Last November we visited The Mews to experience their then new “Farm to Table” menu. This year we're back and delighted to share with you that this visit again did not disappoint. Whether you're new to The Mews or need a refresh, let us set the scene...
Other than the festive season in Barbados(Peek our winter getaways), November is one of our favourite times of the year as we celebrate Independence Day and a plethora of fun activities. If you love the water, November offers the Barbados Open Water Festival and the Live Like Zander Junior PRO WSL (World Surf League) & Thomo QS 1000 WSL.
We're all guilty of making those last-minute travel plans but with winter right around the corner, you'll want to forget the freeze and stay warm at any of our stunning holiday rentals. From our intimate beachfront retreats to fully staffed luxury villas, you can decide on luxury your way. Just for you, 7-night bookings are available at some of our most coveted vacation villas. Fly south...Barbados beckons.
Sunday is now our favourite day of the week! The Cliff Beach Club has made us fall in love all over again with a fresh and timeless way to relax and while the day away. Lunch at the Beach Club features a live band and quite frequently a fashion show hosted by the in-house boutique.
With the holiday season fast upcoming, shopping is quite a polarising topic: some love it, others...well... not so much. As a Blue Sky Luxury Villa guest, you can design your personal shopping experience however you want to. There is no reason why you should be worried about where to find what you’re looking for or how you’ll get there and back to your holiday getaway.
A trip to local French bakery La Baguette left me speechless - with only one word to describe the quick but delightful experience...Magnifique! As I sit here demolishing the last of my delicious Almond Croissant (ok last of two! I had to have another one) Let me give you the rundown, here’s why you should visit this charming French bakery in Barbados.
Most of us can admit to the occasional social media indulgence. We are either scrolling through timelines, searching for post inspiration or curating the perfect shot. It is no wonder then that social media has become a travel buddy. After all, if you don’t post awe-inspiring shots of your island getaway, did it really happen?
With a number of jaw-dropping homes in our portfolio, perfect for Instagram photos, this week we are highlighting 5 villas that are true #InstaGoals.
Crop Over is Barbados’ most colourful and popular festival. With origins dating back to the 1790’s, it is considered a summer festival during which the richest and most creative and fun aspects of Barbadian culture are on full display. Besides the gorgeously bedazzled costumes, pulsating rhythms and bountiful eats, here are 3 things you should know about Crop Over.
Tennis Shoes, sneakers, trainers, gym shoes, runners, soft-wear - whatever you call them, here are 4 reasons why you should remember to pack them for your next Barbados getaway!
Our beaches are undeniably signature summer hotspots, but this summer here are 3 top picks that everyone needs to experience while in Barbados…
Near or far, travelling should be about crossing borders - no pun intended. Step out of old routines and into new experiences in order to have a different type of fun. Now don’t find yourself in a "Locked Up Abroad" type of situation but inserting yourself into the culture and local swing of things is a good idea. To help you upgrade your travel experience, here are a few tips to help you step out of your comfort zone and get started on the journey to the best vacation ever!
“Summer, Summer, Summertime! Time to sit back and unwind”. (Admit it, you sang along in your head.)
Things are heating up, a sure sign that the Summer months are upon us. Not only is the weather perfect for boardshorts and bikinis but the beautiful summer weather in Barbados and the stunning blues of the Caribbean Sea serve as the perfect backdrop for outdoor nuptials.
Here are a few of our top picks of stunning villa locations for those thinking of tying the knot in Barbados, this tropical paradise!
Speightstown, one of the four pillar towns on the island, encompasses everything from relics of British military history to contemporary fine dining restaurants. This presumably laid back town also has quite a bit to offer in terms of good shopping, banks, sidewalk vendors as well as excellent casual dining options.
Once again another month in 2019 draws closer to an end but this one is a little different for Motorsport fans. The end of May marks the beginning of Barbados’ premier rally event, Sol Rally Barbados 2019! It all starts on Saturday May 25th with the signature Scrutineering Event held at Banks Breweries Playing field, from 1:00 – 6:00 pm. Locals and visitors alike can get a chance to view the cars, meet and greet some of the competitors - including our very own Chief Executive, Andrew Mallalieu of The Terra Group! Andrew is a competitor in M4 (Modified 4) for this year’s Rally. He teams up with Geoff Goddard, also from Barbados, in his signature branded Subaru Impreza.
At Blue Sky Luxury we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional guest experiences. Often we do not think about it, but the process of ensuring our visitors have the most unforgettable stay at our luxurious vacation villas is one that undoubtedly starts well before they arrive. In order to continuously facilitate our guests with five-star services using The Blue Standard, the stellar Property Management team spares no effort all year round. These wonderful personalities make sure that all homes are well equipped with regard to health and safety, cleanliness and maintenance and a vast range of other services.
We're so excited to welcome you to Barbados this spring!
Get an early start on your vacation plans before the sweet summer rush! Say yes to up to 15% off on selected villas and apartments and choose from a range of luxury holiday homes that match your spring mood.
How do you know when you need the therapeutic magic of a luxury villa in Barbados? You’re jaded and your morning coffee doesn’t seem to pack the punch it usually does. Deep down you know you’re due for a getaway. Your mind wanders as you sift through Google search results for ‘Barbados vacation’ and ‘villas in Barbados’ but now, it is time. Barbados is ready to soothe your body and soul and right now, your therapy starts with our three newest Barbados luxury villas that will satisfy the yearning in you.
"No maybes in May!" is the motto of the month. It is on this note that our Concierge Can team has compiled a list of events and activities designed to encourage you to indulge in nothing less than inspiring experiences. Perhaps you're a history buff and understanding facets of Barbadian culture through a special exhibition at the Barbados Museum is something that will tickle your fancy, or what about entertaining your inner fitness fan with the Hill Challenge hike? If neither is your "thing" and you crave more excitement, join scores of locals at the highlight event of the month and become a spectator at the very thrilling Sol Rally Barbados. Perfect for warming up to summer, find these suggestions and lots more in between on this list of to-dos.
Why choose a Villa?
The perfect vacation is all about freedom of choice – escaping your daily routine to indulge in the things you want to do, whenever you want to do them. Villas can bring a whole new dimension to your holiday and make it more memorable for everyone involved by offering you the privacy, exclusivity and personalization for the whole family.
