Despite being particularly famed for its gorgeous beaches, Barbados is one destination that has it all. Think lush gardens, a UNESCO-listed heritage capital, excellent nightlife, and white beaches with turquoise bays. Many might be surprised to learn that Barbados isn’t amongst the gay-friendly Caribbean nations. This is largely due to antiquated anti-gay laws left over from the British occupation. However, things are slowly changing, and there are many gay friendly hotels in Barbados today, something that was unimaginable before. Even though it has no gay scene with zero gay bars, the capital Bridgetown hosted its first Pride parade in 2018. In fact, the plans are to scale up the celebrations in the coming years. Barbados even joined the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality, along with Saint Lucia, Grenada, and a few others. The plans are to begin challenging the outdated anti-LGBTQ+ laws that are in place currently.
Besides a pulsating nightlife, there are so many Top Things To Do In Barbados. The top thing is visiting its world-famous beaches, such as Crane Beach, one of the world’s best beaches. Nature lovers will love the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. On the other hand, intrepid adventurers are better off exploring the caves along the coast, such as Harrison’s Cave. Even culture lovers have something of interest here; the UNESCO World Heritage structures of Bridgetown. And who can forget the wild but picturesque Bathsheba on the rugged Eastern Coast? So, if you’re looking for a laidback gay Caribbean beach vacation, then why not consider Barbados? To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Barbados.
Table of contents
- Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels
- Sugar Bay Barbados
- Sweetfield Manor
- Cobblers Cove
- The SoCo Hotel
- Fairmont Royal Pavilion
- The Crane
- Waves Hotel & Spa
- The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa
- Coconut Court Beach Hotel
- The House by Elegant Hotels
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Barbados
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Barbados
- Best Gay Saunas in Barbados
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Barbados
Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels
We begin our list with one of the most popular gay friendly hotels in Barbados, Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels. This compact, all-suite, adults-only property sits on Paynes Bay, one of Barbados’ best beaches. This lovely and pristine beach is perfect for arm-in-arm strolls, snorkeling off the shore, and safe swimming. With just 35 rooms, this is one of the most intimate hotel properties on the island. All suites sit in whitewashed structures around the swimming pool, complete with swanky mod-cons, Barbadian artwork, and bold seascape prints. Bathrooms are huge and indulgent, to stay the least, and feature separate bathtubs and walk-in showers. You’ll also find minibars, tablets for browsing the web and hotel info, yoga mats, and turndown service as perks. The best of them all is the Luxury Ocean View suites, which have rooftop plunge pools!
The swimming pool with a stunning outdoor bar with wicker seating is the center of all action on the property. The towering mahogany tree above the beach and behind the pool is one gorgeous visual focal point. The staff keeps bringing everything from fruit and ice lollies to cold flannels and drinks to the pool or beach loungers. A bevy of spa treatments and watersports are available at the next-door sister property Tamarind. What’s more, there are complimentary activities such as weekly Treasure Art Crawls and twice-weekly yoga sessions. Food is a big selling point, with both restaurants serving lip-smacking meals.
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Sugar Bay Barbados
Gay travelers who love lively digs will love Sugar Bay Barbados. This lively all-inclusive beachfront resort is close to the capital Bridgetown, sitting on the island’s south coast. The resort boasts a boho-chic beach vibe with random pops of color bringing white furnishings to life. The beach is a major draw and is dotted with loungers and hammocks. All138 rooms and suites have the same relaxed, boho-chic vibe with vibrant splashes of color in the form of birdlife and floral prints. The bathrooms might be standard, but the huge mirrors are a cheeky addition. Moreover, all rooms and suites boast small terraces or balconies, either garden or pool views.
You’ll find yourself drawn to the main pool with plush sun loungers and a swim-up bar. So, a refreshing all-inclusive drink is not far away. After a swim and a lounge, head to the fitness center, or better yet, the Karma Spa. Those who’re feeling intrepid can head off to the beach to try non-motorized watersports. Two restaurants serve all meals, but the beach bar and the small pool beside it are particularly popular. Did we tell you it’s also one of the Best Family Hotels in Barbados? Yes!
