Sophisticated travelers—especially couples—love this sleek, chic, adults-only hotel strategically poised on the beachfront in the south coast town of Hastings. The four-story (no elevator) boutique hotel blends contemporary Caribbean style with that of Miami’s South Beach.
The hotel is in a busy stretch of the main south coast road, but the South Coast Boardwalk is right out front—on the scenic water side.
The 24 ultramodern guestrooms are bright, light, and white. Dressers and tables are veneered in light-color crushed bamboo (the Caribbean); bed headboards and pullout sofas are upholstered in white leather (South Beach). All rooms are similar, but “Deluxe” rooms are larger than “SoCo” rooms and have larger pullout sofas. Every room has a terrace or balcony with a full-on ocean view.
As this hotel is close to the road and room doors open on that side of the hotel, noise from morning traffic can be an issue for light sleepers in rooms on lower floors.
The bathrooms—like the rooms—are bright, light, and white.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Bathrooms have showers only, no tubs.
The lobby is a modern-minimalist space furnished with a few couches and chairs, stainless steel-and-glass tables, and a splash of monochromatic color in the artwork and fresh flowers. Citrus-flavored ice water is always available. Check-in is in your room at your convenience.
A small free-form pool separates the hotel from the mile-long South Coast Boardwalk (officially the Richard Haynes Boardwalk) and the sea. The pool deck has umbrellas for shade and plenty of comfortable seating with thick cushions. The boardwalk is perfect for an early morning run, daytime walk, or sunset stroll.
The pool deck has tables and chairs, where you can enjoy your lunch from the restaurant or drinks from the beach bar.
While there’s no on-site spa, in-room or beach massages and treatments can be arranged at extra cost.
The oceanfront Restaurant at SoCo has an open kitchen, so diners can watch the chef prepare their meals—which are all à la carte—when they’re not looking at the view. The restaurant is air-conditioned—definitely a plus. Or you can dine alfresco on the pool deck. Juices and other beverages are offered at the beach bar, which is also on the pool deck.
As an all-inclusive property, all meals at the restaurant (served until 11 p.m.) are included, as well as unlimited alcoholic beverages at the beach bar. Fine wines and some special menu items (e.g., lobster) carry a significant surcharge.
Room service is available on a limited basis—nice for breakfast on your private terrace—but for an additional charge. Afternoon tea is served from 3 to 4 p.m. Once a week, there’s a traditional Caribbean beach barbecue on the pool deck.
The restaurant will prepare a packed lunch for your day out—at an additional cost.
The beach adjacent to the hotel is small but beautiful. The white sand is powder-soft; a rock jetty and reef create a calm lagoon that's perfect for swimming. Sun loungers and umbrellas are set up for SoCo guests.
Take a walk down the boardwalk to the Hastings Farmers Market (10-minute walk), where vendors sell homegrown produce and handmade crafts on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. The market is located at the ArtSplash Centre, which has a gallery of local art and a café offering fresh juices, smoothies, and pastries. Interesting in surfing or standup paddling? You can easily walk to Dread or Dead Surf Shop (5-minute walk), right on the main road, which has rental equipment and offers lessons.
Taxis are always available. There’s a bus stop right outside the hotel, where buses to Bridgetown or to stops along the south coast pass by frequently. The fare is $1.
The hotel offers complimentary self-parking for your rental car.
The SoCo Hotel is all-inclusive; but if you want to shed the sophisticated atmosphere for an evening and go local, head for Shaker’s Bar & Grill (10-minute drive), about a half-mile away at Browne's Gap in Rockley.
Several beach bars face the boardwalk. In the evening, head for Old Jamm Inn or Scootie's Jazz (15-minute drive) in St. Lawrence Gap.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The hotel atmosphere is intimate yet friendly. Every room has a gorgeous ocean view. The beach is beautiful. And the South Coast Boardwalk is right out front.