14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Was a little worried about walking out a...
"Was a little worried about walking out at night but that was fine.... with holiday makers who had been there numerous times i.e. Dave & Tracy WHAT a god send... they knew everything... would have been lost without them.. The hotel is lovely and they look after you like long lost relations... the staff there especially the Manager Britta and Jackie who co-ordinates weddings etc are brilliant people who take the time to talk to you... they make you feel so very special.... the staff are lovely too ALL of them, so polite and helpful.
Lovely breakfast place across the road called "Happy Days"... Engish couple there for a few years are great for food and making calls home on their internet. The breakfast at the hotel is superb too .... as is the food all day long.... the Restaurants along the Gap are good too although the prices can be expensive. Jossefs is around Â£89-00 for two for starters, main and 1 bottle of wine.... but it was our Anniversary night so did not mind paying (hubby had a bad back so a bit of a disaster).....David's place is around Â£50-00 ish.... Pisces around the same..... Bellinis .. what can I say but a fabulous Italian with Lasagne to die for and the staff lovely too..... good for kiddies too....and not bad on the pennies here.... although the other places I have mentioned are better for couples.... The food at the hotel is so good you may not want to go to any of the restaurants. The fish cakes are so tasty you will want more or 'em... Overall the food is superb whereever you go and the bars are good too with pub grub.
St Lawrence Gap is not a massive place but enough for two weeks.. Hotel right on the beach no bother with beds etc.... no germans!!!! not that we came across any .. a few americans... but mostly English and Irish so good fun.... we had such a good time there that we would go back and it would be Southern Palms again... I was upset coming home.. which is not like me ... I am usually ready for home but could have had another week!!! Any stragglers on the beach who come your way... just say NO THANK YOU and I mean that... otherwise you get the Hotel Security woman (and she aint small...... who will tell YOU off ...not them for anything they try to sell you or massage or anything else) just back OFF... believe me I got a ticking off from her!!!! but THEY are only looking after you TOO... cant complain on that side of things...
If anyone is considering going I would recommend this tranquil, chillout place with amazing views and swimming turtles (even got to watch one laying eggs) with the turtle watch team at 11.30 at night... we may never see that again in our life time.
The weddings were great (we did watch a few) and the Sunday Lunch is fab with a steel band playing (and they play in the week too) they are very good. Did not want to go to bed some nights because we were enjoying ourselves so much.
Try it...... you will ADORE it.... so ROMANTIC.... so lovely lovely... what more can I say...JUST GO.... and we have been to loads of places around the world but THIS was a SPECIAL SPECIAL place.... to remember for a long long time. "
- Travel date: Sat 16th of August 2008
This was not only the best holiday I hav...
"This was not only the best holiday I have ever had, it was also the best hotel, it just made it for us!! It was superb! Staff were lovely, room was lovely and clean, food was excellent, with a ocean view whilst eating in the restaurant!
I am definately going back there and dont think I want to try any other hotel in case it isnt as good! Because I dont think it can be beaten."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of July 2008
Been to Barbados 9 times and never have...
"Been to Barbados 9 times and never have been back to the same hotel twice .Well we have made an exception we are going back to Southern Palms in September .
Our accomodation was refurbished , maid service was 100% , the staff courteous and warm and friendly .We love the Gap so the beach at this hotel is wonderful and last year we saw Turtles laying their eggs , the security guards actually knocked my door so that i could see and its a sight i will never forget , we were honoured to witness Leatherback 's hatching and swimming away , a rare sight as its usually Hawksbill's that nest there . I gave it nine instead of 10 as the bar could have been livlier at night , but thats probally not the hotels fault ."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of July 2008
Situated in the St.Lawrence Gap, the hot...
"Situated in the St.Lawrence Gap, the hotel is ideally situated to explore one of the more lively parts of the island, with plenty of restaurants and a few bars to choose from, and all can be reached within 10 minutes walk. Not that where the hotel is situated is noisy, itâs pleasantly quiet due to its location.
The hotel itself is made of a number of accommodation buildings, none higher that three floors, and because of the layout, the hotel commands a fair stretch of beach, three to four times longer than either of the hotels adjacent to it. We booked a suite, so had ample space with a separate living room, bedroom (including a spacious walk in closet), and bathroom. Both the living room and the bedroom have wall mounted flat panel televisions, Iâd guess a 26â in the living room and 32â in the bedroom, though the number of channels available and picture quality were down to usual poor hotel standards.
The living has a small kitchenette adjacent, which is more like an alcove than a kitchen, with a kitchen bench/sink, built in electric hob, and a full size fridge/freezer. Having only one free electrical socket meant you couldnât boil a kettle and (for example) make toast at the same time.
The air conditioning kept the rooms sufficiently cool, and the king size bed was the largest Iâve ever slept in. The decor was definitely showing its age, and new fixtures/furniture and a coat of paint are desperately needed. Everything was clean however, and towels were changed every day, bed linen every three days. Outside the living area was a generous veranda/balcony with a coffee table and two chairs. We quite enjoyed sitting there towards the end of the day as itâs both peaceful and private.
