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In The Caribbean

The Latest From The Beach House

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HOW TO TIP AT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE

Our Tips For Tipping Our Staff

June 2024 | A question our guests often ask at Sea Breeze Beach House is how to show their appreciation to staff with a gratuity, even though service charge is included. So how does tipping work and can guests tip at an all-inclusive? We hope our brief guide will help.

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HOW TO TIP AT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE

Our Tips For Tipping Our Staff

June 2024 | A question our guests often ask at Sea Breeze Beach House is how to show their appreciation to staff with a gratuity, even though service charge is included. So how does tipping work and can guests tip at an all-inclusive? We hope our brief guide will help.

At Sea Breeze Beach House, we enjoyed some amazing praise on TripAdvisor from sambo016 who wrote a review called Our experience at Sea Breeze.

"My best friend and I just got back from Sea Breeze Beach House after celebrating her 40th birthday. I have to say, we loved this resort!

Staff: this is truly what makes the experience. We’ve both traveled extensively in the Caribbean, and we’ve never met people quite like the Bajans. Their hospitality is second to none. Some of the staff felt like family after just four days there. They are so kind and friendly. They really go out of their way to make sure you feel at home.”

Such wonderful praise reminded us of one of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our website: Is it ok to leave a tip at an all-inclusive, and how do you go about it?

We are happy to advise that at Sea Breeze Beach House a service charge is already included in your room rate, and a fixed percentage goes directly to the front and back of house staff every month. We truly believe that they are integral to our guests' experience, not incidental to it, and it's only right that they receive this contribution.

We're immensely proud of our amazing team and the impeccable service they provide, so we understand why our guests often want to show their appreciation with a tip for the staff. In the Sea Breeze Beach House FAQ section, we explain it as follows:

"Please note that a service charge for staff (tips/gratuity) is already included in your room rate. However, if you feel you have had extra special service, you may tip hotel staff directly.

Alternatively, you may choose to leave a team gratuity by handing an envelope to the Front Desk Manager labeled as such, and this will be shared with all hotel and back-of-house staff members."

So, please don't feel it's expected, but do feel free to tip at Sea Breeze Beach House of any of the Ocean Hotels Barbados properties. You can rest assured that the staff will sincerely appreciate the gesture.

Closeup of an amazing turtle

CAUTION PLEASE! TURTLES ARE NESTING

Protecting Turtles Is Our Priority

June 2024 | Sea Turtles are protected in Barbados as the species is endangered, so we feel privileged that the beach at our resort is a nesting site. During the summer months, mothers visit and lay up to 100 turtle eggs in the sand. 

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CAUTION PLEASE! TURTLES ARE NESTING

Protecting Turtles Is Our Priority

June 2024 | Sea Turtles are protected in Barbados as the species is endangered, so we feel privileged that the beach at our resort is a nesting site. During the summer months, mothers visit and lay up to 100 turtle eggs in the sand. 

On the south east coast of Barbados, turtles nest all year round, and it can take 60 days or more for hatchlings to incubate, hatch and make their way up to the surface of the sand, usually emerging at night when it's dark to scamper relentlessly towards the ocean waves.

Sea Turtles are protected in Barbados because the species is endangered, so we feel privileged that Sea Breeze Beach House is located close to turtle nesting sites, so we make it a priority to protect the moms and their nests until the hatchlings are safely on their way, and to partner with conservation groups to show our commitment.

Our beautiful island is home to three species of turtles: Hawksbill, Green, and Leatherback, which visit our shores to nest all year round, and during the summer months, mother turtles visit and lay up to 100 turtle eggs in the sand.

How do turtles know where they were born? Research shows that sea turtles use the earth's magnetic fields to navigate back to the area where they were born decades earlier, according to a study that used loggerhead genetics to investigate their travels.

Why do they return also has a fascinating answer, as the female turtles from different islands tend to have varied immune genes, suggesting that returning to their island of birth to breed is associated with the advantages in parasite resistance and diseases.

