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Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 August 2011

This was our our first trip to the Caribbean. Expectations were high, we have stayed on business and leisure in some fabulous locations around the world. The Tamarind was a little more expensive than several other hotels/resorts which looked good over the internet. But it came with a recommendation from friends, and we were aware that the resort had recently had a hefty makeover. First impression was that 5 stars in Barbados does not quite offer the same level of quality accommodation as say Asia. However we took 2 junior suites with sea views (1 for us and 1 adjacent for our 3 girls, 14/12/10) and it was clear that the place had been refurbished - it was no disappointment. And that view from the balcony - actually the images on the web do not do it justice - there is nothing to compare! Seeing other resorts on the island also confirmed that the Tamarind is at the top of list. The layout is fabulous - living around the central bar/restaurant area and one of the pools, with a 30 second walk onto a beautiful beach, which although public, may as well be private. Our package included water sports and this was a true highlight. Daily sessions water skiing, kayaking, taking out a catamaran, banana boat for the kids - just excellent, and the staff were just so patient....our waterskiing skills took several days to emerge... We were also given free scuba diving training in one of the hotel pools, after which we booked for scuba diving in the sea which was truly incredible thanks again to excellent tutoring and the clearest water I have ever seen teeming with beautiful tropical fish. The weather was great. The roads were easy to navigate when we hired a car. The other guests (families and couples) were great. Mostly from the UK, nobody overbearingly loud in the bar etc. The food at the Tamarind was exceptional (and not just the seafood, the steak is unbelievably good). The teenager's den was a great respite from the heat (and a couple of tropical storms) - table football, wii, pool and computers to keep up with facebook. We could not have wanted for more. One of the best things was the friendly staff and management - we cannot thank DARNLEY SOBERS enough - his management and good humour were memorable. We enjoyed his cocktail parties each of the weeks we were there, Darnley's company showed that he and the Tamarind are a cut above the rest. So much so, that for the first time in our lives, we are already planning a second visit for next year to the same resort. What more could I add? Oh, and anybody going to Tamarind, make sure you check out Gregston's jewellery shop in the lobby - aside from his great humour, his prices are actually as good if not better than the shops around the island - very unusual for a hotel shop! We look forward to seeing him again next year too

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank JRJJUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,034 - 1,038 of 1,161 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2011

Just returned from a week's visit to Barbados and the Tamarind. We selected the Tamarind due to its location on the calm west coast as well as for its smaller size. We were looking for a quiet relaxing vacation and the Tamarind provided that for us. The beach was excellent: very calm water which was very clear. There's decent snorkelling to be done right in front of the resort which we enjoyed.
We were on the B&B plan. Breakfast buffet was decent with a good selection of food. The presence of birds that others complain about did not bother us at all--the restuarant is partially open air and being in the tropics, birds are part of the environment. The service at the resort was excellent--everyone was very polite and eager to help. It was nice to have lunch served to us on the beach. We also enjoyed the complimentary cold towels and "lollies" (popsicles) which were served on the beach in the afternoons!

We enjoyed the quiet of the resort and spent most days on the beach. Some have complained about the lack of activities; for us it was perfect. They hosted a cocktail party one evening and a solo steel drum artist provided some very nice entertainment by the pool. The resort is beautifully landscaped with plenty of beach and garden space (see picture). Overall, this resort has an understated elegance that appealed to us.

We enjoyed a 2 hour trip to swim with the turtles and snorkell over the ship wreck with Roderick who operates the double decked glass bottom boat named "Choices". Rod hangs out by the Tamarind and can be recognized by his Chinese Style Hat! He's a fine gentleman and will give you first class treatment at a reasonable price. The swim with turtles remain a memorable experience (Thank You Rod!). Big T and OV are 2 regular Jet Ski operators who are on the beach. None of them are pushy. They are pleasant to talk to and make everyone feel welcome on the beach.