What does it take to create an exceptional Barbados villa rental holiday? It begins with a dream of something exciting and an experienced team equipped to bring your vision to life. Helping you plan your perfect luxury Barbados villa holiday is what we do best. We possess an impressive portfolio of over 120 of the finest Barbados holiday homes. Our team of fun, enthusiastic staff are dedicated to ensuring your Barbados holiday experience is nothing less than remarkable.
You’re in Barbados - yes! The rum punch is flowing, the beaches are flawless and your holiday is, well, perfect. But, let us introduce you to an authentically Barbadian immersion that will sure to be the cherry on top and deepen your appreciation of our island paradise.
We’re taking you to St. Ann’s Garrison, St. Michael Barbados. A beacon of cultural pride steeped in an illustrious history. This site served as the heart of Britain’s military strength within its Western Hemisphere empire, and on your next trip, will be the perfect place to have a leisurely - and very educational - day of touring!
Guess what? April means it's properly spring time, so spring into action this month with a little motivation from our Concierge Can team in helping you to decide your next move. For many locals this time of the year is much anticipated as it signals the Barbados Reggae Festival, which is usually an amazing showcase of local and regional talent dedicated to reggae lovers. Or maybe, you want to embark on "a remarkable journey where island relaxation and festival culture seamlessly intersect", that is the Vujaday Music Festival. If festivals don't inspire you, there are many more activities on this to-do list compiled to encourage memorarable moments. Enjoy.
Speightstown is the proverbial beacon of the north of Barbados, and if you come away feeling like the northern folks are friendliest, the food tastes more ‘Barbadian’ and the air breathes fresher, then you are not alone. Four hundred years after being settled by the British, Speightstown has reinvented itself and is now one of the four pillar towns on the island - but on its maps, the street names and places of interest herald back to days of its infancy.
Our Barbados vacation video “Tag Your Travel Partner” is now at Episode 3! This series is guaranteed to incite your wanderlust! Our Concierge Can team at Blue Sky Luxury has lots of local knowledge to ensure that you enjoy an authentic local experience. What are you waiting for? Tag Your Travel Partner!
What does it take to create an exceptional Barbados villa rental holiday? It begins with a dream of something exciting and an experienced team equipped to bring your vision to life. We possess an impressive portfolio of over 120 of the finest Barbados holiday homes and helping you to plan your perfect luxury Barbados villa holiday is what we do best. Our team of fun, enthusiastic staff are dedicated to ensuring your Barbados holiday experience is nothing less than remarkable.
A stay at Nelson Gay unveils six decades of charm and sophistication presented on two acres of mature and immaculately lush gardens. Located on a beautiful half-mile of beach on the outskirts of Speightstown, its surrounding waters and reef are a playground for swimmers and snorkelers.
View Nelson Gay here!
March is here! This month should be FUN x3! If you want to max out or haven't had your required share of excitement, here is a list of events that is sure to help you catch up.
Nestled on the grounds of Porters Great House Estate is the lovely Porters Villa. As the direct representatives of this lovely home, we, the team at Blue Sky Luxury had to share a bit of history about this stunning Barbados property. From our Reservations Specialist who’ve visited the cottage and know it intimately, to our Property Managers who ensure that all is in perfect working order during your stay, we hope that you’ll fall in love with Porters Villa just like we have.
Catch the second episode of our all new Barbados vacation video “Tag Your Travel Partner!”. This series is guaranteed to incite your wanderlust! Our Concierge Can team at Blue Sky Luxury has lots of local knowledge to ensure that you enjoy an authentic local experience. What are you waiting for? Tag Your Travel Partner!
Choose your luxury vacation villa in Barbados here!
Experience the Magic of Messel by visiting Fustic House, a historical 11-acre estate perched on a coral ridge in St. Lucy! Boasting unforgettable views, this grand estate will be open to the public for an Open House programme presented by the Barbados National Trust. Visitors will be in for a treat as the team at Blue Sky Luxury will be on hand to share details on this exclusive vacation home that is a part of our flagship portfolio! Come meet our team, have a delicious sno cone or take a picture for your loved ones battling the icy weather! Click here for a preview of Fustic House - a stunning Barbados holiday home!
The distinctive sound of the bat cracking against the leathery ball, lively cheers and thunderous appeals have started to fill the air around the legendary Kensington Oval as 2019 opens with a bang for lovers of the island’s national sport. The England tour of the West Indies kicked off in Barbados from January 23 to January 27 with the first test match, and the island has already welcomed scores of British visitors making the pilgrimage to the cricketing Mecca of the Caribbean.
Only an earshot away from luxury vacation rentals Palm Beach and Margate Gardens, chic new number the Blue Pineapple has unveiled it's uniqueness. Set out on a manicured lawn on the Hastings boardwalk and featuring elements from Asia and the Mediterranean, the lounge/ restaurant is almost completely outdoors except for its covered dining area; which is ideally suited for larger parties. With most of the seating having been designed purely for lounging on, you can literally kick off your shoes and just relax.
January may be over but the excitement doesn't have to be! If you haven't already indulged in the thrills and frills of Barbados Sailing Week - or even if you have, there's some more exhilarating water-sporting action via deAction Waterman Beach Festival up ahead. Or maybe you just want to make this Barbados beach holiday even more breathtaking by booking Microlight Aerial Tour's Open Air Cockpit Flight to find yourself locked in extraordinary enchanting views of the island. Whatever blows your hair back most, our Concierge Can team is on call to expedite.
Video compliments Barbados Sailing Week.
Barbados Sailing Week takes place from January 16th to 24th, 2019! And our team is SO excited. From coastal races to the round the island race...we're looking forward to seeing who wins their weight in Mount Gay Extra Old Rum!
What’s on your mind for 2019? Whatever you decide, if you want to take your new year’s resolution to the next level - while making fond memories and stirring up a bit of holiday envy - Barbados is the place to do it! Here are the top five resolutions you can make - and keep - in Barbados!
With the New Year comes new goals and that time is again approaching! Whether you’re looking to be thrilled by the atmosphere of a polo match or simply entranced by the exquisite sights and smells of a garden and flower show, our Concierge Can team has the ability to tailor to suit.
