You’d never guess it.
Not when you’re sipping a fresh espresso, looking out toward the turquoise Bajan sea.
You’d never guess that this is an all-inclusive resort.
This is something else — hip, sleek, and, yes, cool.
And it’s beautiful.
This is Elegant Hotels’ Waves Hotel & Spa, and it’s a new kind of all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, with a real focus on design.
Elegant’s newest property, which debuted a few months ago, is the product of a major transformation to an existing property that’s yielded something quite unique.
This isn’t the all-inclusive megaresort you may be used to. It’s traditional all-inclusive convenience wrapped in a boutique, modern package.
The design by Miami-based DSI’s Clive Booker hits all the right notes, with an earthy, beachy feel that also manages to be crisp and vibrant, from the hardwood floors to the bold color schemes to the inspired craftwork that adorns the walls and the driftwood furniture accents. It’s a bold new design that really sets a new standard for small hotels in the region, all-inclusive or otherwise.
And while it’s equally comfortable for families or couples, there’s a deliberate push here to target the needs of increasingly connected travelers, and millennials in particular.
That shows up in small touches that make a big difference: a bluetooth speaker in every room; myriad USB ports; massive flat screen TVs and artful, modern bathrooms.
There are three culinary offerings: Seascape, a Mediterranean-style eatery; Shiso, an Asian fusion restaurant that’s almost certainly the region’s first all-inclusive noodle bar; and Kyma, a coffee bar and deli that served the aforementioned espresso (and several more).
Another great perk? The hotel’s beach ambassadors, which will come to your side and serve you all the rum punches you need right on the sand.
Then there is the activity offering, which is fresh, too, for an all-inclusive in the Caribbean — an emphasis on being active, from palates instruction to beach meditation to complimentary spa treatments (and three complimentary rounds of golf, too).
The latter is a major selling point, and part of what is a dedicated adults-only spa wing of the property.
Indeed, The Waves, which is now Elegant Hotels’ sixth property in Barbados, has 52 rooms on three floors above the beach, and 18 spa rooms across the road with their own dedicated adults-only pool. They range from duplex suites to tucked-away adults-only hideaway rooms right on the pool.
It’s a remarkably broad offering for a boutique property, and instantly the boldest among Barbados hotels.
And it’s a game-changer for Caribbean all-inclusive resorts and the state of Barbados hotels.
— Alexander Britell