photographs taken by John James of jj99 for the website  "www.jj99.co.uk" 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"

Home
About
Gallery
Contact
Workshop
Links
Testimonials
Copyright

Barbados

( updated March 2018 )

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 was the Almond Beach Club and Spa at Holetown and the third Almond Beach Resort ( Previously called Almond Village ).at Speightstown

Historically, the Almond Group consisted of three sister hotels- Almond Village, Almond Beach Club & Spa (now run by Elite and called The Club Barbados Resort & Spa) and Almond Casuarina (now run by Sandals). Sandals bought the Almond Village Resort in 2012 and closed it down as they were not ready to develop it. In January 2014 it was partially refurbished and reopened, with Goverment help,on a temporary annual basis by The Sun Group and renamed. Almond Beach Resort. For the past 4 years it has continued on this basis . This arrangement comes to an end on 1st May when control is returned to Sandals for them to start redevelopment as a Beaches hotel.


In 2014 & 2015 we stayed one week at the Almond Beach Resort at Speightstown followed by one week at The Club Barbados Resort & Spa (Almond Beach Club & Spa.) In 2016, 2017 and this year we stayed for all three weeks at the Almond Beach Resort.

The spaciousness of the resort and beaches at Almond Beach Resort far exceeds The Club Barbados Resort & Spa and Waves hotels. For this reason and the fact that Almond Beach Resort offers excellent value for money it is our hotel of choice in Barbados.

Speightstown is just a short walk away from Almond Beach Resort where there are an assortment of shops including Jordans supermarket and street vendors selling fruit and vegetables etc.
Holetown is just a short ride away from the Almond Beach Resort on one of the local single decker buses which run frequently along the coast road from Speightstown to the Capital Bridgetown. The bus station at Speightstown is a few minutes' walk from Almond Beach Resort. The blue Government buses operate from the bus station itself and yellow Reggae buses hustle for trade in the main road outside. These buses get their name from the loud music played on them. The fares on both types of buses are 2 BD$ or 1US$ per person per journey - You need the correct money on the blue buses but the yellow Reggae buses do give change. 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 weeklong Festival with a colourful parade and plenty of stalls selling food, drink and local craftwork.

a large colourful urn now outside reception

Almond Beach Resort ,St Peter, Speightstown

A review of the Almond Beach Resort,Speightstown, Barbados

--The Almond Beach Resort from the front --

http://www.almondbarbados.com/

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 :- info@jj99.co.uk

Sand ,sea & sky

The Almond Village first opened in February 1995 and closed in 2012 when the hotels in the Almond Hotel Group were sold. Sandals bought Almond Village and immediately closed it down as they were not ready to start redevelopment of the site. Part of the site was reopened, with Government support, by The Sun Group in January 2014, following the renovation, updating and refreshing of rooms, dining area & pools and was renamed Almond Beach Resort. Since its reopening, further areas of the original site have been refurbished and brought back in to use. It currently has 190 bedrooms. There are still some parts of the original site which have not been brought back into use and these are fenced off. The site is all owned by Sandals but leased by the Government.


Almond Beach Resort - Update March 2018


The resort is to stay open and fully operational in its present form until 1st May 2018
BOOK NOW TO ENJOY A HOLIDAY HERE WHILE YOU CAN


-for full details see the Almond Beach Resort website :- http://www.almondbarbados.com/


Almond Beach Resort at Speightstown offers excellent value for money and it was for this reason we decided to spend our entire three weeks there in February 2016, February 2017 and again this year (2018). We are hoping to return again before it closes. All visitors we spoke to there were full of praise for the excellent value for money provided at the resort and Trip Advisor reviews show a high level of satisfaction

