Where to Sleep & Eat in Barbuda
With just three proper resorts open on the island – all of which are all inclusive – and only a handful more small guesthouses and dining options, Barbuda is definitely a sleepy tourist destination. Which is exactly why the visitors who have discovered this West Indies island, just 27 miles from Antigua, keep returning.
Antigua and Barbuda
At the end of a secluded peninsula, right on Coco Point, which is Barbuda’s southernmost tip, Coco Point Lodge is one of only a few modern hotel resorts on the island. Although not five-star fancy, this all-inclusive property, is plenty comfortable offering a mix of rooms and private cottage rentals in small buildings scattered across the grounds. Bordered by some 2.5 miles of gorgeous white sand beach and safe, reef-protected swimming in the clear turquoise waters of Cocoa Bay, it is a good choice for active types as included activities feature everything from sailing to snorkeling, waterskiing to windsurfing and sea kayaking. Deep-sea, reef or bone fishing expeditions can also be arranged, as can day trips to the Frigate Island Sanctuary for birds.
With just nine suites in the middle of untouched and wildly gorgeous, pink-sand wonder of 11 Mile Beach, Lighthouse Bay Resort is Barbuda’s most exclusive lodging option and the ultimate spot to just unplug from digital reality for a few days. On a spit of land between the untamed Atlantic and a calm, shallow and picture-perfect lagoon, Lighthouse Bay is beyond secluded. There isn’t much to do beyond just being Zen, although boat tours to the famed Frigate Bird Sanctuary can be arranged, as can massage therapy or horseback riding along the sand. Also make sure to rise at least once for sunrise: it is an utterly stupendous experience. Because there is literally no other businesses anywhere near this property, prices are all-inclusive for meals and drinks. And the food served in the al fresco air restaurant is quite good – don’t skip the lobster salad. The beachfront bar is open until 11:30pm and makes all the classic island cocktail concoctions plus a mean fresh fruit smoothie.
Antigua and Barbuda
When it comes to sleeping options in Barbuda, private guesthouses are a popular option. One excellent choice is Barbuda Cottages. On a calm and gorgeous sweep of isolated beach at Coral Group, on the south coast, are four traditional wooden Caribbean cottages built right on the sand, next to one of the best beach bars in Barbuda, Uncle Roddy’s. The water in front of these chic, upscale self-catering cottages is also awesome for swimming as it is very safe and calm and there are rock pools to explore. A good family option, the newly constructed, eco-friendly beach houses are owned and run by Barbudans and offer one or three bedroom options. The cottages are located a 15-minute taxi ride from the village where the ferry pier and airport are – if you’re going to cook for yourself (recommended for most meals) stock up in town before heading to the southwest coast.
On the southwest coast around Coral Group, Uncle Roddy’s is a fabulous solar-powered beach bar and restaurant that makes for a great spot to spend a lazy afternoon or come for sunset cocktails and dinner. If you want to eat – and you should, the grilled lobster and other seafood they cook up beachside is fresh and delicious – then you need to reserve 24 hours in advance, as they only buy enough ingredients for confirmed guests. The bar serves all the usual tropical cocktails including Roddy’s signature drink, the Barbuda Smash. Roddy’s does lunch and dinner (again only with reservations). Look for Roddy’s right next to the Barbuda Cottages, which is a locally run guesthouse. It is a 15-minute taxi ride from the main village.
The Green Door Tavern right in the center Codington village is a one-stop shop for food, drinks and adventure. Serving three meals a day, the food is very local and includes such favorites as liver and tripe, as well as red herring or lingfish for breakfast. If you can’t stomach much of the menu, just come for a drink. They do a full bar and at night the tavern turns into Barbuda’s only real dance club – the Red Hot Nightclub -- with music playing until at least midnight. Activities and island tours can be organized through the Green Door, including horseback riding along the beach and snorkeling trips. Just check with owner Byron Askie if you’re interested.
On a private island just off the west coast of Barbuda that is home to gorgeous Palm Beach, is the Outback restaurant. Open for lunch only, it does fresh grilled dishes – mostly fish and seafood including lobster, but they also do a good chicken – and meal prices include free pick-up by water taxi from the Codrington pier. Full of island ambiance, it’s very casual spot located just a few feet from a deserted white sand beach, and a classic Barbuda experience. Just make sure to book in advance and bring your swimsuit and a towel so you can relax on the beach with a cocktail after dining.