This was our fifth time in Barbados also the wettest one. This past summer events were tough on both Sandy and I, concluding with me having a bypass surgery in late August and not knowing if I was going to be able to travel this winter ’till December. After getting permission to fly by my doctors, we booked our flights knowing getting a deal was going to be difficult and next to impossible, but luckily we had a credit with Westjet as our flights were cancelled last year. We also knew getting seats we liked was not going to be possible. We flew to Toronto on Feb 2nd in the afternoon and because of weather conditions, we arrived a bit later than scheduled into Toronto. We had planned to spend the night at the Sheraton which is located right at the airport and then fly to Barbados the next morning. Having time to kill we headed back to the airport and had a couple of beers at Swiss Chalet to relax and people watch for a while. We then went back to the Sheraton and found our friend Simon still working the bar there. He expressed interest in visiting Barbados so I said I would send him some links and give him some pointers.
Arriving in Barbados
As usual there’s some paperwork to do before you land in Barbados. You will get a form to fill out on the plane. Customs/Immigration was backed up out the door of the airport as at least 3 planes landed at the same time, so it took at least 1 1/2 hours to go through, by then our luggage was waiting for us. We then went outside to grab a taxi to Pirate’s Inn, cost this year was $37 BDS same as two years ago. Last year we shared a cab with three others.
Check in was quick, we didn’t have to wait long as Nadia took care of everything. Our room was number 75, our usual room now, which is an end unit on the ground floor beside the pool. It had a flat screen TV which you had to punch in the channel numbers instead of using the arrows on the remote to get certain channels. The room did have a room safe which is always nice, also included in the room was a bistro set on the patio which we promptly moved into the room and moved one of the plastic patio chairs to the patio (they need another table for the room).
This year we had no problem with the hot water, from the first day on we seemed to have either lukewarm water or hot water, but never cold.
The room was always kept immaculate by the Housekeeping staff also if you had any problems with the room, burnt out light bulbs etc., they were there promptly to fix it.
The only problem we had with the room was the Wi-Fi, it was pretty unreliable, while it was excellent in the dining area, once you went back to the room you would be lucky to get one or two bars no matter what the weather was.
This is the third time for us staying at Pirate’s Inn. It is a small complex consisting of 22 one bedroom Apartments and Studios with the front staff of Janet, Nadia and manager Renée taking great care of you. The cost for our room was $135 US a night tax included (10% reduction for repeat guests). It includes only one key which can be dropped off at the front desk before you leave the resort. The resort also has a small pool, which was pretty busy most of the time and with not enough sun loungers available at certain times. The area surrounding the pool is cork type flooring, which is nice to walk on. The restaurant is connected to the pool area, the area surrounding the pool and restaurant was always well maintained.
The location of Pirate’s Inn is excellent as you are within walking distance to a variety of restaurants, Accra/Rockley Beach, Lanterns Mall which includes a variety of specialty shops, IMart (where we picked up all our daily needs), RBTT Bank (where we did all of our banking) and the South Coast Boardwalk.
We walked the Boardwalk and Accra/Rockley beach every day (5.0 miles) for the first time in years. After our walk we would go back to the hotel pool for a rest and to keep cool in the afternoons.
We did walk to the Hilton and back to the Tiki Bar once and that seemed to be too tough for me, so we decided to just stick to the boardwalk only.
This year I decided to skip joining the Fitness Zone located in the Hastings Plaza for a workout. I will probably join next year when we return.
Sandy’s birthday always happens while we are in Barbados and this year she didn’t want to do the Champers thing. Lesley a friend of ours was having a house warming party on the West Coast so we decided to do a joint house warming/birthday party get together. As there was also two other friends celebrating birthdays, we all jumped into a taxi van and headed west. Lesley has a cute house that was nicely decorated, but don’t ask me how to get there because I always get lost once I leave the South Coast.
I ate all my breakfasts at the Pirate’s Inn, consisting of a fruit bowl, toast and coffee or poached, scramble eggs, toast, coffee and most of the time with chicken sausages. The restaurant is staffed by Sarah, Pat, Tony and Ian. The restaurant food, variety and service was good. We also ate a lot of our suppers here too. We always ended our night there with a nightcap. Their Happy Hour is from 6-7pm. Banks Beer was 2 for 1.
