Barbados is known as a jetsetter’s playground with exclusive hotels, top restaurants and fabulous beaches. On the calmer west side of the island they call it the Platinum Coast with good reason. Not only are the beaches top rate, the local services are top class too. There aren’t many Louis Vuitton stores in the Caribbean, but you will find one here.
But do you know how to make the most of this playground while getting the best hotel deals in the hottest, most sought after hotels?
When to Visit
Temperatures range from 26C (79F) to 30C (86C) year round, often with cooling sea breezes. The Caribbean hurricane season rarely touches Barbados but storms are certainly possible September to November.
December to mid April is the high season when prices are at their peak and hotels are often full. Mid April to June the temperatures remain comfortable and prices drop from their lofty peaks. July to November is low season with bargains to be had even at the top resorts and hotels. Just be aware that full days of tropical rain are not unknown.
Where to Stay
Barbados is made up of 11 parishes and location is as likely to be defined by parish names as by towns. The centre of the Platinum Coast is St James Parish with many top hotels and resorts. The area around the capital, Bridgetown is St Michael’s Parish. Along the south coast, including the airport is Christ Church Parish. The majority of the island’s hotels are found in these 3 parishes.
Unless on business, you probably don’t want to stay in the capital. Most resorts have direct beach access or golf course setting with a nearby beach club.
Top 5 Five Star Hotel Deals in Barbados
Tamarind By Elegant Resorts
Save 20%! Tamarind by Elegant Resorts, Paynes Bay, St James Parish.
- Adjacent to Daphne’s Restaurant on Payne’s Bay
- Spa and Wellness Centre
$1862USD for 7 nights
Fairmont Royal Pavillion
Save 55%! Fairmont Royal Pavillion, Near Holetown
- Ocean-front beach resort with free Wifi
- Convenient for the restaurants & high-end shopping in Holetown
$2665 7 for nights
Hilton Barbados Resort
Save 26%! Hilton Barbados Resort, Needhams Point, Near Bridgetown
- Best accommodation close to the city
- Only 15 mins from the airport
- A contemporary hotel with tennis courts.
$1460USD for 7 nights
The House Hotel
Save 55%! The House Hotel, Saint James, Durants
- A chic, adults-only resort on the platinum coast
$3101USD for 7 nights
Royal Westmorland, St James Parish
$2818USD for 7 nights (2 bedroom townhouse)
- Exclusive resort, north of Holetown
- A Robert Trent Jones Snr designed golf course
- Beach club on Mullins beach
All prices are for a 7 night stay June 20-27, 2015. Available as of May 5, 2015.
There are many great restaurants in Barbados from fine dining to to local rum shops and budget street food. The top restaurants have a dress code and you will need advance reservations, especially in high season. These restaurants have a good selections of wines, but import duties make it relatively expensive.
The Cliff, St James
The Tides, Holetown
Cin Cin by the Sea, St James
Daphne’s, Paynes Bay
Cariba, St James
Naru, Christ Church
Champers, Christ Church
On Friday and Saturday nights you can visit the Fish-Fry at Oistins on the south coast. You can try the best local delicacies – fried and grilled fish, fish cakes, sweet potato, macaroni pie, and coleslaw available from dozens of vendors with a lively party atmosphere.
The island of Barbados covers 166 sq miles and is 21 miles long and 14 miles wide. The are many rental car offices at the airport, international brands as well as local companies. Make sure your rental company gives arranges a visitors’ driving permit. A car not only gets you to and from your hotel, but gives you the freedom to explore the islands narrow and winding roads. Driving is on the left.
If you intend to base yourself at a resort and not venture far you may prefer taxis. The cost from the airport to Holetown in St James Parish is about US$30 each way. Taxis are also available for private tours.
Local buses cover most of the island for a flat fare of $2 Barbados Dollars (US$1). The routes tend to head into Bridgetown or away from Bridgetown towards the local towns and villages. Just ask a friendly local if in doubt.
Barbados has international air links with the USA, Canada, the UK and Germany as well as other Caribbean nations. You can fly daily from Miami, New York and Toronto. As a former colony, the island is very popular with British travellers. There are daily flights from London Gatwick by British AIrways and Virgin Atlantic as well as budget and charter flights from London and Manchester. There is a weekly flight from Frankfurt.
The author last visited Barbados in September 2014.