Frequently Asked Questions

I assume the best time of year to visit is the winter. Isn't the summer hot?
To the contrary, summer is a great time to visit Barbados! It's rarely over 90 degrees Fahrenheit at the hottest point in the day (around 80 at night) and we enjoy a breeze off the sea that cools the island. Also, flights and accommodations are less expensive in the summer than during the winter.
What are your busiest times of year?
December through March is the time of year when people from colder climes especially appreciate our beautiful climate and warm sea; this is considered our high season. The first Monday of August is Crop Over, our festive carnival, but guests come to the island weeks ahead of time for the music and parties leading up to the festival. There's no time of year when "nobody" wants to visit Barbados, but these are our peak times.
Which airport do we fly into, and how far is it to the St. Lawrence Beach and Sapphire Beach Condominiums?
Grantley Adams International (airport code: BGI) is the only airport in Barbados, located in the southeast area of the island. We are approximately a 10- to 15-minute drive away, on the south coast of the island.
How do we arrange transportation from the airport to your condo?
Taxis are plentiful right outside the airport. The price to get to the condo is around $25 US for two people, including tip, and it takes about 15 minutes. You'll find the taxi stand immediately outside the airport. Tell your driver that you want to go to St. Lawrence Gap. There is only one entrance to the Gap. After entering the Gap, tell your driver that the St Lawrence Beach Condos is immediately after the church on the sea side of the street. If you're staying at Sapphire Beach Condos, you are a bit farther down, on Dover Beach, also on the sea side of the street.
What documents do I need to enter the country?
You need your passport and an immigration form, which you’ll be given on the plane. The back of the immigration form is your Customs form; be sure to fill out both sides.
Is there a departure tax?
Yes, but you won't notice it as it's built into the price of your airfare.
The St Lawrence Gap has many restaurants and night spots. Does that mean it's noisy in your condos?
There can be nighttime noise in the Gap. (Daytimes are very quiet.) The master bedrooms of all our condos face the sea where noise is not an issue. Second bedrooms that face the Gap can sometimes get some bass beats. All apartments described on this site have double-pane windows on their street side; this helps keep them quiet. If you want a dead-quiet getaway, we are not the place for you. If you want a fun, safe area with restaurants, night spots, beautiful beaches, and little shops, the Gap is a great place to vacation.
All of the condos have full kitchens; are there grocery stores nearby?
Yes, your condo has a beautifully outfitted kitchen. There are two small grocery spots along the Gap, about a 2-minute walk from both buildings. These have the essentials: bread, milk, butter, cheese, soda, ice cream, cereal, alcohol, and a limited selection of fresh fruit. It also carries a few drug items such as bug repellent, antacid tablets, suntan lotion, etc, as well as clothes washing detergent. Massy, a large grocery store, is one mile from the Gap - you can walk or taxi there and take their free shuttle back to your condo.
Is food expensive?
Almost all food is imported and, hence, prices are higher in Barbados – probably 25% higher than in the States.
How is tipping handled, and how much is appropriate?
A service charge is usually added to your bill in restaurants, so check your bill; leaving a bit more is at your discretion. Tipping of taxi drivers and other service personnel is consistent with the UK, US, and Canada.
What sorts of clothes should we bring?
We’re casual here, but not as much so as on US beaches. Sport shirts and shorts for men, summer dresses or shorts and top for women. Shoes are required in restaurants. Curious tidbit: It is illegal to wear camouflage clothing or accessories in Barbados.
Are your beaches clothing-optional?
Cover up, nature boy/girl! Nudity is not allowed on any Barbados beaches.
What is the exchange rate and where do we go to trade?
$1US = $2Bds. Any bank can exchange currency, but you may not need to – see below.
Can we pay for things in US currency or by credit card?
All restaurants and shops take US dollars and major credit cards. They do not generally take sterling or Canadian dollars, however.
Are there ATM machines?
Yes, there are ATM machines very near both the St Lawrence Beach Condos and the Sapphire Beach Condos.
Should we bring our own dive gear?
If you would like, sure, but dive gear is available for rent as well. Also, you can rent surf boards and buy snorkeling gear and boogie boards on the island.
Is Ganja (marijuana) legal?
No. No recreational drugs are legal in Barbados.
