19th Century Trafalgar Hotel, Bridgetown, Barbados Pocket Guide

Hotels in Old Bridgetown, Barbados

In the 18th and 19th centuries, hotels in Barbados were very much seen as places that primarily housed prostitutes. Hotels in the Bridgetown area were generally kept by women that came from inter-racial parents. The attainment of independence and wealth was easily had by freedwomen and or their female employees by using one's hotel for the primary purpose of prostitution.


Royal Naval Hotel

Royal Naval Hotel was owned and operated by Rachel Pringle Polgreen, a mulatto freed woman. In the late 1780s, Prince William Henry (later King William IV of Owner of Royal Naval Hotel, Rachel Pringle, Barbados Pocket GuideGreat Britain) visited Barbados and whilst here, visited Rachel's hotel. A grand time was had by the Prince and his companions at this hotel. Obviously fueled by the fine spirits back in the day, these men, completely intoxicated proceeded to run amuck. It is said that Rachel was sitting in the doorway at the time and obviously in their way as amidst the madness, she too was tossed aside and ended up in the streets.


Being a woman of dignity and pride, she remained calm and focused throughout the evenings' events. She soon rose to her feet and paid close attention to the amount of damage that was being done. Once she had a fairly accurate figure in her head, she then passed on her itemised amount to the Prince before he set sail.


He made no fuss but paid up and as a result Rachel was able to carry out extensive renovations that were set to market her hotel on a different level and subsequently renamed the hotel the Royal Naval Hotel.


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