Celebs love Barbados and I love to emulate the rich and famous on my holidays, so when the chance to visit came up as part of the Barbados Blogathon, I couldn’t say no. Who could refuse the chance to rub shoulders with Simon Cowell and hang out with Rihanna?
Well that didn’t happen exactly but I did track down all their favourite parts of the island and pretend they were there with me.
When celebrities touch down on the island they head to the parish of St James. This eye-wateringly beautiful stretch of the West Coast is where Simon Cowell chooses to rent villas like Cove Spring House when he is in town. It is also home to the infamous and prestigious Sandy Lane Hotel and Residences, the location Oprah chose to interview Rihanna when she came to the island. Also occupying a slice of this delicious coast is the The Club Barbados Resort and Spa, the luxury hotel at an affordable price, which was my happy home for a week. The Club’s top notch location comes with a la carte dining included in the all inclusive package, plus daily afternoon tea and a pop up Mojito bar at the pool for no other reason than it being a Thursday.
Holetown is the shopping and residential heart of St James and is where Cliff Richard owns a Barbadian home. Set back from the beach it offers a little more privacy than the coast which is all public property. Residents laughingly tell the story of the time Cilla Black came to visit Cliff and a local Rasta was dared to serenade her on the beach with ‘Surprise Surprise’. This story aside it is clear that Barbados is popular with celebrities because the locals do not know or care who they are. They can wander around town largely unobstructed, yet despite keeping my beady eyes open at all times I saw neither Cliff nor Cilla. Shame.
The latest edition to the Holetown shopping scene is sure to keep the rich and famous happy. Limegrove Lifestyle Centre is a luxury retail and residential complex housing brands such as Gucci, Burberry and Cartier, as well as high-end eateries and a cinema. Further down the street is the most charming shopping village I have ever seen, modelled on the traditional Barbados chattel houses. In ice cream colours of lemon and pink, the little huts hosts clothing and gift boutiques full of things you will want to take home.
All that shopping is sure to make even the lightest eating celebrity hungry and just across the road is a suitably stylish establishment to do as such. The Tides is a classy seafront venue that looks like a luxury adult tree house. You dine at The Tides surrounded by white curtains hanging from the trees with the warm ocean lapping the beach inches from your feet. The service is exceptional, the seafood exquisite and the desserts are not to be missed.
Rihanna is the star of the latest Barbados Tourism campaign and one place she is pictured posing that I had to check out for myself was Animal Flower Cave. Situated on the North Point of Barbados the cave is a hideaway from the dramatic explosions of the Atlantic Sea as it hits the cliffs. In 1912 steps were carved out of the coral down into the cave so that tourists could view the sea anemones, locally called animal flowers, after which the cave is named. This stunning setting has been the backdrop of music videos and one Canadian couple even chose it to hold their wedding here.
If it was still running I have no doubt that the celebrities coming to Barbados would be travelling by Concorde. Barbados was one of 4 main routes served by Concorde after London, Paris and New York and could take passengers from London to Barbados in a super sonic 3 hours and 45 minutes. Alas, today we shall have to be placated with flying within the earth’s stratosphere but in Barbados you can get a unique insight into flying Concorde at the Concorde Experience. In a discreet looking hangar right next to the international airport (I checked in for my flight and then headed over there instead of waiting in departures) is a British Airways Concorde G-BOAE. Tickets priced approx. £15 grant you a guided tour of the Concorde and a chance to get on-board.
The cabin is tiny, as are the windows to prevent bursting, and the hold area to keep weight down. Passengers used to send their luggage ahead of them on regular flights so it was waiting for them at the other side. The whole plane is classed as First Class, with little leather seats and lunch served on china. On board I watched a video filmed live on Concorde showing the excitement and sociability of the flight, with the ecstatic faces of Judith Chalmers, Michael Winner and, randomly, Andi Peters popping up on screen. At a speed of 23 miles a minute Concorde flies faster than sound and covers the length of Barbados (21 miles) in the time it takes to open your laptop. Bet they didn’t have Wi-Fi on-board though!
For more information on shopping in Barbados visit travellinghshopahlic.com. For more on my experience at The Club Barbados Resort and Spa during the Barbados Blogathon click here. Thanks to Elite Island, Tropical Sky and Barbados Tourism for sponsoring this project.