Barbados Travel Review: (Liverpool Echo)

Oistin’s fish fry is buzzing. Laughter fills the warm evening air as a live calypso band strikes up a tune on the nearest street corner.

Laid out in front of me are rows of long trestle tables packed with groups of people drinking rum punch and tucking into teaming plates of freshly caught fish.

It’s a Friday night and the streets around Oistins are alive.

Authentic Barbadian cuisine cooked fresh to order at Oistin's fish fry

Nestled on the south coast of Barbados, Oistins is a busy fishing town which encapsulates everything there is to love about the Caribbean.

On weekend nights the town is a hub of activity, as tourists and locals alike descend on the fish fry at Oistins Bay Gardens, where fresh tuna, swordfish and mahi-mahi are cooked on the spot in front of you and served up in an informal setting.

This was my last night in Barbados and it was the perfect ending to a week spent unwinding in absolute paradise.

I’d never been anywhere in the Caribbean before, so I hadn’t really known what to expect (other than the stock-image screensavers of clear blue seas and white sand beaches).

Arriving at the Sandals Barbados resort, I got an immediate introduction to the kind of Caribbean hospitality that would make my trip so special.

Greeted in the hotel lobby by my own personal ‘butler’, I was handed a phone and told to call him for anything I needed during my trip. From ordering room service to reserving a spot by the pool or even running a bath ready for my return to the room, the staff at Sandals could not do enough to make you feel at home.

Located in the popular St Lawrence Gap area of the island, Sandals is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort that could convert even the most unsentimental singleton into a hopeless romantic.

Emilia Bona on a Tiama Catamaran cruise around Barbados

Pitching itself as the ultimate destination for “two people in love”, the resort is full of loved-up couples, honeymooners and people taking a once-in-a-lifetime anniversary trip together.

Sandals’ luxury resorts are all-inclusive, meaning pretty much everything you could ever want comes included - from unlimited premium drinks to land and water sports… even scuba-diving.

The company’s brand new sister property Sandals Royal Barbados was right next door, meaning you could stay at one resort and take advantage of the fantastic choice of facilities at both.

I barely had time to scratch the surface of the seemingly endless food offerings, with 17 restaurants and 12 bars - including a swim-up bar and a beach bar.

While some couples were getting up early to reserve their favourite spot by the pool, I was getting up to make the most of the Spices breakfast buffet - which features an omelette station, fresh local produce and hot plate offerings from around the world.

One of my favourite parts of the resort was the rooftop bar at the top of Sandals Royal, which comes with its own infinity pool and some of the most breathtaking sea views you’ll find anywhere on the island.

Spa treatments at the Red Lane Spa in Sandals Royal Barbados can be provided in a tree-top hut

Sandals Barbados is the downright definition of romance, with stunning beaches, picture-perfect sunsets and lots of Caribbean sunshine.

While everything you could ever want does come included, Sandals offers guests the opportunity to pay extra for some luxury services on offer at the resort.

On my last day in Barbados, I booked myself into the Red Lane Spa to indulge in a 90-minute Raindrop Dreams Massage (£153) - a full body aromatherapy massage delivered in a secluded tree-top spa hut.