The island of Barbados epitomises what most visitors expect to see in a Caribbean nation. Warm, friendly people who will cheerfully share their home with you; lush green countryside; stunning beaches; bustling towns and of course the natural rhythm of West Indian life. The Bajan heritage is British, so as well as stately colonial buildings and a distinctly English gentility in everything from accents to afternoon tea, there are more tangible legacies such as an unbridled passion for cricket.

The capital, Bridgetown, is on a busy deep-water port which is popular with many cruise ships. Notable sites to visit are the Parliament Buildings, Trafalgar Square and any number of restaurants, nightclubs and cafes. At the Creenage on the city's old harbour are old-style warehouses converted to boutiques and bars, while Bridgetown also offers some of the best duty free shopping in the Caribbean.

Barbados beckons with a scintillating difference - two distinct coastlines - a dramatically rugged eastern coast whose ramparts brace against thunderous Atlantic breakers and which is a mecca for windsurfers worldwide, and the calm gentle coastal waters with their white and pink sand beaches on the western side. In between are the historic sugar plantations with their stunning Great Houses (a few of which have been turned into superb hotels), carefully preserved colourful cottages and flower gardens.

When the sun goes down, one of your fondest memories of Barbados may well be that of sipping a cool drink at your favourite watering hole, so be sure to try some of the local concoctions such as Calico Jack, Island Lover and Rumrunner. Whatever you are looking for in a holiday, Barbados will captivate you with its sights, sounds and scents.

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Barbados resorts

  • Bougainvillea Beach Resort - 3 stars

    Bougainvillea Beach Resort an elegant, oceanfront all-suite resort, situated on the lively south coast of Barbados, approximately 15 minutes from the airport, 20 minutes from the capital, Bridgetown and just a short 5 minute drive from the nightlife and restaurant hub, St. Lawrence Gap. With 138 spacious suites, the hotel sits in a stunning location on one of the island's most beautiful beaches, with excellent swimming in the azure waters of the Caribbean.

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    Bougainvillea Beach Resort
  • Colony Club Barbados - 4 stars

    Sensational Summer Sale at Colony Blub Barbados, From AUD $273 per night. Book before 14 November 11. Valid for stays April 18 to 31 May 2012. Includes Breakfast

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    Colony Club Barbados
  • Coral Reef Barbados - 5 stars

    Set amidst twelve acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the calm west coast of Barbados, Coral Reef Club is the epitome of West Indian elegance.

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    Coral Reef Barbados
  • Crystal Cove Barbados - 4 stars

    A unique Barbados retreat can be discovered at a cove nestled upon its west coast, complete with sun-swept beaches, gentle Caribbean breezes and brilliant turquoise waters, your adventure at Crystal Cove begins now. This all-inclusive tropical beach resort brings to life Barbados' unique paradise.

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    Crystal Cove Barbados
  • Tamarind Cove - 4 stars

    A Mediterranean vision in the carefree Caribbean, Tamarind Cove makes relaxed ambiance a true Barbados tradition. Re-opened October 2006 after extensive renovation, Tamarind Cove is an inviting blend of Mediterranean design and Caribbean charm.

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    Tamarind Cove
  • The Crane Resort Barbados - 4 stars

    Reduced Rates until 23 December 11. Book by 30 October and recieve 35% off. Lounge on the spectacular powder-soft, pink sand, caressed by the rays of the Caribbean sun and fanned by gentle Trade Winds, and you will understand why The Crane Resort is regarded by those that know it as one of the most beautiful places anywhere in the world.

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    The Crane Resort Barbados
  • The House Barbados - 5 stars

    Sensational Summer Sale at The House Barbados. From AUD $465 per night. Book by 14 November 11. Valid for stays April 18- 31 May 2012. 5 Night minimum stay required. Includes Breakfast.

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    The House Barbados
  • The Sandpiper Barbados - 5 stars

    The Sandpiper is discreetly one of the most exclusive small hotels in the West Indies. The hotel is embraced by lush gardens filled with tropical flora, creating an atmosphere of ultimate privacy.

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    The Sandpiper Barbados