Island Inn Hotel
14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I've just got back from a week at the Island Inn in Barbados. It was one of the most enchanting hotels I've ever stayed in - it's small which makes it so appealing; all the staff are unbelievably friendly, very funny, the foods great (menu instead of a buffet), and the locations ideal.
Fantastic beach literally 1 minute away, and close to all the best night spots on the Island, though you are never kept awake with any noise at the hotel.
The pool's small, but if you stayed by the pool in Barbados you'd be a fool.
I highly recommend this lovely hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of March 2007
Cosy, fantastic food
"If you like small, cosy hotels which have character you will have a wonderful time at The Island Inn. The food is absolutely delicious, the staff are very friendly once you get used to the local style of service which can feel bossy compared to the style of service in the US, and the hotel has a small but pretty swimming pool. The rooms are clean and comfortable; each has a little porch. Negatives: The hotel is down the road from the ocean; Monkeys which can be pests come out at sunset. All in all, I loved this place though."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of March 2007
Thankyou everybody at the island Inn!!
"This was our first visit to Barbados and this hotel was recomended by our travel agent, it was brilliant! We stayed in room 9 from 25th Feb to 4th March. The room was large very clean and comfortable. It was cleaned and the towels were changed every day. There was also a large toilet/shower/bath room. Agreed, it was a bit sparse but this was not a problem. The room may have only been 3* but the staff and the food were 5*!!! We felt a little out of place as we seemed to be the only couple who had not stayed at this hotel before.
The local beach only 100mts from the hotel front door can best be described as "white talcom powder" A trip on the local No11 bus will stick in your memory for the rest of you life. We met a TV celebrity and some Arsenal supporters in the hotel, but thats another story.
Having read some of the other reports I wander whether they have got mixed up and they were staying on Alcatraz! Go on, give it a go you wont regret it."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of March 2007
"We had perfect holiday at the island inn. The food was fantastic, the staff were brilliant. it was like staying with extended family they made you feel so welcome. I can honestly say we could not complain about one single thing. it is a small hotel but thats exactly what we wanted. Even the monkeys looking in our bedroom window at us was great and all part of the barbados exprience. The beach is only few mins walk away and is one of the best beaches on the island.Our return flight home was delayed but the manager of hotel kept us up to date on what was happening and said if she was fully booked it would be ok because we could go and stay at her house, hows that for hospitality. We will be going back again and shall definately stay at the island inn. So would like to say a big thankyou to everyone at the island inn. sandra & tony"
- Travel date: Thu 1st of February 2007
Food not bad
"Stayed here for 4 nights.
The rooms are a bit on the small side - definitely the bathroom! The hot water was lukewarm everyday. The satelite tv choices were not great. We stayed in room 1 and this had a four poster bed.
However I loved the choice of all inclusive food you get everyday especially for dinner. You can eat very well. The only thing is that you have to watch out for is that the eating area is outside and although the staff cover the food - the birds are very adept at stealing food off the table!
The staff are very friendly.
I also loved that there was a safe in the room that you didn't have to pay extra for - you could set it with a code of your choice. I also loved that they had a communal lounge where you could sit about in wicker chairs and access the internet and watch tv and get a drink from the bar.
There is a little beach across from the hotel - Pebble Beach but it is better to walk up for 10 mins to Brownes Beach. You can also walk into Bridgetown in 30 mins from the hotel.
The hotel closes its doors at 7pm to prevent outsiders wondering in from the street which is a good idea."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of December 2006
Excellent Value For Money, Great Holiday
"This was our fourth trip to the island, and we wanted a hotel that was a good price, and in a location that was a good base for getting around the island, having spoken to guests of this hotel on previous visits to barbados we chose the island inn, we were not dissappointed, we were given the lovely honeymoon suite, with its huge four poster, and the service we got was really superb!We heard other guest complaining about this and that, and it just made me laugh, for goodness sake this is a cheap and very cheerful 3 star hotel, what are you expecting for your money?Anything you need or require, the staff are willing to assist you, the work really hard and always had a cheery hello for you.The manager THORA is a diamond, a really good manager, and it's lovely the way she interacts with the guests and she loves a dance too!
