​Location:  east coast - Crane Beach, St. Philip


CORAL REEF CLUB - is a fantastic 5 star property.  We have toured the entire property and are duly impressed.  Great grounds, 2 large pools and a nice beach.


This property is managed by the O'Hara family.  Their sister resort just down the road is The Sandpiper.


The beach here is next to Folkestone Marine Park where there is some snorkeling just offshore.  The location is very convenient to walk into Holetown (about a 10 minute walk) where there are shops and restaurants including the new Limegrove Center.   


One visit we stayed in a luxury junior suite called “Pentas” - it was 810 sq. ft. and fantastic.  It was fully air-conditioned and consisted of a large king-sized bed (twin bedded rooms also available).  There was a great sitting area within the bedroom, luxurious bathroom, and large patio (balconies if you are upstairs).  These suites can accommodate 2 adults.  We were right at the edge of the Caribbean and watched some gorgeous sunsets from our patio.  We were also only a few steps from their wonderful restaurant.  It was truly perfect. 


​On another visit we stayed in one of their luxury cottage suites - definitely the ultimate.  There we had a totally separate, air-conditioned living room to enjoy plus our own private plunge pool.  It was heavenly.


There is an air-conditioned Cottage on ground floor or Suite on first floor consisting of king or twin bedded room, dressing area, en-suite bathroom with separate shower and tub, air-conditioned living room with sofa bed, large patio, and private plunge pool. The luxury cottage suites can accommodate either three adults or two adults and two children.  Located in the front half of the gardens leading towards the sea.  The majority have a garden view.

The 5,000 sq. foot spa is housed within a beautiful colonial inspired building with clean, modern lines, set within a tropical garden paradise. Exotic vegetation and waterfalls weave throughout the spa, from the four multipurpose treatment rooms, each with its own private foot ritual patio and garden, to the Outdoor Pavilion for couples. The spa also has a steam room and “experience” shower.

I had limited time on this visit but I enjoyed a wonderful manicure and cannot wait to go back and indulge in some of the other treatments.


Two private villas are also available.  Enjoy the comfort and features of a villa with all the sporting facilities, conveniences, and entertainment factors within a luxury hotel:  Tamarind (3 doubles and 2 bathrooms) or Ixora (4 doubles, 3 bathrooms and 1 ensuite shower room). 



Coral Sands 3 star resort offers 31 spacious self-contained studio apartments.  Designed by a leading Barbadian architect Coral Sands resembles one of the island’s elegant homes and we really do make you feel at home.  Enjoy 690 sq ft of relaxation in one of their deluxe studio suites.  Delight in the open plan and airy feel of the studio layout.  All rooms have an ocean view and the resort sits right on Sandy Beach.  They are a 20 minute drive from Grantley Adams airport.


They also have a penthouse (#501), that has 3 bedrooms and 3-1/2 baths and is 2,611 sq. feet in size.

Insider tip:

The rooms not listed as ocean front may get lots of street noise, or noise from the nearby taxi area, so opt for an ocean front room if possible.



THE CRANE RESORT- Most of the development is complete.  This is a 5 star resort.  This once small resort started as a southeast coast hideaway in 1887 and has grown into a spectacular, resort with several types of accommodations.

The 1887 Resort Apartments are in original historic hotel.  They are charming, spacious oceanfront apartments with hardwood floors, 12' ceilings and exquisite antique furniture. Many rooms in this unique building also feature fully equipped kitchens and wrap-around balconies with spectacular ocean views.  No air-conditioning here -- just the sea breezes to cool you.

In their Private Residences you will find the ultimate in luxury, including Barbadian mahogany furniture, objects d'art, mahogany four-poster king size beds, spa showers with multiple shower heads, private Jacuzzis, oriental carpets, cable TVs, and DVD players. 

The setting, however, provides the true feel of the property: old-world coral stone walls, 10' high timber tray ceilings, central air-conditioning (although I’m told in some buildings this does not always keep things as cool as you would like).  There are floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms, and amazing ocean views of The Crane's crystal clear, turquoise waters. 


