Spruced up: Fairmont Royal Pavilion
Barbados has long been the British darling of the
Caribbean, thanks to almost 340 years of colonial rule.
Decades of political stability and a steady currency have helped
this 120-square-mile island, the most easterly in the Caribbean,
avoid the social and economic ills that have plagued some of its
The last two years have seen a rise in hotel inventory, as well
as continued investment in established properties. In addition, new
meeting facilities and tourist attractions, as well as increased
air lift to the island, are helping position Barbados to attract a
greater share of the lucrative North American meetings and
On the hotel front
The 353-room Hilton Barbados is scheduled to
celebrate its opening during the fourth quarter of 2004. The
property will feature two restaurants, a health club, a pool and
the Hilton Meetings Complex, which will feature 10,000 square feet
of meeting space, including a 6,200-square-foot ballroom.
On the island’s south coast, owners of the 110-room Coconut
Court Beach Hotel, which recently completed a top-down renovation
of all guest rooms, have acquired the ruins of an adjacent former
government building. Renamed the Barbados
Pavilion, the property is in the midst of a massive
renovation and restoration project, set to be completed by year’s
end. The new pavilion will feature six conference rooms with
seating for up to 600 people, a business center, two restaurants
and 50 suites.
Following the completion of a US$5 million renovation in
November 2003, which included the addition of 26 guest rooms, the
former Asta Beach Hotel has been renamed the Amaryllis
Beach Resort. The 150-room property now also includes a
The 72-room Fairmont Royal Pavilion, on the
island’s colorful west coast, completed a US$10 million renovation
of all guest rooms, along with all public spaces, in October
The 112-room Sandy Lane resort had a big year
in 2003. The luxury property opened its fourth golf course, the
18-hole championship Green Monkey, designed by Tom Fazio and
carved out of a former quarry. In addition, the property snagged a
AAA Five Diamond rating.
Accra Beach Hotel, on the island’s south
coast, opened a new 18-suite wing in November 2003, bringing its
total guest room count to 142. The resort also added a third
conference room, increasing its total attendee capacity to 336
New entry requirements became effective as of March 1 this year,
mandating that all citizens of the United States and Canada present
a valid passport.
Meanwhile, Barbados received a much-needed boost in air lift
with the arrival of Continental Airlines, which began daily nonstop
service to the island last December, from Newark, N.J.
A US$100 million terminal expansion continues at the island’s
Grantley Adams International Airport. The two-year
old project, expected to be completed by the end of this year,
includes the addition of a new arrivals terminal, new airline
business lounges, additional ticket counter space and an expanded
immigration and customs area.