Barbados is a beautiful destination; going all-inclusive will make for a luxurious trip for all ages. It’s also incredibly popular with tourists, so there are many resorts to choose from! In this guide to the best all-inclusive resorts in Barbados, I’ll give you a rundown of my favorite resorts so that you can narrow your search.
I have been to Barbados a few times, and I can vouch for it being an excellent vacation spot. However, my experience with all-inclusive resorts (across the world, not just in Barbados) has been mixed. I’ve had some bad experiences before, so I know what to look for in a good, relaxing resort!
As well as giving you my top 6 resorts, I’ll give you a quick guide on what to look for, as well as some frequently asked questions about visiting Barbados for the first time.
The Bottom Line Up Front
I have to go with Sugar Bay Barbados as my top pick. It’s just what you imagine an all-inclusive vacation in Barbados to be. An incredible view, gorgeous food, and plenty of activities, as well as modern and spacious rooms. I’d wholeheartedly recommend checking it out, but keep in mind there’s busy nightlife here!
My Top Picks at a Glance
- Sugar Bay Barbados– gorgeous food, great customer service, and incredible pools and gardens
- Coconut Beach Hotel– beautiful beach, good entertainment, tasty seafood
- Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels– great outdoor activities, modern rooms, good kids club
- O2 Beach Club and Spa – good nightlife and plenty of activities
- The Crane Resort – is great for families; a lot of fun activities for kids, good food
- Wave Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels– a good all-rounder with clean, bright rooms and plenty of outdoor activities
What to Look for in an All-Inclusive Resort in Barbados
If you’ve never booked all-inclusive before, you might wonder what to look for. Here’s a quick guide:
The first thing to think about is the food! The great thing about all-inclusive is that you can enjoy trying different stuff without worrying about wasting money: you’ve already paid for it, so now is the time to experiment with cuisine you wouldn’t normally eat.
However, there’s a downside to all-inclusive resorts. Many of them offer buffet-style food, which is great for families, as there’s usually something there that kids will enjoy. However, the buffet quality can be hit-and-miss, especially if you arrive later in the time slot and there’s not much left.
Some resorts have multiple restaurants offering different types of cuisines. I’d recommend this, as you can rotate between them!
All-inclusive usually includes drinks, too. You won’t have to moderate your cocktail consumption for financial reasons (but sensible drinking guidance still applies). There’s nothing quite like enjoying a drink from a swim-up bar.
Some resorts have excellent coffee, too, which is a bonus.
Pools and Spa
Most families head to resorts to enjoy swimming, and usually, resorts have multiple pools. You can book a suite with a private pool if you prefer to swim alone, but these are more expensive.
Barbados is incredible for all kinds of outdoor activities. Snorkeling is a particular highlight, and I’d recommend dipping into their crystal-clear waters if you can. If you love water sports, there are tons of options in Barbados. Some resorts offer free lessons in certain activities, too.
A good kids club will help you relax while your kids are entertained! If you’re on vacation with kids I would highly recommend looking for a kids club. It’s fun for them and gives you some breathing room.
Suites can vary in size, and come with different amenities depending on your budget. The resorts on this list typically have pretty luxurious suites, and you can splurge on a penthouse suite or a suite with a private pool if you have the budget for it.
Before I give you the rundown of my favorite resorts in Barbados, I wanted to talk about my selection criteria. I chose these resorts based on the following:
Food is important for any vacation, but especially if you’re going all-inclusive, as it’s such a good opportunity to enjoy food and drink! I’ve chosen resorts with excellent food, using local ingredients where possible.
There are tons of activities to do in Barbados, and each resort I have chosen has something for everyone, from water activities to spa days.
The resorts on this list have comfortable rooms with decent beds, places to hang out, and good amenities. From family rooms to penthouse suites, there should be something on this list for everyone that ticks all the boxes in terms of quality.
Top 6 All-Inclusive Resorts in Barbados
Here are my personal top 6 resorts to check out in Barbados. I’ve included their pros and cons, too, so you can see which one works best for you!
1. Sugar Bay Barbados
Sugar Bay Barbados has to be my top pick. It ticks all the boxes: excellent food, incredible service, great facilities, and activities to suit everyone. It’s one of the pricier options on this list, but it has amazing customer reviews for good reason.
First, let’s talk about the food. There are a lot of options here. The Reef Restaurant offers buffet-style breakfast, healthy lunches, afternoon tea, and international buffet dinners. If you have a fussy eater in your group, they’ll enjoy all the choices, and the al fresco dining is beautiful. There’s also Sizzle Steakhouse for delicious steaks, Umi serving up Asian-style dishes, and Driftwood Cafe for lighter bites.
