photographs taken by John James of jj99 for the website  "" photographs are in albums grouped under "French Touring Holidays""European Touring Holidays""Self drive tour of California""Short breaks with Tonbridge and Malling Ramblers Association""HRH Prince Charles""Chelsea Flower Shows""Alternative Fashion Show,London""KATS walking group trwinning with Actif Hainalt Marche, Valenciennes"



( updated January 2021)

Pride of Barbados ( Caesalpinia pulcherrima )
The National Flower of Barbados


We have visited Barbados many times and have stayed in 3 different hotels along the west coast. The first was in 2008 when we stayed at the Virgin Escape Hotel at Prospect Bay ( now redeveloped and called The Waves Hotel & Spa ). The second hotel we stayed at was the Almond Beach Club and Spa at Holetown now run by Elite and renamed The Club Barbados Resort & Spa . Historically, the Almond Group consisted of three sister hotels- Almond Village, The Club Resort & Spa and Casuarina ( now run by Sandals) but there is no longer any connection between them.

The Almond Village first opened in February 1995 and closed in 2012 when the hotels in the Almond Hotel Group were sold.. It was reopened, with Government support, by the Sun Group in January 2014 following major renovation work. The work included updating and refreshing of rooms, dining area & pools. It was renamed Almond Beach Resort.After reopening, further areas of the original site were refurbished and brought back in to use.Some of the original site which were not brought back into use were fenced off.

In 2014 & 2015 we stayed one week at the Almond Beach Resort at Speightstown ( previously called Almond Village ) followed by one week at The Club Barbados Resort & Spa. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 we stayed for three weeks at the Almond Beach Resort.We returned to the resort in April 2018 and stayed for its last 10 days, Happy Memories !!

Yellow Reggae buses get their name from the loud music played on them. - these buses do give change unlike the Blue Government Buses. The buses are supposed to only stop at bus stops but the Reggae buses will often stop between bus stops to pick you up or drop you off. Every February in Holetown there is a week long Festival with a colourful parade and plenty of stalls selling food ,drink and local craftwork.


Almond Beach Resort -

The Almond Beach Resort finally closed down on the 1st May 2018 and the bulldozers moved in to convert the site into a Sandalls Beach Resort

well done Craig Smith, the management team and staff for maintaining the high standards right up to the final closure date !!



In 2019 and 2020, since the closure of the Almond Beach Resort, my family and I have had holidays booked through Virgin Holidays in the all inclusive four star Savannah Beach Hotel at Hastings on the South Coast of the island run by the Sun Group.


Almond Beach Resort , Speightstown

A review of the Almond Beach Resort,Speightstown, Barbados

--The Almond Beach Resort from the front --

All information and opinions are supplied by me in good faith and no responsiblity is accepted for any errors

Please leave any feedback or comments about the site by e mailing me at :-

Just before its closure I saw the following touching poem on the noticeboard outside the Reef Restaurant:-

" It was fun while it lasted, glad we made it this far

Delivering culinary delights , serving drinks at the bar

New friendships made, old acquantances rekindled

Cherishing each moment as our time together dwindled

Sunsets are proof endings can be beautiful too

We've shared over 3000 between us and you

Now this chapter is ending, a new one to begin

But this is not goodbye, it's till we meet again "

Your Almond Beach Family


Complimentary tours and activities were provided at the Almond Beach Resort as part of the all inclusive package and also the opportunity to dine at the Sugar Cane Club.Activities include Tennis, Snorkeling, Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Golf driving range & putting green, Table Tennis, Pool and more. The complimentary trips included :- an Island tour, an Island jeep safari, a Thriller speed boat trip ( including a swim with the turtles), a trip in a glass bottom boat to view the reefs and a Sun Tracker boat trip to swim with the turtles.These trips are subject to cancellation at short notice.

A daily A4 Activities and Entertainment Guide was displayed on a wall rack outside reception.

