Review: The Rockley, Rockley Beach, Barbados

Review: The Rockley, Rockley Beach, Barbados

The easy-going Rockley is the spot for South Coast Beezin’. A 49-room boutique hotel, with a distinctly Bajan vibe, right at the hub of the action. All this by a Caribbean beach that’s fit to be the ultimate blue-sky-blue-sea paradise screensaver.

Bursting with Bajan personality this Ocean Hotels property – Sea Breeze and O2 Beach Club make up the portfolio – invites guests to “Take Ah Peep” into the local vibrant culture.

Forget the guidebook. The Rockley will immerse you in Bajan art, culture, lingo and steel pan rhythms. Open since March 2024, the Rockley brings a live-like-a-local rhythm to Barbados’ South coast.

In a previous life The Rockley was known as South Beach Hotel. Now the reincarnated Rockley, epitomised by its bold logo of the Bajan bus stop, is for free spirits who want to discover Barbados for themselves.

The welcome

We are welcomed with a chilled towel and a rum punch. A non-alcoholic fruit punch is also available.
The all-knowing Troy from reception guides us to our suite, introducing us to the air-con, the televisions in both lounge and bedroom, as well as the kitchen’s features.

The suite

Deliciously cool, chilled by both air-con and fans, our one bedroom suite has a balcony looking out over the pool.
Stunning decor is based on The Rockley’s good times colour palette – warm whites, welcoming sunshine and deep ocean blues, all complemented by vibrant local local art and customised rugs.

For avid self-caterers there is a well-equipped kitchen for frying up fish from Ostins market, perhaps with your own take on the local rice and peas speciality.

Add the sofa double bed in the lounge to the plush kingsize in the bedroom and the suite has the capacity to sleep up to three adults or two adults and two kids.

The bathroom

In a spacious bathroom, with two wash units and ample storage space, a huge glass cubicle houses a powerful rainfall shower.

The facilities

Start with a tropical fruit medley for the complimentary breakfast, from the poolside restaurant, before moving onto the hot buffet.

Even though Barbados is now proudly independent and local delicacies are served daily there is also the familiar eggs of the day and bacon. A British tradition that is still celebrated at The Rockley.

Back at the hotel there’s a small gym. And if there’s a rainy day, the lounge has a pool table, board games and a huge selection of books to wile away a few hours.

The location

Buzzing, jumping Rockley Beach is a favourite with liming locals and it is just 267 steps away according to The Rockley’s measuring system.

From the beach you can head west along a shoreline boardwalk that takes you towards Hastings.

Though you may not make it to the beach. So many buses run past the hotel on the coast road that you may be tempted to take a trip to Hastings, Ostins, Worthing or beyond Bridgetown to the West Coast.

Though the way to discover this 14 miles by 21 miles Island is on Troy’s five hour tour. Highlights include Bridgetown’s historic Garrison area, the West Coast, the spectacular coastal view from Cherry Tree Hill, the wild surfing coast at Bathsheba, the Morgan Lewis Windmill and St John’s church. Moving onto contemporary pop history, Troy points out Rihanna’s humble birthplace and her current palatial mansion.

Other nice touches

A wrist band with built-in electronic key takes away key-worries whilst you swim in the pool or Caribbean.

Guests gather by the pool on Tuesday evenings for cocktails and canapés to a steel pan soundtrack.

There’s a hospitality room for a shower before heading to the airport for an evening flight, enabling guests to catch that last dose of Vitamin D.

The cost

Seven nights, including breakfast, in a Junior Suite, begins from £1225.

The best bit

The Rockley is surrounded by many eating options including fast-food and the Tiki Bar on the beach.

Helping guests to experience local flavours, The Rockley is developing a “Dine and Sign” partnership with nearby restaurants Cocktail Kitchen, Naru and Tapas partaking.

A mere five minutes walk from the Rockley, sophisticated Champers has a reputation as one of the South Coast’s finest restaurants.

Book ahead to grab one of Champers’ ocean side tables. Arrive at twilight for cocktails as the sun sets beyond Rockley Bay and watch the twinkling lights of fishing boats as they heard for harbour.

Although the fresh seafood – shrimp bisque, coconut shrimp, catch of the day and salmon – grab the headlines, chicken, lamb, steak and vegan options also star on the extensive menus.

The final verdict

The Rockley is authentically Bajan and the staff love it as much as the guests. “We’re one big family,” our cleaner tells us.

With its bold fresh decor, splashes of tropical colour and original art work, the Rockley immerses guests with Caribbean culture.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by The Rockley Barbados.

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.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to submit the form

.kadence-form-193324_b35617-ee .kadence-blocks-form-field.kb-submit-field { display: none; }