The Carribbean islands are known for fun vibes, sandy beaches and endlessly sunny days, which is why it remains one of the most popular destinations for honeymooners. However, there is something undeniably special about a honeymoon in Barbados, and it’s very much down to the Bajan people, who laid out a welcome for tourists that’s every bit as warm as the Irish. The world’s newest republic since November 2021, Barbados has a rich culture, a complicated history, and is (we think!) the coolest island of them all. As the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, it’s an island of two different sides with one coast facing the Atlantic Ocean. The sheltered west all the way south towards the capital Bridgetown and St Lawrence Gapis where many celebrities like Rihanna, Rio Ferdinand and Simon Cowell have villas, as it’s known for sandy beaches, snorkelling and lounging on luxury boats, while the rugged east coast all the way up to the north, includes the breathtaking beauty of Bathsheba and Cove Bay, while its rugged Atlantic qualities offering cooling breezes, impressive cliffs and great for waves for surfing and water adventure sports. We’ve compiled the perfect itinerary for your honeymoon in Barbados from where to stay, eat and what to doso that you get the a mix relaxation, fun and see all you need to see on this wonderful island!
Where to Stay
When it comes to your honeymoon in Barbados, look no further than the adults-only Sandals resorts which sit side by side in St Lawrence Gap to the south. Sandals Barbados and the more recently-built Sandals Royal Barbados offer the best all-inclusive experience and are the most fun resorts by far. This is because when you stay at one, you can play at both, meaning you have access to all the amenities of both luxury resorts. This includes the island’s longest lagoon pool where you can enjoy poolside tunes, 19 different restaurants and 14 bars, a four-lane bowling alley and the chic Red Lane Spa where we recommend availing of an al fresco couple’s massage. Our favorite spot has to be the rooftop infinity pool and Skybar at Sandals Royal Barbados where you can enjoy sea views or the sunset, bubbles in hand. All drinks are premium and included in the price, as is the food, which is excellent, from fun teppanyaki dining to French cuisine. Just be sure to book your reservations when you arrive!
Honeymoon really is the time treat yourself, which is why you should consider the Butler Elite service. After all the stress of planning of your big day, imagine handing over every detail of your vacation to someone whose sole purpose is your enjoyment. At this level, rooms and suites are designed with extravagance in mind, with some rooms featuring ocean views, access to a dipping pool and a private soaking tub for two on the terrace. You will also have rotating team of three butlers on call during your stay. The system runs very smoothly – you’re given a mobile phone to contact your Butler on duty, who’ll do everything from bringing you another round of drinks or lunch by the pool, to booking your meals or excursions, nabbing you a prime spot In the morning by the Infinity Pool should you want to lie in, or surprising you with a freshly drawn bath filled with flower petals when you arrive back to your room after dinner. The team is trained in five-star service but still preserves the signature Bajan friendliness, handing over seamlessly to each other, and taking the time to really get to know you, to preempt your needs.
For The Romantics
With so many things to do and people to meet, taking a moment away from it all for just the two of you can be nice. How does a private candlelight dinner on the sand sound? Give your Butler the nod and they can arrange for you to dine on the resort beach under the stars with your own white-gloved waiter, crisp linens and burning torches set in the sand. The four-course gourmet meal with wine and bubbles is not included in the all-inclusive price ($150USD pp), but it’s definitely an experience to remember!
Bajan Night Out
If you really want to immerse yourself in a typical Bajan night life, then visit the lively Oistins Fish Fry that takes place every Friday and Saturday night. Just a 15 minute taxi journey away, you’ll samples the best freshly grilled and fried fish of your life. Hands down, Pat’s Place is the place to go, but don’t let the long line deter you. Grab yourself a rum punch, and soak up the atmosphere as you wait. There’s live music and performances on stage and the right song gets everyone up dancing, while musicians roam between the food and drink shacks and tables egging you on to join in. You’ll be totally mesmerised by Pat’s grillers as they work the marinated fish over the dancing flames – mahi mahi, swordfish, tuna, king fish and more – with delicious sides of sweet potato and coleslaw ($30Bds per portion) to top it off .
