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“Perfect stay slightly tarnished by poor in-room wifi” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Colony Club

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Colony Club
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Porters, St. James, Porters, Barbados   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Porters
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Perfect stay slightly tarnished by poor in-room wifi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

The Colony Club certainly has many strong points from the friendly staff to a beautiful beach. The dinning experience was also excellent at every meal. I thought I had found the perfect hotel for years of vacations to come ... until I sat down in the room to do a small amount of work and found the wifi spotty and unusable. I know I should be relaxing on a lounge chair but sometimes duty calls and I expect there to be a strong consistent connection. I just don't get how a hotel can charge 1000 US$ per night and not be able to deliver solid internet access. Just my pet peeve, but otherwise it is a wonderful property.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

I would probably have given this hotel 3.5 stars because I think the rooms are clearly overpriced (more on that below) and not a true luxury experience, but I gave it the four stars because the beach is very nice and so convenient and overall we really had a wonderful time.

Will start with the pros:
- the BEACH is the best part of this property. Yes the area in front of the hotel proper is small but the water is very beautiful, clear calm turquoise. And the beach continues to the right and left of the Colony Club so it's actually quite a long beach, just small if you're strictly describing the hotel area. Yes you do have to get out there before breakfast and "reserve" your chair by putting a book on it. Everyone does it and we did too. We were fine if we got out there by 9.30, which wasn't too early for us since any later than that and we would have missed breakfast (ends sharply at 10). The left side of the beach is shadier due to the tree cover. We spent the majority of our time on the beach since we were only there for 4 days escaping the crazy winter we are having in the NYC area. Waves break slightly more to the right of the hotel area but the hotel beach area is a bay and so calm and salty you can float with almost zero effort. Absolutely lovely. I would recommend bringing reef shoes if you're a soft-footed wimp like me and hate any sort of rockiness going into the ocean. My husband didn't mind it but I really appreciated my shoes.

- FOOD. Breakfast is free and overall we thought the food was good and more varied than we expected from a small hotel. The breakfast buffet isn't enormous but everything seemed fresh and well-considered. I especially liked the omelette station and the individual French press coffee. Lunch on the deck is good and probably a better value than the dinner menu, which is more hit/miss. I would skip the bouillabaisse on the dinner menu which was sadly overcooked (chewy shellfish=sad diner). On the plus side, they did a great job with the Valentine's Day dinner, which was a set menu. Holiday set menus are usually a total disappointment in my experience but actually everything was delicious and they had more choices than I expected, despite it being a set menu. The live music at dinner is a nice touch--music is for an older crowd (as is the hotel in general) but still nice.

- free water sports is great and easy to do. We were too lazy to sign up for any of the motor boating activities (again being exhausted from the snow) but we did take out boards for stand up paddle and that's just a matter of walking ten feet down the beach and signing a few release waivers. So easy and no time limit on the boards. We also went out with the guys who sell turtle tours every morning on the beach. They are not affiliated with the hotel but lots of people seemed to do it and enjoy it so we gave it a try. If you've snorkeled in lots of places I wouldn't make the effort. It was 50 USD per person for a boat ride to snorkel with turtles and snorkel at a barge wreck. Honestly we really didn't see a huge variety of fish, plus NO turtles. Also the boat driver was pretty surly. I would have preferred spending that hour or 90 mins swimming at our beach. Also, it is a little crazy that they let motorboats and jet skis go everywhere, even within buoys where people are ostensibly snorkeling. Anyone could get run over in the water since snorkelers are virtually invisible unless wearing life vests (which we were not). We've been out swimming/diving in far rougher water (Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, etc) which might be considered more dangerous than calm Barbados water, but the motorboats crossing everywhere driven by random tourists and non-professional boat guides did not feel safe. What's the point of these beach buoys if everyone ignores them?? PostScript to turtle tour: in their defense, they did offer to take us out again the next day or refund our money, which we did not take them up on (we were leaving the next day and since we did get a boat ride and see the barge wreck and fish, we called it a day.)

CONS:
Although the property has a lot of charm and character and is very quiet, peaceful and staff mostly attentive, the rooms by no way justify the price we paid. We paid about $1000/night after taxes and fees for a standard ocean view. The ocean was not really visible except from the entryway veranda. That alone wouldn't have been such a problem since lots of places claim "ocean view" for far less view. The room had a strange layout with the bathroom at the back being crammed into a sliver of triangle space. Also while we were given a renovated room as promised the renovations are slightly odd in that curtains and furniture and things of that nature are fresh, but moldings and actual building related features are old. I think other people mentioned this in their reviews and it's hard to describe without seeing in person. The general and first impression is that renovations have not taken place, except then you notice that the furniture is new and fabrics are new and things like the sink and certain bathroom features are new... Very odd and overall not a luxury experience. I realize this sounds a little whiny since we had a great time overall but for a $1000/night I expect more attention to detail. It's not that I resent paying the money-- we have stayed at hotels at $200 to $2000/night and in that context I would say that this would have been more in line with a $400/night or maybe $600 since it was a holiday weekend (at least for the US, being President's weekend) and it was not mosquito season. Other than a few showers which I didn't mind at all, weather was perfect and bugs not a problem.

