Going Green in Barbados

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The amenities: Facilities like the Barbados Blue watersports center make it hard for golfers to spend all their time on the course, offering scuba and snorkeling tours that let clients hand-feed tropical fish or swim in an endangered turtle habitat. Its onsite spa soothes clients’ nerves with mouth-watering treatments like its Chocolate and Honey Body Wrap, as well as spectacular ocean views from its sixth-floor location. Also mouth-watering: the dishes at The Grille, which puts a Bajan twist on the traditional steakhouse with Cajun-seasoned meat and fresh seafood dishes.

The scene: Dining and nightlife thrives here, especially at St. Lawrence Gap, a cluster of restaurants, bars, boutiques and more that draws both locals and tourists to eat, drink and be merry—often to a soundtrack of live local music. Farther east, the former seaport of Oistins hosts a weekend fish fry, complete with live music and local arts and crafts on display. At sea, divers can explore Accra, a reef sitting in shallow waters that’s popular both with tourists and large schools of tropical fish.

The rates: The Hilton Barbados’ Golf package includes two rounds of golf pp, plus cart rental or caddy; golf course transfers; daily breakfast for two; and early check-in and late check-out, in addition to accommodations. The package lasts through the end of 2010, and rates start at $354 per room per night.

st. peter The property: Sitting far north on Barbados’ west coast, Almond Beach Village lures all-inclusive travelers with breezy, classically Caribbean accommodations. Most of its 395 rooms have a balcony or terrace, and upgrading to a beachfront room—or even a 1-bedroom suite with a view of the sea—maximizes the property’s island appeal. Just about everything at the resort was designed with families in mind, including its Presidential Suite, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and plenty of living and dining areas—perfect for parents traveling with kids who need their own space.

The greens: The onsite, 9-hole course at Almond Beach Village is golf at its simplest, ideal for beginners or any enthusiast looking to get in a quick round. The course’s picturesque, palm tree-dotted landscape alone would be enough to attract golfers, but the real draw to this course is its ease of play. Only four clubs are required to play—a nine iron, wedge, sand wedge and putter—and greens fees are included in clients’ all-inclusive package. What’s more, no tee time reservations are necessary; clients can decide to golf on a whim, and be on the course perfecting their swing within minutes.

The amenities: The no-hassle concept continues throughout Almond Beach Village, from its wealth of dining options—five restaurants in total, from an adults-only upscale Italian restaurant to a kid-friendly buffet open all day—to a full roster of watersports including hobie cats, kayaking and banana boats, all included in the all-inclusive cost. The playgrounds and kiddie pools of the Almond Kids’ Club keep little ones entertained while parents take a much-deserved break on the beach, and a mini-spa is open daily for massages and manicures.

The scene: Set in the quiet northern reaches of the island, tourism here focuses heavily on nature. The Arbib Nature and Heritage Trail offers guided hikes to see the region’s unique flora and fauna, including “bearded” fig trees with long hanging roots. The nature of the sea is just as important. Shallow reefs surround the resort offering snorkelers and divers plenty of opportunities to see Barbados’ thriving sea life.

The rates: Clients can stay at Almond Beach Village and enjoy free golf for $185 pp per night.