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Jessica Read

"I loved the fresh, clean design of the suites."

In a great location on the ritzy west coast of Barbados, the Fairmont is an elegant hotel sitting on half a mile of sandy beach, fronting the Caribbean Sea. To arrive, we travelled down an avenue of towering palms flanked by gardens bursting with hibiscus and bougainvillea…a stunning greeting. Later we saw that the gardens often attract the local green monkeys, who occasionally drop down from the trees to collect fruit.

With just 72 rooms and suites housed in pink Colonial style buildings, the resort is friendly and rarely crowded. Choose from deluxe ocean front rooms on the upper floors and slightly larger beach front junior suites at ground level. I loved the fresh, clean design of these suites and thought the small deck-terrace leading directly onto the sand was ideal for quietly reading or even enjoying a private dinner. The suites also have a dedicated butler and offer complimentary evening canapés.

Facilities include two floodlit tennis courts and a good sized, lap style swimming pool with plenty of loungers and umbrellas, but most people gravitate towards the blissfully peaceful beach. Here you can enjoy kayaks, windsurfing, sailing and best of all, swim out to the pontoon where, at certain times of the year, you can go snorkelling with the turtles.

Café Taboras, with its open fronted beach terrace, offers lovely buffet breakfasts, laid-back lunches, complimentary afternoon teas and informal dining often with theme nights and local music. The open air Palm Restaurant has a more sophisticated dining experience with local entertainment.  The Fairmont is also well placed for exploring the shops of Holetown and there are some excellent restaurants just a short taxi ride away.

The resort is adult only from November to March, except for the Christmas & New Year period, and is ideally suited to couples seeking a quiet but sophisticated holiday.