The resort was spacious and had a good sized beach with plenty of sun beds. There were parasols around the pool areas and also shade offered by trees. There was a good beach at the resort but we preferred to take a short walk north ( to the right when looking out to sea) towards Port St Charles where the is an excellent beach for swimming. Whilst swimming and snorkelling there off the reef, I saw a multitude of beautifully coloured fish and even a small turtle about 2 foot or so across. However this turtle did not have such good shell markings as the ones we saw on the various trips, I took a Fujifilm FinePix XP80 underwater camera which was good fun and produced some interesting photos..

Transport around the island could be arranged by hiring a car, by taxi or by bus (coach) from the bus station. We often took the bus past Holetown to The Club and walked along the beaches. either in the direction of Bridgetown, to Waves, or back to Holetown and past various hotels until we were ready to get a bus back. There is a frequent bus service along the coast road between Speightstown and the capital Bridgetown .From the same starting point at The Club we also walked through Sandy Lane Glof Club on our Monkey Walk. For the more adventurous buses go on other routes to various other destinations

Sugar Mill Village

Block 3 at Sugar Mill Village it is fronted by a small grassed area and has direct access onto the beach

The Sugar Mill

Ocean view from the ground floorof Block 3 at the Sugar Mill

The Manchineel Trees are poisonous and are marked with a red painted band round their trunks. They provide excellent natural windbreaks and their roots stabilize the sand thus helping to prevent sand erosion.


Lily in pond by Sugar Mill

Tropical flower in garden by Sugar Mill

Lily in pond by Sugar Mill


Jean with Phil & Sue in the Reef Bar before their departure

A la carte meal in The Reef Restaurant


Jean with Alan & Ann at breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant

2016 The a la carte Valentine menu at the Reef Restaurant

Lobster Thermidor

Lobster Thermidor

Colourful birds around the resort include the Antillean Crested Humming Bird and the Bananaquit

Orthorhyncus cristatus -Antillean Crested Humming Bird photographed at the Almond Beach Resort- A review of the Almond Beach Resort at Speightstown in Bardados - photograph taken by John James of jj99

Orthorhyncus cristatus

Antillean Crested Humming Bird photographed at the Almond Beach Resort

for more photographs click to see picasa album :-


Bananaquit nest close up

Bananaquit nest building

Bananaquit nest was in this potted shrub

Bannanaquit - Combat or Love ?


For more Bannanaquit photos click to see picasa album:-
The inclusive boat trips:-dates and times of these trips are shown on the Daily Activities Schedule on the board outside the main reception and have to be booked up in advance at the desk in the main entarnce foyer.

The Sunseeker Boat - A luxurious trip to swim with the turtles.

The Thriller 05 Powerboat - an exciting trip to swim with the turtles BUT you have to wade chest high to board it. This is the fastest adventure boat ride in Barbados to date


Passengers boarding the Glass bottomed boat, skippered by 'The General' . Photographed in shallow water by the beach near the old watersport centre.

An underwater selfie - mask and snorkel provided by the watersport centre

All underwater photographs taken with a Fujifilm Finepix XP80 camera

Images taken from the boat on a 'Swimming with Turtles' trip with my Canon 5D Mk2 camera
Inclusive watersports include kayaks and paddle boards
Catamarans and Jet Skis are available for hire from Edmo and others at a negotiable price. they are not part of the Almond Beach Resort facilities

Looking across the pool to the Horizon Restaurant

One of the colourful Bajan Paintings decorating the walls in the Horizon Restaurant and above are photos of the tiling in the Horizon servery

Looking south with the Reef Restaurant to the left and the beach to the right. Block 7B ( St Bernard's) is in the background

Almond Beach resort beach looking north

Looking south from the Reef Beach Bar - Block 7B (St Bernard's) is in the background

The courtyard between the Reef Restaurant and Beach Bar

Bajan Bacchanal Lunch in the Reef Courtyard with dancing and music by Mother Sally and Virtuosity


General Manager, Craig Smith, working at one of his weekly Friday BBQ Lunches in the Reef Restaurant

Our favourite beach a short walk from The Beach Resort towards Port St Charles

The beach a short walk towards Port St Charles

Colourful Bourgainvillea were in full bloom all over the island


The Pier at Speightstown

Esplanade, Speightstown

Speightstown - View south past Fisherman's Pub


Seaview on walk to Speightstown from Almond Beach Resort


'Chattel House' shops at the bus station Speightstown


Seaview on walk to Speightstown from The Beach Resort

Properties looking out to sea along the road to Speightstown from Almond Beach Resort

