Guest blogger David Pollard explains why he loves the Caribbean above all the other destinations he has been lucky enough to visit during his career in the travel industry.
David is the owner of Classic Hideaways, representing some of our favourite boutique hotels & resorts in the Caribbean – The Inn at English Harbour in Antigua; Coral Reef Club and The Sandpiper in Barbados; Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain in St Lucia; and Peter Island Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands.
“I have a feeling that if you don’t like people then the travel industry is probably not an industry to fall into. Fortunately, I do and I did. As a paid employee my first venture abroad was to a tiny fishing village in Cyprus called Paphos that boasted 2 hotels on the beach (if you can call rock and shingle a beach) and 3 restaurants, including one that was made out of old bits of wood and served just one dish, Red Mullet – to this day this is still the best fish meal I have ever eaten, not to mention the most fish I’ve eaten in one sitting. My second trip abroad was to the Seychelles. You can tell I was spoilt.
For work and pleasure I have travelled much of the world and with just one exception would have happily lingered another day or three. Try and pin me down to my favourite place on Earth outside of the UK and I’ll procrastinate until the moon has set, but ask which is my favourite region and the answer is immediate, the Caribbean. The islands are all different just like the countries of Europe, but the clue in my choice is in liking people although I know that when choosing where to holiday, liking people doesn’t usually come into the decision-making process.
Most visitors to the Caribbean are coming on a fly and flop holiday. They know our beaches are the best, as are the waters. You arrive the same day and in time for a cocktail and if you’re in the mood, a swim in the warm Caribbean waters before dinner as well. There are no language barriers either. Anyone who thinks the food isn’t up to standard is as out of date as my library book.
Then of course there’s service. I know that some like their service to be immediate with a “yes sir” and a neutral non-threatening smile. Me? I prefer the “you drink that????” or, “I’ve been watching and those ladies have been bustin’ your ass all evening, I’m going to bring you a ‘1703’ (Vintage Rum).”
One of the things I enjoy most when visiting the hotels I represent is the interaction between guest and staff. Guests telling Wesley (the Restaurant Manager at The Inn at English Harbour) about how they nearly beat Sir Viv Richards after Wesley has arranged for them to play golf with his best friend.
Then there is Jean Kelly at Peter Island. Where do you start with Jean? I guess it has to be the first time I met her. We were chatting in the beach restaurant, her back to the beach, as I watched this bronzed, blonde haired, blue eyed youngster who could have stepped of a film set run up the beach and into the restaurant, pick Jean up and run out of the restaurant with her.
On her return, she explained this 16-year-old young man had been coming to Peter Island since he was a few months old and in her eyes, he hadn’t changed a bit from when she first used to carry him in her arms whilst serving guests’ dinner some 16 years ago. Or Marilyn at Anse Chastanet. She watches you from wherever she is in the restaurant and if she spots you reaching for your bottle to top up your glass, like a super hero she’s by your side, slapping your hand and reminding you you’re on holiday and “what do you think she’s there for?” These stories don’t even scratch the surface of how warm and wonderful the Caribbean is and everyone I’ve ever met who has been to the Caribbean all have their own stories to tell.
When you visit the Caribbean, no matter which island, it feels like you’re coming home and the beach, the sea, the food are all bonuses. Try it and fall in love.”
Visit the Classic Hideaways website to find out more about the properties that David represents.
Call us on 01752 880 880 or email [email protected] to discuss your next holiday to the Caribbean – all our holidays are tailor-made so we can put together a suggestion including the best flights and hotels for you.
We offer fully bonded and protected holidays, whether booked with flights via our ATOL 5615 or for accommodation only holidays with our ABTA Y5401. This means you can rest assured that your Tropic Breeze holiday is safe and secure.