There are five all-inclusive bars too, serving up anything from rum punch to a nice cool beer. Drinks are included in the price of your stay, so you can check out all the bars while you’re there!
If you have kids, there are babysitting services here, from babies to teenagers, with good activities to keep them occupied. The pools are beautiful, and there’s a spa and fitness center with up-to-date facilities (and some very relaxing spa treatments).
The rooms are beautiful. While the signature rooms are clean and calming (and come with relaxing views of either the pools or the tropical gardens), the oceanfront rooms are absolutely gorgeous and well worth splurging on if you can. There’s nothing like waking up in a modern suite, sitting out on the balcony, and watching the ocean.
If I had to pick a downside, I’d say the proximity of some of the oceanfront rooms to the bar could be a problem if you prefer an early night. The party can keep going until quite late, and this doesn’t suit everyone.
- Gorgeous, modern rooms
- Beautiful views
- Good babysitting services
- Spa and pools
- Great food
- The proximity of some rooms to the bar may be a problem
2. Coconut Court Beach Hotel
The Coconut Court Beach Hotel stands out for me because of the gorgeous views. Located on a beautiful, pristine sandy beach, it’s the kind of holiday I daydream about on cold, grey days at home. It has excellent food and facilities, too.
This hotel does not advertise itself as all-inclusive, however, it does offer meal packages that pretty much amount to the same thing. Paying for the full board meal package allows guests access to Coco’s Beachside Restaurant & Bar, Jake’s Island Grille, and Captain Charlie’s, a bar offering light lunches. Just remember to book the meal packages in advance. The food at Jake’s is particularly tasty, especially if you like fresh seafood.
The services and amenities are pretty good. Firstly, the beach and boardwalk are stunning: you could spend your whole holiday there with a good book and a cocktail, enjoying the sun and all the health benefits of the beach. There’s also the freshwater swimming pool, a gift shop, weekly live entertainment, and an activities desk offering advice and tips on how best to explore the island. If you can, I’d recommend catching one of their moonlight movies on the beach, a unique and fun experience.
Let’s talk about the rooms. There are apartment complexes tucked away near the back of the resort, which is good for families. They’re pretty spacious and cozy. The oceanfront rooms are amazing, with the most beautiful views from the balconies. I’d say the rooms aren’t as modern as other hotels on this list, but they do look warm and welcoming.
- Beautiful beachfront
- Cozy, spacious rooms
- Good food
- Plenty of entertainment
- The rooms aren’t as modern as some other resorts on this list
3. Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels would be a great destination for a honeymoon. I’d recommend this for outdoorsy, active couples or families looking to have adventures as well as relax on the beach (you might also like our guide to the best adults-only all-inclusive resorts if you’re planning your honeymoon).
The food is very nice. Reflections offer traditional all-inclusive buffet-style food, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’d rather go for Caribbean food, you can check out Drifters, which is open for lunch and dinner. Plus, you can enjoy the bars, including The Beach Bar for cocktails, The Cave Bar for swim-up drinks (which has been named one of the top ten swim-up bars in the world!), and the Vista Coffee & Wine Bar, which has some gorgeous coffee.
There are tons of activities to enjoy here. You can enjoy free snorkeling, sailing, waterskiing, and banana-boat lessons, so there’s plenty to do. Plus, the pool is beautiful, and the fitness center has plenty of equipment if you want to continue your workouts on vacation. If you’re taking kids with you, the entertainment for them is great, with tons of activities to keep them occupied while you relax by the pool.
The rooms are spacious and modern, and the oceanfront rooms are particularly beautiful. The decor is warm and cozy, and they’re always clean and well-presented.
I’d say the downside is that the communal areas are quite small. At busy times, it can feel a little crowded.
- Great food
- Tons of fun activities
- Good kids club
- The rooms are modern and clean
- Communal areas can get a little crowded
4. O2 Beach Club and Spa
O2 Beach Club and Spa is the place to go if you want to enjoy the nightlife. This resort is busy, with plenty of great DJs and entertainment.
The food is good. Elements have a range of cuisines including Asian, Italian, and the Mediterranean. Bluefin is good for seafood, salad, and pizza. Brisa is a bustling bar with excellent tapas. Oasis is a cozy cafe with some decent coffee. If you want to go all out, I’d recommend checking out Oro for fine dining and incredible views.
There are some water-based activities including boogie boarding, snorkeling, and kayaking. You can even snorkel with the turtles at the beach, which is incredible. You can relax in one of the pools or enjoy the whirlpool tubs, or lay out on the sun terrace. In terms of nightlife, you can enjoy the ‘O2 Lime’, an event with snow cones, popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Other activities include beach cricket, aqua aerobics, and wine-and-cheese tasting nights.
