Hotel Review: Sweetfield Manor, Bridgetown in Barbados
Mixing it up amongst the pirates, Nick Constance tastes the Sweet life in Bridgetown Barbados
I’m not a lover of large, fancy hotels. I prefer discreet characterful ones, and luxury for me means good company with an agreeable atmosphere in a quiet, gorgeous house in a sumptuously serene setting. Dear reader, welcome to Sweetfield Manor.
I only stayed here for 2 nights, but I still experienced the kind of friendly, intimate comfort that large hotels seem unable to offer. In other words, a place so magical it goes beyond luxury. Here, you don’t check in; you’re considered a house guest.
Sitting at the top of a hill, Sweetfield Manor is a mere 15 minutes walk from the historic Garrison Savannah area, in Bridgetown Barbados. It’s a little off the beaten path, which makes it all the more special when you eventually find it.
Style & character
Built in the early 1900s, the building is a white-painted, shuttered plantation house.
The décor is an affable mix of English provincial (wood panelling and flea market curios) and laid-back Barbadian charm.
Guestrooms and suites combine traditional charm and local art with unabashedly 21st century touches: think plushy pillows, impossibly soft linen, flat-screen TV’s, plate-size rain showers and L’Occitane cosmetics.
There’s no Spa to speak of but, situated in the Manor’s lush garden, there’s a small ‘healing room’ offering manicures, pedicures and massage treatments. Deep tissue to the sound of hummingbirds.
We love the lagoon-style swimming pool, hidden by a hedgerow of lush, tropical foliage. During breakfast on the terrace, you’ll probably see Green Monkeys frollicking in the trees and peacocks strutting royally across the lawn.
There are 3 categories of room: Plantation, Courtyard and Garden Rooms.
Located in the original main house are three beautifully maintained Plantation Rooms, which stay true to the original design of the Manor.
Sweetfield also has 3 garden cottages overlooking the pool. These outside buildings of the original plantation house have been tastefully converted and all include a covered patio complete with tables and chairs.
Surprisingly you won’t find any telephones in the room. No calling down to ‘reception’, or phoning for room service. Here, you’re pretty much in charge of your own stay – a total home from home. This doesn’t mean staff is non-existent. On the contrary, when you need a helping hand, someone warm and welcoming magically appears.
Although not part of the original plantation house, our “Flamboyant” room was, indeed, just that: King bed, contemporary bathroom (with Mascioni towels and Bath Robes) and a set of French doors opening onto a sizeable veranda.
The Bananaquit Corner has a day-bed suspended on ropes, while the Carriage House is a substantial suite in the old stables, complete with its own kitchenette.
Whatever room you choose, you’re sure to sink into a deep and blissful slumber. Staying here is about immersing yourself in Caribbean tranquillity, walking down to the beach and waking up to the sun warming your terrace.
Travel-blog hyperbole aside, Sweetfield Manor is a place to completely rethink your whole gig – mind, body and soul.
The Manor offers Corporate Breaks, Girlfriend Getaways and Yoga/Fitness retreats. It’s also the perfect backdrop for weddings. Don’t worry; Sweetfield guests can still use all the facilities during a wedding. Just remember to raise a glass if the bride walks by.
Food & Drink
Breakfasts often run to several courses. There are smoothies galore and fruit plates aplenty. For guests needing a more hearty start, dishes such as scrambled eggs and bacon with plantain and sweet peppers are also available. If you’re still hungry, they’ll even rustle up a plate-rattling ‘desert’ – perhaps a banana crêpe.
Lunch and dinner are not generally included, but chef will gladly prepare a private dinner with a day’s notice. You can also request a picnic bag for blissful days on the beach.
The house is tucked away in a residential area and not close to any bus route so hiring a car is advisable. With Bridgetown’s cruise terminal a mere quarter of an hour away by taxi, many guests use Sweetfield for stopovers before or after a cruise. (As did we.)
Homely hangout at the top of a hill, beautiful view, 20 minutes stroll to the ocean. Just go, you won’t regret it.
Address: Brittons New Road, Brittons Hill, St. Michael, Bridgetown, Barbados.