Divi Southwinds, St. Lawrence Gap, Accra Beach Resort , Sea Breeze Beach Resort, Club Rockley Resort Reviews – Barbados hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews

Reviews posted on this page
Accra Beach Resort – Rockley Beach Reviews Posted – 1
Bougainvillea Resort – Maxwell Beach Reviews Posted – 2
Club Rockley Reviews Posted – 2
Divi Southwinds – St. Lawrence Gap Reviews Posted – 1
Sea Breeze Beach Resort Reviews Posted – 1

January 2005

We decided that this year we would spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Barbados. We were there December 21-29, so we also had the opportunity to experience Christmas in the Caribbean. This was our 5th trip to Barbados in 10 years. We love it there, but see only a few reviews on this website for Barbados resorts.

The Divi Southwinds is in the process of receiving a facelift. I got the feeling that the Divi corporation had purchased this resort within the past few years, and is slowly renovating the property. There were some very new sections, and the oldest of the buildings were obviously empty and not being used. These could be viewed as an eyesore by some, but it seemed to make it a little more romantic and not so "antiseptic". Their advertising states that they are on "acres of tropical landscaping". That’s true.

We enjoy beach vacations the best, and are not real pool people, so we opted for a "Beach Villa". These are one bedroom suites with a fold out sofa in the living area. There’s a full kitchen, but no little extras like salt and pepper, or dishsoap, or similar items that you would not use up in just a week. These rooms have recently been redone, and the furniture, decor, and bathroom were very nice. The balcony was large with a table and 4 chairs. The view of the beach was slightly obstructed by the "jungle", but the palm trees and other vegetation was a perfect hang out for birds, crabs, frogs and other wildlife – as well as the many cats that strolled through the resort on a regular basis.

The bad news is that the beach and the beach villas are on the other side of the road from the main resort. This is also the good news! The road is really nothing more than a one-way lane. AND….this resort is smack dab in the most happening portion of the southend of the island – St. Lawrence Gap. This area is full of great restaurants, nightlife, street vendors selling both jewelry and food. There is nothing like eating chicken with your fingers hot off the grill of a local man practicing his own style of entrepreneurship! This area does not really get going until after 8:00 or so at night. There was also a great internet cafe within about a 30 second walk from our room. I did notice, however, that the restaurant of the resort was almost always empty. We would walk in there in the evening for a drink at the bar, and were greeted enthusiastically with menus, and it was apparent that these people wanted to serve us dinner! We never ate at the restaurant at all. We made breakfast in our kitchen, ate on our balcony feeding the birds who landed there looking for a crumb, and bought sandwich stuff in the local mini-marts for lunch. Since we’ve been to Barbados a lot, we have our favorite places for dinner.

The beach is not a bad size, a tad bit narrow, but not as narrow as the Accra’s beach – about a mile away. The beach chairs were on the old side, and once the resort was full, (apparently a lot of people travel on Christmas Day) there were not enough chairs to go around, and the staff was scrambling to bring chairs over from the pool area. A few people did not appear to know the "program"; they would take chairs previously "saved" with beach towels. There were some fireworks on the beach THAT day! I also saw a few Europeans go topless, but after a couple of days they were reminded by staff that going topless is not legal in Barbados. We opted for the pool after a few days of a crowded beach; there was hardly anyone there! The pool is big, with a smaller one next to it for children. The swim up bar was popular! There is another older pool right on the beach, and it was unclear to us at first, if this was really part of the resort. A third pool appeared to be reserved for "Members"; this resort is also a timeshare. On the timeshare subject – we saw many families greeting each other after a year of being away. It seemed as if there were many loyal Divi fans.

Because the location is in St Lawrence Gap, there are many things to do within walking distance. In May, the Graeme Hill wildlife sanctuary was built within an easy walk of the Divi, and we did this twice. Taxis are so abundant and cheap in Barbados, we never rent a car.

