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.
As others have suggested, the beachfront rooms are the best and quietest. It costs more, but as othe...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.