At Sea Breeze Beach House, once we've observed the signs of a turtle nesting - or sometimes the miraculous event itself. Once hatched, it can take 2-4 days for the tiny turtles to make their way up to the surface, and they usually emerge at night when it's dark.

Ocean Hotels Barbados Group is working with the Sea Turtle Project, who give the following advice for guests who happen on these wonderful creatures.

  • Avoid touching nesting turtles or picking up baby turtles.
  • Never shine a light or use flash photography as the laying mother or hatchlings will become disoriented.
  • Guests who see any turtles on our beach should contact the Hotel Front Desk.

A note for the general public: Anyone who thinks a turtle or hatchlings are in trouble should call the Barbados Turtle Hot Line +1 (246) 230 0142

Kadooment at Sea Breeze Beach House

COUNTING DOWN TO CROP OVER

The Sweetest Festival In Barbados

July 2023 | Some folks round here call it ‘the sweetest festival on the planet’.’ In the past few years, the annual Crop Over Festival, culminating in the carnival parade known as Kadooment Day, has captured imaginations around the Caribbean and the world.

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COUNTING DOWN TO CROP OVER

The Sweetest Festival In Barbados

July 2023 | Some folks round here call it ‘the sweetest festival on the planet’.’ In the past few years, the annual Crop Over Festival, culminating in the carnival parade known as Kadooment Day, has captured imaginations around the Caribbean and the world.

Some folks round here call it ‘the sweetest festival on the planet’. 

According to The New York Times, it’s where ‘Rihanna got her style groove from’.

Barbados’ National Cultural Foundation describes it as ‘a 3 month-long festival of Barbadian music, arts, food and culture.’

The 2023 festival officially started on July 1st with the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, and since then the events schedule has been bursting with energy, creativity, music and Bajan cultural experiences.

Kick Off With Kadooment

Kadooment is a Bajan phrase meaning ‘large party.’ In the late 18th century when Barbados was one of the world’s biggest sugar cane producers, Kadooment Day and Crop Over Day were introduced to celebrate the successful harvest of the sugar crop. The slaves who worked on sugar cane plantations got the rare opportunity to smile, laugh, and be merry, so the festival was celebrated in grand style.

The slaves also took the opportunity to honor old traditions and customs from Africa, from where most Barbadians trace their ancestry. Adopting this culture, they wore costumes made of grass, feathers, flowers during this festive period, and paraded in the streets while singing and dancing. These celebrations were their way of thanking the gods and asking for more blessings in their next harvest. The festivals included lots of rum distilled from the sugar cane, and onlookers were encouraged to join, which is probably where carnival parades in Barbados started. Even after the abolition of slavery, Bajans continued to celebrate Kadooment Day, and Crop Over evolved into an annual celebration of their culture.

This year’s Crop Over festivities reach their crescendo on Monday, August 7, when Grand Kadooment hits the streets of Bridgetown to the pounding rhythms of soca. Starting early in the morning with Jouvert at the National Stadium, a series of breathtaking masquerade bands will traverse the local city streets, with revellers ‘jumping’ from Warrens to the Spring Garden and onlookers enjoying the spectacle every step of the way. 

Celebrated every first Monday of August, Kadooment Day is the most vibrant celebration of all the holidays in Barbados. The National Botanical Gardens also plays a key role in this year's festival hosting events such as Kiddies’ Kadooment, the Pandemonium steel band competition, Pic-O-De-Crop calypso finals and Soca 4.0. Check out the NCF website for full details of all the 2023 Crop Over events.

What’s A ‘Band’ & Why Are They Jumping?

The New York Times puts it this way: “Those who participate in Crop Over can choose between many different ‘bands’ — that is, design houses — to ‘jump’ with, and they pay the band for various services, which can include a costume, food, drinks, security, mobile restrooms and goody bags. The costumes are a major highlight of the experience, and Crop Over style has influenced fashion on a global scale. Rihanna and Jourdan Dunn have worked with local designers to execute their elaborate festival looks, helping to solidify the signature style associated with Crop Over in the modern day.”