The hotel suites all promise a âsea viewâ, but from our balcony, you had to stretch your neck a little, and what you could see of the beach was mainly obscured by trees, but not really in a negative way. The view from the bedroom windows did look along the curve of the beach and that was quite a pleasant view. If anyone does book a suite, and you donât mind climbing stairs, ask for one off the ground floor. You not only get a better view, but a lot more privacy on your balcony.
The hotel staff were courteous and friendly, the hotel was kept clean and tidy, and the beach location is idyllic. Thereâs an Internet Cafe which is free for hotel guests, and dining appears to be mainly al fresco, though with so many good restaurants just outside, we never actually ate in the hotel. Our accommodation was room only.
The hotel offers a free mini-bus to Bridgetown at 9:00am and 11:00am daily which you need to book at reception the day before. Itâs also very easy to use the local bus service (all fares cost 1.50 Barbados dollars) and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Safety deposit facilities at reception are free, but if you wish to use the safe in your room, it costs 3 USA dollars/night. Beach towels can be exchanged as often as you like, and all water sports equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, body surfing board) are free hire. There is also a free mini golf course and tennis court.
All in all a pleasant hotel, let down only by the definite requirement for some room refurbishment.
- Travel date: Sun 28th of October 2007
"Arrived Christmas Day 2004 left 8th Jan 2005 my third visit and not my last.
Great Beach,very friendly helpul staff, everything nice and clean apart from the fish pond but that;s been like that for three years! rooms tastefully decorated most have good ocean views.the crazy golf and shuffle board areas looked fine to me.there are some cats but a lot of hotels in Barbados have them. Food above average breakfasts fantastic in a beautiful setting.already booked for Dec this year. It's no Sandy lane but you are not paying those prices either."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of January 2005
Not all it promises
"We spent Christmas and New Year at Southern Palms and although the general upkeep and presentation of the hotel was very good, the accomodation was disappointing to say the least. Rooms need modernising and a good clean. The lighting is inadequate and the bathroom was basic. The shower had to be run for a good ten minutes before the hot water came through and even then, to get any kind of decent amount of water through the showerhead the cold water had to be turned on full. Cold showers were the order of the day! St Lawrence Gap itself was a little disappointing also. Really not as much night life as we expected... very little music and nobody dances! Having said all this, if what you want is a glorious uncrowded beach, excellent food and wonderful sunshine then this is the place for you!"
- Travel date: Mon 10th of January 2005
Lovely Stay in Barbados
"We stayed at Southern Palms the first week of December a year ago. Its clearly not a five start hotel--if that's what you're looking for, go elsewhere. If you are looking for the best beach in Barbados, a clean, cute hotel where you can get a beach front room and walk to lots of restaurants and nightlife, this is the place. We had a room overlooking the beach and would walk down the stairs and take three steps to be on the beach! Everything was great... the only problem for us was uncomfortable pillows, but we got by fine.
We did not eat dinner at the hotel, so cannot comment on that. Their breakfast was just OK. For lunch, we would walk to the Gap (not even five minutes) and buy "roti" for lunch (which is pretty much a giant tortilla with curry potatoes or chicken or fish wrapped inside) at the mini mart. The roti's were inexpensive and delicious! One day we even stopped at a lunch truck on the way and it was very good too. The mini mart was also a great place to buy drinks and snacks. We did buy pina coladas at the hotel's beach bar and they were pretty good.
For dinner, the best restaurant was Pisces which is also in the Gap (walking distance from the hotel). Their food is spectacular by any standard and the service impeccable. They're only slightly more expensive than the average restuarants, but so worth it!!! You probably want to make reservations. I have to say, the high level of service at Pisces was uncommon in Barbados--the island style is kind of slow, so we would have to snack before dinner when we went to other places because food usually arrived 45 mins to an hour after we ordered.
The beach was truly amazing--the water crystal clear, small waves for body surfing, clean, soft sand and not over crowded. While we were there, turtle eggs had hatched on the beach one night and two students from the local university had come to collect, measure and release them into the sea. It was a very neat experience.
We'll definitely be going back!"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of January 2005
not the Ritz Carlton
"I was at the Southern Palms the week of Aug 8-14, 2004. Really quite stupid on my part... no research beforehand so I didn't realize we would be arriving during hurricane season. I am 25 years old and my female friend I travelled with is 23. We were looking for a nice relaxing vacation in a warm clime with options for nightlife, but we weren't looking for a party.
Upon arriving at the Southern Palms, we took our luggage to the room, passing the run down mini golf course and a bunch of stray cats. I love cats so it was kind of exciting for me. Our room key did not work so I had to hoof it back to the front desk. Then we were in our room and I was rather disappointed. The bathroom light did not work and there was very little sunlight coming into our room, so the bathroom was pitch black. Our alarm clock was not displaying the time. I made a call to the front desk and they said they would send someone up to fix the light. An hour later, a cleaning lady came in with teacups, but nobody came to fix the light. We decided to go to the beach and worry about the light/clock situation later. After a trip to the front desk, the woman informed us that the clock didn't work because it was American, which I thought was weird since my girlfriend and I are Americans.