Will I need a car?
Depending on the sort of holiday you want, you can rent a car or not. If you want a lazy time hanging out on the beach and by the pool, strolling up and down the Gap, dining out, shopping at our little shops, then you needn't have a car at all and you'll still have a terrific time. If you want a more active or exploratory holiday, then rent a car. The bus system in Barbados is actually pretty good and there's a bus stop about a very short walk from the condos.
Do you recommend I rent a car before I arrive or wait until I get there?
If you are visiting at Christmastime, over the New Year, or during carnival (early August), reserve your rental car in advance. Otherwise, you can generally wait until you're in Barbados to reserve a car. To rent a car online before you arrive, you might check out Perhaps you'll want to spend a few days relaxing before exploring the island. All of the car rental agencies will bring the rental over to you, which is much easier than picking a rental car up at the airport. Any car rental agency will help you obtain a temporary local license, as long as you have a valid driver's license from your own country. Also, remember that we drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Do you welcome children?
Absolutely! Children are welcome. However, we are not keen on high school and college kids who come to Barbados to party without their parents.
What about pets?
Pets are not allowed into Barbados without a six-month quarantine, as the island wishes to remain rabies-free.
Should I worry about hurricanes?
As the most easterly island of the Caribbean archipelago, Barbados is nicely situated outside the hurricane zone. While we'd never say never, there hasn't been a hurricane in Barbados since the 1950s.
May I smoke?
Indoors, we have a strict no-smoking policy. We welcome you to smoke on the outdoor patio with the sliding door to the living room closed.
What's the electrical current in Barbados?
Same as the US: 110/120.
Is Barbados safe?
You can feel free to explore all of Barbados as it is a very safe island. We are fortunate to have a stable government, friendly race relations, and a prosperous economy, all of which have led to a very large middle class; these things contribute to our safe environment here in Barbados. Nowhere is "off limits" to visitors who want to explore.
Still ... what security do you offer at your condos?
The St Lawrence Beach Condos has security guards - either Michael or Jerry - on the premises every evening from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Sapphire Beach Condos have 24-hr security. The Gap is alive at night, people drink, and, although we've never had an incident of theft, vandalism, or anything else, we want to ensure that our guests and permanent residents are well looked after.
Can I drink the water... or should I stick to rum?
Haha, very funny. The water in Barbados is absolutely safe to drink right out of the tap. In fact, naturally filtered through our native coral stone, we have some of the cleanest water in the world. A bit of rum is good, too! Barbados rum, Mount Gay, is world-famous.
Is your beach private, for use by guests only?
By law, there are no private beaches in Barbados. All beaches are open to the public. The beach at St Lawrence Beach Condos is very small and does not attract the public, so it's essentially private. The jetty is the private property of ours and is a great place to sunbathe or fish. Sapphire Beach sits on a beautiful, large beach, Dover Beach, one of the prettiest south coast beaches in Barbados.
What about your pool? Is it private?
Yes, the pools at St Lawrence Beach Condos and Sapphire Beach Condos are for guests and permanent residents only.
Where would I go to find beach activities such as parasailing?
Dover Beach and Sandy Beach both offer all manner of beach activity.
Do you supply hair dryers, curling irons, etc? Beach towels? We provide these. Bring (or, when you're here, buy) shampoo, toothpaste, and sunscreen.
Is the sea suitable for swimming?
Absolutely! We swim in the sea outside our place frequently. The water is clear blue and clean. There's no undertow, and no large fish. The bottom is white sand. Because we are located at the point that the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet, we have more waves and slightly more active water than the west coast of the island. But it's far, far tamer than the east and north coasts of the island. Swimming and snorkeling off the south coast beaches is lots of fun. A nearby reef offers interesting snorkeling.
No sharks?
No, no sharks; our water is too warm for sharks (just right for humans, though).
No, sorry, we don't have dolphins. We have something else, though, something just as magical to behold: giant sea turtles. All of the full-day catamaran sailing trips will take you out to snorkel with these magnificent ancient creatures.
How do I go about booking an accommodation?
You've come to the right place! You may e-mail me anytime at to get the skinny. I am very happy to answer any and all questions about Barbados, including how to rent one of my pretty beachfront properties.