Just returned from a 2-week Xmas & New year break (December 2004) at ABV, which cost £12,500 for Mum & Dad and young twin girls. What a dreadful resort this is, I would strongly warn anyone away from this place.
To quote: First off, pop along and read what the ABV says on their own website (http://www.almondresorts.com/vil_accommodation.asp) about the standard of their accommodation (and the beautiful photos of rooms!!)
To quote: "…Almond Resorts will have the final phase of its US$10 Million refurbishment and renovation project by the end of the 2004 summer season. Upgrades… include all rooms, suites, furniture, fixtures and recreation areas. All rooms and suites are being lavishly re-appointed and will feature lush Caribbean and Balinese style fabrics, new mahogany furniture and armoires as well as new refrigerators, television centers and air conditioning units. Bathrooms in every room will be elegantly upgraded with new mirrors, fixtures and sleek granite vanities. Every suite is being outfitted with luxurious new beds and fully stocked mini-bars…."
Absolute, total rubbish. The rooms have not been touched for 6-8 years (according to the Resort Director himself), and are in the last stages of dilapidation as many others have observed in these reviews. When I asked the resort Director why the website presents such a false impression, he told me that it is simply a matter of interpretation, "we had every intention of completing all the refurbishments during 2004". Shocking.
He was unable to let me see even ONE room (out of 300) which had seen the sort of refurbishment lavishly decribed on the website. How do these people get away with this?
We arrived on 18th December. Within 48 hours, our 2 yr 9mnth twin girls were running 40 degree temperatures, with fever, diahorreah, sickness (and so were we, to some extent). We called for the "24 hour, on call Doctor", only to find that this was another marketing fairytale. There is NO DOCTOR AVAILABLE on this resort. Think about that when you consider bringing your kids here. We had to call a Doctor in Fitts Village (a 40 minute cab drive away), and make our own arrangements. The doctor refused to visit the resort, so we spent the best part of a day (and about $400 BD) visiting the doctor and getting the children onto medication.
They continued to suffer from diahorrea for the entire 2 weeks, and these children are not sickly petals. Both my wife and I had the same. about 80% of the people we spoke to by the pool, in the restaurants, etc were suffering, both children and adults alike. The management refused to discuss the matter saying the problem did not exist. We then discovered that there had been a case of salmonella, where a 12 year old boy from ABV had been in hospital for 4 days, this was the same week we arrived. The father of that child had to arrange for an external health inspector to come and test water, and arrange for his son to be diagnosed and taken to hospital. The resort management refused to admit the problem, and denied that anything was wrong. You want to bring your kids here? Think very carefully.
Then I came up with an awful rash, covered in little red bites. We searched the bed and found it crawling with bedbugs. This was reported to the director of operations, who took two days to replace the bed. 10 days later I am still covered in the bites. The room was filthy, even he admitted that it fell far short of "acceptable standards". This resort is listed as 4-star, our room would not even rate 2 stars as a backpackers doss-house.
With the exception of some staff (special mention must go to the ladies in Enid’s restaurant), we found most of the staff surly and brimming with "attitude". Simple questions like "what time does the restaurant open" or "where should we sit", got either a blank wall, or a slowly raised stare which made it quite clear what a nuisance you were for bothering them. I’m sorry to say it, but the attitude and sloppiness of the staff made you very uncomfortable to ask anyone anything. 95% per cent of all questions are answered with a raised finger and a curt "just a minute". Broken lights in stairwells, problems with the aged TV, etc all took at least a day to get fixed. However, if you bought a bottle of wine in the restaurant at 10pm, it would be on your room account by 5 minutes past, so they are able to get some things right.
Disaster of a holiday:
All in all, a complete disaster of a holiday. Sickness and filth, and immense disappointment at the huge difference between what these people promise on their website (it is still all there today if you look), and what you actually get when you arrive. We spent the first week of our holiday walking, and pushing two buggies through a muddy building site where they were building a new pool on the only thoroughfare between our room and the main reception areas. Unbelievable.
In week two, after Xmas, the resort seemed to fill up with familes dressed head to toe in Burberry checked clothes, shiny football shirts, and wearing rather a lot of gold jewellery and tattooes. They, and their teenage children certainly did seem to be having a whale of a time, I must say, particularly later in the evening after a day on the free rum punches.
We hired a full time driver:
Three days from the end of our holiday we became so fed up that we hired a full time driver and had him take us and the kids out to various places, and restaurants for lunch, dinner, etc. Within 36 hours we had all pretty mucyh recovered our digestive operations, and this was purely down to the improved quality of the food. If you are a fan of pizza, burgers, and chips, or you have never eaten a decent meal in a restaurant, you would probably love the food at the ABV. Frankly, it is all mass catering, double cooked, tough as old boots school dinners and buffets with pretensions around dress code that are not justified by the standard of food on offer.
Conclusion: If you are a fan of Burberry and gold chains, and have a lot of teenage children, and are very interested in how much free booze the price includes, this is probably the place for you. If you are looking for a slighly more sophisticated family resort in Barbados, try the Virgin Escape Hotel down the road. We certainly won’t be coming back here. STEER CLEAR.