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“Exactly what a holiday should be!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rumboat Retreat

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Rumboat Retreat
Mount Nesbit, Grenada (Formerly Bluebay Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Bradford, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Exactly what a holiday should be!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

Our stay at the Rum Boat Retreat was simply fabulous! I honestly could not have asked for more out of a holiday! Breathtaking views, delectable food, warm hospitality, a unique experience.....the list goes on and on!!!

I think what really struck me about our stay here is that I really felt as though it had that personal touch! As hosts, Lisette and Jimmy (and little Nial) were simply fabulous! I cannot sing their praises highly enough! Really friendly and genuine people, hilarious, very knowledgeable and GREAT cooks! The very first night we arrived tired and a bit spaced out from the long journey, pulled up to the house and felt instantly welcomed....like we were family- and from the good side! :-D We had a delicious dinner of local jerk fish with salad and rice and plantain and more tasty trimmings! Super tasty and a nice introduction to local cuisine! The rooms are all en suite which suited us perfectly (even though as sisters obviously we were running around between each other’s rooms!) and the beds are very comfy!

The house itself is brand new and the guest accommodation is upstairs so you really do get the benefit of the view....which is picture postcard perfect! All rooms are doubles and the two at the front that open out onto the veranda look out across jungle straight out to sea! We usually ate on the veranda as well as they have a lovely dining table out there as well as lots of comfy seating so you really felt like you were in a little paradise! Just wonderful! The rooms are shady and cool – a welcome relief from the sticky heat of the day and very sizeable with plenty of room to unpack and spread out. Being in the tropics, obviously there is going to be the odd bit of invading wildlife like the odd spider or gecko that comes along but housekeeping is top notch - Lisette and Jimmy are fastidiously clean!

Being sort of half way up the island as well it’s a really good location to set up a base for exploring the entire island. You’re only about 25 minutes from St Georges and the famous diving spots and fancy beaches like Grande Anse, and 5 minutes from Gouyave... so far out enough to feel as though you’re in a little wilderness but close enough to know you’re not far from local amenities or bars and restaurants. It’s really easy to explore the island from here with short drives to the northern beaches, volcanic landscapes in the heart of the island and waterfalls; and if you’re driving and get lost everyone is so friendly and happy to help! There’s also a quiet little beach within walking distance of the house (only a 2 minute drive if you’re feeling lazy) so something to suit everyone! Grenada itself is really friendly and quite a chilled out little world though sometimes you get the feeling it might take ages (for someone coming from a busy metropolis) to get something done! But Lisette has got the balance right for holiday goers! She’s very well connected to people in Gouyave and further afield on the island so if you need to get anything done or if you need a guide or anything then she is definitely your “go to girl”!

Lisette definitely took us under her wing as well which was so lovely and yet another example of that personal touch. She lent us books to read about the island and to give us ideas of what sights and events were not to be missed. She also took us out into Gouyave on the first day, showed us round and everyone seems to know everyone (and Lisette knows EVERYONE) so it was nice to properly meet people and have a good potter. She took us for a tour of the nutmeg factory and also took us up to the cocoa plantation, which had that morbid curiosity that anything related to the slave trade has, but saying that it was fascinating and still in use producing super tasty chocolate which was good to see. I have to say I was very impressed with Lisette’s knowledge of local history – she definitely has a lot of wisdom to share (especially on rum!) and we really enjoyed the time spent out and about with her. We did go on a tour of the River Antoine rum distillery (The rum itself is ridiculous! So strong!!! Recommended if you need to clear your sinuses!), and I wish Lisette had come with! I’m sure she did mention that as Rum Boat Retreat evolves she is hoping to take guests out on rum tours so definitely ask her about it because she has a big brain to pick on the subject! She’s a member of a few recognised international bodies that actually get together to talk about and taste rum so she really does know her stuff! She taught me quite a lot about the science behind how it's made, the difference when it’s made from molasses or sugar cane (like the River Antoine rum), its distillation and tasting it! I sampled some of her own rum collection...one was a honey rum and another was a new blend with a really cool label that looked like old newspaper...both were super tasty! I think had I not already had too much rum punch earlier in the evening I could have happily “accidentally” finished the bottle! :-/ hahaha!!

