More about Colony Club
Colony Club has no beach
The beach has been replaced by huge rocks because of recent storms and it is a dangerous four foot drop (see pictures) to get to the water from the property. In addition once you've reached the water you have to walk on rocks for at least ten yards before your feet touches sand. When we asked management about the beach they said, “It will be back in two weeks” but never said what that meant. Consequently the small portion of sand that exists forces all beach goers to sit one on top another.
The beach vendors are an annoying menace which works against anything resembling relaxation. One guy sat on my lounge chair while I read a book and asked to massage my wife’s feet. They want to sell you beads, bird feeders, straw hats, small sculptures and will pester you to no end to rent their jet skis! One afternoon I saw a local woman try to solicit people to have her braid their hair. When she was unsuccessful she sat on one of the lounge chairs and braided her hair for hours then disrobed to her swim suit, swam and returned to the lounge chair. The vendors don’t just solicit you they hang out in a gaggle and complain about tourist not spending money with them. At one point I had to call someone from management over to ask why two of the venders were laying on lounge chairs in front of my room—it was the only time I saw security on this side of the property. While I acknowledge that all beaches on Barbados are public management is to blame for letting these vendors have the run of the place. It is not relaxing to be pestered to this degree while you are on vacation.
One of the restaurants is closed and I wonder if they are simply waiting for the place to close for it’s impending renovation.
That said, the staff is efficient and friendly, The food is okay. The grounds are well kept but the luster has worn off on a property that should by no means be classified as four star. I will not return.
Among the Best of the West (Coast)
My friend and I had a bit of a paradox when deciding where to stay: we are accustomed to the finer things in life, yet, we are both just a few years out of college. Surprising how difficult it is to afford those finer things without your parents, n'est-ce pas? Thank god for frequent flier tickets! We were able to find a great deal to stay at a hotel that would normally be out of our price range, as we chose to travel in June, Barbados' off peak season. I recommend checking out tradewind tour's website: they post all of the internet specials for many Barbados' hotels. And check expedia for the best virtual tours and photos. (Unlike some places, the Colony CLub looks JUST like the photographs) Anyway.... Back to the Colony Club:
WE TOTALLY PICKED THE RIGHT PLACE!!! And we checked most of the nicer hotels on the island (see my pros and cons on the other hotels), and for the West Coast, this was our ideal spot. Why? Read on: THE POOL: It's really unfair to call their pool JUST a pool, as it is a meandering stream of connected and unconnected lagoons wandering through the meticulously landscaped (but still tropical) gardens. Oh so gorgeous. While children are discouraged, the few older ones stick to the larger pool with the swim up bars; the other pools were quite private, including those with direct access to the pool suites. Parts of the pool have coral rocks as walls, and the back lagoon has a pretty waterfall, as well as a niche with hot tub style jets (though the water is still cool). The pool has the same services as the beach, and same excellent loungers.
THE ROOM: OK, first of all, we stayed in their least expensive option, the pool/garden view. If you have to go this way, be sure to request a room on the ground floor. The rooms with balconies were nice, but the ground floor patios had the same lounge chairs with teh additional bonus of a table with a thatched umbrella thingy--nice addition. Also, its like the garden's and pool are your own backyard... OK, our bathroom was a bit rough, HOWEVER, the Colony Club is shutting down for renovations this fall, and I think the Pool/Garden room's bathrooms are priority one. The other room levels have already been updated.
If you can afford the upgrade to a luxury poolside room, definitely do it, espeically if this is a romantic trip for you. Their patios descend directly into one of these cove like lagoons, basically giving you a private pool. Very nice.
[cont'd in more colony club and colony club, the beach]
More Colony Club
Before I get on with the unique qualities, let me give a quick breakdown of two other important items, food and service:
FOOD: There are SO many excellent restaurants nearby and around Barbados that we only ended up eating at the Colony Club for two lunches (when we were too lazy to leave the beach or pool!). We DID NOT eat in their finer restaurant, which is supposed to be wonderful. The poolside restaurant was very typical hotel food. Expensive, bland, overcooked BUT right there when you want it. So, don't go out of your way to eat at the lesser restaurant, but it fulfills the need for feed.
