The Calabash is a hotel that lives off its reputation from days gone by. It is a tired establishment which has been poorly maintained with service quality that should embarrass the managers.
In essence our complaints were:
1 Misleading induction
2 Room safe didn’t work properly and had at least 2 keys that opened the door, only
one of which was in my possession
3 Dirty, sticky furniture at the beach bar
4 Surly unhelpful sloth-like waitresses at the beach bar
5 Dirty and broken furniture in our suite
6 Bottled water provided with broken seals (tasted like tap water)
7 Wifi poor if it worked
8 Breakfast only served in room which took two hours to prepare and clean up.
9 The kitchen in which our breakfast was prepared was dirty
10 Lack of privacy
11 The worst breakfast I have experienced in a hotel anywhere
12 No functioning toilet at the beach bar
13 Petrol engine garden machines operating at 05:45 keeping everyone awake
If you would like details please read my precise below
My wife and I travelled to Grenada for the whale watching and because we had heard it is a charming island. The Calabash was chosen as it is considered one of the best if not the best hotels on the island.
On arrival no one was available to show us to the room, so a waitress did the honours. She pointed out the cupboard with the safe and said we had to set the combination ourselves. When I went to use the safe it was not a combination, but a key safe. The key which I eventually found did not work. I then spent an hour waiting for the handyman to to and fro with different keys. The final conclusion was two or three keys fitted the safe but it would not always open which rendered it useless. This wasted the first hour of our time at the Calabash. Time I would rather have spent on the beach.
Our room 'key' was a bunch of six keys! This was cumbersome and annoying when trying to find the right key for its corresponding lock.
We then went to the beach for a cocktail. Service at the beach bar was lazy and disinterested. I tried to access the Wifi and was told I should call reception. I then had to ask for the phone. Reception gave me a code that didn't work. When we tried to order a snack (at 18:10) we were told food service stopped at 18:00. Why!!!??? When I tried to pay the bill at the beach bar I was told to go to reception as we weren't registered on the system yet.
Back in the room we asked waitress who brought us dinner (we had to order room service as the restaurant at the beach wouldn't serve us) for some bottled water. She said you can drink the tap water! I had to insist on bottled water.
Breakfast had to be taken in our room. Why? We have to state the exact time we wanted breakfast and exactly what we wanted to eat the night before. I had to walk to reception with a form I spent more time filling out. This is supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Why is the service set up to make life of the hotel staff easier rather than creating a relaxed atmosphere for guests? We have stayed in many hotels where breakfast is served in the room as an option. But in these cases the food was cooked in the main kitchen and delivered fresh and hot to the room and requested in the morning. The staff would be in our room / villa for a maximum of five minutes and our food was prepared by a chef not a maid. I'm told the maids at the Calabash have hygiene certificates? The kitchen in our suite was filthy dirty. See photos.
Having to book breakfast for a set time means no lay ins while on holiday. We had to set the alarm and be disturbed no later than 08:50. The maid arrived at least 40 minutes before breakfast was served.
The first morning the maid was in our suite for two hours while preparing and cleaning up after breakfast. We like privacy while on holiday. So far we had had none.
Breakfast was of poor quality and the hot options we received were cold when served. We were staying in a five star establishment in the Caribbean (home of tropical fruit) and being served very dull concentrated fruit juice and Lipton Yellow Label tea. Poor!
For the remainder of our stay we will had a continental breakfast delivered the night before as it is the only way we could avoid a two hour invasion of privacy in the morning. Needless to say we were not be eating fresh produce for breakfast as it had been sitting on the counter top all night.
The quality of the Continental breakfast was poor. Muffins and Danish that were near stale and a fruit platter prepared the night before which was beginning to go hard around the edges. On the morning of the 4th our Danish was infested with ants. See photo.
Sunday morning the bed collapsed while I was drinking tea. Apparently the wood was rotten. We lost our privacy for the entire day as there were maintenance men in and out. The bed was very dirty and thread bare and generally very tatty. The bed had been broken and repaired before. It was also really embarrassing going to reception to inform them the bed was broken.
Beach bar / restaurant had no toilet. We were told to use the toilet by the pool, which is further from the restaurant than our suite. The chairs and tables at the beach were chipped and sticky. There was no evidence the furniture is cleaned. The sun loungers at the beach are also dirty.
The gym had a fridge which sometimes had water in it. Other times I had to go to reception to collect water. On the morning of the 4th we visited the gym to find bottles of water with broken seals containing tap water.
Lawn mower outside our room at 05:45 keeping everyone awake!
The Wifi signal was weak when it worked.
I am at a bit of a loss as to why our top end travel agent recommend this place as it lacks quality in just about every aspect possible.
The beach at the Calabash is its saving grace. It is beautiful. I think it's ironic that the best thing about the hotel is something the hotel has no control of. The beach is public.
The Calabash is the worst hotel we have had the misfortune of visiting for 20 years and certainly can not be classed as luxury.
If we had booked our entire 3 1/2 week holiday here I would have insisted on being relocated. Fortunately we were only at the Calabash for 5 nights. I sent a letter of complaint to the travel agent who passed it on to the hotel. I received a 60% refund for our stay at the Calabash. This to me is an admission of the hotels poor state. However the management and owner were full of excuses and even implied I was fabricating some of the experiences. Fortunately I had taken photos at every opportunity.
There was no point in complaining while at the Calabash as the list of problems with the hotel was too long which would have taken more of my precious holiday time and would have caused a lot of ill feeling with the staff.
The whole establishment has a feeling of being 'let go'. It is unhygienic and dirty. Service is poor.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in Grenada I suggest you look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the Caribbean island of Grenada, known worldwide for its exceptional natural beauty, long white sand beaches and turquoise sea, is the luxury boutique hotel, Calabash. The Calabash Hotel combines five star service and luxury within a relaxed & intimate environment to create the ultimate Caribbean escape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Calabash Hotel
- Calabash Hotel St Georges
- Calabash Hotel Grenada/Saint George Parish