Also, Gouyave is buzzing!! Maybe it was because we arrived at the same time as 400m gold medal winner Kirani James (who is actually from there) for whom they were having a massive welcome home party (picture massive speakers stacked about 8ft high on the back of a pickup truck), but we went out partying a few nights including Fish Friday( which is not to be missed) and had a blast! Be careful with the rum punch though – it is lethal!!! Also...speaking of partying...nothing cures a hangover better than Jimmy and Lisette’s breakfast of coconut bread, fried jacks, fresh fruit and cocoa tea! They may argue over who is the best cook between them but they are a team machine in that kitchen! I have never shovelled food into myself with such abandon (I’m a UK size 8 by the way so usually eat like a normal person)! Everything is just so fresh and flavoursome and really excites your taste buds! They grow a lot of fruit and vegetables in the gardens as well so we had mangoes, avocados, and herbs from plant to plate in minutes! Generally speaking, every single meal was just tastetastic! Amazing!

Overall, I cannot recommend the Rum Boat enough! I think staying here really made our trip and without Lisette and Jimmy our holiday would have been lacking slightly-certainly with respect to their faultless hospitality, knowledge of the islands history and places to go (and the odd bit of harmless island gossip)! Haha! I really appreciated coming back to a clean, friendly environment at the end of the day and even though we were waited on as guests to the retreat, I feel like I left having made some true friends. I really recommend you try Rum Boat - I'm positive you will have a thoroughly enjoyable stay here as we had! It’s just fab!

Room Tip: Rooms at the front that open out on to the veranda have the views out to sea but the veranda is shar...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

