Top Beach Destinations: Barbados
Each month we will be bringing you one of our favourite holiday destinations, with fantastic insider tips from our expert travel advisors. This month Beth Cooper, founder of Beth Cooper PR - the luxury travel, real estate and lifestyle public relations consultancy, gives us the low-down on the beautiful paradise island of Barbados.
Where to stay in January: Barbados
Place to stay: The Crane Resort and Residences on the East Coast with fantastic self catering residences and masses of space for the family. It offers flexibility too as it offers a hotel-type service within spacious apartments. Restaurants are on-site along with spas, fitness facilities and fabulous shops and markets. Renowned for its unique cliff-top setting The Crane, once part of a private mansion built in 1790, is the oldest operating hotel in the Caribbean and is steeped in Barbadian history. It is arguably set on the most gorgeous beach on the island, well known for its surfing as is Atlantic side of the island so there are fab waves.
The Beaches: Crane Beach was rated "one of the ten best beaches in the world" by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and is famous for its rolling waves and stunning pink sand. Natural sand dunes are not common on the island but some exist in Long Bay on the south-west coast.
Also worth visiting and tucked away on the south coast, past the Crane Beach is Bottom Bay, a wide expansive beach with smooth rolling waves riding onto the shore. The beach is semi enclosed by high coral cliffs, providing a panoramic view of the south shore. The scene is completed by the presence of tall palm trees that add to the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere of the bay. Always a popular picnic spot, it is also becoming a popular place to live and a number of homes are being built on the tops of the cliffs overlooking the beach and ocean. People who live there report spotting turtles and whales in the waters below the rocks.
Where to eat: on site at the Crane you have great Italian, sushi at Zen and island dining at L'Azure – all of which are fresh and fabulous and child friendly.
What to do: surfing is a must and for the older children, kite surfing is exciting. Fish fry on a Friday night at Oistins is wonderful and full of local sights and sounds including island music – calypso - and craft stalls. Food is usually available from about 7:00 pm but if you go early (say 5:45 pm) you can walk on the pier and perhaps see a great sunset. Collect your fish scraps from the vendors in the fish market and feed the turtles. Frequented by visitors and locals alike, it's a great place to spend an informal evening. Lots of parents bring their children. Dress down!
Watching polo at Holders, St James on the West coast is also a really lovely thing to do. The sport has had a long association on the island and has added three additional pitches.
Visit the capital Bridgetown for markets galore and eat the freshest Lobster at Lobster Alive on the beach on Carlisle Beach – very casual beach side dining on a small sandy beach near the Careenage. The lobsters are flown in live from the Grenadine islands on the owners small plane. Often there is live jazz to accompany and it's a great atmosphere.
Don't forget to pack: mosquito repellent as it is very necessary and expensive on-island, sunuva UV swimwear and lots of sun lotion!
Parents will love: the location, it's breathtaking; there is something magical about having a drink overlooking the beach under a full moon
Kids will love: the amazing swimming pools and swimming with the turtles
Beth Cooper established her business 13 years ago and she is also mum to three lovely children. She loves luxury travel, the outdoors, good food, good wine and spending time with her friends and family. Beth is also passionate about interior design and is currently learning to play polo with her kids!