Stayed 5 nights with my sister and 80 year old father recently, were met upon arrival by manager on duty, a lovely woman who made sure our booking requests were all honoured perfectly, she accompanied us to our rooms unexpectedly, a great start. We booked 2, 1 bedroom suites, which were different but both lovely, fully equipped, huge balconies, comfy beds, etc. Staff could not have done more to go out of their way, greeting you at every turn, hoping things were going well, asking about dad many times per day. We had minor issues, which were mostly caused by US, i.e. locking ourselves out of a room safe one night, then clogging a toilet another night, plus one (small) drippy air conditioning unit incident, all of which were met with the utmost professionalism and immediate attention. Then they sent a bottle of sparkling wine to one of our units, with a most unnecessary "sorry for the inconvenience" card, part-way through our stay, which was very classy indeed. We felt that we should have been sending THEM a sorry card.
Service at Lanterns (the only restaurant in operation when we were there) was great, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Prices were "as expected for Barbados" and it was refreshing to be served a couple of dinners with fresh herbs, very "au courant" ingredients, etc. The view from Lanterns, of the beach, all open air, was worth the price of any meal we enjoyed there.
The beach is wide, lots of chairs, the watersports guy will set you up in short order with an umbrella if you don't happen to grab a shady spot early in the morning. Lots of beach to walk, which we took advantage of, small to medium waves each day to swim/jump in, (seemed to be calmer in the morning hours), fellow guests also enjoying the resort, no matter if they were there for a wedding, a family trip with small kids (kiddie pool!), or a mixed group like mine. The resort was full of Brits who were good hotel companions, despite mostly keeping to their "own", understandably.
Would have to say that the only area for (huge!) improvement was the pool bar ... utterly hopeless for our entire stay and this is the bar option for most of the day. Didn't seem to matter what time it was, how busy (or not!) they were, the service was painfully slow, not cheap for sure, and they very often had only one person working, during what were very predictably busy times. They seemed to spend a lot of time chatting with a few chosen guests, ignoring their non-regulars, taking forever to make a simple rum and pineapple drink, with many questions, confounded by us redeeming our "one free drink coupons", closing earlier than the stated hours, you name it. This is truly a missed opportunity as we simply decided after a few days, that we would mix our own "free" drinks from the rum we bought at the mini-mart 50m away, but would truly have rather patronized the hotel bar, since we enjoyed the property so much and wanted to support it.
Keep in mind that the mini mart (labelled by other patrons as "grocery store") is indeed just down the street, but if you are looking to make any meals whatsoever during your stay with your full kitchenette, is really just a juice/bread/rum type of store, so no ingredients available there to make a real meal from, so you will have to make a bus/taxi run to a real grocery store if you want "kitchen ingredients". Not a big deal at all, but pack/prepare accordingly, as we will do next time.
If you are still reading (!!), please tip your housekeeping team each day with a donation of your choosing, on your pillow (that way it is not misconstrued with money you may have left around in your unit), as I doubt they share in any other tips you might leave for restaurant staff, etc., because they do the dirtiest work, at the lowest level of pay. Same goes for the gardeners, who ensure the property is regularly re-planted, watered and beautified, but who are the silent heroes, no?
One night when my dad and I were returning to our respective units, after our usual midnight watching of stars, listening to ocean waves gracefully crashing in the background, we ran into a hotel worker, decked out in a hair net and with an enormous bag of garbage over his shoulder, and before we could even express a "good evening", were met with him asking us if our evening and stay were pleasant/to our liking. I of course said that we were having a very enjoyable evening but that we were thinking his evening was less than ideal, given the circumstances. This is the kind of employees this hotel has put in place. Nevermind that I had also gotten our suitcases mixed up upon arrival, which saw me carrying my dad's over to his unit and vice versa, but of course, some very busy employee witnessed this and gave me some serious questioning and insisted that I needed some help, he would give it (not a bellman for sure) and was none too pleased to hear that I would do it myself, (due to his service standards) since it had been my mistake, but big thanks anyway.
