Barbados

Barbados: Where to stay, eat and explore on the tropical Caribbean isle

Harriet Charnock-Bates

With crystal clear waters, lots of legendary beach bars and some of the warmest locals around, this tropical gem of a Caribbean isle packs a real punch...

STAY

Wake up to sublime vistas across the turquoise shores at Saint Peter's Bay - a laid-back all-villa resort on the island's northwest coast. The bright, airy residences blend Caribbean architecture and contemporary cool, with all the polish you'd expect from a five-star property. There's a lagoon-style pool that little ones will adore, a yoga studio for zen-seeking parents, and thanks to the private lifts, you'll be beachside in seconds.

EXPLORE

If you can bring yourself to leave your sun lounger, make for Speightstown to soak up the colonial charm and browse around the markets, or head inland to Harrison's Cave - a curious limestone marvel sure to enchant children and adults alike. Other natural attractions include swimming with turtles and hitting the water in a catamaran, stopping to scuba dive among fish and coral.

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INDULGE

Decked out in calming neutral tones with a fabulous line-up of Bamford therapies, The Sandbox Tree Spa at Port Ferdinand Marina is just the place to switch off and unwind. Opt for the Bamford Signature Treatment - a tension-melting massage incorporating Shiatsu techniques and gentle yogic breathing to relax the entire body and leave you feeling as light as a feather.

TASTE

Follow in the footsteps of Rihanna and Prince Andrew and book a sought-after table at 13˚/59˚ Restaurant and Bar Lounge for a Sunday brunch of lobster and avocado benedict washed down with a mimosa or two. For fusion fare in a dazzling beachside setting, The Lone Star is a must, and after dark, settle in for a sundown rum punch at Mullins Beach Bar.

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WHAT TO WEAR

Flamingo shorts, £25.99, Zara; visit zara.com

Bridgehampton rope padded bikini, £190, Heidi Klein; visit heidiklein.com

Oilikisa Explorer Blend Facial Oil, £43, from thisisbeautymart.com

TRIP DETAILS

Rooms at Saint Peter's Bay begin at $710 per night (around £569) for a two bedroom home sleeping four people; visit stpetersbaybarbados.com. British Airways fly from London to Barbados from £571 return; visit ba.com. Star visitors have trusted excursion provider journeysthruparadise.com among their bookmarks.

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