Within the area called Crane Village there are several shops and restaurant options to enjoy.

​Location:  south coast at Sandy Beach

Insider tip:

Although the most costly, if you can opt for the luxury ocean front suite with its own private pool.

​Location:  west coast, Porters, St. James


http://www.fairmont.com/barbados/

Insider tip:

You should be aware that The Crane's location on the southeast coast means rough waters with strong undertow at times.  They do have some gorgeous pools to enjoy.


Also you are located quite far away from most restaurants on the south and west coasts.  However, if you have a rental car that should not be a problem.  But with Crane Village now open there are several shops and restaurant options right at the resort.

BOUGAINVILLEA BEACH RESORT

​Located:  south coast, Miami Beach area past Oistins 

ROCKLEY PLUM TREE CLUB - (on Rockley Golf Course) - Located on the south coast 15 minutes from the airport. - a 15 min. walk to Sandy Beach (or use beach shuttle from hotel which takes you to Accra Beach).  Plum Tree's location makes it very convenient to get to all of the great south coast restaurants.


Originally built some twenty-six years ago, the recently renovated PLUM TREE CLUB offers guests all the advantages of a genuine hideaway, without the disadvantages of remoteness......an intimate cluster of 40 one and two bedroom self-catering apartments all with ensuite bathrooms, full kitchens, living rooms and each with its own private patio offering a choice of views overlooking the golf course, the swimming pool or the beautiful landscaped gardens.  All units now have new furniture throughout.  We love staying here as it's a great location.  Toll Free: 1-866-978-5007


THE SANDPIPER - Continues to receive many accolades including Barbados Leading Hotel for 2015 and also has received the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor for the past 5 years (2010-2015).  This is managed by Wayne and Karen O'Hara Capaldi.  This property 5 star property has a great Holetown location and is only a 5 minute walk into the center of Holetown where you will find many restaurants as well as the Limegrove Center with high-end shops, restaurants, and entertainment.


After closing in 2015 for extensive renovations, they reopened 1 November 2015 with another Tree Top Suite (Curlew).  There are also 2 other luxurious Tree Top Suites on the property.  Harold's Beach Bar was also enhanced with a larger deck, and a new 60' lap pool was added in the garden.  This resort, owned by the same O'Hara family that owns Coral Reef Club, has only 47 rooms which include their 1 and 2-bedroom suites, so this is perfect for someone who wants to enjoy a luxurious, intimate resort.  

On our first visit we had one of their elegant one-bedroom suites which had a separate living room, dressing area, kitchen, 1-1/2 baths, and a great large patio area.  Everything was totally air-conditioned, which was a welcome relief after a day spent enjoying outside activities.


On another visit we decided to try a regular GARDEN ROOM.  They are all identical - the only difference in pricing is where they are located on the resort.  Our room was lovely, the balcony was great and we had a luxurious marble bathroom.  The only thing we missed was a comfortable place to sit inside to relax.  There were 2 small chairs, but they were not comfortable for long periods of time.  This may have been changed since we visited.  We found ourselves on the balcony so we could stretch out.  The balcony was great - very private and we overlooked the pool.  There were lamps for reading and a nice table where you could have room service deliver a meal if you so choose.

The grounds are embraced by lush gardens and the large beach.  We also enjoyed the complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling that was available for guests.  Although there is no television in the suite, one can be provided on request.  The very special Tree Top suites are one-bedroom, and have a private sundeck with plunge pool, large wrap-around terrace, spacious living area, and magnificent bathroom.  Everything is totally air-conditioned.   

We enjoyed some great food in their restaurant that is run by award-winning Executive Chef, Christophe Poupardin.  The staff throughout the resort were excellent - anticipating a need before you knew you had one.  If you stay here you will really enjoy a relaxing, enjoyable experience.