We will certainly be looking forward to returning and recommending the resort to others. Well done to Craig Smith, General Manager, and his excellent backing team. Shortly after its reopening in 2014 we stayed in room 7103 a poolside ground floor room (Block 7A St Bermard's). In 2015 we stayed in room 5306 which was in the block above Tommy's Bar and Enids Restaurant which had a balcony and an ocean view.From the open passage outside ther was a good view of the main courtyard.in 2016 we stayed in room 7223 (Block 7B St Bernard's) , in 2017 and this year room 3218 in Block 3 Sugar Mill Village. We were pleased with all the rooms. We generally opted for Superior Ocean View rooms.
Five of our family ('children' and teenage grandchildren) joined us in 2016 for the middle week and stayed on the ground floor in rooms 3106 & 3108 of Block 3- Sugar Mill. Last year six of our family and two close friends came for the middle week this year occupying rooms 3107, 3108 & 3110 on the ground floor again and one room on the second floor. They were delighted with the views and access to the beach from their rooms. They had a fantastic week.
The resort is spacious and has a good-sized beach with plenty of sun beds. There are parasols around the pool areas and shade offered by trees. Many of these are Manchineel trees with red bands painted round their trunks. Warnings about the dangers of these trees are given on arrival. These are very common in front of most hotels along the coast as they help to stabilize the shoreline. This year (2018) Six of our family joined us again for the middle week of our holiday and again had ground flour room in Block 3
There is 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 there 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 couple of small turtles about 2 foot or so across. One of the turtles had a sandy coloured shell the other had better markings, I took my Fujifilm FinePix XP80 underwater camera which was good fun and produced some interesting photos.
There are three restaurants on site, The Horizon, Enids and The Reef, offering a wide range of buffet and a la Carte meals. They are not always all open and some have to be booked at reception. Full details are provided on arrival. Enids is decorated and furnished in a colourful Bajan style. The largest is The Horizon which overlooks a swimming pool and the sea beyond. The Reef is Colonial style and overlooks the sea and Reef Courtyard. Sometimes there were barbeques outside The Reef or Horizon Restaurants. When open at lunchtime Enids offered an a la carte menu for which you did not have to book.
A daily A4 Activities and Entertainment Guide is displayed on a wall rack outside reception. Activities include Tennis, Snorkelling, Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Golf driving range & putting green, Table Tennis, Pool and more. Snorkels, flippers and face masks are also available for free hire.
The complimentary trips included: - an Island tour in an air conditioned coach, an Island jeep safari, a trip in a glass bottom boat to view the reefs and a Sun Tracker boat trip to swim with the turtles. These boat trips are subject to cancellation at short notice if the sea is too rough.
Transport around the island can be arranged by hiring a car, by taxi or by single decker bus from the bus station at Speightstown. 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. From the same starting point at The Club we also walked through Sandy Lane Golf Course on our 'Monkey Walk'. For the more adventurous buses go on other routes to various other destinations

Our room 3218 on the first floor in Block 3 Sugar Mill Village with views of the Horizon Swimming Pool to the left and the Ocean and beach straight ahead and to the right to the right we could also see the gardens fronting the ground floor rooms where our family stayed

I love Almond Beach - a message in the sand !!

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.

 

 

Almond Beach Resort can also host weddings - the ceremony can take place in the Sugar Mill or in the Wedding Gazebo on the beach. There is a honeymoon suite in Block 3 and plenty of room for guests.This shot was taken after the ceremony when the couple were heading for a photo shoot on the beach.

There is also a Conference Centre

 

Night flowering Lily in pond by Sugar Mill

Tropical flower in garden by Sugar Mill

Night flowering Lily in pond by Sugar Mill

Geekos can often be spotted in the garden by the Sugar Mill Pond
 

Jean with Phil & Sue in the Reef Bar before their departure ( February 2016)

A la carte meal in The Reef Restaurant (2016)

Jean with Alan & Ann at breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant ( February 2016)

The 2016 a la carte Valentine menu at the Reef Restaurant

Lobster Thermidor - This was on the menu as a special last year (2016)

Lobster Thermidor- Unfortunately it wasn't on the menu as a special this year (2017)but keep a watch to see if it is ever offered again.

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

 

Bananaquit nest close up

Bananaquit nest building

Bananaquit nest was in this potted shrub

Bannanaquit - Combat or Love ?

 

Pretty but not so colourful

Green backed monkeys

by Sandy Lane Golf Course

above and right

by Sugar Mill Adult swimming pool

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 entrance 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

It is no longer available as a free trip from the resort

 

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

 

The dreaded red flag - when this is flying swimming is not allowed and boat trips and watersports are cancelled

 

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

U Tube Video to be added

 

     
Here are just a few of the clourful fish that can be seen when snorkelling near the coral reef by the beach close to Port St Charles
     
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

 

 
Tiling on walls behind Horizon Restaurant Buffet servery
Colourful Bajan paintings in courtyard outside the Horizon Bar
     

Looking across the pool to the Horizon Restaurant

One of the colourful Bajan Paintings decorating the walls in the Horizon Restaurant

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

Lunchtime entertainment takes place in the Reef Courtyard pavillion several times a week and some evenings

 

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

Some of Almond Beach Resort's Management Team

Craig Smith, General Manager

Peter Charles, Operations Manager

Paul Bridgeman, Front Office Manager

Executive Chef David Yarde

 

Wren Miller, Food & Beverages Manager with long term repeat guest Pat

 

Julius Mangra, Maintainance Manager, with official photographer David

Photographs taken at the Manager's Cocktail Party for repeat guests

In February each year,at one of these cocktail parties, there is an annual staff prizegiving

Jean with Sabrina Martindale

Natasha, Kajae &

Food & Beverage Ambassadors

Judy & Marguerita

David & Pat are regular repeat guests staying for 3 months, from January to March, each year

Torrace, Bar Ambassador

Lyndon one of the friendly gardeners

Jean with Rashid one of the watersport staff,

his uncle has a Bajan Restaurant in Margate, Kent, UK

'The General' skippers the glass bottomed boat

     

Phil & Cheryl enjoyed a 3 week stay In February 2017. They stayed in a Superior Ocean View Room in Block 7B St Bernards

Jean with Val at breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant. Val stayed at the resort with her husband Anthony

Bernie & John from Vancouver stayed for 4 weeks in February 2017 and Bernie is returning with her family in March - a long flight fromVancouver to Toronto and Toronto to Barbados but worth it !!

