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“Never again” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bigsand Hotel

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Bigsand Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Union Island   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Never again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2008

We stayed at the hotel for oneweek. The location is excellent but the management needs to sharpen their business. We had preordered dinner for 30USD/night/pp. When we arrived at the hotel they had not composed any "menys" nor did they not undestand that we wantd to have orders for the value of at least 30usd.
The chefs varied a lot and could not cook and when it rained there was no breakfast because the staff would nit come. Extremely slow service and smiles are not seen often.
It is marketed as a four star restort and that is correct if you only consider the location.
They had MTB for use but they were always broken.
Bedroom is without any charm

Stayed July 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2007

We spent 2 nights at Bigsand Hotel in September 2007. The hotel sits directly on the beach and the accommodations are apartment style with a patio in front. The rooms are just a few steps from the beach. The beach at Bigsand looks very nice in the pictures. Unfortunately, there is a lot of glass on the beach so you really need some water shoes. The front desk has water shoes available that you can borrow. They do try to clean the glass from the beach, but it's a bit of a losing battle as the glass gets washed up on their beach from the public beach next door. The beach also has some seagrass in front. It's a real shame because they are in a beautiful location.

We were in a Superior room category, which is pretty spacious, with its own living room. The decor is a little confused. It's kind of a mish-mash of modern and Caribbean, which doesn't really blend well together. For example, there are dark leather sofas in the living room, Ikea-style cabinets, and a more traditional style small dining table and chairs. Why anyone would want leather sofas in a hot climate, in a beach-type of accommodation is a puzzle.

The bedroom is probably average in size, but it was difficult to tell as it was so overcrowded with furnishings. For some reason there is a full-sized bed, and a twin-sized bed, plus a huge armoire. Again, the decor is not cohesive. The big bed was wrought iron in style, the twin bed has a green painted metal frame, the armoire is wood, the bedside table is metal and glass, the reading lamp is Ikea-style, the standing lamp is some weird-looking lamp, and there is a light fixture on the ceiling that has a woven-basket type of shade which, by the way, overhangs onto the big bed's canopy frame. The bed linens were past their prime. We are not the picky type of travelers and don't need the 400 threadcount sheets, but these sheets were rough because they had pills in them. They needed to be shaved!

The bathroom was good-sized but for some strange reason the shower that was built is super-teeny-tiny. Tiny, as in if I bent my arms in front of me and raised them sideways, they would hit the sides of the shower stall (and I have short limbs!). Besides the size of the shower stall, the shower head really leaves a lot to be desired. It really needs to be replaced. A simple shower head would suffice. The other thing is the shower stall needs a good deep-cleaning...

Bigsand has a restaurant onsite which serves caribbean/continental cuisine. The food is ok, the dinner prices were a bit high for the quality that you get. Dinner entrees ranged from $12 for a simple spaghetti dish to $35+, with the average entree around the $25-30 range. The prices are all in $US. Their breakfast is $20US but it's all you can eat, I believe, cooked to order. Their lunch menu is relatively reasonable. We loved the style of their open-air restaurant.

The best thing about Bigsand is the staff. The ladies who worked the front desk and the restaurant were all wonderful. The really do try their best to take care of their guests.

The hotel has a lot of potential, but it needs A LOT of work. We noticed that their website is now touting Bigsand as a "luxury boutique hotel" with prices to match that description. I think with that comes big expectations from guests. And Bigsand falls short. There is a certain appearance that the hotel has to live up to if they bill themselves as a boutique hotel, let alone a luxury one. In our minds, a boutique hotel ought to have at the very least a cohesive decor and matching furniture. The linens and towels need to be on the nicer side.

We hear that the hotel is under new ownership, so hopefully they'll undergo a renovation for the better.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
surrey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

The bigsand hotel is set in a wonderful location and has the potential to be a smashing hotel.

The staff were, on the whole, helpful and friendly and the hotel accomodation was nice enough.

The hotel was comfortable, but not luxurious as the hotel website states. We have travelled extensively and would suggest that the hotel room that we stayed in was on par with a 2/3 star hotel room in the UK. In our opinion, tt needed some modernisation, a deep clean and decent fan/air con. to be classed as luxurious. However, the bed was comfortable, the bed linen, although not changed in the week that we were there, was clean and the bathroom facilities were cleaned to a high standard.

The breakfast was excellent and what we really liked about this hotel was that you could order in some West Indian vegetables to go with your evening meal, which was also of a high standard. We recommend the fish of the day - it was always fresh and cooked to perfection.

The beach location is lovely. Although, there is glass on the beach, the hotel owners offer you beach shoes for the beach and swimming. However, we always travel with our own beach shoes as we know that stone fish and sea urchins (both present in the Caribbean) can wreck your holiday if you accidently tread on them in bare feet - so this didn't bother us.

Things to watch out for....

1. The owners of the hotel wanted to charge us 4% for paying our bill by credit card to cover their costs - this is not mentioned on their website and not general practise in the Caribbean or in fact anywhere else in the world. I suggest that you take travellers cheques to cover hotel expenses otherwise you can find your self paying an extra 100US$ plus on top of your bill for paying by credit card.

2. Mutton Curry is actually goat curry and you won't know it until it is served and you have to pay for it! The staff at Bigsand will swear that in Union Island they all call goat 'Mutton' but we are not sure about this one! However, this entree is included under the lamb section of the menu so one would expect old lamb served in the curry. Oh well, one could say that it was goat dressed up as mutton!!!!

