5 ways to... Make a break for Barbados

Take
your partner, family, golf clubs… or a good pair of walking boos

White sand, topaz waters, palm trees dancing on the balmy breeze, a rum punch in your hand... Barbados fulfils all the fly-and-flop fantasies of escaping the bleak midwinter. But drag yourself away from those dreamy shores and you’ll find lively festivals, exotic gardens, historic plantations, nature and heritage trails – even one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogues.

There are also more golf courses than you could shake a club at, as well as options to get even more active on the east coast, where you’ll find superlative surf breaks.

Don’t assume that your swimming trunks require deep pockets to visit Barbados – there are affordable options for families and budget travellers, at three-star all-inclusives, guesthouses, self-catering apartments and homestays.

As a couple

The serenity of Barbados’s tropical shores provides the poster backdrop for a romantic escape, whether it’s a holiday, wedding or honeymoon and there are several resorts that cater only for couples. However, the newly opened SoCo Hotel (thesocohotel.com) shifts attention away from the buttoned-up traditions of the Platinum Coast, south to Hastings. This diminutive four-star with just 24 rooms, has brought a hint of Miami Beach to the resort, which is close to the nightlife and restaurants of St Lawrence Gap, with its sleek white decor and contemporary restaurant. While it doesn’t label itself as adults-only, SoCo offers no family-friendly activities and children attract a supplement of between $50-$100 per night. Tropical Sky (0843 249 5361; tropicalsky.co.uk) offers a week at the hotel from £1,089 per person all-inclusive, with flights from Gatwick and transfers. Wedding packages also available.

As a family

Notwithstanding a fairly substantial flight from the UK, this Caribbean island is an indulgent family playground – with warm, gentle waters, a benign winter climate and hotels with diversions that would put Mary Poppins to shame. The time difference is a manageable four hours behind GMT. You can fly non-stop from a range of UK airports and transfers never take more than an hour or so.

Avoid the peak season of January to April. Instead, travel in May or October half-term. Turtle Beach (turtlebeachresortbarbados.com) is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort on the south coast, a short drive from the airport. There’s a kids’ club (9am-9pm), watersports, beach sports, tennis, two pools, cookery lessons and dozens of day trips. Virgin Holidays (0844 557 4321; virginholidays.co.uk) has a week’s all-inclusive here for £5,050 for a family of four departing Gatwick on 24 May.

On a budget

Forget Sandy Lane, you can lap up beachside bliss in Barbados without the gold-plated price tag. Overlooking Worthing Beach on the south coast, Oleander Apartments offer simple, cottage-style accommodation with kitchenettes. They’re close to the capital Bridgetown, where you can stock up on provisions at food markets and a short drive from the restaurants in St Lawrence Gap. Fleewinter (020 7112 0019; fleewin ter.com) offers nightly rates here from £78 for two sharing, including airport transfers but excluding flights. The tourist board (visitbar bados.org) also lists guesthouses and apartments across the island, starting at around £70 per night.

Away from the beach

Beaches are only the start of Ramblers’ (01707 33 11 33; ramblers holidays.co.uk) 12-day “Beautiful Barbados” holiday. The group walking tour visits plantation houses, museums, rum distilleries, an orchid farm, botanical gardens and the capital Bridgetown, as well as taking in a glass-bottomed boat ride and snorkelling on coral reefs with the chance of passing turtles along the way. There are no more than three hours of walking each day, with some transfers by local buses to give you a flavour of island life. There are departures from November-February; prices start at £1,899pp including flights from Gatwick, transfers, B&B, most dinners, all entrance fees and a guide.

With your golf clubs

The island is home to seven golf courses and resorts, including an 18-hole championship course at the Barbados Golf Club (barbadosgolf club.com) and three courses at Sandy Lane (sandylane.com), whose Country Club course hosted the World Golf Championships World Cup in 2006. The resort is also home to the Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole Green Monkey course carved from a stone quarry and reserved only for guests. Bailey Robinson (01488 689700; baileyrobinson.com) offers a week’s “Golf Escape” at Sandy Lane from £2,980pp including flights from Gatwick, transfers, B&B, two rounds of golf, one pro golf lesson and lunch at the Country Club.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links