#TeamCoco is bonkers about Barbados! Not only does it hold a special place in our Editor, Laura Bartlett’s heart, but 70,000 travellers in 144 countries, also agree that Barbados is the best place in the world for visitor satisfaction (according to a recent Destination Satisfaction Survey). Beating bucket list beauties like Seychelles and Bermuda, Barbados is a must visit, and although we love the spotless white-sand beaches, our Caribbean Reporter, Kered Clement shares her top recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and what to do in Barbados outside of the sandy feet and salt life.
WHERE TO STAY
We’re almost sure that the renewed Waves Spa and Hotel by Elegant Hotels, made its contribution to Barbados ranking highest in the Destination Satisfaction Survey accommodations category. If like us, you’re lucky enough to be greeted by a front desk clerk as lovely as Veronica, your stay along the Platinum West Coast at this all-inclusive spa and hotel is sure to be a pleasant one.
The beige concrete entrance isn’t much to look at, but don’t be quick to judge a book by its cover. A trot down a few steps leads to an appealing assortment of natural textures in palettes inspired by paradise, enhancing its eco, chic beach vibe. The perfect blend of rustic and contemporary furnishing will have you pottering about in the foyer for far too long, but we’d recommend you waste no time taking in the awe-inspiring views, which stimulate a state of well-being. And wellness for the mind, body and soul is positively encouraged when the attentive front desk team talk you through the sunset yoga and meditation offering and complimentary spa treatments depending on your stay and room type.
If you can pull yourself away from the beach tones of your oceanfront room, complete with a hard-to-leave King-sized bed, power shower, fresh tropical fruit, fully-stocked mini bar and inseparable balcony view. You’ll find serenity on the spa-side of the property, with overhanging palms covering an oasis whirlpool, and a pathway leading to peace and tranquillity at The Spa at Waves.
We’ll always remember the mesmerising views and chirping birds that would visit us during breakfast at Seascape Restaurant. But what charmed us most of all, was the distinguished customer service that exceeded expectations and never dropped the bar at any time. Pick Waves Spa and Hotel for excellent service, a fresh, modern setting and a convenient location between Grantly Adams International Airport and Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados.
WHERE TO EAT
Three coastal themed restaurants along the renowned platinum coast that you must experience!
The Cliff Beach Club
We have The Cliff Owner, Brian Ward and Guadeloupean bred Chef Jérémy Dupire to thank for the birth of this French “brasserie” style experience. No other coupling could have come up with a concept that merges the most exquisite cuisine from France, the Mediterranean and the West Indies, resulting in appetisers like an avocado salad with citrus segments and passion fruit dressing. And with mains like spicy lobster risotto with parmesan, tomato and scotch bonnet pepper, the menu is an explosion of colours and flavours, with a hint of each continent in every dish.
In comparison to The Cliff, a multiple award-winning restaurant, The Cliff Beach Club is laid-back luxury, with no compromise on the million-dollar view, perhaps one of the reasons why one stay at Sandy Lane resulted in relocation for Chef Dupire. Do, The Cliff Beach Club for the attentive staff, snap-worthy views, decor and dishes, the irresistible photo opp with the signature blue van and a Sunday night best described as Ibiza in Barbados.
The Tides Restaurant
From the front seat of your car to the seat of our waterfront table, this renowned restaurant on the West Coast of Barbados gives all its guests V.I.P treatment. And much like the high calibre service, the surrounding decor feels like a walkthrough on a hypnotising Hollywood movie set. With so much beautifully thought out themes, particularly the admirable large tree trunks saved during construction, you’ll be drawn to every inch of detail that adds to the overall wow factor.
The Catch of the Day, often Baracuda comes highly recommended by co-owner and Executive Chef Guy Beasly. During the brief wait for dessert, walk it all off in the Tides Art Gallery, featuring captivating artwork by the local, regional and international artist. Co-owner and Managing Director Tammy Beasly, who is mostly responsible for the eloquent decor wanted to deliver a dining experience that is much more than excellent service and decorated plates. This will be evident through your hosts, who’ll be as happy to double up as a photographer while ensuring your every want and need is catered to.
Arrive with room for a 3-course meal so you can clear the plate of every dish by this restaurant team made up of culinary leaders. Our slow braised lamb shank was lapped up as soon as it slid off the bone, and the baked vanilla cheesecake didn’t stand a chance!
The Lone Star
The Lone Star, a 1950’s garage in its former life is the perfect light meal and drinks pitstop, and you can conveniently enjoy a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8:30 am till 10 pm each day of the week. A popular hub for celebrities, families and the uber-stylish types, you need not worry about this joint being too stuffy as the staff keep the flow of things fun and light-hearted. If like us, you happen to perch at the bar when the bartenders are working on the frequently updated drinks menu, then you’ll be in for a treat of rum punch after punchline leaving you in fits of laughter.
For last day holiday blues, head to The Lone Star for a final dip in the ocean, a tasty treat, the perfect sunset and a robust rum concoction drizzled with lots of laughs.
WHAT TO DO
Exploring Barbados independently is a great way to stumble upon alluring attractions that appeal to your interest. For a mixture of shopping, leisure and tourist attractions, we recommend renting a car with Coconut Car Rentals and planning out your very own bespoke island experience. With a variety of vehicles to choose from and an efficient drop-off and pick-up service, we were able to map out the perfect day.
Shop a new spring/summer wardrobe at Salt and City boutique in Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. Marvel at the formations at Harrison Cave. Explore the history of one of the oldest Parliaments in the commonwealth, while being enlightened by the modern interactive museum at the National Heroes Gallery and take in the stunning vistas of every scenic opening discovered along your route. What’s more, you can also book Coconut Tours for a guided island adventure with several uniquely curated excursions to choose from.
Photography by Diana Lewis and Kered Clement