January 2, 2019
The vibe is laid-back and refined without feeling stuffy, while the prime Paynes Bay location puts you within easy reach of fine dining restaurants and the high-end stores of Holetown.
Adults-only Treasure Beach backs onto a terrific stretch of beach, with steps leading down to gently shelving sands shaded by casuarina trees. Part of Elegant Hotels, it sits directly next door to another group property, Tamarind, where you can access the spa, and there’s a free daytime water taxi service to other sister hotels.
Complimentary extras – like yoga sessions, culinary workshops, a guided weekly art crawl and movie nights under the stars – nudge it above the competition.
Breezy, understated and extremely relaxed. Staff are so welcoming you can feel life’s stresses start to lift the moment you walk into the lobby. The hotel is small by Caribbean standards; the bijou bar and pool area is the main social hub, and there’s a terrace with sunloungers directly overlooking the water. Guests move soporifically between them throughout the day, subtly followed by ice-cold towels, sorbets and drinks delivered by discreet but watchful ‘ambassadors’.
Towering over the scene is a magnificent mahogany tree, home to chirping yellow bananaquits and a pair of wicker swings. More than just a visual centrepiece, it anchors the hotel in its setting and forms a natural gathering place for watching the nightly sunset spectacular.
With coral stone walls and shiplap ceilings, the 35 suites are spread across a trio of three-storey buildings, arranged in a staggered U-shape around the swimming pool and buzzy open-air bar. If you’re looking for quiet seclusion amid lush tropical planting, book one of the good value garden rooms at the rear. Those at the pool end are a little more affected by chatter from the bar, but come with outstanding views of Paynes Bay beach and the famous Platinum Coast sunsets.
Every suite has a snug living room with a sofabed, as well as a furnished terrace or balcony and a lavish bathroom with a separate walk-in shower. All are done up in a restrained palette of whites and creams, with bright local artworks and punchy pops of raspberry or turquoise to liven things up. Two generously sized luxury suites on the top floor have rooftop plunge pools with uninterrupted sea views.
Treasure Beach positions itself as a foodie destination, with a regular line-up of culinary events alongside cookery demonstrations and wine tastings. Breakfast and dinner are served in the upmarket Tapestry restaurant, either on a shaded outdoor terrace or in an airy dining room with a vaulted ceiling and open kitchen. There’s also a glass-walled wine cellar next door, which doubles as a private dining room.
Breakfast is a hearty affair, with a menu of cooked-to-order classics like blueberry pancakes, eggs Benedict and Creole flying fish, as well as a continental-style buffet. Wash it all down with a glass of delicious Barbados cherry juice. Portions are ample and may well sustain you till sundown, but a light lunch menu of salads and sandwiches is available at Batik bar throughout the day.
In the evening, a limited but varied a la carte menu offers seafood, steaks, vegetarian options and Bajan specialities like curry breadfruit soup, while the weekly Around the World Tapas night features India, Africa and Asia-inspired dishes as part of a multicultural spread accompanied by live music. Steering the ship is award winning Barbadian chef Javon Cummins, who at 26 years old is the youngest head chef in the Elegant Hotels Group.
Garden View suites start at £197/ US$249 per night. Breakfast and wi-fi is complimentary, as are nightly Happy Hour sundowner cocktails, and a Chef’s Dinner for those staying five nights or more.
Treasure Beach is located at the southern end of Paynes Bay, around a 35-minute drive from the airport and 15 minutes from the capital Bridgetown. Airport transfers are available.
Virgin Atlantic operates flights to Barbados from London Gatwick and Manchester, with an additional winter service from London Heathrow.