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Not all LGBTQ travelers love huge beach resorts; some prefer small-scale hotels like Sweetfield Manor. One of the loveliest gay friendly hotels in Barbados, the hotel sits in an early-1900s plantation home in the suburbs of Bridgetown. The white house with green shutters, complete with pineapple statues and palms flanking the entrance, set the tone. There are just 10 elegant rooms, of which some are in the main house while others sit in outbuildings in the pretty brick-paved courtyard. Nevertheless, all of them have antiques such as chaise lounges and carved beds and modern furniture such as metallic-silver four-poster beds. Eye-catching decorative touches such as Panama hats on a wall lend a unique touch. Mod-cons feature bathrobes, Nespresso machines, and huge bathrooms with walk-in rainforest showers. If you want rooms with private outdoor spaces, go for Bananaquit Corner, Hummingbird Nook, or Carriage House.
The secluded and very enticing natural swimming pool with tropical foliage and rocks is undoubtedly the star of the property. An open-air structure is where yoga sessions and relaxing spa treatments take place. The grounds are very romantic and atmospheric, with a koi fish pond, lots of intimate seating, bursts of bougainvillea, and lawns. Besides the upscale restaurant, you’ll love the à la carte breakfasts on the intimate terrace overlooking the lush gardens.
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Discerning gay travelers will love the genteel, colonial-style, and classic Cobblers Cove, one of the chicest gay hotels in Barbados. Tucked on a quiet western coast waterfront spot, the Cove is a tropical version of a British country-house hotel. It sits in a pink-hued 1940s crenelated mansion surrounded by palm-festooned gardens. With just 40 rooms or rather suites, staying here is an intimate and exclusive experience. What’s more, they’re gorgeously decked out in quicker furniture and soothing paisley or floral patterns. Even bathrooms are lavish, with deep-soaking bathtubs in some of them. If that wasn’t enough, they even have kitchenettes, patios, terraces, and no TVs, thus creating a serene, tech-free space. Do you want to splurge? The Colleton suite has a plunge pool on a rooftop terrace!
The service and facilities are among the best on the island, with a turndown evening service featuring hotel-made pastries and cookies. There is a bevy of facilities too, including an inviting swimming pool where you can enjoy a refreshing swim and a lounge later on. Energetic travelers will love the watersports, the tennis court, and the gym, after which you can unwind at the two-room spa. Meals have the reputation of being the best on the island, which you can enjoy on the waterfront terrace. Breakfasts are even better, with cooked treats to heather options, while the traditional afternoon teas are a major draw.
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The SoCo Hotel
The SoCo Hotel is yet another of the best gay friendly hotels in Barbados. The intimate, chic, all-inclusive, adults-only property sits on a great beach on Barbados’ south coast, with an oceanfront boardwalk. It boasts a boutique, trendy feel, with its name being an abbreviation of Barbados’ south coast. Moreover, the entire hotel has an understated palette of cream and white throughout, including the 24 rooms and suites. What’s more, they all boast mesmerizing views of the sea from their balconies. Abstract art, plush mod-cons, and luxe bathrooms dominate all rooms. But, if you want to go for the best, the seven Deluxe corner rooms are slightly larger than the others.
After a grand welcome, head directly to comfy sun loungers on the terrace of the bean-shaped swimming pool. If you’re the exploring kind, the hotel arranges for excursions, after which it even arranges for in-room spa treatments. The restaurant boasts great food and excellent views, with breakfast featuring a huge selection of cooked treats like French toast and eggs Benedict. However, the pool terrace bar is excellent, offering local beer on tap and even Caribbean rums.
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Fairmont Royal Pavilion
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion has arguably the best location on the island; it sits on the pristine Alleynes Bay on Barbados’ western coast. This long-standing Barbados luxury stalwart is easily one of the most elegant places to stay on the island. A palm-lined driveway leads to the pink-hued hotel, surrounded by lush acres of trimmed and manicured lawns. Choose from 72 rooms, all of which lie right behind the beach and face out to sea! Done in soothing hues of beige, grey, and cream, the accommodations feature modern Barbardian art and lavish marble bathrooms with bathtubs and walk-in showers. Coffee and tea-making facilities and robes are standard. While the upper-floor rooms have huge balconies, the ground-floor ones are suites with wooden decks and sun loungers, just feet away from the sand.
