Palm-Shaded Cottages in Tropical Landscape Steps from Beach
When British explorers first landed on Barbados in 1625, they did so on the sheltered western shore, far from the waves that batter the eastern coastline. Nowadays, sleek yachts and catamarans have replaced the elaborate rigging of 17th-century ships, but the seaside remains as calm and idyllic as ever. Located a 10-minute walk inland, All Seasons Resort maintains a similarly laid-back atmosphere at its outdoor pool, where waiters serve piña coladas to sunbathers lolling on chaise lounges.
The glittering pool lies at the heart of the 4.5-acre property, surrounded by grassy lawns, scattered hammocks, bubbling fountains, and native flowers such as frangipani. Standalone cottages painted pastel pink, yellow, or green contain superior poolside suites with private patios that overlook the lush surroundings. Inside, terra-cotta tiles and wicker furniture create a tropical ambiance enhanced by brightly colored artwork depicting Robinson Crusoe playing solo beach volleyball.
Drawing from the island's British history, the onsite Red Parrot Restaurant serves a full English breakfast as well as other international specialties each morning. At night, the cuisine turns more Barbadian, with offerings such as fresh-caught fish atop rice pilaf. At the hotel's beachfront restaurant, entrees are served at tables overlooking the crystalline waters of the Atlantic. The eatery is reachable via a short walk or a ride on the free shuttle, nicknamed the "reggae bus."
Saint James, Barbados: Colonial History on Island's Placid West Coast
Originally named Jamestown, the city of Holetown—located within the parish of Saint James—represents the oldest British settlement in Barbados. It still bears traces of its former colonizers—the site of the St. James Parish Church, for instance, has held a series of Anglican churches dating back to 1628. The church standing there now is a rounded stone structure erected in the 19th century.
More recently, the west coast's sheltered beauty has attracted modern luxury resorts and fine-dining oceanfront restaurants. High-end shops, many of them duty-free, showcase designer handbags, diamonds, and handbags carved from giant diamonds. Food-wise, there are plenty of beachfront and roadside stalls offering traditional Barbadian fare. National specialties include fried flying fish with cou-cou, a mash of cornmeal and okra. Wash it all down with locally brewed Banks beer or the island's world-famous rum.