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“Great staff”

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Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 August 2012

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.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank RobbyJBridlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 August 2012

We went to Barbados in the middle of July. From start to end I can't fault our holiday and we're already planning our return.
The hotel is fab - we had room 233 with an amazing view of the beach with beautiful sunsets every night.
We only eat in the hotel once (first night) which was fine - we like to get out and about on holiday for dinner as we tend to staty by the hotel all day. One thing we didn't realise is some of the restaurants can be quite formal when it comes to dress code - luckily we had shirts packed.

I can only imagine the people moaning about this hotel are the parents on their I-pads ignoring their children ;-)

One of the best hotel & holiday we've had!!

Room Tip: Personally I like the rooms right on the beach rather than around the pools - we were in the block o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jojo_hopkins77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2012

Can't fault this place, it really is paradise.
From you moment you arrive at reception to the moment you leave you'll be treated well.
Rooms are good though we had our daughter on a temp bed in our room which was a bit of a tight squeeze, a double room for two people will be very comfortable.

Breakfast is everything you'd expect, a great selection of hot food, fruit, juices, cerials, pastries, breads and a fresh egg/omelette station, waiting staff are very friendly and get your day started perfectly.

246 restaurant is very good, we had the a la carte a couple of times (when the hotel had bands playing) and the food was exceptional, the Wednesday buffet is outstanding (Shrimp curry to die for). Two bands we saw were very good.
Our first night we had room service and this was about as good as any room service I've ever had, hot food hot, cold food chilled, really was good.

We hung out at the Rilaks pool mostly, the deck was a great spot for us.
Only negative thing about this is you are right by the boundary of the beach (which is public) which can get littered with local salesman - most of them are good fun and friendly and even add to the Barbados experience but you can grow tired of saying 'No Thanks' again and again.
After a few days we simply told them when our leaving date was and that we wouldn't be buying anything before then but on our last day we'd happily buy some souvenirs.
To be fair when we were on the beach you're not hassled excessively, and don't let their presence put you off enjoying this beach as I doubt you'll find better anywhere in the world.

The Rilaks bar is perfect, great cocktails delivered to your lounger.
Regular fruit brought round as well, plus cold scented flannels, terrific relief after frying in the sun for a few hours !

Great kids club, both the organised club and the games area with the Wii and other games, and as any parent knows if the kids are occupied it allows you the chance to enjoy yourself.

Some great characters working at the hotel, Rodcliffe was as helpful as anyone I've ever met, Robbie is a guy who never stops working and sweeps the fallen flowers/leaves up relentlessly - this guys work is manual, he's always working when we were up around 7am and still clearing gutters at 4pm and you won't get a bigger smile from anyone on the staff, Tito was friendly and efficient at Rilaks bar and Arden was good fun in the 246 bar.
There were many others I just can't recall their names.

Be sure to go to the Managers cocktail party on Wednesday evenings, great opportunity to meet/liaise with the hotel team and they genuinely want your views positive or otherwise.

We called housekeeping 2/3 times during our stay and got a response within minutes.

We loved the wildlife at the hotel, colourful butterlys, our patio became invaded with red crabs at about 7pm every night, and the mother of all caterpillars on the poisoness trees.
There are mossies, take a deet spray and you'll be fine.

Few tips:
As others have mentioned, take your cab drivers number and book a half day/full day tour with him, he will show you everywhere including some great beaches, houses of the rich and famous, and providing he has a couple of bananas in his cab get him to stop off through Sandy Lane gold course and you can feed the monkeys, they will come up and take food from your hands.

The water sports team were brilliant, so many options for activities it's perfect if you get fed up with sun - be sure to go snorkling, litterally right outside the water sports hut is some of the best coral and marine life I've ever seen and it's all 20 metres from the beach.
They have laminated cards in the hut and I bored them senseless reading over the different types of fish and coral I'd just seen.

Budget properly - if you came here working on a European holiday budget then you'll soon be in trouble, the island is expensive.
I heard people complaining about the restaurant and bar prices, this isn't a Tamarind policy to rip off it's customers it's in keeping with the island in general.
A meal with a couple of drinks will cost you around $300 Barbados (for two) - we alternated the quality restaurants with Just Grillin.

