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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barbados: This Earth, This Realm, This Little England (Conde Nast reviews Barbados)


"Barbados, once the British Empire's most important colony, is still, with its historic riches and great houses galore, a temperamentally English enclave. Some parts of this Caribbean country even look like Devon and Somerset. But, says Isabel Fonseca, there is definitely another side..."

Click here for entire Conde Nast Traveler article.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rosewood & Six Mens Marina Still On Stream

"MINISTER OF TOURISM Richard Sealy says Government has identifed the north-west corridor of the island, as an area for greater tourism development.

Sealy is confident tourism projects planned for the island's north coast will increase the economic and tourism activity in that "northern corridor" .

Speaking to the media during last Friday's official opening of Sugar Cane Club Hotel and Spa in Maynards, St Peter, Sealy pointed to a number of private/public sector tourism projects on stream in the north, among them a marina at Six Mens Bay, and a major tourism project at Harrison's Point where Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is scheduled to build a five-star resort on 82 acres.

The mixed-use property will comprise condominiums, a hotel, shops and other resort-related facilities. It is a Government-private sector venture.

Though Sealy said that the project was "not moving as fast as we would like" because of the current global economic conditions, he pointed out it was still on stream.

In addition,he said the marina at Six Mens Bay was supposed to start later this year.

Sealy said Sugar Cane Club Hotel and Spa fitted in well with the Government's plans for the north, and he welcomed the inland hotel which he said should meet the new visitor need for a "different holiday experience".

While regretting the demise of Villa Nova Hotel in St John, the minister maintained there was still scope for inland hotels.

"I think it (Sugar Cane Club Hotel and Spa) is a remarkable and welcome addition to the hotel plant in Barbados", he said, adding that the whole concept of taking a vacation and basing it merely on a beach experience had "expired".

The former 23-room Sugar Cane Club has been renovated at a cost of $12 million. There are now 41 suites, a penthouse and two private villas, as well as a host of art and sporting facilities.

Owner Bernie Weatherhead said the hotel was now a boutique hotel with a personable atmosphere, designed to attract a different type of clientele. (GC)

"Tourism is changing, trends are changing, people are no longer travelling merely for sun, sand and sea. Today's traveller is looking for an experience," Weatherhead said. (GC)"

Source: NationNews.com
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Toy-Boat Racing Gets On The Way This Weekend


Are they serious? Give me a break! If they were not saying it with a straight face, we would probably all be laughing at the Ministry of Tourism and its claim that this coming week of toy-boat racing in Carlisle Bay "was worthwhile and an important tool for bringing visitors from all parts of the world." Come on, who do they think they are kidding? Are they going to publish hotel occupancy numbers after this event?

Ever since St. Lucia stole the ARC Race two decades ago Barbados has been floundering looking for its niche in yachting and boating in the Caribbean. The only serious effort on this front has been the establishment of the Port St. Charles Marina a decade ago which basically is a gated "luxury" condo community built around a small lagoon. Condo sales and re-sales there have been good but the project has done precious little to put Barbados on the yachting map. If plans come to fruition they should be seeking to correct some of what went wrong with PSC with a controversial expansion just north starting construction in the fall.

Meanwhile, as we await PSC2 and the overdue "Tourism Masterplan" we may as well try to "bigup," if I may borrow a current colloquialism, the toy-boat racing this weekend. Come on, Senator Gilkes, you are no longer sailing coconut shells on the salt pond in Speightstown - these are the big leagues we are playing in right now. Look around and see what our competitors in St. Lucia and Grenada are doing and get with the program!
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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Saga At Merricks Continues...


After several years of fits and starts maybe things are finally getting on the way at the Merricks resort in St. Philip. According to their most recent newsletter permission has been granted for and construction begun on three show homes at the site and signage erected. They are claiming that full planning permission is/was being held up by a water supply problem in the area. Looking at their plans and what is currently being built on neighboring St. Vincent it probably wouldn't surprise anyone in Barbados that the Government may be dragging its feet and/or hoping the current recession would bring new developers to this prime strip of coastline.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Expansion on cards for Barbados Hilton

click image to enlarge
According to a report in the Sunday Sun last Sunday May 31 (click image above to read),  the “new” Barbados Hilton is shortly to undergo a major redo including an addition to its 350 rooms and expansion of  its conference facilities.   Also, on the cards is another hotel on the peninsula (Conrad or Waldrof perhaps? – since Barbados wants to focus on luxury brands) where the Hilton now sits.

However, don’t look for any of this anytime soon as the recession has shuttered nearly all the major tourism construction on the island including the much sought after Four Seasons Barbados on the site of the former Paradise Beach Club in Black Rock/Freshwater Bay.  Also, the current Tourism Minister is developing quite a reputation for talking boldly about “masterplans” that never seem to materialize.  We are still waiting for his “Tourism Masterplan” for the entire island which was supposedly due to be made public last December.

Save Mullins Bay
Road View, St. Peter
Barbados
246-244-1885
savemullinsbay@gmail.com
http://twitter.com/savemullinsbay

http://tinyurl.com/savembchat

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