3. WARNING......Take care when taking out water taxi's/boat tours on the island (apart from Captain Yannis and Scaramouche which are both extrememly well organised tours that abide by European safety sandards). We organised a water tour through Bigsand - it was not cheap 120US$ - to take us to Petit St Vincent and Mopion. This trip turned out to be the most frightening trip of our lives as the boat was just a little rowing boat with a motor and it carried no life jackets. The water between Palm Island and Mopion is open sea and was fairly rough on the day that we went - we honestly thought that this was the beginning of the end so to speak..... we had to hold on to the bench of the boat for dear life as the boat bounced off the huge waves. Thankfully the driver went back for life jackets (when asked to) when he dropped us off at Petit St Vincent so the journey home was not so worrying.

Union Island is a lovely, enchanting island and I would definately recommend a stay here at Bigsand - particulary if the rooms were updated and modernised.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — No comment
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devon, UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2007

We spent our first week in Greanda and our second at this lovely small hotel on Union. Our room was lovely and clean, we had a beach front ground floor room, with a seperate lounge.which was perfect for our needs. Our two friends came with us and also loved this place. We walked round most of the island and had a couple of wonderful days on Chatham beach which is a hike but worth it, so peaceful and tranquil, great beach bar also. We also did Captain Yannis trip to Mayrea/tobago cays and Palm Island. Could not of asked for more. Saw turtles coming up for air at Tobago Cays it was magical. We ate most of the time at our hotel and the staff were really friendly and helpful, in fact it was really sad to leave them and we all gave one another huge hugs. We used to walk most days into Clifton and it was a great place to sit and watch the world go by. One week was def not enough and we would return, however the only down side was that ocassionally glass would get washed up on the beach at Bigsands and the staff had to collect it every day, it would not put me off going back but would recommend that you take aqua shoes as a precaution. Lovely place if you want somewhere uncommercialsed and laid back. Will def be back.

  • Liked — It was really comfortable well looked after and right on beach
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingstown, St. Vincent
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
382 helpful votes 382 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2007

I scoured the Internet for a small, quiet, beachfront hotel and Bigsand on Union really seemed to fit the bill. We were not disappointed.

Yes, Union (like the other Grenadines) is not easy to get to. We flew from Ottawa (via Toronto) on Air Canada to Barbados. At the Barbados airport we were met by reps from SVG Air who took care of all our transfers. Everything went smoothly and according to plan. (our return flight with Air Canada is another story!)

Union is a very quaint 'old fashioned' caribbean island. You won't find 5* hotels, or casinos, nightclubs or shopping malls. You will see more goats than people during your stay. It is a wonderful place to go to recharge one's batteries.

Bigsand Hotel is a small (20 rooms) charmer right on a lovely white sand beach.

We booked the honeymoon suite and were given room #3. We had more space than we needed with a living room, kitchenette, full bathroom, bedroom and large balcony. The views from our balcony were mesmerizing.

The hotel has a full service restaurant and bar. You can take all your meals there, or simply walk to Clifton (about one mile away). We enjoyed all our meals at the hotel. We did eat out one night (our anniversary) at the Bouganvillia in Clifton. The Bouganvillia has a lovely selection of fresh fish and lobster (in season).

If lying on the beach is too 'strenuous', there is excellent snorkeling right off the beach, with some amazing reefs to the left side of the hotel. Or, you can walk pretty much the entire island in less than one day, or you can rent a bike at reasonable cost right from the hotel. Need a drive? Just ask the front desk.

The staff were always extremely accomodating and eager to please.

We did only one organized trip, and that was the day sail on the wooden schooner, the Scaramouche (of Disney pirates fame). This day trip takes you to Mayreau, Palm Island and the Tobago Cays. A light breakfast and lunch as well as open bar are included. (their rum punches are surprisingly good!). We really enjoyed this day as it gave us the opportunity to see some of the other islands and do some great snorkeling.

Weather in April was hot, sunny and dry; perfect.

If you want to check out Union Island, or simply spend a few days while you island hop, do check out the Bigsand Hotel. It is very reasonably priced and you cannot beat its gorgeous beach location.

If you have further questions, email me at: ivona_lancaster@hotmail.com.

  • Liked — The close proximity to the beach and sea.
  • Disliked — I wasn't crazy about the coffee maker in the room.
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2006

We spent 10 days at Big Sand hotel and loved every moment of it. The hotel is virtually ON the beach, a few steps from the ocean. Union Island is very calm and quiet - old carribean charm. The people are friendly and the climate was perfect for sun lovers like us.

Getting there can take some time. We flew from London to Barbados, and from there we decided to fly to Union Island's neighbouring island St. Vincent and stay 1 night before flying on to Union island. There are non stop flights from Barbados to Union Island but be prepared to pay! It is much cheaper to fly to St. Vincent, stay a night and then fly to Union Island from there, than it is to fly directly from Barbados. The hotel knows the many different ways of getting out there, so ask them if you consider them. There are some information on the hotel's website, but it seems there are some new routes (at least from Europe) that they have not yet put on their website.

Although it took us a while to get out there, we enjoyed every moment of it, and we hope to be going back next year.

  • Liked — The view and the terrace.
  • Disliked — The brown tiles in the bathroom
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bigsand Hotel

Address: Union Island
Location: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Union Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Bigsand Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bigsand Hotel Union Island
Bigsand Hotel St. Vincent And The Grenadines/Union Island

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