A Blue Sky Luxury Christmas vacation in Barbados with the family affords you the luxury to retreat from it all in the tranquility and pampering of your handpicked luxury villa. And, rest assured that your holiday home will be outfitted with friendly, attentive staff that caters to your every need while you relax and enjoy quality family time and make lasting memories.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without the K9 Friends Barbados Charity Auction! The charity, which is synonymous with the festive season, continues to benefit the island’s furry residents by epitomizing the spirit of the season as locals and visitors patronize in the spirit of giving!
Our all new Barbados vacation video “Tag Your Travel Partner!” is guaranteed to incite your wanderlust! Our Concierge Can team at Blue Sky Luxury has lots of local knowledge to ensure that you enjoy an authentic local experience. What are you waiting for? Tag Your Travel Partner!
Choose your luxury vacation villa in Barbados here!
It's not an Illusion... Warmth beckons, leave the chill behind and escape to this Barbados vacation villa for the holidays.
This elegantly designed holiday rental is nestled in the gated community of the Sugar Hill Resort. Enjoy breathtaking beach views, beautifully landscaped gardens- with bananas, papayas and coconuts depending on the time of year and a verdant putting green to sharpen up your game! Guest have access to the beach facility at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion hotel a short drive away.
What’s your favourite number? Why you might ask? Well this year, Barbados’ favourite number is 52 and here’s why - on November 30, as the clocks strike midnight, Barbados’ 52nd year of Independence will officially begin! For the lucky ones who’ve booked their Barbados holiday for November, you are surely in store for an unexpected treat. This month, the most Barbadian of Barbadian sights, tastes and sounds are on display across the island, culminating with an extravaganza of activities on the last day! Let’s take a look at the day’s events as we invite you to participate in whatever your heart desires!
The months of November and December are some of the most exciting in Barbados. November brought us The Barbados Open Water Festival, Nifca and yet to come is Independence Day in Barbados which falls on November 30th! This is a special time for Barbadians so check out our blog on what Independence means to Barbados and how we celebrate it...Bajan style! As December approaches, the festive season is on every one's minds so our December Edition of "Something's Happening" tells you what's happening in December. We look forward to the Run Barbados Marathon Weekend that runs (pun intended) from December 7th - 9th. Carols by Candlelight, a magical evening of candlelight and music in aid of raising funds for the less fortunate in Barbados and not to be missed K9 Charity usually hosted by Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman. Read on!
It’s 6:00 pm and the Concierge team and I arrive at the Mews for a Concierge Party to experience a firsthand taste of their new “Farm to Table” menu. The Mews is a “not so typical” eatery nestled off a side street in the hustle and bustle of the 2nd Street neighbourhood in Holetown, Barbados. We’re super excited, as we love to have a firsthand experience to ensure that our guests are having the very best. Ladies and gentlemen…The Mews did not disappoint.
We’ll forgive you if you don’t know this, but Barbados celebrates independence on November 30! And, in this our 52nd year of independence, we want you to get ready to experience our culture through the arts all month long!
Every November for the last 45 years, the annual National Independence Festival of Creative Arts - simply known as NIFCA - has been held at various venues across the island as an ode to the island’s performing, visual, culinary and literary arts.
Photo compliments Global Swim Series
Calling all competitive - and hobbyist - swimmers! From November 7 through November 11, the most spectacular open water swimming event will take place on the island - we welcome you to the 2018 Barbados Open Water Festival!
The five-day festival, which has become a staple on the Barbados calendar of sporting events for the past seven years, will feature three practice swims, one fun event and will culminate with three swim races - all hosted at some of the most spellbinding beaches the island has to offer. Check out the full schedule for the Barbados Open Water Festival!
The great thing about the Barbados Open Water Festival is that it is the perfect blend of competitive action, camaraderie, gorgeous views and an experience like no other open water festival! But don’t just take our word for it! We’ve met with veteran competitor Amanda Garcia, our skilled Property Manager of luxury villa Crystal Springs to get a first-hand account of the amazing festival!
With the holidays fast approaching, we invite you to step inside the toasty warmth of luxury vacation villa Marsh Mellow …
This uniquely designed holiday home will inspire your travel dreams for Christmas and the New Year! Perched on a magnificent ridge, this home commands stunning ocean views from every room and is ideal for family and friends.
If you are a surfer, surf enthusiast or you just generally love outdoor events then you should visit Barbados for the PEG Independence Surf Festival for the ultimate Barbados getaway! All paths lead to the iconic “mushroom rock” at Soup Bowl, Bathsheba where the action will take place from November 6th – 11th 2018. If you’ve never visited, then put aside any thoughts that you may have about the rugged beauty of the east coast. Unlike the polished west and south coasts of Barbados, a visit to Soup Bowl is like no other. Known mainly for surfing, a drive down to the east coast evokes the feeling of being lost in a rugged paradise.
The Barbados flag is emblazoned with Poseidon’s trident for a reason. The waters off this island are nothing more than breathtaking, and pique each sense for an unforgettable experience that is reminiscent of sirens in its allure. The west coast of the island has the glassiest, most lounge-worthy beaches, which creates the perfect environment for watersports and other ocean- related soft adventures that have become staples during every Barbados holiday.
October heralds the start of the Barbados Food and Rum Festival 2018! The festival starts a month early this year, on October 18 - 21 - a move which has been reportedly received with delight by many who have been unable to participate in the festival in previous years. For all of our foodies, this is great news! We encourage you to indulge in true Barbadian culinary arts not only at the festival but with a stay at one of our Barbados vacation rentals which offer exceptional gastronomical fare. Read on, we’ll tell you what’s new with the festival, where to stay in Barbados and how you can get free nights in fall with Blue Sky Luxury – The Holiday Home Experts!
Head on down to Batts Rock, St. James to experience sundowners at La Cabane, Barbados’ newest and trendiest beach bar! With uninterrupted views across perfectly turquoise waters and breathtaking views, La Cabane is a breezy drive away from luxury vacation rentals Senderlea and The newly renovated The Villa & The One at the St. James. Described as “ A place to relax all day, from early morning for breakfast through until late for dinner under the stars.” We’ve been to La Cabane, we’ve seen and we’ve tasted … and it lives up to the description!
The meek north has its historic bounties, and the west prides itself in luxuriousness, but the southern and eastern coasts combined are a cornucopia of everything. If you take a map of the island and trace your finger along the coastline from Bridgetown to Bathsheba, the arc resembles a smile; but, as the saying goes, there is much more to this area than meets the eye. The narrative of these two coasts is a colourful one, and just like protagonists and antagonists of stories, their personalities couldn’t be more contrasting nor their intentions more sundry.
