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“Excellent, responsive service” 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
East Lansing
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent, responsive service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We are staying at the Tamarind. I booked it on hotels.com. The room we were first given was a bit run down, and after dinner on our first night we discovered some real problems with the room. Upon complaining to the front desk and property manager, Celia and Victor, our room was promptly changed and we received a newer and very clean room. The staff here is highly responsive and they go above and beyond to make certain guests are pleased. We are very pleased and impressed with the staff and service. I was not aware at booking that a portion of the property is older and a bit tired, be sure when booking that your agent lets you know which part of the property they are booking for you.

Room Tip: Be certain your agent is not booking you in the older part of the hotel.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (188)
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We did not stay at The Tamarind so I cannot comment on the rooms or hotel itself - this review is purely about our dining experience as visitors. I first dined at the restaurant in 2011 and it was one of the best meals and general dining experiences I have ever had, so, as you can imagine, I was very much looking forward to visiting again. My partner and I and our 2.5 year old daughter arrived for dinner at 7pm and were shown to our table and the menus given to us. So far so good. Our daughter was a little restless so we ordered a bowl of chips to keep her busy and these arrived in reasonable time, after one prompt. The waitress was very slow to come and take our drinks order and we waited an eternity for our bottle of wine. There was one wine waiter strolling between the restaurant (outside) and the bar (inside) and, because the dinner sitting had just begun, he was quite busy. He needed to have a sense of urgency! When he did turn up, he was polite but did not serve the wine correctly (as you would expect from a wine waiter in a hotel of this calibre). He poured a small amount for tasting into my glass then filled it up when in fact he should have poured my partner's wine next then returned to refill mine. A minor point I know... Our food was average and not at all memorable. I had a pasta dish and my partner had the catch of the day. We noticed that other diners were trying to catch the staffs' attention but they seemed oblivous. Nobody came to check if we were enjoying our meal or needed anything. The meal was expensive for what it was - a total of £65 - we didn't have starters, desserts or coffee - just 2 mains, a bottle of wine and a bowl of chips. The wine was a very average Sauvignon Blanc. When the bill arrived, a 10% service charge had automatically been added. For the first time ever, I was not prepared to pay the service charge, which caused a bit of fuss but it was taken off. At that point, the restaurant manager came over and we explained our disappointment. She was apologetic but did nothing to encourage us to return. I would expect either something to be taken off the bill or, better for the restaurant, an incentive to return - free bottle of wine or something. Barbados is an expensive destination and this time we were on a bit of a budget and limited ourselves to two 'treats' - both meals out. Obviously, this was a major disappointment. Being part of the Elegant Hotel Group, I expected more from the staff in terms of general awareness, customer satisfaction and attentiveness. Our second treat could not have been better (see my review of The Atlantis at Tent Bay). On a positive note, what one cannot fault with The Tamarind is its' stunning location - it is right on the beach at gorgeous Payne's Bay. The outside dining area is lovely and is by the pool. If the weather is inclement, dinner is served under cover but still outside. On the night we went, there was a jazz musician and the music was lovely and not intrusive. However, there are numerous other places in Barbados offering stunning views on the beach. I doubt I will return to The Tamarind.

