Luxury Charter Yacht Caribbean Vacation Destinations

A Caribbean Vacation in Barbados

Barbados: A bit of Britain in the tropics…polo and cricket…very good restaurants and nightlife…beautiful white sandy beaches edging a calm turquoise sea and facing a tropical sunset…one of our favorite islands.

Barbados is often referred to as the gem of the Caribbean. Steeped in English tradition, Barbados has been providing the royal treatment to the wealthy and famous for centuries. The British influence remains quite strong and most hotels still serve afternoon tea and cricket is the national pastime. Bajans, as the islanders are known, have perfected combining British-style manners with a Caribbean friendliness and openness-a combination that makes travelers feel most welcome and pampered. The mood on the island is unmistakably civilized with a British air of formality.

An enchanting island, Barbados is culturally rich and blessed with beautiful white sand beaches and a strong infrastructure, which has enticed investors from around the globe to build magnificent homes along the shores of the renowned West Coast. From stately plantation great houses to ornate chattel houses, the island has a wonderful tradition of stylish homes.

Barbados Activities

Barbados offers many activities and attractions that are perfect for a family vacation. Explore the island capital of Bridgetown where the careenage is lined with boats, bars and boutiques and Trafalgar Square has a statue of Lord Nelson that predates London's by 36 years. Explore the ocean depths in an Atlantis Submarine, stroll through botanical gardens, explore subterranean caves and watch history come alive in the restored Plantation Houses.

Barbados Watersports

Barbados offers the opportunity to enjoy all conceivable watersports…from swimming and snorkeling to Barbados diving, water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing and sailing. Barbados offers the full catalog of Caribbean Watersports. Barbados diving is one of the more entertaining and active expeditions.

Barbados Diving and Snorkeling: Barbados diving spots offer exceptional close-in snorkeling directly off their spectacular white sand beaches. The best underwater adventures are found on the west coast of the island where reefs, shipwrecks and myriads of aquatic life abound. Barbados Watersports provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy an active Barbados diving and snorkeling, making your Barbados vacation even more enjoyable.

Barbados water sports are unique opportunity to explore the option of Barbados diving. There are over 20 fabulous Barbados diving locations surrounding the island's coasts. Many divers come to Barbados because they have come to love the Barbados diving facilities. Many of these same Barbados diving locales are also ideal for snorkeling in Barbados. Much of the best Barbados diving is in the serene waters of the Western coast. There are sunken ships and coral reefs to explore in some cases while diving in Barbados.

There are many Barbados diving spots to choose from. Each Barbados diving spot offers something different, allowing for all levels of experience to participate in diving in Barbados. Some Barbados diving spots have incredibly close encounters with tropical fish, while Carlisle Bay offers a protected are to view shipwrecks while diving in Barbados. No Barbados diving vacation is complete without a nice shell souvenir, but please exercise caution and restraint while on Barbados diving expeditions.

Barbados Windsurfing: Barbados is one of the world's top destinations for windsurfing in Barbados. Barbados is ranked in the top 10 for ideal conditions with year round winds and warm waters. Indeed, Barbados hosts numerous events on the professional windsurfing circuit. Most of the competition in Barbados takes place on the island's south coast at a spot known as Silver Sands. Much of the event can be viewed just a short drive from many Barbados Villas. International windsurfers visit annually for events that include the Barbados Cup and the Professional Windsurfing Association's Silk Cut Purple Wave Grand Prix

Barbados Deep-Sea Fishing: Vast arrays of big game fish live in the oceans surrounding Barbados, many of the same fish found at Barbados diving spots. Several different companies on the island offer guided Barbados fishing excursions with a focus on big game fish like marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, barracuda and kingfish.

Barbados Beaches

Barbados is known for its spectacular beaches. The exclusive West Coast of the island is often referred to as the "Gold Coast". The West Coast borders the gorgeous Caribbean Sea and offers outstanding sugar white sand beaches and clear calm waters. All of the beaches on the island are open to the public. Barbados has no nude beaches and nudism is actually illegal due to its history of conservative British traditions.

On the island's fashionable West Coast, visitors will discover a virtually continuous white sand beach, edging a calm turquoise sea and facing glorious tropical sunsets. The island offers over 70 square miles of sandy beach.

