Passion for Caribbean luxury holidays runs like blood through the veins of the Inspiring Travel Company. For us, it’s personal as well as professional, from founder June Foster who hails from Barbados, through to CEO Jennifer Atkinson who holidays in Barbados annually to Director Judie Hinkson who is married to a St Lucian. Many long-serving staff are also in thrall to the destination: Caribbean Product Manager Helen Tabois will wax lyrical about the natural beauty of the British Virgin Islands and Travel Specialists Julia Whittington, Sue Brooks, Jo Robinson and Sharon Williams (to name just a few) all have their personal favourites and secret insights that they’d love to share with you.
Our 40 year love affair with the Caribbean has created a wealth of knowledge and experience for you to call upon in creating your idyllic Caribbean holiday. Many members of our team throughout all areas of the business have worked with luxury Caribbean hotels and airlines much of their working lives and have built strong relationships with key personnel, relationships that are used to enhance your holiday with the Inspiring Travel Company. In particular our Travel Specialists have extensive personal experience of the Caribbean, so look out for their insight throughout the brochure and of course, do call them to discuss your ideas and let them advise you on your destination and resort choice.
Our people are at the heart of what we do and, most importantly, what we can do for you. That belief extends to the islands of Barbados and Antigua where we employ dedicated Destination Managers, Kerin Austin and Kathy Arthurton, both of whom have been looking after our clients for nearly 20 years and whose contacts on their respective islands are legendary! And of course if you’re in Barbados, feel free to drop in and see Kerin at our office in the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown.
Whether you’re already in the midst of your own ‘love affair’ with the Caribbean or it’s your first time travelling to her fabled and bewitching shores, you can be certain that the Inspiring Travel Company will put just as much passion into creating your luxury Caribbean holiday as you will. It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.
Any holiday to the Caribbean speaks of luxury and that’s what you’ll always receive from the Inspiring Travel Company: whether luxury to you means gourmet cuisine and butler service, a deserted beach where you can feel the sand between your toes and nobody puts on airs and graces, or perhaps it’s simply that your time is precious and you want us to put everything together for you before, during and after your holiday so that you don’t have to. Whatever your personal definition of luxury, there’s something in our programme to suit all tastes and we recognise that value for money is often the starting point.
With that in mind, we couldn’t offer you The Complete Caribbean without featuring a selection of hotels that offer fantastic all-inclusive value or those whose attraction is in their rustic outlook. Nor could we pass up the opportunity to introduce you to some of the beautiful Caribbean islands along the ‘road less travelled’ such as Dominica and Trinidad & Tobago. We recommend that you consult with our Travel Specialists to benefit from their knowledge and experience but as a quick reference guide within this expanded brochure, we’ve signposted certain resorts that you might not have considered before, ‘Our Extended Luxury Caribbean Portfolio’; just look out for the indication and call us to discover more. We’re proud to be based in two of the UK’s most attractive locations, Chester and Harrogate, and you can call either of the geographical numbers within the brochure pages with complete confidence that you’ll receive specialist insight about the Caribbean.
The Caribbean has a plethora of festivals and events, with differing celebrations and activities happening across the separate islands.
Music runs through the heart of the Caribbean, and particularly jazz. There are music events throughout the year, with jazz festivals in Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, and Anguilla. A few of the more popular festivals include the Havana International Jazz Festival, celebrating music throughout the day and night, along with the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival, which this year features Bruno Mars, chart topping singer and one of Time magazine’s most influential people. The jazz scene certainly has a lot to offer.
Jamaica also hosts several Reggae music festivals, including the Reggae Sumfest in July and Bob Marley Week in February.Sumfest spans over ten years now, with various artists performing throughout, such as Shaggy, Sean Paul, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Beenie Man, and more.
Bob Marley Week is a particularly special occasion for many people within the Jamaican community and throughout the Caribbean. The festival pays homage to the great musician, celebrating his life and his work, reveling in the culture that he bought to the region.
Other events include Barbados’ Holetown Festival, which celebrates the anniversary of the first settlement of Barbados at Holetown. This is a week-long festival in which residents and visitors to Barbados can enjoy historical lectures, immersing themselves in the culture that the event commemorates.
The region boasts a wide range of parades too, such as the St Kitts & Nevis National Carnival Parade, and the Tobago Flying Colours Kite Festival. The St Kitts & Nevis Parade is usually held in December, featuring music, dancing, and everything and anything colourful.
