Picture yourself in a beautifully restored plantation house surrounded by antiques, or on a breezy veranda having a cool drink or cup of tea, or stretched out on a large grassy lawn with a good book and a faraway view of the ocean, or taking a dip in an inviting natural-rock pool. Sweetfield Manor, a historic home turned B&B inn, offers all of that…plus a handful of stylish guest rooms, breakfasts to die for, and pure relaxation. This was the residence of the Dutch ambassador in the early 1900s, and the area remains residential. A large, sturdy, remote-controlled gate separates the inn’s property from the road—providing both security and old-fashioned privacy.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Children are welcome—there’s a lot of space to run around, and kids love the dozen or more peacocks that freely roam the grounds—but this may not be the best choice for a long stay with young kids. Too many precious antiques; too little for them to do.
Three rooms on the second floor of the main house remain true to the original design: coral-stone walls, old pine floors, and antique (or antique-style) furniture. Four cozy courtyard rooms tucked under the building, facing the grand lawn, have a beautiful view. Two separate garden cottages and the Carriage House—with bunk beds for kids and a small kitchenette for preparing snacks—complete the available accommodations. Each room is different in size, shape, décor, location, and atmosphere—but all have big comfortable beds.
The rooms in the main house are larger than the garden rooms.
As each room is different, so is each bathroom—but all are large (some are huge) and combine modern facilities with antique style. L’Occitane toiletries, Mascioni bath towels, and plush terry robes add a touch of elegance.
There is no lobby per se. You’re greeted at the inn as if you’re entering a private home (which it was), offered a welcome cocktail on the veranda, and shown your room. The veranda overlooks the lawn and is the closest thing to a “lobby,” in that there is seating where guests can either relax or mingle.
The small, free-form, natural-rock pool here is tucked away on the broad lawn and surrounded by tropical foliage. With so few rooms at the inn, you often have the pool to yourself—except for a subtle visit from one or more of the resident peacocks.
Breakfast is included, and what an amazing breakfast it is! First of all, it may be served outdoors under the pergola by the koi pond, in the courtyard under a canopy of mahogany trees, on the lawn, on the veranda, or at the large table in the dining room. Then there’s the four-course gourmet meal itself, which is different every day: stylized fresh fruits, a creative main course, just-baked muffins and pastries, maybe a yogurt martini for “dessert,” and, of course, fresh-brewed coffee or tea.
Lunch and dinner are not generally served, but the chef will gladly prepare a private dinner with a day’s notice.
Ask the chef to pack a picnic basket for you to take to the beach or on your excursions around the island.
Browne’s Beach and Pebbles Beach, both on Carlisle Bay, are the nearest beaches—and they are lovely beaches indeed. Either one is a short drive or a long walk downhill from the inn—and what inevitably seems like a longer walk back uphill when your beach day is over.
The inn is tucked away in a residential area and not close to a bus line, so a rental car is advised. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle for long walks or depend on taxis to go exploring or get to restaurants and nightspots. And taxis can get expensive!
In Aquatic Gap, near Browne's Beach, Brown Sugar (5-minute drive) serves a full Bajan buffet (dozens of courses) at lunchtime and a full menu for dinner. And on the waterfront in Rockley, Champers (10-minute drive) is a classy but comfortable place to enjoy lunch or dinner. Both restaurants have free onsite parking.
St. Lawrence Gap, farther east along the south coast, has several restaurants. Try Primo (15- to 20-minute drive) for delicious seafood and an excellent view. (The one-way taxi fare from the inn to the Gap is about $20.)
Then in Bridgetown, on The Careenage, Waterfront Café (15-minute drive) is a great place for alfresco dining at lunch or for dinner accompanied (some nights) by live jazz.
St. Lawrence Gap has a lot of nighttime activity. Try The Old Jamm Inn or Scoopie's Jazz (15- to 20-minute drive) for drinks, music, dancing, and a convivial crowd.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Sweetfield Manor offers a completely different atmosphere from other lodgings in Barbados. Nowhere else can you stay in an original plantation house that’s decked out with such style.
The friendly and attentive service is definitely something to write home about. Any and every request is handled deftly and efficiently. And those amazing breakfasts…WOW!