Bringing beaches, coral reefs, and bucket-loads of charm, Barbados has long been a British favourite for seeking that essential winter sun (the best time to visit is between December and June). Part of the West Indies, and with a tropical climate to match, it’s one of the most popular Caribbean islands for good reason – and not just that it’s the birthplace of rum, Rihanna, and cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers. The average daily temperature is a very appealing 24 - 32°C, and it gets over 3,000 hours of sunshine all year round. At only 166 square miles, Barbados is relatively small - you can drive around the island in under three hours - but its main selling point is its 60 miles of stunning coast, with over 80 glorious stretches of shoreline spread around its various parishes (head to the western – aka Caribbean – side for the most crystal-clear water and whitest sand).

Walking in Barbados

You could find a hotel on the beach, but that’s what everyone else is doing. Perhaps you should opt instead for somewhere with a unique location; not at sea level, but perched high up, at 1,000 feet, where you’ll get sweeping, panoramic views across both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention luxurious accommodation, stunning natural surroundings, delicious restaurants, and plenty of activities and wellness opportunities. We’re talking about Apes Hill Barbados, the only elevated golf resort and community on the island, set on one of the most remarkable high points in the Caribbean and hugging the Scotland District, a rare underwater mountain range that rises above the sea.

That may make it sound remote and isolated, but it’s only 18 miles from the airport, and nine miles from the capital, Bridgetown. And as a base for exploring this little slice of paradise, it couldn’t be better. It’s close to both coasts, so you can have your pick of beaches, and if you want to explore further, you can check out any number of attractive sights. Drop into the charming, historic village of Holetown, where the first Europeans settled on the island. These days you’ll find fantastic shopping, buzzy bars and restaurants, and sandy stretches of beach. Quaint Speightstown is quieter, and the placeto go for a romantic meal, while you can also visit the lush, tropical Hunte’s Gardens, enjoy breathtaking views from the cute fishing village of Bathsheba, and explore handsome St Nicholas Abbey, a former plantation turned rum distillery. 

Sailing on a catamaran

But with so much to take advantage of back at the luxurious resort, it’s hard to see why you would want to leave. Sprawling over 475 acres, the alluring, laid-back landscapes of Apes Hill Barbados incorporate walking trails, orchards, gardens and tennis courts, and it’s packed with activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. One of the resort’s main draws is the 18-hole championship golf course which opened in 2022 to critical acclaim, and which has just scored four trophies at the World Golf Awards, including Barbados’ and the Caribbean’s best golf course, as well as the award for best eco-friendly golf facility; Barbados’s best golf course; and the best golf real estate venue. Designed by renowned golf course architect Ron Kirby, any golfer in the family will appreciate the four tees on each hole, caddies on request, and the panoramic vistas throughout the course. If you want to improve your game, the resort’s state-of-the-art performance centre comes equipped with a driving range for practice, experts to offer swing analysis, coaching and biometric fitness plans, a chipping green, and custom club-fitting. ‘Stay and play’ packages are on offer for every budding Tiger Woods.

There are other ways to keep fit here; burn off some steam at the gym, which is stocked with cutting-edge equipment so you can keep your exercise regimen going should you want to, whether it’s bootcamp-level or a quick spin on the treadmill, as well as the opportunity to play racquet sports such as tennis and padel. More low-key are the pilates and outdoor yoga classes, where you’ll be able to perfect your downward dog while caressed by gentle tradewinds. Take a leisurely hike through the property - there are 12.5km of trails - and immerse yourself in nature, while absorbing the incredible sea views. Speaking of the sea, if you want to experience the beach, all guests have access to the golden stretch of sand at the nearby Fairmont Royal Pavilion, where there are water sports available for anyone looking for some aquatic action, although you might just prefer to chill on your sun-lounger.

Admiring the view

Delicious meals will feature highly throughout your stay, with two excellent restaurants to choose from. The 20th Hole is located within the golf clubhouse, and is a more casual affair, offering international favourites and quick, grab and go selections, while The Noisy Cricket bar and restaurant is the resort’s hub, featuring more European and Mediterranean cuisine, with a specially-designed farm-to-fork menu that uses vegetables, herbs and fruit from trees and plants from within the resort’s own grounds, as part of its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. They even have their own beehives, so that you can enjoy fresh honey with your breakfast.

The accommodation is second-to-none, too, with a range of contemporary, spacious villas to choose from. The well-appointed, three-bedroom Courtyard Villas are set over two storeys, and offer expansive views over the golf course’s 18th fairway and out to the sparkling, azure Caribbean. Each one has a 30-foot outdoor pool, perfect whether you want to swim, or just splash around on an inflatable flamingo. If you want to whip up your own meals, there’s a fully-equipped kitchen with SMEG appliances, but you might prefer to barbecue Barbados-style on the outdoor grill. If all this is making it sound super-fancy, well, yes, it is – but it’s also welcoming, laid-back, and unstuffy. You might even want to stay longer than planned, and Apes Hill can cater for that, with the option to purchase or even build environmentally friendly, contemporary and transitional villas that are perfect for active families. As the resort itself would say: the golf may be on a higher level, but life here is always down to earth. Book a trip and find out just how much for yourself...

To discover more
+1 246 538-0590
Apes Hill, Saint James, Barbados