Food is pricey (by US standards) especially because of the 17.5% VAT that is added to everything. We ate at the restuarant a couple of nights, at Daphne's (next door) and also ordered off the all day dining menu at the bar. Food was excellent and portions were very generous (even by US standards). If you can though, eat at the local cafe's etc...it is less expensive and you get to sample the local cuisine (Flying Fish, Cou-Cou, Macaroni Pie, Bread Fruit, Sweet Cakes, etc). A $2 (BDS) bus ride will get you into Bridgetown to the south, or to Holetown or Spieghtstown to the North. The buses stop right by the resort. We had an opportunity to go to Oistins on the southern cost and attend their Friday night street party. Lots of eateries serving freshgrilled fish, chicken, etc, lots of Bajan music and lots of dancing.

We stayed in Room 227 which was a one bedroom Ocean Front Suite. The unit was very spacious. Only dissapointment was that the view from the room was obstructed by the watersports shack and the sails from the Hobie Cats. I think an Ocean View unit would have provided a better view. We had a minor plumbing issue in our room, but maintenence was quick to respond and address it.

Service was excellent. The staff and management at the resort displayed a very high level of attention and made us feel very welcome. Everyone including the bell hops, servers, front desk staff, security personnel and managers were eager to serve us and ensure our satisfaction. Bajan hospitality was nice to bask in! A special thank you to Guest Relations Manager Darnley Sobers for his attentiveness during our stay.

Overall, we had an excellent stay in Barbados and the Tamarind and will defintely be back to Barbados and the Tamarind.

Room Tip: Skip the Ocean Front Rooms and ask for an Ocean View Room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank KY Resident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

We have just returned from a memorable stay at Tamarind. It has recently been refurbished and contains all kinds of comfy areas where you can chill out and lounge in the sun or the shade - the orange chairs by the pool were the most comfortable pool chairs I've ever sat on!

We were originally booked to stay at another Elegant Hotel after the first few nights but our teenage boys begged us to stay and we didn't want to leave either. Arrangements were made for us to transfer our booking to stay on at Tamarind without difficulty.

The highlight of the stay for us was undoubtedly the free watersports - this made the holiday for our teenage boys who learned to waterski and wakeboard as well as usking the kayaks, snorkelling equipment etc etc. The guys at the watersports hut were helpful and friendly. Turtles live just off the beach and it was possible to swim and snorkle with them every day - they swim right up to you - awesome! We also enjoyed use of the Hobiecats.

We found the bar food to be of very high quality and reasonably affordable, given the high price of eating anywhere in Barbados. Yes - service in Barbados can be slow at times, but was invariably helpful and friendly - you just have to chill and get into Bajan time!

Rooms were lovely - spacious and well equipped and we had a fabulous view from our ocean view room. The boys also loved the large "Tamarind Club" room with free internet access, games tables and widescreen TV for film nights. There were lots of other children their age to mix with, and the size of the hotel meant that all of us were able to socialise with other guests when we wanted to.

All in all, if we return to Barbados we will certainly return to stay at Tamarind. We did visit all of the other hotels in the Elegant Hotels group during our stay and thought that this one was definitely the best of the bunch. We stayed at the Hilton last year, and although that was lovely too, we all had more fun this holiday!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank Silkyruffles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

Spent a week here having been to Blue Waters in Antgua for a week, which was amazing. We arrived and were told we had to wait until 3pm for our rooms, but that one room might be ready earlier. This didn't happen in the end, but my son's room was upgraded so he could be close to us.
The rooms were very nice and large with nice balconies overlooking the pool.
We really enjoyed the beach here, but the people who run the watersports here are not employed by the hotel and are really miserable, which does not create a good impression for the hotel. Also my son got some jellyfish algae on his arm from the ropes in the sea, which was very unpleasant as it stings very badly. One guy in the watersports hut eventually accused him of being a big baby!! Also nowhere is this highlighted as a risk on any hotel literature.
The breakfast was ok but was a bit like being in a canteen. We only stayed on a B and B basis which I would recommend as there are much nicer places to eat locally.
The one highlight of put stay was great guy called Ovie on the beach who organised jet skis and watersports. He was really friendly and a great with all the kids.
If I came back I think I would look to stay somewhere with better service. The hotel staff need to learn better customer service standards for the prices being charged.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
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4  Thank Ringo1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
D_Sobers, Guest Relations Manager at Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2011

Thank you for your recent review of the Tamarind Hotel. There are some issues arising from your review that we would like to respond to.

