dining-on-the-beach-barbados.jpg

Dress for dinner?

Actually, you can go in a bathing suit at the beachfront restaurants highlighted in the February issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

The magazine’s picks for the best places to dine on the beach in the Caribbean include two on the island of Barbados:

Fish Pot Restaurant, Shermans, Barbados, lunch and dinner, $13 to $35, including curried chicken and crab salad. (Cover-ups required for your bathing suit at this one.)

Il Tempio, Fitts Village, Barbados, lunch and dinner, $14 to $46, Italian cuisine.

Karibuni Restaurant, Ilet Pinel, St. Maarten, grilled entrees, lunch only, $16 to $33.

La Plage Restaurant, Plage de St. Jean, St. Barts, lunch and dinner, $20 to $55, described as the type of meal you would “expect on the Cote d’Azur.”

Snack Zen, Shell Beach, St. Barts, sandwiches, lunch only, $9 to $12.

Scilly Cay, Island Harbour, Anguilla, lunch only, $25 to $50.

Chill Out, Long Bay, lunch and dinner, $5 to $27, “unabashedly Jamaican” food, like fish with rice and peas.

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Sandy Lane Hotel Barbados

How’s that for beach service?

Travel geru Peter Greensburg has a new site, and in one of his travel news articles he talks about the unique services hotels are offering for the descriminating traveler (which means you spend lots of money).

His article reminded me of a picture taken at Sandy Lane, one of the most expensive hotels on the island of Barbados – (shown above).   

Peter writes: In the highly competitive hotel business, for the discriminating traveler, it all comes down to service. Not just basic services like housekeeping, turn down, and room service, but special and unusual services. At some hotels, whatever you want, chances are there’s a concierge dedicated to getting it.

Here are some of the latest we’ve found…

BEACH BUTLERS

At most hotels, the most “service” you’ll get on the beach will either be help in setting up an umbrella, or perhaps fetching you a cool drink.

But if you’re willing to spend the money, a growing number of hotels are offering an ever-increasing variety of services beachside.

Now at the beach, you might find a “Sorbet Butler,” like at the Rosewood’s Jumby Bay in Antigua. This “butler” strolls the beach handing out complimentary frosty treats to guests.

To read Peter’s full article, “Hotel Services, the Newest Butlers,  visit his new website – sign up for his newsletter – he always has great article and travel tips and advice.

Musha Cay Bahamas Private Island

Musha Cay is said to be the most  luxurious private island resort in the world.Located in the pristine waters of the southern Bahamas chain of islands, in the out islands of Exuma – approximately 85 miles from Nassau.

When you rent Musha Cay, you and your guests have the exclusive use of the property, and a professional staff of 30 is on hand to cater up to 24 guests.

Musha Cay offers 150 acres of exquisite white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, and an unspoiled oasis of tropical flowers, trees and foliage.

Guests have included Oprah Winfrey, who spared no expense treating her guests to a world class luxury holiday.

See this private island paradise for yourself, and you will be impressed – http://www.mushacay.com/

 Follow a couples dream of owning their own piece of paradise . . .

It’s been our dream to own and operate a private Caribbean island resort.

This is the story of how that dream began on a vacation to a small tropical island. Share these first thoughts; we call “island fever”, journey through the exhausting research process and finally discover how our island dream ended with the purchase of a caye* in Belize.

Join us throughout the development process and witness the details and pictures of its progress. Watch as Tranquility Caye transforms from a mangrove jungle into a romantic private island resort.

* Belizean islands are called cayes, pronounced “keys.”

Doug & K.T. Ingersoll
http://www.tranquilitycaye.com/

CRANE BEACH 

Rated by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

 as  “One of the 10 Best Beaches in the World”

Crane Beach Barbados

Find out more about beautiful Crane Beach, and Crane Beach Hotel in Barbados

 

The Beaches of Antigua – A Beach Lovers Dream Island!

Green Island (shown below) is located off the eastern coast of Antigua, and a popular stop on Antigua excursions and boat charters. Here you’ll find an entire pristine white sand coast, and all the seclusion you want since the island is uninhabited. The pristine reefs provide excellent snorkeling.

Green Island Antigua

Any local on the island will tell you that Antigua has 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. This has become a marketing tool for the island, and over the years no one has contested the claim.

No matter how many beaches there actually are in Antigua, my choice for the best three beaches are Dickerson’s BayHalf Moon Bay, and Hawksbill.