SERVICE: Nearly impeccable. Fast, easy, hassle free check in and escort to quarters. Fresh flowers in the room. Cleaning service in the AM, turndown in the PM with chilled bottle water every night (nice touch). Service slightly sharper than elsewhere on the island for restaurant and bar service (still on island time--which is a good thing!). Everyone who's path you cross, whether housekeeping, grounds maintenance, food service, or hospitality were all EXTREMELY friendly. Will goout of their way to make your trip as pleasant as possible--they want return customers, and it shows! THE GROUNDS/PROPERTY: Were beautiful and well kept. I had read in some reviews that the Colony needed a coat of paint, but I didn't see that at all. Like I said, they will be closed for a while to sort that out, but I thought it was just beautiful. Particularly nice is the lobby: an open air courtyard around a koi pond with palms... very beautiful. [see my picture] And when you first arrive, they take you into a lovely tropical bar just off of the courtyard for a rum punch while they check you in! Love the cool fans! Great interior design as well, incidentally.
Also, the deck between the pool and the beach is an EXCELLENT place for a pre-dinner cocktail and watching the sun go down...
The straight-faced customs man at Grantley Adams International Airport looked me in the eye.
"Have you ever been to Barbados before?" he asked with that British sense of self-confidence that still seems to linger on this "Little England" of the Lesser Antilles.
I shook my head, unable to judge whether he would think this was a good or bad thing.
"Welcome, man!" he broke into a big island smile as he stamped my passport. "You are going to love it here."
It was a welcome that was perfectly befitting Barbados. After all, it's not hard to fall in love with an island that feels exactly like the Robert Louis Stevenson novels of yore. And nowhere does that sense of a lost colonial isle come more clearly to Shawna, Wesley and me, than upon our arrival at one of the oldest and most charming properties on the isle—the venerable Colony Club.
The Colony Club, a member of the Luxury Romantic Collection of Great Hotels of the World, is an oasis of nature on one of the most populated islands in the Caribbean. With 96 rooms and suites spread across seven acres of gardens full of cooing quail, dancing butterflies and all sorts of tropical birds, we felt as though we wandered into a Caribbean Shangri-La. The rooms themselves are simple and classic. Close your eyes and feel the hush of the ceiling fans and you can imagine the tinkle of gin and tonics on ice in this once far corner of the British Empire.
For more details and photos click here to see my full diary - http://www.wheretostay.com/bestof/04.11.html
The beach is back
Just to let you know that following a review below, the beach is back although there are still some exposed rocks. Sand is lovely and soft.
I didnt stay at Colony Club as it is currently closed for renovation but it looks lovely.
Just come back from Colony Club Hotel, Holetown, Barbados. What a welcome. Greeted with coctails and cold flannel, made at home straight away. Service was excellent the whole time, staff so friendly & helpful. The food was excellent. All areas of complex immaculate. Rooms spacious and clean, beautiful view overlooking ocean. The gardens were magnificent, so peaceful.
This hotel would not suit anyone who wants a lively, noisy holiday. The town is a short walk or bus ride away if they so wish.
what a little gem
could not agree more with the last review. Colony club set in its own tropical garden was the most peaceful, hassle free ,pampered holiday we ever had. The hotel is spotlessly clean and the staff work hard at providing the best for their clients. The little touches,such as,turndown at night,complementary cool faces clothes and fresh fruit while you bask in the sun was special.
A good hotel let down by poor service
We stayed at the Colony Club for a week in December 2005. The hotel has recently been renovated and has many positive attributes including, beautiful grounds, well proportioned rooms, a good beach (which has been restored following erosion) and extensive water sports facilities.