The Tobago Kite Festival offers its own overabundance of colour and celebration, this time in the form of homemade kites. This is a great event to join in with, or simply to watch in awe and enjoy the sites (and kites!).
With a region as beautiful as the Caribbean, it feels selfish to only select a few of its magnificent delights that it has to offer.
However, with six island groups, and over 20 separate island countries, it is simply impossible to explore every single element of them.
Notable landmarks includeBrimmer Hall Estate in Jamaica; Brimstone Hill Fortress in St Kitts; Shirley Heights Fort in Antigua; Morgan Lewis Mill in Barbados; and many more.
Brimmer Hall is located in Port Maria, Ocho Rios, a beautiful region of Jamaica. Here, you can experience a real working colonial plantation, home to the production of coffee and tropical fruit. The visit allows you to really get a sense of what working colonial life would have been like; the house itself has been equipped with motifs and decorations from the era.
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is the perfect day out and a definite must-see when in St Kitts. The park itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning the area is full to the brim of historic, cultural, and architectural significance, also meaning there’s plenty to experience.
Antigua offers their culture and heritage in the form of Shirley Heights Fort, situated on the edge of the island. The area is full of historical influences, so there is plenty to experience. Nearing 500ft, the views from this magnificent area are enough on their own, but there’s also nearby eateries and bars.
The Morgan Lewis Windmill is classed as one of Barbados’ ‘Seven Wonders’ and it’s easy to see why. As one of only two remaining rebuilt and refurbished sugar mills in the Caribbean, the windmill offers wonderful views of the area and the coastline.
The Caribbean has a wealth of impressive scenery and surroundings, all of which change depending on your location within the region. From the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, to the Diamond Waterfalls of St Lucia, the Caribbean has an abundance ofspectacular sights.
The Blue Mountains play host to Jamaica’s highest peak and is the longest mountain range on the island. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can reach the summit by a walking track; it’s certainly worth the energy. The views at the top are sensational, and sometimes on a clear day, the outline of Cuba is visible.
St Lucia offers the Diamond Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens, the oldest of which in the region. Whether you’re after foliage, flora, or water, then this is simply a magnificent place to visit.
The Caribbean is well known for its love of cricket, but there are plenty of other great activities and sports to participate in when enjoying your holiday.
With a vast expanse of ocean, the Caribbean is the perfect location for water sport. From snorkelling to diving to deep-sea fishing, the region offers an array of luxury water activities.
The Southeastern Peninsula in St Kitts is one of the best snorkelling areas within the Caribbean. With some of the clearest waters and exhilarating sea life, the location is perfect for those looking for some underwater entertainment.
Another exciting location is Thunderball Cave situated in the Bahamas. James Bond loved it, and we think you will too. Gringo Beach in Puerto Rico is another fabulous location to try your hand at snorkelling. Not only is it perfect for this particular activity, it’s also an amazing beach area too.
You can also try your hand at something new, from polo to archery to horseback riding; the Caribbean has the climate to allow you to do almost anything. If you don’t fancy trying your hand at these activities however, they’re just as much fun to watch. The Chukka Cove Polo Club hosts a wealth of matches for your viewing pleasure.
The island of Jamaica is particularly relevant when discussing sport within the Caribbean. Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt was born here, adding to the already buzzing reputation of the island.
There’s no end to the amazing cuisine and delectable food that the Caribbean has to offer. From unusual delicacies, such as sea eggs and conkies, to traditional Caribbean fare, such as rice & peas, salt fish, and jerk chicken.
The Caribbean mixes traditions from many different nationalities, such as African, East Indian, Arab, and Chinese, which creates spicy and sensational food.
Anguilla and the Bahamas offer langouste and rock lobster, specialty dishes to the islands. St Lucia hosts a wealth of foods too, from green figs to plantain to callaloo soup, which is composed of leafy vegetables. Goat stew is a signature dish of St Kitts and Nevis and popular throughout the islands.
Some of the Caribbean’s most famous and well-known restaurants include The Cliff in Barbados, a beautiful vision of candlelit tables, overlooking a sea view. Not only does this restaurant look amazing, you can also enjoy a $150 three-course meal, and the price certainly matches the quality.
If you’re looking for a real taste of the Caribbean, then try the Boston Jerk Centre in Jamaica. With open fire pits, grilling huge quantities of meat, this restaurant is perfect for those looking to try the traditional jerk chicken, along with more interesting options, such as goat.
With a mix of seafood, meat, and exotic fruit and vegetables, the Caribbean has an expansive range of choice, all full of flavour.