Living in Barbados

Iyna Bort Caruso

Barbados is known as much for its culture of fine service as its fine sand beaches.

Life is good in this former British colony. The blended English-Caribbean mix manifests in two local passions, cricket and Crop Over, the latter being a Carnival-like festival marking the end of the annual sugar cane harvest.

Its attractions are cultural, historical and natural. A temperate year-round climate of sunshine and inviting breezes envelopes this island nation just 21 miles long. Though densely populated, it’s filled with quiet stretches of pristine beaches that beckon international crowds, especially from the United Kingdom who are linked by the island’s English colonial ties. Those crowds brim with elites who indulge their fantasy of living like a Bajan while having access to a range of resort-style amenities.

Political stability and a strong infrastructure of roads, health care and communications have bolstered the Barbados vacation home market. The government imposes no restrictions on international buyers who enjoy a wide choice of second home styles: beachfront villas, plantation mansions and modern residences that echo the flavor of original heritage home architecture.

Barbados is divided into 11 parishes. The quiet southern coast has a local feel, while the east coast is a place of rugged beauty and surfer-friendly beaches. The north is marked by dramatic coral and sandstone cliffs rising out of the sea.

Bridgetown is the capital city, situated in southwestern Barbados. From there, prestigious properties clustered along the western coast are less than 20 minutes away. Once known as the Gold Coast, the name was elevated to reflect the influx of global billionaires. It’s now called the Platinum Coast, a strip that's been sensitively developed to protect the environment. Compounds with palatial villas cater to high net worth individuals--royalty included--with elegant five-star concierge service that exemplifies the best of the Barbados lifestyle.