The three faces of Barbados, the beautiful eastern-most island in the Caribbean, offer more diversity than holiday locations far larger than the country’s 14 by 21 miles. “Laid-back” and “great value” characterize the island’s second face: Barbados’ South Coast, where sugar-white beaches are plentiful, night life active, and holiday rentals reasonable in price. Part 2 of a 3-part series.
Barbados’ South Coast:
Price-wise closer to earth than the west coast of Barbados is the south coast of the island, which offers an “authentic” Barbados holiday with many locals, friendly and funky street vendors, and many accommodations that offer good value.
Be careful, though, before booking your hotel or holiday rental on the south coast. Be aware that:
– south coast accommodations range from casual-luxury-with-unbelievable-sea-views to hotel rooms in need of face lifts. Before you book anywhere, check the TripAdvisor site to see what previous guests have to say about the holiday rental you’re interested in. As seductive as they are, don’t book based only on photos of the gorgeous sea.
– the south coast is a wonderful mixture of both calm Caribbean Sea and active Atlantic Ocean waters; the farther toward the east coast you are, the higher the waves and the rougher the surf. Inquire about the surf conditions of the place you book.
– restaurants and shops are located in the area of the south coast called St. Lawrence Gap. If you have rental accommodations outside “the Gap,” you’ll need a hired car or taxi (or, if you’re adventuresome, the Barbados bus system) to get to restaurants, shops, and nightlife. Unless you want a very quiet holiday, you’ll want to stay in or very near the Gap. However, also remember that where there’s nightlife there’s nighttime noise, so inquire about provisions holiday rentals have made for soundproofing. Again, check TripAdvisor reviews to read what previous guests have to say.
Barbados South Coast Holiday Rental Recommendations:
Many visitors to the south coast are drawn to the area because the beaches are even whiter and larger than those along the west coast of the island. They’re also plentiful. The following holiday rentals are worth checking out because they offer amazing sea views and generally offer good value in surroundings of casual luxury:
* Silver Point Hotel (at Silver Sands Beach): Beautiful white drapes surround large four-poster outdoor lounging beds at this boutique-style getaway that sits by itself some distance from the action of the south coast. An open-air restaurant and bar at the hotel complement the casual-chic vibe of the place and the youngish crowd it attracts. The sea is more Atlantic Ocean than Caribbean Sea. This means it’s ideal for wind surfers but a bit rough for casual swimmers and children. Windy, the beach offers ideal kite-flying conditions. You’ll need a car to get around the island. Some rooms have small kitchenettes.
* Little Arches (at Enterprise Beach, aka Miami Beach): An absolutely adorable, intimate, gracious hotel with the acclaimed international-cuisine restaurant, Cafe Luna, on site. Adults only. A car is recommended. The sea is calmer here than at Silver Point.
* Ocean 1 (Maxwell Beach): Hip and new, offering two- and three-bedroom apartments with kitchens and balconies facing the sea. Privately owned, different apartments offer different tastes and qualities of furnishings. Located right on a large beach, each unit offers lovely views of the gentle sea. You might want a hired car, or hop a quick taxi ride to the Gap for dinner.
* St Lawrence Beach Condominiums (St Lawrence Beach, between Dover and Sandy beaches): Two- and three-bedroom new vacation rentals with complete kitchens in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap. All units provide expansive sea views and immediate access to a small beach. Step out the back door and commune with the tranquility of the aqua blue sea or lounge around the pool; out the front door you’re just steps away from numerous restaurants and clubs. The sea here is more Caribbean than Atlantic Ocean, meaning the waves are gentle. Inquire about soundproofing of bedrooms facing the Gap; seaside bedrooms aren’t bothered by the clubs’ music. No car required. Small grocery, shops, and many restaurants very nearby.
* Hilton Hotel (at Hilton Beach at Needham’s Point): A less-imaginative choice, perhaps, but the setting of the Barbados Hilton, on the beautiful Needham’s Point, gives the Hilton Hotel a place on this list. The rooms are what you’d expect and there’s a bit too much concrete in the common areas for my taste, but the food in the several restaurants is good, service is first-rate, and the beach one of the prettiest on the island and ideal for very young children to play in the surf.
Next, we’ll visit the third face of Barbados: the undeveloped east coast, with breathtaking views of a wild Atlantic Ocean.