Beach Restaurant Speightstown

The Beach at Speightstown

Beach Restaurant Speightstown


Mural on school wall in Major Road on way to bus station


Saint Peter's Church, Speightstown


Saint Peter's Church Speightstown

Picture in Arlington House Museum, Speightstown

The complimentary Island Tour with Richard of Suntours - these photographs were taken in 2015- this year (2016) several coaches were used to cope with the demand. The route can change but usually goes to Cherry Hill, Bathsheba and St John's Church

At The Main Guard Clocktower in the Garrison Historic Area, Bridgetown

The statue of the lion was carved out of a single piece of rock in 1868 by an officer at the Gun Hill Signal Station in the parish of St George

Back at the Resort Richard helps passengers off the coach

Island Tour with Suntours

SunTours took a full coach load on a guided tour of the Island. The commentary was very amusing and informative. We headed south from the Beach Resort to Bridgetown where we stopped at the Garrison for a comfort stop and then drove past the signal station and visited the statue of the Lion below. We were then taken to St John's Church and then on to Bathsheba. We returned back to the Resort in time for a late lunch. It was a picturesque and well chosen route.

Old Mill converted into house

At Bathsheba on the Atlantic Coast

The Atlantic Coast

Island Safari Trip - in 3 x 10 seater Jeeps

Black bellied sheep

One of the other Island Safari Jeeps following closely behind us.


Cattle Egret on cow

Chattel House Bathsheba

Chattel House on road to Bathsheba

Chattel house dismantled and ready to move

Shots of the rocky Atlantic coastline north of Bathsheba

The bridge across to Port St Charles Yacht Club-

It is possible to visit the club for a coffee

Port St Charles a short walk north from the Beach Resort ( along the shore or road)

A view from our favourite beach across the entrance to Port St Charles towards the Yacht Club


Port St Charles a resort-type complex consisting of villas, apartments and private berths

Luxury Motor Yacht 'SLIPSTREAM' moored at Port St Charles (

The waterside swimming pool and restaurant at Port St Charles Marina

The view south from Port St Charles


Luxury apartments/ villas facing on to Port St Charles and backing on to the sea


Just north of Port St Charles

Just north of Port St Charles next to a small beach


Water taxi entering Port St Charles looking south to our favourite beach

Plumeria (common name Frangipani)

We booked our 2015 holiday to Barbados in February and Tobago in January with Tropical Sky e mail :-

Tel 08436364236 who offered an efficient and competively price package.


The view from the terrace of our ground floor room across the pool and beach bar to the sea.(taken in 2014)

Looking back to our room at the Almond Beach Resort (7103 taken in 2014)

The view from the beach bar back to one of the main accommodation blocks (Block7B)-The rooms at here had good sea views (taken in2014)

Our friends Jean & John leaving for their complimentary trip in the glass bottomed boat to swim with the turtles.

Jean,Ted Blades & Phil ( Ted is another popular and recommended tour guide. We were taken on a complimentary island tour by SunTours in 2014 in a comfortable air conditioned people carrier driven by our guide Phil. He was very knowledgable and informative. En route at Bathsheba we met Ted Blades who is another very popular island tour guide his website is . Office telephone (246)427-1655. We did the tour with him several years ago when we were staying at The Almond Club ( taken in 2014)

A stop at Bathsheba on our complementary 'off road' Island Safari (taken in 2014)

Filming for the new 'Amazon Prime' show that replaces Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson on deck in front of the crane


Paparazzi at work

Manager, Craig Smith, photographing the action

Spot the overhead drone - a black dot in the sky

Sandpipers are frequently seen running to and fro along the shoreline

Sand crabs can often be spotted on the beach and rush back to their holes if approached


Female Antillean Crested Hummingbird

for more photos see

Photos of Male Antillean Crested Hummingbird taken in 2010 at Discovery Bay by Rex, situated north of The Club, unfortunately this shrub is no longer there




Hotel guest Mark Sugden-Best flying his drone to run the battery down prior to his flight home.

