Sir Cliff Richard’s Barbados

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By Cliff Richard, a Celebrity Traveller

Read more on Barbados.

Overall rating:4.2 out of 5 (based on 5 votes)
Enjoyable
4.2
4.2
Useful
3.8
3.8
Inspirational
4.6
4.6
Recommended for:
Beach, Romance, Winter Sun, Expensive, Mid-range

This beautiful Caribbean island is where Sir Cliff escapes from the British winter. Here he explains why he loves it so much, and lists his favourite restaurants and the best hotels

I’ve been lucky enough to travel the length and breadth of the globe during the course of my music career but whenever I’m asked ‘what is your favourite place?’ Barbados definitely makes my shortlist.

I’ve owned my villa on Barbados for the best part of 10 years now and never grow tired of coming back to escape the British winter! I’d visited the island a few times in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties and always loved it, so when the opportunity arose for me to have my own secret hideaway on this delightful Caribbean island, I jumped at the chance.

The location of my villa is simply breathtaking – its lofty position in the parish of St James means there are beautiful views across the ocean below, I can feel the ever present cool breeze and yet the beach is a small matter of about a quarter of a mile away. The nearest major town is Holetown, where the Brits first landed.

Of course everyone knows that the weather is beautiful on Barbados; even when it rains (and, believe me, it can rain!) the sun always manages to make its presence felt. It is only ever hot or hotter. It is a little more humid in the rainy season, but the combination of tropical downpours and sunshine means that the flora is sensational. Everything grows frantically. I planted some palm trees five years ago and they are now about 40ft high.

But the thing I also love about Barbados is the people. The Bajans have a genuine warmth towards all visitors to the island and the ‘Platinum’ west coast is filled with Brits and Americans who are all very generous with their hospitality. I’ve lost count of the number of parties I’ve been invited to and I’ve made a good number of new friends on the island.

As I mentioned, I love to visit Barbados during the British winter, usually between Christmas and Easter, which is the dry season and, in my view, the best time to go. I love the UK but the combination of the sunshine and the moist Caribbean air provides the perfect climate for a singer. Barbados is very rejuvenating and therapeutic, for both the mind and the body. Maybe that is why Tony Blair thought his holidays in Barbados were some of the most peaceful ones he ever had!

My favourite restaurants

There are lots of wonderful places to go here. The restaurant to go to for the total experience is The Cliff. Set in a stunning location, south of Sandy Lane Hotel, it has a wonderful atmosphere and a great menu, incorporating local and international dishes. If you can, you should book a waterside table so that you can hear the waves lapping in to the shore below you as you eat. As you would expect, given its quality and reputation, the prices are quite high, but the service is unbelievable and totally unobtrusive. It tends to be very popular so it’s a good idea to book a table well in advance.

If you have a slightly smaller budget, you should try a restaurant called Tides in Holetown. Once again, this is located within touching distance of the ocean and has a lovely open, airy feel to it. The atmosphere is wonderful and the food is great.

Another alternative place to eat is Scarlett, which is owned and operated by a lovely young couple, Sophie and Stefan. From the outside, it looks like one of those Bajan chattel houses, and is all red and black. The interior is red and black too, with two walls covered with Andy Warhol paintings. The food is excellent; I really love the locally-sourced fish, and the prices are really reasonable. Also recommended would be the Lone Star and Mullin's Beach Bar, both with very good food and ocean views.

I also like going to Zaccios in Holetown for a spot of lunch from time to time. You can get a burger or a fish cake or chicken with a Bajan curry feel to it – and you are sitting on a beach!

Exploring the island

All of those restaurants are located on the west coast of the island and it’s tempting to spend your entire stay there because it is so family-friendly and there is so much choice. But if you’re keen to explore the less-developed parts of the island then why not visit the east coast? The setting is wild and rugged and the waves crash in - it is really worth the trip. The Atlantic is very rocky and dangerous, and it is not as easy to swim there as on the golden beaches on the west coast, but the scenery is fabulous. And I’ve found a great place to eat there called The Roundhouse. You could be forgiven for walking past the place - it doesn’t look at all sophisticated; just a basic place with umbrellas over the tables, overlooking the beach. But they serve the best flying fish pate with breadfruit chips. You can sit there watching the world go by, eating pate and drinking a rum punch looking out at the ocean, it is just sensational.

The locals have worked really hard to make Barbados more and more inviting. The south coast is really buzzing now too and is becoming more of a tourist destination. St Lawrence Gap is very popular, with its great walkway, local shops and live music – if you can find the energy to wander round it’s definitely worth a day trip. You can get fast food and burgers there, and a great crab cake, while the nearby capital city Bridgetown is also buzzy in the evenings. They are developing the waterfront there, and if you really want to immerse yourself in the local history, go to The Waterfront Café, which overlooks the lively Carenage.

The best hotels

Although I obviously stay in my villa when I am on Barbados, there are lots of wonderful hotels on the island too. On the west coast, Sandy Lane is almost certainly the best–known hotel and has a long list of rich and famous guests but Cobbler’s Cove Hotel also has a great reputation. It’s really old-fashioned, while the Coral Reef Club is another good place, with a stately old feel to it and a gorgeous setting with the beach curving round the restaurant. It does an excellent Sunday brunch.

