Sweetfield Manor Historic B&B

At the turn of the 19th century, a newlywed shipping magnate built his manor house on a ridge where he could see ships enter and leave the harbor. So near and yet so far from the bustle below, the romance and the panorama are still intact.

If you imagine historic as staid or fussy, let’s dispel that notion right now. Laid back luxury is the rule here, and many things make that possible. Start with the stunning premises in over an acre of walled gardens. Mahoganies shade the periphery; tropical flowers tower. Terraces cascade down to the rock-edged lagoon pool. Surrounded by greenery, it’s perfect for a lazy afternoon or a private swim by moonlight.

The main house, built in Caribbean Georgian style, is a welcoming embrace, eclectically furnished with wit and grace. The comfortable back veranda features an honor bar. Alternatively, head to the nearby rooftop deck to watch the sun set or the monkeys cavort.

With seven guest rooms, Sweetfield Manor is intimate, but still feels expansive. Most rooms are large. If not, it’s made up for with a deck of your own. Each room is beautifully appointed, without either the fussy decor or tired furnishings that you might associate with traditional B&Bs. AC is on hand, though you may not need it. The bathrooms are new and generous. Wi-fi operates throughout the property. Some rooms have private entrances.

Gregarious hosts George and Anni Clarke know when to coddle you and when to recede. They happily arrange whatever you need, from discounted car rentals to dinner reservations at the best spots, fun activities and sightseeing, or transport to your departure point.

And then there’s the breakfast. This is no egg, toast and off you go. It’s three courses. Faves are prosciutto-wrapped eggs, yogurt martinis, grilled pineapple, and lemon ricotta pancakes. These people can cook!

  • The location is close to Bridgetown, the active south coast, and great beaches. It’s also obscure, so use Sweetfield’s recommended driver to get there. He’ll pick you up on arrival.
  • It’s a great spot for a wedding and/or honeymoon.
  • Family traveller’ Children are welcome, but if they are very young, use your head. As with most accommodations in Barbados, the pool isn’t fenced. If your little ones are quiet, book rooms in the main house and ask the Clarkes to keep the gates to the lower level of the property closed. Kids can’t reach the latch. That’s your best water safety option.
  • There’s hardly a more discreet or relaxing spot on island for executive retreats and meetings. Your hosts will happily cater.
  • Do not expect to lose weight here. The breakfasts are substantial and indulgent.
  • If you want the option to cook or to watch TV, book the Carriage House.
  • Hosts George and Anni Clarke are avid players of Mexican Train. If you are too, you’re in luck.
  • The sole single room is darling, but has natural cooling only.
  • In transit’ For a fee, you can stash your bags, hang out here for the day, have a shower and then meet your plane or ship.
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