Get the Jet-Set Life on Barbados

Welcome to the Caribbean island that’s got it all – from wonderful weather to fabulous beaches, bars, restaurants and hotels. The celebs love it... and so will you when you touch down in paradise. If it’s jet-set central you are after for your Caribbean holiday then head straight for the island of Barbados, which has been drawing celebrities, business leaders and oligarchs to its sandy shores for years. And small wonder.

You need look no further than the Caribbean paradise’s main attractions to see the appeal of a week or two on the island. There’s the wonderful weather, outstanding beaches, good restaurants and healthy portions of nightlife... and that’s just for starters.

Take a sailing catamaran cruise along the coast, with time for a swim and lunch on board, or see Barbados’ interior on a four-wheel-drive safari-style tour to places the tour buses can’t reach. And make time for some sight-seeing and shopping in bustling Bridgetown, the capital, a great place to buy resort wear and souvenirs... plus rum, of course.

The hotel choices are almost endless, as a quick glance at what Caribbean expert Virgin Holidays has to offer will confirm. Many are on the sought-after Golden Mile of the island’s West Coast, some of which act as magnets for the world’s rich and famous (and remember, singer Rihanna was born here, in the island’s St Michael parish).

But there are bargains to be had, too. Some are all-inclusive, such as the wonderful Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels. Ideal for families, it has a kids’ club on offer to keep everyone busy and beach and pool ambassadors to really spoil you. Or how about the five-star Hilton Barbados Resort, where all the rooms have ocean views and there’s gourmet dining right on the doorstep? You are spoiled for choice.

There are some excellent restaurants in Barbados, too. For instance, try the rustic charm of Oistins Fish Fry, in an authentic fishing town on the south coast, where vendors sell a variety of fish ranging from tuna to flying fish and mahi-mahi, which is then cooked right in front of you. And don’t forget a tot of rum – Barbados is the home of the famous Mount Gay rum, produced on the island since 1703.

If you fancy joining the jet-set at their favourite lunch spot on the beach head for the Lone Star at Mount Standfast, once little more than a simple beach-side shack restaurant and now a smart boutique hotel as well. It’s not cheap but worth the money for the view and the company. And for a special dinner try The Cliff in St James, though by many to be Barbados’ best restaurant. Book a table on the lower level, overlooking the sparkling Caribbean.

Across the island, you’ll find water sports of every type – from sailing to windsurfing, water skiing to diving, you name it, you can try it. Of course, Barbados has also got some of the finest golf courses in the Caribbean.

Add the natural wonders of the island – the lively towns, plenty of sport – and it’s small wonder that Barbados is so popular, whether you are part of the glitterai or simply a canny visitor looking for fun in the sun. And Virgin Holidays has come up with a novel way to help you make the most of your last day in paradise before you head home. Pay a small fee and you are able to spend the day on the Departure Beach (Brownes Beach in Carlisle Bay) where there will be all the fun and facilities of a beach club with the added bonus that you will be able to drop off your bags and even check in for your flight.