Fairmont Royal Pavilion Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Sprawling across 11 acres on the west coast of Barbados, this adults-only property is situated closer to the waterfront than others in the area, due to it being built before legislation forced future resorts to build further inland. The pink Colonial-style property is romantic, and offers two restaurants and bars, as well as free afternoon tea on the terrace. Because there are only 72 rooms, the beach never feels crowded. Excellent amenities include an outdoor pool, tennis courts, and free non-motorized water sports. But all this comes at a price -- room and restaurant prices are some of the steepest in Barbados.
Bougainvillea Beach Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This 138-room Mediterranean-style resort gets its name from the local flower, which is ceremoniously placed in rooms upon arrival. The atmosphere is unpretentious, and reasonable prices make it a good value on the south coast -- it's especially popular with families and wedding groups. All rooms have kitchens or kitchenettes, or guests can dine at two restaurants along the water (though hours vary). This resort prides itself on being eco-friendly, and amenities include a spa, fitness center, kids' club, and water sports.
The House Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The most upscale of all the Elegant Hotel properties and one of the most exclusive resorts on the island, The House is the definition of luxury. Located on the ritzy west coast, the adult-only property doesn’t even have a sign out front on the road. The property is secluded and private, with manicured gardens, koi ponds, and a spacious beachfront with cabanas and loungers. The rooms are contemporary with upscale amenities including a massage jet shower and a free bottle of rum punch.
The Sandpiper Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The Sandpiper is a 48-room, family-owned resort on the ritzy west coast of Barbados. It's hard to find fault in the rooms or amenities at this small, colonial-style luxury property. The pool and beach are on the smaller side but they are beautifully landscaped and inviting. The airy rooms have sophisticated tropical style, though some of the ground-floor units do feel less private, and some may mind the lack of TVs. The beach is located on a little inlet and has calm, clear water.
Sandy Lane Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Decked out in signature pink, the 112-room Sandy Lane is the creme de la creme of Barbados -- indeed, it's one of the most luxurious resorts in the world -- known for unparalleled service and distinct touches. It has a lovely beachfront and service includes reserved seating, cold towels, tropical drinks, sorbets, fresh fruit, and Evian misting. The Beach Club offers water sports including waterskiing, banana boat and other towable rides, kayaking and catamaran sailing. All non-motorized water sports are free.
Coral Sands Beach Resort Rating: 3.5 Pearls
This quiet 31-studio property opened in 2000 after renovations were made on the former guesthouse. The beautiful beach is the best amenity here, but an outdoor pool, lounge, and bar are added bonuses. Prices are reasonable, and each room layout is the same with two double beds, a kitchenette, and ocean-facing balconies. Rooms are clean, but decor is a bit dated with bright colors and tube televisions. The location is a perk -- on the south coast and walking distance to grocery stores, and numerous restaurants along “The Gap.”
Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Situated in the Aquatic Gap close to Bridgetown, the Radisson Aquatica Resort has a beautiful beachfront location – the water is calm, blue, and clear. An upscale chain, it has clean and modern rooms, business and fitness centers, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site restaurant. Towering over the area at seven stories, it also has the ambience of a chain hotel, and can feel large and impersonal. The pool area is somewhat small but has a grill and bar nearby.
Hilton Barbados Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Located in the capital city of Bridgetown, the Hilton feels larger than its 355 rooms -- likely because of its high-rise structure and the fact it holds the biggest hotel meeting facility on the island. Sure, it checks all the boxes of a reputable chain hotel, but it lacks a certain charm synonymous with Barbadian hospitality. It does have one of the largest beaches on the island -- great for swimming and snorkeling (gear is not provided).
Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The all-inclusive, upscale Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels has a great location on Dover Beach and the St. Lawrence Gap, and is close to entertainment and attractions. The contemporary rooms are a bit basic for this caliber, but all have balconies or patios. The beach is spacious and scenic with palm trees, white sand, and turquoise blue water. Plenty of amenities populate the property, including three on-site restaurants, a spa, fitness center, two pools, a kids' club, and an on-site water sports provider.
Ocean Two Resort & Residences Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Ocean Two Resort & Residences, opened in 2011, is very chic. The rooms are extremely modern and updated, especially for Barbados, and the amenities are upscale – a sleek lobby lounge, scenic rooftop terrace, lagoon-like pool, and a gorgeous beachfront. All rooms have balconies with either a full or partial ocean view and all of the suites have fully equipped kitchens. All in all, this is a great value for the rooms and amenities provided.
Southern Palms Beach Club Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Southern Palms Beach Club & Resort Hotel is located on the popular and touristy St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast of the island. The location within walking distance to numerous bars, restaurants, and entertainment is safe and convenient. A large property, Southern Palms has one of the best beachfronts in the area -- the stretch of sand is both scenic and spacious. There are plenty of lounge chairs, and the palm trees that dot the beach provide a bit of shade. The water is a gorgeous turquoise blue.