More about Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
Casuarina Beach Resort
This was $30 less than the Divi Southwinds and far, far better. We spent only $190 per night, including breakfast and were treated to a lovely crescent beach, a tiny "jungle" walk on the way from the rooms to the pools, cute furnishings and paintings throughout the hotel and a lovely service staff. Beautiful and rather moderately priced beach resort with lush landscaping, interesting and colorful furnishings, pretty pools and babysitting on premises.
A Real Disappointment
This felt like a run-down motel on a rural highway in the United States. Flashing neon lights, dark exterior hallways, gloomy and down-market rooms, a dank pool and indifferent service. Uniquely bad. Don't waste your perfectly good money, when you can go to any number of much nicer nad more up-to-date hotels on the islands for EVEN LESS money!!! Seriously, watch out. So many reviews online are from people who seem to love the place. We could not figure it out. Avoid this at all costs!
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, this can be one of the most misleading ways to spend your travel dollars. Sure, there are those who can afford anything they want. Some of those people don't even know how much they do have. I don't fault those, I envy those. Anyway, then there's the group in the middle. I guess, that's where we fit in. Since we like to travel (A LOT), then we need to stretch the buck as far as it will go. Therefore, when choosing someplace to stay, consider going at the end of any tourist season. Particularly, just after the rates drop. Generally, the weather is still 50-50, but your sure to get a better deal. Search the places like Travelocity.com and any of the other auction sites for a great deal. We got our's from one of the auction sites and had an entire week (6 nights, 7 days) for $200.00. You really have to look hard for these deals, but there out there. It was at the DIVI Southwinds Resort. A very nice, but older condominium. We had a one bedroom and a living room with a pull-out. In addition, we had a kitchen for meals of our own. These rooms would generally run around $150 per night normally. Most everything in Barbados is old, but well cared for. If your into the finer resorts, we would suggest checking out The Crane or The Turtle Resorts. WARNING! Have deep pocket books! There are deals there as well, but there hard to find. Our facility had room service, laundry facilities (although we brought enough changes) a great restuarant, casino entertainment, lush tropical landscaping, a curtious staff, 2 adult swimming pools, 1 childrens wade pool, table tennis and tennis courts. Did I forget to mention that our room was fully furnished?
Divi is a nice place to stay
I have now stayed at Divi southwinds twice in August 04 and Dec 04, hopefully again in July 05. The rooms yet to be refurbished are not brilliant, but there clean and have all the facilities you would want. I would like to point out that on the website it does show the refurbished and the unrefurbished rooms, and I would say they are accurate as I have stayed in both.
The gardens and the pool are well maintained. Housekeeping comes regular to change sheets etc, and are very friendly people, as well as the recepion staff, sure they can be a bit slow getting back you at times, but so can other hotels on the whole they are a nice bunch of people.
The bar and restaraunt does not seem to be open much I agree, but there are plenty of places in the gap which is cheap, for example Christine's is very good, there is also a place next door to reggae lounge which does cheap breakfast and lunch.
The best Vacation every!!!!
From the 29th July - 16th August 2004 I had the pleasure of stopping along with 22 other people at the Divi Southwinds. We stopped in the refurbished rooms in the hotel, which included newly decorated rooms, new beds, bathroom suite, new kitchen area etc and every day without fail, no matter how untidy the room was, the chamber maids would clean it, they were the best!!. ALL STAFF (including: management, reception, restaurant, entertainment, security, cleaner etc) were courteous, very very helpful no matter what the problem was. Every day you would wake up to beautiful surroundings and a very spectacular pool/beach area. The complex has its own restaurant as well as a beach side one which was open every day with great food. There was some fantastic social events for all the family and being in the heart of St Lawerence's Gap there was a lot of local clubs, restaurants, internet cafe, bank and shops for you to access. At the front of the hotel there was alway taxis's/buses accessable to get to and from the hotel. All in all I had an EXCELLENT TIME and I would go and stay at the DIVI again and all those that have not been recently should give them another chance and I feel within time as they are in the process of refurbing it all, DIVI will be one of the BEST HOTELS ON THE ISLAND. To all Divi Staff I would like to thank you for make my stay memorable and I wish them every success!!!!!! and like many others I wish I could of stayed longer.
