10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Long Bay Resort .... a great place
We've had the pleasure to stay at LBR from Jan 20 to Jan 28.05.
Went there with a bit of apprehension after reading a few not so kind reviews.
We had an excellent stay there!
Loved the room, the resort's restaurant serves great food, the breakfast place has the best view, the staff is friendly and professional, the ground's charming enough and the place served as a perfect base for day trips to other locations on Tortola and neighboring islands.
We'd expected carribean "laid back" atmosphere and got it !!!!!
( Who needs "western" perfection when one can have peaceful, carribean charm ).
Swimming on Long Bay beach is not posssible because of the the rocks and high surf in the winter but it is a great place to walk, hang out, jog...... dream.
Just over the hill is Smugglers Cove; perfect for swimming and snorkeling, Cane Bay and Brewers are not far ..... all quite awesome!
When you go, rent a car from one of the west end agencies ( Denzil or Jerry)
They are much cheaper than a rental through the "on resort" offices.
People who like to get around and visit various places and beaches on the island will find car rental eventually cheaper than hiring a taxi for these trips.
If you arrive after dark at the airport it's better to hire a cab to take you to LBR. It costs 36 $ but is a better solution than driving on the island on your first day, at night.
Take day trips to JVD's white bay ( from the west end ) and to VG
( from Road Town ) to see the baths.
They are unforgettable.
If you wish to explore VG make arrangements with Speedy's ferry people in Roadtown at the ferry pier to have car on the other side.
It is worth the <40 dollars!!
Drive around on Tortola to get closer to the "real island world", carribean villages and local people.
They are special!!
Visit the highest point in Sage Park and Skyworld restaurant on the way.
Scenery from the hill tops is smashing and often 360 degrees.
If you like Reggae, don't miss Quito Rhymer's and the Edge on Saturday at Quito's or go there for the accustic version on Tuesday or Thursday. Dinner is also served there or next door at Rhymers.
There is no shortage on excellent, good and not so great restaurants.
Just like everywhere else.
If sailing is your passion, Tortola seems to have more charter boats than then the rest of the universe together and the variety of trips and their configurations is stunning.
From rum sipping passenger to "hands on" sailor .... there's a spot for everyone!
Do a bit of research on the web, choose wisely and there won't be disappointments.
Besides, not everything needs to be perfect ..... experimentation expands the horizon and is exciting.
A measure of acceptance and tolerance is always a good thing.
Tortola and it's people have charmed us.
We've been around a bit and never really paid attention to the BVIs before in our travel plans.
Now, that we've experienced the People and great variety of offerings there , BVIs have moved to the top of the list!!
by the way, LBR's "wake up call", a fat, feisty, rooster, is a little bit of a pain at 5am.......
he defied me totally....
management promised to take care of it ......."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of February 2005
Great Family Vaction Property
"We recently spent a family vacation at Long Bay during the first week of January. Our family consisted of 4 married couples and three small children under two. We stayed in four hillside deluxe ocean view rooms near the pool. The rooms are as shown on their werbsite some with connecting rooms and kitchen facilities. They were clean and in excellent condition. We were traveling a long distance and requested cribs etc be ready upon our arrival and the resort met this need. The beach is outstanding and the staff was terrific. Food and Beverage options were also good. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation the resort is terrific. The property is close to Bomba's shack and Cane Garden Bay entertainment is a short drive. Auto rentals are inexpensive and suggested for those staying a week or more.
The property became part of Elite Island Resorts(see their website) last year and in speaking with the manager many dollars are being spent to upgrade the property and training of the staff. I have spent most of my life in the hotel industry and believe I am a good judge of product. This is not a Ritz property and those expecting that luxury should choose another island. The property gets four stars. We have been to Tortola several time in the past but only to charter a sailboat. This property gave us an opportunity to experience a carribean island from years gone by. The roosters, goats and donkeys of the island just add to its color. The people of this island are friendly and no one has a hand out.