As the holiday home experts in Barbados, our expertise is all about creating exceptional Barbados vacations; including guiding you on local events and iconic activities. This includes - how to have a great outing at a cricket match, have conversational knowledge on the game, or as most of us do, simply enjoy the action packed outing – with friends and family. For the cricket experts, who already know all about the sport, we’ll tell you how cricket has evolved in Barbados, from low key to super entertaining!
Blue Sky Luxury Barbados has two new additions to their luxury holiday rentals portfolio! 'The Villa at The St. James' and 'The One at the St. James' are two new exclusive beachfront apartments along the exclusive West Coast of Barbados just south of the world famous Sandy Lane Hotel. Click through to our official website to explore these stunning beachfront vacation rentals!
Click here to view - The Villa at The St. James
Click here to view - The One at the St. James
Contact our experts for more information on either of these stunning holiday homes!
N.B. Images are of the show home and are representative of the furnishings at this point. The home will be completed in November 2018 at which time actual photos will be presented.
5 Historic Sites You Must Visit in Barbados!
Every island and country boasts about their historic gems. But in Barbados, our stories are quite colourful! With chapters of our history featuring protagonists such as pirates and their shenanigans, and even presidents of great nations, we’re sure you’ll appreciate visiting these iconic locations for a peek into the island’s past!
Leave your shorts and swim suits out for just a bit longer and jet off to Barbados for the Fall getaway of a lifetime! This fall, there is so much to do on island that we’re having trouble choosing one specific event and activity for you to enjoy. Whether you decide to participate, indulge or just enjoy from the comfort of the sidelines, check out some of the Fall fun Barbados has in store for you with our top picks to enjoy!
Before we start singing, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! (Although it is!) Let’s dial it back a bit and take a minute to appreciate how envious your friends would be if you escaped to Barbados for a fall holiday! If you can’t make it this fall, our winter holiday home selection will woo you to warmer climes in Barbados in no time! From west to south, be inspired by some of our best community living selections for fall or winter 2018!
Slow food? Check. Vegan options? Check. Fresh fruit juices or water straight from the coconut? Check, check, check! Across the region, Barbados is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and our little island brings exceptional treats and flavours to the global table. But, one would argue that the most scintillating food experience lies in the island’s authentic eats, and some of the most popular in recent times has been the rise in local food vans! So, prepare to nestle down on a park bench or enjoy the view from your rental as you tuck in to the tasty treats from some of our favourite food vans below!
Tickets bought, bags packed - it’s Barbados time!
If you’re on your way to paradise, it’s safe to say you’re in the market for the most authentic Barbados experience. So, let our team at Blue Sky Luxury introduce you to the best of the best of Barbados with our top ten things to do and see while you’re out and about in Barbados!
Historically, Barbados was known as a destination conducive to rest, relaxation and recuperation. With this health and wellness status heralded across the seas at the time, its most notable ‘patient’ was the brother of the very first president of the United States. Nowadays, the island’s therapeutic nature still emanates from its beaches, countryside and pervades the air, but several modern amenities have also cropped up and have now become staples of a relaxing, refreshing holiday.
From June to September, visitors flock to the island of Barbados to enjoy our sweet summer holidays! Our best-in-class villas provide the finest accommodation on the island with warm, friendly and attentive staff. With the winter season fast approaching, we thought we’d share some villa guest reviews for your winter holiday getaway inspiration.
So you’re coming to the beautiful island of Barbados for a relaxing holiday getaway, why not come prepared? Have a little fun and practice your Bajan dialect. The locals will be surprised at your mastery of the local language! All languages are beautiful and immersing yourself in local culture wherever you go is an amazing experience! Barbados is an English-speaking island but our dialect is referred to as “Bajan”. Bajans tend to shorten words….a lot! You can expect to hear dialect like this:
Read our blog on exciting events in Barbados for August 2018! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of fun events for the family including dining, sporting, entertainment and so much more. Let our Concierge team help you to book your car rentals, baby gear and in house needs.
Photo Credits: Carib Flame
Crop Over is a tradition in Barbados that dates back over 200 hundred years, celebrating the end of our Sugar Cane harvest. Celebratory events start in June and lead all the way up to the beginning of August, ending with Kadooment- the islands most prominent street festival. The island comes alive with culinary street fairs, craft markets, local music competitions and incredible parties with an authentic island vibe!
Everyone knows that one of the best indicators of an enjoyable vacation is how good the food is. Whether it’s that amazing snapper that you had on last year’s family vacation or the Passionfruit granita during your birthday getaway, our palate often plays a crucial role (along with your waist line!!) in how memorable your holiday is. So with that being said, this entry is to assure you that if this is indeed true, your time in Barbados will be unforgettable. Our food offerings are as varied as they are exciting; be prepared to try dishes that you’ve never heard of and those which you can’t get enough of- with a little twist, of course.
Photo Credit: Beach View Barbados
The first chapter in the story of modern day Barbados opens on a virgin western shore in 1625, where the first British boots touched the coral island in the area now known as Holetown. At the time - and with no stretch of the imagination - King James I of England lent his name to the area, and for several years it would be referred to as Jamestown.
Photo credit: Bougainvillea Barbados Blog
Macaroni Pie is a signature Barbadian dish, and without a doubt you will find very few Bajans who don’t consider it to be one of their favorites. Macaroni Pie, or ‘Pie’, as many Bajans call it, is served as a side dish to anything from Flying fish to Baked Chicken. Add some gravy and salad and you have an award winning meal.
We’re warming up for the official start of summer in Barbados and there’s so much to do in our sunny holiday paradise. A simple favorite is going to the beach! If you’ve never visited, heard us mention beach and you’re thinking "I'm booking now" or you simply need a brush up on local beaches in Barbados, we're here to help! You can plan an entire day beach hopping from one sunny spot to another. Visit the star studded shores of Sandy Lane beach where celebrates like Simon Cowell and Rihanna frolic; to the peace and quiet of Folkestone Marine Park, a family friendly retreat with the ideal picnic spot!
