11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
TA Banned review
"TA took down this review twice since it's allegedly violated their review guidelines, but more likely since the hotel management didn't like it. Due to these actions - I left 1 star review with basically nothing in it to even try to take it down. The review still on the TA and even thou I don't think the hotel itself deserves 1 star, combined with their actions towards my original review - I think they fully deserve it. From here on get one thing straight - you don't have to be genius to quickly realize that vast majority of The House TA's reviews are FAKES, directly paid by management. Just read the language - it wreaking of cheap marketing. Also most of such reviews are from 1 review posters. First I 100% agree with Mjyz0 about "The House" is being FAR cry from #1 hotel in St. James, Maybe #1 value? but then again everything in BB is very expensive.. I think it's not fair by Mjvz0 to even mention Sandy lane resort. It's completely on a different planet in every sense, including the price - in Nov 2014 is starts at mind blowing $1800 (US) per night !! Lets not compare apples and oranges here. You can't expect a comparison at 1/4 of the price. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147265-d239274-r191902749-The_House-Saint_James_Parish_Barbados.html# Update: Since I posted TA review "The House" dropped down to #3, but now slowly climbing back due to continuing flow of fake reviews. Original banned review: There were some good points about the House, but I feel strongly leaving 3 star review due to HUGE overabundance of FAKE REVIEWS!!!! Do yourself a favor and read some of these 5 star review - most of them are one liners and nearly identical or using language which no one outside PR department uses. You have been warned !! Pros: We were "lucky" (*) and got garden view room with private dipping pool. If Iâm not mistaken only 2 other rooms could boast the same. Included Breakfast is indeed a bit monotonous, but not identical daily. We had better and worse. So far we could find something which we liked daily. Free champagne is nice, but we donât really care for it during breakfast. Free 4pm tea service was nice addition - in addition to tea (no cheap Lipton here!) we got few small sandwiches and some sweets. (The sandwiches thou free, weren't really good, but hey it's "free", right?) Bathroom was moderately updated and usable. Linens and Towels always spotless white. WiFi is actually usable and reasonably fast (then it was working) In room teapot, espresso machine were ok and Tea of choice is Twinings. TVs in room had 40 channels or so including some premium channels. AC in the bedroom was really quiet. Service was mostly good, but then itâs pretty much expected of a hotel which aspires to be boutique. Cons: As I said, service was OK, BUT last year we stayed at truly boutique resort on Curacao (5 stars btw) at very comparable price (!!) and enjoyed really amazing service. The House could learn a thing or two from them. Remember that * near lucky room - yea - it had more than a few drawbacks: It is located right above the bridge and every single time car drove over it - it made HUGE noise in our room. Bathroom washing area is absolutely TINY ! So tiny, we could barely use the double vanity without bumping into each other. The mattress is VERY firm - you might like it - we didnât. The hotel is really OLD. Partially updated, but we did not at any moment felt the "luxury" - again - Most of reviews are FAKE !!! "The house" doesn't have it's own restaurant so the food is catered by a neighboring "Daphne's", which like already mentioned - is OVERPRICED and food quality is FAR from the level it's prices would suggest. I mean - it's perfectly edible - but for $30 (us) pasta dish I expected a small miracle. BTW: Speaking of Daphneâs (and most other fine dining establishments on Barbados) - DRESS CODE IS REQUIRED !!!! Do pack your elegant clothing if you want to be allowed in. No flip flops nor short pants. BBQ and 7 Course dining nights cost arm and leg - we haven't tried it yet, but at $80 (US) person I am less inclined to gamble. Beach entrance to the water is pretty rocky and you if you have water shoes you would be much more comfortable. Beach service was almost non existent - only once or twice a day we were offered bottled water and that's about it, The rest of promised items like Ice Cream, Smoothies and Fruit salads WERE ONLY available at exactly 2:30pm - and god forbid you ask for it at 3:30pm !!! The feeding time is over !!! Itâs NOT being brought out to you as other reviewers had mentioned - you have to go to the bar area and ask for it - every single time. A lot of homeless looking folk hang around right on the beach and right in front of the hotel. Constantly ether panhandling or selling crap. Hotel staff does very little about it. There are some stray cats roaming around hotel dining area and begging for food. You might find it amusing, but itâs not hygienic and we noticed hotel staff petting them. Same staff which brings you your food. Update: some TA reviewer mentioned the local fed cat was taken away by animal control folks - good riddance. We would never go back here nor recommend you to do so. There are much better places to visit like St. Martin for example. "
- Travel date: 21st March 2015
Treated Like Family At The House
"My wife and I stayed at The House for the first week in February 2005. Upon arrival my wife was quite ill. She received the same kindness and caring one would expect from family members. The staff was very attentive and gracious the entire week. The House is unique and intimate. The staff is respectful and always available. If you want a truly relaxing Carribean vacation-COME TO THE HOUSE!"
- Travel date: 22nd February 2005
"great hotel right on the sand that we stayed in for 2 nights... staff were great but the ambassador was non existent... Rooms were huge and redone with the best sheets I have ever slept on... not sure I would stay the whole week there however."
- Travel date: 8th February 2005
"My wife and I just got back from Barbados. We had both read a great deal about The House, including the good and bad reviews on this site. After our trip, I must wholeheartedly agree with the negative reviews of this property. While the rooms themselves are nice, the service, especially the Ambassador service, is horrendous. There is no one around who can help you - whether at the beach or at the bar - if you want something done, be prepared to do it yourself. The property is starting to show its age -- the lobby area especially -- also the beach area is quite small (only 50ft) and has little privacy since Daphne's restaurant is very popular and the Tamarind Cove property next door tends to be full."