Based on all those wonderful reviews under the management of Lisette, we booked Bluebay Lodge with the intent of staying for all of the month of February, 2010. When we arrived at 4:00 PM we were shown to our room. Luckily, I had brought some of Lisette's e-mails and some the reviews with me. One of the e-mails said " A double room is one that comprises of one double bed, a small FRIDGE, television and furnishings. I can put you in a room with a small BALCONY, & you will be on the1st. floor." So, as this room on the 2nd. floor, had no fridge or balcony, I headed for the receptionist, armed with the e-mail. After some discussion, he had us moved to room #9 that adjourned the lounge & dining room, that had a balcony & although he said that none of the rooms had a fridge, he would get one in to- morrow for us. As we were staying for a month & knew that lunch was not provided, we had brought some perishable items with us that needed to be quickly refrigerated. To his credit, the fridge did arrive late the next day. Because I wanted my wife to have a vacation free of the normal kitchen chores, we opted for the meal plan, which provided for some of the items on the menu for breakfast & for dinner, a choice of an appetiser & the main course, OR dessert & the main course. I also had brought along a copy of the mouth watering sample menu on their website & was assured by Lisette, that the "menu rotates on a NIGHTLY basis." Dream on! The dinner was supposed to be available 6:00PM to 10:00PM. From what we encountered during our stay, I think they meant, that if you order at 6:00 you might get it by 10:00. We had been up since 4:00AM with little to eat and finally, about 6:30, George the cook arrived & said, that because he was late, he could only offer the "catch of the day" or chicken. When asked, what was the "catch of the day" he replied, tuna. We love fish, although tuna was not one of them. However, tired, hot & hungry, we decided to try it. Even though we were the only ones for dinner, we sweat-ed for 2 & a half hours until dinner arrived. The tuna was tasteless. All enquires as to the whereabouts of the marvelous Lisette, was met with mumbling excuses and vague answers. My wife was ready to leave right there & then. The bartender/waiter, Danny, prevailed upon us to stay with promises that, it would get better & I know he really meant it. The problem was, he wasn't in charge & as we were to find out later, no one was. The next morning, a Mr. Brown, who no doubt had been told of our "welcome",arrived & and in the space of a two minute conversation, repeated three times, that he was the owner. It crossed my mind that , he sounded a lot like Mohamed Ali, with his, " I am the greatest"! He informed us that Lisette was his granddaughter, & "was somewhere in Europe, I think". When asked when would she return, he said, he had no idea. My wife was hoping for at least an apology, for all that had happened the night before. The apology didn't come. Not then, nor at any time thereafter. Clearly, there was a family dispute, which of course, was none of our business, except that the booking was made on the basis of Lisette's promises & she was not there to implement them. My dilemma was, that I had paid one third of a month's rent before arrival, so walking out now, would be a substantial financial loss. The room itself was large & comfortable. The bathtub had about six tiles removed, presumably in order to do a plumbing repair. Unfortunately, the tiles were not replaced, and instead, loose scraps of wood were attached in their place. The result was, that when you hung up the hand held shower head ,it continued to leak along the rim of the tub & then through the scraps of wood on to the bathroom floor. A " plumber " arrived to fix the flooding & his advice was that we should not hang the shower head where you were supposed to hang it, but lay it on the floor of the tub so the water went down the drain instead. Logical I suppose, although I thought it would have been easier to fix the leak in the shower head! The hot water, like the food, was usually cool. The balcony was a godsend, as it provided shade & cool breezes in the afternoon. The food at breakfast was reasonable. The time it took to get it was not. The biggest problem was the dinner. Every day I asked the cook, what was the catch of the day? The answer always was, tuna. so we didn't get to eat fish again at Bluebay Lodge. I said to him," how come I can go to any small cafe in Gouyave or St. Georges & get swordfish, barracuda, mahi-mahi, or marlin, & all you can cook here is tuna". The answer was, that he can only cook what the owner's wife buys. So I complained to the owner's wife & she says, " Just tell George what you want & he will get it for you! " I never did find out who was lying. In spite of Lisette's promise that the menu rotates on a nightly basis, it wasn't until Day eleven that it "changed". The change was that the food was mostly the same, but it was cooked in a different way. For instance, the "catch of the day" became Fish Creole, which no surprise, was still good ole tuna. By day 17, we had reached the stage, where even though they were only small portions, we would order an appetiser & a dessert, because we could no longer find anything on the main course, that was edible. We also realised, enough is enough & contacted a local friend of ours, who obtained great accommodation for us near Grand Anse beach for the rest of our stay in beautiful Grenada. At Bluebay, the receptionist, Elkanah, the housekeeper, Vanessa, & especially the bartender, Danny, are wonderful people & really tried hard to help, but they had no direction, as there was no experienced management to direct them. They had tears in their eyes when we were leaving, because although a number of other couples had cut short their stay, we had reached out to them, & tried to constructively advise, as to how they could improve the facility. We were told, that a niece of the owner, who lives in the US & is involved in marketing, was managing the Lodge by e-mail! We really hope for the sake of the staff, that a proven experienced live- in manager is hired, that will ensure that the pool & the surrounds are properly maintained, that the housekeeper is supplied with room keys so she can get in to clean, that the whole cooking & dining scene is corrected so that there is a more creative menu, that meals are served hot & in a timely manner, that the bar supplies are doubled, etc.,etc.,

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
lisettedavis, Owner at Rumboat Retreat, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your review,
Bluebay Lodge has now changed ownership. We are now Rumboat Retreat and Lisette has returned.
We apologise for any disappointments you may have experienced during your stay but can assure you and all that the previous service, comfort and experiences enjoyed by many in the former Bluebay Lodge by Lisette and the team has been restored.
Thank you
info@rumboatretreat.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex/Sussex
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2010

