The very low rating I have given to this hotel is overwhelmingly based on the fact that my diamond ring disappeared from the hotel room on the one and only occasion that I forgot to put it in the safe. I had hoped that it would show up by the end of the week but it didn't and I can only assume that it was stolen. So if you use this hotel USE THE SAFE.
We have stayed many times in Barbados admittedly at hgher grade hotels (Coral Reef, Cobblers etc) and are therefore used to the relaxed Bajan way which is what attracted us to the island in the first place but The Tamarind takes this a step too far. Waiting over an hour for a cold salad is not uncommon and the food is really not very good compared to the other hotels or even Colony Club in the same group. When it did finally come the prawns were clearly pre cooked and not even the sign of a grill mark.
Thank goodness Daphne's is on site and after one lunch and one dinner experience we ate out every night. There are amazing restaurants nearby.
The beach is as good as any of the Paynes Bay hotels including Sandy Lane but for for some reason Tamarind suffers more than the others from aggressive selling by beach vendors for either crafts or watersports. I know the beaches are public but the more upmarket hotels seem to manage to keep them away 'unofficially' at least. If you are quick enough in the morning to get a beach sunlounger you will spend the day chasing these guys away. That said, the on site water sports team are very good once you get used to their rather abrupt manner. But they get the job done efficiently.
The rooms were OK. But be careful with terminology. We booked what we thought were adjoining room but they were only adjacent which is not ideal with kids.Check what you've got before you go.
In the Club Tamarind kids room most things are broken or unplayable when we were there. And parents let their little kids go in there and trash everything even though it is supposed to be for older kids.
Overall we had an amazing ten days but I would say it was in spite of the hotel. If you are used to the more upmarket offering don't be tempted. You get what you pay for. What you can do though is take a water taxi everyday along to the sister Colony Club hotel and have lunch and lounge. The whole experience (food, people, ambience) is more upmarket and indeed more Tropical. It's hard to remember you are in the Caribbean in the Tamarind.
If it wasn't for my ring I would probably not have been so harsh. It is an average hotel amongst some fabulous ones on the West Coast. I don't want to sound like a real spoiled B, but when something like that happens it really does sour the whole experience.
Outwith that I would say go for a cheaper room in the better hotels over a good room in Tamarind. You will get better food, better service, better clientele. You will be on the beach all day anyway and you won't be pestered as much by beach vendors.