Stayed at this hotel September 2015 for 10 days, all-inclusive. Booked with a company that advertises in Mail on Sunday (and possibly other newspapers). Spent a little extra to fly with Virgin from Gatwick as it was my first solo long-haul flight and can only get 7 or 14 nights from Birmingham. Will review flights and overall journey experience separately. Mix of guests, including a religious convention. Solos and couples of all ages with some only there for a few days before joining a cruise ship.
On arrival the hotel looked exactly like pictures on review sites. Not modern, more traditional Bajan style. Excellent welcome and shown to my room by porter. Hotel has two blocks; one about 6/7 floors, the other 3 floors, both buildings served by lifts. There are also some easy access ground floor rooms available in both blocks. My room was in the smaller building, top floor and end of corridor. The room was large, king-size bed and sea view. Plenty of wardrobe space, safe, massive bathroom, fridge, air-con. Furniture a bit mis-matched and showing signs of age. Adequate tv. Bed fairly comfortable but pillows poor, with patterned pillowcases below white ones. If you want egyptian cotton this isn’t the place for you. Safe wouldn’t work properly but was given master key to use for rest of stay. Safe charge at $BBD 4 per day, or $US 2 per day.
No guest information in room so had to observe other guests to find restaurant, meal times, etc. Hotel in fairly quiet location, although there is some noise from the sports bar across the road but once my room door was shut I could barely hear it. Hotel is located approximately 15 minutes drive from airport so there is some aircraft noise but nothing like St Maarten!
Drinks outside are served in plastic glasses, whilst you get proper ones with meals. Bar staff helpful but there was no list of drinks available on all-incl. Rum punch was made from a pre-mix but very drinkable. On the whole meals were good. Breakfast was buffet with a good selection of the usual fare, although a variety of fresh fruit would have been good. Sandra, who is in charge of the restaurant for breakfast and lunch, takes pride in her work and insists on showing you around the breakfast buffet on your first morning. Lunch was either menu or buffet. Dinner ranged from a la carte, to buffet, to BBQ. Plenty of choice, with fish always available. Wine was unremarkable, red poor and rose not much better. Desserts were the usual mass produced ones with some better than others. Afternoon tea provided, sandwich and cake selection.
Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. Some evenings there was none. Best were group with singer of the “Gladys Knight” type and a reggae group who were very friendly. Manager’s cocktail party was okay, but only one of the duty managers there not the boss himself. In fact I only saw him on the last day. Pool okay, cleaned regularly but in need of some refurbishment.
Hotel is undergoing renovation, albeit very slowly. Duty Manager asked me twice during my stay what I thought of the hotel and would I return. At the time there were no evacuation instructions in my room; something I discussed with him and now understand has been rectified. The main selling point is the beach, it is amazing, even better than the one at Sandals a short walk away. Free sunbeds and umbrellas available.
If you are expecting 5* standards for 3* prices then you will be disappointed. Go with an open mind and it can be a good experience. Staff managed to finally get to grips with me being a solo guest after about 7 days, but there was never any intrusion or embarrassing questions to avoid. People are friendly and the island tour was very good. Only 6 of us and our guide was excellent. It cost US$85, lunch and drinks included, so was good value. If a solo traveller it’s fine but then I didn’t venture out at night. Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced; they will also take US Dollars. Didn’t use the buses but understand the Reggae Bus is quite an experience. Despite some reports on review sites, wasn’t offered any “substances” whilst on the beach!
Would I go back, yes! Did I think it was good value, yes because I couldn’t afford Sandals or Sandy Lane. Hopefully they will have done more renovations by the time I return.