By: Janet Steinberg

is a magical mélange of hustle, bustle, charm, and class.  Beneath a
turquoise sky, and surrounded by aquamarine waters, this idyllic island is a
solace for relaxation and a virtual mecca for active lifestyles and cultural
pursuits.  It is endless sun-washed, sugary, sand beaches and craggy,
dark, underground caves.  It is green monkeys and flying fish; reggae and
karaoke; booze cruises and rum tours; beachfront hair braiders and spa-tacular
hot stone massages.

tourists flock to Barbados for its sandy beaches, coral reefs and rum swizzles,
it is the frequency of names like Trafalgar Square, and Yorkshire, along with
left-hand driving and roundabouts, that are constant reminders of the island’s
British heritage.

The farthest east of the Caribbean
islands, this “Little England” has smatterings of the old country
everywhere.  Cricket is the favorite sport; Trafalgar is the square of
squares; and Lord Nelson is the pigeon’s favorite.  You can lunch on fish
and chips at an open-air café, wash it down with a warm beer, or have a spot of
tea and scones at a stately country home.

accommodations to attractions, there is something for everyone in

you have deep pockets, consider a lunch or stay at Sandy Lane Hotel.

This exclusive hotel, on the sheltered west coast of Barbados, is
located on the site of the old Sandy Lane Sugar Plantation.  Originally
built in 1961, Sandy Lane Hotel firmly established itself as the premier
address in the Caribbean. 

Over the years, Sandy Lane hosted a veritable “Who’s Who” of
famous, glamorous, wealthy, and royal guests.  That list included such
luminaries as Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy, Aristotle
Onassis, Luciano Pavarotti, Sir Elton John, Michael Caine, Maria Callas, and
Frank Sinatra.

Set amidst luxurious tropical gardens and a mahogany grove, the
hotel is edged with a half mile of the whitest sand on the island.  Built
of white coral stone, the hotel offers spectacular views of the Caribbean.

If your pockets are not
quite so deep, check out Treasure Beach
, a small hidden gem of a hotel with an eclectic mix of clientele
from both Europe and America.
  Located on Paynes Bay on the island’s West (Gold) Coast,
this 35-suite boutique hotel, with 3 premium suites sporting private plunge
pools on verandas, opens to a vista of sand, sea and sunsets.

Attractions on the
island include the following:
Sunbury Plantation House, a charming residence situated in the
tranquil St. Philip countryside. Reminiscent of bygone days, this beautiful
family home, dating back to 1650 is crafted of flint and other stones imported
from England.

Orchid World: This magnificent floral park has more than 30,000
orchids on display.  You can get up close and personal with these precious
Barbados Museum: Based in a former British military prison, this
distinctive museum traces the island’s evolution from 16th century
time to the present.  

Nidhe Israel
Synagogue is either the first, or second oldest synagogue in the Western
Hemisphere.  The answer depends on whether you ask someone from
Curacao or from Barbados. 

The Nidhe Israel Museum,
opened in 2007, recounts the story of the first Jewish settlers who arrived in
Barbados at approximately the same time as the British settlers; they brought
sugar and other commerce from Recife, Brazil to Barbados

Andromeda Gardens: This
beautiful garden has an astonishing array of plants from all over the tropical
world.  A bubbling stream winds through the garden forming pools and

Harrison’s Cave:  This sensitively developed natural
phenomenon is a series of beautiful underground caverns complete with
stalactites and stalagmites and underground streams and
waterfalls.  Visitors are taken through the cave in an electric tram
and accompanied by an official guide.

Atlantis Submarine: This
space age machine transports you on a voyage of discovery through the final
frontier of inner space.  Diving to depths of 150 feet, the unique
submarine enables you to experience the wonders of the world beneath the sea.

Dining in Barbados runs the gamut
from moderately priced casual to over the top expensive.  For lunch, try Waterfront Café’s signature Flying Fish
served with cornmeal Cou-Cou or a grand buffet brunch at the magnificent Crane
Resort’s L’Azure Restaurant. 


In between lunching, I
devoured delightful dinners at Daphne’s, Champers, and Pisces.  I can
truthfully say I never had a bad meal in Barbados.

JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning
Travel Writer and a Travel Consultant with THE TRAVEL AUTHORITY in Mariemont,