The food is lovely, the rum punch is to die for and we would definatley return(many, many people do) to this lovely, quaint homely hotel, thanks and a special hi to earl and anthony!"
- Travel date: Tue 28th of November 2006
Disappointing, consistently disappointing
"I had read several reviews and was looking forward to staying at this Hotel. It wasn't that it was disappointing it was consistently disappointing. For example-the shower, 1st day was cold water so I asked the desk to look at it. The next day I had no water. The next day I was back to cold water but I figured it was better than no water. I ran into the Manager and mentioned it and the next day I had Hot water BUT no towels. The food was 50/50 edible. Breakfast was always good, the lunch was always bad mostly inedible and dinner was 50% good and 50% unedible. The saving grace of the Hotel was that it was small and we were able to meet with many different/diverse and fun people. It was trully a fun group. But the Hotel decided to ruin our small fun quiet and intimate group by holding a convention in the middle of our courtyard with 100 people. On the bright side the room was kept clean, we had towels most of the time but the bed was like sleeping on concrete. The pool was small but refreshing, the beach at the Hilton was lovely which is just a short walk. We did enjoy the 4 nights of entertainment during our two week stay and the monkees outside our room were delightful to watch. Overall I am glad we went but I would not recommend this hotel to anyone."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of November 2006
Great if you like being bitten to death
"Barbados - Island Inn October 2006
UK - Surrey
Hotel food very good, hotel staff very friendly but if you like getting bitten to death then sit in the lounge or outside in the courtyard. Best place to sit in near the water troughs where they breed. There was not colour any where in the bar or courtyard it was very clinical all white not even a vase of flowers. There was also no pictures where you ate of any scenery of the island which I found very depressing. The rooms in the main building are very cheerful and clean but the walls are paper thin. The 12 rooms that are near the pool are just out of the 1950's if any UK people remember Butlins then they are just like them very out dated and as this hotel is not cheap in my view I would be very upset if I had had one of these rooms. Oh on the subject of the pool it was like swimming in a prison with four walls round you very depressing with not a splash of colour anywhere. The beach is just across the road but you get bombarded with locals trying to sell you everything from beads to drugs. The pavement around the pool was very dangerous for children holes everywhere and uneven. I would not recommend taking small children to this hotel at all. And not for teenagers either as there is nothing to do nor any entertainment, oh unless you count Saturday night when a young chap plays the steel drums for 1 1/2 hours. Bridgetown is very dangerous if you try and walk off of the main road then please don't as I know from experience it is very intimidating and dangerous as a taxi driver told us. If you like to be tied to your hotel then this is your kind of holiday but if you like to walk 's after dinner or go exploring then please don't it is very dangerous going out on your own at night, anyway there is nowhere to go at all. I did not enjoy this holiday but that is my opinion."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of October 2006
Great Location, Quality Service
"Well it was me my wife & our 7 mth old daughter who travelled to Barbados this time & we thought to give her some rest bite from the heat we would stay in a hotel this time. After much deliberation we picked the Island Inn for our stay.
Lets get the down sides out of the way first
- The walls are thin
- The television is a feed directly from Mexico so all the shows have spanish sub-titles, apart from the simpsons which is entirely in spanish !!!
Now for the good bits
- The rooms are clean & very nice. No its not the Sandy Lane hotel BUT your not paying Â£9k per night so I would say its good value for money.
- The location is spot on !!! You in the capital St Micheal so the town is not far away & there is a beach around the corner should you fancy a dip. I am travelling to Barbados for the cricket next year & im seriously considering making a booking for the event as your not too far away from the ground.
- All inclusive - Right its not quite all in as I knew it but it works. All your drinks are free ALL day from coke's to Rum & coctails. Now there are set times for your meals ie Breakfast,Lunch,Tea & Dinner & you are free to pig out on what is available at the time.
- The staff are very friendly & helpfull we had an incident where we had to take our little girl to the A&E, word got around & even on her day off we a call from a member of staff to see if she was ok. We thought that was a nice touch.
Over all our stay was great & we will be back."