Pirates Inn had a couple of theme nights while we there, first was Back in Time Party with DJ Gerald B who cranked out the tunes that got everybody up dancing and singing, a couple of weeks later there was Nelle’s Spot Classic Jazz night which had a great night of Jazz and Blues. Great nights both times
We had supper three times at Blakey’s which is down the boardwalk from Pirate’s Inn. We did many Happy Hours there too. We met the owner Ronnie one night and I was surprised we had so much in common with regards to health issues and kind of compared notes. His staff call him Daddy, while I decided since I didn’t work there I would call him Uncle Ronnie. Bartenders Steve, Roger and sorry cannot remember my friend who sails name, always gave us friendly quick service with a smile. With great music playing in the background it made it an enjoyable time. Their Happy Hour is from 5-6pm. Banks Beer was $4 BDS.
South 7 Bar and Grill is a new establishment which opened up in 2012. Managed by Lemar, and taking care of our needs at the bar was Bryan, Robyn, Wason and Raheem who greeted us with a smile and hand shake (pump), also joining into the mix was a great and friendly waitress named Jacqueline who also had a great sense of humour. We frequented there quite often for Happy Hour and most of our suppers. They have great music playing (not afraid to turn it up when my song “I got a Feeling” came on as I requested). When not showing sports with sound on the 3 big screen TVs, they also have a juke box with great music on it. Also interesting is all the furniture is stainless steel which makes it very unique when it comes to restaurants on the South Coast. This is the place I lost my fish eating virginity Sandy had the catch of the day wrap one night, said it was excellent. Since what happened to me last summer I decided that I would try anything, so a couple days later I finally had it for supper and loved it. We had their combo platter a couple of times also and the choices where good. Most of their meals come with a side which completes the meal. Their Happy Hour is from 5-7pm, Banks Beer was $4 BDS.
Bert’s bar was also an establishment that we went to once for an Ottawa Senators game. I of course being all dressed up in my Sens gear, but they were hammered by the Bruins (Bert’s jinx). Their Happy Hour is from 4:30-6pm.
We didn’t get to visit The Smoke Pit this year as they where closed one weekend and we had prior commitments the other weekends, next year for sure. They are only there Friday and Saturday night starting at 6pm.
We went to Mojo’s twice, once on a Thursday for a beer then the following Tuesday for $4 Banks beer day. We also had supper there too, which was good. They don’t have a Happy Hour.
We went to the gap once to eat at Cafe Sol. We had great seats overlooking the bay with a good possible view of the sunset. Unfortunately it must have been a bad day because the service was nonexistent compared to other years. They also removed Banks Beer from their Happy Hour (interesting not promoting Barbados products). We only stayed for one beer and didn’t go back. Their Happy Hour is from 5-7pm. On a good note, we did finally find the Saltash this year while down in the Gap. Previous years we looked for it and never found it.
This year instead of a Manager’s dinner, Renee invited us to the Grand opening of Infinity on the Beach. What an elegant occasion. They served sandwiches and other food and refreshments. We listened to the Minister of Tourism give his speech (will not say here what I thought of it). Then we did a tour of the place, very nice and a great location on the beach. The rooms were nice, if I had the money I wouldn’t hesitate in staying in the penthouse, but as I told Renee, once they extend the boardwalk to there, I would consider staying there.
This is the first time in a while that no medical services were needed but it is good to know they are there. We did have an incident while walking out to the plane as my insulin pump disconnected from my body and fell to the ground. I had to reinstall it once the plane was in the air. There was a lot of turbulence, not an easy task.
Check out was at noon and we were allowed to leave our bags in our room as they where painting the area where you store your luggage. We had a nice long chat with Sarah while having a couple of beers while waiting for Eddy’s Taxi Service to pick us up. Eddy was a great driver and very knowledgeable about Barbados. The fare was only $40BDS.
Security at the airport was a breeze this year as I tried to avoid the lady that gave me a hard time for the past two years about my insulin pump.
This was our second time with connecting flights in Toronto. We landed at 9:45pm and our connecting flight was supposed to leave at 11:00pm. This year it went smoother as the flight leaving Toronto for Ottawa was late arriving in Toronto. Both flights had rough spots mostly turbulence on the flight to Toronto and the landing on both flights was rough. They were very heavy on the brakes and quite bumpy.
I had planned to do a lot more this trip but after a couple of days we knew we just wanted to relax with no worries. So we took it easy instead. There’s always next year to do more. We will be back next year maybe for a month this time.
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