When we cater to our clients, we are motivated by our deep-seated desire to help them achieve the right balance necessary for a quality life. In this vein, Blue Sky Luxury has risen to the occasion by answering the appeal of a very worthy cause - the fight against bowel cancer. Through the United Kingdom-based (UK) Bums on Bikes Charity, we have pledged our support to give hope to those suffering with the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, which affects one in every eighteen people in the population.
From bustling Bridgetown, heading north, travel twelve miles along the west coast of Barbados for an experience that is a stark contrast to what you have left behind. Welcome to Speightstown. The quiet sister of Bridgetown, Oistins and Holetown was named after William Speight - one of the members of the island’s first assembly - and is the second largest town in Barbados, catering to the residents of the north.
Read our blog on exciting events in Barbados for May 2018! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of fun events for the family including dining, sporting, entertainment and so much more. Let our Concierge team help you to book your car rentals, baby gear and in house needs.
Prepare yourself for sensory overload, Barbados is beautiful, everything is near and your stay at Sapphire Beach Condominiums guarantees that you are close to the action yet far enough to preserve your tranquility. We’ve compiled a short guide to follow on what to do and where to go in St. Lawrence Gap. As your Barbados holiday apartment is near to a variety of restaurants, local rum shops and nightlife, you can explore and enjoy at your leisure. Once you are ready to leave the comfort of The Gap, view Something’s Happening in Barbados – our April edition. This gives you a complete list of things to do in Barbados. Polo, horse racing, marathons, boat racing, historical tours and art exhibitions! The list is endless…view here
The year 2016 will always be remembered as the culmination of culture and identity through the celebration of Barbados’ 50th year of Independence - a milestone that only a few will witness in their lifetime. This golden year rests solidly on a history that is a little bit British with a dash of Africana, creating a colourful landscape and people that the world would know and identify as ‘of Barbados.’
The island’s colonial past is summed up primarily in its architecture, including the forts and other structures at the Garrison Historic area, and the affinity for its people to spur on the traditions of horse racing and polo up to today. And most aptly housed in such an area is the national museum, where history is dictated to history aficionados and the genuinely curious.
Lovers of Barbados are used to its warming people, bedazzling waters and rolling greens. But, what they don’t usually talk about is the unbeaten path - one which usually leads to a revitalizing experience that is sure to become the new ritual of your Barbados holidays. So, if rejuvenation is at the top of your summer to-do list, we introduce to you Barbados’ healing and relaxing charm with our top three picks for a peaceful getaway.
From sporting event like Polo matches and the Barbados Surf pro, to the Oistins Fish Festival and the Barbados Reggae Festival - here's everything that's going on in Barbados for the month of April!
The launch of Hugo’s Restaurant in the picturesque town of Speightstown is akin to manna from heaven! Touted as “ Something HUGE is coming to Barbados” the modern beachfront eatery did not disappoint. From start to finish, the experience was simply magical! Hugo’s officially opened their doors on December 22 but invited guests were welcomed for a much-appreciated pre launch.
Photo compliments Sundale Foods International
Every Barbadian knows that the beautiful waters off Barbados are quietly teeming with a bountiful harvest. So, there is no surprise that a multitude of fish dishes are found on menus and tables across the island; however, one of the favourites remains fried flying fish. Whether paired with rice and peas or sandwiched between a soft salt bread (a local white-flour bun) fried flying fish is without a doubt a signature of authentic Bajan cuisine. Recreate Barbadian friend flying fish at home by following our recipe below!
The idyllic scene that pops to mind when considering a destination wedding is punctuated by toes in soft, white sand, beautiful blue waters and -perhaps - a coconut tree or two. However, in Barbados, this vision of an island wedding is actually just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, a destination wedding in Barbados is much more diverse than you would imagine. The island is blessed with hundreds of stunning venues with their own unique charms, and many wedding planners who have mastered the craft of creating dreams.
If you’re in Barbados already or planning your trip to our lovely island, our concierge team has compiled a detailed list of exciting things for you to do in March! There’s something for everyone at this time of year. Sporting enthusiasts can enjoy polo, horse racing and go carting. If you’ve never been on a local hike or run, then get active and participate in a hike surrounded by interesting flora and fauna or a local 5 K Walk. History buffs will definitely enjoy historic tours of the Garrison Historic area and tunnels or a tour of the Portvale Sugar Factory to revisit the sugar production process. If you’re just here to unwind, there’s a range of local farmers markets, restaurants, cosy bars and lots of rum to keep you entertained. Go on, read on to see what’s happening in March!
Our Dearest Travelers…
In reverence to the season of love and all its accompanying sentiments, we declare our love for crafting your perfect getaway. And during the month of love, we are especially eager to create a love-filled experience. Whist known for our affinity to wow with our selection of perfect holiday homes, we are also purveyors of lounging beside turquoise waters, sipping sturdy rum punches, and indulging in all the fancies of pure island luxury. Therefore, we recommend you consider our six top runners for having the most romantic getaway yet.
Exciting events are happening in Barbados in the month of love and we’re happy to provide you with information on some of the most exciting events! Whether you’re a polo or cricket fan, a lover of local heritage festivals or a true culture buff, we have lots of events going on. From sporting, entertainment, cultural and, of course, restaurants, there’s Something Happening in Barbados!
Bridgetown: The island’s capital. Home of the third oldest parliament in the Americas. The centre of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bridgetown really needs no introduction. But, for the sake of this article, we will force ourselves to do it justice in words.
If you’re looking to travel soon for your annual holiday or you’re simply trying to escape the winter blues then come to Barbados to experience true Barbadian culture. Your holiday could become one of the most exciting trips yet - even if you’ve visited the island already! Unlock the secret treasures of Barbados and read on to learn all about the Annual Sugar & Rum Season 2018!
The story of beachside fine dining is best told on Barbados flamboyant west coast. Its amazing culinary offering, plus the unique but lavish presentations have defined it as a place where every palate finds its food soulmate.
St. James is one of the smallest parishes in Barbados; however, immense significance and character precede it. Known as the place where British boots first touched Barbados’ soil, St. James was one of the first six parish names to be included on the early map renders of the island. But with all due respect to this historic importance, St. James has evolved into a crèche of luxury, musings and island posh, where even Mother Nature seems to tend her kin with an extra refinement and pomp.
On the map of Barbados, the tippy-top point features a star cast of places of interest. And, although they may be counted on one hand, these places are delightful and unexpected journeys into a rich, colourful culture and unspoilt, natural heritage.
