Getting to Know Barbados: St James’ Parish

Royal Westmoreland

Of all the parishes in Barbados, St James is the most prestigious. Home to the most luxurious resorts, the finest restaurants and the island’s most chic boutiques, it occupies the most beautiful location on the west coast with perfect beaches and glorious views. It’s a place where the well-heeled come to relax and where every need is catered for. Here we’ll look at what makes St James Parish so special.

Exquisite Dining

Everyone loves to go out for dinner when on vacation and those staying in and around St James are spoiled for choice. The parish has a wealth of great places to dine out and these include the island’s most exclusive restaurants.

Perhaps the most well-known is the internationally celebrated The Cliff, which serves up views as stunning as its amazing international and Caribbean dishes. For lovers of French cuisine, there’s the fabulous L’Acajou, and if seafood is your thing, you’ll adore The Tides. If you like flavours with a bit of a kick, visit the Fusion Rooftop, which serves up international cuisine, including Asian dishes.

After dinner, head to one of the fantastic local bars to enjoy a drink. The sumptuous Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge serves some delectable wines and cocktails and is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a relaxing evening. For a bit more action, the One Love Bar and Red Door Lounge are the places to go if you want to enjoy live music or a have a dance at the disco.

World class shopping

For the best shopping experience in Barbados, take a trip into Holetown. Here you’ll discover the finest boutiques selling the top brands. The town’s premier shopping attraction is the stylish Limegrove Lifestyle Centre where you’ll find over one hundred stores and eateries selling everything from designer clothing and perfumes to electronics and jewellery. With famous brands, like Louis Vuitton, Boss, Tag Hauer, Cartier, Ralph Loren and Michael Kors on offer, it’s a shopper’s paradise. Indeed, with duty-free prices, it’s also a great place to bag a bargain.

Beautiful beaches, fabulous seas

The coastline of St James’ Parish is stunning and there are numerous stretches of pristine, sandy beaches you can spend the day at. Paynes Bay and Mullins Beach are, perhaps, the visitors’ favourites.

One place you should take a visit to is the Folkestone Marine Park, just north of Holetown. This exceptional stretch of coastline is home to a unique marine reserve and features not only a glorious beach but an offshore conservation area. It’s the perfect place to book a snorkelling trip and explore the nearby reef and wide variety of tropical fish, anemones, turtles, corals and sponges that live there.

If you fancy a diving trip, you’ll also get the chance to explore some of the amazing shipwrecks that lie a little further out to sea. Some of these boats were purposely sunk to help create artificial reefs and are now thriving with sea life and are great places for an underwater adventure.

Exclusive golf and polo

St James is the home of some remarkable sporting centres and makes an ideal destination for golfers and polo enthusiasts. Across the parish, there is the opportunity to play golf on the Sandy Lane Country Club course, which hosted the World Golf Championships World Cup in 2006, the stunning, Robert Trent Jones Jnr. designed course, here at the Royal Westmoreland, and the Apes Hill Golf Course. All the clubs offer superb facilities, including buggies and pro-stores, together with spectacular views over the Caribbean Sea. For those new to the sport or wanting to improve their game, there’s the opportunity to take lessons with professional golfers at the Royal Westmoreland.

If you love polo, you’ll be pleased to know that it is a popular sport on the island and the two clubs in St James, Apes Hill and Barbados Polo Club, attract players from around the globe. Apes Hill was recently a host to Prince Harry who took part in a charity match. For visitors, it is possible to hire horses and facilities to play and beginners can even take lessons. There are regular matches, too, if you prefer the more leisurely activity of spectating while enjoying a rum cocktail.

St. James Parish Church

St James is full of interesting history. It’s main town, Holetown, is the site of the first British settlement back in the 17th century and one of its most celebrated buildings is St. James Parish Church, the oldest church in Barbados. Built in the typical English style of the period, it has many of the features you would expect from such an old church, including gargoyles and commemorative plaques. The church’s famous bell, cast in 1696, is inscribed with the phrase ‘God bless King William’, referring to William of Orange who reigned alongside his wife, Queen Mary, from 1689 to 1702.

The church is a popular tourist attraction and well worth a visit. Its quaint cemetery is particularly fascinating as you’ll get to see the gravestones of some of the island’s first British settlers.

Summing up

For those looking for a special place for their holidays, St James Parish has everything you could ask for: exceptional accommodation and personal service, first-class dining, beautiful beaches, great shopping, premier sporting facilities and wonderful history. With all this, it is no surprise, that you often see celebrities dotted around the place.

If you are looking for luxury accommodation right in the heart of St James Parish, take a look at the prestigious villas and apartments here at the Royal Westmoreland.