Island Villas Property Blog

Animals in Barbados!

While on your holiday in Barbados, here are a few animals and marine life to look out for!

1. The Green Monkeys!

These monkeys are brownish and green in color. They can be seen all over the island. They came from West Africa over 350 years ago! You will see them mostly in packs as they all move together as a family. They love bananas & fruit. If you see a monkey around your villa, hide the fruit! They are not harmful, however try to keep distance from a mother and her baby.

A Green Monkey

A Green Monkey

2. The Hawksbill sea turtle!

These beautiful sea turtles are home to our Barbadian waters. They are seen on the Atlantic side of the island as well as the Caribbean Sea side.  Going on a catamaran day cruise you will have the chance to swim with the turtles, as the boat crew feed them to attract them close to the boat. They are not harmful however it is wise to give them their space while swimming with them. You can also have the chance to witness a nesting turtle between the months of May-October.

turtles

 

3. Flying Fish

This unique fish which glides across the water at a rapid speed can generally be seen further out to sea. This fish can be eaten and prepared in many different ways! It is also part of the Bajan national dish “Flying Fish & CouCou”.

Flying Fish in Action!

Flying Fish in Action!

4. Mongoose

This creature was introduced to Barbados from India to assist in decreasing the rat population which was a threat to the sugar cane industry. However rats are nocturnal and the mongoose is a day time animal so therefore it didn’t work! You may see them more in the countryside or the odd one or two run across the road.

 

mongoooseGet in touch with theConcierge to arrange any activities that may allow you to see any of these animals up close and personal!

 

 

 

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Tips on Planning the Perfect Girlfriend Getaway

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart

Make amazing memories with a luxury Barbados beach holiday with friends this year. A group getaway is fun, budget friendly and a great way to have a guaranteed awesome vacation. The Caribbean is one of the preferred group holiday destinations and we have some great tips on how to plan your next Girlfriend Getaway or group luxury holiday.

1) Consider a villa in Barbados versus a hotel room

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Enjoy a Barbados beach holiday (Villa: Royal Westmoreland – The Westerings

A luxury villa rental for a small group of close friends or family can be quite competitive compared to a hotel rental. There are many stunning properties in Barbados with unique features and various amenities including: beachfront, on-site cottage, swimming pool, outdoor dining, gardens, access to golf, on-site staff and much more.

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Relax Poolside in Barbados (Villa: The Dream)

Contact a Reservations specialist who can give you great advice and provide details on a wide range of options.

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Enjoy a group beach vacation (Villa: Elysium)

2) Ask the Concierge for tips on what to do

There is always so much to do in the Caribbean, especially in Barbados. If you are planning a trip early in 2016, be sure to check out some of the February activities including Trinidad Carnival, the annual carnival celebration in Trinidad & Tobago (only a short hop away from Barbados), Broadway to Barbados and the Holetown Festival.

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Barbados Holetown Festival

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Visit one of Barbados’ newest dining options at Port Ferdinand Marina

3) Book early

To get the best possible rates start looking now to plan the perfect Barbados beach holiday.   With the help of the concierge you can pre-book tours, organise dinner reservations, secure tickets to the most exciting events and guarantee the holiday of a lifetime.

Another important tip is to discuss all aspects of your trip with the concierge. Often times you can negotiate a very attractively priced package that includes airport transfer and everything – this is especially great for group getaways.

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Foodie Fun in Barbados – Top New Restaurants

Foodie Holiday in Barbados (Photo: Villa Bonita)

Foodie Holiday in Barbados (Photo: Villa Bonita)

Barbados is one of the best food destinations in the world. From authentic West Indian dishes to a range of different cuisines including Asian, Indian and more, there is more than enough to whet the appetite of any traveling foodie.

This year, plan your perfect Foodie Getaway and try some of the newest culinary hotspots on the island:

1) The Cliff Beach Club

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View from The Cliff Beach Club

The Cliff Beach Club is the laid-back sister restaurant of the world renowned, uber trendy The Cliff. Combining a touch of class with a casual feel, this dining establishment is winning rave reviews for its mouthwatering menu offering stunning dishes from Chef Jeremy Dupire and its spectacular view. The hip hotspot is perfect for lunch or dinner and we highly recommend sipping cocktails by the bar while listening to the live entertainment.

Sample the Octopus Carpaccio at The Cliff Beach Club (Photo from @thecliffbeachclub)

Sample the Octopus Carpaccio at The Cliff Beach Club (Photo from @thecliffbeachclub)

2) Fusion Rooftop

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Dine under the Stars at Fusion Rooftop (photo from fusionrooftop.com)

This newcomer to the West Coast dining scene became an overnight sensation booked solid over the Christmas holidays. Located on the rooftop of the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Fusion Rooftop offers unmatched views of the West Coast while dining under the stars. The unique design incorporates natural elements including showstoppers such as the green ‘live wall’, the water tables and the fire pits. The state of the art retractable roof creates an alfresco feel and patrons can relax in the lounge, watch the Chef in motion by the Sushi Bar or enjoy the creative Asian fusion menu in the main dining area.

