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You Automatically Win This "Bar" Bet For Bajan Discounts

October 17, 2003 -- Each year, the tourism authorities on the winsome Caribbean island of Barbados try to seduce travelers with a range of discounts they call "Best of Barbados." This year's slew of discount packages is even better than usual, with big Barbadian bonuses going to folks who want to travel this fall.

Best of Barbados deals must be booked through a travel agent or packager by Nov. 30, for stays through Dec. 20 that don't start on Nov. 27 or 28. (Yes, they're blocking out the big holidays. You can at least dodge their Thanksgiving prohibition by checking in on the 26th.)

More than a dozen packagers are doing Best of Barbados deals including airfare, hotels and airport transfers. Expedia (, for instance, will set you up with seven nights, double occupancy, departing on a Friday, starting at $673.30/person from Boston, $775.71/person from Chicago or $799.45 from Dallas, including airline taxes and fees. (Expedia serves up packages from pretty much every city in the nation, so punch yours in.)

US Airways Vacations ( offers seven-night vacations that we found (departing on Fridays) at $642.90 from New York, $732 from Charlotte and $819 from Pittsburgh. US Airways is one of the two major US airlines flying into Barbados (American is the other), so you can count on them to offer reasonably-priced packages if you're flying out of a US Airways city.

Other packages come from GOGO Worldwide Vacation, TNT Vacation, Travel Impression, Air Jamaica Vacation, Alken Tours, Apple Vacations, Brendan Tours, Interisland Tours, ITR, Tradewinds International and Wyder Tours.

With this broad a range of options, it'd be best to get a travel agent to help you sort them out. Find an agent specializing in the Caribbean by using the American Society of Travel Agents' search page ( or by using the list at

BYOB (Build Your Own Barbados)

If you're an independent island-hopper, you don't have to go with one of the packages. You can assemble a Best of Barbados package yourself, with the aid of a travel agent. Find a list of travel agents, plus all of the hotels, car rental agencies and other operators participating in Best of Barbados, at

We were surprised to see the Cobblers Cove Hotel on their list. It's one of Frommer's favorite Barbadian resorts and one of the most romantic retreats on the island. They're offering two nights free on a seven-night stay; rates start at $371/night and go all the way up to $1,128 a night for the Colleton Suite.

You can also get a great deal at our favorite all-inclusive resort on Barbados, the Almond Beach Village, or its twin, the Almond Beach Club & Spa. Regular rates at the Village start at around $1100 per person, double occupancy for seven nights, so it's great that you get one night off a five-night stay and two nights off a seven-night stay.

A simpler, less expensive pick would be the Sandy Beach Island Resort, a pleasant and reliable place on a gorgeous beach, good for families. They're also offering two nights free on a seven night stay, with room rates starting at $100/night (and suites starting at $152.)

To help you get around, several car rental firms are offering one day's free car rental with a four-day paid rental. Restaurants across the island are pitching in with 50% off the second dinner when you buy one dinner at full price. Of Frommer's recommended restaurants on Barbados, both Carambola and Brown Sugar have signed up for the deal.

Whether you book a package or go it alone, the Best of Barbados folks have also organized a range of attraction discounts on the island including a slew of cruises, a golfing discount, a tour of the Mount Gay rum factory and 20% off on Harrison's Cave, Barbados' #1 tourist attraction. Print out the list of discounts from the Best of Barbados site ( and make sure to ask for yours.

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