  • West Coast: An almost unbroken chain of beaches forms the coastline between Speightstown to the north and Bridgetown to the south. Gibbs Beach is a magnificent stretch of beach that offers calm, clear waters and good snorkeling. Mullins Beach, just south of Speightstown at Mullins Bay, offers glass clear waters that are ideal for snorkeling and swimming as well as watersports and the Mullins Restaurant, which serves snacks, meals and drinks.
  • South Coast: The south coast offers gentle waves for body surfing, buggy boards, surfboards and some of the best windsurfing in the world. International surfing competitions are held on both the South and East coasts.
  • East and North Coasts: The East and North coasts of Barbados are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean where huge waves crash along the shore and is, therefore, not safe for swimming except in a few of the protected bays.

Barbados Climate

Warm and sunny with temperatures between 75 F and 90 F year round. During the winter, the nights are slightly cooler and so it might be a good idea to bring a cotton sweater. Hurricanes have traditionally avoided Barbados. The last hurricane suffered on the island with a direct hit occurred in 1955.

Barbados Currency

The Bajan dollar is converted at the rate of $1.98 BDS to $1.00 U.S. The BDS dollar is fixed to the U.S. Dollar and does not fluctuate. The U.S. Dollar is widely accepted as well travelers' checks, U.S. and Canadian currency. Major credit cards are widely accepted as well.

Barbados Deep-Sea Fishing

Vast arrays of big game fish live in the oceans surrounding Barbados. Several different companies on the island offer guided Barbados fishing excursions with a focus on big game fish like marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, barracuda and kingfish.

Barbados Estates and Plantations

Barbados was colonized by the British in the 1600s and is home to many lavish estates and mansions that brim with history. In the past, these homes were often owned by the operators of sugar plantations. Today these beautiful estates and plantations provide interesting history lessons and are frequently situated in the most picturesque locations on the island.

  • Codrington College: Located high on a hill, it overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers one of the most spectacular views of the East Coast of Barbados. Built in 1743, Codrington College is the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere. The grounds are open to the public and visitors will enjoy strolling past the magnificent grounds lush with palm trees and lily pond
  • Drax Hall: Drax Hall was built in the 165s by brothers from a very wealthy and well connected family. The Drax made their fortune in sugar and their plantation holds considerable influence with historians and architectural buffs. A classic Jacobean mansion it features steep gable roofs, casement gable windows, corner finials, carved archways and a Jacobean staircase of mastic wood. Drax Hall is the oldest surviving Jacobean mansion in the Western Hemisphere
  • Heritage Village: Located on the grounds of Tryol Cot, Heritage Village is a living museum and one of the most popular showcases of Barbadian history and culture. It is comprised of a collection of attractive Chattel Houses, each displaying works by traditional craftsmen and artists. Visitors will find leather goods, ceramics, pottery and local confectionary as well as the island's world famous rum.
  • Sam Lords' Castle: The Castle was built by the buccaneer Sam Lord and is still considered one of the island's finest mansions. Built in 1820, the opulent estate offers magnificent double verandahs and majestic plaster ceilings created by Charles Rutter the craftsman responsible for some of the ceilings in England's Windsor Castle.
  • St. Nicholas Abbey: St. Nicholas Abbey is the oldest building in Barbados and one of only three surviving Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere. Built in the 1650's, the great house featured Dutch gables, coral stone finials, a Chippendale staircase and fine antiques and china. Its original owner, Colonel Benjamin Berringer, supposedly still haunts the Abbey.

Barbados Events

  • January: Barbados Jazz Festival and the Barbados Windsurfing Championships
  • March: Holder's Opera Season-a celebration of opera, music and theatre and the Cockspur Cup Race
  • April: Mount Gay International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament, Barbados Carnival (22-30)
  • May: Barbados Pan Festival (steel pan music), Kensington Oval world cricket test matches.
  • June: Barbados Golf Club Tournaments
  • July: Crop Over Festival –dating back to the 1700s a major carnival that celebrates the sugar cane harvest with festivities that include parades, calypso music, crafts and plenty of good times.
  • August: Banks Hockey Festival-one of the largest field hockey tournaments, drawing teams from around the world.
  • November: Independence Pro Surfing Championships
  • December: Barbados Marathon

Barbados General Information-Government and Standard Of Living

Barbados enjoys a high standard of living and, therefore, does not have the same widespread third world poverty, which is so common on so many of the other islands. The United Nations Development Index (1996) ranked Barbados third in terms of quality of life among 160 developing countries worldwide (Hong Kong and Cyprus ranked first and second respectively).

Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the world with 358 years of uninterrupted parliamentary government.

While independent since the 1960's, the island still retains a delightful British flair with such customs as high tea and cricket games.

Barbados Golf

Barbados is an exceptional golfing destination, offering world-class courses as well as family oriented par 3 courses. The championship course at the Barbados Gold Club is open to the public and offers challenges for all levels of play. The Sandy Lane Resort offers players exceptionally lush greens and premier conditions.

  • Barbados Golf Club: 18 holes. Phone: 246.434.2121 A 6,805-yard par 72 Championship golf course is open to the public and the work of Ron Kirby one of the world's most experienced golf course designers. The Barbados Golf Club offers panoramic views of the Caribbean and year round conditions. The course was completely reconstructed and re-designed in ‘2002 when it reopened as the first Championship golf course on Barbados. It offers 6,905 yard par 72 course that has been approved by the PGA European Tour to host a PGA Senior Tournament in ‘2002. Green Fees: $73.49 per person valid May 1-Dec. 14, 2002. Rates subject to 7.5% tax and may change without notice. Carts are extra but not mandatory and clubs, shoes and lessons are available directly through the golf course.
  • Sandy Lane Resort: 18 holes. Phone: 246.432.2829/246.432.2831. The Country Club at the Sandy Lane Resort is a superb 18-hole course with spectacular vistas of the nearby Caribbean Sea. The prestigious Sandy Lane Golf Club underwent a dramatic redesign by Tom Fazio and re-opened in December 1999. Eventually, Sandy Lane will boast 45 holes with two 18-hole championship courses both designed by Fazio. Green Fees (18 Holes): The Country Club at Sandy Lane-$100 Old Nine at Sandy Lane-$60.00 Rates are valid between April 16 and Dec. 14, 2002 and are per person and include caddy. Rates are subject to a 7.5% tax and may change without notice. Club rental, shoes and golf lessons are available.
  • Rockley Golf Course: 9 holes A pleasant 9-hole course with par 36. Green Fees: 9 holes -$63.25 18 holes (2 x round the 9 hole course)-$92.00
  • Royal Westmoreland: 18 holes, Phone: 246.422.4635 Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., this course is set high up on a former sugar plantation. The course meanders through the 500-acre Westmoreland Sugar Estate and offers views of the nearby Caribbean Sea are magnificent.

Barbados Hiking

A variety of hiking opportunities exist on Barbados. The rugged east coast is popular with adventure seekers while those looking for a more leisurely hike head inland or on the Arbib Nature and Heritage Trail, which explores the history of Speightstown. Additionally, the Barbados National Trust lead hikes throughout the year that provide interesting information on the history and natural beauty of the island.

Barbados-History

While Barbados is frequently known as "Little Britain", it was in fact the Spanish that first arrived. After conquering the Carib Indians, the Spanish departed and were replaced by the Portuguese who named the island Los Barbados (the bearded ones) because of the beard like appearance of its fig trees. In 1625, after the Portuguese had deserted the island, Captain John Powell landed and claimed the island of behalf of King James 1. Within ten years, British colonists established a House Assembly, which remained the governing body until the island's independence in 1966.

England was generous to its wealthy citizens and allocated them land, which they used to develop into tobacco and cotton plantations. In the 1630's, sugar cane was introduced to the island and because a huge success. Indeed, Barbadians dominated the Caribbean sugar industry and Barbados became a cash cow for England as the island's sugar industry prospered. The "landed gentry" made enormous fortunes off of sugar and were able to enjoy an extravagant and lavish lifestyle with great houses and plantations built in the Georgian style that remain even today.

Unfortunately, to meet the production demands of the sugar industry, slaves were shipped from England as well as convicted criminals. When the need for even more labor increased, slaves were supplied from West Africa. In 1834 slavery was abolished and many former slaves took advantage of the island's superb education system and went on to prominent political offices on Barbados.

Although tourism dates back to the 1700s when visitors like George Washington came to the island for its healthful climate it was not until the 1950's that the island a favorite destination for wealthy British travelers. By the 1970's the allure had spread to North America. Today, over one million visitors come to Barbados each year.