In the Tree Top Suites they have a bedroom with four poster or canopied bed, very spacious living room, a dressing area, and a large bathroom with a big walk-in shower and separate tub – all air-conditioned.

There is a large covered terrace and open sundeck area with a pool which is approximately 12 feet by 9 feet by 3 feet deep.  Featured in the living room is a television, DVD player, CD player, and a selection of DVDs and CDs.  There is also a complimentary starter bar. 

RESTAURANT
Open on three sides to torch-lit tropical gardens and surrounded by tranquil koi ponds, the restaurant at Sandpiper is regarded by discerning diners as one of the very best in Barbados.

Executive Chef, Christophe Poupardin, and his team offer eclectic food with a Caribbean flair from dinner menus which change five times each week. 

For guests on M.A.P., they offer exchange dining with other luxury hotels.


Insider tip:  Treasure Beach Hotel will be closed from May 27th to July 31st 2016 and again August 26th to October 31st inclusive, 2016.  This is for annual refurbishing and staff holidays.

Insider tip:

If you contact them (Kris Hoad the Reservations Manager, or Ann Smith, Property Manager is usually in the office), let them know Lois Swanson referred you and they will take good care of you.  There are only 6 of the 2-bedroom units (we always get this).  The 1-bedroom units are identical to the 2-bedroom (only difference is there are one bedroom/bathroom less).  Plum Tree Club is a great buy.


​LOCATION:  south coast, Rockley, Christ Church


Location:  south coast, St. Michael, Carlisle Bay

We have stayed several times at this luxurious 5 star resort that is a Relais & Chateaux property.  The staff was excellent and paid great attention to detail.  They knew our names immediately, and saw to our every need.  There are only 40 rooms, so it is an intimate property.


We love the luxury suites all of which have balconies or terraces. The suite includes the bedroom and a separate sitting room with sofas.  There is also a breakfast area. Our suite was 560 sq. ft.

One part we thoroughly enjoyed was our Afternoon Tea near the pool area.  They had all sorts of teas and coffee available as well as lemonade for someone wanting something cooler.  Then there was a delicious assortment of tea sandwiches such as, Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwich on White Bread, Egg & Cress Bridge Roll, Mature Cheddar Cheese & Pickle Sandwich on Whole Meal Loaf, Chicken Curry & Green Onion on Brown Bread, plus delicious scones, and Assortment of Home-Baked Afternoon Tea Pastries.  All of this is included in the cost of your room. 

The pool was refreshing and never crowded and the beach was great as well.


The Camelot Restaurant is situated at the edge of the beached overlooks the Caribbean Sea.  It serves some of the best food in Barbados. The award-winning restaurant even held the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association's 'Restaurant of the Year' accolade for 2014-15.  Every morning we enjoyed a full English breakfast, and each evening we delighted in some of the best food in Barbados.  

Chef Jason Joseph and his team source as many of their ingredients as possible from local suppliers to make sure only the freshest, most flavourful ingredients are used to bring the true taste of the island to Camelot guests.  Local fisherman Barker brings freshly caught fish to Camelot Restaurant each day.

The restaurant, Camelot, is situated at the edge of the beach and overlooks the Caribbean Sea ... the perfect setting for cuisine that merits both local and international awards. The award-winning cuisine, 6 times winner of the Barbados Gold Award, is prepared taking full advantage of local produce. 

AQUATICA BEACH RESORT:  A 4 star beachfront jewel set in the gorgeous, pristine Carlisle Bay on Needham's Point, the Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados is an idyllic getaway that embodies the best in Caribbean luxury. This newly refurbished resort in Barbados boasts 124 generously appointed guest rooms and suites with stunning ocean or island views, plus an impressive assortment of on-site amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property, an on-site Fitness Center, an outdoor swimming pool and multiple dining options. During your visit, take advantage of the hotel's ideal location fronting two miles of white-sand beach, where you can snorkel, paddle board or even swim with sea turtles.  This resort is 100% smoke-free.

