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“nice touches” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tamarind by Elegant Hotels

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Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 429, Paynes Bay, Barbados   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“nice touches”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

This hotel knows exactly the kind of holiday it's customers are looking for and pretty much delivers.

Service is very good, the staff all seem to want to help. Cold towels and rum punch on arrival were very welcome,

The food is good, breakfast is the usual buffet, but all the variety you could want. Lunches by the pool were reasonable and tasty. We only staryed at the hotel one night for the caribbean buffet and it was very good, all the dishes explained well by the chef. Would recommend Daphnes next door, really good food and nice atmosphere, other places we tried and really liked were Tides, The Cliff (very expensive, but worth it), Sandy Lane Bajan Blue. Oistins fish fry on a Friday is a real fun experience, its rough and ready, but a great buzz. Just watching the young locals dancing gave me back ache.

The bedrooms are nicely furnished and very clean, the bathrooms are a little old fashioned and the shower can be a little unpredictable in temperature. We would say that choosing your room before you travel will help you enjoy the Tamarinfd more, some of the ground floor rooms in the older section of the hotel are not too spacious and not really at the same standard as some of the other rooms. We stayed in room 316 in the centre of the hotel that overlooked the garden and out to the sea, it was a good size and very comfortable, with no noice from the AC unit.

The beach was great, lots of free watersports and an old reef right at the waters edge for a bit of snorkelling. You can take the 2 man canoe out and find the turtles just up the beach, just look for the other boats and the people in the water. There is some pressure from the beach vendors trying to sell you jetski rides, boat tours and everything else, usually a no thanks is all you need to say. We saw and talked to plenty of people taking the trips and they seemed happy with the experience, but I would recommend talking to the guys in the watersports hut if you want anything and they will point you to the right guy. if you feel that you are getting too much pressure you can talk to the hotel security or the beach warden, but we had no problems. While you are on the beach from time to time the staff come around with cold towles, ice lollies, fresh fruit etc.

The island is easy to get around by hire car even if there are not many signs, part of the fun was getting lost! The reggae bus was a white knuckle ride into town and great fun, just tell them where you want to get off and they will wave a hand at you when you are there. Taxis have a pricing structure, but you must agree the price before getting in and be prepared to haggle a little.

We will definitely be back and we will probably stay here again, it has all the elements we are looking for and we were sad to leave, can't say anymore than that.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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703 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (255)
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English first
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

This hotel is just outstanding.We had a family holiday for 14 nights.On arrival we were met by Kim the General Manager who showed us to out suites over looking the ocean.The rooms are spotlessly clean well appointed and looking over the sea pur magic.

The breakfast is fully stocked great service and great food.

The hotel restaurant is a little expensive but well worth it and much better than Dahanes next door which is much vaulted

Kelly Ann on the bar is delightful and keeps your drinks flowing

There is a weekly cocktail party where the staff come and join you for drinks

Tamara who runs the breakfast and occasionally is the consigned was wonderful always on hand for hints tips and advise

You will see boat trips but talk to the man with the hat on the beach his trip is great fun and a good price

The complimentary water sports are fantastic and kept our boys fully entertained

Overall a first class holiday a great hotel but made fantastic by the staff who really cared that you enjoyed your stay.

We will be back

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

I'm just getting back from my girls trip to Barbados for their annual Food Wine and Rum Festival. We stayed at the Tamarind, which is a really nice hotel for the most part, however, there are some minor changes that need to be made. Here's a break down of the good and the bad.

1. Excellent customer service. The staffers were friendly and responsive. This is important because upon check out, I was charged two different amounts. One for the remainder of my total stay but also another charge for my girlfriend's portion of her stay. I don't know how this happened but I will say, the person checking us out was the one staffer we encountered who wasn't very pleasant (all that rudeness clouded her brain). Anyway, over the course of the next few days, said girlfriend and I had been dealing with a manager to get this situation straightened out. It's not 100% corrected yet because Thanksgiving here in the States has slowed things down for my bank but I'm certain this issue will be solved. The manager I had been dealing with to fix this was very responsive, available and helpful, so I appreciate that.

2. The food at this place is really good. We didn't get a chance to check out Daphne's but we had a buffet style dinner by the beach, on the first night we arrived. The dinner was full of Caribbean flavors like pineapple and chicken salad, a roti station and succulent meats like curry chicken, jerk chicken, fresh salads, and more. The buffet's at the Tamarind aren't cheap but it's worth it. For a more economical meal, stop by the 247 bar where you can get flying fish sandwiches, burgers, fries, salads and more that are just as good, filling and less expensive. My girlfriends and I mixed it up while we stayed there. Breakfast was just ok. They had typical stuff like an omelette station, fruits and veggies, sausages, beans (which is very English), bacon, pastries and yogurt. It wasn't anything to write home about.