The Divi could improve their communication a bit. There was no "map" of the resort, and with a resort like this that is bi-sected by a road, and has private areas for members only, this would be helpful for the novice. Also, we arrived after dark, and no one helped us through the resort and across the road to our beach villa. This was a little disconcerting. We had to follow obscure little signs.

All in all, we would return to this resort. We have been at the Divi on St. Croix, and have plans to stay at the Divi on St. Maarten in the spring, and would recommend the Divi resorts generally. It is probably a mid-level resort, a little pricey for some, but certainly not out of sight.

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Accra Beach Resort Laura — Ohio, USA

May 2004

I enjoyed a 1 week stay at the Accra Beach Resort from March 1st – March 8th. The ride from the airport to resort was about 15 minutes. The resort sits directly on Rockley beach. A very popular public beach.

Our check in was very easy and they room reserved was ready. I booked my room direct from the hotel. The staff was excellent and very willing to assist you.

The resort itself has a nice new pool with a swim-up bar. Three different restaurants on site and 7 other restaurants within walking distance. There is a shopping plaza directly across the street with a grocery and several restaurants. On the public beach are beach vendors, and a food court with beer and drinks available very reasonably. From this resort it is equally distant from Bridgetown and St. Lawrence Gap, so I was happy with the resort location.

Although few travel vendors offer this resort in their lineup of available hotels, the resort exceeding my expectations and made my stay very enjoyable.

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Bougainvillea Resort Sarah

December 2004

My husband and I traveled to Barbados on December 14, 2004. We stayed 5 nights at the Bougainvillea Beach Resort..

Arrival:
When we arrived at the airport in Barbados we had to wait on a huge line to go through customs. Being from NY, am not a very patient person, so I was quite annoyed to have to wait close to 25 minutes on line to go through customs. But I had to get used to the fact that we were in a different country and the people there (as I’ve seen throughout the whole trip) move at a very slow pace. There is no rush in Barbados at all, so I just had to get used to it.

We booked a tour company through our travel agent, but we were never told we needed travel vouchers to get to our hotel, so we wound up taking a cab ride ($15 US) to the Bougainvillea Beach Resort. It was a quick 20-minute ride. I have to say that we were a little disappointed when we arrived at the hotel. Most hotels we have stayed at in the past (Jamaica, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic and Tahiti) have had elaborate driveway entrances and beautiful lobbies. This one however was at the end of this little tiny residential block. The lobby was very small, but pretty. When we got the front desk (around 3:00), they told us we would have to wait until 4:00 for our room to be ready. I was a little upset because I was in sweats and it was HOT, and I just wanted to change and go in the pool. So they told us to go down to the pool bar and get a free drink on the house. So we did. We took a little tour of the grounds and then headed back to the front desk at 4:00. The woman at the desk told us the room still wasn’t ready so we went down to guest quarters to an air-conditioned room for another 30 minutes. Finally we went to our room.

Room: The room was very nice and clean. We were told we were staying in the “newer” part of the hotel (room 5422). The room had a small kitchen (full size refridge., sink, and portable cook-top) with pots, pans, utensils, plates and glasses, a Microwave, coffeepot and teapot. The bathroom was a nice size…it was clean and they had soap, shampoo and conditioner dispensers right in the tub. They also had a little wall hairdryer in there as well. If you want a King Size bed, make sure the hotel gets the request. We requested a King, yet we got a queen-size bed. They did try to change us, but the room was not as large, so we just stayed where we were. We also had a couch and coffee table, as well as a table with two chairs. Rooms have irons and ironing boards. And all rooms have a nice terrace with a table and chairs as well as towel racks. Our room overlooked the pool and beach. All in all, I thought the rooms were very nice.

Just a quick note: The resort has no elevators…so if you are on the 4th floor, you have to walk the 8 flights up there.

