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“Not impressed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina

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Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Jolly Rodger Drive, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in Freeport
Toledo, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Not impressed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

My boyfriend and I decided to go to the Bahamas for New Year's Eve. We found a very reasonable pkg on Expedia. We are used to beach hotels so we were ready for a little wear and tear. So, that being said, our complaints are not about that, but about service and attitude.

The hotel is part of a complex with a restaurant and timeshare properties across the street (where the pool actually is), with the beach beyond that. It's a lovely beach and the hotel pool is beautifully laid out with a grotto cave-like bar, and a lazy river style inner-tube float around the outside. The rooms were clean and we had no issues at all with the maid staff. They were helpful and friendly and kept the rooms clean. The issues we experienced had to do with the general staff at the hotel and the attitudes of a few and the apparent lack of oversight. With a beautiful location, and some good amenities, I do really think that this hotel has a potential to be really something. However, but they need to train and periodically evaluate their people to ensure their service, or this place will surely slide into obscurity.

On check-in there was one group ahead of us getting a total of 4 rooms. The check-in person seemed not to know what to do and took a very long time to check them in, reprinting paperwork, and a lot of confusion. Then she insisted on putting on each person's wristband by hand, one at a time, instead of letting them do it. You have the have the wristband to do anything at the hotel, so it's not like they were going to give the bands away or sell them or anything. This took a very long time. We were next in line and waited almost an hour to check in. We got no orientation regarding the hotel (restaurant, services, etc.), but quite frankly we were so exhausted by the travel and our wait, we didn't stay around to push for information. We were given a 3rd floor room, and informed there were no elevators. No one volunteered to assist us with our bags. We were left to drag ourselves and our bags to our rooms alone. Not a good first impression.

We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant which is open air and lovely in a beachy sort of way. We waited for some time to be waited on. The hotel appeared to be out of many things, and we asked for 3 things that weren't available until we hit on the menu items that were available. I asked for water with lemon and the waitress kind of looked at me and kind of slumped her shoulders shoulders as if I'd asked for something impossible. She never came back and someone else brought me water and walked away before I could mention it was missing the lemon. The food was very good but a little expensive but without much choice, we still considered it a good deal. There did not appear to be any other restaurants in walking distance, and the only other option without a car was to pay $12 for the 2 of us to take the ferry to Port Lucaya.

Since the pool closed at 6pm, we walked the property and the beach, and looked into the gift shop. I was looking for flip flops and possibly a cover up, but discovered that the only size they had of most things were small as they said they have run out of a lot of their stock. I asked for sunscreen and they stated they were out of it. When I wanted to purchase some eggs to take to our room for use in the kitchenette, I was informed that I had to buy a minimum of $10 because I was using a credit card. The option to charge to my room was not given, and it would have been easy to spend that $10 if they would have had what I wanted in stock. Reluctantly I purchased some deodorant as I was running a bit low and one other item in order to meet my minimum.

The next morning we went to the restaurant for breakfast. There was a nice layout of hot breakfast including eggs sausage pancakes and such. There was a large tray which appeared to have had bacon in it at one time, but was never refilled until 5 minutes before we left. I was a little alarmed at the temperature of the food, as it seemed barely hot enough to be safe. I asked for hot sauce for my eggs and got the same shoulder slumping response and the waitress never came back again. I asked someone else for my hot sauce and got it. This was the way with service here.

At 10am, a bus showed up with many people who we deduced must be from a cruise ship, visiting for the day. To our surprise, the hotel staff spoke to the gathering of visitors, explaining all the features of the "resort", the policy on signing out beach towels, the hours of the grotto bar, etc. We stood by to get our orientation as we had not heard any of this information before. Within minutes, the grounds were swamped with people. All the inner-tubes were taken, along with most of the lounge chairs. We went to the front desk to sign out beach towels, and were told they were out and that we needed to wait. They located 2 more towels, but by then, my boyfriend had stepped into the bathroom, so they gave one to me, and gave the other away to one of the bus visitors, even though my boyfriend was in the bathroom right next to the front desk where she was standing. We gave up and took our one towel and headed to the hot tub.

The hot tub has a sign outside of it that says that no one under 14 was permitted in it. There were several kids in it, and no one watching out for that. I read the sign, aloud, in hopes that someone would hear me. No one did, but the kids moved on eventually. The hot tub was so dirty that we could barely see the bottom. It was very warm, though, so we did use it. (This was not an isolated incident. We came back to it each day, and each day it was dirtier than the first. I do not think they ever cleaned it while we were there.)

