Barbados Stories and Tips

Barbados - Our Opinion

We love to travel and see new places. As much history as Barbados has, it is lacking greatly in the friendliness and customer-service departments. Many of the Barbadians we came in contact with almost seem to repeat the same memorized script. It begins with "Is this your first time here on the island?" As much as the conversation starter would be appreciated, the attitude is dull, non-feeling, and lacking any enthusiasm. They continued to tell us how everyone was so friendly here. We had yet to see more than a handful of genuine happy islanders.

On the customer service side, the hotel was awful times ten. Tamarind Cove ran hot and cold all week. I can only believe this is normal practice. Where one receptionist wanted to help, the other could care less, and answering even a simple question seemed to be too much effort. When the security guard offered to help us in getting ice, he then refused to give us the full bucket in exchange for our empty one. They were identical. That interaction was plain weird. The Oasis bar next to the restaurant, allows a dinner menu, but ordering at 9pm meant dinner didn't arrive until 10pm. The kitchen is 20 paces away, and I know it doesn't take an hour to cook a hamburger. The rooms were okay--nothing special. The hotel is part of "The Elegant Hotel Group". I'm unsure who the people are who created this group, but Tamarind Cove is equal to a motel or lower-budget hotel. They are slowly renovating rooms, but I have no idea what the finished product will look like. I would think in the mean time, they should lower their prices to fit their service and older amenities. The in-room safe is archaic. It is a key on a chain that goes to a paperweight size lock. They state you have the only key, great for the single person but what about a couple and why make your beach guest carry one more thing down to the water? I haven't been in a hotel without a digital safe with personal key code in over 10 years. They have all the other modern electronics, Internet, cell phones, cable TV, why not in-room safes??

The island is a mix of new and old. There seems to be no zoning laws so the rich and poor live next to each other. The streets appear congested and cluttered which gives the appearance of unkept or dirty.

Our friends stayed in a couple of Villas in Holders Hill/Polo ridge. While these were beautiful and kept well. The staff was great and service much enjoyed, and I didn't understand the security. For an island that boasts safty and tourism, these very expensive villas became known as the compound. More than once, my husband and I had been there visiting past 11pm, when the security guards told us we should just stay since the doors were all locked for the night. Locked for the night? For what? We called a cab and went about our way. This we were unsure if it was too much for them to turn a lock or if we were in fact in danger and from what? No one could find an answer to the extreme security at the villas, compared to the lax security of our hotel one mile away.

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