You might think of Barbados as one of the busier Caribbean islands that runs to a lively, soca beat, but its undeveloped east coast feels like you’re on another island. The Atlantis Hotel stands sentinel on this quiet, wild coastline, offering an alternative way to experience the island.
Now reminiscent of a New England style inn, the property dates back to the 1800’s and has been immaculately restored by the owners Andrew and Patricia Warden while retaining a real sense of the island’s history. The original hotel was a stop on the route of the old Barbados railway and memorabilia around the hotel of that time evokes its heritage.
Set right at the water’s edge with the sound of the waves breaking against the craggy shore, this boutique hotel has a dramatic location in a setting far removed from the glamorous west coast. The laid-back restaurant draws visitors from around the island for its authentic Barbadian fare.
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The hotel has seven spacious rooms and two two-bedroom apartments. The decor blends colonial polished wood floors, plantation shutters and traditional wooden furniture with more contemporary accents of bright colour fabrics and driftwood pieces. Each room is individually furnished and its boutique style makes it feel more like a welcoming bed and breakfast than a hotel.
All rooms are air-conditioned with ceiling fans, shower, television, iPod dock, mini fridge and tea and coffee making facilities.
The Atlantis Hotel is located in the quiet, residential fishing village of Tent Bay, St Joseph, overlooking the rolling breakers of the Atlantic Ocean.
It takes about 40 minutes to reach the hotel from Barbados airport or the west coast. There’s not much in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, but the small village of Bathsheba is just 15 minutes' walk or a few minutes’ drive north. Bathsheba is home to a small community of fishermen and their families, and along the coast you’ll find a few local rum shops and restaurants, as well as a wild sandy beach with striking rock formations.
Swimming in the ocean on this side of the island is not advisable due to the huge waves and strong currents. As it’s on the Atlantic the water is also very cold. Although the hotel is set on the beach, its windswept nature means it’s not suitable for sunbathing but its natural, rugged beauty makes it perfect for walks.
Food and drink
The restaurant at The Atlantis is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has views of the ocean and the Atlantic rollers below from its open-air terrace.
This is also ‘the’ place to have a traditional Barbadian buffet, which they offer weekly. It’s a great way to try Caribbean flavours in a stylish setting. People travel from across the island to attend to its best to book a table in advance.
All menus in the restaurant are created using only local produce, seafood and meats and there’s a good range of dishes to choose from — it has a great range of vegetarian dishes. If you want to dine out, The Round House (serving Caribbean dishes with a British influence) is within a 10-minute drive although it is closed in the evenings in the summer.
Please note that in low season the restaurant is closed for dinner on Sundays and may be closed on other days if hotel occupancy is low and there aren't external reservations. If that is the case, there are a couple of local restaurants available within 5-10 minutes' walk, or if guests prefer, the hotel offers a complimentary return taxi transfer to your choice of restaurant — they recommend the Fish Pot about 25 minutes' drive away.
All ages are welcome here, but due to the limited activities on offer, this may not be suitable for young children.
The hotel can help you plan any excursions on the island and there are plenty of places to explore nearby. Head to Bathsheba Beach and stop by the Soup Bowl, a major surfing spot where international competitions are occasionally held. If there’s a swell, you can witness local and pro surfers at their best. Parlour, which is adjacent to Soup Bowl, offers picnic tables and shady areas for you to spend the day.
The Andromeda Botanic Gardens are only a 10 minute stroll uphill or take a visit to Orchid World, located in the middle of sugar cane fields overlooking St George Valley. This Barbados garden displays an extraordinary array of orchids.
We highly recommend combining a beach stay in Barbados or another island with a few nights at The Atlantis. It’s a great way to experience both sides of the island and compare the serene Caribbean shores with the wild Atlantic coast. The scenery is arguably some of the best on the island, and whilst the facilities here aren’t extensive, there’s lots to explore in the surrounding area.
Style of property