3. About the food, the hotel is conveniently located across the street from a Tiger Mart (gas station) and a roti den (they sell other food besides roti like curry chicken over rice and peas, etc), so if you're interested in being more financially conservative when it comes to food, these are also viable options. However, this part of Barbados--also known as "the platinum coast"--is expensive, so don't be that person who agrees to visit and then complains about the cost of everything when you should have done your research and saved vacation money ahead of time. Also, the gas station was good if you ran out of or were missing basic supplies like toiletries.

4. The rooms are beautiful. We were a little bummed at first because we couldn't get an ocean view upgrade but we still turned out fine. Instead, we ended up in a first floor room facing the pool but again, it wasn't bad. We still felt safe as our room was partially tucked away behind some local flora, but we still had a decent view of the pool area. It gave us a sense of privacy that made us almost feel like we were in a bungalow. The inside of our room was spacious and we fell in love with the fact that we had two sinks in our bathroom, which was also pretty big for a hotel. However, the plumbing was an issue, which I will get to in the bad section.

5. The beaches were nice, never crowded (but that could just be because we were there during an off season) and the staff was attentive and proactive about making us feel comfortable. As a group of women, some staffers were rather flirty but it never felt creepy or uncomfortable.

6. The rum punches and all the drinks for that matter were pretty good. However, if you want a nice buzz then get the rum punch. Be careful because it will sneak up on you! It had me doing cartwheels and headstands on the beach.

7. There was security on the beach, which came in handy because sometimes the merchants were a bit aggressive, which brings me to the bad.

1. The merchants on the beach were annoying at times. Merchants on the beach is something that the hotel can't really control because all of Barbados' beaches are public. However, sometimes there are those who feel like you HAVE to purchase something from them and get salty when you turn them down. From what I experienced, it was mainly the men trying to get you on a jetski, selling fruit and/or jewelry who were rather intense (not all were extra aggressive but enough)--something that I've always hated about visiting Caribbean islands. I noticed that they were less aggressive when they saw security nearby. But again, I was with a group of women. I'm certain this wouldn't have been as bad had I been with my husband or some other male figure.

2. The water pressure for the shower and toilet were awful. The toilet barely flushed and the shower stream was sad. Also, there was half a door on the tub, which was part of some sort of design thing but it wasn't functional as the floor constantly got really wet during showers.

3. My bed was uncomfortable. The bed was really hard and the pillows were really soft--soft to the point of mush. That may not bother some (as my friend had no issues sleeping soundly) but it was a problem for me (I will admit that I'm a light and sensitive sleeper). It always took me a while to get to sleep and I'd wake up still tired from tossing in turning. The upside is it wasn't a trip where we were sleeping in. We were too busy partying, exploring and beaching it up as soon as we could, but bedding is still an important factor, so I'm just putting that out there.

Bottom line: Would I stay here again? Yes.

Room Tip: Get the ocean view upgrade if you can. Also, "partial view" pretty much means you'll g...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed here at the end of September 2012.

This was our 8th visit to Barbados and although we knew where Tamarind was (and what to expect) we'd never actually stayed there before. We arrived early evening off the Manchester flight and were greeted with rum punches and cold flannels in reception, which was a nice touch.

We had booked an upgraded Ocean View suite which was exactly what it said on the tin. We couldn't fault the room at all. There was 2 chairs and a sleeper bed on the balcony, and AC in the room keeping it cool.

The breakfasts were great and buffet style, with a good variety of continental (cold) food, and also hot breakfasts with eggs and pancakes cooked to order. We had lunches in the hotel (nachos and club sandwiches) but we didn't eat there in the evenings as the hotel restaurant was a similar price to independent restaurants away from the hotel, so we would eat out for a change of scenery. There is another restaurant adjoining the property called Daphnes, and we ate there a couple of nights, which was very good, but not as good as Cin Cin by the Sea which is only 5 minutes by taxi down the coast.

The hotel grounds were immaculate, as were the swimming pools. My only complaint was that the main swimming pool was closed (and drained) whilst they were repairing the decking. But the hotel was only a third full, so there were was plenty of sun loungers round the smaller second pool and on the beach, to go round.

The drinks at the hotel aren't cheap, but this is the West coast of Barbados so as to be expected. A beer was $8 and cocktails were around $20-24 (US $), but every evening they had happy hour where the drinks were half price, which was quite popular, as you would expect.

The staff were very friendly and were always happy to chat - we have to say thanks to Diana who at 35 weeks pregnant did a wonderful job of running the smaller pool side bar.

The location of this hotel is perfect - 5mins in a taxi to Holetown, or 5mins down the coast to the Cliff restaurant and Cin Cin by the Sea. In the day, we would walk 20mins up the beach (around the rocky bit) and you were on Sandy Lane bay which was amazing. Sandy Lane was closed for the month for renovations, and we had the entire beach/bay to ourselves most days. It was perfect. The beach at Tamarind is good, but Sandy Lane bay was beautiful.

On the day of checkout we didn't have to leave the hotel until 6pm, and they let us keep a free courtesy room, which was perfect.

We'll definitely be back to this hotel. I would say it's a (caribbean) 4* hotel, but the staff and location make it feel like a 5* hotel.