Speightstown has several new treats in store for winter!
Barbados is known for its luxurious west coast, exciting south and thrill-seeking east, but the north of the island is possibly the most endearing experience to be had. And, this winter, all eyes will be on the beacon of the north, Speightstown, as many new and exciting fixtures are unveiled!
If Barbados were a person, the northern bit of the island that ends along the lower St. James-St. Peter border would be its proud head. Stretching over the two parishes of St. Lucy and St. Peter, the northwest is where the journey to the quieter, more mature side of Barbados’ personality beings.
Instead of looking to the skies to wish on a shooting star, take to the skies and make your way to Barbados! Get packed, choose your favourite on-board experience and get set to be whisked off to your Barbados winter getaway!
When you choose to enjoy the luxury villa Umoya for your Barbados holiday, not only can you tailor your stay at this amazing holiday home, you also get the opportunity to indulge in the luxury amenities at Apes Hill Club!
The Apes Hill Club development is situated on the platinum coast of Barbados in a private, magical setting that wows you upon entry. The development is highlighted by panoramic vistas of the Caribbean Sea and nothing prepares you for the vibrant natural beauty of this gorgeous retreat. If you think you’ll have nothing to do in paradise, well think again!
We all wish time stopped while on holiday, but it really does fly when you're having fun and moves even more quickly on a short break! There's so much to do in Barbados, you could easily fill a lengthy itinerary, but what do you chose when time is limited?
To ensure you make the most of a quick trip to Barbados our Concierge Can team has compiled the top 5 things to do on a short break.
As the busiest (and most joyful!) time of the year is approaching, we’ve compiled a selection of events in Barbados that you don’t want to miss! The sheer excitement of a Bajan Christmas with the delightful sounds of caroling and the traditional Christmas morning in the park fills our stockings with good cheer! Before we get carried away with the thrill of Christmas, there’s so much more to do before the yuletide season. With the help of our Concierge team and a stay at one of our luxury villas, you’ll be sure to get into the Christmas spirit! Read our blog for a list of very exciting events!
In Barbados there is so much to experience on New Year's Eve. The island comes alive with music, food and beautiful people. The atmosphere is charged with excitement and the possibilities for unforgettable experiences are endless. Many New Years resolutions are made in Barbados and the first resolution you should make is to celebrate you; make magical memories in a stunning setting, doing things you’ve never done before!
Do you want to experience a Bajan celebration? We have the perfect suggestions for you!
In Barbados there is so much to experience on New Year's Eve. The island comes alive with music, food and beautiful people. The atmosphere is charged with excitement and the possibilities for unforgettable experiences are endless. Many New Years resolutions are made in Barbados and the first resolution you should make is to celebrate you; make magical memories in a stunning setting, doing things you’ve never done before!
Read our blog for a guide on some delightful gastronomical experiences you'll never want to miss!
In Barbados there is so much to experience on Old Years Night. The island comes alive with music, food and beautiful people. The atmosphere is charged with excitement and the possibilities for unforgettable experiences are endless. Many New Years resolutions are made in Barbados and the first resolution you should make is to celebrate you; make magical memories in a stunning setting, doing things you’ve never done before!
Stay at Eden in Sugar Hill, your unforgettable New Year's Eve awaits...
Barbados has so much to offer…from our pristine beaches to our amazing people and culture. We reached out to our facebook fans and asked, "what’s YOUR favorite part of Barbados?" Here are some of the great answers we got from our followers
Our island is home to the second largest nesting population of Hawksbill turtles in the Western hemisphere. Many of our beachfront villas sit along shoreline where Hawksbill and Green Turtles come to lay their eggs annually, and hundreds of tiny hatchlings emerge from nests to make their way back to the sea. If you are lucky enough to observe either of these events you are bound to fall in love with these beautiful creatures.
The island is your playground at this quieter time of year. Maybe you crave pure relaxation, reconnection, adrenaline or a blend of all three? Our experienced concierge team knows all the little secrets and special experiences, which can help make your holiday one you will cherish forever, and we don’t want you to miss a moment of fun. Following please find details for some of our favorite upcoming activities this September and October. We have placed special focus on some of the fabulous festivals but there are also a variety of other activities to enjoy. Read on to learn more:
Blue Sky Luxury is proud to be part of the Boat International September 2017 publication. Our very own Greensleeves has a featured piece in their travel news section featuring the latest must have accessories, and top travel tips.
Tis The Sea-Sun Looking for the ultimate Christmas party destination? One of Barbados’s most exclusive private villas, Greensleeves, is available to rent for the first time over the festive period. With accommodation for 30 guests, 16 acres, two pools, white sand beaches and staff including a private chef, it’s the complete party package.
There are an endless number of activities to choose from during your Barbados holiday.
If you are looking for that perfect holiday filled with adventure and relaxation then Barbados should be at the top of your list. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the ocean from a luxurious catamaran cruise or choose to go the more adventurous route and take windsurfing lessons.
Christmas is one of the most wonderful times to visit Barbados. Many of our repeat guests visit us annually to celebrate this special time of year building treasured lifelong memories. The island’s sunny weather somehow seems even more stunning over this festive season, and there is a vibrant and friendly feel as locals and visitors share in an enormous range of events and activities. Our varied heritage translates into a mix of British and authentically “Bajan” Christmas traditions offering a unique experience.
Barbados is the ultimate holiday spot for any vacationer. Whether you want to relax on a beach all day or stay busy with exciting activities, the island has it all.
Crystal Springs villa truly is one of the most exquisite on the island of Barbados. According to the July edition of the Mayfair Times, “Crystal Springs is the Grace Kelly of Blue Sky Luxury’s vast collection of homes”.
The big day. In Barbados, this has nothing to do with rings, love nor marital bliss, but it has everything to do with culture, friends, food, music and all the feel-good island life has to offer. The island’s big day is celebrated on the first Monday each August - Kadooment Day. This annual carnival is the culmination of the Crop Over festival, a 2-month long celebration that is steeped in history, and is rich in culture and national pride.
We are excited to announce our new Friends & Family Rewards Program to our loyal guests. With this new program. Its easy, simply refer your nearest and dearest to stay with us at a Blue Sky Luxury vacation villa or apartment, and on confirmation of your friends or family’s booking, you’ll BOTH be rewarded.
