Woodlands and plantation (including Cherry Tree Hill) sugar cane fields, the plantation house, rum tasting, the boiling house for rum and sugar – all form part of this heritage site and popular tourist attraction.
I’m a stickler for reviews, Trip Adviser etc…and was really impressed with the overwhelming positive feedback on this hotel.
Furthermore, it’s very reasonably priced in comparison to the big east/west coast, all-inclusive resorts.
If you’re on a tight budget, or want to claw back more money for spending, you could easily spend your entire holiday using this (or similar) hotel as your base.
Alternatively, mix it up to get a taste different parts of the island.
Whether you can afford it or not, all inclusive deals do not always give you best value for money. If you’re in an area with plenty of local places to eat, why not put more of your money in the hands of local businesses and sample more of the culture, cuisine and community of the country you are visiting?
This was my first time ‘not’ staying in a big ‘all inclusive’ style hotel and, well, sometimes less really is more!
St Lawrence Gap isn’t short of restaurants and street food vendors every evening so – if you’re planning to self-cater/cook I’d avoid the main mini market in the Gap (pretty overpriced) – there are bigger and better priced supermarkets a bus ride away toward Bridgetown.
Anyway, back to the Yellow Bird.
My top things about this hotel
Location, location, location!! Right at the start of St Lawrence Gap
A short bus ride into Bridgetown
A short drive from Oistins
Great for people watching!
Beautiful balcony views, and stunning sunsets
Small and family run (a nice contrast from being in a giant hotel with hundreds of people)
Fully equipped kitchen and clean modern decor
Relatively more affordable than the bigger hotels on the west coast
Tip: if you’re planning on self catering – head up to one of the bigger supermarkets (rather than the small one’s in St Lawrence Gap, the bigger supermarkets will give you more for your money!
The staff here were all very helpful and friendly – though I must point out the lovely ‘Sonia’ who maintained our rooms with smiles and helpful advice along the way, never too busy to stop and say hello – even when she was tired and working beyond her normal hours in order to support the business and guests during an unexpected ‘water cut’ – carrying large heavy containers of water up to guests rooms…..that’s another story, anyway – a huge and heartfelt thank you Sonia.
Any downsides – not really 😊
Rooms are on three upper floors but there are no lifts – the hotel staff were strong enough to carry my baggage up the stairs, but I still felt bad because my cases normally feel like they’re full of bricks!
I would highly recommend Yellow Bird and would certainly stay there again.
It was like walking through a scene in a fairytale.
Monkey’s swinging all over the place, various animals wandering around you as you take in everything the reserve has to offer.
Please watch your step, and don’t tread on any passing turtles like I almost did, they are everywhere, and will gladly walk up to you and nudge your nice white pumps before stepping right onto them, leaving you with a lovely muddy footprint as they go off on their merry way.
What about snakes?
Yes there are snakes.
No they do not roam around freely, they are kept in sealed enclosures, along with the crocodiles so relax!
Sadly, there were some beautiful birds locked in cages for our viewing, unable to fly freely.
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This was the most memorable part of this visit.
You absolutely must make your way to the feeding point for the allocated time, 2pm to be exact – this is the main highlight.
Now as far as I know, animals don’t wear watches or read clocks, but they all instinctively knew when it was feeding time and began to make their way through the reserve and congregate around the designated feeding spot in anticipation.
Diners included, deer, tortoise, turkeys, monkeys, hens, peacocks and a few other species – quite a gathering.
It was like so sort of non-discriminatory animal food convention.
Enjoy the show
There are benches dotted around the feeding area, so you can sit and observe at close range. You may even find a monkey decides to sit beside you, assuming the seat isn’t already taken.
Again, if you don’t manage to get a seat, please be careful not to step on anyone (animal or human) around you and don’t touch the monkey’s tails – they hate that.
Dinner is served
Once the food is dropped off by wheelbarrow, a surreal feeding frenzy begins.
All the animals, despite their differences, dine together peacefully in a remarkably civilised and unified way.
Mind your table manners
The monkeys can be a bit cheeky, scratching at the deer to get them to move out of the way when they ‘unintentionally’ block the monkey’s access to the food. The monkeys just want to get at the buffet – they don’t scratch maliciously to draw blood, just enough to make the deer jump and move out of the way.
Monkeys also like to use the tortoise shells as a dinner table seat.
The deer have a habit of stuffing way too much food in their mouths and then struggle to chew, as may well be the case with some of humankind!
As I watch this dinning experience, I can’t help but notice the silence, except for the sounds of food being chewed before me.
This was definitely one of the highlights of my stay in Barbados, and is one not to be missed. I’d recommend doing this visit through ‘Glory Tours’, which will cover a range of attractions in one round trip.
