot where Tiger Woods got married! Talk about an endorsement.
Check out Newton’s other dream dad deals here.
It was a good enough place for Tiger Woods' wedding (after all, they're still married), so the Sandy Lane Resort in St James, Barbados, is no doubt a good enough place for a warm weather getaway, too.
The Sandy Lane is a pretty exclusive place that other celebs have spent time in too, and it makes no secret of the fact that it's the luxury end of the market. Forbes have recently given it a big write-up as an ideal luxury wedding destination, although the basic price tag of $2,500 for the wedding ceremony isn't bad at all.
Whether you're getting married or just escaping winter, the services provided as standard at Sandy Lane are worth coming for: transfers to and from the airport in a fancy car are included, as is unlimited use of windsurfing, kayaking and snorkeling equipment, use of the gym and tennis courts, free internet access and complementary English breakfast. What really sells it to us is this amazing pool--we're suckers for a neat little waterfall and a few fountains.
Winter rack rates begin at $1300 for an Orchid Room and go up to $4900 per night for the penthouse. If you're bringing enough friends to fill five bedrooms, you can go for the Villa at Sandy Lane which goes for $15,000 a night during winter; this nearly halves in summer to $8,000.
Hugh Grant just plunked down $5.7 million on a getaway place in Barbados, prompting the celebrity weekly , Celebrity Living, to investigate this Caribbean Island.
Here's what they found:
- It was a former British colony that now has a population of 279,000.
- The average weather is 85 degrees during the day and rarely drops below 70 at night.
- There are six golf courses.
- White beaches and crystal blue waters, what more could you want?
- Mick Jagger also owns a home there!
Places to stay include the pricey Sandy Lane Hotelwhere hotels run for $800 a night to $25,000 for suites.
If you are seeking more privacy, head for the Dream Resort, a full refurbished Barbadian home, where a private villa goes for $2,145 a night. (This is what Hugh Grant did with his lady love Jemima Khan before buying his own digs.)
Can't quite shell out the dough? Then visit Barbados from April 16 to December 14 when the Dream Resort's rates drop 33 percent.
By now we all know that Tiger Woods and his Swedish bride, Elin Nordegren, were married in Barbados on Tuesday, however, it is HotelChatter's job to try and fill you in a bit on the Barbadian resort that they were married at.
The wedding, which took place at the 5 star Sandy Lane Resort on the gold coast of Barbados, reportedly cost Tiger ~$1.5 MM. That translates to more Barbadian dollars than we can count. So what did Mr. Woods spend all his money on? For starters, he booked the entire resort, all 150 or so rooms at somewhere between $700 and $8000 a night depending on the room. That is well over half a mil right there. Then Woods paid off the local helipad operators so US Weekly would leave him alone. Scanning the Woods/Nordegren invoice that is floating around the press outlets for the cheapest item on the list, and we are guessing the services of Hootie and the Blowfish can't be more than $10,000 at this point. C'mon Tiger, a lavish affair to the tune of "I only want to be with you"?
Well Tiger, looks like dolphins do make you cry.
The Sandy Lane is owned by Irishmen J.P. McManus and Dermot Desmond, who reportedly are friends of Woods.
A couple years back, during a rebuild, we gawked around the Sandy Lane in person, and it is definitely an ideal romantic setting. Sandy Lane usually doesn't disappoint guests, even with their high prices, and that is saying something, as Sandy Lane is one of, if not the most expensive stay, on Barbados.
This resort has it all. Golf, beautiful beach, pool, and the resort is known to offer guests rides to and from the airport in a Bentley. What are the drawbacks? Well if you don't like kids, and you can't rent the whole resort, you may want to think twice about staying here. Families do vacation here, often, and that is cool, but if you are dropping a grand a night for total peace and quiet you may not want kids around.
· Tiger marries Swedish fiancee at Barbados resort [SFGate]