Dickerson Bay is located on the northwest coast of the island, and the powder white sandy beach stretches a mile long – and the water is “smooth as silk“. Plenty of water activities, hotels, and restaurants and bars. Head to the northern side of the beach for more seclusion.

Half Moon Bay Beach (shown below) has fine pink sand, along with wonderful cooling treadewind breezes, and an active surf.

Antigua Half Moon Beach

I did not get to see all the beaches in Antigua, but I cannot imagine the island has a more beautiful beach. Half Moon is a public park area, and the surf gets quite rough – though the surfers love it. There is a large reef off the coast, which is great for snorkeling. So, while not a beach for good swimming, it is on the list for snorkelers, surfers and those who love to take great beach pics.   

Hawksbill Beach is located on the five island peninsula. The white sand on this beach seems almost too white, especially set against the blue/green waters – the water almost appears to twinkle in the sun. Crystal clean calm waters make this the ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling on the coral reefs. Depending on when you go, this beach can be rather secluded, or crowded.

Another fine beach is Curtain Bluff Beach – a wide golden sand beach that is framed by beautiful palms and mangroves. The water is extremely clear and calm. This beach is home to the Curtain Bluff Hotel.

Other fine beaches on Antigua are Pigeon Point, Runaway Beach, and Morris Bay (for snorklers).

In fact, there are just too many beaches to mention – remember there are 365! I suggest visiting Antigua, and making your own “best Antigua beach list“.
 

PUERTO RICO BEACHES

Vieques Beach Puerto Rico

When the U.S. Navy left – due to international protest, and from the locals, Vieques has opened its doors to tourism.

Even though more tourist are coming, the atmosphere is very laid back, and this place reflects more of the true culture of rural Puerto Rico. There are over 30 beaches on the island, and a few are quite unique.

Several of the beaches have names that definitely describe them. Blue Beach gets its name from the sapphire blue waters. Here you will find few tourists and locals, and it provides a secluded and quiet place to relax and swim.

On the other hand Green Beach was named for its lush green tropical vegetation that completly surrounds the beach. Now Red Beach is not red, but it is framed by mountains and rocks. The cute little gazebos make this beach unique, and hopefully if you visit, it’s not crowded.

Culebra Island is located off the coast of Puerto Rico. This island is a nature reserve, and its beaches are in pristine condition. One of the most popular is Playa Flamenco with its wide sandy beaches. The water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and divers can find some great spots off the island. This island is also known to nature lovers who come to view the turtle nesting spots. Culebra is quite stunning in its beauty, and not too crowded – that is for now.

One of the most unusual beaches is the Phosphorescent Bay, also caled Mosquito Bay, which you must visit at night.

Phosphorescent or Mosquito Bay Puerto Rico

There are thousands upon thousands of creatures that glow in the dark, and leave a blue phosphorescent trail as they swim around. The whole Bay is lit up from these tiny sea creatures. It’s one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. And its difficult to capture on film at night.

The white sand crescent shaped Luquillo Beach is right outside San Juan. If you want to see locals, head here. This beach is so popular because it sits in a lagoon protected by coral reefs. The waters are clear and calm. There are tent sites and lots of picnic tables located here – the perfect spot for picnic, family gatherings or just friends spending the day together. This beach always has a fun atmosphere.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDSBVI

The British Virgin Islands, like the Bahamas consists of a group of smaller islands. One of the best of this tiny island chain is Virgin Gorda – home of The Baths, which is actually a national park.

The Baths, popular tourist and beach spot in the British Virgin Islands

The Baths is quite a unique beach with beautiful white sand, but at some times of the day, the sand takes on a pinkish tone. Everywhere along the beach are giant unique shapped granite boulders. It’s like nothing you have ever seen – some of these rocks are more than 30 feet high.

While you can explore around these giant boulders on land, snorkeling is a blast. There are small caves and grottos everywhere, and a variety of fish and marine life. Here is water is crystal clear, and the color of blue aquamarine.

Spring Bay Beach is another good choice, and within easy reach from The Baths. The waters are clean and calm, and this area is a snorkelers delight. So many interesting sea creatures. It just doesn’t get too much better than Virgin Gorda – that is until you travel on to another tiny island Tortola . . .

