Barbados was named the world’s #1 celebrity hotspot in 2007 and received the Caribbean’s first and only Zagat rating in 2008; recognition of superior hospitality. A “Best Of” guide was published this year, highlighting the most worthy attractions in Barbados and serving as a handbook to allow visitors the opportunity to get a pure and satisfying experience from their next vacation.
If there is a predominant theme in the guide and, in turn, on the island, it is the high level of diversity that saturates the small Caribbean island (460 square kilometers). New attractions create a unique style throughout Barbados, while the oldest and most established testimonials to its historic flavor are refreshed and given new life in the flattering phrases of the Zagat guide. With so much to see and do, it would be virtually impossible to tackle all of their recommendations. Next, in the form of a chocolate sampler, is an eclectic taste of the island.
The Lexy Piano Bar claims to be “sophisticated, elegantly casual, and air-conditioned.” Cheesy pun aside, the new nightspot boasts a swanky slice of New York and offers a half-show, half-party atmosphere that lasts until 2am. According to the Zagat Guide, “Locals and visitors make requests and join in…mixed drinks, wine and champagne ensure all inhibitions are melted away.”
For the island’s famous flying fish and rum punch, visitors should stop by the newly renovated Oistins Fish Fry on Friday and Saturday nights. The event is a popular forum to mingle with Barbadian locals, eat great seafood and listen to great music.
Hands-on dining presides over the Elbow Room, instituting a “do it yourself” experience in which you “choose from a variety of pre-seasoned meats (beef, chicken, and fish) and then grill them over lava stone.” hot.
The Arlington House Museum recently underwent an elaborate renovation. Reopened less than a month ago, the 3-story building has become an interactive tribute to the history and culture of Barbados. The ground floor, ‘Speightstown Memories’, gives insight into the early life of the island township. The history of the colonization of the island and the sugar cane industry can be found in ‘Plantation Memories’, on the second floor. And a talking pirate guides the third-floor ‘Wharf Memories’ exhibit, a tribute to Speightstown’s former commercial glory.
Barbados’ most popular tourist attraction, Harrison’s Cave, is back open after a year of renovation. The newly upgraded cavern, a haven for crystallized limestone formations and stalactites and stalagmites, features six new wheelchair-accessible trams, as well as a new ventilation, drainage, electrical and lighting system. Other facilities have been added to the site, including interactive displays, a souvenir shop, and a snack bar.
The Zagat guide especially highlights Barbados’ rich culture, cuisine and natural attractions in colorful descriptions that jump off the page, enticing you to book the next flight out. By receiving Zagat approval, the would-be visitor can feel confident about vacationing on the island, knowing that there are no frills in the guidebook, that every vibrant adjective is authentic.