The 9 Best Barbados Resorts to Book in 2018

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Sitting on the eastern edge of the Caribbean archipelago, the tropical island of Barbados showcases soft sandy beaches, rocky headlands, extensive fields of sugarcane, and dramatic jungle-clad mountains. Strong winds and ocean swells make for excellent surfing and kitesurfing opportunities, while sheltered bays filled with coral reefs and historical shipwrecks provide superb snorkeling and scuba diving adventures. Golfers can find world-class courses scattered around the island and food and drink aficionados will love sampling spicy Bajan cuisine and joining rum tastings at local distilleries. Visitors flock to this English-speaking Caribbean island to revel in the tropical ambiance. Hotels from unique boutique properties to large all-inclusive resorts provide a variety of accommodation options. Below, our absolute favorite stays in Barbados.

01 of 09

Best Overall: The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper

With lush grounds bursting with vibrant flowers facing over a quiet stretch of soft sandy beach, the Sandpiper offers relaxed and sophisticated five-star accommodation in a tranquil garden oasis. A range of suite sizes and styles abound in the resort's luxurious treetop suites. Each comes with modern furnishings in a striking black and white color scheme and an attached patio with a bar, a plunge pool, and spectacular elevated views of the grounds, beach, and ocean.

The Sandpiper's facilities include a sun lounge-lined oval pool with tiled mosaics and a floodlit tennis court. Guests can take to the water with snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing equipment, or undertake a certified scuba diving course at nearby sister resort Coral Reef. Also at Coral Reef, guests can relax with signature wellness treatments such as lemongrass and ginger rubs and Caribbean calm massages at the modern but colonial-inspired spa. In the evenings, the onsite restaurant serves an ever-changing selection of international, Caribbean, and European-Asian fusion dishes while live music entertains diners. Down on the beach, the wood and bamboo Harold’s Bar is a great spot for an alfresco lunch or sunset cocktails.

02 of 09

Best Budget: Divi Southwinds Beach Resort

Divi Southwinds Beach Resort

 TripAdvisor

Located just a short walk from the ocean-view restaurants, bars, and entertainment of St. Lawrence Gap, the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort is an excellent value beachfront property. One- and two-bedroom guest suites contain older, 70s-style furnishings, but come with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and DVD players, as well as kitchens, bathrooms, and balconies with views over the verdant resort grounds.

Divi Southwinds has three swimming pools: a main pool lined with sun lounges and cabanas, an adult-orientated beachfront pool, and a smaller, more intimate pool. There are also tennis courts and a nine-hole minigolf course. The gardens extend all the way to the Pureocean beachfront restaurant, a contemporary establishment with enough traditional touches to create a cozy tropical ambiance. Local and international dishes are served on a striking outdoor terrace, moodily lit in neon blue and with superb ocean views. Kayaks, snorkels, and bicycles are available for hire, and jet skiing, scuba diving, and windsurfing can also be arranged. Other hotel amenities include a gym, an on-site grocery store, and a small but serviceable spa.

03 of 09

Best All-Inclusive: The Crane Resort

The Crane Resort

The Crane Resort

Since opening its doors in 1887, the venerable Crane Resort has welcomed visitors from all over the world whilst enjoying its status as the oldest hotel in the Caribbean. Set on a rocky headland overlooking a wide clean beach, the sprawling grounds encompass gardens, guest suites, restaurants, and sporting facilities. Richly appointed guest suites come with marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and separate tubs, full kitchens, and beautifully-carved mahogany furnishings. Many rooms also have attached private pools, including large ground-floor infinity pools, patio plunge pools, or rooftop pools on scenic garden decks.

If your room doesn't have a private pool, don't fret — there is also a communal, adult-only pool which overlooks the beach, and a massive, multi-level free-form pool with waterfalls, wading pools, and a Jacuzzi spa, perched on the clifftop with superb ocean views. With the Asian delicacies of Zen, the fresh seafood dishes and panoramic views of L’Azure, the flavors of Southern Italy at D’Onofrio’s, and the authentic Barbadian grilled fare at beachside The Grove, the resort provides a wide variety of dining experiences. The 1887 bar also serves up cocktails and tapas in a classic bar lounge with nightly live jazz performances.

04 of 09

Best Beachfront: Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Fairmont Royal Pavilion

With open garden grounds facing onto a full kilometer of quiet and secluded beachfront, the Fairmont Royal Pavilion takes full advantage of its enviable setting. Large modern rooms and suites come in soothing whites and blues which complement the property's oceanfront scenery. With all rooms and suites facing west over the ocean, guests can enjoy unbeatable sunset views from the comfort of their furnished balconies. The large open expanse of immaculate beachfront, with plentiful but uncrowded lines of sun lounges and umbrellas, leads to clear turquoise waters where guests can try their hand snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and sailing.

