Lindsay on Location heads to the island of Barbados searching for tropical adventures, turquoise waters, epic sunsets, and fresh seafood.
Barbados was a British colony from 1625-1966. They just became their own Republic in 2021. Their love and passion for their country and culture is felt from the moment you step foot on the island.
Made for the perfect honeymoon or the ultimate family getaway and everything in between. Barbados has something for everyone. It is famous for many things, including being the birthplace of superstar Rihanna. But, whether you just want to soak up the sun, surf the waves, hike in search of wildlife, or learn to fish, you will be more than happy with your vacation. And, just for an added bonus, the weather is great year-round.
Where does the name Barbados originate from? A Portuguese sea captain names Pedro A. Campos pondered over the island’s many bearded fig trees and decided the island needed a name. The trees roots look like a beard coming down into the ground. He named the island, “Los Barbados,” which means “bearded one.”
Adventures is something Barbados is not short of. We took a safari on Island Safari. We all piled into the back of a truck and off road through out the entire island. We learned about the vegetation, the history, the landmarks, and ended on a cliffside where there are only blue skies. This was such a great way to see so much of the island in half a day. Just make sure you do not get motion sickness, they really take you for an adventurous ride.
You have to get on the water when you visit Barbados. Cool Runnings takes guests out on their catamarans to experience the island from a different point of view. You snorkel to see giant sea turtles and shipwrecks. I was blown away how cool the ships were. The water is so clear you can see how the shells and coral have grown around the ships. You spend the rest of the day sailing around the island and enjoying a buffet lunch. Drinks are also included.
For those that like a little thrill you need to check out the new Eco-Adventure Park at Harrison’s Cave. We went on there just launched zip lines. We were flying so high over the lush wilderness it felt surreal. There are 5 lines and ages 6 and up can enjoy the fun. And go early because you just might get to see the famous green monkey’s that roam the island. We got to see at least a dozen. The monkey’s are said to be the most famous residents on the island. They came over from Africa 350 years ago to scare off the snakes. They never left and there are over 14,000 on the island.
Food & Drinks
The island is surrounded by unique fruits and veggies, as well as endless seafood. They also have black belly sheep roaming the streets. We were on a mission to try as much of their local foods that we could.
We headed to Oistins fish market to meet Chef Andres Antonio. Together we picked out a fresh piece of red snapper and learned how important the seafood industry is to the island. Then we headed to a cliff over looking the ocean to watch Chef make something magical. He marinated and rolled the snapper in local island spices. It gave the fish a crust that was crispy, but keeping the fish moist. It was served over herbed potatoes. Finished with a lemon broth sauce and a soft torched lemon. The dish was delicious and perfect. Booked through Blu Isles.
Want to feel like you are in a fish house on the beach with a perfect sunset and with elevated food? Sea Shed brings all of it. We arrived just before the show began. The show would be the perfect location for sunset. We also had a great meal. We started with tuna tartar that was fresh and flavorful. Then moved onto charred octopus that was one of the best I have ever had. It has the perfect grill taste while still being juicy. For our main we got the fresh catch of the day. I love getting the specials since they are usually what is in season. We had never had barracuda, so we went with that. I was great. It was meatier then I expected. We really enjoyed it.
Our last meal on the island was at Cocktail Kitchen. Chef Damian Leah is a local who really infuses great flavors. From the moment we got on the island we heard about breadfruit and flying fish. This was our last day to try both. Chef recommended a few dishes for us, and we were so happy we went with his suggestions. We got the flying fish tacos, which were lightly fried and drizzled with a great sauce. The light fish had really nice flavor. We then got two different versions of the breadfruit. First was breadfruit nachos. He takes the fruit, which tastes somewhere in between a potato and squash. They fry it into chips. This is topped with all the normal nacho goodness. We had my favorite dish; roasted breadfruit topped with lobster and salted fish. The dish was pure perfection. You are just going to have to dine at Cocktail Kitchen to see what I am talking about. But make sure to try breadfruit if you ever see it on a menu.
Crop Over is a festival that happens every year marking the end of crop season of sugar cane. I missed the Carnival style party, so I wanted to check out Harbor Lights since they throw a colorful dinner and a show. The 3-hour show gives you dancing, fire eater, stilt walkers, live band and so much more. You even get a buffet dinner and open bar. This is a great way to feel electric energy of the culture and island.
We were blown away at this gorgeous hotel. They really take a modern luxury approach while keeping the Caribbean charm when they designed the property. The 75 room boutique hotel is spread out so that you always have your own personal space, but feel like part of the family at the same time. You can really thank the staff for that. From the first moment we arrived to our departure we were treated with such care and kindness. The level of service is top notch. At check-in we were handed a welcome drink of the famous Barbados rum punch. You might think that you have had rum punch before, but not like this. What makes it so special is they do not use fruit juices. So, it’s not sweet. They use local dark rum and the two key ingredients are bitters and fresh nutmeg. Perfection.
We had the ocean front suite. What does this include? A room that opens up directly facing the beach. We had a private deck that was steps away from the ocean. I finished my morning coffee then would dive right into the water each day. They also offered a butler to help you with all your daily needs. You have to option to have english style tea each day at 4pm in your room. They have all the tea’s one could offer, as well as, perfect bite sized sandwhiches and desserts. The style is a cool beach chic feel. The rooms are white and crisp with great pop of color art on each wall. I am someone who always uses robes and slippers. I like to consider myself a robe conessiour and the Fairmont’s are some of the best. They are a seersucker fabric and slightly oversized. Just how I like them. It took everything in me not to ask to bring one home.
What is not to be missed is the restaurant. We even had the honor to have a private dinner prepared by Chef Tim. He really went over and beyond to create a special tasting menu full of local flavors and unique ingredients. It was also paired with the perfect wine. We had our dinner right on our private porch overlooking the water. I highly suggest splurging on this experience. It is worth it! And I still dream of that dinner.
Every meal we had at the hotel was exceptional. I looked forward to the breakfast buffet each morning in the Palm Terrace Restaurant. Full of local produce and eaten and enjoyed over looking the Bay. And also our daily afternoon cocktail at The Taboras Restaurant. I also had one of the best blacken tuna salads of my life at Taboras.
They offer weekly workout classes as well as live music. We took advantage of the 24-hour gym. This made room for more rum punches.
There are many resorts and hotels all over the Island, but for us the Fairmont really had it all. They had swimmable beaches, great restaurants, amazing service, strong wifi, gym, and central location. Whether you want to just rest and relax all day long, or if you want to experience the island of Barbados, the Fairmont Royal Pavilion was the perfect place for us to come home to every night.