Caribbean: High road low road

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The term "compulsory half-board" may have alarming resonances of public school for some, but in the new brochure from Tradewinds (0870- 751 0005) it applies to the more benign institution known as Cobblers Cove in Barbados, a five-star hotel that is part of the Relais & Chateaux group. A week there departing 12 April next year, staying in a deluxe suite and flying Club World on British Airways, will cost a shade over pounds 4,000 per person - including the compulsory half-board supplement.

low road

The company that pioneered low-cost Caribbean holidays was Airtours (01706 232323); a decade ago, it began charter flights to the region and offered prices as low as pounds 299 for a week. The cheapest Airtours package to Barbados next 12 April costs pounds 589, staying at the Pirate's Inn. While you enjoy the same sun and sea as the High Road contingent who are paying seven times as much, you may be amused to reflect that Tradewinds is merely the upmarket brand name of Airtours.