Ever considered having a holiday in Barbados during the festive season?
Many of our clients choose to spend Christmas in Barbados, where the weather is generally sunny and dry, and temperatures hover in the mid-to-high twenties.
But it’s not only the Caribbean warmth that calls them to this beautiful island; it’s the whole holiday experience.
So, what is it like to spend a luxury Christmas in Barbados? Does Santa still come? Can you have a traditional turkey dinner? We’ve got the lowdown on what you can expect on a Yuletide luxury holiday here.
Sunshine at Christmas time?
Christmas in the UK can be a chilly affair. At best there’s a fresh dusting of snow; at worst, rain and freezing temperatures. For many, this makes for a romantic Christmas atmosphere. Being wrapped up in a hat and scarf, sipping on a warm cup of mulled wine feels like the best way to get into the Christmas spirit. Christmas in the sun meanwhile might feel truly alien.
Yet many of us often long for a break from the annual routine, to do something really special with our loved ones at Christmas time. What could be more memorable than spending Christmas Eve at a beach barbecue or taking your after-lunch nap on a sun lounger? A Christmas break in Barbados offers the opportunity to do just that and more.
The weather in Barbados during Christmas can reach highs of 29°C whilst you are watching the Queen's speech and even during the evening when you are normally watching a classic Christmas movie, the temperature only dips to a comfortable 23°C.
Plus, not only can you expect better temperatures but you can also enjoy having longer days at your disposal. In contrast to December in the UK, where the sun often rises after we start work and sets before we finish, thanks to being closer to the equator, the day length doesn’t vary that much in Barbados. So, on top of getting a good dose of warm rays to life the spirits, you’ll also have more time to celebrate Christmas day. And because Barbadians love Christmas, they’ll even be celebrating with you too.
How Sandy Lane celebrates Christmas in Barbados
All the trimmings?
Do you find it hard to imagine Christmas without turkey and roast potatoes? You don’t need to because all of the luxury Barbados hotels in our collection have been welcoming British guests for years, and they know exactly how to cater to your tastes.
Most hotels will provide extravagant Christmas buffets with all of your favourites plus some more regional fare too so if you want to break with tradition and have freshly caught fish, lobster or shrimp for Christmas dinner instead, that’s no problem either.
For an authentic Barbadian Christmas meal, make sure you try Jug Jug. This mix of pigeon peas, salted meat, corn, minced pork and herbs is a lot like haggis and is the perfect accompaniment to a sumptuous Christmas dinner.
Cobblers Cove – the island’s only Relais & Châteaux hotel – is one place where you’ll find a memorable Christmas dinner, where the incredible chefs will provide a mouth-watering selection of familiar favourites some even with a Caribbean twist or two.
Another popular favourite for Christmas dinner is The Atlantis hotel, which is situated on the island’s quieter, more rugged, eastern side and boasts spectacular ocean views. Here you can enjoy authentic Bajan cuisine while being serenaded by a live steel band.
To top it all off, there’s the rum. On an island renowned for its distilleries you won’t be hard-pressed to find a delicious Christmas cake made to local recipes. The Bajan version is called a Great Cake. And you may even like to pay a visit to the Mount Gay rum distillery during your stay; a day trip that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!
Santa in the Sun
If you’re travelling with kids in tow then there’s no need to panic – Father Christmas visits the Caribbean too!
Most resorts will have an appearance from Saint Nick, many on Christmas day itself.
At the inimitable west coast hotel, Sandy Lane, for example, Santa arrives in a different style each year and it’s always a big event.
Whether he’s drummed in by a precession riding a festive Segway, on tractor-drawn sleigh across the sand, or even parachuting right down onto the beach (yes that really happened!), guests of all ages are in for a treat.
At Sandy Lane, every guest staying on Christmas Day receives a personalised gift from the hotel itself, too.
Adult-only properties don’t miss out on the Yuletide cheer either. For example, the guests at the luxuriously sophisticated The House by Elegant Hotels will be treated to an informal carol concert from a local Barbadian youth choir during their stay this year.
Family fun and games
Another traditional Christmas activity is playing games as a family, and you’ll find that there’s plenty of all-age festive fun to be had in Barbados during Christmas.
Many resorts plan a special Christmas programme with younger guests in mind. At Waves Resort & Spa by Elegant Hotels, for example, there’s a "12 days of Christmas treasure hunt", whilst Sandy Lane’s annual Christmas Day sandcastle competition has become quite the fixture with some truly impressive structures being produced!
Traditional Sandy Lane Sandcastle competition on Christmas day
Of course, quintessentially Caribbean experiences are always at your fingertips. At Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels guests are invited to spend some time with the resort’s green monkeys on Christmas morning; definitely not something you’d wake up to in Britain!
Equally, you might take some time out of the celebrations to swim with Hawksbill turtles. Most hotels offer trips to see these majestic creatures but few are better placed than the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, where turtles bask just off the shore and guests can reach them by kayak or paddleboard.
Once you have recovered from the excess of your Christmas Day in Barbados, what else is there to do? For Boxing Day back in the UK most people would go on a traditional walk to work off the excess of yesterday's dinner. Naturally, you can do that in Barbados too - albeit this time in shorts and T-shirt rather than full winter gear. There is also the annual Boxing Day Races which takes place at the Garrison Savannah Racecourse. This has become a tradition in Barbados in itself so it's certainly worth attending.
Your own Christmas hideaway
Like the idea of Bajan sunshine and culture but want more privacy and flexibility than you’d find in a hotel? That can certainly be arranged when staying in a luxury Barbados villa. These impressive private homes offer acres of space and are perfect for an extended family getaway. You can choose to cook Christmas dinner for yourselves or leave that to your private chef, who will cater entirely to your tastes should you wish.
With all this and more to recommend Barbados as a Christmas holiday spot, we wonder if you’re already imagining a seasonal break?
It’s not just us who think it’s a perfect choice, we send many discerning clients back to the island – and often the same hotel – year on year.
This does make availability at Christmas time tricky, but our long-established relationships with the island’s best resorts mean Travel Specialists at the Inspiring Travel Company are well placed to give you the most up to date information and secure your dream escape.
Of course, if you can’t wait another year, look out for some incredible luxury Barbados holiday offers in our upcoming New Year sale.