Active + Adventure

Vacation Boot Camp

by Sarah Tuff

Playing Polo in Barbados

Calories burned: About 870 per hour

Call to action: Hitting the gym will whittle down your waistline, but there's nothing glamorous about spin class. Playing polo (a.k.a. "the sport of kings"), on the other hand, provides a workout of substance and style. More than 300 polo ponies graze on sugarcane-saturated Barbados, which makes for a delightful combination of refined matches and raucous, rum-fueled parties. At the Rugby Plantation, a polo facility, instructor Jeff Evelyn teaches greenhorns the art of riding, reining, and hitting. Learn the sport's finer points by sitting back with a drink and watching the experts take the field (the Barbados Polo Club regularly schedules matches between December and May). To round out your royal retreat, spend the night at beachfront Sandy Lane, where the 112 guest rooms are fitted with marble baths and king-size beds and two chauffeured Bentleys are at your beck and call.

The warm-up: Although you don't need horseback-riding experience before a polo lesson here, it helps.

When to go: The biggest party is during the Barbados Polo Open, which draws some of the world's top players (March 14–21, 2010); lessons are available year-round.

Polo lessons are $150 (book through the Barbados Polo Club or directly at; doubles at Sandy Lane from $1400, including breakfast

Next: Tune up your tennis game in Marrakesh >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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