Barbados has over 80 pristine beaches and more than 3000 hours of annual sunshine – I’m already sold, are you? If you still need convincing, or want to know my favourite Barbados Hotels, read on…
For most of us, thoughts of Barbados will conjure up images of glorious white sands and vibrant colourful towns, but there is so much more to discover. Considering the island is only 167 sq. miles, the diversity of the landscape is remarkable, from the rugged Atlantic east coast to the calm azure waters on the western Caribbean side. Combine this with world class Barbados hotels and wonderful experiences, and you will find Barbados packs a big punch for its size.
I was fortunate to holiday in Barbados many years ago, and loved it. I found it had a completely different vibe to the other Caribbean islands I visited. It is a melting pot of cultures, with nationalities from all over the world who moved there for a better life – and they got what they came for! In fact it is one of the few countries I could see myself living – and I don’t say that lightly.
Two of the main industries in Barbados are rum and tourism, and it’s fair to say they do both exceptionally well. The warm and friendly hospitality offered by the Bajans goes a long way to ensure tourists revisit year after year.
Whether they are returning for the world class golf, the vibrant nightlife, the famous rum distilleries, the historic streets of Bridgetown, or to stay in one of the world famous Barbados hotels, there is sure to be a reason for Barbados to keep calling you back.
No matter where you decide to stay in Barbados, you’re not far to explore everything the island has to offer. UK and Irish holiday makers will be thankful that you can drive on the left hand side of the road in Barbados, making it an ideal destination for hiring a car and exploring.
Following the recent announcement from Aer Lingus of their new connecting flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast via Manchester to Barbados later this year, it’s sure to be a popular route for Irish and British tourists searching for some winter sun.
Although there is an abundance of accommodation choices, you don’t need to worry, I have filtered through the options so you can easily find the best Barbados hotels and self-catering options to suit you.
Best Barbados Hotels for Families:
4-Star Bougainvillea Beach Resort
Overlooking the beautiful white sands of Maxwell Beach, the Bougainvillea Barbados has long been one of the bestselling Barbados hotels. The palm tree landscape, lush gardens and lagoon style pools are nothing less than you would expect from a tropical Caribbean resort.
Spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes are well appointed to cater for families large and small. For children, there is a kids club and an Adventureland Playroom for 3 –12-year-olds, which has a fun activity programme including arts and crafts, storytelling, and beach games.
Teenagers will enjoy the Challenger Games Room with air-hockey, pool table, mini-basketball and a 57” TV for movies and games. The benefits of being just footsteps from the sea gives you the opportunity to try out one of the many complimentary water-sports activities available, such as boogie boarding, snorkelling, kayaking and SUPping. You are sure to return with lasting family memories.
4-Star All-Inclusive Turtle Beach Resort
Fun-filled days await the whole family at Turtle Beach. The Flying Fish Kids’ Club is open daily from 9am – 9pm for children aged between 3 – 12 years, and the programme offer an impressive choice of activities including Bajan cooking, Calypso dancing, movie nights and even learning the local lingo!
Both the modern Junior Suites and One-Bedroom Suites will sleep up to two adults and two children. As part of the All-Inclusive offering, you can indulge in any of the five restaurants and bars at Turtle Beach, and this is in addition to Freeze Ice Cream Parlour which is sure to keep the little ones happy.
The location is pretty special here too. It is situated on 1500 ft of pristine beach, with an array of water sports and within walking distance of the lively St. Lawrence Gap. There truly is something for all the family at the award-winning Turtle Beach – it is one of the best all-inclusive Barbados hotels for families.
3-Star Lantana Resort Barbados by Island Villas
If you’re on the lookout for a great value self-catering apartments in Barbados, look no further than the Lantana Resort. This relatively new complex of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments offers a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the lively resorts to the south, yet is convenient enough to explore some of the most interesting parts of the island.
It is located just five km from Holetown – the site of the first British settlement, and just 8km north to the vibrant town of Speightstown, which is full of character and charm. After a day of adventure and exploring, choose to relax at the communal outdoor pool, or take a short stroll to the beach just 100m from the apartments.
Best Barbados Hotels for Couples and Honeymoons:
5-Star Fairmont Royal Pavilion
Following a multi-million-dollar renovation in late 2017, the Fairmount Royal Pavilion is now one of the most luxurious Barbados hotels on the west coast. Sitting on a half-a-mile stretch of chalk white sand, this colonial style hotel offers superb five-star service and facilities.
All guest rooms and suites are ocean facing, offering unobstructed views of the stunning Barbados sunset from the daybed on your glass fronted balcony.
Choose from a romantic candle lit dinner on the beach, afternoon tea at Taboras beachfront restaurant, or book a rejuvenating spa treatment in the comfort of your own room to make your stay extra special. You’ll feel like a celebrity in the wonderful surroundings of the Fairmont Royal Pavilion.