In 2013 we just stayed here 1 night, but went back again for 3 nights in 2015.  We can highly recommend it to others.  Our room was gorgeous and our balcony overlooked gorgeous Carlisle Bay (my favorite).  We had room 701 which was great.  The only thing we were right next to the elevator bank and I think I would request something further away from it.  Less than $200/night in November with advance purchase - a real deal.

CORAL SANDS BEACH RESORT

Bougainvillea Beach opened in 1995, but it is always updated.   This is a 4 star resort set on Maxwell Beach.  There are 138 suite accommodations that are spacious and beautifully furnished with ocean, pool and garden views and include all of the amenities needed for comfort and convenience including kitchen facilities.   We started staying here back in 1986 when only the Sand Acres portion existed.  Now that has become their east wing and is a part of Bougainvillea Beach Resort.  One thing we've always loved is the staff - no matter how long it's been since your last visit, they remember you by name and make you feel welcome.

The choice is yours, opt for hotel accommodation only, include breakfast or include all of your meals.
Enjoy their extensive watersports, pools, tennis, fitness centre, spa treatments, cocktails at the swim-up pool bar or strolls on the beach - opt to do as much or as little as you like.

We have always enjoyed staying here – we’ve had one-bedroom deluxe as well as two-bedroom deluxe several times and both types of accommodations were great  All of their deluxe accommodations are in the newer area.  Their east wing (formerly Sand Acres) is now a part of Bougainvillea Beach.  This was totally remodeled and it’s fantastic as well.  Lots of granite, great bar area and great bathrooms.  A great feature at Bougainvillea Beach is that their units are totally air-conditioned throughout.  That means not only the bedrooms are air-conditioned, but the living room area is air-conditioned as well.  They are located on Maxwell Coast Road (off of Highway 7).  A car is helpful to get around from here, or taxis will also be ok.  The water in this area has moderate wave action for those wanting to enjoy boogie boards.

They also have an excellent exercise facility -- lots of equipment as well as 2 great, very private honeymoon suites.


​The beach in this area, Maxwell Beach, has a bit of wave activity. So if you want calm waters, look elsewhere.  Also, if you do not have your own transportation, taxis are readily available.  If you plan to catch the local bus it's about a 10 minute walk out to the main south coast road to catch it.

A few years back we stayed in a 1 bedroom deluxe (they range from 585 - 603 sq. ft.  It was air-conditioned throughout.  In the summer these go for $269/night + 7.5% VAT and 5% service charge.  In the winter the same accommodation rents for $413 -- of course, there are always specials.  

FAIRMONT ROYAL PAVILION

TREASURE BEACH

CORAL REEF CLUB

Sandy Lane is a 5 star resort.  It has 112 hotel rooms (that average 900 sq. ft.) and include flat screen LCD TVs.  They also have suites, a stunning private villa, exceptional golf, gourmet dining, an outstanding spa and superb sports facilities.  When we first visited the island we saw the original Sandy Lane that was built in 1961.  In 1998 the hotel closed for 3 years.  It was demolished and totally rebuilt elevating the hotel to a new level of luxury.  The current Sandy Lane reopened in 2001 and had a new spa and pool and 2 world-class golf courses built by Tom Fazio.  The Green Monkey is supposed to be the most expensive golf course ever built.  The original Old Nine course still exists as well. 


​The spa is wonderful, and we thoroughly enjoyed both Bajan Blue and L'Acajou as well as the spa restaurant.  Drinks at night in the lower patio or in the Monkey Bar are a great way to start the evening.


When we stayed here we had an Orchid Room, their least expensive, but it was more than we could have imagined.  Our room was just under 800 sq. ft. situated in the garden area.  Everything was remote controlled, from the draperies to the sound system and lighting.  And what a wonderful sound system throughout all rooms.  Our private patio area was totally secluded with wonderful furniture, ceiling fan, floating candles, and the sound system there as well.


