The staff make this hotel great. Kim, the manager runs the place like clockwork, but the commitment from staff is palpable. You actually feel they want to make it a great experience for the clients. Location of the hotel is fabulous, just to the left of Paynes bay which is the best beach on the West coast. Coastal erosion is bad on the west coast and I'm not sure how many years is left for the west coast, which is sad. I've been visiting Paynes for 23 years and the speed with which the beaches are disappearing is alarming. You actually can't walk on the beaches without using the newly constructed boardwalks at Holetown now.
Anyway, back to Tamarind. Nice clean pools. Very good kids club with dedicated staff (I hear) and the teen room run by Silvester and his fabulous crew really make it for the youngsters. No morose teenagers here, they see to that. Bar staff are attentive and helpful as are the restaurant staff. Nothing is too much trouble for the reception staff who do all they can to iron out any issues with rooms etc. Housekeeping are meticulous in their cleanliness and service. The secluded spa pool is great first thing in the morning, but often closed for cleaning just when you want an early morning swim.
Lunch food choices are very disappointing. Sometimes there is a full menu on offer which is fine, but when the lunchtime buffet is on, the only alternatives are Cesar salad or club sandwich with chips. After 2 weeks of this you get thoroughly cheesed off with the limited options. Quite a number of clients, me included make reservations for evening meals at restaurants so can't manage a full buffet at lunchtime. The Roti den on the main road opposite the hotel is an option, but it would be good to have a range of lunchtime options available on site. There is a minimart attached to the petrol station opposite the hotel which is very handy to stock up on basics to have in your room.
Inclusive watersports on site is a huge attraction to the hotel. We didn't do much this time but some people went on a daily water ski or ride in the big rings or banana boat. Kayaks and body boards are available free of charge. The beach vendors are mostly not pushy and worth getting to know. Ovi in particular is an encyclopaedia of local knowledge and can sort out trips in his glass bottomed boat. Well worth getting to know him. The only pushy one I found a bit rude this time was the jewellry seller with the briefcase. I'm not kidding, I've bought bits off him for 10 years running and he still doesn't know who I am. Rooms are great, but if you have small children, ask for a ground floor room so they can run in and out of the pool/room.
Breakfast is fine, if a little repetitive. They try putting things on such as plantain, corned beef hash, flying fish but the smoked salmon didn't appear this year I noticed! Also my all time favourite, eggs benedict made only one appearance in the 14 days we were there. Omlettes and eggs the way you like them are made to order.
There are phones in the room. Last year I used the phone a lot to make restaurant reservations etc. and found that it had cost me a small fortune, since there is a charge for each phone call made. This time, I used the concierge to book all my restaurants, sort out car hire and taxis which was free! She is very helpful and only to happy to help out. I just gave her a list of restaurants I wanted to visit and she sorted it, putting a note under my door when it was fixed up with taxi transfers.
We had a couple of meals in the 246 restaurant in the hotel which were frankly disappointing. The buffet was very expensive for what it was and the fish grill we went to was poor. Overcooked fish with very basic accompaniments.
The beaches around Tamarind are safe but the police suggest avoiding walking on them at night. There is a big security presence around the hotel, but generally Barbados is far safer than other caribbean islands.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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