The best apartments in Barbados can be found in the heart of things, or on the sandy beaches of the coast and away from the crowds, or in rural peace. Some are self catering, and others come with beachfront restaurants or great places to eat within easy striking distance. Come to this fun-filled Caribbean island and feel utterly at home.
On a cliff in the southeast is this 1887-built hotel. One of the oldest on the island, it’s now bang-up-to-date, with photograph-worthy pools, a village square with shops and a kids club. Rooms have hand-tooled four-poster beds, kitchens and views of the pool, gardens or the breaker-topped Atlantic. Upgrade and snag a room with a pool. Pink-sand beaches close by beckon for boogie boarding. Oistins Fish Fry has seafood stalls and a booming bassline.
If you favor remote, rugged scenery you’ll love this peaceful self-catering retreat on the east coast. It’s a good-looking place in dark wood, overlooking a pool surrounded by decking; beyond is only countryside and ocean. The decorative mishmash works with rainforest showers and wicker furniture and some of the one-beds have characterful vaulted ceilings. Belleplaine, the nearest village (about 15 minutes away) is your nearest stop for a minimart and café-bar.
Like your Caribbean pristine? Book in at this family-run aparthotel on the west coast, among manicured grounds. Rooms, suites and villas – all with kitchenettes – combine neutral tones and tropical-themed art. How to spend the day? There are pools and a small spa, a gym and a salon. You’re also across the road from the beach. Paynes Bay is half a mile away (0.8km), stretching south from Sandy Lane to the fish market at Derricks, by the famous Cliff restaurant. Or order a grocery-stocked room and top up your fridge at the Hut – the handy on-site minimart.
The happening St. Lawrence Gap area of Christ Church spells party time. But you can chill afterwards in your smart apartment – with a kitchenette and balcony – at this remarkable Italianate building. The small outdoor pool area is where early-bird guests bronze. Too late? The quiet beach is steps away, if you want to lime (chill) like a Bajan. When you’re ready, you’re a short walk from a handy grocery store, restaurants and bars along the Gap.
Close to the buzz of St. Lawrence Gap, on the south coast, is this seven-story luxury beachfront hotel. Suites shine with marble accents and dark wood furniture; living areas extend onto private terraces with sea or bay views. Kitchens have stainless-steel fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. The main pool is a beauty, flanked by fruity parasols. Guests listen for the blowing of a conch shell: the signal that thrice-daily happy hour is starting.
This place delivers with bells on. Book luxurious residences – too posh to be called apartments – or luxury penthouses. You’ll get oversized bathtubs, walk-in showers and a kitchen you can cook your heart out in. From your vast terrace you can gaze at the ocean in your tub. Centered around a free-form swimming pool, the resort is hugged by landscaped gardens and a Pilates and yoga studio. And don’t forget – you get a lounger at funky day-club Nikki Beach Barbados.
Who’d have thought you could self-cater so close to Sandy Lane resort in Holetown, where all the celebrities stay, on the exclusive west coast? They’re all missing a trick: these 23 rooms work a treat. You can cook in the kitchenettes, decorated with wicker and tiles, then laze on their beach-facing balconies (or terraces), viewing the ocean. There’s a pool to cool off in, steps from the sandy beach. Here you’ll find Zaccios Beach Bar and Restaurant. Make ours a rum punch.
Laid-back and friendly: that sums up the South Gap Hotel. Its boutique-style self-catering studios and suites take design cues from the blue sky above and the sea beyond. One-bedroom suites go big on space, with separate sleeping and living areas. Beside the pool, tiki lamps and tropical plants set a serene scene. The soundtrack of crashing waves adds the vital soundtrack. Next stop: St Lawrence Gap, for beachy bars and appetizing foodie-spots.
We love laid-back, fuss-free living by the beach. And these boxy whitewashed apartments are the business: choose one-, two- or three-bedroom. They combine pared-back decor with cooling tiled floors and ocean views. And the setting? Lovely – on a rural patch of the south coast. Don’t fancy cooking in the kitchenette? The simple al fresco restaurant does a great smoked marlin. After downward dogs at the yoga pavilion at dawn, catch a wave nearby, at Surfer’s Point.
These quirky, rustic condos bask in totally tropical grounds of palm and bearded fig trees. Interiors mimic this, awash with palm fronds and foliage-patterned fabric. There’s no restaurant here – you’ll have to taxi to atmospheric Speighstown’s supermarket along the coast for supplies. Cool off in the inviting pool, recline in shaded comfort in the two gazebos and – for the real deal – grab beers at Mullins Bay, a sandy stretch of coast just across the road, after you’ve hit the waves.
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