If you’re looking for a slice of real life in Barbados, stay in one of these top hotels that offer a local experience, including everything from family-run properties in fishing communities to luxury beachside resorts.
There’s more to Barbados than ivory beaches, five-star resorts and rum. Whether you’re a nature lover looking for free boat trips to turtle hotspots, you’re keen to discover colorful Caribbean history in a family-run inn, or you want to experience the luxury the island is famous for, this is Culture Trip’s pick of the properties that offer a taste of all types of Bajan life.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Dating back to 1887, this remote resort is believed to be the oldest continuously running hotel in the Caribbean. On cliffs above the pink-hued sand of Crane Beach, the coral-rock property sits within more than 40 acres (16ha) of tropical gardens. The complex is home to neo-colonial suites with mahogany furniture, kitchens and sea-view terraces. Explore beyond your room and you’ll find a huge tiered pool, a separate adult-only pool, a spa, gym, tennis courts and seven dining options.
This traditional family-owned property, in the historic area of Bathsheba, was built in the early 1800s. It boasts just five rooms, which are all architecturally unique and built under a restored domed roof. Constructed from natural coral blocks, the rooms have ocean views, original skylights and period staircases. Breakfast is served in the restaurant and there’s a sundeck and a small pool overlooking the beach, which is known for its natural tidal pools.
Savannah Beach Hotel is in the Garrison Historic Area of Barbados, which has Unesco World Heritage status. The hotel started as a sheriff’s house in the early 19th century and became a hotel named Seaview in 1887. A substantial refurb in 2000 brought out the building’s original plantation brick and cast-iron balconies, with French doors and antique wooden furnishings. Today, the hotel also has two pools set in landscaped gardens, three restaurants, a gym, kids’ clubs and a spa.
From watching fishermen at work in the bay to browsing the local arts, craft and food markets, you’ll have Bajan life on your. doorstep at South Gap Hotel, in St. Lawrence Gap. The hotel offers studios and suites with ocean views and is just a few minutes from the soft sand of Dover Beach. Most rooms have a balcony, chic separate living space and modern kitchen. Plus, there’s a pool, restaurant and bar on-site.
Ocean Two Resort offers contemporary suites with fully equipped kitchens on the South Coast for an undisturbed, self-catering stay in Barbados. Most suites face the ocean and have large terraces and open-plan living areas. If you fancy a cocktail mid-dip, there’s a long pool with a swim-up bar, and the free water sports and choice of restaurants will keep you entertained and well fed. Head to the rooftop for sweeping coastal views and a refreshing adult-only plunge pool.
Mango Bay, in Holetown, is run by locals who offer homely yet plush Caribbean accommodation – including a Penthouse suite with its own patio plunge pool if you’re looking for luxury. Take a complimentary two-hour boat trip along the West Coast – your driver will show you to local spots where you can swim with turtles. Back on dry land, you’ll find Bajan cuisine and afternoon tea to live music. There’s a deep pool and spa with a selection of Caribbean treatments.
Serving European and Caribbean comforts including seafood risotto and rum bread pudding, The Lone Star’s beachfront restaurant is the real highlight. Since the building used to be a garage, everything is car-themed, with photos of vintage vehicles in the bar and six rooms named after cars. Although there’s no pool, the hotel backs right onto swish Alleynes Bay, one of the most pristine West Coast beaches. Service is top-notch and includes a refreshing rum punch on arrival.
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