Expect a host of luxury trappings, such as the beach being raked every morning, evening turndown, and the suites getting butler services. The lovely swimming pool with a huge hot tub to the side is the centerpiece of the property. Guests will love the non-motorized watersports, too, as well as the gym and the two tennis courts. Besides in-room treatments, two beachfront restaurants serve delectable meals, including a hearty spread for breakfast.
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The Crane is undoubtedly the largest and the most luxurious of gay friendly hotels in Barbados. This sprawling gated hotel and timeshare complex sits on a gorgeous beach on Barbados’ southeastern coast. Dating back to 1887, it also happens to be Barbados’ oldest hotel! With glorious sea views, lots of tropical foliage, and winding pathways, it’s an enticing way to cut off from the bustle of Barbados. Rooms, which are huge apartments and labeled suites, have four-poster beds and balconies or terraces. Moreover, there are even vast marble bathrooms with whirlpool baths! Finally, all rooms have kitchens (the smallest ones have kitchenettes), many have ocean views, and some even have private pools.
The facilities are among the best of any Barbados resort, especially the fabulous, landscaped swimming pool complex with tiered pools set into the clifftop. Adults have some respite in the form of the elegant adults-only pool on the cliffside overlooking Crane Beach. Besides a small spa, the three dining options are the highlight, all with decadent beach views. Breakfasts are the star, with full continental buffets on some days and generous à la carte options on other days.
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Waves Hotel & Spa
Tucked off the beach on a busy coastal road in western Barbados is the adults-only hideaway of Waves Hotel & Spa. The resort’s main beachfront section boasts a large lounge bar and a long wooden deck above the beach, with lots of scenic seating. During evenings, the place is lit up with torches, with live music playing often. There are just 70 rooms, all with beachy pictures, pieces of driftwood, and smart bathrooms with walk-in showers large enough for two. Most of the rooms are on the beachside, with most of them looking straight out to sea from wonderful balconies and patios. What’s more, there are more similarly-styled rooms across the road that overlook the adults-only pool and the spa.
The service is excellent, with beach and pool ‘ambassadors’ serving cold towels, iced melon balls, snacks, and drinks at your sunbed. Choose from two swimming pools, of which the adults-only freeform pool is more appealing; it even has a whirlpool. The spa is a major selling point, complete with a steam room and a sauna. Adventurous gay travelers will love the many watersports on offer, including high-speed tube rides, water-skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. For an all-inclusive property, the food is great, especially the breakfast that’s an excellent, comprehensive buffet. It’s no wonder that this is amongst the Best Hotels in Barbados.
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The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa
The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa is one of the best adults-only gay friendly hotels in Barbados. The low-key all-inclusive property sits on the island’s west coast, boasting striking sunset views. It features a faded colonial aesthetic that is common to Barbados. All 161 rooms and suites lie around the garden, the four pools, and on the seafront. Oranges and blues rule the roost, with bright furnishings and dark woods complementing them. Besides all expected amenities, you’ll also find coffee makers and towels for pool and beach use. Artwork and chic bathrooms aside, it’s the sea-view rooms with pretty sunset views that are the best of them all.
Choose from four tiered pools to swim, play, and lounge at, with the top pool even featuring complimentary balls and a volleyball net. The spa offers an excellent range of treatments and massages after a day of exploring the island. With five bars and two restaurants, you’re never too far from a drink or a delicious meal. Finally, breakfast is a lavish buffet meal.
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Coconut Court Beach Hotel
Gay travelers on a budget, the Coconut Court Beach Hotel is for you. One of the best-value gay hotels in Barbados, this one sits on the southern Hastings Beach, overlooking a large manmade lagoon. Rooms and suites sit in pea-green five-storeyed accommodation blocks overlooking the pool and the beach beyond. Moreover, all 112 rooms face the ocean and have delightful balconies or terraces and kitchenettes. Even the entry-level rooms are spacious but go for the higher-up ones with uninterrupted sea views, chic bathrooms, and smarter furnishings.
