We're just back from 9 days in Barbados & wanted to share what we learned so that those who are about to visit will have up to date info.
We stayed on the South Coast, at Bougainville hotel, and it was a great location. The hotel is not the nicest on the island, as it's getting a bit run down, but the rooms were nice, the staff were friendly, and the beach was great. The resort was a ten minute walk on the beach to St. Lawrence Gap. The Gap had a number of amazing restaurants, each with wonderful views of the water.
Here are some important tidbits:
1. If you get a chance to eat at The Cliff restaurant on the west coast (30 minutes drive from south coast), please do. It is rather expensive (party of two cost $325 USD (including two drinks each) but very well worth it. There is no better view or service or food on the island.
2. One of the most delightful finds was Champers restaurant. It is a must visit. The entire evening was spectacular, and not as pricey as The Cliff. The food at Champers is wonderful, and if you can get a table out on the water it's magnificent.
3. Joseph's restaurnant in the Gap is also well worth doing, and the views are outstanding.
4. For early evening drinks, people watching, or just a nice "cool me down after a long hot day" be sure to stop by Cafe Sol for a margerita. They have a nice outside area where you can watch the people walking through the Gap.
5. You must go to the north coast (follow signs for the "animal flower cave". While the cave was closed on the day we were there due to rough seas, the views are out of this world when the ater is rough. It is a must see. Also doesn't hurt that there is a bar there that sells GREAT rum punches. Be sure to tell Manny that we told you to visit. By the way, Manny's brother is the head valet at the Cliff restaurant as well.
6. While my wife and I both dressed up a bit in the evenings (I wore long trousers and a collar shirt) we saw many people at the restaurants (including the exclusive Cliff restaurant) in shorts and flip flops. While I don't recommend it, it appears to be more and more acceptable. What a shame.
7. The East coast is also worth visiting. We stopped by the Crane resort. Great place to have an afternoon beverage or lunch.
8. One of the more attractive areas was Bottom Bay. It's well worth a quick side trip to see this beautiful spot.
9. The Oistin's fish fry is also a lot of fun. We thought it was only open on Friday nights, but that's not true. Seems most of the stands are open most evenings.
10. Leroy has the best deal in town when it comes to lunch vans. For about $8 USD you get a huge, wonderful lunch.
11. Be sure to rent a car while in Barbados. It's the best way to see the islands. Caution, the roads don't necessarily go where they are depicted on the maps. Makes it interesting.
12. Barbados is the most friendly island I've been to. Kick back and enjoy!