3) Pepenero

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Pizza at Pepenero

Classic Italian pizza straight from the oven and other delicious dishes are all on offer at this relaxed family friendly spot. Located in the Water Courtyard at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Pepenero is perfect for enjoying wine and personal pizzas with fresh toppings including homemade pesto, prosciutto and even Greek salad. That’s Amore!

4) Buzo Osteria-Italiana

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Great times at Buzo

A taste of Italy has also found its way to the South Coast of Barbados with the introduction of Buzo Osteria Italiana. This beautifully designed restaurant has become a fast favourite and the Island Villas team went there for our Christmas dinner – delicious! A great range of pasta dishes and tasty items to share make this a meeting spot for a great night on the town in Barbados.

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Operation Triple Threat: Sing, Dance, Act

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Operation Triple Threat: Sing, Dance, Act began as a developmental performing arts programme for students between the ages of 7 and 21. Founded by noted vocalist and music educator, Janelle Headley (B.F.A. Spec. Hons. Music), the programme was inspired by the need for training for the youth to become skilled in each of the three disciplines singing, dancing and acting. OTT has evolved from a camp in 2011 and is now an academic year programme (September to June).

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Richard Eames of Island Villas presenting Janelle Headley and some of the Operation Triple Threat Crew with a Donation towards their growth for 2016

Island Villas has chosen to donate to this Licensed Charity as they aim to provide students with the opportunity to explore the World of Musical Theatre as an art form, as well as a possible career choice.

Through the years as OTT has grown as a spectacular performing arts programme the organization has been molded by the needs of the participants as well as a meal distributions program. A full list of the activities offered include:

  • Classes: Talent and Creative Industry skills development in the areas of Voice, Dance and Drama
  • Workshops and Master Classes: Facilitated sessions with local and international industry leaders to get first-hand proof that a successful career in the industry is a realistic option
  • The Bridge Award Programme: Affords students the cross-cultural experience of going to New York City, providing exposure to the global standard of Broadway workshops, auditions, tertiary programmes or shows in the performing arts
  • Meals Distribution Programme: Providing nutritious meals to economically disadvantaged students to support a healthy mind and body of the young performing artist
  • Remedial Reading & Writing Volunteer Programme: Professional Volunteers help students with various reading and writing deficits to improve. After all, students need to be able to read, comprehend and interpret scripts and songs to clearly express themselves in written form
  • Team Building: Contribute to broader life skills development through inclusive team work and healthy competition, competing in teams against each other in various activities such as trivia games, physical activities and research projects
  • Community Service: To foster greater social responsibility amongst students through projects that address a current social issue, and provide opportunities to use performance art to uplift the local community through service events, such as providing entertainment at a hospital or children’s home
  • Performances: Students apply the skills and techniques learnt during the year at the final showcase, usually held at the prestigious Frank Collymore Hall
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Operation Triple Threat

The overall performance of the students involved in Operation Triple Threat has improved and the fruits of investments are seen through students moving on to acclaimed performing arts institutions. Some of their main accomplishments to date include:

  • 5 out of 5 students accepted into AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) for Fall 2016: Jabari Browne, Melanie Jean-Baptiste, Makala King, Katani Lewis and Charlene Morris
  • Tarla Morris: (OTT 2011 – 2015) accepted to the renown Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, USA and began studies in September, 2015
  • 2015 Broadway Trip & New York Auditions: In the summer of 2015, 5 students attended an American Academy of Dramatic Arts Workshop in New York City as well as auditions for AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy)
  • Shows: OTT performed a number of shows each receiving rave reviews. They included The Wiz and 13, a musical by Jason Robert Brown
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Operation Triple Threat Performing ‘The Wiz’

Operation Triple Threat provides a ‘home away from home’ as they work towards building the skill sets of their students. As the organization works towards presenting the two musicals ‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Seussical Juniors’ next year their number of participants as well as their need for volunteers grows. Different ways in which we encourage you to volunteer and help this phenomenal programme include:

  • Sewing costumes
  • Painting backdrops for the set
  • Marketing OTT and their shows
  • Meals programme – assisting with cooking and serving meals to OTT
  • Aids in remedial English and reading
  • Sponsoring a student
  • Pairing students with businesses

Members of OTT are encouraged to pursue The Bridge Program whereby they experience the global standard of Broadway workshops, auditions, tertiary programmes or shows in the performing arts in New York City. A number of the students cannot afford these opportunities and therefore OTT is looking for businesses or persons who are willing to pair with one or more of their students and aid in their continuing growth.

