What’s so special?
If you’re looking for a relaxing, grown-up beach holiday without the children, The House – an adults-only resort – is the place to stay. It is located right on the sand at popular Paynes Bay on the west coast of Barbados, and it’s surrounded by great restaurants, so you never have to stroll far for a romantic evening out.
How they rate it
Pay the extra for an ocean-view room – it may seem a bit pricey, but “it’s worth the extra: the sun sets directly in front of the hotel”, says Sunday Times Travel.
Inside, “everything has that fresh-out-of-the-packet crispness: ivory furnishings soften the dark woods and tiled flooring, and there are sunny hints of colour”. And don’t miss out on your free jet-lag massage at the sister hotel, the Tamarind, next door – all guests are entitled to one and it’s worth making the time.
The hotel hosts Daphne’s, an offshoot of the popular Italian restaurant in London. Book one of the tables on the beach – you’re “close enough to the shore to hear the… surf, and just far away enough from other diners to guarantee privacy”. Foodie favourite The Cliff is five minutes away.
From £275 a night for garden view suites; ocean view from £315 (www.thehousebarbados.com; 0800-917 3534).
What’s so special?
Turtle Beach is “the best bet on Barbados for families”, says Fred Mawer in The Daily Telegraph, thanks to its extensive facilities and peaceful location. It’s on the south coast of the island – away from the busy resorts, but within a 15 minute walk of St Lawrence Gap, a popular district for nightlife and eating out.
How they rate it
This is a “fairly large all-inclusive with a lively atmosphere and… upmarket aspirations: for example, the smart bedrooms are all termed suites, and the sun loungers on the beach are padded and have sun shades”, says Mawer. All the rooms have a sofa bed alongside the main bed and “can sleep a family of at least four”.
There are two swimming pools, which is handy as the waves can make it too dangerous to swim in the ocean at times. There is a supervised kids’ club for those aged three to 12 and a games area with table tennis, table football and a pool table to keep older children entertained.
The food is “pretty good for an all-inclusive”, with three restaurants, including an adults-only Italian. You can also dine at the sister hotel, Crystal Cove, on the west coast at no extra charge.
From £349 per night, all inclusive (www.turtlebeachresortbarbados.com; 0800-917 3534).
Perdue (pictured) in Fethiye opened last year on a “remote, rocky stretch of coast near Olu Deniz”, in southwest Turkey, says Laura Holt in The Independent. The resort, which can only be reached by boat or 4×4, aims “to distance guests from the world outside”.
It has eight safari-style rooms overlooking the water. You can relax in your private Jacuzzi, snorkel, or take a yoga class to pass the time. Doubles start from £190, including breakfast (Perduehotel.com; 020-7722 2288).
Golden Key in Bordubet, near Marmaris, offers an alternative to the typical Turkish beach break. The hotel is surrounded by forest, and a river runs through the grounds – the 41 “rustic-chic” rooms are “raised above [its] calm, shallow waters”.
The grounds include a “spa and various waterfront jetties, while a private beach can be found at the point where the river meets the sea”. Doubles from £122, for half board
(Bordubet.com.tr; 00 90 252 436 92 30).
Situated on a hillside on the Bay of Kalkan, in the southwest of the country, Villa Mahal is “staggered over a series of platforms planted with olive trees. Shared spaces include an infinity pool with an honesty bar, a roof terrace where breakfast is served and a private beach club at the water’s edge”.
There are 13 rooms in total, all with sea views and “complimentary boat transfers are on hand to whisk you across the waters to Kalkan for lunch”.
Double rooms start from £163, including breakfast (Villamahal.com; 00 90 242
844 32 68).