Remembering the old Casuarina Beach Club

Casuarina Beach Club Retrospective

The last time I was in Barbados (September 2003), I stayed at the Casuarina Beach Club. Located about ½ mile south of the busy tourist hub of St. Lawrence Gap, the Casuarina was an absolutely wonderful place and had done so much towards community tourism and safeguarding the environment. It was only 1 ½ years later (in Spring 2005) that the Casuarina closed up shop and the property was sold to Almond Resorts. In my Eulogy to the Casuarina Beach Club, I discussed my feelings towards this hotel in detail.
At this time, I would like to share some memories with you of this special hotel in a short video that I put together. Enjoy!

… from Calypso Island Chronicles: Eulogy for the Casuarina Beach Club

Our thanks to an old friend who sent us this video and said “This almost makes me cry. This clip was sent to me by a friend who used to visit Barbados in the past. They have planned to visit Barbados this winter and won’t find the ambiance that used to bring them back to Barbados.”

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19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature

19 responses to “Remembering the old Casuarina Beach Club

  1. Sam

    Built with love, bought out with money, a unique treasure that can never be replaced

  2. Adrian Loveridge

    Sam,

    Sam,
    Bonnie and her team created a very special place which attracted one of the highest levels of repeat guests of any hotel on Barbados.
    Interesting letter in the Nation today. Would never have happened under her reign.

  3. Loreto

    From the world’s leading Green Hotel to and environmental offender…….wow what a change!!!! The old Casuarina staff cleaned the beach themselves sometimes as early as 4.00am and never depended on NCC. And you are quite right Sam will never be replaced!!!

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    Loreto,

    Just emailed the 2005 National Geographic article on the old Casuarina to BFP. I hope they post it.

  5. Pingback: Neighbours cleaned up for filthy Almond Casuarina Beach Resort | Barbados Free Press

  6. Sam

    As both Adrian and Loreto know, the love of environment was a deep rooted philosophy at the former Casuarina and not lip service or just because it looks good to be called green (as is the case with so many other propetties). Yes, the former manager Bonnie herself along with some dedicated staff walked the beach often from bougainvillea to Turtle beach and cleaned it of all rubbish from cigarette butts to dirty napkins etc. No one saw, it was just done, and at four or five in the morning when most of us were sleeping. They also won almost every possible environmental award in the world, from back when It was not even fashionable to do so. Almond were blessed with an excellent heritage to build on, the work was done. Casuarina had one of the highest repeat visitor rates of any hotel in Barbados, to destroy this legacy would not only be mismanagement, but simlpy DUMB.

  7. peggy

    I stayed at the Casuarina Beach club 32 years ago and still have not forgotten this gem. I loved it and have fond memories of my three week stay there. I will not forget the chicken in a basket I often had for lunch or the free rum punch in the evenings. Nor will I forget the big crabs coming out of their dens in the evenings and running around all over the property, some of them would end up in the pool.
    I loved sitting on the beach under the palm trees, talking to the people trying to sell their jewelry to the tourists. Ladies who would give you a ‘Bo Derek’ hairdo complete with beads. Loved loved loved it.

  8. 98

    I am so sad to hear the news about the Casuarina beach club i got married in the gardens in sept 2001 have some wonderful memmories from there 😦

  9. Anonymous

    I spent many years going to the old casuarina from England .i loved the place and the beautiful gardens , the staff were friendly and it wasn’t all inclusive as so many others are ….we even got invited to the owners house once for a party that she through for guests that had stayed there more than once …I will never forget that night and all the happy times we had there…sadly I Havnt been back since it closed and don’t really want to …I would rather remember it how it was …..beautiful .

  10. Anonymous

    I miss the Casuarina! We went every year for about 15 years…
    Same time, same place, same room!
    We always saw the same people, year after year, and all became friends. Not just with the other guests, but with the staff and owners as well. We tried looking for another hotel, but nothing came close to the warmth and nature we found there. And when we saw what Almond Beach Club did to the gardens… we cried!

    Long live the memories.
    Best wishes to Bonnie and John

  11. Claire Faulkner

    I only stayed once at the Casuarina Beach Club but absolutely loved every minute of it. This holiday will stay in my memories forever. The hotel and grounds were beautiful and the staff were amazing…..so friendly and helpful and I hate that it has all gone 🙂 Long live the memories of an amazing hotel, staff and owners!!

  12. The Twitcher

    Sadly missed. A wonderful hotel really cared for by Bonnie, her family and staff. Always felt like a member of the family whenever I stayed there which was very regular in the late eighties and nineties. Sad demise.

  13. Anonymous

    A beautiful hotel visited many time as a family. Our son will never forget meeting Father Christmas on the beach after he arrived by catamaran! Seeing the enormous frogs/toads in the gardens after the rain, having the monkeys steal your sunglasses in the gardens. What a beautiful hotel, WHAT A LOSS!!

  14. My husband and I were at the Casuarina twice and adored it. Bonnie and staff were always so attentive. I will never forget the time we had a sunrise breakfast organized by Bonnie. All the taxis were supplied and waiting to take us there and after the sunrise we had a breakfast picnic with all the works. Jim became good friends with the barman who he called Winston for 2 weeks then found out it wasn’t his name. He showed Jim how to mix our Pina Coladas which we had every morning at 10:00 including my mom. I also have a picture taken with Chris one of the Merrymen (the best band) and how many times did we dance to Lyle’s music. We have just fantastic memories of it all including the Jolly Rogers. Our last trip was in 1991 and even as we get older its in our dream to go back and take the whole family.

  15. I went there today for the first time since 1996. It’s now a Sandals resort and is totally different and totally without soul. I was with my new husband and although I knew it had been sold and changed, I hoped he’d see something of the place my late mum and I adored in 1995 and 1996. Not a chance. It’s unrecognisable and destroyed. What a travesty.

  16. Anonymous

    Emma just reading your comment brought tears to my eyes. We’ll never understand why the Casuarina was changed from the original its a real shame. We plan on going back some day but will not stay there.

  17. Fulko H

    The Casuarina wasn’t changed… it was sold, and the reasons behind that were long and complicated. It was the new owners that kept it closed for years, and then built the monstrosity it is now. After a number of owners in the past 10 years, it no longer resembles the beautiful resort it once was. I’ve been told the original owner was, and is, so upset, that they have never even driven by the place to see it, ever since they let it go.

  18. By “changed”, I mean what it became after it was sold. I’m sure the original owners would’ve simply carried on as they were, updating as required but in sympathy with the place and environment as it was then. I’m currently staying at Sugar Hill where my uncle has an apartment which he lent us for our honeymoon and it’s got lovely gardens so at least my husband gets an idea of the colour and variety of the foliage at the Casuarina.

  19. Gemma Leyne

    We too have lovely memories from a one time memorable holiday back many tears ago. As seniors now ,any recommendations for the lovely calypso music and anything remotely similar to Casuarina anywhere on the island? Thank you!