Historically, agriculture was the mainstay of Barbados’ economy, but over the years, the focus has shifted to tourism and manufacturing. This small island, which is also the second-richest Caribbean nation by GDP, now has a mixed economy that affords its citizens a stable, comfortable living. The slew of luxury hotels in Barbados is top-of-the-range since some of the wealthiest people in the world favor this island as their preferred holiday destination. These five luxury hotels in Barbados are among the best of the best.
Sandals Royal Barbados
Situated on the soft-powdered Maxwell Beach, Sandals Royal is unique in one way: it caters exclusively to couples. The architecture is even bolder than its theme; 17 cottages all styled differently in ancient Greek temples style, Miami style, thatched South Seas cottages and Mediterranean tiled roofs. A tropical garden completes the picture. The rooms are decked out in shades of white, grey and a mild blue, while the walls are adorned with maritime artwork. All rooms have king-size beds and windows that give out on balconies or patios.
The Sandals has unique fun activities for residents. Join fellow vacationers for yoga in the morning or paddle boarding, or you can go snorkeling in the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. If you would rather not do too much, then lounge by the glass-fronted infinity pool that combines seamlessly with the ocean or head to the roof-top for a drink and a swim. Breakfast at Sandals Royal is an à la carte or buffet affair that features famed local delicacy, Bajan fritters. At lunch, you are treated to Mediterranean lunches while evenings are reserved for an Asian-French-American fusion.
Sandy Lane is said to be the Caribbean’s most famous hotel – and with good reason. This grandiose resort has three golf courses, where the carts are fitted with GPS systems, as well as an over-the-top Romanesque spa and multi-layered swimming pool equipped with underwater speakers. The sumptuous spa complex has 11 treatment rooms, each with a plunge pool or a private garden. There is also a communal hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room. If golf isn’t your thing, you have nine floodlit tennis courts at your service and a fancy fully-equipped gym.
Each of the hotel’s 112 plantation-style bedrooms has a flurry of gadgets to manage everything from lights to curtains to issuing “Do Not Disturb” instructions. For dining, you have two options. L’Ajacou is the fine-dining restaurant located directly on the beachfront, whereas the more relaxed Bajan Blue known for its indulgent buffets.
Coral Reef Club
Spread over 12 acres of tropical garden, the Coral Reef Club gives off a country-house-in-the-tropics vibe. Tall mahogany trees, palms, frangipani and bougainvillea plantations make this resort a serene getaway surrounded by nature and water. A spa in the garden with four treatment rooms has to be the highlight of this establishment. Being so peaceful, it’s only reasonable that there be weekly yoga sessions here.
The resort’s 88 bedrooms are decorated elegantly with white-tile floors, wicker armchairs, colonial-era prints and floral cushions that add so much color. You get to choose between showy Plantation Suites and the laid-back Luxury Cottage Suites. Behind a waterfall is the resort’s only open-air restaurant that serves candlelit dinners every evening. A buffet and a barbecue are a weekly affair while freshly baked pastries grace breakfast tables each morning.
Fairmont Royal Pavilion
The driveway of the Fairmont Royal Pavilion is lined with palm trees that instantly let you know you’re entering a relaxed environment. The colonial-style lobby, which is a mild pink, ushers you into this facility with all the amenities of a modern hotel. Some of the facilities here include a large rectangular swimming pool with a generously-sized hot tub, two tennis courts, a gym and non-motorized sports toys.
Like many of the luxury hotels in Barbados, each of the 72 bedrooms faces out to the sea for warm breezes and endless views throughout your stay. Many of the suites are also decorated in much the same way – contemporary Barbardian art on the walls, marble bathrooms, tubs and walk-in showers. Rooms on the ground floor feature large wooden decks with sun-loungers and are just a few meters from the water, while those upstairs open out to large balconies with breathtaking views of the sunset.
Waves Hotel & Spa
The part of Sandy Beach where the Waves Hotel is located is the calmest and so you can walk for miles connecting to other tranquil beaches. Tastefully decorated with bare wood and pieces of driftwood, the hotel gives off an air of serenity with its natural tones. At the large lounge bar, orange pillows on beige sofas and wooden coffee tables form part of the hotel’s beachfront, while an extended wooden deck makes up the lounge’s exterior.
Guests are treated to live music in the evening with a polite caveat – no jeans allowed at dinner. The hotel’s 70 rooms have polished floorboards, wooden furniture, walk-in showers and beach photos on walls. An adults-only swimming pool makes the ideal place to relax in the evening as you watch the sun go down.