Getting to Know Barbados: The Holetown Experience
The oldest town in Barbados, Holetown is the site of the first British landing and has been a permanent settlement since 1627. Situated in the prestigious St James Parish on the beautiful west coast, it is at the heart of the island’s most stylish and sophisticated holiday destination and a regular haunt of A-List celebrities. Here are some of the great things to experience in this wonderful, little town.
Holetown offers a world-class shopping experience with the finest boutiques in Barbados selling many high-end brands. The main shopping location is the elegant Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, which boasts over one hundred cafés, restaurants, boutiques and stores, selling everything from electronics and watches to haute couture and jewellery. Brands include Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tag Hauer, Ralph Loren, Hugo Boss, Bvlgari, Michael Kors and countless more. Offering individual service and duty-free prices, it’s a popular destination for many west coast visitors.
Golfers who visit Holetown have a lot to get excited about as there are two premier, 18-hole golf courses within a mile and a half of the town centre. These are the Country Club which hosted the World Golf Championships World Cup in 2006 and the stunning, Robert Trent Jones Jnr. designed course, here at the Royal Westmoreland.
With excellent facilities, including buggies and pro-stores, and great views over the Caribbean sea, they offer a truly spectacular golfing experience. 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.
There’s nothing better for helping you unwind on your holiday than a spa treatment and Holetown has the best places to get pampered on the island. There are four spa centres in the town, each offering exceptional personal service and signature treatments in luxurious surroundings.
The Glo Spa Salon, the Body Clinic, the Loft Spa and the Atera Boutique Spa are all centrally located, and offer everything from single treatment sessions to a full day of blissful indulgence for both men and women.
On the coast of Holetown, you’ll find the Folkestone Marine Park. This unique marine reserve has an onshore visitors’ centre and an offshore conservation area. Set on a beautiful and well-maintained beach, the visitors’ centre includes an aquarium that features many rare marine species, including tropical fish, corals and sponges.
For the best experience, you can book a snorkelling trip with the centre. Snorkelers get to explore the park’s nearby reef and can see many fish and other marine life that live on it. These include sea anemones, sea lilies, corals and sponges.
For those with diving experience, more excitement awaits a little further out to sea with the opportunity to see the artificial reef growing on the wreck of the purposely scuttled Stavronikita. At a depth of 120ft, it is advised that you book a guided dive with one of the local scuba diving operators.
Around the town
Being small, Holetown is a great place to explore on foot and there’s quite a lot to see if you want to get a real feel for the place. One popular attraction is the St James Parish Church where you can join one of the daily tours and learn about the site’s interesting history and see its fascinating monuments and historical artefacts, some of which date back to the 1600s. Another interesting feature to look at is the Holetown monument, erected in 1905 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landing of the first English settlers.
To get an insider’s understanding of the sugar trade and its importance to the island, take a tour of the Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum. Here you can learn all about the history of sugar cultivation and production on Barbados and, as the museum is situated on the site of the Portvale Sugar Factory, compare how this differs to the modern day.
Holetown has a wealth of places to dine and drink and some of the most exclusive include The Tides, which specialises in Caribbean food and seafood; the Fusion Rooftop, which serves up international dishes, including sushi and Asian flavours; the internationally renowned The Cliff, which caters for a range of international and Caribbean tastes; and the L’Acajou, which as the name suggests, cooks up the finest French cuisine. There are many more top-quality restaurants in and around the town.
Holetown also has some fantastic places to enjoy a drink. With selective wines and delicious cocktails in a sumptuous setting, Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge is a popular choice for many. If you want a little more in the way of music or even fancy a dance, then the One Love Bar and Red Door Lounge are the places to go, offering both live music and DJs.
Holetown is a little place with a lot to offer. Home to only 1600 people, it boasts the most exclusive scene on the island. With stunning beaches, world-class shopping, exceptional restaurants and entertaining bars, it’s no wonder it’s a haven for A-List celebrities.
If Holetown seems like your idea of holiday heaven, why not stay at one of the luxury villas and apartments here at the Royal Westmoreland? We’re right on the doorstep.
Image source: http://www.limegrove.com/