The rooms are incredible. If you can spring for a suite, they’re great: roomy and modern with a fully-stocked mini-bar, a coffee & espresso maker, spa credits, and a personalized concierge service. Some of these perks are reserved for the most expensive suites, but if you want to go all-out, you have the option here. The two-bedroom suites are cozy and bright, perfect for families.
The downside with this resort is that the food in the Elements restaurant could be better. Buffet-style food in all-inclusive resorts can be hit-and-miss, and some of the food here could be tastier.
- Good nightlife and a lot of activities
- Gorgeous suites
- Good coffee and cocktails
- Plenty to do for all ages
- The buffet-style food could be better
5. The Crane Resort
The Crane Resort was established in 1887, so there’s plenty of history here. I think it’s a good all-rounder, and a great resort for a family vacation (check out our guide to the best Caribbean islands for families for more tips on planning the best vacation).
There are 8 restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from. You can go for Italian, Caribbean, or Italian food, or enjoy visiting The Carriage House for cocktails and light bites to eat. Bar 1887 has some amazing drinks and decent tapas, too. I’d also recommend checking out The Village Cafe, which has amazing treats and good coffee.
There’s plenty to do here for all the family. The kids club is a complimentary service for children aged 4-12, and they can enjoy crafts, storytime, sandcastle competitions, and talent shows. There are 5 outdoor pools, a modern gym, and a fully lit tennis court, so you can stay active throughout your stay. If you’d rather relax, you can head to the Serenity Spa, which has a ton of treatments including massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.
The suites are beautiful. The rooftop pool suite is amazing if you want to enjoy a private swim with a view, or you can go for the three-bed suite with a contemporary pool, which is amazing for families. If you want luxury, check out the penthouse suite with a rooftop pool. These suites are pretty special.
If I had to pick a downside, I’d say that some of the cheaper suites need an upgrade, and they look a little worn.
- Tons to do for kids
- A lot of food options
- Some of the suites are brilliant
- Pools, gym, and tennis court are good if you want to stay active
- Some of the cheaper suites are beginning to look a little worn
6. Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels
Another hotel by Elegant Hotels, Waves Hotel & Spa is a good hotel for couples, families, or groups of friends. It has a lot to offer including delicious food and a great spa.
There are a few options for food, including Mediterranean, Asian, and deli food. There are fewer choices than some of the other resorts on this list, but the food itself is delicious.
In terms of activities, you can enjoy a fitness center, an adults-only pool, a family pool, and several water-based activities (including boating, snorkeling, kayaking, water-skiing, and sailing). They have some pretty competitive games of beach cricket, and the poolside service is amazing. ‘Pool Ambassadors’ will bring you drinks, snacks, and sun cream as you enjoy the beautiful pools.
The suites are decent: not the most luxurious, but modern and clean. The oceanfront suites are particularly lovely, with incredible views.
The downside of this hotel is that the food options are pretty limited, so if you’re a foodie, you might want to check out one of the other resorts on this list instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you go, here are some frequently asked questions:
Question: What’s the weather like in Barbados?
Answer: It’s a tropical climate, so you can expect a variety of weather throughout the year. It’s hot all year round, but cooler from December to April. It’s pretty breezy all year, too.
Question: Can I speak English in Barbados?
Answer: Yes! The official language of Barbados is English, so you won’t have to worry. The majority of the residents speak Bajan, an English-based language, but many people speak standard English too.
Question: What should I check out while I’m there?
Answer: Other than the many stunning beaches, there are a few things you can check out. Pamir is a sunken ship, and perfect for beginner scuba divers to check out. I’d also recommend the Barbados Turtle & Shipwreck Snorkel Adventure if you want to encounter turtles close-up. Seeing these little guys swim by is just incredible.
Question: What should I take with me?
Answer: If you’re packing for Barbados, I’d say the key thing to go for is light layers. Obviously, you’ll need swimwear, but many resorts require you to dress up a little for meals, so think light shirts/maxi dresses you can wear without overheating.
You can check out our guide on what to pack for a vacation in Jamaica – the guidance is pretty similar for Barbados.
To Sum Up …
Sugar Bay Barbados is my top pick. It’s a beautiful resort, the food is great, and the suites are lovely. The nightlife is busy, but there’s plenty to do for all ages. Any of the resorts on this list will give you a lovely vacation, but if I had to pick one for the top spot, it would be Sugar Bay.
Hopefully, this has helped you in your search for the best all-inclusive resorts in Barbados! Whether you’re going for a long stay or you’re on a Caribbean island hop, there’s something on this list to suit everyone.