Almond Beach Village caters to families, couples

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Associate editor Cathy Carroll visited Almond Beach Village. Her report follows:

ST. PETER, Barbados -- The oceanfront, inclusive Almond Beach Village resort here deftly straddles the family and couples market, and a $7 million expansion and renovation project added features that serve both types of guests.

Almond Beach Village has a family wing and a couples wing. This enables adults to have time with their families or alone with their partners, according to Ralph Taylor, chairman and managing director of Almond Beach Resorts, which also includes the 161-room, adults-only Almond Beach Club in St. James.

For example, couples who bring their children to the village's kids club can escape to the adults-only section of the resort, which has a separate beach and pool area.

Another advantage of having separate adults-only and family sections is that guests who are getting married but already have children can bring their families along for the ceremony and still have time alone.

Improvements have been added to both the adults-only and family sections of the resort. In the family wing, 42 oceanview junior suites were added, bringing the 30-acre resort's total number of rooms to 330.

The Reef restaurant was expanded to include a pizza oven for the kids club and an extended buffet area to accommodate the increased number of rooms. More deck space was added to the seafood restaurant for al fresco beachside dining.

Another addition to the village is a $1 million entertainment package -- featuring house bands that perform reggae, jazz, steel pan music, a '70s revival and other evening entertainment -- that provides quality more consistent than what would result from contracting with individual bands, Almond Beach officials said.

The resort is on the west coast of Barbados, about 11 miles from Bridgetown, the capital, and 19 miles from the Grantley Adams Airport. It has nine swimming pools, gift shops, a disco and two Jacuzzis.

Water sports offered include water skiing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, reef fishing, tubing, wind surfing, sunfish sailing and snorkeling as well as banana boats and aqua bikes. The village also offers golf, tennis and a fitness center.

The kids program is offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for children of all ages. The property has a nursery for children under age 4, and coordinators entertain children ages 2 through 13.

Children can participate in water sports, boat rides, lessons in Bajan culture, calypso and reggae dance lessons, painting and tie-dye crafts, computer and video games and pool activities.

Private baby-sitting is available for $7.50 per hour. Rooms are air conditioned and include a satellite television, a private balcony or patio, a hair dryer and an in-room safe.

The village's nightly, double occupancy room rates start at $520 through March 31, after which the rate drops to $460. Rates range up to $1,200 per night for the Presidential Suite through April 1, after which the rate drops to $1,100.

Almond Beach Village

Phone: (800) 425-6663

Fax: (407) 872-7770

E-mail: [email protected]

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