The only big outing we undertook was to Mullins Bay beach, which was touted as a great excursion/great beach, which cost quite a bit to get there and back from in a taxi (dad was 80, not too interested in the local transit), but was a great disappointment. We arrived to a rasta dude totally harassing my dad, barely letting us past him, who was apparently the watersports guy on that beach, but who was definitely high as a kite and more than a little obnoxious. The beach was not nearly as good as at the hotel, but did cost us lots to get chairs, an umbrella and which saw us visited by rasta dude a few times in the ONE hour we stayed, about us taking part in his "motorized" watersports offerings. Um, no thanks. There is a beach club resto/bar there, which seemed to be very separate and apart from the dude and his brother who rented chairs, but we didn't stay long enough to take part. A bit of a wasted day/taxi fares, but an experience nonetheless.
Didn't make it into Oistins for the big Friday night Fish fry event, having arrived late aft on a Friday, but had a couple of affordable restaurant recommendations in hand from a somewhat local before departing Toronto, all of which worked out to some extent. Within walking distance from the hotel is the Croton Inn, which is a very "local" place, but served quite good food from a limited menu, and you can definitely walk there. We also took a taxi one night to the plaza located directly across the street from the Accra Beach Hotel, where we ate at "Just Grillin", which again serves simple, local food at a reasonable price - outdoor eating with no fancy frills, which is just fine with me. The more sophisticated/touristy place we went to, was called "Tapas", a very affordable taxi ride away, which offered some very interesting culinary choices, true to their name, in the form of small dishes, meant to be shared, from a large menu of choices. Great ambiance, beautiful location on a "boardwalk" and the ocean (get a table on the second floor for a view), delightful food at "Barbados affordable" prices.
Bottom line is that we enjoyed the hotel immensely, and we have stayed ALL over the Caribbean over the decades. The service and seemingly-genuine friendliness of the hotel was fabulous, rooms were great, beach was awesome (we are BIG beach people) and we would return in a heartbeat. Barbados is a very unique island holiday experience, in that it is outside of the main Hurricane belt, very close to South America, but also enjoys a higher standard of living than many of its fellow nearby islands, hence the somewhat higher prices. It is highly civilized and priced accordingly. It is not unaffordable, but the cost of a trip there can quickly exceed your budget if you do not plan, do your homework, or stay at an all-inclusive resort, which more of are popping up in recent years. I was married there, 25 years ago, but honestly found that, armed with info, I did not spend more money this trip, all these years later, you just have to be smart and prepared to investigate before leaving. I'm not a shopper, so have no comment on that, other than to say that people whose primary reason for travel is shopping, should truly re-evaluate their lives and get in touch with the ocean, the people and the experience of travel, without mindlessly gathering more consumer goods and "labels" without experiencing their surroundings. Barbados is well worth the longer flight and the slightly higher prices, if you are a seasoned traveller, Done it all, Barbados wins hands down. Will be back.
- Also Known As:
- Bougainvillea Beach Hotel Christ Church
- Bougainvillea Barbados
- Hotel Bougainvillea Beach
- Bougainvillea Resort
- Bougainvillea Beach Hotel
- Beach Bougainvillea Resort
- Bougainvillea Hotel Barbados
- Bougainvillea Beach Resort Barbados
- Bougainvillea Beach Resort Barbados/Christ Church Parish
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bougainvillea is the one that offers it all. Edged by two beautiful beaches, the resort, well known for its personal-touch and service, has 138 spacious suites which are just footsteps from the sand. Mediterranean style architecture surrounded by tropical gardens and the namesake Bougainvillea flowers create a tranquil setting, yet the location is merely minutes from south coast hotspots, making it an ideal base for exploring Barbados. Recommended for couples or families, the roomy suites all have ocean-facing balconies with breathtaking views and conveniences including kitchens, free Wi-Fi, IPAD/IPOD docking stations and flat screen TVs. Junior suites, one and two bedrooms have dining/living areas with sofa bed. As a full service leisure resort, Bougainvillea has three swimming pools, a swim-up bar with daily happy hour, two beachfront restaurants, well-equipped fitness centre, luxurious Spa services, watersports, tennis court, Kids Club, Teen games room and outdoor play park. Entertainment is also offered several nights per week. Bougainvillea is a green hotel and has been awarded the Travelife GOLD award and the EarthCheck PLATINUM award for its commitment to the environment. ... more less
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