The House, Barbados

'Elegant Hotels property is a short stroll from singer Rihanna's house'

LOCATION: The House is on the west coast of this ever-popular postcard-perfect island in the parish of St James. It is next doorto sister property Tamarind, and is also a short stroll away from where popstar Rihanna is rumoured to own a house.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: You enter this hidden away hotel via a fire-lit wooden drawbridge surrounded by pools of water lilies. From then you’re instantly enrolled into the Caribbean way of living. Your bags are whisked away, you’re plonked onto a chair so comfortable you could happily sleep there, and you’re handed a cocktail concoction (with local rum, of course).

There’s no reception area, and that’s because the whole premise of the hotel is to make you feel relaxed and at home. And it works. The staff are known as ‘ambassadors’ and rather than working in one dedicated area of the hotel, many of them assist with everything. The man who gives you a tour of the hotel is likely to also be serving you your drinks later that evening.

This relaxed approach means guests get to know each ambassador really well, and their personalities are allowed to shine. My mornings often began witha little sing-song with the team serving breakfast!

THE FACTS: This adult-only property, which is part of Elegant Hotels, has34 suites – including junior and one-bed suites. The House, and its sister properties, offer many inclusions such as evening canapés, Wi-Fi, motorised water sports and a water taxi service.

Neighbouring restaurant Daphne’s, owned by the hotel, comes recommended. Serving Italian food with a Bajan twist, it’s one of the most popular restaurants on the island. Next month a new spa facility opens at The House with two private treatment rooms and the introductionof a yoga pavilion.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Pure relaxation.

WOW: Breakfast at The House is a fun affair – especially as it’s champagne fuelled (there’s no better way to start the day in my mind). And while we’re talking about food – the afternoon tea is also a delight and is served every day from 4pm. The complimentary jet lag massageis also a brilliant idea. You can choose to have this in the spa (previously this was done in Tamarind) or out by the pool. I opted for the latter and the treatment, combined with the sound of waves softly lapping against the sandy shore, was exactly what I needed after a long flight. This place really is a home from home.