We were pampered upon arrival by a lovely Bajan lady who gave us chilled towels scented with eucalyptus.  We also were given a delicious island drink and the manager gave us an orientation of the property.


The Spa at Sandy Lane:  We had a delicious spa lunch prior to our treatments and later we enjoyed the gorgeous pool area with waterfalls by the spa. 


The beach area is fantastic with water equipment available. 


That evening we ate in their wonderful L’Acajou restaurant.  We had a private alcove all to ourselves.  The food was among the best we’ve had on the island.  The entire Sandy Lane experience is something you should consider for a wonderful holiday.

LITTLE ARCHES

​​Location:  Paynes Bay, St. James, Hwy 1

​RADISSON AQUATICA BEACH RESORT

Insider tip:

The Coral Reef Club will close for annual refurbishment and staff holidays on the 21st May to 15th July 2016 and 27th August to 28th September, 2016.  Please consider staying at their sister hotel, The Sandpiper.   


THE CRANE RESORT

​Location:  west coast, Holetown, St. James

ACCRA BEACH HOTEL AND SPA

Sandy Lane

WEST COAST HOTELS:



​Location:  west coast, Porters

SOUTH COAST HOTELS

​Location:  west coast, Speightstown

Colony Club is a AAA 4 diamond hotel, stands among the most iconic resorts on the platinum west coast of Barbados.  Discover timeless architecture, décor and landscape countered by modern, fresh appointments. Experience unique recreational options, boutique shops and restaurants that are among the best in Barbados. With a prime location, just two minutes to Holetown, the Colony Club is perfect gateway for experiencing everything the island has to offer.  There are 96 guest rooms and suites, each with its own patio or balcony.
Four lagoon-style freshwater swimming pools, plus beach and pool concierge service as well as complimentary water sports are a few things you can enjoy during your stay.


​We inspected this property on a recent visit and they have totally refurbished over the last few years.  Even their most basic room had lots of marble, a great bar area, and a gorgeous bathroom.  The luxury rooms are nice.  You step down to a nice living room area and there is some marble in the bathroom.  There is a nice lazy river type pool that winds around the property with a swim-up bar.

Treasure Beach is a stylish, luxury 4 star resort with set in lush tropical gardens by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, Treasure Beach features 35 suites, including two deluxe ocean front suites, The Hibiscus and The Hummingbird, and the renowned Hemingway Suite, ideal for the romantic honeymoon retreat - these all have private pools.  This resort also has a spa.

Insider tip:

In 2016, The Sandpiper will close for annual refurbishment and staff holidays from 10 August until 12 October.

THE SANDPIPER

​Location:  south coast Rockley Golf Course

All Ocean, Pool and Garden View Suites have recently been renovated and feature coral stone walls, ceramic tiled floors, and Plasma flat screen televisions. The bathrooms have been stylishly redesigned with separate shower and soaking tub, and his and hers sink. Every suite has an air-conditioned bedroom with ceiling fan, bathroom with hair dryer, tub and separate shower. A tastefully furnished living room, with ceiling fan, leads out to a private patio or balcony. Home comforts include tea & coffee service, a mini fridge/ freezer, toaster and kettle.


THE HEMMINGWAY SUITE:
Ideal for Honeymooners or a romantic escape, the newly renovated Hemingway suite exudes contemporary elegance and understated style. The suite is the largest of the three deluxe suites with stunning views across the beautiful garden and pristine white sandy beach. The bathroom has his and hers sinks, oversized shower and freestanding tub all enhanced by the skylight and dark wood furnishings. The bedroom itself has the “Caribbean feel” with pieces from Guyana and throughout the islands all skillfully put together to create a perfect relaxing escape. 

We have stayed a few times in the Hibiscus Suite -- complete with our private plunge pool -- a real treat.


