When it comes to Barbados, there are two sides, there is the Resort (West) and there is the wild (East). On the West you will find the Platinum Coast, named after the way the coast line sparkles, where the beaches are like powder, the water crystal clear and the resorts impeccably maintained. Which is all great, one of my favorite resorts in the world is on the West Coast of Barbados, but if you are looking for something a bit more unique and “local” to the Island, the East Coast is where it is at.
Hidden away from the tourists by miles of sugar cane fields and thick lush forests filled with wild monkeys, this is where you will find the real treasure of the caribbean. The main town of the east side, Bathsheba, looks more like a former playground of Neptune, the mythical Roman god, than a weekend retreat. With it’s beaches dotted with giant limestone boulders strewn about the shallow waters of the shore. The easterly winds carving out magnificent hillsides over thousands of years, all leading to one moment… when you are standing on shore, alone, realizing that you have world class waves breaking at your feet. All of a sudden the five star resorts can’t compare.
With this part of the island having such an identity in it’s culture, you will soon meet the local characters of the area with names like Lozzie, Biju and Yellow. They run the local market, the taxi’s and are seen giving surf lessons on the beach or taking a diver or two out to the Sea Turtles. But soon enough you will realize that there is only one name you need to remember when heading to Barbados to surf, and that name is, Soup Bowl. “When Soup Bowl is firing, it gives you goose bumps” says Michael, a local surf instructor. Soup Bowl is a world class right point break that is very heavy and hallow. When it is on, it can be compared to the North Shore of Oahu. Wind can sometimes be an issue with it being on the East, but you can count on there always being waves to surf. If the wind is on shore with a strong current pulling to the North of the island, and you are up for a little adventure, or just need a bit calmer wave, it may be time to take a little drive to the South side of the island to South Point. South Point gets the first of the South East swell and with it’s left and right peak it allows you to mix it up, making for a fantastic day of surfing.
After a long day of surfing or other adventures, be sure to hit up one of the many makeshift beer bars, and local food stands serving traditional cuisine, your body will thank you.
When it comes to relaxing at the end of a long day in the water we recommend Sea-U Guest House. Situated on the East Coast just steps from Soup Bowl, you will fall in love with this easy-going retreat. Surround by lush gardens, hammocks strung between coconut palms, beautiful panaramic views and the surf crashing on the rocks below all mixed with the sights and sounds of the local wildlife, it will keep you reminded that you are far from life as you knew it (And the honor bar doesn’t hurt either). All the rooms are decorated with exceptional taste while maintaining the lifestyle of the island, casual and chic. Mornings are welcomed with amazing breakfasts and fresh breads baked daily, while evenings are met with a fantastic open-air family-style dinning experience with local specialties (Local Barbecued Lamb and Marlin in Rum Butter Sauce) only made better by the fact that it is just steps away from your room. With this combination the only questions is, how long will you be extending your stay?
SEA-U GUEST HOUSE SPECIAL
For SURF COLLECTIVE NYC readers when you book five nights or more at the Sea-U Guest House, you will get one night free. You will also receive one evening of dinner for two at their open-air restaurant.
Just reference this article when booking and you will be set. (Offer through October 31st.)
There are non-stop flights from JFK to Grantley Adams International Airport which is about a 25-minute drive to Bathsheba.