- Travel date: Thu 5th of October 2006
A five star experience!
"We stayed at The Island Inn between August 18th and September 1st 2006. We were looking forward to it after reading encouraging reviews and were not disappointed! The room was lovely, clean and had plenty of space for our things. The staff were helpful, efficient, and very friendly.
We don't really go on holiday to play games and things so the hotel was perfect for us, just a peaceful place where you can sit and chat to the other guests in the evenings. You can really come and go as you please, taking your lunch as a picnic to the beach if you prefer. By the way, the best beach is a little further to walk, on the other side of the jetty - no tourists on that one! The food was the best we had ever had on holiday, even considering that one of us is vegetarian.
We are already planning our next stay at The Island Inn. It made our first trip to Barbados a five star experience!"
- Travel date: Sat 30th of September 2006
2nd visit & far from last
"2nd visit to hotel & stayed from 20/12/15 to 10/1/15. Can't understand some of reviews on here for the wonderful Island Inn. ALL the staff are fantastic, (too many to name here but the wonderful Earl still barman there after 48 yearsâ service & Sharon & Carol are still on reception with Vanessa as main chef still as well) rooms are good, clean & comfortable. Food is great & chef very accommodating if nothing suitable on menu - my partner doesn't like spicy food, garlic etc., & Vanessa was only too happy to cook something else for her. Breakfast is buffet style but omelettes, boiled eggs etc., will be done to order. All fresh food (& mainly local sourced) at main meals in this hotel- sometimes Al a Carte, sometimes buffets (& the rum & raisin ice cream is lovely too.) Bar staff , Earl, Jamal or John will mix you any cocktail you want & if you don't know what you want (alcoholic or not as preferance) will present you with something which is usually great - try Earl's' BBC' or John's speciality drinks made with ice cream base. Fruit punches are good too .
Transfer to hotel from airport is usually in private car or minibus depending on party size & takes about 15 -20 minutes . (Note - no luggage trollies but porters will take to cars for 2BDS a case (about 80p sterling - a necessity for us as I usually have wheel chair assistance at airports so partner can't man handle all our luggage.) There is a bank near luggage carousels where you can change money, get small notes for tips etc. Barbadians can't change sterling or euros notes easily & can't change our coins to BDS at all). Barbadian Dollars (BDS) or US dollars acceptable majority of places on the island & prices usually in both. (Some small shops, small cafes & most buses will only take BDS.) We found exchange rate better for BDS against sterling, even in UK, than US dollars anyway.
Guests are welcomed by staff with open arm & nothing is too much trouble for them. As hotel so small, guests get to know each other & staff quickly. There a lot of returning guests every year.
Manager, Thora Browne, around most days & always has time to chat. She arranged excellent Christmas & New Year parties with some lovely locals coming to join in the meals & fun & she organised a fantastic day out for staff & guests on Boxing day on the old Bajian tour bus. We saw a great deal of the island & some of the staff said they even saw places they didn't know on the island.
Thora holds a cocktail party once a week & there is entertainment for 2 or 3 hours 3 or 4 other nights by local musicians.
Hotel grounds are well maintained & kept clean with well-established planting near pool & courtyard.
Building was established originally as a rum storage depot in 1800s & so site holds a lot of old world charm. Rooms are very well laid out & not overly modernised so not sterile/bleak like so many hotels. Any problems are addressed & sorted immediately by staff. Our water was only tepid first day or so but once mentioned to reception was sorted & although took a while to run through too hot in taps after wasn't any further problem. Main Air con unit went off out side our block but again only had a night without it.
We were in garden room 24 first visit & in standard room 2 this time. No choice of room given by Thomas Cook when we booked, but not a lot of difference really & actually room this time was probably better for us as walk in shower with rain fall fixed shower head & also a flexible hose. Garden room had shower over bath.
Ok not Sandals or other high class, over priced hotel, but why pay 4 times over the odds to stay in one of those over populated, impersonal hotels when you can stay somewhere that treats you as family.
It need to be noted for younger couples, whilst not an adult only hotel, there are usually very few children/teens at the hotel. Other than pool there isn't anything else for them to do really without going off site. This suits us as ours are grown now.
