I booked Grotto online. Not all inclusive, and no flight as part of a package. Given the online rates I was quoted I was expecting a lot, perhaps too much.
The taxi ride from airport to hotel was 5 minutes. I don't see this as an advantage, it simply means the hotel is within earshot of planes taking off and landing. There is also a long bridge with constant traffic nearby, so the steady hum of road noise in between aircraft noise was definitely unwelcome. We had the oceanfront deluxe room, a great view of the bay if your room is angled away from the airport. I wasn't so lucky, I had a view of water, airport and road. Not so nice.
The room was also ridiculously small given the room rate. Yes it is clean, and the TV was relatively new, but the WiFi didn't work and the space per person fell way short of my expectations. It was also in my opinion quite dated and needs a total makeover.
A full breakfast per person was very expensive so we stuck to the cheaper alternative of tea, coffee with croissant or toast. Bread for toast was charged per slice, so if you burnt your slice then you had to buy more.
We never bothered with evening meals. We couldn't find a published menu for the evening and didn't want to go through the embarrassment of leaving prematurely if the menu wasn't to our taste. We did try the Swizzle Inn a couple of times, but I can only eat so much tacos, pizza, burgers and fries. Short of catching a bus into Hamilton our eating options were very limited.
As for the resort. The aerial shots on the website are misleading. The amount of sand actually out of water is much less than we thought so the beach close up was disappointingly small. It was my perception of the beach size that originally led me to book this resort, so this was the biggest let down. We were also quoted $3 for a water bed/floaty. Turns out they are free to those all inclusive residents, but not to clients like myself paying website rack rates. The food offered at the poolside was also very poor, the cold hot dog was a turn off.
One of the positives of booking online is flexibility. We checked out after three long nights and moved to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. We would've moved sooner but we were forced to stay a minimum two nights and the Fairmont couldn't accommodate us until day four. What a contrast however, for a few dollars more we had a stunning room with a great Hamilton sea view and breakfast included. Fairmont also threw in $300 credit against meals ordered at any of their restaurants. We were also in Hamilton where the choice of restaurants and things to do was more to our expectations.
As to those who give this hotel 5 stars, I simply disagree with your perception of good value. I did by the way try to find an all inclusive package before booking through their website, but as a UK resident they weren't to be found. The closest I could see to all inclusive was Kuoni, but they couldn't offer me the deluxe view with breakfast combined at a sensible price.
One last point. When we checked out we asked a taxi to take us to Hamilton. His first reaction was to ask if we were going to the Fairmont. Coincidence, or are we not the first to take this action?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear FHR 123,
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My apologies for not living up to your expectations. Our rooms are standard size, we do offer suites which are considerably larger. Wish you had seen me during your stay since I would have been more than happy to assist you with relocating you to another room or suite if available.
Regarding breakfast, we have several breakfast options available besides our Java City in which you dined. We have breakfast buffet options starting at $12.75. Dinner menus for our Hibiscus Dining Room as well as our Palm Court Dining Room and Oceanfront buffets are available in the lobby, dining room and at the Concierge desk for guest perusal.
Believe you stayed with us during a period of extreme tides resulting in an unusually small beach area during high tides.
Pleased to announce that WiFi has now been installed in all rooms and is up and running. You must have just missed installation of WiFi in room assigned to you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.