From Andrew Harper

Barbados offers both a tranquil Caribbean shore with fine white-sand beaches, and a wild Atlantic coastline. Inland, the rolling landscape of sugar fields is dotted with colonial plantation houses, some of which date to the 17th century. (The first British settlers arrived in 1627.) The southern coast is crowded, overdeveloped, occasionally rowdy and best avoided. Most of the desirable hotels are strung along the west coast in the parishes of St. James and St. Peter. During the winter high season, Barbados has a party atmosphere and is unsuitable for those in search of serenity.

WHEN TO GO : The weather is sunny and warm, with year-round trade winds and little temperature variation. Driest months are December-May.

CURRENCY : Barbados dollar (B$). Set rate valued at B$2 = US$1.00 as of March 2012. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.

U.S. EMBASSY : Bridgetown, Tel. 227-4399.

DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels in Barbados, dial 1 + 246 (Barbados code) + local numbers in listings.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit, and for travelers’ health information,


All recommended hotels in Barbados

Speightstown, Barbados
Cobblers Cove
Cobblers Cove

Tranquil beachfront English country house-style hotel amid tropical gardens on the northwest coast, close to Speightstown.

St. James, Barbados
Sandy Lane
Sandy Lane

Luxury resort amid mahogany trees in a parklike setting fronting a broad crescent beach. The 112 spacious guest accommodations contain baths with twin vanities, deep soaking tubs and multispray spa showers.