Simply put, Barbados is hot right now, emerging from the challenges of the pandemic with a new energy. Travelers continue to flock to the island, drawn to its rare blend of elegance, authenticity, culture and beauty.
But choosing where to stay, as on any island, isn’t always easy. Are you looking for the dynamism and fun of the south coast? The luxury and grace of the Platinum Coast? The vibrant history of the capital? An affordable all-inclusive or a luxury retreat — or something that defies classification?
With our 2023 edition of the must-visit resorts in Barbados, we have you covered, featuring some signature Barbados resorts along with a number of under-the-radar Bajan gems you may not have discovered yet, all highlighting the wonderful diversity of hospitality on every corner of this island.
Here are 10 Barbados resorts to check in to in 2023.
O2 Beach Club and Spa This is the hottest place to stay in Barbados right now, a fresh, crisply-designed all-inclusive with 130 rooms and suites in a prime location in the heart of the island’s always-energetic St Lawrence Gap. Amenities include three pools (two of which are just for adults), four eateries and an outstanding spa. We’re particularly fond of the swim-up rooms.
Little Arches Boutique Hotel The coolest boutique hotel in Barbados right now. It may have just 10 rooms, but it has an outsized personality — and it has Cafe Luna, one of Barbados’ most sought-after tables. We also love the little details; while it’s not an all-inclusive, your stay does come with free paddle boards and snorkeling gear, a beach shuttle to explore other nearby sands and, if you stay for 10 days or more, you get a free day on a luxury sailboat. (If you’re willing to splurge, go for the luxury ocean suite with its own private plunge pool).
Royal Westmoreland Somehow, this place is still something of a secret outside of Barbados. But it shouldn’t be. The St James-area resort is the perfect blend of beach and golf, with a mix of apartments, cottages, townhouses and villas, a beach club with all-day dining and even a lovely “Rum Shak” modeled on the island’s popular rum shops. But the big story is the golf, anchored by a Robert Trent Jones, Jr-designed 7,045-yard course. Tee times are complimentary with any stay in one of the villas, cottages or townhouses.
Sandy Lane No, you can’t make a list of Barbados resorts and not include Sandy Lane, the unquestioned Grande Dame of Barbados hotels and still the epitome of the island’s elegance, grace and style. The 113-room retreat is a truly complete resort, with a plum beachfront perch and three different golf courses.
The Club, Barbados This West Coast resort is one of the top all-inclusive options on the island, with a spectacular beachfront setting, five bars and restaurants (including the lovely Bajan-focused Enid’s), 157 colorful rooms and the impressive Tranquility Body & Soul Spa. There are also a range of activities, from regular rum tastings to dancing classes and an on-site tennis court.
Atlantis Historic Inn Maybe you know the West Coast, or perhaps you’ve spent a vacation on the south coast. But if you haven’t experienced the rugged, vibrant east coast of the island, it’s time to plan your trip. The world-class surfing town of Bathsheba with its stunning scenery and dynamic food are the fulcrum here — joined by a jewel of a hotel: the Atlantis, an historic inn set in a 19th-century property marked by warm hospitality, outstanding food and the perfect jumping off point to discover the wonders of the east.
Sweetfield Manor You know it’s different from the moment you go through the gate and see the peacocks. Sweetfield is just special, a place that oozes charm in its historic locale in the hills above Bridgetown. Set in an early 20th century estate, everything here is unique: the courtyard dining at Pavão (also home to one of Barbados’ best brunches), the wellness offering and, perhaps our favorite touch, the grotto-style pool.
Sea Breeze Beach House Ocean Hotels’ other Barbados property (along with the aforementioned O2 Beach Club) is a lovely all-inclusive on the south coast, with bright, breezy rooms filled with local art and some of the best resort dining in all of Barbados — including a welcome focus on local cuisine. The biggest standout here, though, is the impressive slate of programming, from regular rum classes to daily champagne and canapés to yoga and morning strolls, all part of your rate.
Island Inn There’s a deliciously secluded feeling at this boutique all-inclusive in the heart of the UNESCO-designated Garrison Historic Area in Barbados. There are just 24 rooms, making this feel as much like your own private club as an all-inclusive resort. The rooms are well-designed and comfortable, the service is warm and inviting and the beautiful Pebbles Beach is just a short stroll away.
Saint Peter’s Bay This residential resort is just outside of one of our favorite corners of Barbados: the brilliant little beach town of Speightstown. What’s unique here is the residential-resort concept, where you’ll find a mix of villa-style units ranging from one bedroom all the way to the magnificent five-bedroom penthouse. You’ll find a beach club, a pool, the Gazebo restaurant. What we love most here is the sound — no matter where you’re staying, if you stand on your balcony you’ll be serenaded by the sound of the waves.