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Escape Marketing trains our Caribbean experts at The Holiday Place

The Holiday Place welcomed a representative from Escape Marketing last Friday who came to our office to give out a series of training sessions in which our travel experts were able to catch up with the group's latest resort and hotel developments, as well as receive an in-depth overview on each of the properties, with details about the most recent renovation works, the latest additions, facilities and special offers. A valuable afternoon full of handy information and tips that we can then pass on to our holidaymakers.

Escape Marketing trains our Caribbean experts at The Holiday Place

Last Friday, the lovely Lisa Jones from Escape Marketing came to The Holiday Place’s headquarters in North London to give everyone in our team an update on the Caribbean hotel properties her company manages and promotes.

We got treated to a few afternoon training sessions where we learnt more about the Flamboyant Hotel & Villas in Grenada, the Halcyon Palm Barbados, the Butterfly Beach Hotel in Barbados, the Bougainvillea Beach Resort in Barbados and the recently opened Sugar Bay Barbados, which started welcoming guests last month.

Escape Marketing manages four properties in Barbados and one in Grenada, with most of these consisting of charming beach-facing resorts that offer incredible value for money and have something for every traveller; catering for families with young kids to couples and groups.

During the training session, special time was devoted to talking us through each of the properties individually, highlighting their unique appeal, what kind of holidaymaker it would suit most and all that it offered.

Things kicked off with the Bougainvillea Beach Resort, a beautiful yet unassuming beachside property on Barbados lively South Coast. We were updated on the fact that all of its rooms had recently been renovated and had all received a makeover between 2013 and 2014. We also learned that the pool had likewise recently received a facelift with the addition of new comfortable and stylish sun loungers.

It’s an ideal resort for families as well with its fun Pet n’ Play Park for little ones, its Kids Under 4 Eat Free policy (with those aged between 4 and 11 paying half price) and the fact that all children 15 sharing a room with parents stay free all-year-round. In fact the lead-in room category is the One-Bedroom Suite that sleeps up to four people (2 adults and 2 kids or 3 adults). The resort is also magnificently located facing a tranquil beach, ideal for paddling toddlers and making it safe for swimming children.

The Bougainvillea is predominantly a self-catering resort that offers incredible value for money, but it has the feel of a hotel due to the many facilities it offers. Guests can also book upgrade their stay to Half Board and All-Inclusive meal plans, with the option of paying for meals as you go also being there.

But the resort’s main attraction (beyond its amazingly affordable room rates) is undoubtedly its outstanding location putting guests right at the heart of all the action in Barbados’ coast, with the property being just 10 minutes way from the lively Gap and Oistins – the region’s most happening downtown areas with frequent parties and an abundance of restaurants and bars. No doubt it’s one of the most popular and gets repeatedly booked to full capacity, so clients looking for this one need to be made aware that advance booking is sometimes essential.

Bougainvillea’s sister hotel is the newest of them all, which opened just last month and operates on an all-inclusive basis. The brand new Sugar Bay Barbados has a privileged location facing a protected reef, which makes the resort’s beach the calmest on the southern coast – there are literally no waves here so it’s incredibly safe for even the tiniest of tots. All its rooms boast a modern and chic design with a clever layout and more contemporary feel.

Likewise its 5 restaurants and bars feel modern and refreshing, with a pub just like you’d find in London. Families are well-catered to with a fully inclusive crèche available for toddlers between 4 months and 2 years, a kids club and playground for older kids and a teen club. The first child aged between 3 and 16 also stays free all-year-round while those 2 and under stay free up to maximum room occupancy. To top it all off, history and culture buffs will be happy to learn that Sugar Bay Barbados is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

Next, we were re-introduced to the Butterfly Beach Hotel, a 3-star property that packs a powerful punch, has repeatedly won many awards (more recently The Telegraph Travel Awards with the title of Favourite Affordable Hotel in the Caribbean 2015) and has everything a holidaymaker could need. It offers the greatest value for money out of all the ones in this group and hence why it’s frequently booked up to full capacity.

Regular entertainment is offered here with a weekly Manager’s Rum Punch Party and guests can make use of a pool and three whirlpools. This charming property’s main selling point is the direct access it offers to two stunning beaches as well as its affordability and value. Staying here means that you can minimise spending on accommodation and eat out cheaply and locally, as the hotel is perfectly located within walking distance to Oistins; a lively village famous for its Friday Fish Fry and its variety of bars and dining outlets.

The last hotel we were updated on in Barbados, was the Halcyon Palm, an even more affordable option to all the previous ones presented that comes with the only downside of not being located in first line of the beach (it’s in second line) but which still offers plenty of attractive perks to seal the deal – mainly the fact that it’s incredibly cheap; which also makes it quite popular and fills it up quick in peak seasons. It’s just 5 minutes to the beach and has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment programme in 2014 which included completely renovated bathrooms. Its location is also enticing, sitting pretty on the parish of St James, in Barbados West Coast and putting guests within walking distance to restaurants, bars and shopping.

Last but not least is the only hotel in this group not to be found in Barbados but Grenada instead. The Flamboyant Hotel & Villas is beautifully poised on one of this coveted isle’s most secluded beaches. It has a proper Caribbean feel, with Grenada being renowned as far less commercial than many other typical Caribbean destinations.

All rooms boast sweeping sea views at The Flamboyant but the hotel’s biggest asset is its location, offering some of the best scuba diving in the region with its own PADI-certified, five-star diving centre (the best in the island) offering diving courses and daily excursions with all dive sites being just a short 15-minute boat ride from the hotel’s beach.

The dining here is also second to none in Grenada and the hotel is famous for having the island’s longest Happy Hour (from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.). It’s also favoured by wedding couples getting married on the beach and famous for arranging underwater weddings. Daily entertainment (which varies by season) is also provided at the hotel with occasional live music, karaoke nights, crab racing and rum punch reception. Undoubtedly the best hotel for a more authentic Caribbean immersion with the local way of life.

After that last hotel overview it was a wrap but Lisa didn't leave before telling us that (as if all these hotels didn't sound appealing enough and you needed yet one more excuses to get there), free Wi-Fi was also available throughout each of these resorts (except for the Halcyon).

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