Mark runs Treetops Recording Studio

for more details see

under recent projects there is amazing

video footage shot at Almond Beach Resort

The Holetown Festival culminates with a parade on the Saturday - starting with a parade of vintage cars and is then followed with a parade of marching bands andcolourful dancing groups and beauty queens




Stalls selling food and work by local artists lined the route

On T shirt on sale on one of the stalls

Sandy Lane Golf Course

Sandy Lane Golf Club 'Monkey Walk' - Take the bus from Speightstown to the Club in Holetown. Walk a short distance along the road towards Bridgetown take the first road on the left - walk up to the Golf Course. From here there are various routes.

Green monkeys are often seen roaming in this area either just a few or large family groups.

In the roads surrounding the Golf Course there are plenty of impressive houses on the Sandy Lane Estate
A more modest building was an Embassy

The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

a modest building compared with those surrounding it

Orchid being grown in garden next to the Embassy

Small pieces of dead Brain Coral can be seen washed up in various places along the beach

green gecko displaying





Take a bus from Speightstown to The Club at Holetown and walk along the shore southwards past Paynes Bay to Waves at Prospect Bay returning by bus

Memorial to those who lost their lives in the bombing of the Cuban DC8 Aircraft flight CUT 1201 which crashed in the sea off Barbados on October 6th 1976

May their souls rest in peace

Looking back towards the memorial and Paynes Bay


At The Cliff restaurant you have to take a detour along the road to get back on to the beach

access to the beach from the road is clearly signed

Crystal Cove Hotel

If the tide is high return to the road

Opposite this chattel house there is another access

to the beach across a piece of waste land

( unfortunately now being developed )

Access back on to the beach

Sand artist at work with help from his daughter


Walking north from The Club you pass many well known hotels and catch the bus back to Speightstown when wanted


The 'boardwalk' runs for a few hundred yards between The Club and Holetown

The beach walk from The Club at Holetown north towards Speightstown

hotels en route are often willing to offer a refreshing glass of water

Anthony Bamford's (JCB) holiday home

Anthony Bamford's (JCB) holiday home

When the beach 'runs out' it's time to head find a path to the road and get a bus back to Speightstown


Hunte's Gardens located in the lush hills of St Joseph

an interesting garden lovingly created in a sink hole like gully by a legendary horticulturist - very picturesque with a background sound of soothing classical music

we took a taxi here - something to share with friends or fellow guests perhaps

Humming bird nest - unfortunately the birds departed the day before our visit

Anthoney Hunte entertains his guests with rum punch or water in the pavilion overlooking the gardens

A place to rest - the mirror at the back of this room reflected the splendour of the plants

unfortunately the tea set was only for decoration


The Club at Holetown

The Club was formerly known as the Almond Club and was renamed when it was taken over by the Elite Group some . It is an adults only resort and has retained many of the staff employed under the previous ownership. Many visitors return year after year.

A view looking towards our room from the other side of the pool

The view from the terrace of suite 161

The bedroom in our poolside suite

The Club viewed from a boat

the orange chairs are on the terrace of our suite 161

Loungers in the garden

The rear entrance to room 127 on the ground floor

Room 127 overlooking the pool at The Club

The pool from just outside room 127

As sunset approaches
The terrace at The Club between the Horizon Restaurant and the sea is a good spot to get a drink and watch the spectacular sunsets

The Beach Bar at The Club


Waves Hotel , Prospect Bay, Barbados

We stayed at The Waves when it was called the Almond Escape Hotel - it is now under new ownership and has been completely refurbished to a very modern design.It is in two parts, either side of the main road, and the rooms on the opposite side to the beach are grouped round the pool and there is another small restaurant on site.In April 2016 it is going to be taken over as part of the Elegant Hotel Group,

The pool and restaurant at Waves on the opposite side of the resort to the main sea view side

From the terrace at Waves looking North



The beach at Waves looking north ( taken in 2014)





The pool at Waves on the opposite side of the resort to the main sea view side

Looking back from Waves

Walking past Waves

Building a 'home' close to Waves

Underwater photos taken by Ian Drysdale his on PanasonicDMC-FT25 Lumix DC Vario Compact Camera near The Club