This was our first trip to Barbados, and in all honesty despite being a firm believer in local hotels and restaurants, I had contemplated a number of the resort AI hotels. The reason was that I was lead to believe that Barbados was mega expensive - so I was glad that we stuck to our instinct NOT to go AI. This hotel and location enabled us to enjoy much more of the local flavour without breaking the bank.
The location is perfect - on one side is a more lively fun beach (Accra, a very short walk away), and on the other is an almost deserted beach - straight from the hotel with beach loungers supplied. Admittedly the sea is quite choppy and isn't suitable for small children or those uncomfortable in less than calm waters, but for us was fun.
The hotel is modest and simple, but the rooms are comfortable and clean, and spacious enough (we had a studio - D block 4th level). We did experience some road noise but nothing which really bothered or disturbed us. We booked with Virgin and requested this hotel in preference to the CM sister hotel, as was a high level room. We had maid service daily (fresh sheets mid week / fresh towels as needed), the gardens are kept very tidy and the pool serviced daily, although with the sea as inviting as it was, we never used the pool. All rooms get a view of the sea and or the beach - I don't think there's a bad view from any room! The aircon worked nicely, as did the shower.
There are kitchen facilities with pretty much everything you might need. We tended to eat breakfast on the balcony, and ate out at lunch and in the evening.
We used the café twice for late afternoon drinks - but it's bit hit and miss, though friendly.
Champers is almost next door, best to book ahead, and we went there for a birthday dinner treat - service and food couldn't have been better and the price was more than acceptable. We also ate at the Tiki Bar (Accra), Tapas, which we felt was nice but service a little cool given how friendly the islanders are, and the Chopping Board at Mojo's - again best to book, and of course Oistins for the Friday fish fry (get the bus to be there for about 6.30). There are 2 good supermarkets a short walk (turn right outside the hotel).
The bus stops are right outside the hotel (turn right) and are a fantastic way to get around the island. We followed a previous TA's suggestion and got the bus to The Crane for the beach and a nice lunch, and got a taxi from there to Bathsheba (about $35US) before getting the bus into Bridgetown, where we changed at the depot for the bus back (Oistins/Sam Lord).
We happened upon Nicholas Agard who does trips out on his 3/4 man Hobie Cat, at Accra Beach (he also hangs out near the Carib bar - a bit before St.LG). He took us out for about 3 - 4 hours all-in, for a trip to swim with the turtles, and an impromptu lunch at Oistins. A fabulous experience but not for the faint hearted or those with mobility issues - my hubbie doesn't swim but he loved it, and of course Nicholas had life jackets and snorkel gear. We had a fabulous time and it was just the three of us, so it felt really relaxed and a more 'natural' swim with the turtles.
We can't fault this hotel - it really is good value for money. On our travels we chatted to people who were staying on the west coast who really hadn't much good to say, and it confirmed that we'd made the right choice.
If staying for longer, we'd probably have hired a car for the day to see the northern coast. We did an evening sunset cruise (Tiami through Virgin), and were advised that at this time of the year (Jan) we'd probably not see turtles. The snorkelling to see the shipwrecks was interesting and the drinks and food were a nice addition.
We will be back, and we'll stay at the Blue Orchids without a doubt.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Blue Orchids Beach
- Blue Orchids Beach Christ Church
- Blue Orchids Beach Hotel Barbados/Christ Church Parish