Turtle Beach Resort – Barbados Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews

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Turtle Beach Resort  ~  Reviews Posted – 6
Turtle Beach Resort Cate — Toronto

November 2003

Just returned last week from our honeymoon at the all inclusive Turtle Beach Resort in Barbados. We had thought a week in Barbados would be just divine. We were so disappointed….. We had initially booked into another of the "Elegant" group hotels The Crystal Cove. We didn’t even unpack when we got to our room it was dreadful. Imagine a Super 8 motel room but with peeling paint and shabby furniture. We stayed one night because we had to and got the heck out of there first thing the next morning. Our travel agent suggested Turtle Beach as it was part of the same hotel group and an exchange would be easier. Upon arriving at Turtle Beach we were told there were no rooms – though we had confirmed just an hour earlier there were and that we were on our way. Not only were we told there were no room for us but no one at the front desk would talk to us after that. We had to call our travel agent as all the staff simply went behind closed doors and refused to deal with us. We waited 6 hours for it to be all sorted out – it’s 30 degrees Celsius and we had to sit in the lobby and just wait with our luggage. When we finally got a room it was a pool garden view on the main floor. Very unimaginative indeed. Plain, worn, sadly decorated and musty. All this for $3500 CDN. Booking a dinner reservation at any of the restaurants was a big challenge. Very difficult to get in before 8:30 – 9:00pm and could only get into the Italian restaurant on site once. Waterfront cafe was dirty, buffet poor quality and unkept. Service at all three restaurants was either great or terribly rude. No way to know what you are going to face even when you try to be friendly. And food was marginal at best. We spent a week last year at the RIU Palace in Mexico on the Mayan Rivera. RIU knows how to do it right!! Spectacular in comparison to Turtle Beach. Less money and 100 times better in every way. I recommend their resorts over the "Elegant Hotel" group any day. Elegant hotels??? I think they need to rethink their name.

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September 2003

My husband and I stayed 6 nights in August at Turtle Beach Resort Barbados with our two boys aged 5 and 8. We travelled there from Antigua where we had already enjoyed a 6 night stay at Jolly Beach Resort.

Arrival and room: On arrival, initial impressions of the hotel were good and check-in was okay. I had emailed for a top floor room prior to leaving the UK and this request had been met. The room was bright and clean and nicely decorated. The balcony afforded a lovely view of the pool area and beach in the distance. I must, however, point out that the standard junior suite rooms are designed to accommodate three guests not four. The sofabed is only a single and, much to my annoyance, we had to have an extra bed brought in for our five year old. I feel strongly that these rooms should not be sold as family accommodation for four and I complained immediately (although to no avail) to the local office of British Airways Holidays through whom we had booked the holiday. The following day the BA Holidays Rep did arrange for us to view another, slightly larger room, but as we had already unpacked much of our belongings and only had a further 5 nights remaining, I declined the offer of the other room. In any event it really was not significantly larger. However, aside from the issue over the room we very much enjoyed our stay at Turtle Beach.

Restaurants, bars, staff and entertainment: Overall we found the food to be very good and the cocktail selection extensive. There were always a number of child friendly dishes on offer at each restaurant. The Italian restaurant was particularly good. Children under 12 were not permitted to dine there. The hotel and bar staff was either very friendly or completely indifferent, even rude on occasion. Restaurant service was variable, however, we were never in a hurry so we remained relaxed about the slow service. Our only complaint concerns the evening meal arrangements. The hotel operates an inflexible, very frustrating, booking system for their three restaurants. During our stay it was simply not possible to get an early reservation (at 7 or 7.30) at the main restaurant Chelonia if you did not have the foresight to book at least the day before. The earliest booking we were offered every time we tried to book on the day, was 8.30. This would be fine if we were travelling without children but kids need to eat earlier. On the evenings that our boys ate in the Kids Club my husband and I still needed an earlier booking as the Club closes at 9pm. More frustrating than this was the fact that the restaurant was virtually empty at 7.30 when we came down to the bar. Even on the evenings when there was a buffet we had to wait until 8.30 to be seated. I have absolutely no idea why all guests can be accommodated for breakfast in the Chelonia at one time but at 7.30pm, when there are also two other restaurants open for evening meals, only a handful of tables can be occupied.