So a mixed review for me. I do feel bad criticizing as it is a blessing to be at such a beautiful place by the ocean, but I believe businesses should deliver what they charge and this wasn't where it should have been.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

We stayed at the Colony Club for 10 nights in mid January. The quality of the hotel, pool and rooms was excellent. The food was outstanding, especially the buffet on a Tuesday evening. The staff were professional and helpful, but not overly friendly. The beach is lovely with good swimming, snorkelling and dingy sailing available. The amount of beachfront is a bit limited and hence sunbeds are put very close together. The situation is not helped by residents booking sunbeds early in the morning and then not using them - this needs addressing

Room Tip: Avoid the beachfront rooms (only 3 of them) beside the kitchen area as fans come on early in the mor...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

This was our second trip to Colony Club and proved another wonderful holiday. The service and staff are first rate as is the location on the stunning west coast within beach-walking distance of several great restaurants. The beach itself is gorgeous with lovely warm green sea, while the pool winds its way through the tropical grounds, complete with monkeys and exotic birds, onto the bar with submerged stools. The food is excellent and the breakfast makes the jet lag almost worthwhile. The rooms offer real variety, so the garden rooms are tranquil, dark and quiet while the different grade sea rooms tend to have a bit more life out the front and a brighter outlook. So why choose Colony over say Coral Reef or one of the other top resorts? For us it's because Colony maintains a very authentic Caribbean air while delivering great hotel standards without being at all stuffy.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
watford
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

Stayed here on our honeymoon. From start to finish an excellent hotel, food fabulous, rooms spacious, clean and comfortable. The beach is a stones throw from the hotel. Clean, well shaded if you want to get out of the sun. The pools are beautiful, wonderfully merged into the lovely grounds.

An excellent hotel, well worth the money imo. Town is a 15 min walk away, though taxis are easy to book from reception. The staff are welcoming and genuinely nice people. Will definitely be returning

Room Tip: Go for a pool room
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

We stayed at Colony Club in 2012 and didn't expect to return. However having had a poor experience at Galley Bay on Antigua in 2013 and knowing that the hotel had been rennovated in the meantime we decided to go back. We were not disappointed. Our room was one that had been refurbished and it was very nice. The Laguna restaurant has also been improved.
The food is a very good standard, no complaints at all. We stayed half-board and the special evenings such as lobster night help to break up the menu.
We find the staff all very friendly and helpful - special thanks to Corey and Matthew on the beach.
There are one or two irritations however. There is a group of older English couples who clearly have been going for many years and they seem to get preferential treatment - seated before everyone else at breakfast for example. By far the biggest annoyance is the way that they bag all the best sunbeds by getting up in the middle of the night. One couple had 4 chairs for the day, 2 in the sun and 2 in ths shade. The hotel needs to stop this somehow.
Generally we loved Colony Club and have already booked for next year.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

Decided on this hotel based on the great reviews and location. I was slightly apprehensive as it wasn't adult only but not to worry, this isn't somewhere that attracts lots of families. Our room was beautiful, elegant and had everything we needed including a large furnished patio. We even saw some monkeys outside one evening.

The breakfast was wonderful every day and always served with a smile. All the staff were lovely. We only ate dinner at the hotel once as there were so many great restaurants a short walk away in Holetown.

The beach was beautiful (although not quite as beautiful as Galley Bay, Antigua but that's another island). The sea was calm and the floating platforms were an added bonus. We loved Barbados and this hotel made our holiday a special one. I would definitely return without question!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Colony Club

Address: Porters, St. James, Porters, Barbados
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish > Porters
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Porters
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Colony Club 4.5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"An exclusive retreat with elegance and colonial charm." Where old world charm meets new world standards of quality and comfort. The 96-room Colony Club is the Elegant Hotels Group's flagship property in Barbados with lush gardens, healthy dining options, complimentary watersports and fitness classes, organic garden, WiFi, bespoke tours and more. Ideal for couples and honeymooners seeking an exclusive retreat with impeccable service in a stunning location, Colony Club tempts guests back year after year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Colony Club Hotel Porters
Colony Hotel Saint James
Colony Club Barbados/Saint James Parish

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