Dinner in the Gap was very good.
The next day it poured nonstop, so we chilled in the restaurant (which was soaking wet) and drank Banks beer. mmm I also had a chicken rollup sandwich which was delicious. A little spicy and just the right amount - none of these gigantic gut busting American sized portions. The televisions didn't work since they were on satellites and it was pouring so hard. We made reservations with Jenny (the hotel travel planner) to go on a tour of the island the next day and then for a catamaran cruise. I highly recommend the cruise. We made two stops to snorkel. During one, we swam with sea turtles and during the other, we viewed a sunken barge and loads of pretty fish. The captain and his mates were very accomodating and kept the drinks flowing.
We also visited the flower forest and the caves. My memory is poor so I don't remember the names of either, but the hotel travel planner would know.
The rum punch party at Southern Palms was nice. The hotel staff was quite friendly and talked to everyone.
Overall, the trip was nice but I am not in any hurry to return to Barbados. You definitely have to get your mind into Caribbean time... all shuttles and taxis we took were rather late. If I did go back, I would check into a more expensive hotel and make sure I didn't go during the rainy season!"
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of January 2005
"OK,OK. My husband and I were at Southern Palms the same week as everyone else it seems-12/03-12/12. We had a bit of a different experience. Our room was very clean. Our kingsize bed was very comfortable. We had a fridge. We started out as ocean front but wanted the bigger bed and our request was accomodated by the very friendly staff. Big up Kim, Hendrick and Michael!The beach and staff were the biggest asset. The pool wasn't dirty. The fish pond wasn't working and so it was murky--. The miniature golf and shuffle board weren't dirty either. I had clean beach towels every day at all times. We didn't eat at the hotel--we were happy to experience what was outside of the hotel. St Lawrence Gap has many restaraunts up and down the street. There are vendors selling heaping plates of chicken, macaroni pie and salad right on the sidewalk, all good, all safe to eat. The hotel is quiet but again, St Lawrence has some form of entertainment in almost all the nice bars and restaraunts. In the span of three nights we saw the reggae bands Culture, Third World, and Steel Pulse in an outdoor setting at the "After Dark" night club - No, Southern Palms is not Sandals. It isn't as expensive either. We have been at posher places too but Southern Palms has its good points.The only time we were in our room was to shower before going out at night and when we were asleep. Rent a car, eat fish and drink a Banks beer at Oistins at least 2-3 times during your stay, explore the island ,experience the wonderful Bajan people and soak up the sunshine. (No matter where you end up staying!)"
- Travel date: Sun 19th of December 2004
looks better in pictures
"My husband and I planned to stay at The Southern Palms 12/4/04. When we arrived we decided not to stay. it is a run down/old, small resort (if you want to call it that). It had asolutely no charm and the decor was extremely bland. To get to the room we were taken through the back way past the miniature golf course (looked like it was shut down, dirty and unused), which looked very unkept and dirty. The room appeared pretty clean, but it smelled of mildew and under the bed had ALOT of dust balls. I felt we would eventually see bugs. The pool is really small (for a resort) and appeared dirty. The only good thing was the beach, which was big and beautiful. Before leaving, we did ask some nice folks from the UK and they said they liked it. I think in this case you get what you pay for. We did venture off to another hotel which was only $20us more per night, called the Coral Sands Beach Resort. Its near St. lawrence Gap, only 4 years old and right on the beach. All the rooms are equipped with kitchenettes, ocean front rooms, pool and its on a large walkable beach (worthing) and only 5 minutes to The Gap. You must try this place. There are only 30 rooms, all ocean view and it was so clean and extremely relaxing. We absolutely loved it, and you will too. Tip: you can see the sun set from all the rooms. Also, eat at the Restaurant at South Seas.........enjoy"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of December 2004
Nice location but not as good as previous reviewers said
"Agree with last reviewer - I just stayed there for a week - probably at same time as last reviewer. We decided to stay at Southern Palms based mainly on reviews here!. In short, great location and nice hotel, however, it's not as good as the reviews contained here.
My wife and I liked the location, however, the hotel needs to be updated somewhat. The lobby area (with old fish ponds and terrible looking leather seats) and the pool area need to be cleaned up and updated.
The service at the hotel was fairly poor - service incredibly slow (is this Barbados or this hotel?) and the front desk staff appear to know nothing about anything - it's not worth asking them any questions about the hotel or Barbados (in fact, they seem to resent any questions being asked about the local area!)
The older rooms with great views are the best. We had a suite (we had children) - it had a great view and lovely surroundings - the room was ok but certainly not great (e.g., bathroom old and bath backed up).
Overall, great location, however, it is getting abit old and is resting abit on past glories.
- Travel date: Mon 6th of December 2004
"Nice Hotel- Nothing Fancy Right on the Beach. Beach has great sand great for swimming. Turtles in the water at sunset. Don't bother with the bar though. Horrible service. Food not that great.
Harleqiin and Steak house good food. Prices high. For Chinese food Try Jade House. Tons of food low prices."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of November 2004