5-Star Sandpiper Barbados
Boasting a plethora of awards including British Airways Customer Excellent Award in 2020, and Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Award in 2019, the Sandpiper Barbados is a luxury beachfront, boutique style property. This small family-run hotel prides itself in outstanding hospitality and is rewarded with the loyalty of returning guests each year.
Despite accommodating just 47 rooms, you are surprisingly spoilt for choice with room categories, ranging from Garden Rooms to Beach House Suites. But I should give particular mention to the Tree Top Suites, possibly among the most luxurious suites in Barbados hotels, boasting an enormous ocean front terrace and private plunge pool.
The Sandpiper feels like an exclusive hideaway set between tropical gardens, coconut trees and the azure Caribbean Sea, yet it is only 1km from the 2nd largest town on the island – Holetown. The incredible reviews received on TripAdvisor reiterates the quality of service at the Sandpiper.
5-Star Cobblers Cove
Along the north west coast of Barbados, a short stroll from the historic town of Speightstown, you’ll find the former 1940’s plantation house of Cobbers Cove. This elegant, all suites colonial hotel has received many accolades, included most recently are; Best Hotel in Barbados, by the World Travel Awards for the 3rd year, and The Top 20 Most Beautiful Hotels in the World by Homes and Gardens.
This Barbados hotel is the perfect choice for a relaxed and intimate getaway. Cobblers Cove is particularly renowned for its long-established fine-dining offering. The hotel can arrange experiences such as picnics on deserted islands, or swimming with turtles, to ensure an unforgettable escape.
This is one of the most popular Barbados hotels for those celebrating a special occasion. It is an idyllic choice for a wedding in the sea front pavilion, or perhaps a beach barbecue birthday celebration.
4-Star Waves Hotel and Spa by Elegant Hotels
If you are looking for the ultimate All-Inclusive resort for your Barbados holiday, let me introduce you to Waves Hotel and Spa.
They haven’t just included the usual All-Inclusive essentials of meals and drinks. At Waves you can enjoy ordering personally delivered drinks to your beach lounger by your ‘Beach Ambassador’, a selection of spa treatments if staying in a Spa Guest Room, complimentary yoga and Pilates, water sports, as well as a dine-around programme giving you access to dine in some of the sister Elegant properties on the island.
You’ll never be short of experiences at the Waves Hotel, both at sea and on land, with an extensive programme of organised activities to choose from. But for those days laid back days, soak up the peaceful serenity at the Adults-Only spa pool while your Pool Ambassador delivers the cocktails.
You only have to scroll through the consistent five star reviews on TripAdvisor to see why this is one of the best All Inclusive Barbados hotels.
5-Star Crane Resort
Crane Beach on the south east coast of Barbados has consistently been recognised as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. In contrast to the calm Caribbean waters of the west coast, Crane Resort sits in a spectacular cliff top setting with jaw dropping views where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.
The dramatic and rugged coastline offers an abundance of outdoor adventures from body surfing to cliff diving, but that’s if you can tear yourself away from one of the best Barbados Hotels – Crane Resort.
A few of the standout features include 1.5 acres of multi-cascading pools, consisting of a waterfall pool and an alfresco Jacuzzi spa pool, a serenity spa with a range of Caribbean influenced treatments, plus five award-winning restaurants.
When the sun goes down, pull up a seat at Bar 1887 to enjoy a signature cocktail and live entertainment. Widely thought to be one of the oldest operating hotels in the Caribbean, Crane Resort will provide you with a Barbados holiday to remember.
5-Star Sandy Lane
Possibly one of the most iconic Barbados hotels and often frequented by the rich and famous, Sandy Lane is premier luxury resort with first class facilities and personalised service – I couldn’t possibly write a post on the best hotels in Barbados without including Sandy Lane.
This prestigious resort leads onto a crescent bay where the sand meets the azure Caribbean Sea, earning its ‘platinum coast’ description. I recall staying in the hotel next door to Sandy Lane – but it felt more like the poor relation. Despite the fact that we were staying on an all-inclusive basis, we couldn’t resist popping in to Sandy Lane for a pre-dinner cocktail, the setting is sensational.
Couples, families, and groups are all exceptionally well catered for with accommodation choices ranging from Ocean View Rooms to a luxury Five Bedroom Villa. Sandy Lane is particularly popular with golfers with no less than three world renowned golf courses located on the 300-acre immaculate grounds.
The impressive facilities also include four restaurants, seven bars and an opulent spa. Backed up by incredible TripAdvisor reviews, Sandy Lane really is little piece of heaven and is arguably one of the best five-star hotels in the Caribbean.
