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“Disappointing service and tired old property” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Elbow Beach

Elbow Beach
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Activities: Swimming, Sunbathing
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Attraction details
Owner description: Three hotels line this beach, making it popular with tourists; you might want to avoid this place if you're not into the Spring Break college kid party scene, which tends to crowd the beach during the Easter season.
New York
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Disappointing service and tired old property”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2009

Just returned from 4 night stay. We were generally disappointed and should have read the TripAdvisor reviews before we booked! We went with our infant. Prior to booking we had called to confirm that the junior suites had closeable doorway/partition so that our baby could sleep while we were still awake in the neighboring room. (In fact, we had chosen Elbow Beach over the Fairmont Southampton in order to have the separate room configuration.) We also requested a quiet room, again so our baby could sleep. Upon arriving and checking in, we again emphasized the need for as quiet a room as possible. We discovered that our suite did not, in fact, have a closeable doorway (nor the crib we had reserved in advance). We spoke to the front desk who were unapologetic but moved us to another room that did have closing French doors. We asked if the room was quiet and were told yes. The next evening however, we discovered that there was a wedding reception taking place directly below us and on the veranda just outside our room with loud music! The front desk said they were fully booked and could do nothing for us. More frustrating was that they seemed indifferent to the problem. How could they not have anticipated an issue since we were clearly focused on a quiet room for our baby and instead put us directly over the wedding ballroom?!

Overall, the rooms seemed very tired and dingy (we stayed in the main building). Drain plug broken, poor lighting in bathroom, broken electric socket, broken blind pulls, shabby furniture. The service including the concierge was not that helpful (eg hotel recommends guests go to airport 3 hours early, but even though we weren't that early, we found that the airport check in was still closed when we arrived - shouldn't they know that?!) Also, $19.95/day WiFi which is advertised as property wide did not work in our room so had to sit in the lobby.

Not to be totally negative -- here are the good things we have to say: incredible views. fantastic beach, decent though expensive food, some friendly staff, housekeeping staff was really nice to us.

Overall, for the money, would look elsewhere. A disgrace to the Mandarin Oriental brand, for which one would expect 5 star service and accommodations.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“terrific offseason”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

Great hotel. Lovely bungalow on the beach. Long beach without many people. Good food though pricey (like the rest of the island).

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Holiday Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

We stayed at Elbow Beach for five nights after spending two nights in the Fairmont Southampton Princess for New Year's Eve. After leaving Fairmont we were pretty pleased with the facilities there and were slightly concerned about moving to a new resort. But there was no need to worry. Elbow Beach exceeded all expectations and the move made this the best holiday ever.

This is truly a five-star resort with excellent service. One of the best things about the island is that the people are extremely friendly - the Elbow staff were a superb example of this. Nothing seemed to be a problem and the genuine staff were more than happy to help with everything. Verena, who checked us in, was always smiling and let us check out late - at 5pm - when we had to leave to catch our flight.

We were also upgraded to one of the recently renovated bungalow-style rooms, which was very modern and decorated in beige and blue colours. The large bathroom with tiles had a large walk-in shower and a separate bath. Other treats included comfy bathrobes and slippers, white mats by the bed for the turn-down service and a complimentary overnight shoeshine service.

We had one minor issue one day and the staff fixed it immediately and later turned up with a complimentary cold bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries - truly heaven!

In other words, the service was spot free. The concierge Vanda sorted out all our restaurant reservations, tee times and other attractions - always with great insight and superb recommendations. The housekeeper Manda always greeted us and was extremely attentive and Raymond, who welcomes everyone to the hotel, just seemed to know everyone on the island - which might not be a surprise considering how friendly he was. In fact, he had just been crowned employee of the year - something a taxi driver informed us about.

Meanwhile, we tried several restaurants in the hotel and loved the Verandah Bar - great for evening and afternoon drinks, scones and afternoon tea and light snacks. A cold beer, a balcony and a beautiful Bermudian sunset - can it get any better?

Although everyone keeps saying Bermuda is best during the summer season, our experience was that it was a beautiful place to holiday also out of season. We were planning to play a lot of golf, but ended up just playing two rounds as it was too tempting to stay on the pink sand beach at Elbow some days when the sun was shining all day long. The temperature was typically between 20-22 degrees during the day (celsius) and we only had two of seven days with slightly colder weather. The sea temperature was around 19 degrees and we took what the locals dubbed the polar bear plunge several times!

When we got back to London, the first thing we did was to check the price of the return flights to Bermuda later this year. We can't wait to go back for another dream holiday - hopefully very soon.

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Phila suburbs
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Has ups and downs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2008

Just returned from a 3 night stay at Elbow Beach, in a deluxe ocean view room. The views are breathtaking, the main hotels is beautiful. However, there was a very distinct musty odor in our room, the bathrooms are very small. The service at the restaurants was hit or miss...since the tips are automatically added to your bill, the waitors sometimes don't work very hard to please you. They'll get their tip regardless. (A special thanks to Vaughn at The Veranda, who went above and beyond!)

Very scenic on the walk down to the beach, but if you are staying in the main hotel, be prepared for a very steep walk back up!

Bermuda is an amazing island, and we will definitely be back. Elbow beach Hotel is in a good central location, where you can get to all island attractions relatively easily on a bus.

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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very uneven qualities”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2007

First the Good:
Great beach. Seahorse Grill has excellent food, service, wines and ambiance. The room (main bldg) was passable with a small balcony with a great view. Staff was invisible yet everything was kept perfect. Classic old school Brit style building. Spa is solid with looks and services worthy of a MandarinOriental.

The Bad:
As others have noted, the Quality Price Ratio is a bit out of kilter. I have always considered MandarinOriental Hotels to be very much worth the price; but because the amenities and the room where not up to the usual MO standard, I have to say there is work to be done at this property. The staff was great but other elements felt like a midlevel resort.

The Ugly:
The two restaurants at the beach, Mickey's and Lido. Wow. Pretty bad food and service. Nothing like watching the staff fight during dinner. After learning that everything down at the beach is NOT owned or managed by the MO group it explained things. But the hotel should let guests know these are not part of the hotel.

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