We stayed here as SAGA volunteers for a month so hope that this review will give a balanced overview of the hotel.
This is a SAGA owned hotel so all clients are over 50+ and British which leads to some interesting scenarios. It states that the hotel is not suitable for less mobile guests and this has to be taken into account. There are no lifts and numerous steps especially to access the garden rooms. The hotel itself is isolated on the top of a steep hill and it is not wise to try and walk. It is guarded by security 24/7 which could be unnerving for some. Yes the local dogs do bark but they are there for security not as pets. The hotel minibus runs to various destinations but you need to book in advance as there are only 15 seats and these fill up quickly and finish by 5pm.
The rooms and public areas are spotless, staff welcoming and helpful. Considering how young they are they do a good job of trying to enjoy our company too. Local drinks are available all day as are tea and coffee. As we were working,we only had weekend lunches at the hotel and we amazed to find roast beef on Sunday lunchtime each week. We managed to persuade Alvin the sous chef to make some local foods as a change from British dishes and it was great. However some guests complained the food was spicy- it's the Caribbean! Other complaints also heard the sun was hot- yep and it was rainy- it is the rainy season until the end of November!
The pool itself is small but clean and the garden area provided welcome shade when it wasn't raining. The area surrounding the pool can be slippery when wet so care was needed and some less mobile guests did find it difficult.
We were not impressed at all with the rep Sara, but she has now left and Henry returned briefly to introduce the new rep. Liz who seemed genuinely interested in the guests and this should improve the atmosphere.
This was our home for a month and we were well looked after but would not choose this hotel if we were on holiday as we prefer to visit local bars and restaurants and eat more authentic foods. However this in no way detracts from the overall success of the Bel Jou. It would be unfair to single any one member of staff out,so well done Navin on running a tight ship.