By Oyster.com Staff
At first glance, it might be easy to view the white- and pink-sand beaches and breathtaking coral reefs of Barbados as a clichéd Caribbean island experience, but there’s more to it than that. The friendly locals (known as Bajans) maintain a noticeable number of British customs from their colonial past, such as afternoon tea time and driving on the left. And even the local cuisine is a hybrid: expect to see flying fish on every menu, and spicy Caribbean stews served next to starchy English staples such as potatoes.
Barbados stands out from other Caribbean islands with the diverse set of visitors it attracts, ranging from budget travelers to luxury vacationers. The calm luxurious beaches of the west coast attract the majority of tourists, especially near the lively St. Lawrence Gap area. The west coast also boasts diverse coral reefs and beautiful golf courses, such as the famed Green Monkey at Sandy Lane, one of the most glamorous resorts in the Caribbean. Also on the west coast, the adults-only Fairmont Royal Pavilion sits on a quiet beach. Its sprawling grounds cover 11 acres and feature romantic amenities such as a spa and 2 delicious restaurants.
With choppier waters, the east coast is a surfer-friendly spot that’s generally less expensive than the ritzy west coast. A great option here is The Atlantis Hotel, a historic property from the 1800s with just 8 rooms. The boutique hotel re-opened in 2009 and offers freshly decorated nautical-themed rooms with canopy beds, stylish furnishings, and modern amenities.