Best Barbados Villas & Resorts for Groups or Extended Families:
5-Star Port Ferdinand Marina & Luxury Residence
Located on the north west coast of Barbados and perfectly designed for large groups or family gatherings, the Port Ferdinand Marina & Luxury Residence offers the option of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, each with spectacular views of the Caribbean.
The extensive list of amenities allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds – luxury villas combined with resort facilities including a restaurant, outdoor pool and adrenaline pumping water sports.
Just a short walk away, don’t miss out on a visit to Nikki Beach – an addition to the acclaimed Nikki Beach Clubs portfolio, following success in Ibiza, Dubai and Marbella to name a few. Featuring VIP Cabanas, resident DJ’s, a swim up bar and an indulgent brunch menu, celebrate any occasion with your family and friends in style!
4-Star Marsh Mellow Resort – 4 Bedroom Villa
The stunning architecture is one of the standout features at the Marsh Mellow Resort. Designed in a crescent half-moon shape you can enjoy views towards the ocean from each of the four bedrooms. Not only that, but each bedroom is en-suite with direct access to the garden and pool terrace, where there are luxurious day beds and loungers – the perfect set up to spend quality time with your family and friends.
Located midway between Holestown and Speightstown on the west coast of Barbados, there are plenty of options to explore the island. Why not hire a private catamaran snorkelling tour, or take a rum and food tasting tour at the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery in Bridgetown? There are so many options to make incredible memories on your Barbados holiday.
Royal Westmoreland by Island Villas – 6 Bedroom villa
Larger groups will love this fabulous six-bedroom villa at Royal Westmoreland Estate. The proximity to the adjoining golf course is an added bonus, with the luxury villa offering views of both the Caribbean Sea and the 11th hole on the course!
The villa has received a rating of 9.2 with booking.com and it’s not difficult to see why. The open plan design joins the large indoor lounge to the magnificent outdoor dining terrace and private pool, creating the perfect spot to enjoy time with your loved ones over a barbecue and a few rum cocktails.
I would definitely suggest hiring a car while staying at the Royal Westmoreland to discover the island. Rental rates for a small car start from approx. €250 for a week.
Best Value Barbados Hotels
3-Star Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa
Booking.com are currently offering incredible value for arrivals to the Sugar Cane Club Hotel, but don’t let the 3-star rating deceive you. The hotel is located on a hilltop surrounded by a lush exotic landscape, with two outdoor pools and an impressive spa.
Among the exceptional reviews it receives, it is often described as a wonderful retreat. Although set in a secluded area, you are only minutes from the beaches and local towns, which can be reached by complimentary shuttle bus.
This adult-only Barbados hotel offers a peaceful escape, with the setting offering a choice of walking trails around the forested surroundings. It would be difficult not to unwind at the Sugar Cane Club where the perfect escape from everyday life awaits you.
3-Star The Atlantis Historic Inn
The swells from the Atlantic Ocean coming in on the east coast of Barbados are a stark contrast to the calmer Caribbean waters on the west coast. Fortunately, this makes it the most ideal spot on the island for epic surfing. The Soup Bowl attracts surfers from all over the world and I’ve found a hidden gem just a stone’s throw away.
The boutique Atlantis Historic Inn dates back to 1800’s and provides a unique charm and breath-taking panoramic views. The traditionally decorated rooms are colonial in style with four poster beds and rustic furnishings.
Nestled into the rugged Atlantic Coastline, you will experience traditional Barbadian hospitality that is sure leave you reminiscing long after you’ve returned home.
This hotel consistently receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor with particular mention to both the dining and outstanding views! As well as being a surfers paradise, this is one of the best value Barbados hotels on the east coast.
Cruise from Barbados
Excitingly Royal Caribbean have recently announced that they will sail from Barbados during the winter season. Grandeur of the Seas will set sail on 7-night itineraries from Bridgetown beginning in December 2021 through to April 2022, with a 14-night cruise available on 20th February.
The Southern Caribbean ports of call include some gems that cruisers may not have had the opportunity to previously visit on the popular Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Aruba, St. Vincent, Grenada, St Lucia & Tobago are just some of the paradise islands that await, and with the ship docking most days, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Although one of the smaller ships in the companies’ fleet, Grandeur of the seas does not compromise on the trademark standard of service or dining you may expect from Royal Caribbean International.
This is the first time that Royal Caribbean has home-ported in Barbados, and it offers the perfect opportunity to combine a stay on the island with one of their super itineraries – but the benefits don’t stop there. There is also the added bonus of not having a US ESTA visa requirement for these ports of call (once you are not flying via USA).
There’s never been a better time to think about a cruise and stay holiday, with Aer Lingus operating direct flights from Manchester, with connections to most Irish airports.
Check cruise here
I hope this post on Barbados hotels will give you some inspiration for when we can travel again. Hotel facilities and standards are subject to change, please check with individual properties for clarification. Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.