Also need noting, this is a tropical island & of course there are mosses all year round so repellent essential. It's surprising how many people don't seem to realize this fact & have to shop for this on arrival. Hotel grounds are sprayed every so often but the little blighters are hard to kill off for more than a very short time! (Skin so Soft from Avon works really well as an insect repellent)
All beaches in Barbados are for public use & Pebbles beach just round corner from hotel (2 minute walk) with Carlisle beach 10 minute walk away & we've never had any bother from locals - they just love to stop & talk to you in fact but never had anyone pressing for a sale of anything. Hotel hire out chairs, umbrellas etc., if needed for beach. They will fill your portable bottles & provide plastic glasses for use on the beach as needed.
Packed lunches can be booked as need for people out on beach or on day trips to see this lovely island. Never needed one but they are by all accounts you have a good choice to select when booked & quantities are huge & in a cool bag.
The Garrison is worth a visit with the old Bajian reserve guard doing changing of the guard in fully uniform with drum band. At 12 noon on Thursday's at the moment but can change so worth checking on internet. George Washington House is opposite Garrison building with a lovely new cafÃ© (closes at noon Saturdays). Race course is opposite Garrison & you can sit round outside on race days without going into stands as open to public on 3 sides. The museum is past the race course & well worth a visit. Bathsheba on the other side of the island has spectacular scenery. The Atlantis submarine, Mount Gay Rum distillery & Harrison's Cave are just a few of the island attractions well worth doing. In fact the whole island has a lot to offer visitors, you can get away from it all or hit the tourist areas as suits. You can go by bus for 2 BDS to most places on island easily, may need to change bus or go from Bridgetown to some places but easy to do. Prices can be negotiated for trips with taxis as well - hotel has some good contacts.
Bridgetown is perfectly safe. Yes, you do get a few drunks sleeping it off & obvious druggies in odd areas but what town hasn't got these in this day & age? They are few & far between in Barbados & we've never had any bother. As I'm disabled & can't walk far my partner wandered around town & area near hotel on her own a lot & never had one bit of trouble or either, day or night. Locals usually always say hello as you pass them & if you need to cross the road where there are not pedestrian crossings, traffic lights etc., most vehicles stop for you, on both sides of the road, even buses.
Can't comment on eating out generally, as I said partner isn't into spicy food, & hotel food is excellent anyway but we found coffee, soft drinks beer etc., about same price as UK out & about.
We didn't buy rum for presents from Mount Gay as we knew from previous visit it was a lot cheaper at airport.
Will be booking to return to Island Inn again with no hesitation - as staff say when you arrive, 'Welcome Home' & its true!!!!!
- Travel date: Tue 12th of January 2016
While we were in Grenada we flew by LIAT...
"While we were in Grenada we flew by LIAT airways to Barbados as it only takes about 50 mins. Barbados is flat whereas Grenada hilly. We stayed at the Island Inn in St Michael.
This place could be very very good. Island Inn has a history which is what drew me to it in the first place and is small and intimate. Sadly it has not been maintained and is tired looking, much like some of its staff. The rooms are very basic and need repainting, the whole lot needs repainting and this is something that should be done as a matter of periodic maintenance throughout the year. This place has a lot going for it but it needs a kick. Some of the staff are helpful but... the pool is one of the best features, its small but looks great and is maintained properly but the pool area lacks umbrellas and its very untidy looking.
The stage area had brown marks over it which were still there 3 days later so it obviously hadnât been cleaned. The eating area was really nicely set out and the food was quite adequate and most of the time good apart from our second day where the pastries and sausages were not cooked properly but on the whole, good.
Drinks were plentiful and one of the barman really knows how to make cocktails and drinks and he smiles. The beach isnât far and is really nice but the area needs to be cleaned up a bit which surrounds the hotel including some parts in the hotel grounds. I really hope this hotel wakes up and smells the coffee as it could be absolutely wonderful. We went swimming with the turtles - another review.
Went into The Gap, lively place and great for a night out. I would definitely go back but sadly not to this hotel unless it spruces up."
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of December 2007