Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Jun 18, 2018

Discovering the luxury of Barbados

Barbados sunsetIAN STALKER

(photo above: Barbados is known for its gorgeous beaches.)

A weighty name in Caribbean tourism circles is adding clout to Barbados’ hotel room inventory.

Peter Mayers, Canadian director for Barbados Tourism Marketing, says those vacationing on his island can get the “royal treatment at Sandals Royal Barbados,” an all-suite resort that features several firsts for Sandals, including the first rooftop pool and bar.

The 222 guests units have concierge and butler service in a resort that also has the likes of chauffeured Rolls Royce airport transfers.

“We’re also very excited that global luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand Nikki Beach Worldwide recently opened its 14th location, Nikki Beach Barbados, in Barbados’ extravagant Port Ferdinand. The property is situated on 1.4 acres of pristine beachfront and is the first luxury beach-club property on the island. This intimate beach-club location will consist of a swim-up octagon bar, seven catamaran-style lounges along the ocean, beach access with oceanfront seating for up to 200 guests, and more,” Mayers adds.

New accommodation options come as Barbados was named Best Destination in the World on the Destina­tion Satisfaction Index list, scoring 8.8 out of 10.

Some 144 countries were looked at.

“The survey determined that Barbados was top on a a global scale, but also in the sections of accommodation and in the Americas,” Mayers says. “I was grateful for the high rating, but it comes as no surprise as the destination has incredible accommodations – from the offerings of the new Elegant Hotels’ Treasure Beach to the luxury of the new Sandals Royal Barbados to the historic and beautiful Crane Resort, to name a few.”

Barbados has declared 2018 as the Year of Culinary Experiences, which coincides with new restaurant openings and the Oct. 18-21 Food & Rum Festival, which will see events held across the island. Those events include mixology competitions and buffets held on the beach.

Barbados likes to promote itself as the food capital of the Caribbean, an achievement it attributes to its being a multicultural society in which different cultures have shaped island dining. “We certainly pride ourselves on local dishes like pudding and souse, but aren’t afraid to say you can find a delightful bowl of linguini with lobster in an acclaimed restaurant like Daphne’s,” Mayers says.

Tourism authorities are also partnering with local rum shops, a fixture of local life.

Although Canadians generally visit Barbados in the winter, Mayers says it’s a good summer destination as well, citing the likes of the annual Crop Over Festival, which runs from June to August. “That is when travellers can truly experience living like a local by celebrating a 200-year-old tradition that honours the end of the sugar cane season,” Mayers states. “It celebrates all that is Bajan, with dusk till dawn parties, arts and crafts markets, and culinary-driven street fairs.”

Meanwhile, Mayers is upbeat about Barbados performance in the Canadian market. “We are aware of the budding millennial adventurer and continue to look for ways to incorporate this segment into our efforts, in addition to providing deals and packages to families and older audiences.”