Barbados: Back to Basics

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for kids too Barbados’ Colony Club resort is yet another of the island’s properties that seem to transport guests back in time—think 18th century sprawling greathouse. This former private colonial club today gives clients a wealth of travel options, from guestrooms with balconies to swim-up suites just a few steps from the meandering lagoon-style swimming pool that wanders through the tropical gardens of the resort’s interior. Onsite restaurants serve up meals in classic Barbados style, in either a casual outdoor setting under trees lit by twinkling lights, or inside at the dressy Orchid Room and Laguna restaurants.

But not everything about this Elegant Hotels Group property—a brand with five properties in Barbados—is a throwback to centuries ago. The people at Colony Club have recognized its potential for luring families vacationing on a luxury budget, and are capitalizing on its placement in the family market with discounts and plenty of activities to keep little ones entertained. A kids’ club, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, lets kids choose from arts and crafts sessions and video game tournaments with their peers. Weekly events like movies under the stars and tennis clinics at the resort’s onsite facilities round out the scheduled fun. And of course, there’s that winding swimming pool for impromptu play sessions, with plenty of nooks and crannies for kids to splash around without disturbing neighboring mature resort guests solely in search of rest and relaxation. And in an effort to ensure that more kids are able to take advantage of all the excitement, Colony Club has changed its room policy to allow one child up to 12 years of age stay free in the pool gardenview room category. Holiday stays for families are now more affordable as well, with minimum stays reduced from 10 to seven nights during the Christmas season from Dec. 15 to Jan. 7. Rates start at $268 per room per night dbl.

Although for the ultimate in Elegant Hotels Group luxury, point your clients to the adults-only The House, which offers just 35 jr. and 1-bedroom suites. With either ocean, pool or garden views, these accommodations are ideal for parents who need to get away and want to relax within their sumptuously appointed rooms or on a spacious patio or balcony with breathtaking views.

it takes a village Perhaps one of the best reflections of Barbados’ history and culture is one of its newest attractions. Crane Village, the newest addition to the long-standing Crane Resort & Residences, was designed in the style of the island’s old town centers—in some cases even using materials that would have been used to build homes and shops centuries ago. The village—the centerpiece of a massive development that’s still ongoing and adding residences, more guestrooms, new swimming pools and other attractions—has opened shops with luxury brands like Colombian Emeralds as well as local arts and crafts shops like Tamarind Seed, combining high-end and budget-priced appeal to create a unique attraction intimately connected with the resort. By the end of the year, several more diverse establishments will join the village, including D’Onofrio’s Italian Restaurant, the chic Bar 1887, and Ozone health and fitness center.

When they’re not indulging in upscale shopping and dining at Crane Village, clients can take advantage of the value-added extras available in packages like Romantic Escape, offering a guaranteed upgrade from a 1-bedroom oceanview room to a 1-bedroom suite with a plunge pool, plus dinner for two in the hotel’s upscale restaurants, a chilled bottle of wine upon arrival and an in-room couples’ massage. The package is priced at $490 in addition to room rates. Rack rates start at $340 through Nov. 10, and at $450 from Nov. 11 to Dec. 20.