SOMETHING’S HAPPENING: JULY & AUGUST 2017
Every month in Barbados there are always a variety of exciting activities and events taking place. However, there is no time of year that can quite compare to the months of July and August. With the Grand Kadooment festival approaching, these months are packed with lead up events, festivals and parties for everyone to enjoy. There is never a dull moment on the island during the Crop Over season.
Earlier this month, the team at Blue Sky Luxury, in collaboration with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., invited a group of journalists to trade the editorial room for a beachside “office” with a view! The group of six, who hailed form the United Kingdom, and the United States represented some of the chicest luxury magazines on the market, namely Boat International, Mayfair Times, Portfolio by The Week, and Women’s Health, and FS.
Sunset is one of the most peaceful, tranquil and beautiful times of day. Watching the sky light up in various shades of pink, orange, red and purple is a sight to behold and the Caribbean, particularly Barbados, has some of the most stunning spots to enjoy this magical time of day.
Our Top Reasons to Skip the Hotel and Enjoy a Villa Holiday instead!
Fun with family and friends. Relaxation, a flexible schedule, a chance to “just be you” and enjoy those who are most special. A unique setting, space, a home away from home. All of this can be enjoyed in a gorgeous holiday home - this is what vacations are made of. Villa vacations offer so much more than a traditional hotel stay and here are our top reasons why:
Every month our island has different events and opportunities that will make your holiday unforgettable. From motor sport events to Crop Over festivals the coming months are filled with occasions for you and your whole family. Our Concierge Can team has put together this list with a variety of activities available to you during your holiday.
Looking to escape to the beautiful island of Barbados with your family this summer? According to UltraVilla, "experts at Blue Sky Luxury are making it exceptionally alluring for family holidays". Blue Sky Luxury offers a variety of family friendly villas along with their "Hello Family Holiday...Kids Play Free" promotion, which allows kids to enjoy complementary island activities.
Barbados is the perfect holiday destination for combining relaxation and dining. Whether you are looking for the perfect venue for a special meal or the absolutely freshest fish ULTRA VILLAS recommends contacting our team at Blue Sky Luxury for recommendations.
This May sees the highly anticipated return of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a five day garden show filled with famous flower and landscape gardens. With London preparing to become a flower frenzy, Barbados is the perfect escape for horticulturists searching for a new scent. Having participated in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the past 28 years and winning an impressive 18 gold awards, Barbados marks its place as an authoritative voice on floriculture. Visitors can explore the tropical gardens, discover native plants and enjoy the sandy white beaches the island offers, while staying in one of our 120 iconic and beautiful holiday houses.
We share our pick of the best villas for memorable moments
With the growing trend for combining holidays with landmark celebrations – from intimate weddings to big birthdays and those once-in-a-lifetime honey(or buddy)moons – We share a selection of sumptuous properties and all manner of bespoke arrangements to guarantee memorable moments that last long after the celebrations cease.
There is no better time to visit Barbados as a family than during the summer, when the island is in full-bloom with activities, cultural events and an effervescence that highlights all of its hidden charms. Barbados sets the mood for you to reconnect and create lasting summer memories with those who matter most. Our island is proud to be a welcoming, safe holiday environment where visitors and families enjoy interacting with the locals for an authentic taste of Barbadian life. So, whether it’s something entertaining, relaxing or educational you crave, we’ve got the whole family covered with our top picks on how to make the most of summer in Barbados!
Barbadians love food and they do it well. From tartes and gourmet creations at fine dining restaurants to grilled snapper and breadfruit chips at roadside eateries, the island is ripe with foodie experiences waiting to be explored. So, let’s get the ball rolling with some suggestions for our three types of favourite foodies.
Barbados is known for its beautiful beaches, amazing people and opulent lifestyle. But, connoisseurs of the island have a few travel tricks up their sleeves to make their Barbados holiday even more enjoyable and affordable! Read on as our team provides advice on a Barbados spring vacation packed with authentic experiences, local adventures and travel tips to help you get the most bang for your buck!
Spring is nigh, but the Barbados’ Sugar and Rum season is already in full swing! The brainchild of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority, the Sugar and Rum Season 2017 is the newest celebration of sugar and rum to hit the island’s events’ calendar, paying a colourful tribute to the island’s rich heritage and culture surrounding its most prolific treats.
When considering sports and outdoor activities, Barbados is known as a mecca, a paradise and the home to several disciplines found on the island. From leisurely activities, such as horseback riding and hiking, to the best in watersports, Barbados brings the sporting diversity along with the perfect climate to enjoy an active holiday!
View Marsh Mellow - a luxury 4 bed holiday home situated on a ridge in Barbados. For availability and details on this fantastic villa, click here!
This year, Easter holidays to Barbados are a steal, giving holidaymakers the unique opportunity to experience high-season Barbados at low-season prices - including wonderful deals on some of the island’s most beautiful holiday homes! And, if that isn’t enough, the island will be abuzz with several activities and events - namely those around Easter - that are sure to interrupt those leisurely days at the beach!
Barbados is a luxurious Caribbean destination that stands in a class by itself. This culturally-rich island is known for its enviable year-round sunshine, pristine white-sandy beaches, prestigious golf courses and so much more.
Our island abounds with opportunities ranging from the sublime to the exhilarating and our Concierge Can team is here to help our guests choose those activities that will make their stay with us unforgettable. The Concierge Can team has created the following list of some of their favorite upcoming activities to help you get your holiday plans started.
The Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust will once again stage the Broadway to Barbados show in collaboration with title sponsor Diamonds International. Enjoy seven nights over the months of February and March of entertaining postures and pieces during the tribute to the ‘greatest songs of the silver screen and Broadway.
Exciting action, beautiful steed, and a friendly atmosphere set among beautiful grounds. This is the essence of polo in Barbados! This year, the Barbados polo season will take its usual course, running from January through May 2017 with a tantalizing calendar of events.
Fancy dining by candle light at one of the island’s most revered plantation homes? Then visit St. Nicholas Abbey during the winter season to experience this first hand!
And they’re off! The excitement of the 2017 Barbados Sandy Lane Gold Cup horserace is already in the air, and locals and visitors alike await with bated breath to see how this year’s race will conclude.