Pool and Beach:
The pool was definitely not as large as it looks in the pictures. It is quite small, but very pretty with waterfalls. They also have a pool bar. The bartender ladies are very, very nice and 3:30 starts happy hour…two drinks for the price of one! The beach was very nice. I think this was the first vacation where we sat on the beach most of the time. However, it gets extremely hot. Must use sunscreen. And the hotel will set up umbrellas for you if you want.

Food:
There is a restaurant on the premises called Lanterns. They have a buffet breakfast every morning, which was nice. The buffet cost around $12 US dollars. You could also order off a menu, which was a little cheaper. For lunch we also at Lanterns. They have a really great variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers and entrees that were all excellent (a little pricey, but definitely worth it). For Dinner we ate at Lanterns twice…. food was great the first night, the event buffet the second night was not that great. I would just stick to the plain menu nights…the food was really, really good! We also went into Bridgetown one night and went to the waterfront café which was really good, and two nights we went into St. Lawrence Gap and ate at Café Sol which had really great Mexican food, and to Bellini’s which had good Italian food and over looks the water. St. Lawrence Gap is about a 5-minute cab ride from the hotel ($6 US) and has a wide variety of restaurants ranging from seafood to Italian to Mexican to Bajan cuisine. Personally, because Barbados is a safe Island to venture out into, I would recommend stepping out at night and exploring it’s many great restaurants. The only night I had a bad meal was the buffet night; otherwise everything we ate was delicious! But also remember…. the food comes out very slow in every restaurant we ate at…so you may wait up to 40 minutes to get your food!

Water:
Barbados water comes from fresh springs so it is safe to drink right out of the tap. We didn’t drink bottled water the whole trip and were fine (and I have a very sensitive stomach).

Weather:
The weather was beautiful and sunny every day with the exception of maybe 5 minutes during everyday day when it rained. It actually was a nice break from the boiling hot sun.

Other beaches
: We went to the Boatyard one day to go the beach. It has a nice beach set up with water trampolines and different activities. It costs about $20 to get in, but they give you $10 in tokens to buy drinks and food. The restaurant there was SO SLOW. We waited close to an hour to get our food, and the wait staff was horrible. Not a smile on any of their faces and they all had attitudes. The bartenders however were very nice.

Check out:
Is at 11:00, no later. They will not let you extend your room without charging you an extra day. However, you can check your luggage and they have a room where you can shower and change if you want to use the pool.

All in all, I think the resort was decent…. nothing spectacular, but the beach was nice and the food was great. All the staff was very friendly also (especially the bell man Stephan). There are cabs readily available to take you wherever you want to go. We were told by one of our drivers that we weren’t on the “Luxurious” side of the Island, so you may want to research the Island a little better than we did. However, we did have a nice relaxing vacation, and that’s all that mattered.

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Bougainvillea Resort Michael Butler in Canada

March 2004

We just returned from Barbados having spent 7 days at Bougainvillea. We loved our stay. We hope that the following comments help you make decisions about your trip to Barbados and your stay at Bougainvillea. Everything was well organized from check-in to checkout.

All the staff was well trained and wanted to ensure a relaxed stay. Francina, Heather, Babita, Don and Leena made the front desk a great location to find out about the facilities. Avril and Rosalind made sure that any activities you wanted to do during your stay were organized for you.

Our room was on the ground floor with a private patio, table and chairs. It looked right out on to the pool and was seconds from the beach. Listening to the waves was magical. The kitchenette had all the basic kitchen utensils, pot and pans, hotplate, toaster, microwave oven and coffee percolator as well as a full size refrigerator. There is a grocery service available. You can fax an order to the hotel before your arrival and they will have your order in your room when you arrive. If you do not pre-order there is a little store two minutes down the road where you can pick up milk, bread, etc. before you go to a grocery store. Check on hours of operation.

