Our expert Caribbean Sales Consultants Lucy Barton and Jessica Read have recently returned from a luxurious trip to the charming island of Barbados. They travelled from the southern to the west coast along the star-studded coastline, staying in the finest hotels, enjoying the delicious Bajan food and soaking up the surrounding beauty.
The only one of our properties set on the southern coast, Ocean Two offers a range of adventurous activities. We spent our first afternoon at the surfing school adjacent to the hotel; learning to stand on a board for the first time was quite difficult, but by the end of the day, we had both mastered it. After such an active day, we felt a treat was in order and decided to indulge with a three course meal at Panorama set eight storeys above the beach, offering breathtaking views of Oistins Bay. The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast in Taste looking out over the ocean, followed by a relaxing day at Quench (the swim-up bar) and snorkelling in the vibrant reef just off-shore. We would highly recommend this hotel for families with its spacious rooms, beach-front location and close proximity to St Lawrence Gap.
On arrival at this quaint country house hotel, we were struck by its intimate hideaway setting. Before our evening meal, we decided to go for a walk around the hotel's enchanting gardens; it is clear why they are renowned for their diverse species of plants, as there were so many beautiful flowers we had never even seen before. For dinner, we dined at the impressive Terrace Restaurant; the seafood risotto was incredible and the whole experience of eating under the stars by the lapping water is an experience we won't forget. Cobblers Cove is ideal for couples looking to celebrate an anniversary or for a quiet relaxing break away for it all.
The stand-out feature of The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is that it's the only resort with beachfront rooms where you can step straight out onto the sand, so we spent our first morning swimming in the sea right outside our terrace. Later that day, we enjoyed an elegant afternoon tea of freshly baked scones with jam, butter and cream, cookies, cakes, pastries and Darjeeling tea at Taboras Restaurant. The next morning, we were up early so we could try out our windsurfing and sailing skills, followed by a rejuvenating body scrub and facial in the comfort of our room. In the evening, we devoured a sumptuous meal in Palm Restaurant, whilst appreciating the local Barbadian live music. The relaxed atmosphere of The Fairmont Royal Pavilion and its convenient location just half a mile from Holetown, make it popular with both couples and families alike.
We loved this family run traditional hotel with its classic Caribbean charm. On arrival, we were welcomed with cocktails in the piano bar, followed by dinner in the ocean-side terrace restaurant. It was barbecue night and there was an overwhelming choice of fresh meat and fish, including fillet and sirloin steaks, marinated chicken, veal, pork, jumbo prawns, salmon burgers and catch of the day. After dinner, we enjoyed an impressive floor show of fire eating and limbo and folk dancing to the authentic rhythms of the steel band. The next morning, we wandered down to the beautiful spa, surrounded by exotic vegetation and waterfalls. Each treatment room at the spa has its own private foot cleansing ritual, patio and garden. After a Muscle Melt massage, we spent an hour relaxing in the Thermal Suite in the Crystal Steam Room, then cooling off in the Experience Shower. Because the resort is so spacious, it gives the impression of being much larger than it is, so a secluded spot to sit and soak up the sun is always easy to find.
On to Coral Reef's sister hotel, The Sandpiper is more colonial in style, yet still offers the same private relaxed atmosphere. We spent our first afternoon honing our tennis skills with a complimentary two hour training session (available to guests everyday), followed by a refreshing drink at Harold's Beach Bar, where we learnt that the bar is actually named after one of The Sandpiper's most devoted members of staff Harold Shepherd, who has won Caribbean Hotel Employee of the Year. This small luxury hotel is great for couples looking to start their days with a cosy breakfast on their own private balcony, followed by relaxing on the beautiful coral sand beach and enjoying an intimate dinner in the award-winning alfresco restaurant. Alternatively, The Sandpiper's Beach House villa with three bedrooms and wrap around terrace is ideal for families.
The first thing we noticed when arriving at the iconic Sandy Lane is the seamless service; the staff are always one step ahead taking care of everything and anything you may need. After a long day, we decided to treat ourselves to a signature full body massage, so we began our evening feeling completely revitalised. We chose to dine in the open-air beachfront restaurant Bajan Blue, where we could handpick any meat or seafood we fancied and Chef Dale barbecued it for us to perfection. The following day, we took the shuttle to Sandy Lane's famous golf course. The golf course is worth a visit even if you aren't really a fan of golf, as the views are just incredible. We ate lunch at The Country Club Restaurant and would highly recommend their delicious club sandwiches.
Sandy Lane is a must visit for families; the Treehouse Club offers child care for children under the age of three and a special programme of activities including pool parties, movie nights and treasure hunts for children over three. Teenagers are also catered for in The Den, located on the lower level of The Treehouse Club, where they can hang out and play pool, foosball and the latest games consoles, whilst listening to their favourite music on the jukebox.
On arrival, we indulged in a welcome meal at The Laguna Restaurant; their speciality is seafood and I enjoyed a beautiful Panko Crusted Soft Shell Crab starter and the highly recommended Colony Trio main course, which is a combination of seared salmon, blackened ahi tuna and miso rubbed mahi-mahi. After dinner, we took a relaxing stroll through Colony Club's seven acres of sub-tropical gardens.
Our room was located just steps away from the inviting lagoon pool, and had its own private patio - perfect for catching the morning sun. During the day, we took a walk down to the breathtaking palm fringed beach to check out the watersports. You can try almost anything: water skiing, snorkelling, sailing, boogie boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding. After an active afternoon, we decided to take a rejuvenating yoga class followed by a calming massage at the spa and fitness centre.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family holiday to Barbados, Colony Club can offer a luxury experience for everyone.
'Barbados exceeded all our expectations from impressive recreational facilities, exemplary service, indulgent and luxurious accommodation to the endearing and welcoming charm of the locals'.