Caribbean & Bermuda

Tee Off Barbados-Style

written by | Posted on May 1st, 2011

Whether they’re seeking an iconic resort stay or unique island experience, clients will find what they’re looking for in this golf paradise.

st. james THE PROPERTY: As luxury resorts go, it’s hard to beat the Royal Westmoreland. Its collection of villas range from 2- to 7-bedroom residences with high-end amenities like private pools, designer kitchens, balconies overlooking the golf course and the sea, and more. Some are owned by celebrities like English football stars Steve McClaren and Wayne Rooney. Clients can also opt to stay in one of the resort’s penthouse apartments, 3- and 4-bedroom accommodations with covered terraces and sunny verandahs, plus access to a private, communal pool for apartment guests.

THE GREENS: The par 72, 7,045-yard championship course at the Royal Westmoreland is every bit as posh as its attached resort. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design makes use of unique topographical features like a former coral stone quarry, and as they make their way from hole to hole, golfers can take in views of the Caribbean Sea from every green. But while the course is certainly scenic, it’s also quite a challenge. Golfers can expect bunkers throughout the course, and the 12th hole is a special challenge: a par 3 with a narrow green along a ravine.

THE AMENITIES: This is the “Platinum Coast,” Barbados’ most upscale vacation area, and the perks are undeniable. Mullins Beach is known as one of the island’s best, with powdery sand and calm waters ideal for relaxing adults and playing children alike. The beach itself is public, but Royal Westmoreland guests enjoy special amenities like drinks, sun beds and umbrellas as part of its Bell Captain beach service. Back at the resort, the Indulgence Spa pampers guests with Elemis products and a full menu of services, from standard treatments like massages, to more extended programs. The Elemis Total Time Out for Men combines a facial and deep-tissue massage to clear the mind before a big round of golf—or after a particularly disappointing one.

THE SCENE: Royal Westmoreland’s ultra-luxe amenities suit its surroundings perfectly. Barbados’ western coast is home to plenty of similarly swanky resorts, including The Cliffs and Coral Reef Club. It’s also a great place for an epicurean adventure, thanks to the cluster of fine dining restaurants in the area—many of which morph into elegant evening hangout spots for a bit of upscale nightlife.

THE RATES: Rates start at $323 per apartment per night, and $365 per villa per night.

THE PROPERTY: The 96-room boutique Colony Club earns its AAA four-diamond status by being all things to all people—and maintaining high luxury standards while doing so. Rooms range from cozy oceanview suites with balconies, to 1-bedroom oceanview suites done up in marble, mahogany and limestone. Families traveling together will love the spacious accommodations and multiple layouts to suit families of any type; romantic travelers, meanwhile, can snuggle up in romantic luxury poolside rooms, with walk-out access to the swimming pool and sunken patios that provide plenty of privacy.

THE GREENS: Elegant Hotels’ agreement with nearby Apes Hill, a private championship golf course, gives guests at Colony Club (and its four other Barbados resorts) access to one of the newest courses on the island. Opened at the end of 2009, Apes Hill is a par 72, 18-hole course that’s set inland, and takes advantage of the remnants of the past, like the old kiln that’s become part of the scenery on hole 5. But it’s not just a picturesque and challenging experience. It’s also an exclusive opportunity; access to the course is normally restricted solely to club members and their guests.

THE AMENITIES: Back at Colony Club, clients can take advantage of even more perks. Elegant Hotels continues its satisfying culinary tradition here in the form of Laguna Restaurant, specializing in seafood and local dishes. After a hearty meal, the Sunset Bar & Deck is the perfect place to kick back and relax with a banana daiquiri. Watersports like snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and more come at no extra cost, and an exercise room and floodlit tennis courts provide plenty of activities options away from the four lagoon-style swimming pools.

THE SCENE: There’s more to Barbados than sun and beaches, and Elegant Hotels wants its guests to discover it all. That’s the reasoning behind its dine-around program, A Taste of Elegance, that provides transfers between its five resorts to explore the other acclaimed restaurants—including Daphne’s, ranked among the island’s best by Zagat—in its collection. The company also offers tours designed by local history expert professor Henry Fraser, showing off unique attractions including the island’s last working sugar mill and historic St. John’s Parish Church.