Hotel Highlights

  • Distinctive local dishes served out on the sunny terrace
  • Private and personal, with just eight rooms
  • The most stylish spot on the island’s East Coast

Overview

Stay in a stately slice of Barbados history at the Atlantis Hotel, a brightly coloured ranch turned airy contemporary getaway. Over 100 years old, this hospitable hideaway has superlative sea views – early-risers will enjoy watching the town’s intrepid fishermen set out for the days catch – and an elegant island-life vibe.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Atlantis Hotel with us:

Rum punch; stays of four nights or more, 50 per cent off lunch or dinner at the hotel or Fish Pot (the restaurant at Little Good Harbour)

Facilities

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The Atlantis Hotel - Barbados - Barbados

Need To Know

Rooms

Eight, including two suites.

Check–out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $255.00, excluding tax at 17.5 per cent.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast.

Also

Get up early one morning to watch from the terrace as the fishermen swim out to their boats for the catch of the day; head down to the fish market to buy it.

At the hotel

Lounge with library, and a flatscreen TV; iPod dock and minibar in rooms.

Our favourite rooms

Ocean-facing Three Boys is a corner room with views north to that surfer’s paradise, Bathsheba. On the other side of the house, you can’t go wrong with the comfort (and extra sitting room) of Joe’s River. The tricky choice is between jaw-dropping views out to sea, and being tucked away and so peaceful you never want to leave.

Poolside

Set in a palm-ringed, flowerpot-filled garden, the pool is lined with a sparkly turquoise mosaic.

Packing tips

Super-size sunglasses for catamaran cruising; solid shoes for heading up the hill to explore the orchids, cacti and palms at the Andromeda Botanical Gardens.

Also

There’s a four-night minimum stay (and a small extra fee) over Christmas and New Year.

Children

Children are welcome in the two-bedroom suites.

Food & Drink

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The Atlantis Hotel - Barbados - Barbados

Hotel Restaurant

Famed for its West Indian Sunday buffets, the restaurant excels in all things Bajan: flying fish fillets, conch patties, pickled seacat (octopus), pepperpot stew and breadfruit cheesecake. Black and white historic photos on the walls and plantation shutters keep it Caribbean.

Hotel Bar

Listen to the waves as you sip various rum-based drinks from the bar in a corner of the restaurant: rum punch with nutmeg and cinnamon, rum and coconut water, vintage sipping rums…

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8am until 10am; lunch is 12pm to 3pm; dinner is from 6.30pm until 9pm. The bar opens at 10am and shuts when the restaurant does. On Sundays, the restaurant is closed after lunch unless the hotel is nearly fully booked.

Room service

The full restaurant menu is available until 7pm every day except Sunday.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Casual cottons and nautical stripes.

Top table

Out on the terrace to watch the bobbing boats of Tent Bay.

Local Guide

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The Atlantis Hotel - Barbados - Barbados
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

Search for monkeys in the forests backing The Sea-U Guesthouse (+1 246 433 9450; www.seaubarbados.com), a local place for laid-back dinners with a European flavour. Close to the hotel, The Roundhouse (+1 246 433 9678; www.roundhousebarbados.com) in Bathsheba is a family-run, informal establishment known for its grills and salads.

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Breezy Caribbean bay

The Atlantis Hotel

Tent Bay, Tent Bay, Barbados, BB21054

Planes

The closest airport is Grantley Adams International, an hour away by car. British Airways (www.ba.com) flies here from London Gatwick.

Automobiles

The hotel is on the East Coast of the island. The nearest city is Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, which is a 40-minute drive. There’s free parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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The Atlantis Hotel - Barbados - Barbados

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Mr Smith has booked us a surprise holiday. To celebrate, he proposes a round of the word association game. I should have guessed what was up his sleeve when he prompts me with ‘Barbados’, before sitting back with a grin. ‘Michael Winner and Sandy Lane? Golfing footballers,’ I suggest. ‘All-inclusive resorts with Kelly...

Read more

The Atlantis Hotel

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Mr Smith has booked us a surprise holiday. To celebrate, he proposes a round of the word association game. I should have guessed what was up his sleeve when he prompts me with ‘Barbados’, before sitting back with a grin. ‘Michael Winner and Sandy Lane? Golfing footballers,’ I suggest. ‘All-inclusive resorts with Kelly Brook posing at the seashore, in an ever-changing array of swimwear?’ A sneaky look has spread across his face. ‘So you’re suggesting this Caribbean island is touristy, built-up and very much discovered?’ I nod. ‘Ha! Gotcha!’ he cheers, passing me a print-out of our reservation for the Atlantis.

Fast forward to these two Smiths in a taxi on the eastern side of Barbados. It’s clear we’re heading somewhere out of the ordinary when our driver asks us for the third time what exactly our destination is. Peering cautiously down unsigned road after road, he finally swerves off for Tent Bay, St Joseph.

Winding through country lanes past hectares of neat sugar cane farms and shady inland villages made up of small single-storey houses, we admire food shacks in peeling candy colours, and pretty clapboard churches – this is a world away from any glitz or golf. Spying posters for Brighton’s Sunday farmers market, it feels like we’re where the locals live, work and shop. ‘This is the real Barbados,’ grins Mr Smith.

