The Best New All-Inclusive Resort in Barbados
There’s a nice breeze at the bar where diners are chowing on tortilla español and drinking sidecars and looking out at the lights of the south coast of Barbados.
This is Brisa, where you can enjoy some of the best views on the island in a sleek, maritime setting. It is the coolest tapas bar on the island (replete with its own ocean-view pool). It also just so happens to be at an all-inclusive resort.
But forget what you know about all-inclusive: the adults-orientated O2 Beach Club and Spa is in many ways reinventing the concept.
Here at the 130-room O2 on the increasingly hip southern coast of Barbados, the emphasis is on a different kind of all-inclusive experience: one that’s hip, casually elegant and remarkably creative.
The new resort, a transformation of the former Ocean Two hotel (and sister property to the also lovely Sea Breeze Beach House), is all about creating a curated, fresh all-inclusive experience that marries the intimacy of a boutique hotel with the endless convenience of a beachfront all-inclusive.
The emphasis is on the experience: you can enjoy the “boozy box” roving sangria cart to a series of “how to” classes: think personalized lessons on everything from making Bajan macaroni pie to an introduction to surfing to a sampling of local craft beer. Your stay even comes with free greens fees at the nearby Barbados Golf Club.
The rooms, set across two towers, are beautifully appointed, particularly the spacious bathrooms, and thanks to its privileged perch, most of the rooms make you feel like you’re hanging right over the sand. A flank of swim-up rooms are definitely worth the splurge. There’s a terrific, beautifully-designed spa on property called Acqua, with some spectacular views of the water.
And then there’s the vibe: it really does feel like your own private beach club, whether you’re lazing on the white sand or wading in the multi-space poolscape, with an abundantly friendly staff that’s always making the extra effort to deliver authentic Bajan hospitality. It doesn’t hurt that you’re smack in the heart of the always energetic, always vibrant St Lawrence Gap, the beating heart of the South Coast.
As for the dining program, Brisa is just one of a number of diverse dining concepts: a cafe and tea spot called Oasis; the al fresco Bluefin, and the local-and-international Elements. Barbados’ vibrant, cosmopolitan dining scene means the culinary team is as versatile as it is talented (make sure you don’t miss the Indian buffet night).
It’s all crowned by the outstanding flagship eatery called Oro (another high-rise spot with fantastic views of the south coast), another prime example of O2’s elevated all-inclusive experience.
O2 opened its doors just as the pandemic began to wane, and that makes it easily the best new all-inclusive resort in Barbados — and a tremendous model for what the future of Caribbean all-inclusive resorts can be.
For more, visit the O2 Beach Club.