Jumping is the term used for taking to the streets as part of a band, and chipping is the forward marching dance fuelled by the hi-energy soca music pumping from the band’s own massive truck soundsystem. Put them together with the sumptuous colours of the costumes, and perhaps it becomes obvious why Crop Over is the festival described in Bajan vernacular as ‘sweet fuh days’.

Sweet Soca Sound Systems

The world is listening to soca, as more and more Caribbean artists break through to the mainstream music scene, and here in Barbados we have calypso and soca legends like Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood and Red Plastic Bag  Soca is a modern form of calypso with an up-tempo beat that drives the fun during the summer Crop Over season, and in the past, the annual Soca Monarch competition was fiercely contended. However, this year Barbados has changed its tune to a world-class live concert called Soca 4.0 to be held on August 6, showcasing the best songs of the season, top artists and up and coming singers.

Where To Watch

Bridgetown will be bursting at the seams with revellers and onlookers on August 7! Experts at Carnivaland.net say: “Crop Over, being the premier event of the year in Barbados, attracts over 100k people from all over the world! The sense of unity and overarching themes of freedom are what attracts people far and wide, who come to witness the sights and sounds of Barbados in full swing! The festival even has its own megastar ambassador Rihanna who joins the colourful masses celebrating Crop Over.”

The route from Warrens to Spring Gardens will be well marked on the day, so get out early to grab a great spot to people-watch! Check in with the Guest services team for local knowledge.

Don’t Miss It!

Friday, August 4, 2023: Straight after the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals is when the Foreday Morning Jump Up kicks off and lasts well into the early hours of Saturday morning. Paint, mud and powder are part of the celebration! After the Foreday Morning Jam many hit the beach for a sunrise beach party.

Saturday, August 5, 2023: For those that still have lots of energy this is when Bridgetown Market starts, which runs for 3-days and is a fun local craft fair.

Sunday, August 6, 2023: This is when Crop Over Cohobblopot takes place. A huge carnival-like show with members of the Kadooment bands displaying their elaborate and stunning costumes, it is one of the biggest and most exciting events of Crop Over

Monday, August 7, 2023: Grand Kadooment Day in Barbados! The highlight of Crop Over is a spectacular daytime street carnival & parade, and also when the Tune-Of-The-Crop or the ‘Road March Song’ is judged.

Colorful ornaments on the beach

SANTA SEA-SUN IS ALMOST HERE!

We're Ready To Celebrate, Bajan Style

October 2023 | We're counting down the days until Bajan festivities start for the most wonderful time of the year! From beachside barbecues to beloved Caribbean yuletide eats and drinks, don't miss the sea-sun at Sea Breeze Beach House!

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SANTA SEA-SUN IS ALMOST HERE!

We're Ready To Celebrate, Bajan Style

October 2023 | We're counting down the days until Bajan festivities start for the most wonderful time of the year! From beachside barbecues to beloved Caribbean yuletide eats and drinks, don't miss the sea-sun at Sea Breeze Beach House!

Here in Barbados, we're huge fans of the Christmas season, and our beautiful island has its own way of celebrating. The December weather is golden and sunny, the sea is calm and dazzling blue, and gentle breezes cool our tropical evenings.

At Sea Breeze Beach House, we've created our own holiday traditions over the years, many of which are uniquely Barbadian - or 'Bajan' as we locals like to call ourselves - and once again we're creating wonderful ways to celebrate with our guests this year.

With food and drink at the forefront of festivities, Executive Chef Ron Maynard and his team will be preparing an array of celebration menus to ensure guests enjoy an authentic taste of Barbados during the island's favourite holiday of the year.

Here are just a few of the festive flavour highlights:

BLACK CAKE - Similar to an English fruit cake flavoured with rum. Traditionally, the fruit is soaked for three months, then added to the cake mixture at the time of baking. Be careful though, because too much black cake may result in intoxication ;)

JUG JUG - This is a traditional Bajan dish is made from pigeon peas boiled with small amounts of salted meat and pork and seasonings.

