Shopping in the West and South Coasts of Barbados

The Caribbean islands are known for pristine beaches, accommodating people and lively parties. Aside from these attractions, many tourists go to the island for splurging their cash in shopping. Barbados is known for its many shopping districts. So, if you are looking for a good vacation and looking for some duty free shopping goods call your travel agent, book for a Barbados travel hotel and get ret ready to shop till you drop.

After arriving in Grantley Airport, shoppers can already start their shopping spree in the airport’s duty free shopping center. Just remember that when you are buying your goods, present your passport and details of your temporary address in the country to qualify for the duty free price. You can almost find everything for everyone in the wide range of shops and boutiques in this Caribbean island. So, it’s better to have some spare cash and do not rely too much on credit cards.

Travelers can choose from shopping from both west coast and south coast of the island. Each coast offers a variety of merchandise at a very affordable price. So make sure you have a complete list of you the things you will buy, so that you do need to go back and forth from each coast while shopping.

Down South
The south coast has numerous shopping centers. In the parish of Christ Church, travelers will find clothes, shoes, electronics and children’s toys on the Sheraton Centre. In this mall, travelers can also sit back and enjoy a good movie at the Barbados Olympus Theatres. Opposite the Acra beach, on the South’s main road, shoppers can find Quayside Centre which offers merchandises like designer clothes. Surfers can also pick up a few surfing gears at accessories on the Lazy Days shop. You can also buy garments, beachwear, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and electronics at duty free prices on the smaller branch of Cave Shepherd located at south coast main road.

Go West
If you happen to be at the west coast of the island nation, don’t forget to drop by in Holetown, where you will find the Sunset Crest Shopping Centre. There, tourists can enjoy shopping for designer jewelries and clothes at duty free prices. For shoppers who have a fine taste, Pure Source inside the Shopping center offers a wide range of imported goods such as hair products and sunglasses. Most of the shop’s merchandise comes from Paris and can be bought at affordable prices. Travelers can also find designer clothing and other items on the exclusive boutiques on Chattel House Village. The shop also offers special discounts on special occasions.

There are other shops in the Caribbean country, especially in the capital, Bridgetown, where tourists can enjoy a great buying experience. Barbados travel hotel have a connection to many car rental service shops, so if you are planning to buy a lot of stuff, it’s better to rent, an SUV or Suzuki Jimmys that will carry your purchased items back to your hotel. Just keep in mind to watch your budget; you do not want to be broke for the rest of your vacation after spending way too much on your shopping spree.

Hotels in Dubai: XVA Art Hotel and Villa Rotana

XVA Art Hotel

A stylish and peaceful boutique hotel in the heart of Bastakiya, XVA occupies a renovated Majlis-style residence, retaining the original architectural motifs, wind towers and three open courtyards. It is also home to one of Dubai’s most respected art galleries, showcasing Middle Eastern and international contemporary art. This is a stunning small hotel, with seven original and quirky bedrooms designed by well-established artists from the region. All have air conditioning. There are single, double and deluxe bedrooms – all en suite with baths and showers. Walls are white stone with big mirrors. One room has a completely kitsch feel to it, another is pop-arty, one has a silver and purple Gothic theme going on and yet another is modern and simple. The rooms are not huge, but what they lack in space, they more than make up for in originality. Upstairs on the rooftop there are rocking chairs from which you can enjoy the view over other rooftops – especially pretty at night.

The XVA’s cafe serves award-winning Lebanese-Arabic vegetarian cuisine. A snug little library has old kilims on the floor, and art is displayed throughout the hotel. An in-house tailor will turn your fabric bought from the nearby Textile Souk into your outfit of choice, and Boutique has a small fashion and gift store here too. XVA has its own dhow on Dubai Creek and organises gourmet vegetarian dinner cruises on the dhow for hotel guests. It can also organise themed day tours.

Villa Rotana

It’s situated in an excellent location, on the Sheikh Zayed Road, for getting to all parts of Dubai by car or taxi. However, as an area in which to stay, there are no attractions of any sort within walking distance. Villa Rotana is a collection of serviced apartments with a hotel ambiance. The heart of the building is a big empty square space – five storeys built around a covered courtyard, which features a rather soulless International restaurant on the ground floor. Breakfast is a buffet, lunch is a buffet and dinner is a la carte. The apartments themselves are great, and the views over the Sheikh Zayed Road, while obviously not bucolic, are actually mesmerising.

The Classic Studio has either a king bed or twin beds and is decorated in a sleek East-meets-West style, with kitchenette, dining area, living area and bedroom. The Premium suite – with red shaggy rugs, funky modern easy chairs, cool white leather sofas, large flat-panel TVs, a dining table, well equipped kitchen and spacious bathrooms – is extremely pleasant.

There is a health and fitness centre, Bodylines, free for guests, but with outside membership as well. The gym is large and impressive, and there are steam rooms, saunas, a hot tub and showers. The outdoor rooftop swimming pool would be nice if it weren’t currently overlooked by a massive building site – and lots of ogling workmen – but the views from here are fabulous, and a small cafe on the roof serves drinks and snacks.

Should I Stay in a Boutique Hotel?

Some people have already started planning next year’s holiday and if you are one of them, then you are almost definitely wondering what kind of accommodation to stay in. Apartments, villas and hotels are the most popular choice but how about something a bit more exclusive next year? How about staying in a boutique hotel?

A boutique hotel is a one-off masterpiece that is always styled with top quality fixtures and fittings, some boutique hotels are decorated head-to-toe in a certain theme. There are far less guest rooms than you would expect to find in your mainstream hotel which offers a level of intimacy and makes you feel that extra bit special. You can expect your bedroom to be a place of calm and tranquility – don’t expect to find any televisions or internet connection. Boutique hotels are designed to surround you in luxury and calm, you will probably get the best nights sleep you’ve had for a while.

The dining room will be just as beautifully decorated as the rest of the hotel and the food and service will be of top quality. You are catered for personally and you are not just another number. Saying all this is not meant as a criticism to standard hotels; it is just helping to define what qualifies the term boutique hotel.

So how about a quick check list to see which one would be suited to you:

- Do you want: (a) a relaxing time-out (b) a busy, non-stop holiday?
- Do you want: (a) to be with a small amount of guests (b) to be surrounded by a crowd of guests?
- Would you like (a) to dine in style with table service (b) to race fellow guests to the buffet?
- Would you (a) pay a bit more for quality (b) go for the cheap option by compromising on standards?
- Could you (a) do with a good night’s sleep (b) not cope without television or internet in your room?
- Are you (a) looking for something stylish and unique (b) looking for a regular holiday?
- Do you care about (a) going somewhere new (b) just getting away?

If you answered mostly (a) then you definitely need to stay in a boutique hotel, you will not be disappointed. If you answered (b) then maybe you’d be better suited to a regular hotel, however when you do feel like getting away from noisy guests and getting a bit of VIP service then maybe it’ll be time for a boutique hotel.