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“potential...but not what was advertised.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of North Beach

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North Beach
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Barbuda
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“potential...but not what was advertised.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

We stayed at North Beach for 10 days in February. I wish I could say stellar things about our experience--considering all of the time and effort we put in to researching Barbuda, and North Beach Cottages in particular. But i can't. And I only wish that I knew what i know now, before venturing out to this very isolated spot....While the grounds are nice, and the seclusion was very welcomed, the "resort" was far from what was promised on line. First off, the food was poor. When reading about North Beach, the menu, as seen on the website, seemed amazing. When we arrived, there was no fresh fish, no fresh lobster (surprising, considering that a fresh caught lobster seems like an east feat, when ur in the middle of the sea), no fresh produce (we were told that the ferry broke down...) and the pickings were slim, to say the least. I have been all over the Caribbean--but something about this place, albeit beautiful, just didn't seem right. There is little, if any effort, to make the guests feel as comfortable and valued as the website indicated. Since you are so isolated, there is no other place to eat---and while the website also said you'd never go hungry, as snacks and drinks abound--that couldn't have been further from the truth. There was little alcohol, and the fruit punch had expired. There were no snacks (and we were there for 10 days...) We actually took a boat ride into town (which cost us a lot of $$$) to make our own drink/snack run--a necessity, since the food was so bad (4 of the nights I couldn't even eat the prepared dinner, and i am not picky...) Ur pretty stranded out there, and there is little room to complain about anything, as you are literally at the mercy of Reuben and one other staff member. While the beach on North Beach is fine (rocky, and a lot of seaweed)--you need to request a special boat ride to see the absolutely SPECTACULAR beaches on the main island of Barbuda --the pink sand beach and Diana's beach between Coco Point and the dilapidated K Club. We spent over 350.00 just getting shuttled to these beaches. Those beaches were so extraordinary, that the sacrifices made, by staying at North Beach, made it ALMOST worth it... Also, be strongly advised that the only airline which runs to Barbuda from Antigua is very spotty and will cancel flights on a whim.

The cottages were sparse, and several times a day the electricity was turned off, along with the water---both without notice. We stayed in the largest cottage, which had a beautiful view from the deck. The cottage, however, is carpeted (old, worn carpet), which was kind of a turn off.

Reuben is a great guy and extremely pleasant--but this place needs so much more work--not only to live up to the promises made on its website, but for me to recommend it to anyone. In my opinion, way over priced for what you get, and we have spent MUCH less on other amazingly beautiful islands, and have gotten MUCH more.

In closing, the North Beach cottage website specifically mentions a homemade chocolate cake served for dessert, which, reportedly, has been raved about by past guests...on our first night, for dessert, we were each given a slice frozen cake, straight from a Pepperidge Farm box. That was the first and last dessert offered during our lengthy stay, and this served as a metaphor of our trip. I wanted so much to love our time in Barbuda, but we feel like we were a bit duped.

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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27 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
North Tonawanda NY
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

I must first apologize to Reuben for the amount of time it took me to get to this review.I always keep a promise.Not to worry, this was an experience my husband and I won't ever forget.
We were there with the writers of the previous two reviews. I must admit, these two couples really helped make our trip a pure delight.
I began booking procedures in early spring of 2011. Mr. James was prompt in responding to my email. I knew as soon as I received his initial email that this was the place for my husband and me.
What Bob mentioned in his review is right on. Getting here is a challenge because of SVG Air It is very unfair to honest residents and hoteliers on Barbuda( as Mr.James) the way SVG treats its customers. When the airline chooses not to take you to Barbuda even though you have an existing reservation and the plane is chartered to a higher bidder, it affects those who own properties and need to 'eat the loss' from your inabilitn to ge tot their property when you are supposed to.
So, when we finally arrived a day late, we were truly sorry that we lost a night in paradise. This is the way the Caribbean should be. My husband and I have travelled to most of the Caribbean islands and North Beach,Barbuda is just amazing. It is everything we enjoy. No communication with the outside world, reconnecting with nature, meeting great people, and having an amazing host makes this place just fantastic!
We stayed in the small and first built accommodation. It was all we needed. A comfy bed, a closet with shelves, , a fan, and a bathroom with a shower. All accommodations are oceanfront, so there is no view that is better than another..
I am a picky eater, but didn't go hungry. Reuben and Joanne prepared the food a special way just for me. One night, we ate the lobster that was caught on my diving trip. Talk about fresh food! The fish was wonderful, also. I was able to enjoy fruits and vegetables. There was always bottled water available. A suggestion: bring a small water bottle so you can fill it from the large gallon bottles in the kitchen.
I enjoyed the choice of spirits and beer. There was also plenty of soda, and, of course, the famous rum punch.
Bob was right on regarding the beach. It was great to take the kayak out to explore the other secluded and beautiful beaches!! I enjoyed the snorkelling, even thought the water was choppy. Rueben also arranged a dive for me.
We cannot thank you enough, Mr James. You are such a wonderful, caring, loving, kind man. Our memories of you and Barbuda will forever be in our hearts!!
Jeanne

