Taking a Luxurious Tour of Barbados with Caribbean Dreaming

Taking a Luxurious Tour of Barbados with Caribbean Dreaming
Courtesy of Hotels.com

As a Caribbean destination, Barbados has everything we're looking for.

In the world of sugary sands, pastel-colored buildings, and pirate stories, Barbados is the only island that can rival them.

A journey through one of the Caribbean's most coveted islands with Rich Report. 

Watching the waves unfurl like a giant, geometrically woven Turkish carpet in nature's casbah, I dig my red-painted toes into the sugary sand of Miami Beach. Adding to the illusion of intrigue, unreality, and utter repose, the absurdly clear water gleams golden in the sun.

Unlike Florida's storied shores, this one is far from the state's storied shores. The island is located in the Lesser Antilles on the south coast of Barbados. Barbados' Miami Beach, with trees instead of high-rise hotels and a calypso beat, is less developed, more chill, and ten times as beautiful as Florida's.

Its immersive spit of nature and local culture may change your life. Popular with locals who bring their handmade tennis rackets for beach games and sought after by in-the-know tourists seeking the less trodden paths.

Shark Hole, Barbados. Courtesy of Lonely Planet

This power belongs to the entire island, of course. There are 70 miles of sandy beaches on Barbados; infinitely tropical, it feels like a place a pirate might settle. That's right, it has happened here several times. Known as the birthplace of rum, Barbados is a place rich in history and culture.

Its east coast offers unpredictable surf, pristine beaches, and stellar diving, as well as welcoming residents, a distinct food culture, alluring nightlife, and pastel-colored houses. Whenever we think of Caribbean destinations, Barbados comes to mind. It feels right to Rihanna, as she has said about her home.

The Barbados Hotel Check-in Guide

02 Beach Club & Spa, Concierge Collection

Courtesy of 02 Beach Club

With 130 rooms, six restaurants, seven bars, and three pools, this buzzy resort occupies a prime location on the island's south coast at Saint Lawrence Gap.

A variety of 'how to' classes at the resort invite otherwise languid poolside loungers to get a real taste of island culture. Set up an easel on the beach and learn how to paint the colors of the ocean as you play the steel pan drum.

With an oversized king-size bed, a spa bathroom featuring a walk-in rainfall shower and freestanding tub, and a spacious living area with a queen sleeper sofa, the Concierge Collection Oceanfront Suite is a haven. A full kitchen and dining area, as well as an expansive balcony with sun beds, make the suite a great place to relax.

Sandy Lane

Courtesy of Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane, a pink palace on the west coast, has long been on everyone's list of the world's most sought-after hotels. This home is surrounded by mahogany trees, bordered by the sea and its crescent of alluring beach, yet it offers a slew of contemporary conveniences at the same time.

There are nine tennis courts and 45 holes of championship golf, as well as a 47,000-square-foot spa for indoor relaxation. The resort's Rolls-Royce Phantom is the vehicle of choice for transfers. A five-bedroom fantasy of stately repose awaits you at The Villa. Within the resort's own gardens, this 7,300 square foot villa is located in the center of the resort. In addition to a private pool and Jacuzzi, it has a variety of common rooms. Private beach access is available at the gorgeous domain, which has space for 15 guests.

The Crane Resort

Courtesy of The Crane Resort

In addition to its history of pleasure, The Crane exudes an old-world charm and status that can only be attributed to its first resort status as Barbados's first hotel. In 1887, it opened on a clifftop overlooking Crane Beach's rosé-wine-colored sands. With its current 40-acre expanse and complete refurbishment, it continues to feel romantic and secluded, tucked away from the madding crowd.

Family travelers are enticed by The Crane's spacious, 4,014-sq-ft Three-bedroom Penthouse, which offers things for everyone - five pools, a restorative spa, gastronomic dining, and calypso kids' club. This spacious penthouse is ideal for girlfriend getaways or family reunions, with its artisan-crafted furnishings, granite kitchen, tower-style pool on a balcony, private roof terrace, and BBQ grill.

