Whether you want to splurge or save, here’s where to stay, eat and play.
Last December, writer Lara Ceroni escaped the Canadian chill for a short stay in Barbados, where she was taking part in the annual Barbados Marathon. (See her tips on prepping for a run here.) But when she wasn’t making tracks around the island, she was making the most of her visit by checking out the restaurants, going on excursions and enjoying the sun and sand. Here are her best tips for budget-friendly picks and a few worthwhile splurges.
Where to Stay:
The splurge: St. Peter’s Bay
The northwest coast of Barbados is the perfect place to stay if you’re racing in Barbados. St. Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences offers a most tranquil setting to chill out in one of their spacious apartments or penthouses, complete with private hot tubs and picture-perfect views of the beach and Caribbean Sea. Get inspired for the race ahead at their lively Gazebo Bar with a homemade banana daiquiri (just one!) or opt to swim with some sea turtles on one of their daily free boat excursions. www.saintpetersbaybarbados.com
The save: Rent a beach villa in Bridgetown with Airbnb
Airbnb has a huge selection of sweet little cottage homes and beachfront villas that offer affordable luxury. You can usually find a spot minutes from the beach that comes with fully functioning kitchens and even backyard pools for your little ones to splash in. The prices are always appealing, starting at approximately $134 per night. www.airbnb.ca
Where to Eat:
The splurge: 13°/59° at Port Ferdinand
Port Ferdinand, the island’s newest marina featuring yacht berths, is just a short water taxi ride away from Saint Peter’s Bay, but upon arrival you will feel like you just stepped into the French Riviera. With pristine ivory yachts floating in the water and skies made up of the most blinding blue, take a long and languid brunch. Each Sunday the restaurant serves up southern-style brunch dishes—think buttermilk fried chicken and ham hock hash—on their patio while local musicians keep you entertained. Don’t forget to try the Coconut Shandy or the Lobster Popcorn. www.1359barbados.com
The save: Cutters of Barbados
The BBC listed it as one of the top 100 places to see before you die, and there’s a good reason why. Their Flying Fish sandwiches are, well, to die for: Imagine Bajan-seasoned, batter-fried fish in doughy Penny bread served with homemade macaroni pie and rice and peas. We guarantee you can’t eat just one. The owner Roger Goddard is worth the visit alone. A colourful guy, he may grab you and take you behind the counter to help brew up his infamous Very Special Rum Punch—a heady mix of fresh lime juice, nutmeg, bitters and three-parts non-spiced rum. This is the cocktail to end all cocktails. I would know—I had three! www.cutters.bb
Where to Play:
The splurge: The Crane
Named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, Crane Beach has a vista worth a thousand pictures situated on the southeastern coast. It is a magical place, secluded amongst a Cliffside with sprawling views of the Atlantic and overlooked by the historic and charming 18-room hotel and residential resort by the same name. Buy a day pass to gain access and spend your time playing in the waves. It’s a quiet refuge, but be forewarned: the waters are not. A bit rough and tumble, it’s the perfect spot for boogie boarding.
The save: Mullins Beach
This 300-yard-long stretch of sand is one of the most popular public beaches in Barbados. Found on the west coast of the island, expect super-soft sand with very calm waters perfect for floating an afternoon away. Plenty of fun water sports are always on offer, as is the Mullins Beach Bar and Restaurant, right above the beach, which has an affordable menu of snacks and ice creams. Our advice? Stick around for the sunset. It’s well worth the wait.