  • Stayed February 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012 via mobile

Like Half-moon bay keep it to yourself. Only room for 8 guests in paradise

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staunton, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

This resort is amazing for many reasons. The location is very remote which provides almost complete seclusion from the outside world. Cell phone service is spotty and expensive so its best just to use your phone to check the time. There are no TV's, no radio's, and certainly no internet. It's just you and your significant other spending lots of incredible time getting to know each other again.

I guess I will start off explaining what this resort is not. This is not a resort for children though I am sure they are more then welcome. However the time it takes to travel makes me think it would be very taxing on both the parents and children. This resort is not glamorous by any means unless you like rustic cottages, some in need of a fresh coat of paint. The beach is left to its natural state so there is seaweed and grass though Reuben does remove it from time to time using his tractor. The food is excellent but very local. Think lots of fish, lobster, and vegetables cooked in ways you may have never tried. We had the most excellent pasta dish with fresh lobster, shrimp and an amazing cream sauce. We actually had this dish twice and could have had it every night for dinner. But more on the food later.

Getting there is a bit of a challenge if you try to get there in one day's worth of travel. Most flights from the US leave around noon time and have you landing in Antigua around 4:00pm - 4:30 pm. It seems there are a lot of flights from various countries that land all at once so getting through customs takes about an hour or so if you are not lucky. The later afternoon flights from Antigua to Barbuda (if available) are subject to change at little to no notice. Two of the couples we met very very frustrated at SVG airlines because they ended up having to stay a night on Antigua at their expense. I recommend flying to Antigua and spending the night at the Wind Chimes Inn located 3 miles from the airport. That way you get a good nights sleep (airplanes do take off up to 10:00pm or so so be warned) and head out on the first flight at 8:00am to Barbuda. Taxi fare is $8 US each way.

Flight time to Barbuda is very quick (20-25 minutes) and the airport you land in is so small its almost funny. Check-in is quick and Reuben will have a driver who takes you to the harbor and loads your suitcases on the boat. My wife and I were asked to wait until the second flight arrived but we were happy too. We walked through the small town of Codrington and felt safe. Someone tried to give us a tour in his car but we politely declined and mentioned we had a boat waiting to take us to North Beach. The town is an experience and I will leave it at that!

Arrival at North Beach via boat is quick and the boat parks right on the beach. Reuben and Joanne are there to greet you and help you with your bags. They will direct you to your cottage and give you a quick tour of how things work. After that you are left to your own devices.

Our cottage was one of the bigger ones but the small cottages are actually quite roomy too. Beds are comfy and linens and towels are clean but well used. Our room came with a fridge but we never even plugged it in since the kitchen was but a few yards away. Bathrooms are small and the showers were tiled and very clean.

Now let the relaxing begin! We arrived with three other couples and each went on their own walking tour of the beaches as soon at they got settled. Then my wife and I sat beneath a palm shelter and spent a good hour just looking at the beautiful ocean. Soon it was time for lunch and then an afternoon of snorkeling.

