I should have been informed of the single person’s supplement and the reason for the expense of the hotel room.
Kylie Budinger is just brilliant - everything you could want in a travel consultant
Not sure why, but we never got the booked seats going out, and were split up although still in Premium Economy. Virgin gave us £40 each duty free items for the mistake. Flight back much better. DialAFlight info and follow up good by Vinnie.
DialAFlight never let me down.
As always, Max was brilliant! He went that extra mile to ensure everything was beyond our expectations.
Blue Orchid and Coral Mist (where we stayed the first night) were gems, as long as you aren't too worried about the plumbing and breakfasts which one doesn't really need as each room has its own kitchen. Staff were very helpful and its situation on beach was beautiful. The quality of British Airways food was poor.
We booked a last minute trip to Barbados all based on Danny Sharma’s recommendations. He gave us a great experience
BA use really old planes on Barbados route. My flatbed needed crew assistance! Toilet door handle fell off! Screen didn’t show any films on outward trip -seat 13 A . Really need newer planes on this route.
Great service from start to finish.
As usual, professional helpful staff
Michelle as fab as ever!
Please let the airline know that they need to improve the diabetic meals. It is not only sweet things that need to be reduced but also the amount of carbs.
It was all very good, the room, the meals, and the facilities, including the beach and the service there. We had a good discount for the pool out of action, which did not affect us greatly. The pick up at the airport was rather casual with an old vehicle, but the return was fine.
Great work Gordon and team.
Gordon Hibbert, as ever excellent service
The only slight issue we had was when we arrived in Barbados there didn’t appear to be the private transfer there for us …no one was holding a DialAFlight board up. We eventually got it sorted
Flights and hotel really good. Had to get a room upgrade at Sandpiper - but no extra charge.
As always DialAFlight delivered. Recommend to everyone - especially Curtis who knows EXACTLY what we want
Holiday was wonderful but would not go back to Accra Beach Hotel. We were told to ask for upgrade when we got there, as we has stayed twice before, they did not oblige. The room had no balcony and was tired, needed upgrading.
As always can rely on DialAFlight for worry free travel arrangements.
Great hotel, location and the staff were very friendly
Telephone calls answered swiftly. Staff members courteous and knowledgeable.
Keep up the good work.
Had a great trip. Hotels were good standard. All arrangements went smoothly
Julie Harris is very helpful and keeps in touch
The House has gone all inclusive which is a big change. But the property Is in need of updating. Sunbeds were a problem as with 100pc occupation there simply not enough. That apart it was a really good break and the all inclusive option certainly helped control the cost on what has become an expensive island.
Good communication from Ross really helped
Fantastic service, as always, from Dexter.
Thank you Aidan for an amazing holiday
Would have been nice to have been told about the extra room charge beforehand. other than that no problems
Some might remember a TV show of seven years ago called The Young Ones (not to be confused with the comedy series of the Eighties), in which six celebrities in their 70s and 80s attempt to overcome some of the problems of ageing by harking back to the 1970s.
They spent their time in a country house decked out as a 1970s time capsule. The idea was to transport them back to their heyday - they walked on shag pile carpet and watched Crossroads, sipping Dandelion & Burdock, to see if it improved their ailing health and failing memories.
The six were cricket umpire Dickie Bird, dancer Lionel Blair, newsreader Kenneth Kendall, radio presenter Derek Jameson and actresses Sylvia Syms and Liz Smith - and it seems that taking them back to a world where everything was strictly 1975 had a miraculous effect. The experiment, particularly the part involving shag pile carpets, was very successful and they did feel younger.
I mention this because I met a very clever man called Bengt in Bequia, a tiny island just a speedboat dash from Mustique, who is conducting a similar experiment. Bengt is the proud owner of the Bequia Beach Hotel, which is full of couples of a certain age congratulating other couples for being so much younger than all the other couples of almost certainly the same age.
Trapped in time
For Bengt, you see, has created a perfect time capsule. By the time you've checked into one of the 1930s colonial-style rooms with 1950s-style posters, and followed 1960s-style wooden signs to the bar and ordered your first Dark 'n' Stormy, you're already feeling 20 years younger.
It's not just the decor, agreeable though it is. Everything here exudes old-style charisma, a Pathé newsreel picture of how the Caribbean used to be before the big bucks and giant cruise liners steamed in.
There's nothing fusty about the Bequia Beach Club, but everything is as it should be. Charming open-air restaurant on the beach: check. Delicious fresh seafood: check. Friendly but unpushy staff: check. Secluded stretch of sand fringing a gently swelling ocean: check. Cool pool with mysterious rejuvenating powers: check. Friendly faces at the bar swapping rum-punchy gossip about how Carole Middleton put people's noses out of joint in Mustique: check.
The island, which hasn't changed much since Harold Macmillan stayed here (someone told me they'd read he came up with 'You've never had it so good' on the island) is proud of its Royal connections.
Princess Margaret once dropped anchor off Bequia. As a result there's a rather fetching beach named after her. A 30-minute stroll away is the capital, Port Elizabeth, a scruffily teeming one-street town packed with shops, markets and harbourside bars.
Forty minutes away by twin-prop plane is the five-star Coral Reef Club in Barbados, where we stayed for our second week. It, too, exudes old-school cool, although this time for very A-list guests.
Had they wished, the owners of this hotel could have adopted the Bequia naming policy and christened its beach after visiting royalty. Or you could now be staying in a Harold Pinter, Agatha Christie or Prince Harry suite. All have enjoyed the hospitality of the O'Hara family, who have owned the hotel since the 1950s.
But this is the kind of hotel where the rich, famous and we lesser mortals can drift in and out incognito.
No wonder Agatha Christie was inspired to write A Caribbean Mystery here.
There's still an air of exotic mystery about the place, as if a man in tennis whites might appear at any moment among the palms and confess to Miss Marple that yes, it was he who committed the heinous murder in the bougainvillea and he doesn't care who knows it.
Every room is high-spec and the restaurant is high-end. But Coral Reef hasn't lost sight of the good old days. You can bet every dry martini here is shaken, not stirred.
If you hanker after a nightclub, well, that's just a short car ride away - this is hip and happening Barbados after all. But at the Coral Reef it's more cocktails and cool crooners.
The Coral Reef Club is built on good old-fashioned family values. And that's down to the O'Haras. They may look as if they've stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalogue, with their brilliant white shirts and glossy good looks, but they are a very real sleeves-rolled-up presence in the hotel.
Matriarch Cynthia glides around the reception rooms and hosts an elegant cocktail party once a week, and sons Mark and Patrick patrol the restaurant.
This is not just their livelihood, it's their home, and you are made to feel like their guests, not just hotel guests.
First published in the Mail Online - February 2017
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