The Villa: First of all the villa was absolutely gorgeous! One always wonders if the promotional photos on the rental site are doctored to make the place look better than it is but, in this case, the villa exceeded our expectations. The best feature has to be the private pool. We basically lived around that pool! Other features that we really appreciated were the comfortable bedrooms, the open-air living room, and the beautiful grounds; complete with monkeys in the trees.
The kitchen was well appointed even though the appliances are a little dated. Our only problems were figuring out the faded symbols on the oven (thanks to Google we were able to download a manual) and the temperamental ice maker in the fridge.
The bedrooms were comfortable, with en suite bathrooms and a distant view of the ocean from the balconies. The AC worked well although it was often not necessary due to the cross breezes.
The Location: This is a little hit-and-miss. The villa is about 1km from the ocean. If you don't have a car, there are two routes that you can take. The first is the southern route along Porters road. This is an unpleasant route along a narrow road with lots of traffic and no shoulders. DO NOT TAKE THIS ROUTE AT NIGHT! We did and aged 10 years in the process! The other route is to the north and involves taking a short trail through a vacant lot and into the neighboring community and down to the beach. Unfortunately the vacant lot seems to be in the process of being cleared for construction, so I don't know if the route will be blocked soon.
Also, this area seems to be having a lot of construction so that our days were often punctuated by the sounds of bulldozers and saws. Definitely noisier than we would have liked.
If you have a car, the Holetown area is a great starting point, with easy access to most parts of the island..
We met Michelle (owner/manager) on arrival and spoke to her several times with questions. She was very helpful. We never got to meet Adrian. The housekeeper Amanda came three times a week and I dubbed the the 'ninja-maid' for her ability to come and go without being seen or heard.
Overall, I would have no qualms about recommending this villa!
...which is not to say there is any problem with Barbados itself. We have been regular travellers to the island for many years as we have family and business contacts there and Barbados was as beautiful and relaxing as ever.
Our problem was mainly with the villa and the owners wife, the self titled "property manager" who in our opinion did a very poor job. We had several problems:
a) The general standard; In comparision with other properties in the island this is NOT a 5 star villa. Sure, its very nice, but is starting to look dated and the appliance's are giving up the ghost - for example, the microwave didn't work, one of the aircon units was faulty, and in the first instance the ice machine in the fridge didnt work. In addition some of the patio furniture is faded - as if its been in the weather for many years. There was no cot or high chair when we arrived despite this being requested.
b) Bees - Upon arrival the villa was infested with Bees. To be fair the manager did organise a bee company to come and sort the problem - twice - which didn't work. We were forced to isolate the children to one bedroom, to sleep with them on several occasions and were constantly removing many dead/dying/live bees from the two front bedrooms during our stay,
c) Power - During a power cut the generator kicked in - then immediately ran out of fuel. The owner appeared (we found out who he was later as he did NOT introduce himself) and swapped LPG tanks over but why was this allowed to happen in the first place?
d) The pool pump was not working on arrival, and was fixed later during our stay.
e) We were not allowed to stay and extra hour in the villa upon departure (despite the above) which we would have preferred, to keep the baby in her schedule considering the flight. Conversation with the manager was terse, first we were told that the Villa had guests that day, then we were told we could stay if we paid money - so it was free then and the issue was about money?
The general summary of the above leads us to believe the villa was not maintained in detail - rather left alone until problems arose, which then created the worst issue of all:
f) The manager, MS Marshall. Although she did sort out several issues, she appeared reluctant to return calls, and appeared to defer to a hierachy in the house - only wanting to speak to our father in law. She didn't phone once out of courtesy to see if we were enjoying our stay, and when she did phone (to talk to the housekeeper) did not even introduce herself. We found her to become more rude everytime we experienced an issue and got the impression she was upset with us becuase we were basically eating into her profit margin, or taking up her time. There's also an element of denial - several times we were told she needed to refer to the villa owner before progressing with an issue. Hold on though, her and her husband are the owners? She was at best less than helpful and appeared irritated by us. In respect of all the problems we have recieved and the expense of the Villa, we have not received a single apology or offer of compensation from the Marshalls.
On a lighter note, as long as everything is working and you have no cause to complain I am sure you will enjoy the villa. We can also thoroughly congratulate and recommend the housekeeper Amanda, who throughout our stay did an excellent job of cleaning the villa throughout, being very friendly, considerate with our presence and managed to glide around the villa performing her duties inconspicously.
Unfortunately, we won't be staying here again.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
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|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children|
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|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|