Barbados Horseback Riding

Several companies on the island offer guided tours that lead visitors through spectacular scenery as well as riding through the surf on deserted beaches.

Barbados Horseracing

Barbados offers three seasons that run throughout the year and race days are gala events with bands and dancers. The main event of the season is the Sandy Lane Gold Cup (formerly known the Cockspur Gold Cup) with a prize that attracts jockeys from the Caribbean, United Kingdom and Canada. Your luxury charter yacht offers a spectacular setting for a post race celebration.

Barbados Language

The official language is English spoken with a unique sounding Bajan dialect. The Bajan dialect is based on Afro-Caribbean rhythms tinged with an Irish/Scottish lilt. An amazing 98% literacy rate is a sign of the island's sophistication.

Barbados Marriage and Barbados Weddings

Barbados provides a most exceptional setting for Barbados Weddings. Charming and sophisticated, Barbados offers an extraordinary opportunity for the wedding you've dreamt about. Barbados weddings may take place on the serene estate of a Barbados villa or on your luxury charter yacht, with tropical surroundings adding to the touch of the ceremony. The light caribbean breeze and beautiful environment give Barbados weddings a special element, a memory to be savored. Arranging a wedding in Barbados is relatively easy and couples may even get married on the day of their arrival. Marriage licenses must be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Phone: 246.431.7750, Fax: 246.437.3794. To arrange Barbados weddings couples must be prepared to provide a passport or a birth certificate with a photo ID, US $150 in fees and a $25 revenue stamp, which is obtainable from the post office. We are also happy to provide our clients with the names and phone numbers of personal wedding consultants and planners for coordinating Barbados weddings. When organizing Barbados weddings one will find the same services they would require in planning weddings at home. Barbados weddings are a tradition in the Caribbean and as such the people on the ground ensure that Barbados weddings will go smoothly and planned. Barbados weddings provide a perfect memory and a tremendous experience.

Barbados Mobile Phones

  • 800 MHX analog or TDMA digital phones: These are the only types of cell phones that work on the island. Be sure to check with your home cell phone service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with a company in Barbados.
  • GSM mobile phones: These do NOT work in Barbados…If you have a GSM World telephone, consult your mobile phone service before you leave to find out what you need.
  • Mobile Phone rentals: You may rent a Barbados mobile phone through Cable and Wireless, Ince Cellular, Global Business, Cable and Wireless Cellular and Cellular Telephone Rentals Center.

Barbados Nightlife

Barbados really lets its hair down in the evenings. Clubs offer the live sounds of jazz, socca, calypso and reggae. While the west coast offers many more sedate venues, it is the St. Lawrence Gap area that rocks the night with dancing and drinking until near dawn.

Barbados Polo

Polo matches are held at Holder's Hill on the spectacular west coast of Barbados. Matches are generally held on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from January to May and attract huge crowds.

Barbados Population: 254,000

Barbados Restaurants

Enjoy some of the finest dining anywhere throughout the Caribbean when you dine in Barbados restaurants. From elegant beachside gourmet feasts, to refined formal dinging, Barbados villas guests have a wide variety of authentic Barbados restaurants to frequent while staying on Barbados. As a service to our guests in Barbados Villas, we have listed a few of the most notable Barbados restaurants below:

  • Carambola: Pone: 246.432.0832. Reservations are required and open nightly. Closed Sundays. Dramatic lighting and alfresco dining are offered at this Cliffside setting overlooking the Caribbean. The restaurant serves some of the island's best food with a menu of classic French and Caribbean cuisines-and a shot of Asian to add to the intrigue.
  • The Cliff: Phone: 246.432.1922. Reservations required in winter and open nightly for dinner from 6:30 PM. A top choice for romance is this restaurant built atop a 10-foot coral cliff adjacent to the Coconut Creek Hotel. While low key in its atmosphere, the restaurant has attracted Prince Andrew and other renowned guests. IT offers an innovative menu with nouvelle accents accompanied by the freshest of local vegetables.
  • Nico's: Phone: 246.432.6386. Reservations recommended. Open Monday – Saturday. Offers a good value in an informal bistro setting. Gourmet Magazine praised its signature dish, a grilled local lobster.