Aside from prime beach access, the grounds also contain a freshwater pool, an 8-person Jacuzzi, and floodlit tennis courts. Guests dining on the alfresco terrace of the open-kitchen Taboras enjoy cool sea breezes, ocean views, and varied Caribbean and international dishes. The more elegant Palm Terrace provides gourmet breakfast delicacies in a sophisticated atmosphere, whereas down on the beach, the relaxed Beach Club serves up pub grub and a variety of crisp wines, rum punches, and frozen cocktails which help wind down the night right.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Families: Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane

 TripAdvisor

With marble floors, columned archways, and limestone brick walls, Sandy Lane presents like a luxurious Roman villa, with upscale amenities and facilities complementing its first impression. Beautiful guestrooms come with indulgent furnishings — such as draped beds and carved wooden furniture — but overall, the vibe manages to be incredibly family friendly. A huge multi-tiered swimming pool is lined with ornate fish waterspouts and crowned by a rocky tower covered in green shrubs and trickling waterfalls. Water sports such as kayaking, water skiing, and banana boat rides are available from the sun lounge-lined beach. The Treehouse Club provides activities and entertainment in a supervised environment. There is an outdoor playground, games consoles, theme parties, and movie screenings that are suitable for children of all ages.

With the kids occupied, parents can play a round of golf on one of three courses or relax in the gardens, stone-lined treatment rooms, or saunas and whirlpool tubs of the elegant spa. The resort has several casual restaurants, but beachfront Bajan Blue serves up a wide variety of family-friendly European, Caribbean, and Asian dishes.

06 of 09

Best for Romance: Cobbler’s Cove

Cobbler’s Cove

Cobbler’s Cove

A coral-pink plantation mansion nestled amidst shaded gardens, Cobbler’s Cove is a secluded and romantic retreat situated on a narrow strip of beach on the sheltered west coast. Guestrooms and suites come with simple but elegant wooden furnishings, charming wall prints, and relaxing blue and pink color schemes. Bathrooms feature walk-in showers and double vanities, and comfortably furnished balconies come with ocean or garden views.

Cobbler's Cove guests can engage in complimentary water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and water skiing, or take a guided tour to swim with turtles. Other activities include a game of tennis on the floodlit courts or taking a private yoga lesson on the beach. The Sea Moon Spa offers a range of services inspired by the tropical maritime setting, such as seaweed body scrubs and rose extract facials, as well as massages, manicures, pedicures, and hair treatments. The five-star oceanfront Camelot Restaurant is considered one of the finest dining establishments in Barbados, with local and international cuisine prepared to the highest standards of freshness, quality, and care.

07 of 09

Best Boutique: Little Arches Boutique Hotel

Little Arches Boutique Hotel

Little Arches Boutique Hotel

With its arches, turrets, and pale pink walls adorned with ceramic mosaics — plus dramatic clifftop ocean views — Little Arches offers classic Mediterranean style with whimsical touches. Tranquil courtyard koi ponds, lush greenery, and a secluded location make for a peaceful atmosphere, while views can be enjoyed from the pool or on the couch-filled sun terrace. Guest rooms are clean and modern but retain homey touches such as artisanal ceramics, watercolor paintings, and quilt work cushions. Luxury ocean-view suites come with private balconies and plunge pools.

A small spa offers signature massage treatments and beauty rituals which can also be performed in guests’ rooms or on the sun deck. The award-winning Café Luna restaurant is a property highlight, with acclaimed Asian-Mediterranean fusion served on the hotel rooftop's ocean-view terrace. The popular Enterprise Beach is just a short stroll away, and championship golf courses, water sports, and sailing trips can all be enjoyed in close proximity.

08 of 09

Best for Luxury: The House by Elegant Hotels

The House by Elegant Hotels

The House by Elegant Hotels

With only 34 modern guestrooms and suites, adult-only The House provides visitors with an intimate and specialized retreat that focuses on luxury and personalized indulgence. Guestrooms come with mahogany furnishings, rainfall and jetted showers, and balcony views over the ocean or gardens. The boutique spa offers soothing signature treatments such as macadamia and papaya body scrubs, Himalayan salt exfoliations, and essential oil aromatherapy massages ‚ all done with bespoke skin care products created with an emphasis on local, 100-percent natural ingredients.

Impeccable customer service is a hallmark of the property, with a dedicated ambassador service attending to individual guest needs 24 hours a day. An oceanfront pool, adjacent whirlpool spa, and deck covered in sun lounges and shade umbrellas are surrounded with landscaped gardens and face out over a small but uncrowded stretch of sand. In addition to gourmet Italian dining at award-winning Daphne’s restaurant (which can be enjoyed on the oceanfront deck, in private beach cabanas or within guest suites), the hotel serves up a complimentary champagne breakfast, afternoon high tea service, and an evening canape selection.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best for Singles: Ocean Two Resort & Residences

Ocean Two Resort & Residences

Ocean Two Resort & Residences

With the happening nightlife of St. Lawrence Gap just a short walk away, the lively Ocean Two Resort & Residences is an excellent option for single travelers. Impressive guestrooms and suites offer stylish polished wood furnishings and bathrooms with rainfall showers, while deluxe rooms also feature Jacuzzi tubs. Large floor-to-ceiling windows and furnished balconies allow guests to enjoy expansive ocean views.

Outside, a curving free-form pool with a popular swim-up bar overlooks the stone-lined sun terrace and the spacious, pristine beachfront. Cushioned sun lounges are scattered all around the terrace, with the flexible arrangements much more conducive to socializing than the regulation rows seen at other resorts. A panoramic rooftop contains a small plunge pool and is an ideal location for viewing the spectacular ocean sunsets. Out on the water, guests have complimentary use of kayaks and boogie boards, while snorkels allow swimmers to explore the coral reefs located just off-shore. The Taste restaurant serves international cuisine with a Caribbean influence next to the pool and beach, and the sophisticated Oasis bar lounge provides hand-crafted cocktails and live music.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular resorts in Barbados. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different hotels and read over 100 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.