We stayed at the Bluebay lodge for two weeks at the end of February (2010) and it would be no exaggeration to say it was the holiday of a lifetime.
Met on arrival by the whole staff team , we were soon sipping rum punch prepared by Barman Danny and finding out more about what to expect from our holiday.
Bluebay is beautifully situated overlooking the sea and is on the main bus route to St Georges. We used the buses almost daily and really enjoyed the experience of mixing “intimately” with the local people.
Everything was done to make our stay special including a weekly barbeque with the owner, staff and family and an island minibus tour again with the owner,staff and family. On our second Sunday we were treated to a special menu of traditional foods which again was shared with the owner staff and family.
Danny the barman and Vanessa the maid joined us as guides on several day trips which really proved invaluable to finding the real Grenada.
The highlight of the holiday was arriving by fishing boat at a local beachside restaurant to watch the sun go down, after a day of relaxing under palm trees on BBC beach.
We would highly recommend Bluebay lodge and Grenada as a destination.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2010

If all the positive reviews were real then there has been something little short of a natural disaster. I should have known something was wrong when I tried to use the email address on their website and received no response. Finally I called by phone only to be told the old email address had changed and they couldn't access the old one. No one seemed to think it might be a good idea to change the info on the website.
The hotel is a large three storey house on the present main rd between St George and Gouyave (the normal one is closed). Its on a narrow plot with an all concrete front garden/parking area and a small rear garden. One one side is a local house on the other a large family of Grenadans living n, what would be in the UK, a single garage on stilts with no electricity and an outside toilet. However judging from their laughter they were having much more fun than the residents of Bluebay Lodge. At the rear there is a building plot adorned with the large rusting hulk of an articulated lorry tractor unit. The rear garden has a small pool but no sun loungers let alone towels. The pool is suspiciously still (pump not working?) and some other residents who tried to use it said is was too cholrinated to use.
The house seems to contain 8 letting rooms but there are only two tables in the restaurant/bar area, about 2 sofas in the sitting area and only two chairs between the two balconies. The room (the one shown on Tripadvisor) was a bit small but other wise OK and the air conditioning worked even if the hot water didn't when we were there (only 2 nights). Unfortunately someone had fixed a large permanent mothball on the ourtside of the wardrobe stinking the whole room out. The bathroom window was stuck open letting in the usual knight creatures. From the main window we had a close up view of the house's water tanks. However even we were surprised that when we arrived back after the first day that the bed had not been made and the room was uncleaned.(we understand they only have one key per room so unless you leave it they can't get in the room).
The food was quite reasonable in terms of quality. One problem is the limited choice and its unchanging nature. Fish of the day was always tuna. The real problem is the length of time it takes. Breakfast (coffee, fruit plate & toast) took 45 minutes to fully arrive and the tea ordered never came. Other unhappy residents said it had taken two and a half hours for dinner. We only had two courses but it still took an hour for the starter to arrive.
The rum punches may be alright but there is a lack of essential stock. There is no wine and even basic ingredients are missing so my mojito was made with pineapple juice (a world first and I hope last)
The staff are friendly but untrainind, inexperienced and unmanaged. They are also almost unaware of the guests. When my wife moved a second longe chair on to the balcony so that we could sit there together the staff just sat on them. I was told by the Canadian couple who were staying that another night the staff invited their young friends round for a party.
Having paid a 30% deposit for an intended one month stay they (the Canadian couple)felt imprisoned until their deposit was used up. Fortunately we only needed to stay two nights before we coulkd escape to the Gem apartments on Mourne Rouge (a bit tired but well managed)..
Gouyave is relatively unspoilt and close to the attractive North coast area. However there are no good beaches so most people would need a significant journey each day
All in all I cannot see any reason why anyone would want to stay there until there is some management in place and all the obvious shortcomings are addressed. ..

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

Like others, the reviews for this hotel were the main reason for booking with Blue Bay Lodge. It wasn't clear until we got there, but there had been a recent change in management. As a result, I think the reviews of the physical aspects of the hotel remain sound (nice rooms, variable hot water, etc.) but we did not have the *experiences* that we were expecting. The staff remain friendly and helpful, but there is not the depth of knowledge, or overall 'buzz' in the hotel that it seems that there used to be.

