I reviewed the ASR last year because we'd enjoyed our trip so much and felt they were worth mentioning, and I'm back to say that (for us) they are still on form. I said last time that we treat a hotel as a base, nothing more. We're out doing things and although we eat "at home" most evenings, we self-cater happily enough. We don't use the a/c (so can't complain about having to pay for it) because we like to acclimatise - and besides, once you've visited places like Tahiti where a/c is pretty much mandatory no matter what - you appreciate that the trade winds over Barbados work wonders for the humidity and it is far easier to get used to. If you have people in your party that require a/c for some reason (babies perhaps, obese people, probably) then your requirements may differ from ours. If anything, this year felt cooler than last year, so perhaps we're getting better at adapting. The ASR is not on a beach, and once or twice we thought it might have been nice to be able to stumble out of our room onto the sand as we'd done in 1998, from the (then) Inn on the Beach. The trap with having a beach hotel is that it becomes tempting just to stay put and not explore other beaches. If you like the idea of trying multiple beaches (and there are many wonderful ones on Barbados all with their own quirks and character) then a hotel with access to transport is as good wherever it is. The ASR is close to the H1 highway (far enough away that it doesn't get road noise in the evenings, though, as would the landside rooms in a beach hotel). If you're not averse to strolling through the grassy rain channels (on dry days), two of which run past the hotel, you can be at the coast road within about 5 minutes tops. This year we didn't hire a car at all and took buses from the nearby stops to explore many other west coast beaches, and once walked up to Speightstown sampling every beach with public access from the road that we could find. We settled eventually on a really nice "locals" beach that catamaran cruises advertise as a "deserted beach", and when they departed after an hour there, we would indeed have the beach to ourselves often for the rest of the day. We're really not the kind of folk to be shuttling ourselves around in a/c "comfort" and would much rather explore on foot if we are not simply lazing on a beach admiring the glittering waters (or zip-lining, which was great fun). Since even the locals seemed a bit surprised that we'd strolled up to Speightstown (c'mon, it's only about 5-6 miles) I assume it isn't a national pastime. Our "deserted beach" was just a few minutes away by local bus, and we were pitching camp 15-20 minutes after locking our patio doors.
This year, the ASR offered beach towels, which were handy for our beach trips since the quieter beaches don't have sun-loungers and beach umbrellas available. With a beach towel and a friendly palm tree on a deserted beach, we were happy! The ASR staff were also particularly kind this year, when I was briefly unwell and confined myself to the hotel for a day (I had work to do anyway, and took the opportunity). The'd discovered I wasn't 100% and offered many small sympathetic touches that I really appreciated.
I've been quite open about the fact that I don't expect or even *want* every little luxury - to me, that kind of fussing just gets tedious very quickly. I go to Barbados for "space", peace & quiet, room and time to think. ASR offers that, you can be as gregarious or isolationist as you please, no problem, you won't be imposed upon in any way. The rooms are basic, no doubt, and ours lacked a sharp kitchen knife we'd need to chop up pineapples for our home-made cocktails, but we had one on request. I'm not particularly comfortable on the furniture, I have to say, however the furnishings are practical for the tropical environment where a succession of guests passing through would require the ASR to launder any covers or cushions so regularly that the prices would have to reflect the laundry bill, so I'm okay with that "deficiency", you get what you pay for - you want unabashed luxury? Then you can pay the hotel's overheads! The ASR isn't a luxurious hotel, but pretty much on a par with other places we've visited in Barbados over time, and there are plenty worse too. I see it as a practical place to use as a base for getting around, the staff are kind and friendly, the rooms while basic are presentable and serviceable, the cottages and grounds tend to get some TLC in eary December, so a visit beforehand will show the hotel in a poorer light than in early January after cottages have had their exterior paint refreshed, walls etc likewise, and the grounds have been manicured to some extent.
So yes, I'm a "cup half full" kind of guy. If I had a gripe it'd be "please can we have more flowering plants so that we see more hummingbirds when we're taking breakfast in our porch"!
I'm going to use this review to also say formally "thanks" to everyone at the ASR for simply being decent human beings, it was a pleasure to stay amongst you again this year, you do your lovely island great credit - thank you!
Rooms around the pool can sometimes be more noisy (other guests, gardening works etc), "garden...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.