Next we went to the grotto bar. It is a swim up bar on one side, and a walk in bar on the other side. It was a very cute idea, and we couldn't wait to sit and relax a bit. The bar tender acted like it was an effort to serve us. After she served us one round, she never came back to us even though we were right in front of her trying to get her attention for a 2nd round. The other gentlemen waited on us and was very friendly, but walked away without collecting our money. The girl kept stocking beer in front of us, but never looked up, and the music was so loud that we couldn't make ourselves heard over it. We finally got her attention and paid, and left. Incidentally, this woman avoided us the next 2 times we went there, and she was the only one there, so it was next to impossible to get served. We eventually resorted to walking to the restaurant bar when we needed a drink.

We did take a glass bottom boat trip from the hotel and it was very enjoyable. The boat driver was friendly and helpful and put in extra effort to ensure we saw all of the features of the tour, including several trips to the shark area to ensure we got to see the sharks. It was a little alarming that they bait the sharks in the same area the snorkeling and diving folks were swimming. Although the sharks aren't large (3-5 feet), it still didn't seem all that good an idea.

We signed up for the $50 per person New Year's Eve bonfire and dinner because it seemed like a nice option to end our trip. It was supposed to be all you can eat and drink, and ending with a nice bonfire on the beach. At 4pm I called down to the front desk to verify the start time, and was told it would start at 5pm. We got ready and headed to the restaurant at 5pm, only to be told that the event was canceled and we needed to go back to the hotel if we wanted our refund. When we did, the hotel desk didn't know about the cancelation, and said the activity desk was closed and that the person was gone for the day. We were informed we couldn't get our refund until 9am the next day. The problem was, we were leaving at 7am the next day for the airport. At that time, the front desk informed us of the "welcome center" down the road near the condos. We had never been told of such a center, which we found entertaining. Well, perhaps that was what was missing then, the "welcome"? Lol! We walked down the road to the welcome center and finally got our refund. Luckily we had gotten ourselves a car the day before, so we drove to Port Lucaya and had a lovely dinner off the site, in spite of it all.

Checking out the next morning, it was as if one more thing had to happen to make our "welcome" complete. We were trying to check out and get our key deposit before heading to the airport. The front desk clerk was counting out change and looked up as if we were disturbing her. She said just a minute, and continued to count change for quite some time. We said that the room was pre-paid and we're sorry but we need our key deposit back so that we could head for the airport. She told us she was counting and she "can't stop" or she'll lose her place. She made us wait for her counting the entire drawer. After that, she gave us our key and our proof of the key deposit refund, and we left.

We will not return to the Flamingo Bay. Our hope is that someone in authority at this hotel may read this and do something to improve the service and attitude there. If not, we are quite sure that things will not improve. That would be quite a shame because there are some good people there who want to do the right thing. All they need is the structure and the support to make it happen.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tainobeach, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
It is with great regret that we read about your experience with us. We take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Your comments regarding the service you received at our restaurant are very important to us. Unfortunately, we did not meet your or our own expectations.
To solve the problem, we will be placing a few of our best servers on call during peak evening hours and making staff changes. All wait and bar staff will receive special training during the next two weeks so they will be better prepared to serve all our customers.
We hope you will accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience your party experienced at our Restaurant.
Management of Taino by the Sea
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136 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
    28
    15
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
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English first
Barrie, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

First time to the Bahamas. Went over on Balearia Ferry from Ft Lauderdale. As others commented previously the place was clean & well maintained, staff are largely professional and friendly. My wife and I appreciated the beach, cable TV, WiFi and quiet relaxed environment. Access to the nearby town is limited by the 'marina' location. The hotel provides a $6 ferry to a nearby tourist area. Check-out time is 10 a.m. which creates a challenge planning for baggage management and return transportation to the ferry terminal late in the afternoon. Sales people approached us several times regarding time share purchases etc which were inappropriate. The area is still developing and hopefully some public transportation will evolve.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
tainobeach, Public Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, December 24, 2013
Thank you for your recent posting on Tripadvisor. As a first time visitor to Grand Bahama, welcome! We’re glad to see you, and the island is glad to see you and the many new visitors from Canada this winter season! New airlift from your country is bringing in a whole new group of folks to our island with direct flights!
Your comments are appreciated, as we strive to ensure your experiences are wonderful and memorable.
Sincerely,
The Management
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Montreal, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

the room was clean, and comfortable. Staff was more than friendly and they were always smiling, from front desk staff and lady who clean rooms are so nice. We used every aspect of the resort - the pool, the beach and the restaurant.