In reference to your being told that you would have to wait until 3pm for your room. Our standard check in time is 3pm. If we are able to accommodate you before said time, we will make every effort to do so. You are, however, not required to stay in our comfortable lobby. You can begin to explore our property, enjoy a meal in the restaurant or the bar.

Our breakfast is our highest volume daily meal period. As such, we believe that our daily buffet along with live egg station best meets our guests’ needs and requirements.

Watersports has generally not been an area where we would have issues and we will follow up and investigate thoroughly towards taking any necessary corrective action.

With regards to your son being stung, we have re-energized the standard that after guests sign the waiver to receive our complimentary watersports and snorkeling equipment that they be made more aware to avoid touching the rope which corners off the swimming area. As a standard, medical attention is always strongly recommended after any such occasions.

Hopefully the above would have brought clarity to your comments. Thank you for your review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

We visited Tamarind 5 years ago and as it had a major refurb my daughter and I thought we'd try it again as an after exam treat.
On arrival we were given our room key and info, like weekly entertainment guide and shown to our room, porter was very good, manhandling our bags up 2 flights of stairs, no lift. The room was the cheapest and although it was small and very similar to many caribbean hotels, the decor was good. snazzy throws, rugs and artwork, large wallmounted flatscreen TV. You could hear the road from the room but the aircon was good.
When we went to breakfast having checked the timings in the bumpf we were given, to discover it finishing at 9.30 not 10.30 as written down, turns out reception had given us an old info sheet!! She also gave us duff gen about dining at other elegant hotels.
Lots of good things about hotel, beach is one of the better ones on west coast, pools and surround nice lots of furniture and parasols. Watersports great, free boat trips, waterskiing, banana boats etc. Restaurant up and down, one day waiting for ages, another day the fih was best ever.
Had a run in with a bar person who didn't understand happy hour and tried to charge me full price, I actually didn't let it drop cos she was so surly and called a manager who said she' sort it out, but it was on my bill at checkout so i got it taken off.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank maidenheadgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
D_Sobers, Guest Relations Manager at Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2011

We thank you for choosing Tamarind and for taking your time out to write your review of our hotel.

We would like to apologize for your receiving the incorrect information sheet leading to the confusion of breakfast times.

In regards to your restaurant experience, we are constantly striving to improve our quality, standards and consistency through training and development initiatives.

We take your comments as constructive and we will continue to clarify and reinforce our procedures and standards.

We are delighted to know that you did enjoy your overall stay with us, taking advantage of our location, the beach, complimentary watersports and the other hotel amenities.

Once again, we would like to thank you for your review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamarind by Elegant Hotels

Address: PO Box 429, Paynes Bay, Barbados
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish > Paynes Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Price Range: €237 - €976 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tamarind by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tamarind rests on a 750-foot crescent of premium West Coast white sand beach and is as family-friendly as it is an exclusive adult hideaway. Tamarind features contemporary guestrooms, an intimate spa and relaxation space and two restaurants. Contemporary sun loungers, day beds and decks, transform outdoor spaces into outdoor 'living rooms' providing flexible spaces for dining, drinking, relaxing and events. Complimentary features include: motorized and non-motorized watersports, daily buffet breakfast, WiFi in rooms and throughout property, fitness center and classes and water taxi to other Elegant Hotels' west coast properties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind By Elegant Hotel Paynes Bay
Tamarind Cove Saint James
Tamarind Cove Barbados
Hotel Tamarind Cove
Tamarind By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Paynes Bay

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