We spent many weeks researching this family vacation and found a little paradise at this property. We look forward to returning to Longbay."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of January 2005
lovely hotel on paradise island
"We stayed just a couple of nights at Long Bay Resort - wish it could have been longer! We received upgrades to Beachfront Rooms because the pool was closed, having been damaged by torrential rain the week before. Rooms were lovely, with walk-in dressing room and shower and comfortable beds. TV reception is poor, but who cares? We were right on lovely Long Bay beach - though for fabulous strawberry daiquiris on the beach, go to Smugglers' Cove! Front desk staff were pleasant and helpful; my only niggle is that some of the restaurant staff could usefully attend charm school!"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of January 2005
Enjoy your trip & AVOID this hotel
"This is w/o question the worst "resort" I have ever stayed at. The islands are absolutely beautiful, and your experience doesn't deserve to be dampened by your experience at this resort. I'm in no means a luxurious traveler, so I'm not unfairly comparing Long Bay to top-of-the-line places; heck, it wouldn't even stack up against a Motel6.
Where to begin... the service was unfriendly and many (although not all) of the staff are unfriendly and have no interest in making your stay enjoyable. The would not provide extra towels, they couldn't in 3!!! days find a shower curtain and the neighbors of the resort throw their trash into the ocean and let it float past the resorts beach. When we told the front desk, they just said "oh well". This place is over-priced and I wouldn't stay again, even at a much lower rate."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of January 2005
Just the right place to relax
"We spent the 2nd week of December at Long Bay Resort in an ocean front villa and loved it. The room was exactly as shown on their website, and very comfortable.
We were looking for a spot to completely relax, read, and do a bit of sight-seeing, and found it at Long Bay. It is not a 5-star hotel, and doesn't claim to be, but was perfect for us.
The staff was wonderful to us. When you treat the staff with courtesy and respect, they are most helpful and gracious. I suspect those who complained tried New York manners on Virgin Islanders, and that just doesn't work.
The menu was widely varied, which we liked when not especially hungry for a giant meal. Everything was as we expected.
We took a one-day cruise with King Charters on a 30 power boat, and saw more of the islands than sailors would in a week. On top of that, "King", the captain, was charming and very helpful.
All in all, we would highly recommend it for those who want a quiet, relaxing week."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of December 2004
The most beautiful piece of property
"Long Bay Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful properties in all the Caribbean. However, I definitely have very mixed feelings about the hotel mostly stemming from service.
When we arrived, they did not honor our reservation for a beachfront room, even though it was paid in full months prior to arrival, and we were put into an inferior jacuzzi suite up the hill listed at the same price. Although the view was nice, the room had ants on the table, a bug in the bed, a non-working light in the bathroom (which meant no light in the bathroom because there wasn't any window there), a broken safe, and a toilet that was plugged with someone's number 2. You have to admit that this is not a very good start. We brushed this off and requested a move to the prepaid room type as soon as it was available. They did honor that request after the second day of our stay. The beachfront room was better, but the safe was still broken and some items in the room needed repair, maintenance, or replacement. You could not watch the T.V. because the sound was very bad(not important to us). The patio on this accomodation was extremely nice as well as the size of the bathroom and walk in closet for luggage storage. They do not have "do not disturb signs" so expect knocks on the door from maids or someone bringing you your final bill at the end of your stay. The linens are very poor quality and are very nubby.
The service at the restaurant left a lot to be desired. If you order pancakes with bananas and rum butter(an item on the menu), you will be served pancakes with packaged syrup. You can get the rum butter if you ask. If you order french toast with raison bread (an item on the menu) you will get plain french toast - no raisons. They really acted like it was an imposition to serve you and breakfast can take a long time. This is not a fair statement to the whole dining staff as I did notice one server really doing a great job with her guests. To speed your breakfast, eat at the buffet.
The service at the front desk also leaves something to be desired although a new employee the last day seemed to be really making a good effort. Typically you could wait several minutes for help while four staff members talked, stood there, or pretended to be busy. This happened repeatidly. Again, we were never rude, but always tried to appear friendly and upbeat even though we were sometimes seathing beneath.
The concierge desk was not helpful. Do all your homework for trips and excursion providers before you leave. There are no brochures or books showing what is available. You have to know what you want to book and ask for that specifically. The booking is made while the impression is clear that you aren't worth the effort.
All that said, the area is beautiful, convenient to restaurants, the Bomba shack, west end, etc. It is really a shame that this property can't get their act together. With just a few minor repairs and upgrades in the room, better service and attitudes, this could be a jewel that I would go back to again and again. Next time, I will pay the dollars to stay at the Westin in St. John or on Virgin Gorda. I absotlutely love Tortola, but the lack of a 4 star quality resort will drive us away. By the way, we experienced nothing but great service at every other estabishment on the island and the restaurants are wonderful and varied. Everyone outside of the resort was friendly, helpful, and service oriented. I would recommend a car to get around and experience the island although the driving here is not for everyone.