​KATHY’S RESTAURANT

Treasure Beach’s ‘Kathy's Restaurant’ is well established on the island but the appointment of Kirk and his culinary expertise is sure to secure its position as one of the island’s finest dining experiences for hotel guests and visitors alike.  A culinary star in Barbados, Kirk combines a Mediterranean style with the use of fresh, local ingredients and has created a range of recipes that will delight the most refined taste buds.  Signature dishes include a delicious ‘half local baby chicken, roasted and served on a sweet potato puree with piperade and herb butter’.  For dessert he has created a mouth-watering ‘cream cheese bavarian with local guava and cinnamon cookie.  Chef Kirk Kirton changes the menu every night, with 6 appetizers and 6 main courses.  Makes me want to hurry back to enjoy this experience again.

​Location:  west coast, Holetown, St. James

​​COBBLERS COVE

COLONY CLUB

Location:  west coast, St. James, Hwy. 1

PLUM TREE CLUB

Karen O'Hara Capaldi with Lois

Accra is 100% smoke-free, 4 star hotel with 224 contemporary guestrooms and suites.  All units include complimentary Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, mini-refrigerators, room service, electronic safe, kettle, iron with ironing board and flat-screen TVs.  Guests will also enjoy private balconies with panoramic views of the island, swimming pool or ocean. For the ultimate in luxury, upgrade to a spacious ocean-view suite and enjoy your own personal Jacuzzi tub.  Also on-site are several great restaurants to enjoy.


The are located directly on Accra/Rockley Beach.  This area is convenient to shops and restaurants.  They are directly across the street from Quayside Center.


The spa features six tranquil treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and locker room.  The spa is an oceanfront retreat of the utmost privacy and service.  Their internationally trained therapists will heal your body with holistic treatments like a Signature massage, personalized facial or a Chakra Ceremony wrap using spices and Barbadian cane sugar.   The highest quality products used include Sothys, O.P.I., Dermalogica and their signature Chakra Organics product line, which is made from local organic ingredients.

Insider Tip:

Even if you are not a guest here you can make a reservation for their high tea.  It's a wonderful experience.  An elegant English classic on the spacious and comfortable lower terrace, under the shade of the mahogany trees.  Every day from 3pm until 5pm, reservation required:  Write to:  

diningreservations@sandylane.com

As we have been traveling to Barbados since 1986 we have been to many hotels on the island.  I will mention those here that we have enjoyed, but there are so many that you need to consider location and what you are looking for in a hotel/resort when making your selection.

EAST COAST

Here you will have a chance to discover intimate luxury a 2 min. walk away from Miami Beach - partly calm, partly rough waters.  The hotel and restaurant are fantastic.  This hotel is something you will want to experience while in Barbados – even if only for a few nights.  There are only 10 unique, luxurious rooms here so it’s a good, “get-away” location. - very romantic.  It is located in the Atlantic Shores residential area – a bit away from things.  Prices range from $255 - $395 off-season.  High season prices range from $325 - $550.  Festive Season:  $380 - $645.  The room we saw (room #10 – “Carriacou”) is to the rear with a garden view -- was gorgeous!  Great roof-top restaurant too  - Café Luna (we tried it for lunch)  The chef is “Moo” and everyone continually raves about the food here.

The hotel has 72 rooms averaging 500 sq. ft.  Check with hotel regarding dates they are closed for annual refurbishing.


Royal Pavilion is 4 diamond property and is primarily a couple-oriented resort during the high season of November 01 to April 30, with children under 13 years being welcomed during the period of May 01 to October 31 inclusive each year.  It has new opulent oceanfront rooms that have full Internet access, DVD players and 27” flat screen TVs, and all marble bathrooms.  All rooms have a sea view.  Beach is narrow with the hotel right at the edge of the beach.  There are elevators in the building which are handy if you are on an upper floor.  Great balconies with drapery to block the sun if you want some shade.  Also on the grounds are new water fountains and a redesigned pool area (with a Jacuzzi) with unparalleled views of the Caribbean. 

​Location:  Maxwell Coast Road, Christ Church