Barbados holidays are always prefaced by lovely weather, stunning shores and breathtaking beaches. But its balmy breezes and immaculate sunshine also give way to an exciting centuries-old tradition that treats hundreds of locals and visitors yearly as they perch along its expansive green fields. Dotted across the island is the manifestation of an appreciation for everything equine - polo fields, a savannah, equestrian courses and even its coastal sands set a backdrop for this kind of recreation. And, if that is not enough to jolt the spontaneous humming of the William Tell Overture, on any given day, you may find a steed taking a dip with its trainer at one of the west-to-south coast beaches!
High fashion in paradise!
Stylish. Chic. Barbados. These words meld more perfectly together than you’d ever know! The island is home to several international - and high-end - fashion brands that bring a worldliness to the decadent shores.
Island Welcomes First International Tour for 2017
It’s lovely cricket in lovely Barbados! The island’s affinity for the sport is as legendary as its amazing beaches.
When it comes to planning your holiday this year, Barbados offers the perfect canvas for you to make 2017 the Year of your perfect vacation getaway! Therefore, our New Year’s resolution to you is clear - we promise that your Barbados vacation will be the best holiday you’ll have all year!
Barbados is a special place for surf, and we have seen an increase in surf tourism and the demand for holiday rental properties that are close to surf breaks. Even the most recent WSL World Champion John John Florence, and surfing legend Kelly Slater have visited and spoken highly of surfing in Barbados. So, there is no better month than Barbados’ independence month to embrace the Independence Pro.
In our last post, we invited you to be a part of our illustrious 50th anniversary of independence celebrations as well as sharing our rich history and the relic proof that remains on the island. But, of course, Barbados’ history extends much further than the construction of government buildings, churches and rum shops; therefore, oblige as we introduce you to our natural heritage and history.
Barbados usually puts on an impressive showing of its tropical tunes and intoxicating island beats. But in early December, the iconic island sounds give away to orchestral renditions at the Classical Pops show!
Perfect year-round weather, pristine beaches, glassy waters and amazing food! Barbados has made an indelible mark as a foodie paradise, and hosts one of the most delectable food festivals the Caribbean has ever seen - The Food & Rum Festival.
Did you know that Barbados is in its golden age? This November - on the thirtieth to be exact - the island will mark one of its most impressive milestones to date: fifty years of independence. If you do the math correctly, it will take you back to 1966, when the people’s passion created a political force that ushered the island into a new era. But for the last (almost) fifty years, Barbados has built its charm on embracing its new path as well as the remnants of its recent history.
Traditional Christmas carols have been known to set the tone for what we expect at Christmas time - we dream of a white Christmas, and the ornate foliage is always hollies and mistletoes. However, the Barbados remix of these carols goes a little different - you’ll be dreaming of turquoise blues, and will quickly realise that the holly-decked halls have been traded for palm- and poinsettia frangipani-fringed coasts and streets! Barbados at Christmas is magical, and to experience the island at this most wonderful time of the year is to witness an even more joyful, warming spirit than the already welcoming personality innate of Barbadians and their heritage. So, add these five things to your list (be sure to check it twice!) and you will understand why Barbados may be your best Christmas gift yet!
You’ve just come off of having a perfect summer holiday, but you are already thinking about your next getaway - Christmas holiday. Traveling at Christmastime is characterized by bustling gateways, exciting family get-togethers, and the smiling faces of loved ones you haven’t seen in ages. But, it is this influx of travelers that creates an exceedingly high demand for flights, accommodation and everything else in between. Therefore, when considering travelling to a destination as sought after as Barbados during this season, you must heed to the most important thing on the seasoned Christmas travelers’ cheat sheet: book everything early.
So you’ve come for a summer getaway to Barbados, and what a getaway it has been: you’re sporting swimwear instead of layers and you’re thoroughly enjoying your palatial villa, where everything is at your fingertips. We’d bet that for many, this is the definition of a perfect holiday. But what happens now the sun’s gone down, the jetskis are all packed up but you’re buzzing with as much energy as you were this morning? Don’t fret- Barbados is teeming with nightlife to match any social butterfly’s tastes. And if you are here in summer, you and your friends are especially in for a treat.
Our last blog entry was designed to give the adrenaline junkies some tips on what to do whilst on the island. But we’re equally aware that many of our guests come to Barbados time and time again because of what a relaxing destination it can be.
With stunning natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage...Jamaica has so much to explore!
Enjoy days soaking up the sun on your own private beach, get adventurous and explore the natural beauty of the island, learn the ska, feast on famous local dishes and just be prepared to have the time of your life on a Jamaica Summer Holiday.
This is it. You’ve arrived in paradise. The friendly driver who greeted you and your family at the airport has just dropped you off at your idyllic Blue Sky Luxury villa and the property manager has just shown you around. The pantry is fully stocked with all of the little goodies that the kids love...and there’s that bottle of bubbly that you requested from the Concierge last week before you left. You see the excitement on your children’s faces...and you have got to admit it: you’re pretty thrilled yourself. This extremely warm welcome bodes well for a great holiday.
The great thing about a Barbadian holiday is its versatility: want to bask in the sun all day whilst you catch up on some reading? Be our guest. Prefer to be adventurous and visit some of the many historic sites around the island? Great idea.
Many visitors are drawn to Barbados for its endless beaches and pristine turquoise oceans, but there’s so much more to love and experience on our Caribbean island. When our Blue Sky Luxury villa guests reach out to our concierge team to inquire about activities, we’re always excited to tell them what’s on our action-packed events schedule.
Ah, vacation time. As soon as those dates are booked, the whole family gets excited. Parents want to unwind, kids want to make sandcastle magic, and grandparents are thinking up ways to spoil everyone even more than usual. And then the planning begins…
As far as tropical paradise goes, Barbados is pretty hard to beat! Year round sunshine, gorgeous crystal clear waters, friendly people and a never-ending calendar of events keep visitors coming back time and again for more! The busiest season is winter of course, when snowbirds seek escapism from the endless cold, the appeal is obvious. But there is a little known secret that many in the diaspora know: SUMMER is where the ‘real’ action is.
Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced plans to offer its highly successful Mint experience from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Barbados (BGI), one of the top Caribbean routes for the airline. Travelers from the Eastern region of the U.S. now have a premium travel option at an affordable fare with Mint beginning on November 7, 2015, giving jetsetters a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island.