The aura that exudes from the name “Barbados” speaks to the richness of a once-in-a-lifetime luxury holiday destination. Though only 166 square miles, its size cannot compare to the strides that have been taken to develop the island into a premier destination in the Caribbean. Barbados, affectionately called Bim, attracts the wealthy and elite who pop in and out of the island secretly to enjoy the island’s luxurious facilities and ultimate privacy.
The platinum coast to the west guarantees your money’s worth. It is dubbed the number one spot for a glamorous holiday! Luxury Caribbean resorts line the beaches here, offering oceanfront suites and sprawling villas, all wrapped with elegant services, butlers and private transportation fit for a royal family. Hotels such as the Sandy Lane Hotel, Little Arches Boutique Hotel, The Sandpiper and Cobblers Cove rank among the top picks with the exclusive look and feel. However, Sandals Royal Barbados in the south and the Crane Resort in the east also provide exclusive, all-inclusive luxury resort stays away from the west.
Notably, getaways in Barbados can be for more than simple vacations. In fact, many couples who have fallen in love with the beaches and Barbadian hospitality also choose to book their destination weddings at glamorous properties all across the island.
St. Peter’s Bay (Unna Resorts)
At the heart of a lavish holiday is shopping. Limegrove Lifestyle Centre features luxury brand shopping from Gucci and Michael Kors to Ralph Lauren and Diamonds International. Designer ladies’ and gents’ clothing, swimwear, jewellery and make-up can be purchased on a retail therapy day. If you so choose, the boutique Dolby 3D cinema at Limegrove is just the place to catch new movies as they arrive, with food and wine brought directly to your reclinable seats. Live events and music are a part of the special entertainment, while the Grove Gallery depicts culture through art. The duty-free shopping of luxury items lifts the importation tax incurred on items leaving the country. This applies to jewellery, clothing, appliances and cosmetics.
Fine dining at adults-only, exclusive restaurants in Barbados provides a taste of delectable international dishes by the beachside. Fusion, Daphne’s, Tides and other options across the island satisfy the craving for top-notch luxury dining. First and Second Street in Holetown feature Indian, French and Italian cuisines, while restaurants like Champers, The Fish Pot, Zen and The Atlantis Historic Inn’s Restaurant offer alternative options for fine dining in other parts of the island. Alternatively, Hastings Boardwalk on the south coast features Italian, Barbadian, Japanese and Mexican options in mainstream Barbados.
The island boasts beautiful beaches with activities thoroughly enjoyed by many, such as diving, snorkelling and sailing in Barbados. A more intimate time on the waters is experienced at the world-class facilities of Port Ferdinand and St. Peter’s Bay, as the luxury yachting haven has been crowned one of the finest Marinas in the Caribbean. Port St. Charles is another piece of the island’s paradise with its yacht club, cuisine and villas along the lagoon or facing the ocean. Additionally, the island’s first luxury beach club, Nikki Beach, is fitted with VIP Cabanas and expansive dining and drink menus to enjoy live performances and fashion shows in a contemporary atmosphere. Private tours via water shuttles, taxis and luxury catamarans set sail around the coastlines to show the breathtaking views, whether at lunchtime or sunset.
Sporting activities throughout the island include golf and polo with prestigious events on the annual calendar. It is the world-renowned Sandy Lane Gold Cup horse racing in Barbados that draws in visitors from around the world, to name the horse that will take home the title and the glory. Golfers outside of resort membership tee off at the Barbados Golf Club, Apes Hill Club and Rockley Club. From January to May, polo fans participate in tournaments and friendly games at popular spots including the Barbados Polo Club and Apes Hill Polo Club.
The culture, history, beaches, rum and exquisite dining make Barbados stand out from all other islands in the Caribbean. Prominent attractions like the Animal Flower Cave, Harrison’s Cave, the UNESCO World Heritage Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and Hunte’s Gardens represent the depth of beauty within this island. But hidden jewels also lay in the fields and hills that tell a unique story of the island. For example:
Coco Hill Forest/Farm is a 53-acre forest with swaying Royal Palms, bamboo, cocoa and other natural crops along the East Coast – perfect for forest bathing.
The Walker’s Quarry (once a leading supplier of sand for building around Barbados) is now being reborn as a sustainable reserve and an opportunity for those with philanthropic interests.
PEG Farms in St. Joseph is gearing up to be one of the region’s first farms devoted to biodynamics and holistic management and includes a campsite stocked with full amenities, providing a view of the east coast and hiking trails that can be found nearby.
The Mount Gay Barbados Rum of 1703 is the spark that ignited the world’s fascination with rum and exclusive tours to the distillery give a glimpse into 300 years of heritage. The distillery experience, tasting tours and cocktail evenings are a must for rum lovers. Barbados’ Rum history can also be explored at the St. Nicholas Abbey Great House, with the new heritage railway tour completed in 2018. From barrel to bottle, the journey through the plantation’s distillery cannot be missed.
Barbadian chocolatiers grant visitors insight into their chocolate dreams through tastings of the cherished dessert and tours around their factories. The Green Monkey Chocolatier, with three boutique shops across the island, offer tastings of their macarons infused with Bajan cane sugar and the rum collection made from local brands. The Agapey Chocolate Factory in Barbados’ capital city of Bridgetown shows the chocolate transform from rare bean to bar, providing a taste of Barbadian sugar and dark chocolate.
It’s easy to conclude that it’s easy to enjoy a luxurious holiday in Barbados. From the West Coast to the East, the island is embodied by natural wonders, wining and dining, world-class sports and premier real estate. And this small island sitting at the end of the island chain can make big waves for luxury holiday goers.