If it’s jet-set central you are after for your Caribbean holiday then head straight for the island of Barbados, which has been drawing celebrities, business leaders and oligarchs to its sandy shores for years. And small wonder.
You need look no further than the Caribbean paradise’s main attractions to see the appeal of a week or two on the island. There’s the wonderful weather, outstanding beaches, good restaurants and healthy portions of nightlife… and that’s just for starters.
Take a sailing catamaran cruise along the coast, with time for a swim and lunch on board, or see Barbados’ interior on a four-wheel-drive safari-style tour to places the tour buses can’t reach. And make time for some sightseeing and shopping in bustling Bridgetown, the capital, a great place to buy resort wear and souvenirs… plus rum, of course.
The hotel choices are almost endless, as a quick glance at what Caribbean expert Virgin Holidays has to offer will confirm. Many are on the sought-after Golden Mile of the island’s West Coast, some of which act as magnets for the world’s rich and famous (and remember, singer Rihanna was born here, in the island’s St Michael parish).
But there are bargains to be had, too. Some are all-inclusive, such as the wonderful Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels. Ideal for families, it has a kids’ club on offer to keep everyone busy and beach and pool ambassadors to really spoil you. Or how about the five star Hilton Barbados Resort, where all the rooms have ocean views and there’s gourmet dining right on the doorstep? You are spoiled for choice.
There are some excellent restaurants in Barbados, too. For instance, try the rustic charm of Oistins Fish Fry, in an authentic fishing town on the south coast, where vendors sell a variety of fish ranging from tuna to flying fish and mahi-mahi, which is then cooked right in front of you. And don’t forget a tot of rum — Barbados is the home of the famous Mount Gay rum, produced on the island since 1703.
If you fancy joining the jet-set at their favourite lunch spot on the beach head for the Lone Star at Mount Standfast, once little more than a simple beachside shack restaurant and now a smart boutique hotel as well. It’s not cheap but worth the money for the view and the company. And for a special dinner try The Cliff in St James, thought by many to be Barbados’ best restaurant. Book a table on the lower level, overlooking the sparkling Caribbean.
Across the island, you’ll find water sports of every type — from sailing to windsurfing, water skiing to diving, you name it, you can try it. Of course, Barbados has also got some of the finest golf courses in the Caribbean.
Add the natural wonders of the island — the lively towns, plenty of sport — and it’s small wonder that Barbados is so popular, whether you are part of the glitterati or simply a canny visitor looking for fun in the sun.And Virgin Holidays has come up with a novel way to help you make the most of your last day in paradise before you head home. From next summer pay a small fee and you will be able to spend the day on the Departure Beach (Brownes Beach in Carlisle Bay) where there will be all the fun and facilities of a beach club with the added bonus that you will be able to drop off your bags and even check in for your flight. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Virgin Holidays expert tip
Visit Oistins Fish Fry for some of the best seafood on the island. Head there on a Friday night where locals and tourists gather for food and dancing under the stars.
Offer: Sea Breeze Beach House Barbados from £1,375pp**
Little VIP touches make a stay at the recently refurbished Sea Breeze Beach House feel all the more special. As you sink into a sun lounger, the pool and beach attendants bring you cooling ice towels, mist you with spritzers, and offer refreshing sorbets.
Visit virginholidays.co.uk/barbados to book, or find your nearest store.
*This content was commissioned and approved by Virgin Holidays
**Terms & Conditions: Price is per person based on 2 adults travelling and sharing a Classic Standard Room at the Sea Breeze Beach House Barbados for 7 nights on an all-inclusive basis with return economy flights from London Gatwick and include all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges, which are correct as of 7 November 2017 and are subject to change. Prices based on 4 June 2018 departures. Price includes online discounts and must be booked online, if booked by telephone or in store a higher price applies. Weekend and peak season supplements may apply. Offer must be booked by 21 November 2017 and is subject to availability and standard Terms & Conditions. Offers valid for the relevant division of the Virgin Holidays Group only, for definition visit virginholidays.co.uk/who-are-we/our-family. Offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offer, promotion or discount including the Frequent Virgin Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club unless otherwise stated. When booking by telephone or in-store a non-refundable booking fee applies. Credit Card payments will incur a 1.5% charge of the value of the transaction. Calls cost no more than calls to geographical numbers (01 or 02). ATOL protected (2358) and ABTA (V2043) for Virgin Holidays.