For a budget hotel, the facilities are quite good. The main beachside restaurant serves all meals, including barbeque buffets for dinner twice a week. There are two bars as well, with the beach bar being particularly enticing and great for sundowners. Swim in and lazy on the loungers by the large rectangular swimming pool, and enjoy a soak in the whirlpool tub later on. Energetic travelers will love heading on island tours, renting boogie boards, snorkel equipment, and the beach volleyball court. No matter what you do, make it back to the hotel for a film screening on the beach one evening a week.
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The House by Elegant Hotels
Sitting atop the list of the best gay friendly hotels in Barbados is unarguably the most exclusive adults-only property on the island, The House by Elegant Hotels. The small-scale and chic hotel sits on one of the best beaches on the country’s west coast, Paynes Bay. A dramatic lily pond-lined walkway leads to the living room area, through to the limestone deck and the beach beyond. Choose from 34 stylish bedrooms, which include one-bedroom and junior suites with discrete living and sleeping areas. Nevertheless, all rooms boast balconies or terraces, huge, cloud-like beds, and white-and-black photos of Barbados scenes. Even bathrooms are lavish, with showers being elaborate multi-jet contraptions for a decadent bath for two. Some suites have private plunge pools, and most rooms boast ocean views if that wasn’t enough.
The service is excellent, with the staff getting you everything from poolside drinks to fixing day excursions. The pool and the beachside services include being plied with complimentary treats such as iced lollies, besides a litany of drinks. Water bums will love garbing the water-skiing and snorkeling equipment, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from the watersports center. After a day of activity, a session at the spa seems fitting. Besides a host of restaurants serving romantic meals, the House also lays out elegant afternoon tea and decadent breakfast.
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Best Gay Neighborhoods in Barbados
Since Barbados isn’t exactly gay-friendly, you won’t find a gay neighborhood here either. That said, most of the bars, restaurants, and hotels lie on or near the beaches on the upscale west and the modern southern coasts. Christ Church and Saint Phillip, particularly in the southwest and southeast part of the island, are very popular for water activities. Saint Michael and Saint James on the northwestern coast are similarly popular for active water vacations. The eastern and northern coasts are more rugged, rough, and low-key, perfect for secluded and laidback island getaways.
Since Barbados is amongst the least gay-friendly islands in the Caribbean, LGBTQ couples, anyone really, should be very careful about not displaying any PDA. The country doesn’t really have any laws to protect LGBTQ people, so it’s best to stay safe on that front.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Barbados
There are no gay bars or clubs anywhere in Barbados, and most of the parties that happen are usually word of mouth. What’s more, there are no out-and-out bars or restaurants that call themselves gay-friendly. So, we’re listing the best bars and places to eat on the island instead.
- Copacabana: Sink your toes into the feather-soft sands of Brownes Beach at this amazing beach club, where you can sip drinks with amazing sea views. Choose from four-poster daybeds, sand-top qicker sofas, and parasol-shaded picnic tables to choose to comfortably sit on. If that wasn’t enough, the place even has special events such as Tequila and Taco Sundays with DJs spinning tunes until the wee hours of the morning.
- Harbour Lights: This is the most popular and famous Bownes Beach beach club, where waiters serve drinks such as rum punches and fresh coconuts filled with rum right to your sun lounger! Monday and Wednesday evenings see steel bands, fire eaters, and stilt walkers perform as you sip on drinks. Party animals should come here on Wednesdays and Fridays when the entire place is an open-air beachfront nightclub!
Best Gay Saunas in Barbados
On the lines of gay bars or the lack thereof, there are no gay saunas in Barbados either. However, there is an underground cruising scene, which you’ll need to find out by talking to the locals.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Barbados
- Barbados Pride: The very first Pride parade in Barbados took place in Bridgetown in 2018. It saw more than 120 people of the LGBTQ+ community, and their allies, come out and march and dance down the street. Despite opression and threats, the parade took place and plans to continue in a bigger and better way in the future.