Room Tip: We did not stay at the hotel - only dined in the restaurant
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Barbados is our favorite island in the Caribbean. We love the people, the weather, the beaches, the Bajan/British flavor - everything. We took our Winter vacation in Barbados for many years, and stayed at an excellent resort along the West Coast, the Coral Reef Club, which we absolutely loved. However, Coral Reef does not allow children under 12 until after the high season, so when our daughter was born, we had to find another resort. We tried other islands (really loved Caneel Bay on St. John) but kept wishing we could come back to beautiful Barbados. We did a lot of research and settled on Tamarind Cove. We stayed 8 nights last March and really enjoyed it.
After a long flight from New York, it was great to feel the blast of Caribbean warmth, and to have a cold towel and rum punch greet us in the Tamarind's lobby when we arrived. Any stress from the journey just melts away and it really begins to put one in a vacation frame of mind. We had a really nice corner room on the third floor with 2 large private balconies overlooking the beach - spectacular sunsets! The suite (it was originally 2 separate smallish rooms) was very clean and comfortable (2 large bathrooms!),with enough room for us and our then-7 year old, who slept very comfortably on the pull-out sofa bed. Staff was super-friendly and helpful. Food at the Tamarind's restaurants, while pricey, was very fresh, well-prepared and beautifully served. Breakfast buffet was uniformly excellent and bountiful. The West Coast of Barbados has many excellent restaurants, from casual to fancy. We had a wonderful dinner at the Fish Pot - worth the cab ride. But our philosophy is to do as little as possible on vacation, so we often just fell back on the Tamarind's restaurants and were never disappointed.
If you are a family with young kids, our daughter really loved the Kids Club at Tamarind. The counselors were terrific, very well trained, and very careful with the children who ranged from near newborns to about 10 or 11 years old. The Kids Club offers activities both indoors and outdoors. Tamarind has a beautiful stretch of beach and plenty of chaises available, as well as two beautifully situated pools.The watersports were very enjoyable, and my daughter and I took the complimentary catamaran up the coast and down the coast. (I always tipped the watersports guys $5-10 depending on what we were interested in doing because they were so nice and helpful.) Concierge desk was super-helpful to us and other guests in choosing restaurants etc.
There are always a few things that could be improved - I agree that the half glass partition in the shower is badly designed, and water does get on the floor especially if you're tall like me. Big deal - put a towel on the floor. Yes, you should have one person stay at the breakfast table to keep the birds away. This is common all over the Caribbean, not just at Tamarind - deal with it and don't let it affect the enjoyment of your vacation. Yes, there are trinket and souvenir and aloe vendors who approach you on the beach, but a polite "no thanks" and they leave you alone. Yes, the West Coast of Barbados is the "Gold Coast" and if you're looking for bargains, you have to trade quality for the lower price. We get only a limited amount of vacation time, so it should be enjoyable and as stress-free as possible, and if you have to pay more for a quality resort or restaurant, so be it. Happy vacation memories are worth it.
The other negative reviews should be taken with more than a grain of salt - the people who wrote the most negative reviews of Tamarind seem to me to belong in one of two places: Sandy Lane or Sandals.
One bit of advice if you like to have a drink: wine and liquor prices, even at the grocery stores (and even on British gin!) have gone through the roof since we first started vacationing in Barbados. A liter of Tanqueray gin is something like US $45. Bring in the limit from a duty free shop at your home airport (I think Barbados allows you to bring in up to 1 liter per person duty free), or just stick with the excellent Barbados rum. I especially enjoy the dark rum on the rocks with a squeeze of lime while watching the sunset.
Bottom line: this Winter, we are booked for a 9-day vacation at Tamarind again during school break. Can't wait to get back.

Room Tip: As others have suggested, the beachfront rooms are the best and quietest. It costs more, but as othe...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lausanne
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

At USD 800 per night it's much too expensive for a family type beach hotel. For the same amount you can get a room in really luxurious hotels such as the Breakers in Palm Beach or the Guanahani in St Barths to name two stunning ocean-front hotels. OK place but worth about USD 400 but no more.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We have been going to Barbados since 1999 and have stayed at the Crystal Cove, the Discovery Bay, Mango Bay, Kings Beach and the Turtle Beach but this was our first time at the Tamarind and I have to say, the best. We booked a ocean view junior suite and were in room 310 on the top floor above the main bar and restaurant. I was a little surprised that we were so far from the beachfront but the room was great with plenty of room for our party of 2 adults and 1 child.
The hotel itself has a huge beachfront with the best part of the beach at the other end of the property close to Daphne's restaurant. The beach here is lovely sand and great for swimming. We could always get a sunbed.
Our only minor issues with the hotel were that we had to queue for breakfast some mornings as the staff were very slow at resetting the tables - there were lots of tables empty. The restarant manager needs to get on top of this and give someone the job of relaying tables immediately they are vacated and relay for the maximum number not keep asking whether it's for 2, 3 or 4. Also the restrooms in the public area near the entrance to the Sugar Cane Club restaurant needed cleaning (particularly the walls and door handles). Personally I would have preferred a sitdown dinner on New Year's Eve rather than a buffet as I hate buffet's especially at a cost of BDS$550 per person!
But these are minor niggles and overall the hotel is great and the staff are the best especially the General Manager, Kim, who's like wonderwoman constantly walking around the property and so hands-on, her Deputy (Meisha?), Janelle in the restaurant who really is service with a smile, Troy who looked after us on the beach, Randy at the bar and all the girls in the kids club who kept my daughter so entertained that we hardly saw her! (her choice, not ours!). We'll definitely be going back.

Room Tip: Quieter rooms are around the Rilaks pool/beach area. Junior suites are spacious and those on the up...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

What a joke..
the website shows this hotel to be quite beautiful, boutique and charming with a small number of rooms.
This hotel is in fact a sprawling complex and the website is utterly misleading. The rooms are tiny, basic and impossible to see where the refurbishment has happened. I hate to think what it looked like before.