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How a Holiday in Barbados can Boost your Brain Power

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Barbados Holiday

Research has shown that a holiday in Barbados can have a positive impact on your brain power. A Caribbean holiday can actually make you more productive! So get ready to book your Barbados property for rent after reading the top 4 ways that a Barbados holiday can boost your brain:

1) Barbados Culture and Heritage can make you more creative

A recent blog post on Buzzfeed references a study done by the Academy of Management Journal which suggests that people who immerse themselves in overseas cultures are more inspired and more creative. Plan your trip to Barbados with theconcierge and let the team at Island Villas plan a cultural itinerary including trips to George Washington House, St. Nicholas Abbey and UNESCO World Heritage site, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

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Beach activities in Barbados

2) Holiday activities can make you more open to trying new things

Flyboarding, water-skiing and other fun watersports are great ways to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Being adventurous on holiday can motivate you to think outside the box in your day to day life.

3) It can bring about a new you

“Change your location and you may just change yourself.” (E. Weiner). Some people travel the world in search of inspiration, meaning or purpose. Being in a different location can change your perspective and influence your future decisions.

4) It makes you HAPPY!

Try this test. Say the word Barbados and beach to 5 different people and see what reaction you get. We are pretty sure it will be a combination of smiles, laughter and more smiles.

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Happy Holidays in the Caribbean

And, last but not least,

5) You will do better at work

A study by the U.S. Travel Association found that people who take all of their vacation days have a 6.5% higher chance of getting promoted at work than those who stay at their desks. Enough said.

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Top 5 Reasons to be in Barbados this Summer

TOP 5 REASONS TO BE IN BARBADOS THIS SUMMER

A bright blue sky, luxury villa and sandy beaches are all requirements for the ideal Barbados beach getaway. This summer, there is so much more to do on the island than the typical sun, sea and sand. Here are some of the Island Villas Top 5 Reasons to be in Barbados this Summer:

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Book a stay at Lantana and enjoy Cricket in Barbados

1) The World’s BIGGEST Cricket Party

St. Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, the islands are at it again! Back and bigger than ever the Caribbean Premier League will be more exciting, more dramatic and have more runs than ever before. Featuring some of the world’s best cricket players, this is one tournament you don’t want to miss. Look out for former England batsman, Kevin Pietersen, playing for the St. Lucia Zouks and heavy hitter Chris Gayle playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs

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Come to Barbados for the Crop Over Festival

2) Sweet Steel Pan

This unique instrument plays a significant role in Caribbean history and the steel pan continues to be a popular source of music in Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and across the Caribbean. Every year Barbados hosts a weekend of various steel pan events inviting some of the best in the region to play.

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Luxury living at Lantana Resort in Barbados

3) Summer Specials on Barbados Property for Sale & Barbados Property Rentals

The sun is hot and so are the specials! Ask about exclusive deals at some of Island Villas top Barbados properties including the award winning Lantana resort on the West Coast. Now is also a good time to arrange viewings of Barbados properties for sale – great deals to be had and the opportunity to combine a buying trip with a luxury beach holiday!

Barbados Heritage, culture,

Crop Over Festival in Barbados

4) Crop Over Festival

Bajan superstar, Rihanna, always heads home to Barbados in the summer for the annual Crop Over Festival. Over the years this celebration of culture,costumes and revelry has attracted numerous celebrities and visitors from all over the world.

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Stand up paddle boarding and other watersports

5) Summertime Activities and Discounted Summer Holidays with Free Food Pack on Arrival

Stand up paddle boarding, kitesurfing or even the newest activity for thrill-seekers, flyboarding – you can try it all on the beaches of Barbados. Contact theconcierge for ideas on how to spend your Barbados holiday. Island Villas can also offer discounted holiday packages with a complimentary food pack on arrival.

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Caribbean Jazz on the island of Barbados

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Blue Sky Barbados at The Dream villa

Enjoy blue sky luxury in Barbados while listening to the sweet sounds of Dutch jazz sensation, Denise Jannah, and musical legends, Maxi Priest and David Rudder at the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari.

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Sweet sounds of jazz at Serenity villa

Held over 3 days from Thursday, January 15, the festival promises to be an exciting few days of talent and entertainment. Enjoy an intimate evening with the music of Ella Fitzgerald as performed by Denise Jannah or experience blue sky luxury on January 18th on the grounds of Naniki accompanied by the music of David Rudder.

