As I landed in sunny Barbados the warm air made a welcome change from the raining summer we were experiencing at home. My first visit was to Little Good Harbour which was a lovely quiet hotel on the hillside, the rooms were cool and airy with high ceilings and wooden floors; we also visited the Fishpot where we were able to see for ourselves the lovely views and restaurant menu.
Our next visit was to Coral Reef Club which was closed to guests at the time of our visit. I was struck by the lovely gardens (garden tours run every Wednesday) and peaceful atmosphere; the spa was clearly a favourite as there was a steady stream of clients arriving for treatments, despite the hotel itself not having any guests staying. We continued on to The Fairmont Royal Pavillion where we were met by General Manager, Wayne. The Beachfront Junior Suite we were shown was amazing with a light and airy feel which reflected the hotel generally. We were treated to some Bajan Lemonades by the pool which we all agreed was the best freshly-squeezed lemonade ever, just what we needed after touring three hotels on such a hot sunny day. We then enjoyed a tour and fabulous lunch at Colony Club . Watermelon Cocktails to start really gave us a taste of the lovely food and service that was to come. We ate on the decking by the pool and beach and were very well looked after.
After lunch we visited the legendary Sandy Lane which lived up to our expectations, from the beautiful restaurants and spa to the pool and beach. Sandy Lane even caters for children in style with a fabulous Kids' Club with purpose built child-size bathrooms and furniture. Onwards to Tamarind , where its colourful décor stood out, along with the well equipped kid's room for older children. Next door, we visited The House which felt like an oasis of calm as soon we walked in. Everything is cool, calming and white; the view from reception through the lounge and out onto the beach is fabulous. I immediately felt the relaxed informal atmosphere of this lovely hotel.
Day two started off with a visit to Royal Westmoreland where we were delighted to add to our claim to fame, as we had all taken a tour of Wayne Rooney's six bedroom villa, sat on his bed and dipped our toes into his fabulous swimming pool! I was so impressed by how immaculate and luxurious the grounds, reception & bar and villas were. Each villa we were shown was different and so there is something for everyone with views of different aspects of the golf course. Next was The Sandpiper and my favourite suite of all, the Treetop Suite! It was decorated in neutral tones and felt spacious and luxurious with an amazing terrace for views of the sea and gardens. The hotel is small and intimate with a lovely quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
We also went to Grantley Adams Airport and the Concorde Exhibition. This was truly spectacular as one of the now retired aircrafts is in a hanger. We were able to board it and take a stroll through the cabin and sit in the most exclusive and most requested row 1! Another highlight was a relaxing beach barbeque and a trip to Oistens for the regular Friday fish-fry, which was vibrant and packed with locals and tourists alike enjoying the fresh fish and party atmosphere.
Our final day proved to be one of adventure, as we took part in a treasure hunt around the island in a fleet of mini-mokes followed by an evening onboard the Jolly Roger boat taking a trip along the coast. What a fabulous evening of eating, dancing and drinking. The cruise was smooth and the choice and quality of food excellent. Plus if you like rum punch there is a barrel on deck where you simply help yourself and dance the night away!
This trip was truly memorable and inspiring. The island is so friendly, relaxed and easy to get around and offers an amazing array of hotels to cater for every taste. I had never been to Barbados before and I can't wait to go back with my family!