Neal an Almond Beach Resort guest spotted driving a sporty hire car in Holetown

Heywods Beach North, near Port St Charles - the appartments that back onto this beach are part of the Port St Charles marina

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

 
Speightstown
 

 

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

White Sands

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

For Sale $BD 2,800,000

Beach Restaurant Speightstown

The Beach at Speightstown

Beach Restaurant Speightstown

Speightstown pier - closed for repair

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

     
Central Speightstown

Saint Peter's Church, Speightstown

 

Saint Peter's Church Speightstown

Picture in Arlington House Museum, Speightstown

   
Bantam chickens ( Cockerels, hens and chicks) can often be seen wandering 'free range' by the band stand and generally around the island

Colourful Toilets decorated Bajan style

 

On the wall of a derelect building

Jumas Restaurant, Speightstown

Speightstown Fish Market and Pier

Shopping Arcade Speightstown

Speightstown Pavillion / Bandstand

View of a passing yacht from the Reef Restaurant

     
 

If money is no object you may like to stay at Sandy Lane Hotel -true luxury but at an expensive price.(Probably more than four figures a night )Their beach ,like all Bajan beaches, is public .This is one of their sun loungers without its parasol and champagne ice bucket

 

The complimentary Island Tour with Richard of Suntours - these photographs were taken in 2015- The route can change but usually goes to Cherry Hill, Bathsheba , St John's Church and Bridgetown

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 Richard of Suntours

Richard of SunTours took a full coach load on a guided tour of the Island. His 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 at Little Bay 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 ( http://slipstream.rentabo.com/)

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 - We like to swim from the beach here

 

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)

Single Bourgainvillea flower

We booked our 2015 holiday to Barbados in February and Tobago in January with Tropical Sky www.tropicalsky.co.uk e mail :- info@tropicalsky.co.uk

Tel 08436364236 who offered an efficient and competively price package.

 

Booking Direct

Holidays can also be booked direct with the hotel but flights and airport transfers have to be booked separately

Repeat guests are offered preferential rates

reservations@almondbarbados.com

1. First choose type of room, length of stay and preferred dates, check availablity with resort and make provisional booking. 2. Book Flight 3. Confirm booking and pay 25% deposit. Balance is paid on arrival. 4. Airport transfers can be arranged through the resort or independantly. 5. Payments can be made by Credit or Debit Card and are taken in Barbados $. I recommend payment by Halifax Credit Card.

 

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 www.tedsoursbarbados.com . 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 in 2016 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

more photos are available on Google

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

 

 

     

February 2016

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

www.treetopsstudio.co.uk

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

 

Tha Chattel Village, Holetown

a colourful collection of shops selling art and craft, local fashion, jewellery, gourmet foods, gifts, beachwear, cigars ..

 

 

Cannonball Tree, Courohaela Guionensi

s

Flower of Cannonball Tree, Courohaela Guionensi

 

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

WEST COAST WALKS

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

mm

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

A shot I often use on Greeting Cards

Outside Alverton N Beach Appartments

Sand artist at work with help from his daughter

 

Walking north from The Club in the directionof Holetown and beyond you pass many well known hotels and can 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 Barbados Resort & Spa at Holetown

The Club Barbados Resort & Spa was formerly known as the Almond Club Resort & Spa and was renamed when it was taken over by the Elite Group . 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 conveniently located compact resort located next to Sandy Lane. It is adult only.

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

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Waves Hotel , Prospect Bay, Barbados

http://www.wavesbarbados.com/

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 was refurbished again and taken over as part of the Elegant Hotel Group. It is located a few miles South of Holetown.

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 (2016)

The beach at Waves looking north ( taken in 2014

The Waves Hotel February 2017 after another major refurbishment

 

)

 

 

The beach fronting the waves is very small particularly at high tide

but it has a modern interior

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

Looking back from Waves

Walking past Waves 2016 at low tide

Building a 'home' close to Waves

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

   
Barbados National Trust - Building of Architectural Interest
     
and other colourful Chattel Houses

? a canon for home security ?

     
At the end of the day there are often magical sunsets to enjoy whilst sitting back with a pre dinner aperitif