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Review: 02 Beach Club and Spa, Christ Church, Barbados

There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts in Barbados to choose from but the O2 Beach Club and Spa elevates all-inclusive to another level. Named after life-giving oxygen, this sophisticated beach resort is the place to breathe in everything that Barbados has to offer.

Paradise is included at the O2 Beach Club. Dining and drinks are all taken care of morning, noon, and night. “Your stay, your way” is the O2’s mantra and the beach club gives you the freedom to holiday exactly as you choose.

At this 116 all-suite 5* hotel on Barbados’ South Coast the rhythm is chic, upbeat and trendy. There are edgy contemporary tones to decor that uses vibrant flashes of deep ocean blue, hibiscus, sunset and tangerine.

The welcome

After our luggage has been taken, chilled towels and welcome drinks delivered, we are given a slick tour of the property by hotel ambassador Beco.

He introduces us to beach, pools, restaurants, countless bars and The Oasis where we can grab a coffee or snack.

Finally, he takes us to our suite where bellman “Mr Unstoppable” is dropping off our bags. O2 Beach Club and Spa staff never lack confidence.

The suite

In the Sunset building, opened in November 2021, Junior Oceanfront Suites look out on to the pool, beach and sparkling Caribbean. A hibiscus flower shaped mat dominates the lounge area of two-seater sofa and wicker arm chair.

On the wall, a flamboyantly colourful portrait of an octopus, verging towards cerise, contrasts with the more subdued greys of a turtle. Behind the supersize double bed, a wall features geometric tropical foliage designs.

Out on the balcony, two luxurious sun loungers look out over white waves breaking onto white sand. There are even electrical sockets on the balcony to charge our devices.

Rum and gin are provided for the minibar with beers and mixers topped up daily.

The bathroom

Adapt the levels of lighting to your mood. Choose between an invigorating rainfall shower or a serene soak in a free-standing bath.

Marble effect tiling brings an indulgent aura to a bathroom that, with ample towels and White Linen toiletries, ticks all the boxes.

The facilities

Days begin, early or late, with a buffet breakfast in Elements. Start with divine orange juice freshly squeezed by the Zumex machine. It’s a breakfast that crosses borders with Bajan fritters, tropical fruit, pancakes and maple syrup, and of course bacon, eggs and sausages. At lunchtime, Elements is a buffet restaurant, come evening it alternates between buffet and a la carte options.

Over the resort, restaurants range from the huge picture windows at Oro giving spectacular views of Barbados’ South Coast, through to more casual meals at The Blue Fin. Oro is the fine-dining venue for delicacies such as lobster tails and a powerful Mount Gay rum crème brûlée.

Similarly, topping the neighbouring Sunrise building, by another pool, Brisa provides a bar and a tapas option to accompany the perfect sunset spot.

Located on the eighth floor of the Sunset building, the Acqua is a full-service spa. Floor-to-ceiling windows give guests the opportunity to slip into a serene state of mind as they receive their personalised treatment. Alongside the spa’s treatments room is Barbados’s only Hamman.

On the second floor of the Sunrise building, there is a serious 24 / 7 gym: well-equipped with bikes, free weights, treadmills and machines for arms, backs and legs.

The location

O2’s 1000 feet of pure white sand beach is simply stunning, blissful for invigorating morning walks or romantic strolls at sunset. The western end offers safe swimming and activities including snorkelling or kayaking for the more active. On St Lawrence Gap’s shoulder, the O2 Beach Club and Spa is well-placed for slipping into local lively bars and clubs.

The concierge will set-up visits to any of Barbados’s attractions: catamaran cruises, scuba-diving the flower caves or historic Bridgetown.

Other nice touches

O2 Beach Club and Spa also offers great inclusions. Stay for five nights or more and you are entitled to a complimentary round of golf, including club hire, at the Barbados Golf Club, 75 US$ Spa Credit per person as well as access to their sister hotel Sea Breeze Beach House. When you book direct you also receive complimentary collection and return to the airport.

Every evening there is live entertainment somewhere on the resort, perhaps on the dance floor by Elements or sky high in the Oro restaurant.

Throughout the day, staff deliver chilled towels, drinks and ice creams to guests around the pool.

During the day check out the fun ‘How to’ classes that give an insight into Bajan culture whether that is learning to paint the landscape, make the best rum punch or play dominoes like a local.

Teenagers have a lounge to themselves with table tennis, table football, huge television and a plethora of board games.

The cost

A Luxury Ocean View Junior Suite begins from £6115 for 7 nights all-inclusive.

The best bit

The Bluefin tiki hut, complete with swim-up bar for premium spirits and cocktails, is the place to be. Surrounded by palms and Garden of Eden planting, the Bluefin is open for lunch from 12.30 am to 4.30 pm. It provides casual eating with a gourmet-take on light lunches such as bul jol bowls, burgers, cutters, salads and steak sandwiches.

Chameleon-like, the Bluefin transitions into a pizzeria late afternoon on some days. On other evenings it hosts Indian, Italian or land/seafood buffets when it opens as an evening restaurant.

The final verdict

The O2 Beach Club and Spa is an exclusive but inviting destination to relax and unwind in a sophisticated setting that has a true sense of place.

As soon as you arrive at the O2 you feel as if you have become a member of Barbados’ coolest beach club.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by O2 Beach Club and Spa.

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards is a travel writer from Oxfordshire, UK. Although Michael had his first travel pieces published nearly four decades ago, he is still finding new luxury destinations to visit and write on.

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7 Comments

  1. Having retired last year I’ve gone back to painting. The thought of having a go at a tropical landscape with a little bit of friendly tuition is very tempting especially when it’s followed by cocktails by the Caribbean.

  2. Whenever I can I like to play a round of golf when I’m on holiday. That it’s included at O2 is a real bonus. Somehow I doubt that golf in Barbados is cheap.

  3. Long ago I didn’t like the idea of all-inclusive. As time goes on I get keener and keener on giving it a try. Especially when it’s this good.

  4. Having watched a few of the T20 World Cup matches from Bridgetown with the directors showing some Barbados scenes between overs I’m now desperate to go to Barbados.

    Watching Scotland, I saw that as well as playing on Barbados, they’ve also got games in Antigua and St Lucia. They must be having a tough time.

  5. Some of my friends really don’t get all-inclusive. They talk about going out somewhere different away from the hotel. That’s all very well if it’s a nice easy walk to and from the restaurant. It’s all very different if you have to battle to get a taxi at the end of your meal.

    O2 is offering loads of variety in its restaurants and Caribbean views too. Then an easy stroll back to your suite. From what I’ve read here it is perfect.

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