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All inclusive or not

Level Contributor
44 posts
5 reviews
All inclusive or not

I am planning a trip to Barbados in April and getting a little tired of all inclusives and would like to do my own thing and stay in a studio with kitchen etc. Was wondering if groceries were expensive. Also can anyone recommend accommodations.

Thanks a lot

Level Contributor
1,012 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: All inclusive or not


We never go AI to Barbados because there are lots of great dining options available and you can purchase anything you need in the grocery stores. We found prices reasonable for most staples and some other things could be outrageous (Watermelon $ 15). One of our favourite things to do is pick up some fresh flying fish at the fish market and grill it up with a great salad. There are so many nice condo / studios to choose from on this island. It's nice to have the feeling of "living there" rather than the cattle call AI's of the DR, Cuba and Mexico.


Bridgetown, Barbados
Level Contributor
5,842 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: All inclusive or not

Hi HIney - I would definitely say not to go all-inclusive - there are so many great eating out choices here, of all prices. Some groceries you will find more expensive however it's swings and rundabouts really.

With regard to accommodation what are you looking for and what sort of budget are you working with? what are your travel dynamics ie how many are you, any kids, ages etc. What do you like to do on vacation?

Give us some clues and we'll be sure to come up with some ideas for you.


Level Contributor
609 posts
3. Re: All inclusive or not

Hi Hiney

Although I would say yes groceries are very expensive I would still say I personally prefer not to go all inclusive you miss out on to many things.

Re a hotel try Bougainvillea, Coral Mist or Blue Orchid. There are actually many hotels with kitchens. Bougainvillea has some beautiful ones that really provide a home away from home.

Kent. UK
Level Contributor
862 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: All inclusive or not

We find coming to Barbados all inclusive is the most cost effective option. In our experience the standard of all incusive here is very high. However provided you are fortunate in getting a 'good deal' on the cost of the holiday we also eat out on occasions. Unfortunately our favourite restaurant Carambola has gone, we always arrived early to see the fish including large rays being fed at the waters edge.

Another point is that some of the all incusive options include dining at different locations.

Level Contributor
54 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: All inclusive or not

I totally agree with Paul. Go all-inclusive and eat out occasionally. The fact that you don't need to think about the cost of things is restful in itself. My wife and I had a cracking holiday in the Crystal Cove (returning home last weekend. Boo hoo!) We had an amazing time, met some lovely people and feel totally rested. We toured the island in an hire car (arranged by the hotel staff), took a reggae bus to Bridgetown for a bit of 'sparkler' shopping (many brownie points there!), went on a turtle watching trip (although that was a bit of waste of money as the venue turned out to be 500 yards up the road from our hotel! From then on we did a further 6 visits for free!) and used the water sports (for free) all the time. We also ate out at Oistins fish fry and Tides in Holetown. Tides Head Chef is Guy Beasley who worked at Le Gavroche when Gordon Ramsey was there learning his trade. The food is excellent and, in my humble opinion, can't be that much different from the much more expensive 'The Cliff', which, I am lead to believe, is one of the top 40 restaurants in the world. What decision is there to be made?!

Level Contributor
31 posts
6. Re: All inclusive or not

First of all, welcome back to the forum page Sarah Taylor. Your advice last year before our first trip to Barbados was invalueable and very much appreciated. I have missed your post but there has been others (Sunnie, Scary, Sometimes Javon: LOL , etc.) that has been very helpful. I too have been bit by the Barbados bug and will be returning in three weeks to Peach and Quiet , which doesn't get the print that many of the other hotels get but in my opinion is a real gem. Anyway, good to see you back.

As far as AI, I agree with Scary and Sarah and probably most who have been to Barbados, I would NOT go all inclusive. Unless money is no object I believe that a person would not be inclined to travel about the island and meet the wonderful Barbadian people and sample the island food and restaurants, which can be very reasonably priced.

Thanks to all the "local experts" and others who take the time to answer all the questions. Even Javon can be very helpful when he gets fact and opinion straight. Really Javon, I enjoy reading your posts. You keep it interesting, never knowing when you might incite a controversy. LOL

Dec. 2nd cannot get here too soon. I would love to say "hi" to one of the local experts in person or meet a forum board regular for a drink sometime. My wife and I will be there from Dec 2 to Dec 10.

Bridgetown, Barbados
Level Contributor
5,842 posts
38 reviews
7. Re: All inclusive or not

Hi there,

I actually live just around the corner from Peach and Quiet and my friend is getting married there in January so we are going there fo a drink tonight to see Margaret (one of the owners)...it would be great to meet up with you while you're here. Drop me an email at scary@caribnet.net


Bagshot, United...
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
4,627 posts
62 reviews
8. Re: All inclusive or not


I am going 30th Nov to 10th Dec. I've stayed at P&Q in the past and I agree with you it is a gem. Say Hi to Margaret (doubt she would remember me from Xmas 98, but she arrived at our room with rum/coke/sandwiches with a carrier bag on her head coz it was pouring with rain the night we arrived!)

I'm staying at Southern Surf this time.


Level Contributor
31 posts
9. Re: All inclusive or not

Hi Nicky,

I will be sure to say "hi" to Margaret for you. How many times have you been to Barbados and how many places have stayed. We were considering trying somewhere different but was so happy with Peach we just didn't see any reason to. The lack of a beach is the only thing that concerned us, but the pool area is so close to the water and the view is so awesome that we really didn't miss the sand. When we want a sandy beach we head to Florida.

Anyway enjoy yourselves in beautiful Barbados and let us know how Southern Surf was.

Level Contributor
905 posts
89 reviews
10. Re: All inclusive or not

How very blooming odd!!!! Spooky almost!! I have just THIS minute put on thread about P&Q!!!

Honestly I didn't spot this earlier!!!!!