We have just enjoyed 10 nights at the Galley Bay where we stayed in a Premium Beachfront Suite. We read the reviews on the resort prior to selecting it for our (not inexpensive) vacation and looked forward to it eagerly. The following gives an honest appraisal of what we experienced.
The resort is in a truly fantastic location, right on the Caribbean Sea with an exceptional beach. This was awesome and is by far the resorts most attractive feature.
The suite was had is the optimum one available. It is a good size but dated and in need of refurbishment. The first thing we noticed on entering the room was the unpleasant odour (like dampness). I appreciate the heat and humidity there but it smelled and this, in turn, eventually smelled our clothes. The settees were worn as was the furniture generally but the ability to walk a few paces from the patio door and be in the ocean was really something.
The resort generally is a bit tired, the pool area is very nice, the sunbeds are comfortable but the covers are faded and worn and some are burst at the seams. The wooden parasols are nice but it would be good if the staff cleaned the tables beneath them. Most had stains from glasses and ‘baked on’ bird excrement on them.
There resort advertises three restaurants and the presumption is that you can go to any of them. In practice it was the norm for only one or, at most, two to be open. This was very disappointing. The resort seemed well under capacity and it appeared these closures were intended to achieve some cost saving. On one lunch time there was only the Gaugain restaurant open and it was overwhelmed by the guests requiring lunch. The staff simply could not cope. The restaurant was full, the bar area was full and people were standing for over an hour in the searing sun waiting to be seated and served. Not what we paid for or expected.
The service generally was very, very slow indeed. Some reviewers have said that’s all part of the laid back experience you should savour and enjoy but not everyone wants 30 minutes between courses and to spend around 2 hours in a restaurant to take lunch. We were in Ismay’s (the a la carte restaurant you pay a premium for) and a group we knew took 3hours and 20 minutes to get dinner. They were booked for 7.30pm and were served their main course at 9.40pm.
It was also very haphazard in terms of whether you got what you ordered or not. We ordered some fries with our main course at lunch one day but they never arrived. We were though offered them after we had our ice cream.
The staff ranged from the exceptionally nice (look out for Chris the General Manager, Cameron the Restaurant Manager and Janice – they were great and not alone) to others who were rude, surly and appeared to resent the guests. Previous reviews suggested you should engage with the staff and they respond. I saw one lady engage the night before she left. She said to the lady behind the bar, ‘I go home tomorrow, will you miss me’, the reply was ‘One out one in’. The lady was left open mouthed and I felt sorry for her.
One evening the bar lady said she could not serve Bailley’s to three of our party as it was finished. These guests walked to the adjacent bar and got it from there. After they did this a second time, the barmaid went and got another bottle but, by that point, the damage was done. Laziness, ignorance - maybe, certainly not service.
The attitude of some of the staff was a bit of a joke among guests. One chap joked that he used to challenge them by saying, ‘having a bad day are we?’
All in all, we decided not to let these issues spoil our holiday and we had a great time overall. Galley Bay is quite expensive though and I think they should look at reinvesting some money in refurbishing the resort and improving the service. The Manager, Chris, may then need to spend less time apologising to guests and making excuses for poor performance.
I have some fantastic pictures from our holiday, the ocean etc and enjoying time with the friends we met. I also have some of dilapidated furniture in our room and the unhygienic areas at the pool tables. I can post these if anyone would find them helpful.
I should close by saying we are not picky by nature and look for the positives when on vacation but we did feel we should provide this review so others will know what they may find.
Beach front suites are right on the beautiful beach and Caribbean Sea.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.