Where to stay in Barbados
From rugged and rural to modern with malls - the many faces of Barbados
Of course, the reality is that Barbados is about far more than sand and sea. Yes, those things are pretty central to its appeal. Such highlights as the Shark Hole and Carlisle Bay are among the most beautiful natural sights you’re ever likely to experience. But let’s not forget about a rich and fascinating colonial history that is explored and showcased in the villages and towns of this island nation, with its proud people and diverse markets. The capital city of Bridgetown is a cultural hub, where you’ll find a synagogue from the 1600s among other top sights. And the other parts of the island vary hugely depending on if you’re looking for something rugged and rural, upscale and classy or modern and built-up. In any case, when looking at where to stay in Barbados, you’ll find that we here at Plum Guide have covered everything for you, from things to do nearby to the best holiday homes in the area, so read on to discover where to enjoy your special trip to the Caribbean.
Up towards the north coast of Barbados is a gorgeous region of forests and beaches. This is where you’ll find the spectacular St. James, which also happens to be one of our Barbados hubs of Plum Guide homes. You might just find that your neighbours are celebrities, too, as this is one of the destinations visited by the rich and famous. Perhaps you’re one of them. In any case, stay in this area for easy access to the Folkestone Marine Park & Visitors’ Centre, where you can scuba dive and snorkel with turtles (the turtles won’t be wearing gear). Relax for the afternoon on Paynes Bay Beach or the Colony Club Beach, and work up a tan that’ll help to convince the folks back home that you were hanging out with the stars. Oh, and there’s culture here too: visit the St. James Parish Church, which opened around 1600.
Now, we’re in the southern part of the island, which is a little more modern and developed, and therefore a huge contender for you when deciding where to stay in Barbados. Also, the beaches, such as the Silver Sands Beach, the Silver Rock Beach and the Miami Beach Barbados, are still out of this world. A short drive from the Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ Church is a beacon of entertainment and culture, with the Globe Drive-In cinema and the Sheraton Mall among the fun family outings. The St. Lawrence Gap is another entertainment complex replete with bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.
The perspicacious among you will have noticed that there seem to be a lot of saints in these parts. And now we’ve moved onto Joseph and his technicolour dream beaches. Well, as far as colours go, they’re mostly white-yellow and turquoise, with dashes of green and brown. We’ve moved to the east coast, which is one of the least developed parts of the island. Forget the chaos of city life and the buzz of the tech you’ve left behind, as you lose yourself in the forests. Go surfing on the rough waters on this shore, and explore the botanical gardens. Among the highlights are the Clifton Hall Great House, the Cattlewash beach and the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens.
Venture north to the top tip of the island for St. Peter, which isn’t far from the aforementioned St. James. Here though, rise hills and peaks that overlook the ocean and the quaint villages of northern Barbados. St. Nicholas Abbey is far and away the most sought-after attraction, with its intriguing and historic rum plantation. Check out the Arlington House Museum, before relaxing at the Gibbs Beach.
Yet another saint, this one is Lucy. Not to be mistaken with St. Lucia of course, but St. Lucy in northern Barbados is another top-scorer in our look at where to stay in Barbados. It is a little less built-up than some of our other destinations, allowing for some fresh air and unobscured vistas. It’s where you’d go to escape all those celebs and fellow vacationers. Delve into the magnificent Animal Flower Cave, and peer out at the picturesque ocean.
Back in the southwestern part of the island sits the gorgeous St. Michael, which has some of the most sublime beaches on the island, and perhaps the world. Carlisle Bay attracts sun-seekers from around the globe to its fine sandy shores and temperate, clear water. After a day of scuba diving, kayaking and snorkelling in the bay, get dressed for something a bit more proper: a trip to the George Washington House, where its namesake president stayed in 1751 (before he was president). Perhaps great things are in line for you too, after a visit there.