It would be a shame to come to beautiful Barbados on honeymoon and not learn something from its past. From pirates to plantations, and even Irish slaves and settlers who came in the early 1600s (known as ‘Red Legs’ due to their reaction to the weather!) whose Celtic influence can still be heard in the accents of local dialects, there’s a lot to cover, and some stories you won’t find in the history books. But with the right tour you can take in the island’s scenery and colorful history in one day. Beautiful Barbados Tours & Excursions is an excellent way to discover the island by land or by sea. Founder and local entrepreneur Sarah Taylor is passionate about sharing the rich culture and turbulent history of Barbados, and she herself has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the happenings of the last few centuries. Her great grandfather was one of the first photographers on the island, and she and her team have plenty of stories to share as you make your way from the sands of Miami Beach and Foul Bayto walk Codrington College to feed the fish and St John’s Church the final resting place of some notable figures, through historical Bridgetown and its Garrison which is a Unesco World Heritage Site and more. You might even get a glimpse of the famous green monkeys who roam the island freely munching on mangos. Best of all you’ll find a cooler in the boot filled with the best rum punch that Barbados has to offer – Mike’s Fresh Bajan Rum Punch. If you meet Mike himself doing the delivery you’ll get even more great stories!
Nestled into the rugged, breezy cliffs on the island’s northerly point is one of Barbados’ best dining experiences – the Animal Flower Cave & Restaurant. An open-air restaurant with laid-back Caribbean vibes, a table by the cliff-edge comes with breathtaking views (and at times a little sea spray!). Catching site of breaching whales or turtles floating happily through the azure blue as you dine is not uncommon. Needless to say seafood is a speciality, but the breadfruit tacos are definitely a winner for lunch. Loaded with flavoursome jerk chicken or BBQ pulled pork and all the trimmings, they pack a serious punch. The West Indian seafood curry with coconut, mango and tamarind is also a must-try. But what about the eponymous cave? Yes, just a short walk from the restaurant you can tour the caves ($25Bds) and swim in a natural eight-foot deep rock pool that looks out to the sea. Perfectly tranquil and closed off from the rest of the world for a romantic moment!
The live like an A-lister outing
A day spent lounging on a boat and snorkelling is a must, and Island Routes offers a luxury catamaran, snorkel and dining experience at Carlisle Bay with just 18 people on board ($241 USD) that is a heavenly way to spend five hours. Taking off from the impressive colonial harbor, you can relax in the air conditioned lounge, or bask in the sun on deck while the private crew and chef prepare your drinks and meal. Everything you need for snorkelling is on board, and you’ll stop twice – once to feed the turtles who can be coaxed to come closer with a promise of food, and then a second time to see a sunken ship wreck, covered in coral which bright tropical fish come to nibble in the clear turquoise water.
Best time to go to Barbados
The best months to visit Barbados is mid-December to mid-April to avail of the best weather which is why you see lots of celebrities enjoying its sandy beaches over the Christmas holidays and New Year. Weather-wise, it enjoys the least tempestuous climate of the islands, making it very attractive for honeymooners. Its position as the most easterly of the Caribbean islands means escape the hurricanes which have assailed its neighbors in recent years. Find out more about where to go when with our Month by Month Honeymoon Calendar which helps you to avoid bad weather months.
Barbados is an ideal spot for a honeymoon of two-parts, which is a trend that’s growing in popularity. Should you want to stop off on the east coast of the US on either side of your visit, there are two direct flight options from Ireland to Miami and New York. From either city, you can easily fly to Barbados. Alternatively Aer Lingus has a new route from Dublin to Bridgetown via Manchesterwhich is very convenient and the great arrival and departure times allow you to maximise your time in Barbados.
How much does it cost?
There are many options available which you can check out by visiting www.sandals.co.uk but the following package is a great a luxury honeymoon in Barbados. Enjoy seven nights at Sandals Royal Barbados in a Royal Seaside Crystal Lagoon One Bedroom Oceanview Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub from €3,375 (£2,855)* per person. Price includes luxury all-inclusive accommodation, Butler Elite service and 24-hour room service, return economy class flights with Aer Lingus from Manchester Airport and resort transfers.
Things to Note
The great news is that you don’t need any vaccines before hopping on that plane, but it is advised as with many other hot countries that you get the Hepatitus A vaccine. However, if you are pregnant or considering getting pregnant soon it’s strongly advised not to try for a baby for six months after travel, so honeymooners would need to take this advice on board and ideally not travel to Zika regions if they want to try for a baby straight away.
*Price is date specific and valid for travel on 13th January 2023 only. Pricing is subject to availability and may change.
For more handy honeymoon info read our Ultimate Honeymoon Packing Checklist or listen to our Honeymoon Q&A Special on the One Fab Day podcast!