Dining in Barbados restaurants is truly that, dining. Many islands have good food, some have great. The restaurants in Barbados fall in to this latter category. Barbados restaurants make that little difference when dining is important. Please take time to enjoy other Barbados restaurants and share your thoughts.

Barbados Shopping

Barbados offers a myriad of tempting shopping experiences. Discover charming wooden chattel houses filled with exotic tropical sarongs and hand painted resort wear or peruse air-conditioned emporiums of linens and fine imported china. World-class jewelers offer rare gems and watches while fragrance shops provide all of the scents you could possibly imagine. A vibrant art community on the island creates handmade jewelry, sculpture and paintings.

Barbados offers a variety of shopping experiences from art galleries to an exceptional selection of fine jewelry. The duty-free merchandise is offered at prices 20%-40% less than in the U.S. or Canada. Popular items include cashmere, fine English china, tobacco and the island's famous rum.

Barbados, also, boasts a thriving artistic community. Visitors will find numerous galleries located throughout the island. Local crafts include mahogany carvings, basketry, locally made jewelry and souvenirs. Hand painted china and local pottery line the craft markets. Visitors will find exceptional black coral jewelry made from fossilized Bajan coral and carefully polished and set into gold or silver.

Rum is obviously another great buy on the island. Mount Gay Rum has been producing fine rum for over three hundred years and a variety of blends are available for purchase.

Barbados Sports

Cricket, Cycling and Mountain Biking, Golf, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Sports Fishing, Diving, Parasailing, Sailing, Surfing, Polo, Tennis, Kayaking and Windsurfing are all available on the island

Barbados Tennis: The majority of the large hotels and resorts on the island have tennis courts that may be booked even if you are not a guest. Additionally, there are public courts at the National Tennis Center and Folkestone Park. Please note that traditional whites are generally worn when playing tennis in Barbados.

Barbados Time Zone

Barbados falls in the Atlantic Time zone, which is one hour ahead of US Standard time. The island does not observe daylight savings time.

Barbados Wildlife Parks

A wide variety of exotic wildlife exists on Barbados including the green monkey and whistling frogs.

Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Offers a unique experience for visitors to experience a variety of exotic fauna, peacocks, ducks, turtles and other friendly creatures that are permitted to roam free on the reserve.

Barbados Zoo

The Barbados Zoo is a unique facility in that it was once a working sugar cane factory until recently.

Barbados history

Although Barbados is frequently known as "Little Britain", it was in fact the Spanish that first arrived. After conquering the Carib Indians, the Spanish departed and were replaced by the Portuguese who began a new period of Barbados history and named the island Los Barbados (the bearded ones) because of the beard like appearance of its fig trees. In 1625, after the Portuguese had deserted the island, Captain John Powell landed and claimed the island of behalf of King James 1, changing Barbados history forever. Within ten years, British colonists established a House Assembly, which remained the governing body until the island's independence in 1966, a momentous day in Barbdos' history. England was generous to its wealthy citizens and allocated them land throughout Barbdos' history, which they used to develop into tobacco and cotton plantations. In the 1630's, sugar cane was introduced to the island and because a huge success. Indeed, over Barbdos' history Barbadians dominated the Caribbean sugar industry and Barbados became a cash cow for England as the island's sugar industry prospered. The "landed gentry" made enormous fortunes off of sugar and were able to enjoy an extravagant and lavish lifestyle with great houses and plantations built in the Georgian style that remain even today as a reminder of Barbados' history. Unfortunately, to meet the production demands of the sugar industry, slaves were shipped from England as well as convicted criminals. When the need for even more labor increased, slaves were supplied from West Africa. In 1834 slavery was abolished and many former slaves took advantage of the island's superb education system and went on to prominent political offices on Barbados. Barbados' history has dealt with many of the effects of the islands economic system. Tourism dates back through Barbados' history to the 1700s when visitors like George Washington came to the island for its healthful climate, it was not until the 1950's that the island became a favorite destination for wealthy British travelers. By the 1970's the allure had spread to North America. Today, over one million visitors come to Barbados each year, adding a new chapter to Barbados' history. Barbados villas have played a major role in the modern landscape of the island. Barbados villas combine the rich Barbados history and beautiful Island with the natural splendor and beautiful climate of the Caribbean.

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