Great restautarants include Lone Star, Elbow Room (great value), and for one of the most picturesque restaurants on the island take a trip up to The Fish Pot in St Lucy - it's a bit of a treck but the quality of food is incredible (my jumbo shrimps were 20cm at least).
Just Grillin is a great place for quick bites, they do takeaway as well and you can easily get there and back on the bus inside 15 mins, just phone your order through.

If there's one must in your holiday then it's Oistins on Friday night - I love fish but I didn't think it was possible that food from a polystyrene box could taste so good, this place has a great atmosphere and there's a great mix of locals and tourists, this is also the place to get great souvenirs. Bottle of beer for about £1 to boot.

Swim with the turtles, this is an experience you will never forget.
I doubt everyone will be as lucky as us, we saw a turtle on the beach laying her eggs and the following day a beach vendor found two lost baby turtles and gave them to us to put back in the sea, unbelievable.

Hire some jet ski's, Dennis won't be far away from the beach and for $100 Barbados you'll get half an hour on a great ski, 60mph is easily achievable.

If you get any miserable weather (we were very lucky for July) take a trip to Harrisons Caves, an incredible natural underground cave system.

Diffiucult to criticise this hotel or the island in any way, thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
We'll be heading back next year that's for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank UK2NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2012

Had a lovely week at Tamarind, best beach setting of all hotels on this strip of the coast. Rooms were nice, we had a great room on the ground floor right near the beach and pool, as we had a baby so perfect with the buggy etc. Pools are lovely but we spent most time on the beach. Inclusive watersports is great, as very rare for a non all-inc hotel. We stayed B&B and was all we needed as had a couple of great meals at the hotel, also Daphnes was lovely next door. And the lunch menu is good, everything we had was really tasty, and we only want a light bite when it is so warm anyway. Would definitely recommend and return.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Frassie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

Overview : An excellent 104 room hotel set on the West Coast, beautiful beach and attentive staff. Below are the experiences of me and my family.

Getting there from the airport : As you exit the arrivals hall if you have not already got a transfer organised it is easy to get a taxi. The taxi rank coordinator will ask where you are going and how many of you there are. The cost to your destination is on a board but beware there are supplements for additional passengers and pieces of luggage. We paid B$87 for 4 plus four bags to the Tamarind. Get your drivers number he will be able to take you back at the end and it is cheaper than using the hotel arranged service.

Arrival: The front desk staff are welcoming and will sit you down and hand you a rum (or fruit punch or a beer if you just want something cold). Paperwork is minimal and you are quickly shown to your room. We had an ocean view junior suite which was spacious and had everything we needed, including a small fridge and tea and coffee. The toiletries provided are perfectly fine and you will not need to bring anything unless you really want to. The bath is a little small but the shower over it is strong and the water plentiful. Fresh towels are in good supply.

Dining :

Breakfast is a buffet of fruit, continental and fried. There is always an omelette chef on during the morning. There is something to suit almost everyone. The breakfast team are warm, efficient and very friendly.

Lunch : We did not try the grill lunch but it looked excellent.

Dinner : We tried the a la carte and the Caribbean buffet. The quality of food is high and the service excellent. Note that there is always a 10% service charge added to your bill. This is common throughout the island.

Things to do : We came with our son aged 19 and daughter aged 15. They were able to get snorkelling gear, go on a banana boat and swim in the pools (towels provided). There are kayaks and small catamarans, and waterskiing all included. The jet skis that buzz up and down are not part of the official hotel watersports. The jet ski guys will hassle you (but never give you a hard time and are always friendly). You can hire a jet ski for about B$ 100 for 30 mins (which is more than enough). If you enjoy snorkelling you should consider bringing your own gear, the waters are that good. There are fish swimming 2m from the shore, and turtles 50m away.

The ‘children’ were also able to use the teens club where there was internet access, a pool table and table football. There is a supervisor in there. Our two, made friends with others their own age and as result we were able to relax knowing they were fine and having fun with their peers.

