British passport holders do not need a visa, but your passport should be valid for at least six months after your arrival. You must also be able to show a return or onward ticket.
The average annual temperature is 26 degrees, with no big differences from month to month. Rainfall occurs mostly between June and November but tends to be of the ‘heavy afternoon shower’ variety and it’s warm! Last hurricane was Janet in 1955.
Barbados is four hours behind GMT, or five hours behind BST. It takes about eight hours to fly there from the UK.
The currency is in the Barbadian dollar (Bds$). Barbadian dollars and US dollars can both be used – US$1 is worth about two Bajans dollars. Credit cards are accepted in most places, you can also make cash withdrawals at banks and ATM’s
Bring lightweight clothes for the tropics. While not enforcing a dress code, some of the swankier restaurants on the West Coast are quite dressy places in the evenings. Don’t forget sunglasses sunblock and beach footwear. Topless sunbathing is frowned upon by the locals, as is wearing skimpy beach gear away from the beach.
If you plan to hire a car, a Barbados driving permit is required, available from car hire companies for Bds$10. You should also bring your national driving licence or an international driving permit.
Barbados, and particularly the west coast, has a number of top quality restaurants. However many of these also match London prices. There are listings for all the restaurants on the island in the villa guide. Below are some of our recommendations.
The Cliff 432 1922
Daphnes 432 0832
Tides 432 8356
You must make reservations and prices are expensive but the food, view and ambience are spectacular.
Mangos 422 0704
The Mews 432 1122
Lone Star 419 0599
Fish Pot 439 2604
Zaccios – 432 0134
Mannies (at Mullins beach) – 422 1878
Groots (run by a Dutchman from Lancashire!) Blackened snapper or steak and kidney? The choice is yours.
There are some good restaurants on the South Coast, though it is quite a distance to travel for dinner in the evening.
Patisserie Flindt (just on the right as you get into Holetown) sell tasty salads, rolls, sandwiches, quiches, etc for lunch on the deck or for a picnic on a day out. The cakes are fabulous and it’s worth going down for morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Good Choice Chinese – 432 8249 Sunset Crest
East Winds – Chinese – towards Speightstown
Sittar – Indian, Good to eat in or takeaway. In Holetown
The Monkey Bar at Sandy Lane Hotel is a wonderful “grown up” cocktail bar, well worth a visit.
For sports fans, there are a few sports bars in Holetown that regularly show major football games, boxing, etc – the Surfside is a casual outdoor place on the beach opposite the petrol station and the sports bar at the Mango Bay hotel is indoor and air-conditioned. The Coach House Pub along the coast to the South also regularly shows English football matches.
The Lone Star and most of the West Coast hotels also have bars where it is not mandatory to eat
Hands-on approach to guests’ wellbeing is available by visiting a host of spas offering luxurious treatments:
-Té Spa at Villa Nova, St John 246 433 1524 www.villanovabarbados.com
-The Spa at Sandy Lane, St James 444 2000 www.sandylane.com
-The House, Paynes Bay, St James 432 5525 www.eleganthotels.com
-Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club, St James 422 4653 www.royal-westmoreland.com