96Y52JW9

Steeped in English tradition and more straightlaced than some of its neighbours, Barbados has been giving the wealthy and famous the royal treatment for centuries.

Known for its posh resorts from Sandy Lane to the Royal Pavilion (think Robyn Leach and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous’), Barbados offers a range of accommodation, whether you’re seeking a chilled getaway at an intimate guesthouse or the frenetic activity of a sprawling resort. You’ll receive the royal treatment from the moment you are greeted at the airport and whisked away to your hotel. And you’ll pay for it too – the star treatment doesn’t come cheap.

Barbados is a favorite destination of an older, British crowd who migrate to the island year after year. This is hardly surprising when you consider the island was under British rule for three centuries until 1966. The place is full of the type of people who dress up for dinner. Dressing up is a must in Barbados and the mood is unmistakably civilized. The British influence is still strong, but the many locals, Bajans, provide the island with an animated dose of culture. The one good thing about the island’s demanding clientele is that the food is of a world class standard. Dining in Barbados is definitely worth dressing up for.

The Best Bits

The Dining Scene:

Chefs on Barbados, unlike those on similar Caribbean islands, are experimental, sophisticated and eager to meet the challenge of demanding palates.

The Service:

You won’t want for attention; you’ll have help at your beck and call.

Safety:

Crime is hardly a concern on this well-heeled island.

On the East Coast:

You’ll see miles of untouched beach along the island’s wildest, hilliest and most beautiful stretch of coast. Bathsheba/Cattlewash beach is the premier destination for surfers keen to lap up the East Coast’s crashing waves. Locals ride the waves here daily but swimming here or anywhere along the Atlantic coast can be extremely dangerous, so you should stick to sightseeing in this area.

On the South Coast:

Here you’ll find medium waves and a young, energetic crowd. The beaches are consistently broad with white, powdery sand; the reef-protected waters are crystal clear and safe for swimming and snorkeling. South coast beaches to check out: Accra, Casuarina, Needham’s Point, Sandy, Bottom Bay and Silver Rock.

On the West Coast:

If you want the calm, magnificently clear Caribbean, head for the west coast, where you’ll find stunning coves and sandy beaches as well as excellent water sports. You can even water ski here. This area is also nicknamed the ‘gold coast’ for it’s unbroken chain of beaches. Beaches to check out: Mullins, Paynes & Bombas.

Read more about this exciting destination in California for Dummies Travel Guide or check out www.dummies.com. The Travel for Dummies series covers many more of the world’s most fabulous cities. The Travel for Dummies series is available from all good book stores nationally.