The ocean consists of a large bay for great snorkeling as long as the big waves from the Atlantic stay down. This was roughly half the time we were there. Great snorkeling when calm. Not so good when choppy. Scuba and Tarpon fishing is available at a modest cost and be prepared to see some huge tarpon (70-90lb)! Tours of the island can also be arranged at an extra cost. We saw a huge manta ray (4-5ft across) which was big enough for us while snorkeling on day! The reefs are beautiful and hold a lot of various tropical fish.

The beach walks outside of the resort are roughly a half mile in either direction. I recommend using the Kayak and heading out to the west where there is a good walk (about 2 miles or so) to the beautiful pink sand beaches! Kayaking north and east around the point leads you to another beach that faces the Atlantic and its an interesting experience to say the least. This beach is a great beach to find a message in a bottle! However, its literally covered with plastic and glass bottles from the US and surrounding ships and islands. You never know what you will find on that beach!

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner started around 8:00am, 1:00pm, and 8:00pm respectively. Breakfast was very american with bacon (request fried or else Reuben will boil the bacon), eggs of any style, home fries, toast, and fresh fruit. Lunch usually consisted of lobster salad (our favorite), tuna salad, fruit and maybe a sandwich thrown in for good measure. Reuben will usually ask beforehand what you would like and then let you know if they can make it based on their current food supply. Dinner was typically fresh fish (blackened, Lemon sauce, etc...), fresh lobster, the great pasta dish I mentioned earlier, garlic bread, vegetables and that's primarily it. You can make a special request and Reuben will do everything he can to make it happen but be prepared for a "no" simply because of the logistics of getting food there. Supplies are delivered once a week on a ferry and he will make a quick run into town if something is needed. My wife and I aren't picky eaters so if you are you may want to email Reuben beforehand so he has time to get supplies. If you want a snack, Joanne makes a wicked toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly!

There is also plenty of beer, wine, and spirits to drink. Plus there is an incredible rum punch that was our favorite! The selection of beer and wine is minimal but there is always plenty of it to go around. If you are thirsty then just open the fridge or freezer and help yourself!

Sleeping is great but we found ourselves actually a little chilly this time of year so bring a long sleeved t-shirt and maybe some pajama pants. Extra sheets are available and the night temps are around 70 degrees with a constant breeze. There are fans in the rooms too for the afternoon nap if you so desire.

Overall this is an amazing resort where you meet interesting people. We met four great couples from the US, UK, and Italy. You talked over breakfast, lunch and dinner and then went your own way and hardly ran into them between meals. My wife and I are definitely coming back next year for another week! You will too!

Room Tip: All rooms are great. The two larger cottages are on stilts so there are some stairs to walk-up. Ou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
London
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

We spent a wonderful 8 nights in mid-December 2011 at North Beach. The 20 minute boat trip away from civilization through the lagoon and out towards the northernmost uninhabited tip of Barbuda transports you to an undiscovered Carribean gem. Literally miles of beach and trails to yourself, every meal cooked from fresh using wonderful local seafood, and the clearest night sky we have ever seen. This is back-to-basics pure beach living at its best.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PAris
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

My husband and I spent three nights in November at North Beach. If you are looking for Paradise, as Adam and Eve, may have known it, just go there. It is not a palace, so if you are looking for five star resort, it's not the place. If you wish to relax, have a very personal relationship with the owner, Ruben, eat wonderful and fresh lobsters, and just enjoy the sand and sea breeze with very few other guests, this is the place.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2011

Wanted to visit this island for my birthday this August 2011. Tried and tried to contact the owner both on the island and on his cell phone. Left message upon message for at least a week to no avail. Never recieved at least a call back. Luckily enjoyed a gorgeous birthday vacation on Palm Island instead.... I think this Island is for repeat guests only. Too bad...looks like a nice place.

Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about North Beach

Address: Barbuda
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Barbuda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Barbuda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you dream of having your own secluded Caribbean hideaway, sharing it with family, or another couple, North Beach is for you! Set on a spectacular slice of land located at the northern tip of Barbuda, accessible only by small boat, all-inclusive North Beach allows you to enjoy your own private enclave. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
North Beach Hotel Barbuda
North Beach Barbuda, Caribbean

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