We arrived at the Divi Southwinds on December 26, 2005, having booked through VacationOutlet.com several weeks earlier. Upon arrival I got the impression that the hotel was very neglected and had seen better days. I noted the shabby wicker furniture in the lobby. The grounds were poorly maintained. At reception, we were told they had no room for us and that they were overbooked. We sat in the lobby for 5 hours waiting for something to be done. Nobody seemed in any way concerned or offered us anything while we waited. We called Vacation Outlet and they told us they would call us back. We heard the phone ringing at reception and nobody picked up. When we were finally given a room on the 5th floor, it was a dump. We had booked the trip based on their website pictures. What we got was nothing like what they represented on their website. The AC was on the floor outside the door when we arrived and seemed to be in bits. There was no coffee maker, no microwave, no hairdryer, the basic necessities were missing. There was a shabby old stove in the kitchen. When we used the shower, the knob on the shower fell off each time we used it. There was not one single picture on the walls. We got the distinct impression that they had just scrambled to put a room together using whatever they could find to accommodate us. Our bedroom was stiflingly hot so four of us had to sleep on the pullout sofa in the living room. My husband spent a large part of the first 3 days repeatedly calling Vacation Outlet customer service looking for help. I was livid having spent so much on our so called vacation and wanted to go home at this stage. On the second last day of our “vacation”, we were moved to a beautiful apartment overlooking the beach. Vacation Outlet told us they would call us to confirm that we had moved, however they never did. I had no complaints about the new “digs” other than there was no hot water in the bathroom. We reported this and still nothing was done about it, surprise, surprise! I met an English lady at the pool and she said she had asked to switch rooms twice and was still upset with her accommodation. There was a restaurant (Joclyn’s) in the complex. We ate dinner there and it left a whole lot to be desired. We tried overlooking the broken plastic chairs which were turned over on the floor. I brought my daughter to a bathroom on the ground level of the complex and was horrified. There was no light, a rusty, dirty bath tub, there was no lock on the door, just a hole with toilet paper stuffed in it to give privacy. All in all, we thought the resort was extremely neglected. The only good thing I could say about the complex was that our children had a ball in the pools. There was a bar at the pool with very sporadic service from what I could see. Apart from the Divi Southwinds complex, the beach itself was fabulous, though you had to cross a street to get to it. There were some restaurants nearby but we thought they were expensive. We were disappointed when we saw “the Gap” after reading the hype. There was nothing much to say about it, other than it was quite picturesque. There was little to see if you are interested in shopping. We thought we would jump on a bus into Bridgetown and go to a nice restaurant but when we got there, we couldn’t find anything other than fast food restaurants. We inquired with a taxi driver and he told us we were better off at the Gap. I have to admit, I did look at the reviews posted on Trip Advisor prior to our trip and I wish I had taken the advice to stay away. How anybody could post a positive review is mystifying to me. Stay away from the Divi. It was the biggest rip off and don’t deal with VacationOutlet! Their offer to compensate us was a measley $100 voucher towards a hotel stay within the next 12 months.... thanks a bunch for nothing!!
My husband and I just returned from this resort and have to admit that after reading all the reviews I was nervous as to what to expect. All I can say is this IS NOT a five star resort and one booking their vacation should already know this and not expect more than what it is...First of all when it comes to dining Barbdos overall is quite expensive.
We ate breakfast and some lunches at Jocelyn's and had no complaints. I'm not sure if we were just lucky but overall every staff member was very nice to us and helpful from the moment we checked in until the day we left. Our room was clean, everything was functioning and had daily maid service. My husband and I went to Barbados looking for a very relaxing trip which is exactly what we got from this vacation. We went to Divi knowing it was no more than a 2 star resort and just enjoyed ourselves.