FALERNUM - Pronounced fah-learn-um, this
sweet syrup used in tropical rinks. It contains almond, ginger and lime, and can be made with or without alcohol.

GINGER BEER - First introduced as an alcoholic
drink, nowadays it's a soft drink primarily flavoured with ginger root and sweetened with sugar.

SORREL - A Caribbean classic, this ruby red drink is made from the funnel-shaped flowers of the sorrel shrub, botanically named Hibiscus sabdariffa, which is a member of the Mallow family.

On December 21, the festivities really kick off with the Ocean Hotels Barbados Family Picnic at Bathsheba on the east coast, which invites guests to join staff from Sea Breeze Beach House and our sister hotel, O2 Beach Club & Spa, on a fun day out on colourful local buses. The happy band will visit beautiful parts of the island and enjoy an authentic Bajan pre-Christmas ‘lime’, complete with local lunch and lashings of rum punch!

With Carols On The Lawn sure to be Insta-gorgeous, our days will be merry, bright and chock full of wonderful things to do, like Christmas crafting for all the family, kids festive baking, cocktail and mocktail mixology.

Santa Claus arrives on Christmas morning, and the question is what mode of transport he'll choose this year? The food, frolicking and festivities continue throughout the week, creating beautiful everlasting memories.

And the grand finale of 2023 will take place on December 31 with our glittering New Year Gala Dinner, featuring a sumptuous buffet, plentiful bubbles and entertainment to keep you dancing through the night.

If this sounds like your kind of Christmas, don't hesitate to Book Direct for best rates and all the perks. 

barbados flag std_1

CELEBRATING BAJAN INDEPENDENCE 2022

Discover Our Island History & Culture

November 2022 | Barbados became a Republic in 2021, but the island remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. November 30th is celebrated as Independence Day and it's a national holiday. 

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CELEBRATING BAJAN INDEPENDENCE 2022

Discover Our Island History & Culture

November 2022 | Barbados became a Republic in 2021, but the island remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. November 30th is celebrated as Independence Day and it's a national holiday. 

After the first English settlement at Holetown in 1627, Barbados remained a British colony until achieving independence from Britain more than 50 years ago on November 30th 1966.

Grantley Adams (later Knighted to 'Sir') was the first Premier who led Barbados in the West Indies Federation from 1958 until 1962 - you may recognise his name from our international airport.

Termination of the Federation caused Barbados to return to self-government, but on November 30th 1966, the island was led to Independence by Premier Errol Walton Barrow who became our first Prime Minister. 

That first independence ceremony was accompanied by the raising of the Barbados national flag, and playing of the national anthem for the first time. 

OUR FLAG

Designed by school master and Education Officer Grantley Prescod, the national flag of Barbados comprises of three vertical panels - the centre panel is gold and the outer panels are ultramarine. A broken trident in black is located in the centre of the flag.

Blue represents the sea and sky of Barbados, gold the sand of the island's beaches, and the Trident symbolises the mythical sea god, Neptune; the trident's broken shaft signifies Barbados' break from Britain.

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

Irving Louis Burgie, sometimes known professionally as Lord Burgess, was an American musician and songwriter, regarded as one of the greatest composers of Caribbean music. He composed 34 songs for Harry Belafonte, including eight of the 11 songs on the Belafonte album Calypso (1956), the first album of any kind to sell one million copies.

The chorus of our anthem expresses the pride and optimism with which the Barbadian people approached Independence then, as well as now:

"We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate."

Independence celebrations run throughout the month of November and include sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services.

On Independence Day a grand parade is held, usually at the Garrison Savannah, site of the original Independence ceremony in 1966.

As a proud, Bajan, family-owned company, at Ocean Hotels Barbados on November 30, 2022, we'll be celebrating our staff and guests as Barbados marks 56 years of Independence and our first year as a Republic.

screenshot 2022 11 17 174614

SUN, SEA, SAND & SANTA!

