Today’s guest post is from James Bell of Turquoise Holidays, covering an area still high on our bucket list – Barbados!
If challenged to select your ultimate destination for a once in a lifetime luxury holiday, most people would opt for one of the Caribbean islands as a starting point. For those that have visited before, Barbados will almost certainly be high up on that list. Barbados may not have the rhythm of Jamaica or the lush tropical beauty of St Lucia but there is something about the island that keeps you coming back. For a start, Barbados is well established on the gourmet food map. I would challenge anyone to suggest any other islands that are home to so many top restaurants. From the Cliff to Daphne’s (with its sister restaurant in Chelsea), you can enjoy such delights as mouth-watering snapper, spinach and sweet potato mash whilst the waves break along the shore. Along with the fine dining, Barbados would win a Caribbean competition for having the greatest number of covetable hotels. Ranging from private villas ideal for honeymooners to garden cottages or the super luxurious plantation suites, there is something for everyone in Barbados many resorts. My personal top three would certainly feature the following:
Whilst not the swankiest place on the island, it has plenty of character and overall delivers fantastic service that the Caribbean is generally known for. With 40 rooms ranging up to the Colleton suite with its white four poster bed and sun terrace with a fantastic plunge pool, this is a truly a remarkable resort. There is a large freshwater swimming pool and a fantastic bar in the main house where you will be welcomed by the friendly bar staff at any point during the day or night. Cobblers cove overlooks a golden stretch of sand offering free water sports although forget noisy banana boats and jet skis, you will only find kayaking or surfing here. If fine dining is your thing, you may be pleased to know the hotels Terrace Restaurant is one of only five restaurants in the Caribbean invited to join Relais & Chateaux. Pride of the menu is the catch of the day which is supplied by local fisherman and always goes down fantastically.
Coral Reef Club
Along the shoreline and overlooking the same blissful sands and turquoise waters as the Cobblers Cove you will find the renowned Coral Reef Club. The club has a larger, grander feel that welcomes you with its sweeping palm-lined driveway though its 12 acres of tropical grounds. Its 88 rooms are artfully positioned throughout the gardens and along the beach with options from the more basic garden cottages, leading up to a luxury plantation suite that features its own sundeck and private pool. Whilst not generally renowned for its Spas, the Caribbean has delivered a gem at the Coral Reef Club. Housed in its own separate colonial-style building, there’s a lovely swimming pool and four separate treatment rooms where you can experience delights such as lemongrass and ginger massage rub.
Certainly one of the most exclusive hotels in Barbados! This small family run hotel is situated on a glamorous white sandy beach surrounded by crystal clear waters. Much of the appeal of the hotel has to be attributed to Wayne and Karen Capaldi who run it with careful attention to detail but keep the charm and relaxed feel of the island at the forefront of all their activity. Spanning over 48 rooms, ranging from more basic one bedroom suites right up to treetop suites that are housed in 7 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, the hotel caters for a range of tastes. As with the other great hotels on the island, the food at the Sandpiper is exceptional. With Chef Christophe Poupardin offering delightful food with a Caribbean flair from dinner menus which change many times in the week, the food at the Sandpiper is renowned across the island. The resort also caters for a range of laid back sporting activity, perfect to enjoy during the day before the steel drums and cocktails pull you in. With two championship golf courses nearby, tennis, gym and water sports activities all available, there is something for all the family. The best time to visit Barbados is between December and February where temperatures are warm with a minimal risk of showers. If extreme heat and humidity is not your thing, certainly avoid the summer months from June to August and be aware the hurricane season lasts until October. In short get your timing right and Barbados certainly will be one of the most memorable holidays you will ever experience.