An independent island nation within the British Commonwealth, Barbados is known for clear blue water, calm beaches, and inland hills great for hiking. It’s one of the most economically developed islands in the Caribbean, and attracts a range of budget to wealthy travelers. If you’re heading to Barbados and looking for all-inclusive resorts that include meals, alcohol, and a range of activities, you’ve come to the right place. We visited the island’s top hotels to see how they stacked up against the competition — from the guest rooms, to the pools, to the restaurants. Take a look at the best all-inclusive resorts in Barbados and get inspired!
The Sea Breeze Beach Hotel is an all-inclusive property located on a quiet side street on the South Coast of Barbados. The hotel is a good value for a four-pearl property, and the atmosphere is casual and relaxed, with both family-friendly and adult-only areas of the hotel. Amenities include two beaches, two pools, three restaurants, a kids' club, and a basketball court. However, the rooms, though clean, aren't as upscale as one might expect for this caliber of property.
One of the least-expensive all-inclusive properties on the island, Island Inn Hotel has a great location -- in the Garrison, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and less than a six-minute drive to Bridgetown. It is also near bars, restaurants, and entertainment. While it is not directly on the beach, the beach is a two-minute walk down the road. Despite its location, the hotel has some drawbacks, including a small pool that gets crowded, and only one restaurant on-site.
Mango Bay is a friendly 76-room resort within minutes of shops and restaurants in historic Holetown -- a quick escape for guests when they need a break from their all-inclusive stay. Packages include meals in one indoor/outdoor restaurant (which feels limiting), drinks (bar opens in the morning), nightly entertainment, and activities such as waterskiing and catamaran rides. The beach area can get crowded, but calm waves appeal to swimmers of all ages. Rooms range in size and views, but are spacious and lack the tacky Caribbean decor found in many resorts. Overall, the resort has a casual sophistication that is ideal for groups and romantics looking for an easy vacation.
Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels is located on the west (platinum) coast of Barbados, close to transportation, attractions, and shopping. Guest room decor is stylish and contemporary, the beach is scenic, and the three-tier lagoon-style pool complex is picturesque and inviting. The hotel, however, falls short for a four-pear property, with small rooms, no on-site spa, and general maintenance problems both on the property and in the rooms.
The SoCo Hotel is an all-inclusive boutique property located 10 minutes east of Bridgetown. The 24 bright, spacious rooms have balconies with ocean views as well as flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and iPod docks. Common areas are chic, and stylish decor in the lobby, restaurant, and small pool area includes large white candles and clean modern furniture. The beach is spacious and calm, but there aren't any water sport options for guests. Note that there is no fitness center or on-site spa (although spa treatments are available in-room) and some guests complain of traffic noise in the rooms. There's only one restaurant although it gets rave reviews.
With competitive pricing, lovely rooms, and great on-site amenities, this 70-room boutique hotel will attract people who never thought they’d choose an all-inclusive package. With three restaurants, cabanas on the terrace, and a late-night lounge, Waves has a contemporary appeal especially for couples (though families aren't overlooked). Spacious rooms are modern and bright, and most have glass-balconies (oceanfront rooms are worth the cost for the sunsets alone). Room amenities includeflat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and minibars nicely stocked with free goodies; while modern bathrooms spawn envy with door-less showers and eco-friendly toiletries. The quiet beach along Prospect Bay feels private, and the calm waves are perfect for swimming and kayaking. A spa and adults-only pool, located across the street, are extra perks.
The oldest continually operating hotel in the Caribbean (since 1887), The Crane Residential Resort is huge, with 252 rooms, five pools, five restaurants and bars, a “village” area complete with an art gallery, and numerous amenities spread out over 40 acres. The resort’s location is fairly remote, on the southeast coast of the island, but with all of the amenities and eateries, guests may not find themselves lacking. Although the property is large, it does not have the feel of a cheesy mega-resort – the rooms, restaurants, and grounds are tasteful and attractive and staff does not push the time-share/residence aspect. Elegant colonial-style rooms have kitchenettes or full kitchens; some have private plunge pools.
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. However, prices are high, especially for the American market.