Going out is easy. The yellow and blue buses pass by outside. The bus stop to Holetown is literally outside and the one to Bridgetown about 30m away across the road. There is a flat fare of B$ 2 per trip per adult. Children are half that.

Car hire can be arranged by the concierge. There is local company who provided us with a little Suzuki for 2 days at B$ 340 plus 20 for local drivers permits. The car is delivered to and collected from the hotel. You get the car with some petrol, you give it back with the same amount.

We did not use the taxis so have no comments about those.

The Hotel : We have spoken to many staff members from Rodcliffe the operations manger to Clyde the maintenance man. They are all without exception absolutely committed to ensuring that your stay is as good as they can make it. There is a real understanding that we are on vacation here and the staff want you to get the most out of your stay. They are genuinely friendly, knowledgeable and interested in what you have to say about the hotel and the island. The senior management are always visible and actively ask if everything is okay. If is not, then they will try to sort it out immediately. It would be impossible to recite the names of the staff here, but if you take time to speak to them your stay will be enhanced.

When we were at the hotel in August 2012 at one stage the hotel was fully booked. That said the hotel never felt oppressive, or overcrowded. There is enough space for everyone with no sense of being to top of each other.

Happy hour at the bar between 4 – 6 p.m. is a great opportunity to sample the various cocktails. The staff are fun and make great drinks. My favourite was the Carribean martini. It is also a great way to meet other guests which is part of The Tamarind experience.

Eating Out :

In the immediate vicinity is -

The Esso gas station – actually not for eating out, but you can buy pizza or a burger to take away. I have not sampled the food.

The Roti Den – across the road on the corner of Holders Hill. I thoroughly enjoyed the Roti here, reasonably priced. It doesn’t stay open too late.

Scarlett’s – Across the road near to the Roti Den, on the main road. Don’t be fooled by the exterior. This is an excellent little restaurant. The prices are comparable to the hotel or just a little higher.

Caribo – next door to the above. Fresh local food with rum and beers, try it. Prices are reasonable but ask first as no prices are displayed.

Nancy’s – About 30m up Holders Hill on the right, set back from the road, look for the sign ‘Nancy’s Bar’. Home cooked Bajan food, by as you would expect Nancy and served by her partner Timothy. No prices displayed so ask first what is being served and how much. When we went we had fried chicken, steamed veg, fried fish, rice and drinks + Timothy’s company all for about B$ 187 (for 4). Excellent, rustic, charming. It doesn’t get any more local or real. Nb you might want to phone before you go. The security guys at the hotel entrance will be able to sort you out a place. This is definitely ‘off piste’ so do not expect the front desk to know much about it.

Daphne’s - A part of the elegant group and actually next door. If you go there from the hotel you get a complimentary cocktail. Good food and good service but a little pricey.

Holetown –

Jus Grillin’ – unpretentious bbq style food. It is what KFC should be. If you don’t want to spend on a full on meal but want to get out of the hotel for a meal then try this. You can get the bus there and the prices are eminently affordable.

Angry Annie’s – this is a restaurant for tourists primarily. The ribs are very good and the main course portion large enough for most appetites. Not too sure about the rest. Tourist prices.

Tides – A well known restaurant catering mainly for tourists. Great food and service. Nice ambiance and service efficient and engaging. A meal for 4 with wine cost us c.B$800.

Shopping.

You can get beers and other essentials at the Esso mart across the road. For rum to consume or take home you might want to go to the Carlton Supermarket on the main bus route to B’town. The prices you pay there are worth the bus fare and more.

Conclusion.

The Tamarind doesn’t disappoint in any way. There is something here for adults, teens and children. The staff excel and make you feel completely comfortable.

It should be mentioned (and no more) that when we arrived the hotel was about 65 % occupied and the staff had noticeably more time. The second week saw constant arrivals and full occupancy. Although the staff maintained their demeanour it was noticeable that the bar staff at happy hour were stretched. Service was never without a smile.

Would we return? In the blink of an eye.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank Thegugueismygod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: €238 - €994 (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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