If I'd have paid 10% of what i paid for this room i might not complain but as it stands the Ocean Suite is more like a basic hotel room in a bucket resort and i feel totally robbed.
For the same price as we paid for this we could have stayed at a 5 star resort with all the extras
.
Points of note why i would recommend you dont come here:
- walls thinner than paper. Doors slamming in corridors are one thing, phones ringing next door are another, neighbour's conversations through the walls quite unbelievable.
-really strong smell of gas. Called reception asking someone to come immediately. " I'm sorry sir thats the petrol station next door, people say that a lot.."
nice sea air then...
-rooms small, not as clean as they could be. definitely nothing on earth like the photos on the website.
- sharp edged aluminium bars loosely screwed to the french windows as locks. Don't you think someone could have taken the sharp edges off?
- bathroom looked like it was decorated by burt reynolds in 1986
-minibar empty.. I'm not after a drink but my daughter would have liked one before the rooms service arrived an hour later. Were they waiting for my credit card to be approved or what??
- karaoke way too loud... some half decent singers but i dont want to hear them from my room thanks..
- on arrival the staff member who welcomed us said " here are your keys... make sure you use the safe for your valuables." Common sense; yes. Comforting? Maybe not.

The management staff were friendly, polite etc for the record but the general service staff seemed either unhappy or less than interested.

look if you want to pay £100 -£200 per night and dont' expect much for it bar a beach and some food then fine. We booked this looking forward to a little indulgence and luxury and this is most definitely not it and subsequently moved as soon as we could.

Not worth the price.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Jordanstown,N Ireland
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My husband & I ended up in the Tamarind by default. We had originally chosen the Treasure Beach next door (primarily due to the size - it only has 35 suites) but due to a water problem we were moved to the Tamarind Cove, which (co-incidentally) had been our 2nd choice.

We were very impressed with the welcome at check in, from the cold towels and rum punch to the plethora of information from the staff. There is a lovely view straight through reception to the ocean which is a very welcoming sight especially if (under normal circumstances) you have just come from the airport. The guy who showed us to our room was very thorough, pointing out where everything was located and showing us how all the lighting worked as there seemed to be several options. There was also a docking station which was useful. The room was large & comfortable with an ocean view and the loungers on the balcony were as comfortable as the sofa in the room.

The staff were friendly and helpful. On one occasion the air conditioning unit in the room seemed a little noisy, so I mentioned it to reception and it was quickly rectified. At the cocktail party, where they served some tasty canapes, the staff made a point of talking to everyone to ensure they were enjoying their stay and asking if they had any issues. I had never experienced such a pro-active approach before. More to the point, I didn't hear anyone complaining.

The hotel is in a lovely location right on the beach. There are some licensed beach sellers but they are friendly and don't hassle you. The sun loungers are very comfortable and the offer of an occasional cold towel, fruit kebab or ice lolly was very welcome. We didn't use the spa but the access to our room was past the spa pool. Although we didn't use it, this looked like a lovely relaxing, peaceful area with comfortable sun loungers.

We stayed on a half board basis. There was a good selection at the breakfast buffet although some of the fruit was tinned which may not appeal to everyone. The chef who cooked the eggs was in constant demand and did a great job turning out excellent poached & fried eggs, omelettes and every conceivable alternative simultaneously.

We had only two slight issues which bothered us -both at breakfast. When you are shown to your table, the order is taken for tea/coffee. Sometimes it doesn't arrive - not a big problem- I do have a tongue in my head. However, on our last morning it took 4 requests before the drinks arrived with the waitress explaining that they had make fresh coffee!! It doesn't quite explain how the occupants of the four tables around us, who had been seated after us, had all been served their drinks - but it is the Carribean &, to a certain extent, you just go with the flow.

The other issue - the birds. My tip - ensure someone remains at the table on bird watch as they will land on the crockery/cutlery & eat & drink anything accessible. The hotel management could help by ensuring that all vacated tables are cleared as quickly as possible - this varied quite a lot during our stay. It is not a major problem and it was much worse on a previous trip to Barbados when we stayed at a different hotel but there is no doubt that the birds are opportunists & all offerings will be gratefully received!

There were no such issues at dinner when we had friendly, efficient service and tasty, well presented food. One particular cheesecake was exquisite - & we don't usually eat dessert. We did enjoy some meals more than others but that is really down to personal taste.

There are restaurants in the area although I would be reluctant to walk to any (other than Daphnes which is beside the hotel) as the road is very busy.

All in all we had a very enjoyable stay and hope to return to the Tamarind in the future.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
Amenities:
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*
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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