The room was spacious, clean, air conditioned, with and in-room safe. There was lots of closet space. The bathroom was spacious and clean, lots of towels and face cloths, soaps and shampoo. When you arrive the room is sprinkled with local fresh picked flower petals, which is a lovely touch. There is a 20-inch television in the room. Channel selection is basic. There are not enough programs to keep young children entertained but you really want them outside in the fresh air anyways. We brought a portable DVD player and disks to hook up to the television so we could watch movies at night, which was a lot of fun.

The room was cleaned daily. You are expected to wash your dishes. You can dial long distance from your room. On arrival you are provided with voucher cards to get your beach towels from the water sports hut on the beach. You can exchange the towels daily and on the last day you exchange the towels for the vouchers, which you give back to the checkout counter otherwise, you are charged $25.00US for the towel.

The beach is fantastic. It is clean, safe, few vendors, lots of chaise lounges, shade, breezy and close to the rooms. You can get umbrellas from the water sports hut. We walked past other hotels along the beach and we were of the view that the better beach location was at Bougainvillea. The water was very rough during our entire stay. Unless you are comfortable about being thrown about and bashed by waves, you will not be spending too much time in the water.

The pool is fun and you can use the pool at the sister hotel at Sand Acres next door. At Bougainvillea there is a lovely bar in the pool run most days by Marguerite. She makes excellent rum punch and other drinks. There was no excessive drinking, loud parties or noise at the bar. Smoking is still very acceptable in public locations and in the rooms. The little children playing in the pools were all well behaved thanks to their parents. There is a hotel policy restricting visitors to the hotel. Non-guests must be registered with the front desk. The resort is patrolled 24 hours by security.

We prepared breakfast and some lunches in our room. We ate most other meals at the Lantern Restaurant, which is right on the beach. The staff were pleasant especially Eurita who always made sure we had a great table, lots of great cold water and Bajan hot pepper sauce. The food was well prepared and presented. Freddy’s mashed potatoes were delicious. The drinking water in Barbados is excellent and safe. You can drink the water right out the tap, wash food and make ice cubes. The hotel organized two weekly cocktail parties and provided entertainment. These events were lots of fun. Make sure you make reservations so you are not left out. We did order pizzas a couple of times from Pizzazz Pizza, which were delivered within an hour, hot and delicious.

To do a round trip to buy groceries was about $17.00 US. Grocery shopping was fun and everything you could want was available including rum, wine, beer, snacks, yogurts, milk, bread, butter, etc. There is a shuttle service available for guests three times a day to Bridgetown which you book for at the Activities Desk. The shuttle takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic. It drops you off close to the main shopping district and across the street from the main branch of the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Taxis are always waiting in front of the hotel. We were, however, disappointed with the non-grocery shopping. Nothing grabbed our attention (probably just our taste) although all of the jewellery shops had beautiful items. Harrison’s and Cave Sheppard have changed their marketing approach and I guess we did not fit the profile they were aiming at. We ended up purchasing all of our gifts at the Bougainvillea gift shop rather than using our precious time to go back to Bridgetown.

Make sure that you check out the night before your departure to avoid the rush during the morning of your departure. Credit cards, traveler’s cheques, Barbados and US dollars are all used. Check out is 11:00 am. If your flight is later in the day, you can use their lounge facility (shower, bathroom, etc.); however, it can get hectic and cramped if there are too many families all wanting to use the facilities. Try and request a day room from the front desk. There is a $75.00US charge but it is worth it if a room is available. They could not leave us in our room but they gave us a superior suite next door at Sand Acres, which was nice to try out. Sand Acres is 30 seconds away and has all the same amenities as Bougainvillea.

Luggage can be stored with the doorman for the day until your departure time. Tipping is not expected at Bougainvillea, as it is included; however, we found that we were so well treated that we always wanted to leave a little something special to say thank you. Also it is important to remember that the pace is generally slower in Barbados, which is the reason why you go there. If you expect a frenzied response to your requests then you need to chill out and have another rum punch. Just go with the flow, man, and you will have a vacation to remember.

