An in-house restaurant, pool, in room kitchenette and convenient location overlooking St. Lawrence Bay make this boutique hotel the ideal choice for couples or families.
Blink-and-you’ll-drive-past the tiny entrance marked by a blue mosaic sign to St. Lawrence Gap. It would be a shame though, to miss its vibrant nightlife with bustling restaurants, live cooking stalls and bars, or the splendid daylight view of fishermen plying their trade from hand painted boats floating in the bay.
Most of all, it would be a shame to miss this relaxed 22-room resort on the south coast of Barbados. Visitors quickly become regulars and the casual vibe of the gap (as locals call it) pervades the resort itself.
Begun as a hotel and hub for its previous owner’s windsurfing passion, it has since been extended and refurbished, most recently in 2015 by its current owners.
A sunny four-storey exterior hugs the small pool surrounded by tables, lounge chairs and umbrellas. A small kitchen garden growing hot pepper, herbs and tomatoes lines the pathway to the front desk and restaurant pavilion.
At night an orchestra of whistling frogs croaks at such a pitch that it nearly subsumes all other sound. Before dawn, I spot green parakeets frolicking amongst the foliage of pride-of-Barbados, and a green throated hummingbird seeks nectar at dusk from night blooming jasmine.
My top floor deluxe suite with a private roof deck is in a separate, neighbouring building and achieves a sort of illusory effect, so that from the large windows the bay seems eye-level. A full kitchen, two bedrooms and baths are efficiently casual allowing the vista of azure water to shine.
THE STAFF & GUESTS
Couples from neighbouring islands and abroad, and groups of young people gather near the pool. Locals and tourists pop into the in-house restaurant, On The Bay with some frequency. The mix makes this hotel feel locally rooted and lively.
Although there is no proper bathing beach here, the hotel is within walking distance of a string of breezy south coast beaches including Rockley beach, Crystal Waters Beach, and Dover Beach.
Framed by palms reflecting on the pool, On the Bay serves meals throughout the day. For the bed and breakfast option, the Big Up Bajan breakfast offers eggs, fried plantain, fried flying fish and bake (which to me resembled johnny cake) or toast is large and satisfying. Proper bucatini is used to make the macaroni pie, and don’t forget to order the chocolate cake.
MAKE IT EVEN BETTER
Perked coffee at breakfast, an elevator to go up to rooms would round out the offerings.
Forgot anything at home? The front desk has a broad range of amenities available. There is also a library at the front desk further reinforcing the community feel.
Yellow Bird Hotel
Number of Rooms: 22
Number of Restaurants: 1
Saint Lawrence Gap Christ Church, Oistins, Barbados, +1 246-622-8444;
This original travel article first appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.