I really hope the management is reading the reviews. They have a great opportunity with this property. Beautiful beach, nice sized rooms with views, great location...but they need to pay attention to the details. I would gladly pay more for the room if the service and maintenance would improve."
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of December 2004
One of our best holidays
"We went to Long Bay for my daughter's wedding and we all loved it. The staff were always pleasant but not "gushing." None of the OTT "Have a nice day" stuff we have found in the US. The resort was a bit hilly! but my disabled wife and aged mother in law managed ok. We had a car for a few days. Driving was a doddle. They drive on the correct side of the road, ignore speed limits and road signs. It was like being at home. The sea immediately opposite the entrance is rocky but 100 yards down towards the beach bar and it's fine. Smuggler's Cove is a must if you like snorkelling. Trellis Bay is also worth a trip. It's on Beef Island right next to the airport. Those in the know use it as the departure lounge as the airport facilities are sparce.
There's a nice size pool with a swim up bar, that serves good snacks and drinks. We had a fantastic villa on two floors and our own resident rooster!
This has to rank as one of our finest holidays."
- Travel date: Thu 25th of November 2004
"I spent my honeymoon at Long Bay Beach Resort from November 8th-15th. We stayed in a beachfront cabana and had the all-inclusive plan. I can honestly say we had a wonderful time at the resort and were very pleased with atmosphere and people at the resort, minus a few minor details. First off, the food was terrific and the drinks were great! The majority of the staff was very nice and accomedating. Except for a few female waitresses at the Beach Cafe, we were very pleased with the service and felt the staff went above and beyond for their guests. The first night of our vacation we stayed in room 514, a beachfront room. The room was brand new, bathroom spascious, high ceilings, with a wonderful view and large balcony. The next day we moved to a beachfront cabana. In retrospect, I wish we had stayed in the beachfront room. The cabana was smaller, more outdated and the electricity didn't work properly. Many of the lights didn't work at all or would constantly flicker and the air conditioning was located in the narrow bathroom so it never got too cold in the bedroom area which was annoying. It was still very nice and the balcony was steps from the beach. The pool was beautiful and Sheryl, the waitress at the pool bar was great. The beach was nice, but the water was rough so it was hard to swim. The restaurants were great, especially the Pasta House. Their is no night life, the bar closed at 10pm, so don't expect a raging party atmosphere. All in all, we had a great time and I would highly recommend the hotel!!"
- Travel date: Wed 17th of November 2004
Poorly managed "resort"
"It is apparent that Long Bay is suffering from poor management. Its lackluster service, inferior maintenance, and indifferent staff may qualify this facility as a one-star hotel. It does not earn the title of âresortâ. Our Hillside Oceanview room was clean and functional but sterile and uninviting. It was on par with any Holiday Inn room that you might find along a US interstate. The resortâs amenities were unremarkable. The tennis courts were in need of resurfacing, the pool was often dirty, and the pitch and putt golf has been allowed to deteriorate into an overgrown swamp. The attractive beach is tarnished because of the staffâs lack of attention. The worn out lounge chairs were often haphazardly strewn along the length of the beach, the garbage cans overflowed, and staff was never on hand to tend to your needs. Long Bay is best if used as a base for exploring Tortola and the surrounding islands. Do not expect to spend your entire vacation on the property and be satisfied. If you must stay on Tortola, Long Bay may be one of a few acceptable options for lodging. Consider spending a bit more money and stay at one of the more upscale resorts on Virgin Gorda or St. John."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of November 2004
Nothing negative to Say!!
"I have been reading some of these reviews and decided that I just had to write. I was at Long Bay two years ago and am returning in February with friends. I usually take two trips a year and Long Bay is by far the best place I have visited. The resort is beautiful and clean. The beachfront deluxe room where we stayed was clean and plenty of room. Sitting out on the deck and listening to the waves was so peaceful. The package deals are definitely the way to go, not the all inclusive but the honeymoon or adventure. That gives you some time to try other places around the island. I thought the food was very good and the staff very accommodating. Smugglers cove was worth the walk. A day trip to Virgin Gorda to visit the Baths is also a must. I could go on and on about Long Bay. I honestly cannot think of one negative thing to say. It is a quiet island but you can always find a place to visit to listen to music and have drinks. Can't wait for February!"
- Travel date: Wed 13th of October 2004