My only complaint is that there's no place to sit down around the hotel. I will like to suggest you to have some long chairs on the marina side.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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.
tainobeach, Guest Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
Dear “Will go back for sure”,
Thanks for the kind Tripadvisor posting from your recent stay at Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina.
We appreciate your positive comments and input.
We look forward to hosting your next visit to the island!
The Management
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Bloomington, Indiana
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We stayed for 5 days at Flamingo Bay during their "all college students in March" month. They did not have any towels whatsoever for two days. It was NOT all-inclusive, contrary to what their website claims. You get three meals a day with 5 or so of the same choices and one drink included at those meals (taino splash=terrible!). Also, you are required to pay a surprise $200 deposit when you arrive! If you can get past all of that, the staff across at the nice hotel was overly friendly and entertaining (Dora at the grotto bar especially!). Advise: Take the ferry over to Lucaya Marketplace where everything is much cheaper (alcohol) and more fun. Taxi drivers try to screw you more and more the later it gets so be prepared to barter with them. Beach and water was outstanding. Not very crowded beach. Pool was incredible also. Would not return to that particular hotel considering all the "surprises" involved.

Room Tip: Try to get on the backside of the hotel for a much better view and if you're lucky and they over...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dade City, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

OK - so it is not the Ritz, but the room was clean, and comfortable. I live in Florida, so I am use to this type of beach hotel. Staff was more than friendly and they were always smiling. We used every aspect of the resort - the pool, the beach and the restaurant. No compalints anywhere.
I don't go on vacation to stay in the room - so as long as the air and hot water work and the bed is decent, I am good to go!
If you need a taxi, Limpy was the best - we used him the entire time we were there - great price, clean van and was like a tour guide! Give him a call 242-478-4214 242-375-7909

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
tainobeach, Guest Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Glad to hear you enjoyed your Island getaway! As a “beach resort veteran”, you already know what want when you are on an island! Thanks for the positive Tripadvisor posting, and we’ll see you next time!
The Management
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Lafayette, Indiana
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

Older hotel with small rooms that have seen better days. But....it's cheap, it allows access to the taino beach resort, and the channel side offers a nice view. Our room was on the third floor and there is no elevator, so we had to consolidate our trips. The view was beautiful on the back of the building.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tainobeach, Guest Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Dear “Special”,
Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences at Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina on Tripadvisor.
Its postings from previous Guests much like yourself, that make us better, and the more people review and post, the better we can gauge the market and how to move forward. We hope you return as we are conducting refurbishments on a continual basis, and would like to hear about your subsequent future visits.
The Management
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Wales, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

We stayed here for 5 days at the end of March. Having already read reviews of the hotel we were not surprised when we saw our rooms. There was an overall appearance of neglect. The tiled floors were chipped and looked grotty. The bathroom was basic with hair dryer but again a bit worn looking. However we had clean towels every day and the apartment was cleaned every day. There was no issue with the cleanliness of the place.
There was a small kitchen but not enough utensils and crockery to call it self-catering. There was also no tea towel provided. However sachets of coffee, dried milk and sugar were supplied every day.
The walls were paper thin; we could hear people in adjacent apartments.
However I have to say that considering the price, it was generally OK.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful. The nearby beach was absolutely beautiful, clean and fairly quiet. The restaurant on the beach was a great place to eat and drink with fabulous views over the sea.
The pool was huge, although we didn't spend much time there as we prefer the beach and swimming in the sea. The bar in the cave on the pool was quite different to anything I have seen abroad and a good place for refreshments. There was also a brilliant slide.
Overall a beautiful place to spend a holiday.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tainobeach, Guest Relations Manager at Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
We appreciate you taking the time to review our hotel on Tripadvisor. Your experience and this posting helps other travelers in ways, no amount of advertising could!
We are currently working on all aspects of the property, so you should be more then pleased upon your next visit- which we hope is soon!
Thank you, Management
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Additional Information about Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina

Address: Jolly Rodger Drive, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Grand Bahama Island > Freeport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in Freeport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina 2.5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Flamingo Bay Hotel, adorned by the beautiful emerald green Bell Channel Waterway, is part of three Taino Beach Resort & Clubs properties on Grand Bahama Island. Guests enjoy full use of the largest pool on the island, beach and business center with free WiFi in the lobby. It is a reasonably priced alternative to the larger resorts. Standard features include king rooms and two full size beds in double rooms with small kitchenettes. Full service Marina offering 25 dockage slips. Beauty Salon , Convenience Store, Laundry, Ocean Front Restaurant & Watersport Activity Center on site.A unique & scenic water taxi ride away from Port Lucaya Marketplace. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Bay Hotel And Marina
Flamingo Bay Yacht Hotel Marina
Flamingo Bay Yacht Club
Flamingo Bay Resort Bahamas
Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina Bahamas/Freeport, Grand Bahama Island

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