Fodor's Expert Review The House

Hwy. 1, Paynes Bay, St. James, Barbados See on Map Fodor's Choice

Jane Zarem

In the heart of the island’s west coast—the “Platinum Coast”—The House is an intimate, upscale boutique resort for adults only. It’s the smallest of seven Elegant Hotels properties on Barbados and boasts the most romantic atmosphere. Service is key. The 24-hour Ambassador Service caters to every whim, need, or desire.

In nearby Holetown, you can shop at Chattel House Village for handcrafts and souvenirs, Sunset Crest for food and sundries, and upscale Limegrove Lifestyle Centre for designer clothes and accessories.


The 34 guest suites—junior and one-bedroom—are decorated in calming tones of ivory and brown, with small splashes of color and impressive artwork. Private patios or balconies face the ocean, pool deck, or interior garden. Junior suites have separate sitting areas. One-bedroom suites have separate living rooms, and some have private plunge pools.

If you book a one-bedroom suite, you get complimentary VIP airport transfers and an extended (one-hour) Jet Lag massage.


Bathrooms are small but beautifully fitted out with granite surfaces, a bathtub with rain shower and jets, plush towels, and signature bath products.


As you enter The House, a private walled garden effectively transports you from the world outside to the intimate atmosphere of the hotel. The lobby itself is a large, open-air gathering space—casual yet sophisticated—full of comfortable couches, tables, and chairs. The lounge area opens directly onto the pool deck and beachfront; the bar is adjacent. Check-in is completed in your room at your leisure.

Upon arrival, all guests receive a complimentary 30-minute Jet Lag massage—in your room, at the spa, or at the poolside yoga pavilion.


The sun deck has a fairly small pool—but this is a fairly small hotel. Steps lead from the pool to a small spa pool.


The Spa at The House opens into the garden courtyard; one of the two treatment rooms is set up for couples. The Elemental Herbology products used in the spa’s healing and relaxation treatments are 100% natural.


The House has a small fitness center. Complimentary yoga classes are held weekly in the garden. Pilates and fitness classes are available next door at Tamarind.

Is golf your favorite exercise? Sandy Lane Country Club is nearby and has three of the Caribbean’s best links. Two courses are open to the public.


Champagne breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapés are all included amenities and served buffet style in the lobby lounge area. Daphne’s, next door, is considered the hotel restaurant, although it’s a separate entity open to the public. The modern Italian cuisine at Daphne’s is absolutely divine—but expensive. You can dine in the restaurant, in your room, or by moonlight in a private beach cabana.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Daphne’s is closed on Monday and doesn’t serve lunch June-October.


The beach, steps from the pool deck, is lined with sun loungers with thick cushions and shaded by bright blue umbrellas. Complimentary water sports—motorized and non-motorized—are available next door at Tamarind, a sister hotel just a few steps down the beach. Try waterskiing, tube rides, banana boat rides, standup paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing a Hobie Cat. Lessons are complimentary, too.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The beach in front of the hotel is relatively narrow but gets wider in front of Tamarind.


Getting Around

Taxis are always available. Buses that go south to Bridgetown or north to Holetown and Speightstown pass frequently right in front of the hotel. The fare in either direction is just $1.

For a change of scene, take the complimentary water taxi to any of the four Elegant Hotels on the west coast: Colony Club, Tamarind, Crystal Cove, and Waves. You can use the other hotel’s beach, pools, facilities, and restaurants.


Scarlet (2-minute walk), a fun bistro just across the street from The House, is a great place for small plates and ’tinis or bigger plates and a bottle of wine. In Holetown, dine elegantly at The Tides (5-minute drive) or The Mews (10-minute drive).


Top off the night on 1st or 2nd Street in Holetown at Red Door Lounge or Duke’s Night Lounge (10-minute drive). On Sunday nights, Ragamuffins (10-minute drive), also on 1st Street, has a Drag Show that attracts a crowd and often spills into the street.


Privacy, style, service, romance…what’s not to like?

Do your kids expect a vacation, too? While The House is for adults only, you could settle your kids and their nanny or grandma next door at Tamarind. The sister hotel is accessible via the road or the beach and has a slew of kids’ activities and amenities.


Romantic, Service, Trendy, Views
34 suites
Breakfast Yes
Lunch Yes
Dinner Yes
Bar Yes
Cafe No
Room Service Yes
Gym, Pool
Parking Lot


Phones: 246-432–5525; 855-229-8459 in U.S.

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