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“Gem of a location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rumboat Retreat

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Rumboat Retreat
Mount Nesbit, Grenada (Formerly Bluebay Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Essex/Sussex
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Gem of a location”
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
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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
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English first
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
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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
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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
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Minneapolis, MN
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2009

Bluebay Lodge is a perfect place to get to know Grenada! It's owned by a hip, young British woman and staffed by a sloo of knowledgeable, fun, local family and friends. She gives great referrals for local services and can arrange the top-of-the-line day trips and activities. She organizes trips and provides transportation to events you won't be able to find out about from large-scale hotels. When we were there, she arranged scuba diving, a rainforest hike, beach trips, spice plantation / processing, and trips to 3 local food festivals for us. The in-house food is outstanding and reasonably priced, and there's a bar with fantastic cocktails by Jimmy! :) Try the Rum Punch with fresh-grated nutmeg, or request a made-to-order local dish like tattoo or oil-down. I demanded the recipe for the coconut rolls we got for breakfast daily with local jams! The rooms are bright, clean, and romantic, overlooking the pool or the ocean and fruit trees. The crazy thing its it's way cheaper than most other places! The only sort-of-bad-thing is the fact it's a 40-minute drive to St. George / Grand Anse, but it's easy, cheap and fun to take buses between 7 AM and 10 PM. I couldn't imagine going to Grenada without staying at Bluebay!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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TravelingSong
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2009

We stayed at Bluebay Lodge for six nights in January. If you're looking for an off the beaten track but comfortable Caribbean getaway, then Bluebay is the place for you. What I really liked about Bluebay is that it is beautiful, with all of the amenities you would find at a hotel (air conditioning, tv, pool, bar, chef, comfortable and attractive rooms, lounge, internet) but without the touristy, impersonal feel or hefty price tag. Actually, I think that Bluebay is seriously underpriced, so you should hurry up and go before Lisette wises up and charges a fortune ;)

Lisette, the owner, and Jimmy (who does everything else) made us feel like we were old friends. They set us up with locals who took us on an amazing hike to three beautiful waterfalls, as well as an island tour that took us to a rum distillery, old plantation and secluded beach and a snorkeling trip on a catamaran. Even though we were the only ones there for a couple of nights, Lisette still took the time to take us to a restaurant 30 minutes away to hear live music. I can't really compare it to anywhere else that I've ever stayed because no one has ever gone so out of their way to make sure we got the best possible experience quite like this. Jimmy was always at the ready to make us a drink or bring us our breakfast or just chat, and even invited my boyfriend to go fishing with him. They basically welcome you into their way of life when you arrive, but are also willing to give you space when you desire it.

Bluebay is 20-30 minutes from the main town of St. George but puts you smack dab in the middle of the island and everything else that there is to see. I don't think that we would have gotten nearly the feel for the island had we stayed on the Grand Anse in St. George. The thing that we quickly learned about Grenada is that, unlike Barbados or other more touristy islands, you're sort of stuck at your resort. You can't just go and rent chairs or water sports equipment elsewhere on the beach, and if you do anything through your hotel, they charge you a fortune. Because the infrastructure isn't totally there, you have to know some local people to get the best rates and the best experience. We hardly ever saw a tourist outside of St. George, probably because they didn't know where to go or how to get there! This is why staying at Bluebay was so great.

If you want to lie on the beach all of the time, you should probably stay in the southern part of the island. But I wouldn't recommend Grenada for beach lounging, that's not really the charm of the island or its strong point. BBC was the best beach we found. Just ask one of the minibus drivers to take you there and he'll charge you a small extra fee. I'd also recommend snorkeling the underwater sculpture park, as it was a really unique experience.

My only complaint about Bluebay would be the pace of food service. The food was really excellent (including tons of fresh fruit and juices) but would sometimes take over an hour to come out, which for breakfast is too long, especially when you want to get going with your day. Oh well, we quickly learned that Grenada time is a bit off in general--10 minutes usually means 40 :) I'm sure that things might be a bit quicker or more structured when there are more people staying at the lodge. As it was, they were often only catering to us.

I would highly recommend Bluebay, and think that it is a real gem hidden away in the Caribbean. We have some amazing memories now thanks to Lisette and Jimmy.

  • Liked — Rooms, hospitality, food, bar, pool, uniqueness
  • Disliked — Pace of food service, slow internet
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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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