We have tried to mention the main points that you need to consider before leaving home and arriving at Bougainvillea so that you are well oriented on your first day. The dress around Bougainvillea is always casual; however, you need to wear t-shirts with your bathing suit at the Lanterns Restaurant and many other restaurants in Barbados have a "no shorts" policy. Make sure you check when making reservations about the dress code. In each room there is hard covered book about Barbados which you should review as it covers numerous topics that you might want know about to make your stay more enjoyable.

Take lots of sunscreen, t-shirts, shorts, sandals and bathing suit and 2 or 3 cans of Tim Horton’s ground coffee if you like your Timmy’s in the morning (assuming that you are Canadian, eh). Have fun in Barbados and especially at Bougainvillea.

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Sea Breeze Beach Resort Barbie — Canada

February 2004

My husband and I just returned from a 1 week all inclusive vacation in Barbados. We booked a last minute vacation from Signature Vacations for the Sea Breeze Beach Resort. This resort is rate 3.5 stars but we would give it a 4.5. The rooms were exceptionally clean and bright, we had a room with an ocean view which is not only beautiful to look at but the sounds of the waves are wonderful. The food at this resort is great and each night they have different menus. We will indeed be going back there as Barbados is one of the best places to spend a very relaxing vacations. We will recommend this site to anyone who is looking is looking for a quite relaxing vacation.

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April 2002

After the Dominican my daughter and I decided to try Barbados. and we absolutely loved it.. This is my 9th time in the Caribbean and Barbados has become my favourite. The first thing you notice is how friendly the people are and how beautiful they also are. And then because the island is small it takes no time to get to your hotel in our case CLUB ROCKLEY on the south side….. it is a golf hotel but absolutely gorgeous the greenery, the blue ski and the whole way the hotel is set makes it special.

A couple of minus points: the hotel is not by the beach therefore there is a complimentary bus that takes you every half hour to the beach but what a gorgeous beach..white sand, blue sea and some big waves so be aware if you are not a great swimmer……….Being all inclusive there is a bar/restaurant where you can get whatever drinks you wish… the walk back or from the hotel takes say 15mins but it is so safe and so pleasant to walk for a gentle promenade…nobody hassles you the other point is if your room is situated on Orange hill it is a walk to get to it.. but a golf cart at your request will take you or even come and pick you up……..

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We stayed at Club Rockley in Barbados 4 years ago. We had a fabulous time there. The staff were really friendly. We actually got married there and the wedding was perfect. The wedding co-ordinator there arranged our day to perfection you really could not fault it.

The rooms at Club Rockley are a little bit dated I think and the air conditioning units were very noisy but apart from that the place was great. The food was always very good with lots of choice. There was the main buffet restaurant but there was also a restaurant on the beach which was also very good but you had to catch a bus to get there. It was a courtesy bus which ran every hour and it only took 5 minutes to get there. You have to book a table at this restaurant though but it is so nice looking out at sea while you are eating your meal. The other restaurant was more like pub grub – burgers etc but this was a nice place to go for lunch. But the main buffet restaurant was always very good and the breakfasts were great. We put so much weight on staying there!!

The entertainment was very good – but as we stayed there for 3 weeks, we were a bit bored as it was the same week after week. I think that they should have different themes or shows for a fortnight at a time!

There was also a nightclub at the resort. It didnt really play the kind of music I liked though but it was a change!

The grounds were lovely and clean and tidy and all the swimming pools were always clean. It was great having so many pools to choose from. If the pool nearest your apartment was a bit too noisy – you just went on to the next pool where sometimes it was completely empty. It really depends what mood you were in – or you could just sit by the main pool and people watch.

I would definitely go back again and I believe that they have now built some new apartments and a new pool since we went. I would rate Club Rockley as probably 8/10.
Michelle – April 2001

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Last updated: January 10, 2005

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