Wild. Wave-bashed. Romantically wuthering. Isolated and definitely off the typical tourist trail – we’ve arrived at a surfers’ paradise at the end of a steep gritty path. Here, the Atlantis is perched above the sea on tiny Tent Bay. Composed of wood and coral stone, this gracious 10-room hideaway is a world away from the epic all-inclusive palaces and imposing walled-in resorts of the western coastline. It’s like a private home that has been here forever.

Recently renovated by owner Andrew Warden, he welcomes us with a nutmeg-spiced rum punch. Standing here since the 19th century the hotel was in desperate need of some TLC and an injection of chic. Talking us through the recent refurb, we learn that Warden cut his teeth on the island’s most in-the-know west-coast hotspots – the Fishpot restaurant and luxe bijou resort Little Good Harbour. And this deceptively laconic Aussie has now whipped Atlantic House into shape and it’s ripe for a new generation of style-conscious travellers.

Nautical and colonial references nod towards the building’s heritage as a sea-swept port of call, trimmed with wraparound plantation shutters, brass hanging lamps and hurricane lights. Chunky wooden Balinese furniture, festooned with colourful cushions in aqua green and coral, are teamed with bleached driftwood table lamps, while white-painted wood, dark mahogany and natural stone floor tiling ensure it feels breezy and summery.

Glimpsing up the Atlantic coast we can see miles of undulating waves. Rum racing to our heads, we gaze out to sea, feeling an overwhelming urge to surf. Tousled blond hair and a deep golden tan suggest Andrew knows a thing or two about riptides. Diplomatically he suggests before tackling the awesome breakers of Bathsheba, beginners such as us should maybe start our lessons further south, where the surf is more forgiving.

Quicker than you can say Quicksilver, Andrew has lined us up with the perfect teacher for private lessons. Pledging to spend our days in, on, beside or under the sea, scuba sessions are also on our agenda. Unlike the millpond-calm western coast of Barbados, this eastern seaboard scoffs at casual swimmers. Advised to avoid the riptides, Andrew suggests we wallow instead in the natural rockpools towards Barclay. Briefing over, and the planning has made us snoozy. Or is it the rum punch? Mr Smith prescribes a quick lie-down and we scarper upstairs to ‘see our room’.

Named after the iconic Three Boys rocks, our corner room is surrounded by full-length wooden shutters that invite in lots of gentle ozone air, while shading it perfectly for a nap. St Joseph’s sand-and-rock coastline is battered by Atlantic waves, providing a constantly crashing soundtrack. Marry that with a wooden four-poster and muslin drapes and inevitably a catnap becomes a serious siesta. Hours later, our eyes open just in time for a scout around the pretty garden terrace and pool before dinner.

Luckily the terrace restaurant at the Atlantis is just downstairs, and here we’re treated further to that awesome endless sea view. Local, seasonal and traditional are the buzzwords of the dining, with plenty of Caribbean favourites, such as chewy conch fritters and delicate grilled flying fish fillets, alongside more esoteric recipes. I plump for a salad of pickled seacat (aka octopus) and a mildly curried chicken roti. Mr selects a fiery pepperpot stew of dark and mysterious meat that falls of the bone in a black-pepper gravy. To the sound of waves hitting the rocks of Tent Bay, we sip one last coconut water and rum, slipping at last well and truly into island time.

The Atlantis is a rare beast in the Caribbean – infinitely more stylish than your average guesthouse and smaller than a typical resort. Drumming home how fantastically unspoiled the East Coast is, we have a whirl west side one afternoon. Here we find those pristine golf clubs, vast resorts, bustling Bridgetown and touristy Hole Town and Gucci-, Pucci- and Fiorucci-flogging malls... Meanwhile our eastern retreat beckons us back to the Barbados we now know to feel untouched, laid-back and down to earth.

Bowled over by the friendliness of all the local people we meet in Barbados, we become determined to make our experience as memorable as possible in every way. Over our week-long Caribbean holiday we cram in every authentic and unique activity possible. Then, on the flight home, Mr Smith gets that familiar twinkle in his eye. He launches a final round of word association.

‘I say Barbados,’ he says, ‘and you think…’ I tilt my head to the side and smile. ‘Reggae buses, diving 40m to the SS Stravronikita wreck, jerk chicken with rice and peas purchased from the back of a van, Bailey’s bread ’n’ butter pudding at the Fish Pot restaurant, grilled fish at Oistins Friday Fish Fry and karaoke in Moon Town with a bottle of Banks beer, in hand.’ This time, even quick-witted Mr Smith has no comeback.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Atlantis Hotel from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on 12 Nov 2013

We loved

The Atlantis is a gem amongst the glitter and bling that is more typically found in other hotels in Barbados. The location is great. Being on the Atlantic side of the island the sea is more dramatic. No wonder it's a popular venue for surfing. The hotel is informal. The staff are really friendly and obviously work as a team. Our room, Three Boys, was great. Very spacious and with fabulous views on two sides. With so few rooms (eight I think) it never feels crowded. The same is true of the pool. Also the owner Andrew is constantly overseeing what's happening in a very low-key way and it shows. If you want a true taste of Barbados do try the Atlantis. We will certainly return.

Don’t expect

Whilst every dish is well prepared the evening menu lacks a certain something so you are left maybe wishing for a little more choice or perhaps more interesting dishes, particularly if you stay more then three or four days. Breakfast and lunch however are very good.

Rating: 10/10 stars