It's Beginning To Look Like The Festive Season

It's never too early to get excited about the holidays, and we're making sure that our guests can look forward to the most wonderful time of the year - Bajan-style! From amazing cuisine to family festivities, Sea Breeze Beach House is counting down the days.

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SUN, SEA, SAND & SANTA!

It's Beginning To Look Like The Festive Season

It's never too early to get excited about the holidays, and we're making sure that our guests can look forward to the most wonderful time of the year - Bajan-style! From amazing cuisine to family festivities, Sea Breeze Beach House is counting down the days.

Christmas in the Caribbean might be quite different to what you're used to. For a start, the December weather is golden and sunny, the sea is at its bluest, and the Trade Winds bring cooling breezes to the tropical evenings.

Here at Sea Breeze Beach House we have our own holiday traditions, many of which are uniquely Barbadian, and this year we're introducing even more wonderful ways to celebrate with our guests.

Executive Chef Ron Maynard and his team are preparing an array of culinary delights to ensure all our guests enjoy an authentic taste of the island during the biggest holiday of the year. Here are some of the highlights:

BLACK CAKE - Similar to an English fruit cake flavoured with rum. Traditionally, the fruit is soaked for three months, then added to the cake mixture at the time of baking. Be careful though, because too much black cake may result in intoxication ;)

JUG JUG - This is a traditional Bajan dish is made from pigeon peas boiled with small amounts of salted meat and pork and seasonings.

FALERNUM - Pronounced fah-learn-um, this
sweet syrup used in tropical rinks. It contains almond, ginger and lime, and can be made with or without alcohol.

GINGER BEER - First introduced as an alcoholic
drink, nowadays it's a soft drink primarily flavoured with ginger root and sweetened with sugar.

SORREL - A Caribbean classic, this ruby red drink is made from the funnel-shaped flowers of the sorrel shrub, botanically named Hibiscus sabdariffa, which is a member of the Mallow family.

The fun and festivities kick off on December 21 with our Ocean Hotels Family Picnic at Bathsheba on the east coast of the island, and continue daily with a wonderful variety of traditions old and new.

Carols on the lawn with afternoon tea (Dec 22 & 23) are sure to be rousing, while the kids have their own festive activities including Christmas Tie-Dyeing, Bottle Art and Mini-Chef Baking.

Santa Claus arrives in uniquely Bajan style on Christmas morning to get the party started, and on Boxing Day guests can wind down Bajan style with Draft Beer, Dominoes & Trivia at De Rum Shop.

Guests who are staying with us on New Years Eve are in for quite a treat, with our Glitter On The Beach Party featuring Gala Dinner, live entertainment, and champagne and fireworks at midnight over the Caribbean Sea!

Check out our full Festive Programme here. Sea Breeze Beach House is booked pretty solid for the holidays this year, but don't be discouraged - you can always book direct today so as not to miss out in 2023!

chef standing on a balcony with a view

COMMIS CHEF OF SMILES

Look Out For Her Golden Hat!

October 2022 | This beautiful smile belongs to Marsha Watson, who is a beloved team member at Sea Breeze Beach House. She wears a unique uniform accessory, designed to help guests and staff to communicate with her in a unique way.

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COMMIS CHEF OF SMILES

Look Out For Her Golden Hat!

October 2022 | This beautiful smile belongs to Marsha Watson, who is a beloved team member at Sea Breeze Beach House. She wears a unique uniform accessory, designed to help guests and staff to communicate with her in a unique way.

Her dazzling smile really does light up the room, and your entire day, when you realise her golden headwear indicates that Marsha is hearing and speech-impaired. Never mind that her managers offer a chorus of praise for Chef Watson and her work ethic, team spirit and strength of will to overcome any obstacles in her way.

