Fodor's Expert Review Treasure Beach

Hwy. 1, Paynes Bay, St. James BB24009, Barbados See on Map

Jane Zarem

Quiet, upscale, and intimate, this adults-only boutique hotel has been a guest favorite years. When it became the 7th Elegant Hotels property on Barbados (and the 6th on the island’s west coast), it was completely gutted and redesigned, reopening in late 2017. Still a cozy beachfront retreat, it now touts a contemporary Bohemian ambience (“Boho chic”) with the addition of distinctive mixed-media artwork, culinary experiences, and interesting activities. For example, guests may participate in the complimentary art gallery "crawl" or the chef-taught food-styling and pastry-making classes—and, of course, partake in water sports and other activities at Tamarind, a sister hotel just next door.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Treasure Beach is closed in September and October of each year.


Three floors of one-bedroom suites form a horseshoe around an intimate courtyard, Tapestry Restaurant, and a pool. Most units have a sea view, but all are just steps from the pool and a strip of sandy beach. All suites have separate bedrooms and large, comfortable sitting rooms with coral-stone walls, subdued neutral colors with pops of aqua or fuchsia in the artwork, and French doors leading to a balcony or patio. Deluxe and luxury ocean-view suites overlook the beach; each has a plunge pool on the patio or balcony and a stunning view of the ocean.


Bathrooms are exquisite, with high-end fixtures, a freestanding shower, soaking tub, his-and-her sinks, large vanity mirror, an array of toiletries, and plenty of thick towels. Oh, and they’re huge!


With walls of ivory-color native coral stone and a matching tile floor, the lobby is basically a long hallway that leads from the porte cochère entrance, past a small reception desk with a couple of chairs and a settee, to Tapestry Restaurant and the courtyard.


Guests gather during the day to sunbathe and chill at the fairly small but deep (4 to 10 feet) kidney-shape pool in the center of the hotel’s landscaped courtyard. As the sun sinks over the horizon, the pool forms a backdrop for cocktails before dinner.


Guests at Treasure Beach are welcome at The Spa at Tamarind, right next door, to indulge in a massage (Swedish, bamboo, Thai herbal ball, or couples), sugar body scrub, mud wrap, facial, or more.


The fitness center, open 24 hours, has workout machines, free weights, exercise balls, and more. Each guestroom is supplied with a yoga mat, and the hotel offers complimentary yoga classes twice a week.


Treasure Beach boasts an epicurean focus, and that’s evident in the culinary feats of the chef at Tapestry Restaurant. Breakfast is complimentary and served either buffet-style or à la carte—your choice. The lunch menu might suggest spring rolls, open-face focaccia sandwiches, or freshly baked gourmet pizzas. Dinner, though, is where the chef really shines. The menu changes daily and features themed dining experiences. (The restaurant is air-conditioned.)

One chef’s table dinner for two is complimentary with a minimum five-night stay.


Batik Bar serves signature (as well as familiar) cocktails and soft drinks all day, with a late-night happy hour from 10-11 p.m. every night. The Wine Cellar is an intimate spot where the sommelier hosts pairings, the chef hosts culinary events, and the bar staff presents mixology tips.


A giant mahogany tree marks the center of the sandy beach in front of the hotel. Sun loungers and beach umbrellas are set up for guests. For a more active beach time, guests enjoy complimentary use of all water sports at Tamarind, just a few steps down the beach. Try snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddle boarding, Hobie Cat sailing, waterskiing, and banana boat or tube rides behind a speedboat. Instruction is complimentary, too.

The water here is calm enough for swimming—perhaps with the sea turtles that frolic just offshore.


Getting Around

Buses pass in front of the hotel, heading north to Holetown and Speightstown or south to Bridgetown. The fare is $1. Taxis are always available. A rental car is a good idea if you want to explore the island on your own. A complimentary water taxi shuttles guests between the Elegant Hotels properties on the west coast, stopping at Crystal Cove, Waves, Tamarind, and Colony Club. The water taxi makes the several round trips per day between 9:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.


Lunch or dinner at Daphne's (2-minute walk), the beachfront restaurant situated between sister hotels Tamarind and The House, is always a treat. The chef and his brigade whip up first-class “modern Italian” cuisine, and the extensive wine list features both regional Italian and fine French selections. A little farther south at The Cliff Beach Club (3-minute drive or 10-minute walk), the seaside view is the same as its ultra-expensive, adjacent big sister (The Cliff); but the “club” atmosphere is casual, and the menu is affordable.

Scarlet (2-minute walk), a fun bistro across the road from Tamarind next door, is a great place for small plates and ’tinis or bigger plates and a bottle of wine. Heading north along Hwy. 1 but just south of Holetown, The Tides (5-minute drive) has long been considered one of the island’s best restaurants. Once a private mansion, the dining room—just feet from the sea—has huge tree trunks growing right through it. The cuisine is as dazzling as the atmosphere. And on 2nd Street in Holetown itself, The Mews (5-minute drive)—formerly a private home—is a maze of intimate dining rooms where the chef specializes in farm-to-table cooking, whether classic dishes, bistro fare, or small plates.

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.


In Holetown, enjoy a sophisticated evening at Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge (5-minute drive), just south of town, or a more lively night on 1st or 2nd Street at Red Door Lounge or Duke’s Night Lounge (10-minute drive). And on Sunday nights, Ragamuffins, also on 1st Street, has a Drag Show that attracts a crowd and often spills into the street.


Treasure Beach has always been a west-coast treasure; redesigned as an Elegant Hotels property, it has become an "elegant" west-coast treasure.


35 suites
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
Gym, Pool
Free Parking


Phones: 246-418-7131; 888-996-9948 in U.S.

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