Barbados City Guide

I have long wanted to visit the island of Barbados. Not only because I’m a massive Bad Gal Riri fan, but also because years ago I attended a press event in Manhattan with the Barbados tourism board, which had me absolutely sold on the vibrancy of the island. The people, the music, the food, and the impossibly blue waters, need I say more?! Naturally, when my friend from London asked if I had any interest in meeting her there over the Easter holiday weekend, I jumped at the opportunity! Let’s just say it did not disappoint. Barbados has that perfect mix of relaxed island vibes, meets contemporary, design forward venues. Read below for all of my favorite gems:

What to Pack:

  • As you would with any Caribbean destination, you will definitely want to pack your vibrant beach clothes to layer over your swimwear. That said, I did find many of the venues we visited to be on the dressier side, with a lot of European influence, so do bring formal evening wear, maxi dresses, and heels, to take you from day to night.

Where to Stay: (From Low to High Price)

  • The Crane Resort – I absolutely loved our waterfront suite at The Crane. The all white stone walls and dark wood beams felt so regal. It was super spacious for two people with an in-suite kitchen, two bathrooms, dining table, living room area, master bedroom & bath. The resort is on the south east coast, so a bit further from the action on the westside, but I loved the tranquility of our room.
  • Cobblers Cove – while I didn’t get to stay here personally, I’ve heard amazing things about this property. It is located on the platinum west coast, an hour away from The Crane, and has a luxury boutique, British charm, aesthetic. The property is also beachfront, albeit narrow, with incredible lush gardens everywhere. It also houses one of the island’s finest dinning venues, Camelot.

What to See:

  • Beaches – of course the beaches, which are best on the westside! When we stayed at The Crane, we took a hotel shuttle to the clear waters at Carlisle Bay and Calma Barbados beach club since our property was experiencing heavy winds at the time.
  • Bathsheba – the main fishing village in the Parish of Saint Joseph. This is not a beach where you go to swim, but rather to appreciate the beautiful, breathtaking views.
  • Dining & Nightlife – the food is truly unforgettable on this island. You must try fish cutters and of course their rum punch. This is also an island that comes alive at night so do come prepared to take it in from sunrise to sunset.

Where to Eat:

  • La Cabane (Beach Club) – definitely one of my top spots. It felt like a fusion of European summers meets Caribbean charm. Not surprising, it was founded by two french guys who love Barbados!
  • Calma Barbados (Beach Club) – modern/contemporary beach club with great vibes, music, food, and beachfront chairs. If you go a little later in the day, you can start with lunch then head to your chairs to lounge until sunset.
  • Le Shak Restaurant and Bar – amazing food and cocktails, perfect if staying at The Crane, since it is just across the street!
  • Cutters – also closely located to The Crane, serves amazing Caribbean dishes and rum punch. You can go there for brunch then hang on the hammocks.
  • Round House – located in the Bathsheba area with immaculate views of the water, great cocktails, and tasty bites. You can visit here first before taking a walk down to the beach then head to…
  • ECO Lifestyle & Lodge – a boutique hotel also located near Bathsheba with an amazing restaurant serving up local dishes in the healthiest, yummiest ways.
  • Dis Ole House – such a charming, idyllic spot, that feels like you were invited over to a local Barbadian home for dinner. The flavors are rich and the staff are beyond sweet. The restaurant is female founded and she happens to also be a New Yorker!
  • Primo – located in St. Lawrence Gap, it was truly one of the most beautiful seaside venues we went to. Our table had the perfect view overlooking the water and we made it just in time for sunset.
  • The Tides – this is a proper fine dining experience, and definitely on the pricier, side but worth it. If you go a little earlier, you can grab a drink at their chic bar, and chat with fellow travelers.
  • Champers – breathtaking ocean views and incredible dishes. Do not skip on the coconut cream pie!
  • The Cliff – I personally didn’t get to try but have it on good authority that it’s a great spot and very fancy Miami dinner vibes.

Where to Shop:

  • Limegrove Lifestyle Centre – dubbed by London’s “Daily Telegraph” as “the most stylish place to shop and dine” in Barbados. Located in Holetown on the island’s west coast.
  • Beth & Tracie – boutique brand also in Holetown selling chic resort wear and kaftans.

Where to Play:

  • QP Bistro – this venue (photographed above) is next level beautiful, overlooking the water, with these high level canopies. On Sunday they have live music but I would go any night of the week to catch the sunset with a cocktail.
  • Harbour Lights – this venue is an old house on the beach where you can watch a Caribbean Dinner Show and then dance the night away! You could also go during the day for access to the Carlisle Bay beach alone.
  • Cocktail Kitchen – if you are planning a night of bar hopping around St. Lawrence Gap, this is a cute spot to start, with delish cocktails, and great tunes.
  • 1st & 2nd Street – special mention for gastro pub Horny Ram on 1st
  • St Lawrence Gap & Oistins – you can honestly just wander and take in all of the action. For Oistins, it’s best on Fridays, and St. Lawrence I’d plan for Saturday.

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