There are lots of glitzy places to stay and eat at on Barbados and the island is maturing into a holiday destination for all budgets. If you’re looking for clear warm water, tropical sunsets and fine dining, I can think of nowhere better.

Recommendations

The Cliff (+1 246.432.1922; www.thecliffbarbados.com)
Tides (+1 246.432.8356; www.tidesbarbados.com)
Scarlett (+1 246.432.3663)
Zaccios (+1 246.432.0134; www.zaccios.com)
The Roundhouse (+1 246.433.9678; www.roundhousebarbados.com)
The Waterfront Café (+1 246.427.0093; waterfrontcafe.com.bb)
 

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More information on Sir Cliff Richard’s Barbados:

Author:
Cliff Richard
Traveller type:
Celebrity Traveller
Guide rating:
4.2
Average: 4.2 (5 votes)
Total views:
9541
First uploaded:
17 June 2009
Last updated:
5 years 12 weeks 6 days 13 hours 42 min 27 sec ago
Destinations featured:
Trip types:
Beach, Romance, Winter Sun
Budget level:
Mid-range, Expensive
Free tags / Keywords:
villa, restaurants, hotels, islands, tropical, celebrity

Cliff recommends

Hotels

Price from Rating
(out of 5)
1. Sandy Lane Hotel
£1000
N/A
2. Cobblers Cove Hotel
£263
N/A
3. Coral Reef Club
£258
N/A

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Community comments (5)

Rating:
4
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

I was fortunate enough to visit the island for one of the most important of reasons ..to get married! My wife & I had never visited this part of the world before, although we had both travelled quite extensively, we just knew we would love it. Cliff mentioned it can rain, well it sure can .. & it sure did on our big day, right up to 20 mins before there was some serious troth plighting to be...plighted. Of course the sun came out on cue, She looked devastating & I looked proud enough to simply burst. We dined at Cliff's fave, the Cliff & enjoyed the best table in what can only be described as a world class location featuring an electrical storm on the horizon that was close enough to reach out & get a jolt off. We were convinced it was organised for us on that most special of special nights. We were married on the beach at Sandy Lane amongst flowers, in hot sunshine & with friends we made whilst we were there. We honeymooned in Tobago & although beautiful, we never really wanted to leave Barbados,
part of us is still there, imagine the fun to be had when we go back to collect. This island destination is all SCR described, & so much more!

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Rating:
4
0 of 2 people found the following comment helpful.

I'm craving some winter sunshine after reading this guide.
I agree with Sir Cliff about the Bajans, they're as warm and welcoming as a cool cocktail on a sultry evening as the sun disappears over the watery horizon. A must do, in my opinion, is a Friday night in Oistins at the famous fish fry. The sumptuous food offering is complemented by dancing, smiling, partying Bajans who are not afraid to show you a real slice of flavoursome Barbados.

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Rating:
5
0 of 1 people found the following comment helpful.

Barbados is my favourite place to go on holiday and I am lucky enough to have visited the island many times over the last 10 years. We have stayed in both St Lawrence Gap and the West Coast and I would recommend the latter with a trip to the Gap on a Thursday night for the Ship Inn for real RnB, Dancehall and Reggae music where you can dance until after 4am. You should definately try and get to Oistins on a Friday night for the Fish Fry and I personally recommend George's over any other stall as his Mahi Mahi is awesome and well worth the queue! Like Sir Cliff I would also recommend The Cliff and would ask for a cliff side table if possible and Scarlett which is really reasonable and they do gorgeous cocktails and a very good Prosecco. We stayed at Crystal Cove, St James and I would definately recommend the hotel as it was extremely relaxed with beautiful wildlife, the food is really good for an all inclusive, the staff are just lovely and there is a great nursery for children over 3. You can't go to Barbados without a trip on the local Reggae bus which is really cheap and with the booming dance hall, definately an experience for the traveller that wants to experience the real Barbados!

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Rating:
4
1 of 2 people found the following comment helpful.

I've been to Barbados and I agree with Sir Cliff, the Bajans are very friendly and they made our two week holiday there very enjoyable indeed. I think Sir Cliff has mentioned the more exclusive places on the island to stay at and why shouldn't he? It caters for families just as much as for stressed celebs looking to relax.

Remember that all beaches on Barbados are public, so that means that there are no private beaches. We had the pleasure of the Sandy Lane Hotel being just down the road and so we were often going by jetski or boat to the same beach all the celebs use and there was nothing they could do about it, we even managed to get some cheeky drinks in, but they cost a lot!

I think its a good guide for people to get a flavour of Barbados and I think Sir Cliff's guide reflects Bajan life well.

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Rating:
4
8 of 9 people found the following comment helpful.

I applaud the simonseeks PR strategy of asking famous folks to write up their favourite places, but c'mon Cliffy Babes - you've got to be 'avin a larf when you describe the platinum westcoasters as being "very generous with their hospitality" because they invite you to lots of parties. I'll bet you a punnet of Wimbledon strawberries that if I turn up wearing my Asda surfshorts and my bright blue crocs, with my 3 wee lads in tow, that my "Invites to Parties" box at hotel reception would be as barren as my baldy (sunburnt) heid........and this from a man who's been mistaken for Jean Reno several times.

I'm willing to be proven wrong, if you want to tell me which doormat the spare key's under.......we'd love to test drive Barbados. Kind Regards
Creature, Mrs Creature and 3 Wee Creatures

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