Oistins is a fishing village in Christ Church, Barbados (not far from St Lawrence Gap).
Oistins fish fry is an absolute must, especially when you’re in Barbados for the first time.
The food may not be free but you pay nothing for the music and atmosphere.
The vibe here is buzzing, with music and smells of cooked food in the air.
Locals and tourists flock down for a night out.
Just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain, as deep/broad puddles and sloppy sand pathways will surely follow.
The main stage is the largest, (where lots of people ran for shelter during the downpour) and attracts street dancers and the larger crowds.
There are smaller stage/dance areas, such as the line dancing calypso set, which spilled outside with dancers and spectators alike.
You will find rows of huts all serving a range of cooked fish dishes for you to choose from.
Open fire grills are flaming brightly while smokey barbecue aromas waft through the air.
Craft and souvenir stalls are also dotted around in case you fancy a bit of shopping, and there will be a spot for the domino players, who play with the kind of enthusiasm I would expect to be reserved for an Olympic feat or world cup final!
Sometimes you just get a feeling about something, someone or somewhere. There is no logic to the feeling, you only know the feeling is real and strong.
For me, the grounds leading to Harrison’s Cave felt like a scene from a James Bond film; I’m not sure which film but I could just picture Bond running around firing shots or being chased by one of the bad guys from the franchise.
The caves themselves are stunning, mesmerising and very much like something that would inspire a science fiction or fantasy film.
We started off looking around the museum dedicated to the caves, then sat and watched a shot video in a small theatre before boarding trailer type trams to wheel us through the labyrinth of underground caves below.
It’s a very interesting place and well worth seeing.
I’d recommend doing this as part of an all day island tour (Glory Tours) to get value for money!
Since I’d never been on a submarine before, and I adore tropical fish – this seemed like really good excursion to cross off the list whilst in Barbados.
Now we cross over from our boat to the submarine
Down the hatch (not for the claustrophobic)
Know your fish.
At this point or commentator starts to suggest some appropriate conversation starters for the moment (depending on who you’re with of course!)
“How deep is your love?”
“I really think we’re starting to form a deeper connection”
“I’m looking for a deeper love”
“I really enjoy our deep conversations”
“So now you can see I’m not a shallow person”
“Our love is deeper than ever right now”
I think you get the picture…….
You’ll find a short video down below…..
I’ll be honest, I didn’t realise the water might be a bit cloudy down there and not quite like the clear/vibrant views we see in an aquarium, and no sharks.
It was still an interesting experience, but unless you ‘really’ want to go on a submarine, or have a lot of spending money to spare, I’d leave this until the end of your trip.
Anyway….the deeper under water you go the more colours fade into a pale murky version of the real colour – including colours of your clothing whilst in the submarine.
A few people said they felt a bit dizzy and tired when we got back up to the surface – apparently this is quite normal – though I didn’t really notice anything myself, plus the rum punch on the way back to land probably obscured and funny feelings!
We met a woman who had docked in Barbados that morning on a cruise ship for one day, she’d never been to Barbados or the caribbean before – and had chosen to spend half the day (her one and only day) on this trip. I felt a little sad for her, thinking of how much of the island she probably wouldn’t experience, St Lawrence Gap, Wild Life Reserve, Harrison’s Cave, Oistins etc…if you’re only on the island for one day – go and see Barbados!
Anyone who knows anything about Barbados will be familiar with all the hype surrounding St Lawrence Gap.
All things touristy
Down to earth
Close to Oistins and Bridgetown
It just wouldn’t be right not to spend at least a few nights in the thick of St Lawrence Gap, it’s the opposite of the quiet (expensive) resort laden west coast.
The Gap is most lively on a Saturday night.
Taxis never cease to drop off revellers at the top of the Gap each evening.
If you want a quiet night with a cup of cocoa, don’t go to St Lawrence Gap!
That said, before holidaying in Barbados I had read a lot of reviews/comments about St Lawrence Gap from various websites and social media. A lot of people seemed to be saying the Gap isn’t as lively as it was in its hay day.
However, it is still lively enough!
While we staying up on the West coast for a while, a beach seller (who claimed to be a distant relative of Rihanna) warned us to be careful when going to St Lawrence Gap; she talked about the rise in crime and how she didn’t think it was as safe as it used to be.
Thankfully, we encountered no trouble whilst staying at St Lawrence Gap, and I guess trouble can happen anywhere these days.
The calm before the crowd
At the top of the Gap, opposite the Yellow Bird Hotel, you will see a lovely ocean front dotted with fishing boats, and frequented by fishermen – who clean and sell their catch on a morning (and evening).