by Andrea McVeigh
Sandy beaches, fancy hotels, cocktails and winter sun – there’s a reason why the Sugahfix gals love the Caribbean. But with so many islands to choose from, which is best? Well, it depends what you’re after, says Trends Editor Andrea McVeigh. Here are two of her favourites…
Barbados is the Caribbean’s party island, so if you’re going to go, get used to liming. Liming, as the locals call it, simply means hanging out, and enjoying the local food, beer and social life. There’s no better place to go liming, than Oistins fish fry on a Friday night. It takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays too, but Friday is the big night, when everyone heads to the town of Oistins once the sun has gone down, to sample the delicious, freshly-fried fish that’s served up from stalls, cafes and make-shift restaurants. It’s great to hire a car and drive around the island too, stopping off at restaurants or roti shacks for a traditional Bajan lunch. The island’s capital, Bridgetown, is a must-see, even to just soak up the atmosphere and pick up souvenirs. Tourists flock to Barbados to try out its watersports and diving centres, but I’m more a fan of the Mount Gay rum factory and the famous Daphne’s Italian restaurant, a foodies’ favourite.
Where to stay: The Ocean Two resort, Barbados (www.oceantwobarbados.com.) on the island’s south coast. The beach is just steps from the hotel and is lovely and secluded – perfect for a lazy day spent sunbathing. You can enjoy a candlelit meal on the beach (just right for couples) on a romantic break or honeymoon or let the kids splash about in the pool during the day at this family-friendly hotel in a great location. Recommended tour operator: Caribtours (020 77510660, www.caribtours.co.uk).
Antigua is one of the Caribbean’s more upmarket resorts, less densely populated than Barbados and perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways. It’s a fairly small island, with less obviously touristy spots, which makes it more suited to ‘retreat’ breaks and holidays spent around the resort and spa – it’s not the sort of place where you go dashing about here and there to soak up the sights. In fact, you can cover most of the island on a half-day tour. Our tour guide and driver Lewis pointed out places of interest, including the island’s rainforest and zip wire attraction and the scenic Fig Tree Drive, lined with mango trees.
Where to stay: The upmarket Blue Waters (www.bluewaters.net) resort on the north of the island. Boasting beautiful sandy beaches, Blue Waters lives up to its name with fabulous views over a couple of coves and the Caribbean’s azure waters. The Spa, which faces the sea, offers treats such as its signature mud wrap and massage treatment. Splash out an stay in one of the resort’s Cove villa suites and enjoy the benefit of a private concierge and butler service – it’s a real VIP experience.
Recommended tour operator: Caribtours (020 7751 0660: www.caribtours.co.uk).