Ladies Polo, Barbados Style by Camilla Williams
In the last few years, the Ladies have slowly been taking over polo in Barbados. Last year saw the first all ladies’ tournament (click) at the prestigious Apes Hill Polo Club located on the shores of one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
Barbados is not your typical place to play polo, far less containing your typical people. One step in the polo club and you know right away you are in for an experience. Between the Laughter, drinks and hospitality it’s not difficult to feel welcome straight way.
Flying to Barbados is quite easy. It’s a direct 8-hour flight from London, 3-hour flight from Miami, or 5 hours from Toronto, plus many more direct flights from all over the world
Barbados is a seasonal location and during the months from December to April it is packed with events, activities and plenty entertainment, this is the best time to visit the Island also because it is the polo season!
Barbados offers everything from top restaurants, Polo, adventure to lazy beach days in the white sand.
Even though Barbados is a small island, it contains a massive about of hotels and accommodation options ranging from the famous 5 star Sandy Lane on the west coast down to your boutique style accommodation like Little Good Harbour. The most popular options among the Polo crowd seem to be Apes Hill Club, which boast the first country club on the island. Offering private villas and homes as the main choice of accommodation, it’s a no-brainer for polo players and golfers alike to enjoy stepping out their front doors right on the polo field or golf course. Afternoon sunsets with some of the most stunning views of the entire west coast and Caribbean Sea.
For those who want to be on the beach, Lone Star Boutique Hotel, located on the west coast takes the cake for boutique. With just eight rooms, Lone star offers an idyllic setting, but maintaining a laid back atmosphere. Wake up each morning with uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea and direct access to the beach just footsteps away from your bed.
Where ever you decide to stay, it’s not hard to get around the island. Everything is at max 15 minutes away.
Wherever you choose to stay, it has no effect on the access to the polo. Apes Hill Polo Club offers a full stable of horses, if you decided to come for two weeks for a polo holiday or a few lessons, there is a choice of horse to accommodate any level of player. Playing in the Apes Hill Ladies International or any of the other tournaments is also easy to organize. One phone call to the Polo Manager at Apes Hill and he can supply you with a string of ponies, groom, accommodation choices, car rental and anything else you may want. The club offers a bespoke experience as prides itself on making the experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Looking to join the entire polo season in Barbados?
Easy, renting a string for the season or even bringing your own is an option. Apes Hill takes care of all the details, all that is required is that you show up.
Playing polo in Barbados is one of the most amazing experiences to be had by any player of any level. Playing on the main field at Apes Hill you get one of the most amazing views of the Caribbean Sea, add one of the famous Barbados sunsets with this and you have just completed a bucket list moment. Polo is usually played in the late afternoon in Barbados to avoid the mid-day heat, matches and chukkas usually start around 3:30 pm or just a little after.The polo in Barbados can be better described as “Island Polo”. While being competitive during certain matches, it is always about fun and playing with friends. The level of polo ranges up to 10 goal mixed and 12 goal ladies. This allows for some great polo to be played and also gives everyone in the club a chance to play. With this being said Apes Hill Polo has 10 days of the season marked out just for the ladies.
If you think the men of the club would have a problem with this, think again, they get very involved and supportive. Mainly the dads of the club end up being the best cheerleaders on the sidelines. It’s one thing to play mixed polo all season, but the opportunity for the lady players to have this time for just ladies to play with ladies from all over the world is just an extra bonus.
Play usually finishes as the sun is setting around 6:30 pm, this is when the players make their way into the clubhouse. Met with the local hospitality at the door, you will be offered drinks, conversation and if you are lucky enough to be there for one of the famous clubhouse parties, you may end up racing across the rafters and getting many lessons on how to dance to the local music.
After all this, it’s time to eat. Dinner at Apes Hill is usually an Asado with local sides like Macaroni Pie, Corn Pie and Flying fish for those who do not eat meat. All which is unbelievably delicious. If not eating at the club, a plan will be made to head to one of the restaurants on the west coast.
The favorite and still one of the best places to eat on the island is The Sea Cat Restaurant. A secret gem, located 5 minutes from the club, this small, chattel house style restaurant offers a casual dining experience with some of the best food you will ever have on the island. Must haves on the menu are the Barracuda and Blackened Mahi Mahi with locally grown sweet potato fries and a banks beer.
When not on the polo field, there are so many other activities to do and things to see. A must do when on the Island is a catamaran cruise. Sail along the calm, crystal clear waters of the west coast of Barbados while enjoying a swim with turtles, stroll on the beach, or just sunbath on the deck of the boat. While enjoying this amazing experience, a delicious lunch with wine and dessert will be offered onboard.
Want more water action? Surfing, wind surfing and paddle boarding are also very popular activities on the island. If a beginner at these activities there are plenty of places to go to learn, if a pro, we will see you out on the water!
For those prone to land activities, Barbados has plenty to do, from shopping in Limegrove with stores ranging from Louis Vuitton to Michael Kors to some of the most amazing movie theaters you will ever experience. With large cushy chairs with food service from your movie seat.
Looking for something a bit more composed? Second street, which is located across from the Limegrove mall, offers a few bars to choose from. Red Door, which has become a favorite on any night of the week is located at the end of 2nd Street. From the music to the drinks, this is the place to be. You never know which celebrity you may run it to!
No matter what you choose to do off or on the polo field, Barbados has it all!