On the sunny shores of Barbados, Cobblers Cove is the essence of West Indies hospitality.
Barbados possesses a certain casual elegance that’s seldom found elsewhere in the Caribbean, and that vibe is beautifully brought to life at Cobblers Cove in Speightstown, a beachfront boutique hotel that is equal parts refined (the product of its English heritage) and relaxed (a reflection of its breezy West Indies setting).
Comprising just 40 suites set amid tropical gardens and far removed from the clamor of tourist traffic, Cobblers Cove feels less like a resort than a cozy island home (or English manor, to be exact). The atmosphere is so serene, in fact, that you might find tearing yourself away from its gentle embrace all but impossible during your stay.
In the spirit of true tranquility and relaxation, guests won’t find TVs in their suites (though WiFi is available for those who can’t bear to be totally disconnected). Instead, private patios outfitted with lounge chairs and in-room bookshelves stocked with popular volumes encourage guests to kick back with a good read—or dream, if a nap in the breeze is more their speed. To make the most of the property’s tucked-away and oceanfront setting, full shutter-style walls retract, letting the sea breezes and birdsong in.
When guests aren’t unwinding in the privacy of their suites, they can lounge poolside on the patio, charter a boat for a day of fishing, diving or waterskiing, or paddle a kayak or try other non-motorized watersports around the property’s periphery. The beach at Cobblers Cove is home to a living reef, which, combined with its consistently calm, clear water, makes it a prime spot for snorkeling.
Among Cobblers Cove’s standout features is Chef Michael Harrison’s excellent cuisine, which, coupled with the hotel’s luxe offerings and amenities, helped earn it a place in the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group.
Guests can enjoy Harrison’s award-winning fare in high style at The Terrace Restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or in a more casual mode at the poolside bar. Harrison and his culinary team maintain close relationships with local farmers and fishmongers, resulting in the use of the island’s freshest and most flavorful ingredients to prepare dishes that are artful to the eye and pleasing to the palate. We loved the Niçoise salad so much we had it for lunch twice during our short stay. For dinner, it’s impossible to go wrong with Harrison’s seafood and fish dishes. Apart from choosing which delectable dish to enjoy, the most difficult decision guests will face at Cobblers Cove is how quickly they can come back, cobblerscove.com.
Stop at St. Nicholas Abbey, a plantation and rum distillery, for a guided tour of its 350-year-old main house—still outfitted with the previous owners’ antiques and furnishings—its gorgeous grounds, and, of course, a tasting of St. Nicholas Abbey Rum. Lunch is served on an outdoor terrace, and a short film offers an educational and sometimes humorous view into the property’s colorful past.
Located in St. John, Codrington College opened in 1745 as a general education institution after nearly 30 years of construction. In 1830, the college’s sole focus became ordination, making it one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest theological institutions. Guests with a penchant for history and divinity will enjoy a stroll through its beautiful grounds, which include a pond, a dramatic palm-lined driveway, and views of the Caribbean Sea.
Flower and garden fanatics won’t want to miss a visit to Hunte’s Gardens in St. Joseph’s, a wonderland of tropical and exotic blooms created by horticulture enthusiast Anthony Hunte, who is often on hand to greet and guide guests through his spectacular property. Upon concluding their tours, guests are invited to visit Hunte’s historic home, which itself is filled with a menagerie of enchanting objects.