St. Michael, Barbados

Photo: Sweetfield Manor Boutique Hotel
Photo: Sweetfield Manor Boutique Hotel

It’s been a while since your last trip to Barbados. Your focus was on the crescent-shaped beaches, the rum drinks, and the calypso beats. This time, you’re planning a mellow trip. Sure, you still want to relax on the gorgeous beaches. But when the sun sets, you’re no longer looking to go crazy. Candlelight, a glass of wine, and maybe a swim under the stars are more your vibe now.

So don’t head toward Bridgetown (the colorful capital), the Deep Water Harbour (where cruise ships arrive), or even a waterfront resort when you land on Barbados. Go inland. Follow the ridge above Bridgetown into Brittons Hill. You’ve heard of the area before. It’s home to a football club and close to two historic sites: the Garrison Savannah (a racetrack) and the George Washington House. You’ll also find one of the best bed and breakfasts in the Caribbean.

Photo: Sweetfield Manor Boutique Hotel
Photo: Sweetfield Manor Boutique Hotel

Sweetfield Manor Boutique Hotel is a former plantation house. It was built in the early 1900s and became the residence of the Dutch ambassador. Antiques and artwork still fill the main house, but modern touches make it a very comfortable place to stay. Upon your arrival, you’re given a rum punch—no one said you had to abstain completely—and a quick history lesson. You’re more focused on the hotel’s beautiful grounds, though. A lagoon-style pool is surrounded by tropical foliage and brightly colored flowers. You can hear a waterfall that must be just out of sight. A huge mahogany tree shades the garden. Stone walkways lead to iron gates, a Koi pond, and little nooks with wooden tables. Plus peacocks seem to know their way around the property.

You can see games in the living room, while the veranda will be the perfect spot for morning coffee. Breakfast, which includes four courses, sounds like a treat. Plus movies and wine are offered outside at night. And don’t forget the rooms. There are only seven of them, and they have names like the Island Room, the Bananaquit Corner, and the Captain’s Quarters. You opt for the Hummingbird Nook. Its covered patio has a swinging daybed and a view of the pool. It will be the perfect spot to read, nap, and, yes, take that moonlit swim later in the evening. You feel mellow already.

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