Not a well maintained hotel
I stayed here as a timeshare back in Oct 2002. The location was nice, quiet and convenient and the pool was nice. That's about it. This hotel seems like it was good resort hotel earlier, but now it seems it is no longer well-managed. It felt tired, run down and not so clean. After reading the currents reviews, it seems like it hasn't shaped up much.
Don't believe what you read
It was better than our expectations based on the reviews. The staff are so helpful and although there is a lot of refurbishment going on it did not annoy the guests. Things are improving here and give them a chance to redeem themselves after a few years decline. Four people in our party and we are used to 5* holidays but we enjoyed the 3* going on 4* (when the alterations are finished). The location is absolutely fabulous - best in Barbados.
OK, but staff are a major letdown.
Sept 04. Been to Barbados many times - it's the best Carribean island by far, the people are great, cool bars, fabulous restaurants and spectacular beaches. At Divi we were in one of the refurbished Beach Villas. The room was clean, tidy and nicely decorated. The resort on the whole is ok, but a bit tired. On our third night we found our apartment was immersed in 3 inches of water due to shoddy plumbing. We were moved FOUR times because either the water was off or the room was flooded. During all this, the reception staff were absolutely diabolical. Some of our stuff was damaged in the flood and we completed an incident report to claim for the items. The day we were checking out we had seen no sign of the incident report and no-one could get hold of the General Manager. We asked to see the Duty Manager (who was actually the Janitor!!). To say he was totally unhelpful and incredibly rude is a massive understatement!! We had to leave without the report. As soon as we returned we wrote to Divi HQ and its now November and still no response from anyone. We are stil £400 out of pocket for the damaged goods. This episode completely ruined our holiday and the stupid thing is that with a little more professionalism on the part of Divi, the molehill would not have turned into Mount Everest. Anyway, the lesson is that Divi probably is ok, but beware if you have any problems. It's no way put us off Barbados, but we will never ever go back to a Divi resort. Top Tips: Be prepared to pay London prices when eating out at Barbados, but its well worth it - Best surprise was "Restauarant at Southsea" on the Gap -Fantastic!! If you're thinking of purchasing a Timeshare there, check out other resort prices first!!!!
Divi Southwinds Resort
Bajan Banana Pancakes with Bacon
just one of many turtles
Where to stay
We are planning a first time visit to Barbados in late October. We picked Barbados for the temps, and lack of hurricane activity. Would like to be right on the beach - but other than that don't have ANY idea where to stay! Not looking for fancy resorts or all inclusive - just a clean and safe place to stay. Where should we stay? Where should we stay away from? Will we need to rent a car?
thanks in advance for your help
Re: Where to stay
Can't comment on resorts as I've only visited a few times by ship. I'd rent a car as there are some great sites (I enjoyed the caverns), that are out of the way and transport would be easier (at least for me).
Last time I was in port, there was a craft fair set up next to the old harbor (left of the fort) that had great prices for local crafts.
Re: Where to stay
There are plenty of beach side accommodation in Barbados, it often comes down to which coast you prefer and your budget. The more budget friendly south coast offers great accommodation options on or a few steps away from Dover Beach in Christ Church there is Divi Southwinds Hotel, Dolphin Inn, Rostrevor Hotel and plenty of reasonable hotel and guest house options. Plus all of these are near to St.Lawrence Gap where you will have access to a variety of restaurants and nightlife. This area has easy and frequqent transport to Bridgetown and plenty of other amenities nearby supermarkets, banks,etc.
Depending on how long you plan to stay and what your interests are it is a good idea to rent a car, the island has so much to do and see. Speaking of the sea with a car you can easily enjoy more than one great beach during the day. Dover beach offers beachcombers, plenty of water sports and sightseeing boat rides.
Places to stay away from... The usual caution and safety standards you'd maintain at home should surfice, Barbados has a low crime rate but needless to say don't let your gaurd all the way down, like taking valuables to the beach of placinghand bag down and wondering off during your vacation but there is no reason to be uptight either. People are generally friendly and very helpful.
I hope this helps. Oh one other thing if you do decide to rent a car try Drive a matic and try to organise your rental online the rates are much cheaper.