Kids Club: Our children really enjoyed the Club and asked to go there every day when we were not out on a tour. They chose to have lunch and dinner in the club with the other children on several days. One of the main attractions was the wide selection of video games. The ladies who worked there were very friendly and the children were kept occupied with games and craft. Video game time was (wisely) limited. During the evening, at 7.30, a film was shown. We have travelled considerably with the children, and stayed in many hotels that operate Kids Clubs, but this is the first hotel we have stayed in where the children have actually wanted to attend Club. It was certainly a treat to eat alone with my husband whilst being confident that our boys were safe and happy.

Final thoughts: The beach was pretty but more narrow than I had expected from photos. The water was quite rough most days but we were aware of this prior to booking. There were plenty of chairs on the beach but it did feel crowded. The pools were clean. It was nice that occasionally a waitress came around the pool with a tray of soft drinks or fresh fruit for the guests. Unlike at our hotel in Antigua, we were very disappointed that the vast majority of guests at Turtle Beach were English. Personally, I like to feel like I’m abroad when I’ve flown for 8 hours! To sum up: great holiday, very nice hotel, happy children!

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June 2003

my wife and i just returned from the turtle beach resort on 6/22 after a 5 night stay. prior to arriving i emailed the manager the check on a room upgrade as it was part of the best of barbados 2003 package also we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Our check in was fast and indeed our room has been upgraded also a flower arrangement and a bottle of bubblely was in our room plus a very nice card sign by the manager. i tottaly argree with you more recent review, additionally on our last night stay the manager arranged for a lobster/salmon dinner delivered to our room which was outstanding. we have traveled to many countries in the caribbean and have stay had various all incluv resorts, the turtle beach is top notch, you cannot go wrong if you want a quiet low key vacation. john husky1@grandecom.net for more info

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Turtle Beach Resort Vikki

June 2003

Hi Debbie, I went to Turtle Beach in May 2003 with my husband, 5 year old son and my two parents (one of whom has walking difficulties). Prior to our arrival, I emailed the hotel to request interlinking, top floor rooms near a lift. This was carried out with no problems. And the rooms were clean and well maintained. Ours had lovely beach views.

The kids club is brilliant at Turtle Beach and the babysitters are lovely. Our son wanted to spend all day there. The children’s pool is great, and allows a level of independence for the kids and a degree of relaxation for the adults.

Cocktails were on tap, and lovely they were too. Shame the bar staff, often the women, were generally rude. Most of the staff were brilliant, in the bars and restaurants, but as above, some were downright ignorant and needed a good kick up the backside by management.

Needing to book the restaurants was a pain, but the food was excellent. No complaints there.

A good holiday. Excellent for families. And the hotel itself is beautiful, much nicer than any nearby ones. PS the beach is great too. Too rough for kiddies unsupervised, but great for boogie boards. And it was nice to have the constant breeze.

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Turtle Beach Resort Anna Katz
November 2002

Hi Debbie:
I went to Turtle Beach in August 2002 for my Honeymoon. I should of picked somewhere else. I wish I had know that this all-inclusive meant all inclusive attitude. The food was so-so, I’ve had ten times better in Mexico. The manager of the resort was the worst. He was rude and really didnt care about you as a guest. If you like to sleep early and rise early this is not the place to go. The have what sounds like a rock concert at night and do not care how many times you complain about the noise. They offer all these special bonuses for honeymooners, well unless you hound they continuously you will not get a single thing. Im going away again in March to Cuba the El-senador and I hope I can make this a new Honeymoon. Most of the people who worked there are ok but the people who work at the front desk and the Cheloneal restaurant are terrible. I would not return to the Turtle Beach and with a hefty price tag of $2500.00 cdn per person It was completely not worth the expence. Anna Katz


Turtle Beach Resort Cathy Troast
November 2002

Have just returned from a wonderful week in Barbados, but felt that I should let everyone know how the food service was at Turtle Beach Resort. As an all-inclusive resort I thought there food set-up was a joke. Upon arriving it is advisable to make dinner reservations immediately upon arrival for the entire week or you may not be able to eat at the choice of your three restaurants or if you get to eat at all. We were treated very rudely and did not get to eat at any of our times chosen for service. I will admit the other staff at the resort were above and beyond our expectations. The Chelona restaurant was the worst for service I ever experienced in my ten years of traveling to the Caribbean and I am a retired restaurant manager so I know what good service and courtesy is all about. As far as traveling to Barbados, I would suggest everyone go, the people are friendly, the island is beautiful, I just have nothing good to say about the all-inclusive plan at Turtle Beach Resort.


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Last updated: November 19, 2003

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