Iconic local restaurant set over the water, serving excellent food
Small hotel lacks the usual resort amenities
Nearby beaches are not ideal for swimming
Difficult to get anywhere without a car
Not all rooms have balconies or ocean views
If the name “Atlantis” conjures images of the Bahamas’ megaresort, think again. The Atlantis Hotel in Barbados -- a historic property from the 1800s with only eight rooms -- is the polar opposite. (There's also a pair of two-bedroom apartments in a separate building.) The upper-middle-range boutique hotel re-opened in 2009 with elegantly decorated, cottage-like rooms with canopy beds, custom wood furniture and modern amenities -- with a fitting nautical theme. Located on the remote and rocky east coast, its beach is more suitable for surfing than swimming, and a car is recommended to get around the island. The Atlantis (indoor/outdoor) restaurant is popular with locals, and its top-notch varied cuisine comes with outstanding views. Travelers seeking balconies with Atlantic views could try Santosha.
A stylish, yet unpretentious boutique hotel and restaurant -- with a spectacular coastal backdrop
While most hotels in Barbados are bunched together on the south and west coasts, The Atlantis Hotel has a unique location on the lesser-known east coast overlooking a rugged, rocky coastline with large boulders and huge waves. This surfers' paradise is quite hilly, with lush, wild surrounds that infuse the drive with a sense of “island adventure.” One of the first hotels ever constructed on the Barbadian east coast, this historic property doesn’t look like much upon entering the parking lot, but it’s dramatic setting -- perched right next to the Atlantic Ocean -- hints at something special. Inside, the property unfolds like a grand colonial residence curated with historic images and coastal cues throughout. The main entrance leads to the cheerful yellow lobby, bar, and restaurant -- with a huge open-air deck, and interior seating with big shuttered windows framing the water view. Off the lobby, a grand wide staircase winds up to the second floor and introduces a nautical feel with photography, white walls, and wood floors. The curvy, deep blue pool neighbors the restaurant -- and guests can take the stairs that lead down to the beach area. For such a small hotel, the ambience remains lively, as the well-known restaurant attracts locals and tourists staying elsewhere.
On the scenic north east coast, where surfers dwell; a car is required to get around
Located fairly off the beaten track in St Joseph’s Tent Bay on the north east coast, The Atlantis sits right next to the wild Atlantic Ocean -- 35 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport. There’s not much within walking distance, so a car is required to get to island attractions from here. Nearby landmarks include Soup Bowl surf beach (five-minute drive), Flower Forest Botanical Gardens (20-minute drive), and Harrison’s Cave (22-minute drive). Airport transfers and taxis can be arranged through the hotel.
Eight spacious and stylish nautical-themed rooms in the main building, and two suites near the pool
Rooms in the main building differ in layouts and views, but typically contain canopy beds dressed in crisp white linens; custom wooden furniture in light or dark timbers; and bold pops of color, like seafoam green accents -- a nod to the local fishing boats parked outside. Names (not numbers) like Cattlewash and Soup Bowl identify rooms with local beach and landmark references. Options include Coastal or Ocean View Rooms, One Bedroom Suites, and a pair of two-bedroom cottages in a separate building near the pool that feature a master bedroom, double twin room, living/dining area, and full kitchen. The lower level unit has a private front porch overlooking the spectacular coastline. Ocean View Rooms feature huge French doors with Juliet balconies that overlook mesmerizing Atlantic vistas. Bathrooms feature marble vanities, large walk-in showers (no tubs), and free individual toiletries. All rooms are equipped with beach towels, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, mini-fridges, safes, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, and kettles with ingredients for coffee and tea -- including fresh milk in the fridge.
Outdoor pool, popular indoor outdoor restaurant, and some of the best views around
As a small-scale hotel, The Atlantis lacks typical big-resort amenities -- its stunning views, lovely outdoor pool, and on-site restaurant round out the property's perks. Serving all meals, the Atlantis restaurant is popular with hotel guests, locals, and tourists visiting from other hotels. Stunning Atlantic views from both inside and outside tables complement the menu which features plenty of fresh local seafood among popular Western, International, and Caribbean dishes -- with a dinner menu that changes weekly. A Bajan buffet is served twice a week, and reservations are strongly recommended as the place always fills up. The outdoor pool neighbors the restaurant, with pool and lounge chairs overlooking the ocean. The hotel has direct access to the rocky coastline below -- which is great for walks, picnics, and seasoned surfers, but not ideal for swimming. Free on-site parking and Wi-Fi is provided.
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