Barbados Elegant Hotels Review: Colony Club & The House

Barbados has always been on my bucket list. At the dawn of this year, I had been lucky enough to go to the Caribbean once before, and despite my experience being limited, had declared every rumour to be true. The turquoise, palm tree-lined ocean sparkles from dawn ‘til dusk, locals have a warm and impossibly contagious energy, and every sunset is a spectacle.

With Jamaica ticked off the “must-visit” list during a pre-pandemic jaunt, Barbados was next up, and while I was fairly sure I wasn’t going to need convincing of its powers of relaxation, I was a little confined to the opinion of it being a destination for sickeningly-smitten couples and no-one else.

I was, wonderfully, so wrong. Look beyond the Caribbean’s appeal with honeymooners – and those after nothing more than a “fly-and-flop” get-away – and you’ll realise there’s *so* much more on offer than you ever imagined.

Barbados is, in fact, up there as one of the most appealing destinations I’ve been to for both a slightly-splash-out girls’ holiday (the flight is direct, time difference minimal and the rum punch almost too readily available) or a safe and grounding solo trip. Particularly under the hospitality of one of the island’s seven luxurious Elegant Hotels, among the best hotels in Barbados. Perhaps this recounting of my holiday will act as proof.

Two of the hotels owned and operated by Marriott International’s Elegant Hotels acted as two contrasting yet equally divine homes for the duration of my stay: The House – an intimate and boutique property with on-site spa and complimentary water sports – and Colony Club, a 96-room resort with swim-up bars and all manner of foodie experiences on offer.

First stop: The House, said small and intimate adults-only hotel which – despite being owned by Marriott – feels very much family-owned, chic and personal.

It’d be easy to assume that my arrival at the hotel along a lily-pad-lined walkway, at sunset – when the property’s beachfront bar had become a striking silhouette against a vibrant pink and orange sky – was what cemented my adoration for the hotel. And while it certainly helped, it was actually everything that followed which sealed the deal.

The Champagne breakfast offering, the eggs-to-order every morning, the spacious rooms, insanely comfortable beds and the beachfront location. The hotel backs onto Paynes Bay, which serves up the chance to walk almost the entire St. James coastline without stepping away from the sand. Oh, and the staff’s can-do attitude. They didn’t even twitch when I locked myself out of my room at midnight.

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