This was our 3rd visit in 6 years and we continue to find it difficult to better the Galley Bay anywhere else in the world. It offers everything that we want from a luxury resort, although I accept it is not for everyone. Here is a fair assessment of how we see it:
The key positives for us are:
- Fabulous location with 1/2 mile of soft sandy beach which feels very private. Often you have the beach to yourself, or at least it feels like it.
- Only 98 rooms which means that even when full there will be no more than 200 guests at any one time. With the size of the resort, it never seems crowded.
- Adults only (except the Christmas weeks). For us, having 2 grown up children, we now wish to holiday without being disturbed by screaming babies, unruly kids, 'kids clubs' activities etc. etc.
- High quality rooms sitting on the beach. We have only stayed in the Premium Beachfront suites and these are lovely, although I recommend you ask for an upstairs one, as it can be distracting to have heavy footsteps above (and the occasional amorous noises if you have a honeymoon couple in the suite above...).
- All inclusive. If you don't want to spend any more than the original price, you don't need to as the drinks and cocktails are fantastic and the food is very good.
- Very few on site activities. Yes there is a water sports offering but this is limited to hobi sailing, and kayaks. There is a single tennis court, table tennis table and pool table, all outside. The gym is relatively small but ok and the Spa comes well recommended. But evenings are very quiet, just live music to accompany dinner.
- Very friendly staff (in the main), particularly when you are a 'returnee' to the resort. Management are always on hand to ask questions or to receive feedback and the staff react quickly to any requests or help.
There are some negatives, of course:
- Elements of the resort are looking a bit 'tired' and some investment is needed to make the place sparkle again. Sometimes these are just small things e.g. broken fencing around the pool area but also a lick of paint in places wouldn't go amiss - some villas were receiving attention while were there. A number of reviews talk about the beach loungers and I understand these will be updated soon.
- The food quality in the Sea Grape restaurant can be patchy, particularly when compared to the always excellent Gaugin and Ismay restaurants.
- Experiencing the Ismay restaurant should be on your list but beware the surcharge - it is not warranted in my view, however in fairness, it does serve to keep numbers down and you do get the feel of the dinner being a bit more special.
- The pool area is great but the pool itself is disappointing. Whilst the water is supposed to be natural, it does have an odd hue which can make it less attractive to swim in, although plenty did. Again other reviewers mention the noise of the fountain and I agree - it is noisy and distracting. The sea is, however, lovely.
- As mentioned above, those in a downstairs room can be bothered by noisy neighbours above but I know not everyone is so sensitive about external noises.
- You need to make good use of the Deet spray, particularly if you are watching the turtles late at night on the beach, as the sand flys can be vicious. But that is to be expected in the Caribbean.
If anything all of the above are just minor niggles as we really love the Galley Bay. With the cheaper prices currently on offer, it is in danger of attracting too many young adults and potentially alienating its historically traditional clientele. The beauty of this place is the wide range of ages that enjoy the resort.
Overall, another fabulous holiday and we will be back.......
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.