Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados

Location: In a prime spot among the string of top luxury hotels and restaurants which line Barbados’ glitzy west coast.

First impressions: Turning into the Fairmont’s grand palm-tree lined drive, there’s an immediate air of calm and stately elegance. Entrance is through romantic pillars and archways, past a pool of colourful fish and into the graceful courtyard lobby, where smiling staff bring welcome cocktails.

The facts: Sprawling across 11 acres, the resort is awash with countless variations of palm trees, bougainvillea, cherry and banana trees. Garden supervisor Winslow Greaves offers guided tours of the grounds.
The resort’s 72 rooms, housed in two pink Colonial style buildings, come in just two types – deluxe rooms on the second floor and new ground floor beach front junior suites.
Decorated in fresh neutral shades, our junior suite had a king size comfy bed, his and hers wardrobes, a plush lounge area and – the best part – an outdoor deck directly on the beach.
The two buildings are separated by the pool and Taboras restaurant, which serves a delicious buffet breakfast and laid-back lunches.  Monkeys seem to love the Fairmont as much as its regulars, descending from the tree tops each morning in the hope of a stray banana.
Most visitors seem happy to relax on the blissfully peaceful beach, but there is plenty to keep more active clients happy, from tennis to watersports or in-room spa treatments. Don’t pass up the chance to swim with the turtles just a short swim from shore.

Wow: Complimentary afternoon tea is a very welcome extra, with heavenly coconut scones and bite sized cakes.

A good base for: The hotel is well placed for exploring the shops and restaurants of Holetown, but it’s also worth making the effort to explore the rest of the island. The wild landscape of the east coast with its looming hills and stunning seascapes is just half an hour’s drive. The hotel can also organise excursions to Barbados’ Wildlife Reserve and Harrison’s Cave, a magical limestone cavern full with a 40-foot waterfall.

How much: Prices start from £302 per room, per night plus tax

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