Trip diary: Jo visits Bequia and Barbados

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Tropic Breeze founder Jo recently visited Barbados and Bequia, two Caribbean islands that she has visited many times before. Below she talks about some of the highlights of her trip:


“I flew to Barbados then on to Bequia with a local airline, a journey of about 45 minutes. The flight took us over the southern Grenadines first before heading north, offering spectacular views over the white sand beaches of Palm Island, Petit St Vincent and Canouan surrounded by turquoise seas.

After landing in Bequia, I drove across the small island to Bequia Plantation Hotel, occupying a lively location overlooking the yachts in the bay just a short stroll from Port Elizabeth. I was staying in a Beachfront Cottage, a comfortable and elegantly furnished room set in the gardens just back from the beach. The hotel has a small restaurant which overlooks the water, serving freshly made pizzas and delicious homemade pastries at breakfast.

Bequia Plantation Hotel is the perfect base for those who like to watch the world go by, with ferries coming and going just up the beach, local ladies bathing in the sea with their bath caps on, and yachtsmen working on their boats in preparation for the Easter Regatta.

I would recommend wandering along to Port Elizabeth where you will find colourful shops, humorous street signs and plenty of dining options including the friendly Maria’s Café which is set just back from the beach. The Friendship Rose is moored just offshore, a beautiful schooner that offers scheduled cruises around the Grenadines and private yacht charters.

Another way to spend a few hours is to swim around the headland just south of the hotel towards Princess Margaret Beach where the popular Jack’s Beach Bar (owned by Bequia Beach Hotel) is found, then snorkel in crystal clear waters.

After a night at Bequia Plantation Hotel I  left and drove the short distance to Bequia Beach Hotel, one of my favourite properties in the Caribbean where it was a pleasure to see the friendly staff once again.

The hotel was as lovely as ever, with fantastic food and picturesque views over the beach where colourful fishing boats offered a glimpse of local life. Another fantastic stay at this excellent hotel!”


“Having visited Barbados many times before, I know the island well but am always interested to find out about possible new additions to the Tropic Breeze portfolio so my first stop was the extremely pretty Sweetfield Manor.

Located in the hills above Bridgetown just a few minutes away from the south-west coast, the boutique property has lovely views towards the sea and over the island’s historic racecourse. Sweetfield Manor has a very relaxing ambiance, with lovely rooms and beautiful gardens –a freeform swimming pool is hidden amongst tropical vegetation, surrounded by pristine lawns where peacocks roam freely. I was treated to a delicious four-course breakfast in the gardens – melon and parma ham was followed by homemade bread and cakes, fish served with plantain and a cheese soufflé, and French toast with cherry compote to finish. The perfect way for guests at Sweetfield Manor to start the day!

A number of properties in Barbados have undergone refurbishments in recent months so I was keen to check out the updates…

The first property I visited was Fairmont Royal Pavilion, a luxurious hotel which overlooks one of the best beaches on the west coast. I was impressed by the recently refurbished suites which feature a clean and contemporary design, thoughtful touches and beautiful views over the beach and sea.

Treasure Beach has recently been taken over by the Elegant Hotels group and has been completely redesigned with a new concept. Creativity takes centre stage, with artwork and unique furniture found throughout the hotel. Furnishings in the guestrooms are all very high quality, while luxurious amenities include a mirrored television and ipad as well as extras such as a yoga mat. The hotel now offers new experiences such as the opportunity to dine in the wine cellar and a tour of local art galleries. Those who are looking for relaxation can lie back on one of the sumptuous sun loungers occupying the stone deck which now overlooks the beach, allowing them to enjoy the view without getting covered in sand!

I was also interested to see the updates at Bougainvillea as I hadn’t visited the hotel for a few years but had received great feedback from other members of the Tropic Breeze team. The resort maintains a high quality throughout, with stylish accommodation offering well-equipped kitchens with plenty of space. Facilities are very good and include an air-conditioned gym and fantastic children’s club. The swimming pool area is very attractive while there is a choice between two beaches with comfy sun loungers.

One of the biggest projects has been at Sea Breeze Beach House, where existing rooms and facilities have been refurbished over the past year while an additional building has been constructed housing new luxury suites. I visited the hotel a few months ago and was pleased to see that the property was looking very attractive with stylish furnishings complementing the amazing colours of the sea and sky. The property is very well decorated with fantastic attention to detail, such as complimentary cookies on offer throughout the day at the Rum Shop café.

As well as checking out hotels, I also visited some of my favourite spots on the island such as The Fish Pot Restaurant at Little Good Harbour where fantastic meals are served in a scenic setting and the restaurant at The Atlantis Hotel which offers spectacular views of the rugged east coast.
I enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Cliff Beach Club, a trendy option in a picture-perfect spot right next door to The Cliff, its more formal sister restaurant. The beach club serves beautifully presented food in a stylish dining area which hangs out over the water, with a fresh and colourful design complementing the surroundings.

Some of my favourite beach bars include Little Bristol and Ju Ju’s in Holetown, both casual spots serving local dishes and ice cold drinks by the sand. One Eleven East is a new venue in Speightstown, a tiny Ibiza style bar overlooking the beach with a chilled out atmosphere, also allowing visitors to hire sun loungers, paddle boards and kayaks. A hidden gem I will definitely visit again!”

Call Jo on 01752 880 880 to hear more about her trip to Barbados, Bequia and the hotels she visited!

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