Cane Garden Bay on Tortola offers a stretch of pristine white sand beach that covers over a mile. This is the perfect beach to take a long walk or jog – it just appears to go on forever – and the waters are crystal clear, and the color of a light aquamarine. Other great beach stops are Devil’s Bay, Pond Bay and Mahoe Bay.

White Bay on the tiny little island of Jost Van Dykes has been selected by travel publications as one of the world’s top beaches. The sand is pure white, beautiful palms, not too crowded – another perfect picture post card.

Welcome to Labadee! says the banner showing a pirate that looks like he stepped straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Labadee, Haiti

This place is absolutely beautiful!

Over 200 acres of land with mango and almond trees swaying in the breeze, and it is outlined with beautiful soft white sand beaches. And of course add to that the turquoise colored Caribbean Sea. The island has the feel of an unhabited manufactured paradise – but it is quite impressive.

Lots of the usual beach activities, but this island boasts the world’s largest inflatable water slide. And there’s even a Ben & Jerry’s – this is truly heaven, or is it?

Where is Labadee? It’s off the coast of Hispanola says one of the tour brochures. Hispanola is a large land mass shared by two countries – the Dominican Republic and the island of Haiti.

Labadee is actually a private island off the coast of Haiti owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. On the cruise schedule, the island is described as a “private” island, and most cruise passengers don’t know they have arrived in Haiti, the poorest country in the Caribbean.

The cruise line does not openly market Haiti, instead using the name Labadee because the U.S. government warns citizens against visiting Haiti due to violence and instability in the government. 

Labadee doesn’t have the flavor of the Caribbean, but that’s because it’s a “secret” and this island has been manicured to perfection by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. But, there is such despair in the faces of many of the Haitians who work on this island, they do not live on Labadee – that’s a place just for Royal Caribbean Cruise passengers – and day workers.  

As I spent time on the beautiful beaches of Labadee, I reflected on vacationing so very close to the poorest people in the Western hemisphere – and that left quite an impression – even to the present day as I write this posting. These thoughts are not the thoughts a vacationer likes to have, but it is the reality living in a world where wealth and poverty live side by side.

So if you take a Royal Caribbean Cruise, and one of the ports of call is a “private island“, or “mystery port of call” or a place called “Labadee“, just remember you will really be in Haiti.

caribbean cocktails and beer at the beachThere’s nothing better than relaxing on your favorite beach, and having one of those island cocktails, or perhaps a beer.

However you should be aware that drinking alcohol and beer will dehydrate you, so your best bet is to take along some good old h20, and keep yourself healthy while sunbathing.

Save the cocktails and beer for after the sun goes down!

St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Sapphire Beach

Sapphire Beach (shown above) gets its name from the color of the blue/green water near the beach, and darker sapphire blue waters farther out from shore. There’s plenty of shade from the majestic palms, and an array of watersports are available.

Although Coki Point Beach is small, it is one of the most popular because of its calm waters, and location. There is a nearby marine park, and the beach offers lots of water activities including boating, jet skiing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Magens Bay is said to be the best beach in St Thomas. You have to pay a small entry fee, and that in no way limits the number of people who come there daily. Beach activities with a touch of adventure include, but are not limited to, sailing, snorkeling, and kayaking.  

Lindquist Beach is another beach choice in St Thomas. Not many people come here, so you can have a little quite and seclusion. Since this is an undeveloped area, food, drinks and water sports rental are not available. Swimmers should use this beach with caution since it is secluded, and not lifeguard on duty.

Secret Harbor is known as being a wonderful place to relax – you will find lots of hammocks and beach chairs along the coastline. There are also plenty of vendors selling food and drinks – so this makes for the perfect “beach day” experience. This is the ideal spot to go diving, as there are a number of dive rental shops on the beach, and nearby area.  

Due to its clear waters, corral reefs, and amazing sea life, St. Thomas is one of the best places in the world to go on a scuba diving adventure.

Jalousie Beach St Lucia

This is a blog dedicated to Beach Lovers

While I can’t argue there are great beaches around the globe, I’m partial to the Caribbean.  Although each island is known for its turquoise waters, sun and sand, each beach provides its own unique experience.

I’m just getting started today with WordPress, so do come back when I’ve had time to post on some of my favorite, and possibly your favorite Caribbean beach.

The beach shown above is located on the beautiful island of St Lucia, at the Jalousie Plantationwhich by the way is a wonderful resort, along with a great beach.