Like wearing a mask during the pandemic, when Marsha's ability to communicate was severely challenged, both in and out of the kitchen. The Yellow Hat initiative was a response from the HR team at Sea Breeze Beach House and Ocean Hotels Barbados that helped in very practical terms.

It has also become a symbol of diversity and inclusion to identify any member of staff with a disability within the company, which seeks to employ individuals based on their actual skills and talents.

Ocean Hotels Barbados would like to thank Marsha Watson for being an inspiration to those around her, and for being an exceptional employee within our hospitality family.

LAST YEAR, MARSHA ANSWERED A Q&A FOR A SERIES OF PROFILES UNDER THE THEME #GETTOKNOWYOURTEAM FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY.

WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?

The opportunity to work and having a sense of independence.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Cooking and travelling, and I used to swim for the Barbados National Team.

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR HAPPIEST MOMENTS?

Being able to have my daughter Maleah who is sixteen months old.

WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE FOR PERSONS ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY?

It would be great for others who are hearing impaired to have a chance to work. There are still commonalities which exist between persons without disabilities and persons with disabilities. 

View of a tourist surrounded by locals celebrating a festival

WELCOME BACK, CROP OVER!

Sea Breeze Beach House Was Jammin'!

August 2022 | Every summer since 1974, Barbados Crop Over has been the most popular and colourful festival held on the island. Returning after the pandemic, this year's revelling included our very own Car Park Jam.

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WELCOME BACK, CROP OVER!

Sea Breeze Beach House Was Jammin'!

August 2022 | Every summer since 1974, Barbados Crop Over has been the most popular and colourful festival held on the island. Returning after the pandemic, this year's revelling included our very own Car Park Jam.

According to Barbados.org, the origins of this very Bajan festival can be traced back to the 1780s, when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar.

At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest, hence the name, Crop Over.

As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival, and in the 1940's it disappeared completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974, and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists today - an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe.

This year's festival saw a few changes affecting two of its most popular events - Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment, but the feedback was positive and the appreciation for Crop Over's return was palpable.

At Ocean Hotels Barbados, we celebrated with a new 'Car Park Jam' at Sea Breeze Beach House, so that guests, staff, management and locals could enjoy the essence of Kadooment our way, which included the arrival of Freezy Breezy, and live music to dance the night away.

Check out our amazing Facebook gallery and enjoy the colour of Crop Over 2022!

Top view of a pool surrounded by beach chairs

KEEPING THE KIDS HAPPY!

Lil Dippers Kids Club & Shore Break Teen Lounge Are Cool In Many Ways.

With complimentary watersports, beach table tennis, and pool exercise sessions among the daily choices you'll find at Sea Breeze Beach House, there's plenty to do for all ages - in between relaxing on your super-comfy sun lounger.

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KEEPING THE KIDS HAPPY!

Lil Dippers Kids Club & Shore Break Teen Lounge Are Cool In Many Ways.

With complimentary watersports, beach table tennis, and pool exercise sessions among the daily choices you'll find at Sea Breeze Beach House, there's plenty to do for all ages - in between relaxing on your super-comfy sun lounger.

With complimentary watersports, beach table tennis, and pool exercise sessions among the daily choices you'll find at Sea Breeze Beach House, there's plenty to do for all ages - in between relaxing on your super-comfy sun lounger.

When the kids need a cooling-off break, our fully air-conditioned Lil Dippers Kids' Club and Shore Break Teen Lounge offer age-appropriate schedules packed with outdoor games, pool time and beach activities, as well as supervised indoor R&R, with computers, video games, TV and DVD players, board games, toys, puzzles and crafts.

Staffed by our warm, professional kids' club team, you'll relax all the easier in the knowledge that the younger members of the family are happily - and productively - engaged.

During the school holidays, our extended hours mean movie nights and other treats for the kids, and we also have a babysitting service available at nominal cost, so young-at-heart adults don't have to miss all the evening fun.

There's a warm welcome, safe practices, and activities for every kid to enjoy during their stay at Sea Breeze Beach House.