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Step onto the sand from Footprints villa

It will be a truly Caribbean festival on the shores of Barbados and we invite everyone to join us. Each year, the island of Barbados hosts a range of events in the areas of arts, culture, music, sports and more. 2015 will be yet another exciting one as we promote the upcoming Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series and the Barbados Polo Season – Kenya Tour.

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Holiday requirements: Barbados Blue Sky and Rum

Bajan Blue Sky and a Bottle of Rum

Bajan Blue Sky and a Bottle of Rum

St. Nicholas Abbey is one of Barbados’ oldest historic properties having been built in 1658. It is also one of the island’s most popular attractions and this stunning Barbados property is a ‘must visit’ whenever you are here.

Beautiful Barbados Historic Property

Beautiful Barbados Historic Property

Constructed by Lt. Col. Benjamin Berringer, St. Nicholas Abbey has a colorful past. Berringer’s wife embarked on an affair with his neighbor and business partner, John Yeamans. Yeamans then had Berringer poisoned and the Abbey acquired his name. Years later, the property was acquired by one of Berringer’s relatives and became Nicholas Plantation.

Rum making at the property started in the 1800s when the land was bought by Sir John Gay Alleyne, a Bajan. Since then, rum from St Nicholas Abbey has gone on to become world renowned for its quality and taste.

Nothing like a Rum Punch in Barbados

Nothing like a Rum Punch in Barbados

Visitors to the Abbey have the chance to walk through the ground floor of the original house, viewing interesting and quirky artifacts such as the gentleman’s chair – a mobile contraption fully fitted with footrest, reading desk and wheels to gently relocate the man of the house when he started snoring. A guided tour carries you back in time and there is even a video showcasing life on the plantation years before. The fascinating footage even shows old Bridgetown.

As well as award winning rum, the gift shop at the Abbey carries a wide range of local goods including rum truffles, molasses cookies and even rum marmalade! Be sure to have your unique St. Nicholas Abbey bottle of rum engraved before you leave.

What are the ingredients of a perfect island holiday? A Barbados blue sky and RUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate Barbados Heritage with the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA)

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Enjoying the island of Barbados – the view from Coconut Grove 3

Celebrate Barbados Heritage with the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA).

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Life on the island of Barbados

The island of Barbados commemorates its Independence annually on November 30. This historic day is celebrated with a number of events and activities that promote Barbados heritage. The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts, better known NIFCA, is one of these celebrations.

NIFCA was first held in November 1973 and has continued to be a part of Barbados’ Independence celebrations since then. The Festival is a showcase of heritage and culture and one can often see performances and exhibits from some of the best dancers, artists, photographers and others that the island of Barbados has to offer. Schools across the island also participate in this impressive Barbados heritage event.

Barbados Heritage

Performances at NIFCA, the outstanding Barbados heritage and culture event

Some of the upcoming NIFCA events include the Literary Arts Gala and the Professional Chefs cook-off. The highly anticipated Photography Exhibition features outstanding work from some the incredible talents on the island of Barbados.

 

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Barbados Historic Properties: The Story of Sam Lord’s Castle

Famous Barbados Property: Sam Lord's Castle

Famous Barbados Property: Sam Lord’s Castle

If these walls could talk…

Many Barbados properties are filled with stories of drama and intrigue from years gone by. One such property on the island is the infamous Sam Lord’s Castle, a beautiful Georgian mansion in St. Philip.

Sharing the history of Barbados

Sharing the history of Barbados

Built between 1819-1820, this Barbados historic property was home to the controversial rogue, Samuel Hall Lord – a notorious figure in Bajan folklore. It is alleged that Lord was appointed Trustee for his family members in London before disappearing with all of the money. He resurfaced on the island of Barbados where he used his new found wealth to build the impressive mansion, Sam Lord’s Castle.

Prime Barbados Real Estate

Prime Barbados Real Estate

Known for its battlements, marble floors and plastered ceilings, Sam Lord’s Castle stood amongst other Barbados historic properties. Allegedly Lord continued to build on his wealth by hanging lanterns on the rocks below the castle, luring ships to their demise and then plundering them for their cargo.

The gardens of Sam Lord's Castle

The gardens of Sam Lord’s Castle

His criminal behaviour did not stop there as he also supposedly imprisoned his wife in a dungeon below the castle! She then escaped to England carrying their only child and filing for a separation from Samuel. He was then accused of perjury and forgery but these charges were subsequently thrown out.

Inside this Historic Barbados Property

Inside this Historic Barbados Property

Upon Lord’s death, the storied Barbados property was sold along with its deer park to the Trollope family who owned it until 1942.

This piece of Barbados heritage was then run as a luxury hotel for many years but was tragically destroyed by fire in 2010.

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