Watch you food options by the way. The 'full board' option included a very limited range of options from the (already quite limited) menu - both for breakfast and dinner. However, the quality of food is still very good - coconut shrimps for dinner, and lovely coconut rolls with nutmeg jelly for breakfast! Mmmm!

It's nice being in Gouyave - it's an interesting town, and got some character to it that St George's and Grand Anse doesn't quite match.

Overall, it wasn't quite the experience we were expecting, but still has things going for it. Hopefully the new management will get to grips with things and Blue Bay can return to the level it had previously attained!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JeremyS73
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2010

Stayed at the Bluebay in January 2010, largely on the basis of the (really good) Bradt guide to the island and reviews on here. Arrived to find that things have changed a little, although their website hasn't. There has been a change of management and a change of style it would seem. Having not stayed here while Lisette (of the 2009 reviews) was in charge I can't comment on what the reality of the experience was but by all accounts (on here and elsewhere) it offered an excellent boutique experience of the island, with sailing, hiking, culture at the forefront. If that's the case then you might wish to measure your expectations accordingly. Some of the staff are the same - George still cooks a good meal from the menu, Sidney still packs a real good (rum) punch and has a good idea of your expecations. And the hot water system remains the same, offering the visitor the possibilty of what is known in certain terms as a 'military wash'. In other words, the plumbing problems are still here. What has gone appears to be the ability to help with the sailing, snorkelling, hiking options. I only explored the latter but found that local knowledge of, eg, Mount Qua Qua, extended to the possibility that a guide (which actuially isn't needed for that walk) was beyond their ability to locate above recommending that you turn up at a trail-head and hope that someone was hanging around to willing to take you. It wasn't quite what I expected when - even with an idea of what I wanted to do on the island - they couldn't assist. The new management are trying (and this being the Caribbean the management situation is always volatile - for better or worse), and they did put on a BBQ for us. A nice gesture, albeit undermined by the fact that they only had one CD for the sound-system on that evening, a CD single of English R'n'B artist Craig David's 'Seven Days' on repeat play. Two hours in, this slayed the myth that music aids digestion. (And made us aware that as the BBQ was taking place on a Saturday, Mr David would be at the crescendo of his endeavours). We were lucky, an excellent couple stayed the same night who enjoyed and enhanced the experience with us whilst enjoying the rum. Flippancy aside, I realise that hotels/B&Bs in places like Grenada exist on a knife-edge. Putting in an a negative review on this website could really cause problems for honest local people working in this place in a part of a country of a country which has real economic difficulties. Staying in the Bluebay is fine, most of the resorts (and the tourists) are in the southwest of the island so by staying here, you get great views of the sea, and you get to experience a part of the island few ever see. With good rum punches, and clean rooms. There aren't a bundle of other options outside the southwest either. And Fish Friday in Gouyave, next to Mt Nesbitt where the Bluebay is, is well worth experiencing. But bear in mind that it might not be what initially you had been led to believe.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Montclair, NJ
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2009

Bluebay Lodge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the true experience of Grenada. The service is exceptional. You truly feel that the whole world revolves around you, if only for the length of your stay! Lisette and her crew did everything to provide us with an experience that was custom made just for us! A very special, very unique experience! A true treasure!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rumboat Retreat

Address: Mount Nesbit, Grenada (Formerly Bluebay Lodge)
Location: Caribbean > Grenada > Saint John Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Saint John Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Rumboat retreat . Our modern intimate inn is situated on a picturesque hillside in Gouyave, home to Fish Friday. All rooms are en-suite, come complete with cable television and full air-conditioning. Our small eatery has gained popularity for serving some of the tastiest organic Caribbean dishes. Local bus service operates very close to our lodge so commuting is easy! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bluebay Hotel St John
Rumboat Retreat Grenada/Saint John Parish

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