- Travel date: 14th December 2004
Good, not great
"We stayed in early November for 4 nights and had beautiful weather in Barbados. The Hotel is nice, however, the service does not come near what it advertises. We are very low maintenance when it comes to island getaways, but for all that the hotel boasts about their "butlers" and service, please don't get caught up in that. It was always difficult to find somebody to mix you a drink at the bar, we were rarely approached while lying on the beach as well. Regarding the room: we actually stayed in the room on the webiste which is right off the lobby. It was nice, good linens, clean, and an excellent view. The room staff was probably the best, with double cleanings every day. The beach was very nice, though a bit tight, especially when the waves are pounding it. Also, like many other destinations, you get sick of peddlers approaching you. The restaurant though, Daphnes, excellent."
- Travel date: 2nd December 2004
A perfect retreat
"My husband and I have just spend a week at The House and absolutely loved it. It was secluded, peaceful and elegant. The Ambassadors are fabulous and really make your stay something special. It's not as polished as we imagined, but the quality of relaxation we experienced was worth the trade off. They are undergoing renovation at the moment (revamping the bathrooms, reorganising the lounge area, etc) and we will definitely be going back. Daphne's is well worth a visit too."
- Travel date: 18th October 2004
"Very disappointed with the hotel. It appeared in all the best brochures in the uk and as it was my honeymoon I decided to go upmarket. The hotel did not measure up to the brochure at all and is looking in need of a complete refurbishment. The room allocated on arrival was dirty - dusty fixtures, stained sofa's, sticky finger marks on doors and light fittings. I was moved without a problem but it doesn't inspire confidence in anything else. There was bird pooh on the white sofa's, the communal areas didn't seem to be cleaned every day and the general appearance was worn. The water, fruit and cold towels happened once and the 'concept' isn't really there. I spoke to some staff from the hotel next door who said it had really gone down hill. If I hadn't paid so much I wouldn't have been disappointed but I think you would be better off spending your money elsewhere."
- Travel date: 3rd October 2004
A Retreat from Reality
"If you're looking for somewhere without the noise of children , high-fiving teenagers or organised activities then The House is for you . For an independant break with peace & quiet , it is the place , but when you want anything , the Ambassadors will sort things . The accomodation is luxurious but there are a few rough edges . Sandy Lane is probably of a higher quality but for us the total lack of hustle & bustle outweighed this . A great place to switch-off from the real world!!"
- Travel date: 26th September 2004
Not bad - but not worth the money
"Well, what can I say. We stay for 7 nights in December 2003. We left with high hopes, the hotel having featured in all the best brochures in the UK, and having booked it for what seemed a decent price on Expedia. A shame that the limo pick up from the airport was not there to meet us. I had to phone the hotel - fortunately my mobile worked in Barbados - and a local taxi driver suddenly appeared telling us he'd been looking for us for 30 minutes or so! Anyway we got to the hotel - the driver then expected us to pay - eventually we got the staff to sort him out for his trouble. Room was larger than average but not huge. Reasonably well furnished but nothing spectacular. The same goes for the rest of the hotel really - it is fairly obvious that it used to be part of the Tamarind Cove hotel (adjoining). The service from the Ambassadors was OK but certainly not personal in our experience - it didn't help that the Ambassador allocated to us was of for more of our 7 days than she was there. Overall we thought the service to be distinctly average. The hotel never kept up with the still water at the pool/beach side, there was often a lack of sunbeds and almost always a lack of beach towels after 10am. It could also take an age on occasion to be served at the bar. On the plus side - great location on Paynes Beach and a short cab ride to some superb west coast restaurants. All in all did not feel the hotel lived up to the hype - but don't let that put you off Barbados."
- Travel date: 7th August 2004
Cost does not equal quality
"We stayed at The House for Valentines Day. After paying almost $800/night, we expected very polished and refined service and accommodation. We did not find this. Upon arrival we were left to sit in our city clothes as we were being checked in... No one told us what was going on and we were sitting there for more than half an hour. We were starving and asked to order some food. They had nothing but tried to appease us by later delivering a stale ham sandwich. We had reserved a junior suite with ocean. We were put into a dark room off the lobby. We were forced to stay in this room for one night and only because we complained we were transferred upstairs. Over all this did not feel like an $800/night hotel."
- Travel date: 20th July 2004
"The House will appeal to you if you want a totally relaxing, indulgent holiday where you are well taken care of. It's not Sandy Lane - and nor is Sandy Lane everyone's idea of a relaxing holiday hotel. The Ambassadors arrange taxis, explain things, book trips. Their advice was faultless and very sensible. The food was absolutely wonderful and plentiful. The atmosphere was small-hotel relaxing. The free massage was a lovely treat. The smoothies were gorgeous. The swap-a-book library is huge. The beach immediately in front of the hotel is great for snorkelling, and there is a big sandy section a few yards to one side for non-snorkellers. We got a great deal for a beach-facing suite through an agency rather than with the hotel directly. We would definitely book there again. Loved it."
- Travel date: 6th July 2004
Top traveller tips for The House by Elegant Hotels
"Use food credits at "Just Grilling" - great food and excellent value"
The House by Elegant Hotels is also called
- The House Hotel
- House Hotel
- the house saint james