Mullins Beach

Mullins Beach

Well, my first trip to the Caribbean was justly in Barbados and I made full use of my time there. So here are some pics and recommendations for hotels and restaurants. If it’s Barbados beaches you’re after, then book a hotel on the West Coast. This is also called the Platinum Coast because of all the expensive hotels, but play your cards right and you’ll find some excellent deals.

The best deals are in late October and November when the hurricane season is nearing its end. In fact, Barbados has one of the lowest probabilities of being hit by a proper hurricane; they all start there as rain or small storms and then they progress (and enlarge) northwards and eastwards. Try to get a place around Holetown with its variety of shopping malls and good bus connections if you are not driving. I recommend Paradise Holiday Rentals.

View from Wayne Rooney's pool towards Joe Calzaghe's house in Barbados

View from Wayne Rooney’s pool towards Joe Calzaghe’s house

If it’s a large party of you, such as a wedding party, did you know you can  rent a villa owned by sports personalities like Wayne Rooney, Stuart Pearce, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Savage, Steve McLaren, Joe Calzaghe or Howard Wilkinson? Check out the rates (that are as low as £80/ppd) of the Royal Westmoreland. I have written about these in another article, ‘cos I stayed in one of them myself.

The West Coast is where the best restaurants in Barbados are. By general consensus, The Cliff is the best place for dinner . The chef, Paul Owens, nicknamed ‘the Scouse’ for obvious reasons, has many a story to tell about the VIPs who dine there: they include Rihanna, Westlife, Simon Cowell, Beyonce & Jay-Z and the Rooneys. This one, however, takes the cookie.

The Cliff restaurant, Barbados

The Cliff restaurant at night.

“I was sitting here with Craig, my sous-chef and a lady comes along who was the PR of a Saudi prince. We started talking as she was from Liverpool as well. The prince was on a private Jumbo jet on a tour of the world. ‘Well, I joked with her when you pass over tomorrow with the jet plane, give me a wave’. ‘OK she says, just you wait here tomorrow at 3:30 in the afternoon’. We were expecting something like a message from the tail of the plane, so at 3.30pm we got out, and stood at the end of the cliff, and a jet passed by, a proper 747, and it came down to 500ft. The noise was awesome; everyone thought it was going to crash on the restaurant. It wobbled left and right to give us a wave and then went straight up. Then she texted me, ‘what did you think of THAT?’

Coming close second is the new Cin Cin which was opened in summer 2011 with some glorious taste combinations by chef Larry Rogers. Just make sure that you ask the valet where he parked your car. In our case, he’d moved our car and we got into another vehicle that was standing in the spot we parked it! Hey, it was similar!

Other good restaurants in Barbados that I have eaten ion and recommend are the Italian Daphne’s, a subsidiary of its famous London parent (also open on Sunday evening, when it’s difficult to find a restaurant) ; Lone Star , set on a beach where you can swim with turtles with some great seafood; and Mullins, also set on a beach with an adjoining spa where you can have one of several treatments.

The affable Tyron Sandiford

The affable Tyron

Lastly: if you want a reliable taxi driver in Barbados who can pick you up from the airport, drive you around or show you the sights: Try Tyron Sandiford (246) 231 5709 at Velvet Taxis. If he, or his daughter Maria (246) 236 1814 aren’t available, they will arrange for an equally reliable taxi to pick you up from wherever and whenever. As always agree the price in advance and make sure you know if it’s US or Barbadian dollars you’re talking about.