WHERE TO STAY: If you want exclusive, the Platinum Coast’s centerpiece, Sandy Lane (sandylane.com), will be the splurge you’ll always remember. The posh hotel has a star-studded guest history (Tiger Woods got married here) and rates to match, but the rooms are lavish and state-of-the-art, and there’s all-points service. (No kidding: Someone will unpack your bags.) If you love all-inclusives, one of the three Almond Resorts (almondresorts.com) — the Village (along the Platinum Coast), the Club & Spa (on the west coast) or Casuarina (on the south coast) — offer lovely, clean rooms. At the family-oriented Village, ask for a room in the St. Bernard’s Village block. At the more boisterous Casuarina, you can choose between a beach-view room or a quiet garden room. At the adults-only Club & Spa, the beach is small, but the sunsets are stunning. (With its waterfront balcony, room 315 will up the romance factor.) And definitely don’t miss a spa treatment. As with most all-inclusives, you shouldn’t have to pay full price at the Almond Resorts; book your stay through a travel agent or travel website for discounts. If you prefer to fall asleep to the crashing Atlantic waves, the Crane is cliff-topping luxury (thecrane.com).
WHAT TO PACK: Barbados’s sophisticated dining scene dictates a bit more dressing-up for dinners (and bring a wrap for breezy nights). Other than that, swimsuits, cover-ups and casual summer wear are fine. Just don’t forget your passport.
BEST TIMES TO GO: Luckily, hurricanes are rare in Barbados. High season is December through March.
NEWLYWED NEWS: Check out Almond’s Enchanted Honeymoon package. If you’re there in the off-season (April through October), Sandy Lane offers a Honeymoon in Paradise package. (Think butler-drawn bath, chocolate truffles.)
GETTING THERE: US Airways’ nonstop service from Philadelphia to Barbados has been spotty in recent years. If it’s not on offer, try connecting through Charlotte. American Airlines will get you there with a layover in Miami. From Barbados’s Grantley Adams airport, the cab ride’s about 15 minutes to hotels in the southwest, and up to 45 minutes for the Platinum Coast.