Bajan Bites: Where to Eat in Barbados

Courtesy of The Lone Star

The Lone Star serves up a melange of the world's best cuisine: Asian, Italian, Island and European — all at the same time — on the swanky Platinum Coast on the island's west side, part of the exclusive St James neighborhood and a boutique hotel complex, housed in a converted 1940s Texaco station. Shepherd's pie, chicken tikka masala and prawn Thai green curry are among its signature dishes that attract the glitterati.

The QP Bistro overlooks the sea on the west coast of the island, conjuring up images of the Caribbean and the Amalfi Coast. This Italian influence continues with pasta and pizza options, as well as local favorites for main courses and starters. Whether it's the fishcakes or the blackened catch of the day, there's something for everyone.

Food trucks are famous in Barbados for their delectable, friendly offerings. Locals can mingle with these restaurants on wheels located all over the island and sample regional cuisine. There are approximately two dozen vendors and menu types available at Worthing Square Food Garden, situated on the south coast. A lobster boil is one of the highlights of Chef Pows Kitchen's menu in Bridgetown.

Courtesy of Champers

Champers is a postcard-perfect spot with indoor and outdoor seating located on the South Coast. Perfect days end with lobster tacos and oven-roasted barracuda with parmesan and herbs - not to mention white chocolate cheesecake.

The elegantly casual Tides Barbados restaurant is nestled into the trees on the Platinum Coast, just perfect for a romantic date night. As a contemporary twist on local cuisine, the kitchen features live music to extend the evening. Get The Tides Seafood Platter to sample everything from Caribbean grilled lobster to scallops, mussels, shrimp and hand-cut fries.

Best of Barbados

Snorkeling is a popular activity in Barbados. Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises 

An island can only be truly understood and appreciated from the water. Unseen Barbados offers customized cruises in the island's gin-clear waters on its elegant vessels. 58-foot Sea Ray Luxury Yachts, such as Princess Hope, will take you to the island's top hotspots, escorted by your own six-person crew. Sip charcuterie and sip cocktails while snorkeling, playing with water toys - such as a clear kayak - and nibbling charcuterie.

Let's get piratical

It's not necessary to wear an eyepatch. Stede Bonnet (aka the Gentleman Pirate) was a local farmer-turned-pirate, who certainly liked a dram (or ten) of rum, and The Rum Vault lets you channel him. A first for Barbados, this first-of-its-kind bar serves 150 rums from around the world at Colony Club by Elegant hotels.

Mount Gay Magic

Mount Gay's new, super-premium estate tour experience is the world's oldest commercial rum distillery, dating back to 1703. Transportation, a sugarcane field visit, distillery exploration, and a tasting of rare Limited Edition Mount Gay are all included in the four-and-a-half hour tour.

Bridgetown, Barbados. Courtesy of Culture Trip 

Live like a local

See Barbados from a local's perspective and hear their stories. Whether you walk, ride a bike, ride by horseback, scuba or go off-roading, a private island tour will enrich your visit to the verdant island. 

On the Boardwalk

About four miles south of Bridgetown, the Barbados Boardwalk offers breathtaking views of the sea and a beautiful coastal path. Walking along the coast, it immerses walkers in Barbados' natural style, near restaurants and bars. The best time to take photos is at sunrise or sunset.

Cruise News

Evrima, Ritz-Carlton's newly launched yacht-style cruise ship, will be berthed in Bridgetown, Barbados' lively capital. With peerless amenities and opulent spaces, including a 1,091-square-foot Owner's Suite with a 635-square-foot balcony, the ship offers guests VIP shopping tours, afternoons at Copacabana, and turtle swim activities on island. Guests can bookend their cruise trip on the island for longer stays since some cruises begin and end there.

Annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival. Courtesy of Food and Rum 

Bajan Cuisine and the Annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival

Every October, the island celebrates its culinary talent with an exhilarating gastronomic festival featuring rum producers, chefs, and food stars. We offer tours, breakfast on the beach, food truck mashups, glitzy evening affairs, pop-ups, and more.

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