Washington arrived in Barbados by ship. Today, the Concord flies into Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown. American Airlines and Air Jamaica, who also fly to the island, rarely have an empty seat in first class. The name alone connotes glamour, luxury and mystique. And there is a reason. For years, some of the most rich and famous people in the world have come to this island's white sand beaches. A selection of the Caribbean's best hotels and most magnificent private villas await them. But it's not just the island's sheer beauty that attracts the glitterati; it is the quality of life they find there. Barbados currently holds the third highest quality of living standard among third world countries and boasts a 98% literacy rate.
The island is considered a role model for democracy by the likes of Nelson Mandela, who visited Barbados on a mission to bring the kind of racial harmony that reigns there back home to South Africa. Peace and prosperity create a sense of harmony where celebrities can walk the streets undisturbed. In an atmosphere of refinement and relaxation, every visitor feels like a celebrity.
Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra came for their honeymoon, as guests at Claudette Colbert's lavish home, Bellerive. Other guests have come for the Barbados Jazz Festival in January or for Holder's Season, a unique celebration of opera, music and theater held annually from March 9th to March 29th.
The cricket season, which runs from January through May, attracts fans of the game. The world famous Royal Westmoreland golf course, featured on The Wonderful World of Golf, draws golfers who may also have a visit with Barbadian golf celebrity, Sir Garfield Sobers. And then there are those guests who come to sit on the beach and do absolutely nothing.
Barbados is the easternmost Caribbean Island, part of the Lesser Antilles. It sits 285 miles (450 kilometers) northwest of Venezuela.
Rising gently from the west coast in a series of terraces, the island, composed mostly of coral, is relatively flat with Mt. Hillaby, at 104 feet (336 m) above sea level, being the highest point.