Room Tip: Pay for an ocean front room - it's worth every penny!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

My husband and I visited the Tamarind a few years ago just before it closed for renovation. At that time although the staff were very good at their job and really took care of you the rooms were in need of an upgrade. Going back in October this year it was so much better. The rooms were lovely and staff fantastic again.
We did make the mistake of going in half term week but there weren't that many children there and from what I saw they were being kept happy and away from adults by the '
Kiddies Club'.
The hotel is in a perfect location along the west coast, close to Hole Town with its lovely chattel houses and new expensive shopping mall - Louis Vuitton etc which is in need of a few more shops. In the mall there is a super deli which serves a very good light lunch.
Food is ok at the Tamarind but do try Daphne's next door at The House another of the Elegant chain but adults only. We decided not to choose that hotel as wanted to see what had happened to the Tamarind after its refurb.

Room Tip: The rooms on the west side of the hotel look out over one of the three pools so can be a bit noisy...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merrick, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012 via mobile

This was our visit to barbados, we really liked the island, and would definitely return. The tamarind is between a 3 to 4 star hotel. We upgraded to oceanfront and it really made the vacation. Our room was large and a big balcony with chairs and chaise lounge where we enjoyed just looking out at the ocean.

The food was pretty bad. The included breakfast was fine. Their fruit was some melon and canned peaches. But they had made to order eggs, pancakes, etc. we had our first lunch it was a club sandwich made with processed turkey you would find in a school cafeteria, and charge 20 dollars u.s.. After that we did not eat at the hotel. Took a water taxi to sister property Colony Club higher end property and a lovely lunch overlooking ocean. Same pricing as Tamarind.

The Tamarind as a hotel is good, not great. the staff was really nice. The weather was great, water was clear. And we missed a snowstorm in New York. I would like to go back only if I get a good deal on upgraded room, like we did. If not I would stay elsewhere that is actually a 4 star property

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Staten Island, New York
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

My buddy and I just returned from a week's vacation at the Tamarind Hotel located in Paynes Bay, Barbados. Trip dates: 10/27 to 11/4/12.

The Tamarind is a lovely, upscale (but not pretentious) Mediterranean-style hotel located on the West coast of Barbados. The staff at the hotel are all lovely, accommodating and oh so sweet. They are always pleasant and friendly no matter what you ask or need. The guys at the beach are all nice as well and not intrusive in any way. The grounds are beautiful and spacious. The beach is lovely especially with all the trees under which you can bathe in the sun without getting scorched. If the surf is up, you may want to pass on a swim because the shells and rocks can be a little dangerous with the churning waves. However, when the sea is calm, you must go for a long swim...absolutely lovely water.

The rooms are very nice and have all the mod cons. The view from the "oceanview" balconies are all lovely. We were the only Americans at the hotel which was nice for a change of scenery. There were mostly families and couples staying at the hotel during our visit but this didn't bother we gals at all. There is a great adult pool if you don't want to hang with the kiddies. This pool was fantastic, clean and very serene...it was really our favorite spot. We opted for the breakfast plan and glad we did. The buffet each morning was delicious and diverse. Coffee was fab too!!! If the coffee (and rum punch) is great at a hotel, you know it is going to be a decent holiday. :) We dined out each night and this gave us an opportunity to also explore a bit of the island whilst driving to/from the restaurants on the west and south coasts. I would highly recommend the Fish Pot up north in Six Men's Bay and the Waterside Restaurant down on the South coast. Mr. Vic's across the road from the Tamarind is a nice little spot for drinks and local food...nice owners and good eats. Surfside up in Holetown is a fun place for post-shopping, beachside cocktails, decent eats and local chats. Eating out can burn a few holes in your wallet...but heck, we are on vacation after all...right? And there are so many good restaurants from which to choose. The bar and restaurants at hotel were all good too if you get lazy and want to stay local.

Last but not least, do hire Livington if you want a great driver for the week. He is a lovely, honest man who we would highly recommend to any traveler who would prefers the convenience of taxis for the week. Just tell the receptionist at the hotel that you would like Livingston as your driver. You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamarind by Elegant Hotels

Address: PO Box 429, Paynes Bay, Barbados
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish > Paynes Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Tamarind by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tamarind rests on a 750-foot crescent of premium West Coast white sand beach and is as family-friendly as it is an exclusive adult hideaway. Tamarind features contemporary guestrooms, an intimate spa and relaxation space and two restaurants. Contemporary sun loungers, day beds and decks, transform outdoor spaces into outdoor 'living rooms' providing flexible spaces for dining, drinking, relaxing and events. Complimentary features include: motorized and non-motorized watersports, daily buffet breakfast, WiFi in rooms and throughout property, fitness center and classes and water taxi to other Elegant Hotels' west coast properties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind By Elegant Hotel Paynes Bay
Tamarind Cove Saint James
Tamarind Cove Barbados
Hotel Tamarind Cove
Tamarind By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Saint James Parish

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