A good hotel but one that is badly let down by poor service and average quality food.
The hotel has two restaurants and a fixed menu in both (the fine dining restaurant was only open for one night during our stay). Specials have recently been removed from the menu limiting choice for those on half board, so I would not recommend opting for this, especially as there are plenty of good quality places to eat a short taxi ride from the hotel. Overall the quality of the food was average.
Poor service is the real failing of the Colony Club and it is not merely a laid back Caribbean approach. Whilst some of the staff could not have been more helpful or friendly (particularly the bell boys and water sports staff) the front desk staff and restaurant staff were poor. Examples of this included: - Lunch on most days took over 1 hour to arrive (for simple salads and sandwiches). The front desk staff were unable to book us a table at one of their sister hotels, with each staff member passing the responsibility to another. After three days no booking was confirmed, in the end we gave up. On the night of our arrival a function was being held in the main restaurant, in itself not a problem, but for the fact that most of the staff were attending to guests at the function leaving the guests to be served very slowly indeed.
Overall we enjoyed the holiday but would not return to the Colony Club as the service was very poor with the majority of staff coming across as disinterested and lazy.
Stayed in the Colony Club in late November/Early December. The hotel is well-located in the middle of the west coast of the island. We had an Ocean View room. I would find it hard to fault and overall exceeded our expectations. The room was clean, recently refurbed and spacious enough. The staff were very helpful and courteous at all times. The hotel is well kept with nice communal areas, pools and gardens. There are plenty of towels and comfortable loungers provided at the pools and on the beach. IMO beach is not a problem at all - there is plenty of sand and it has certainly reformed itself since the photos taken in the summer that are on this site. Food was good without being outstanding although there are plenty of local restaurants in nearby Holetown that are worth a try as well. All in all a very good holiday and we would not hesitate to return.
We just got back from one week in Barbados and it was one of our best vacations ever.
We stayed at the Colony Club Hotel and it was very nice. All the personnel were very friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean and done everyday. The Ocean view rooms were terrific (faced the ocean and the pool) and part of the hotel rooms will even be remodeled in August.
You must get down to the beach beds/chairs early (6-6:30) to get a good spot; put a book or hat on them to "reserve" them. This is a great place for families with children since the beach and pool are almost connected.
The sport activities included water skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, hoby-cat, water taxi to other resorts etc. All very nice. You have to pay $40 for 35 min. jet-skiing
-Rent a car one day and drive to the North point and the East coast. Beautiful areas that you don't want to miss.
-Take a catamaran cruise one day. (5 hours trip with lunch) - fantastic experience.
-Restaurants: Calabaza, Fish Pot, The Cliff, Cocomos, Lone Star - all waterfront!
Tradewind Tours had the best package price of air and hotel.
We would recommend this place and would like to go back tomorrow.
Colony Club in St. James Beach
Has anyone been there or heard anything about this place???
RE: Colony Club in St. James Beach
Colony club is a very lovely property in Barbados. It's part of the Elegant Hotels Group. I haven't been there in about 8years but at that time is was a very English style resort. By that I mean, it appeals more to the English clientale than to the North American clientale who believe resorts in the Caribbean should be painted in print primary colors etc (I can say that as I'm one of them)
Pastel shades in it's decor, right on the beach, it's one of those hotels who's guests come to Barbados every year at the same time and stay in the same room.. every year. (if that helps)
RE: RE: Colony Club in St. James Beach
Thank you so much. I just haven't heard or read anything about the place besides their website, which looked pretty good. Will be headed there in a week.
RE: RE: Colony Club in St. James Beach
I'm heading there June 25th. From what I hear, it's the lesser of the Elegant Hotels in need of slight upgrades (e.g. a fresh coat of paint) which are forthcoming later this year. Still, for the price, it's a great hotel with an excellent location, pool, beach, and water sports package.
Please post your experience on your return.