I am writing this review in the hope that you will re-think staying at the Savannah Beach Hotel. Our holiday to Barbados back in March was supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip that we had saved up for months in order to be able to afford, yet we were left absolutely disgusted by the treatment we received here and the non-existent customer service. After 5 hours sleep and an 8 hour flight all we wanted to do was go to our room, but we were left waiting around for almost an hour without a clue what was going on. It was 5pm local time by this point; check in was at 3pm.
After finally receiving a key and taking our own bags up 3 flights of stairs just so we didn't have to wait any longer, we got an even more unwelcome surprise. Our room was appalling (cupboard doors falling off, bare wiring on the walls, dirty bathroom) not at all what we had booked, and to top it all it was right on a busy road with single glazed windows. I promptly went back downstairs to reception where I demanded to know why we had not been given the ‘deluxe courtyard view room’ that we had booked. Their reply was ‘do you have some wine in your room’? I briefly remembered seeing a cheap bottle of fizz, so I replied yes. ‘Oh right, you have been downgraded.’ Apparently the hotel was at full capacity and they had no other rooms. They NEVER apologised and NEVER accepted any blame/responsibility for these actions and merely stated that we would have to speak to our rep (who didn't appear until the next day).We would also have to wait until people left on Wednesday (3 days into our 7 day holiday) to get something else. I was absolutely distraught and spent the majority of the first few days of our ‘dream, romantic, paradise holiday’ crying my eyes out.
So the question is…had I not gone downstairs to complain would I have been told about the downgrade at all or just left to figure it out? We should have been informed about this by the hotel the minute that they knew which must have been for some time because you don’t organise the bookings the day the guests arrive, it is worked out months in advance. We booked the holiday for MARCH in JANUARY, so there was absolutely no excuse for this failing whatsoever.
On the first night of our holiday and after all the above drama we went to dinner, waited half an hour for a table, waited 45 mins for tiny portions of mediocre food and promptly left before dessert arrived. In the morning we went to get breakfast, hoping that this would revive us. We were completely ignored for about 10 mins until we finally sat down at the dirty table, only to be uprooted once again while they cleaned it. We then waited 30 mins to get any offer of tea/coffee/water, whilst other holiday goers got theirs topped up frequently. It felt like we were invisible and I have never been treated so rudely in my life. We then spent the first day of our holiday waiting around ringing people to try and find a solution. We should have been on the beach drinking a cocktail; instead I was crying and waiting for the rep to talk to every other disgruntled holiday maker at the hotel before us.
Eventually the operations manager made an appearance and was able to promise us the best room possible for the following day. Unfortunately this really was too little too late. On the third day we finally got to unpack our suitcases, move into the room we had originally booked and start our holiday. Because of the incompetence of the Savannah Beach Hotel we lost out on 3 whole days of our holiday. After numerous complaints we were eventually compensated for these sleepless nights, but it will never make up for ruining our holiday. It put a dark cloud over our time spent on the island of Barbados and has made us never want to return.
However, if you are thinking of going then I recommend staying in St James (see my review of the Tides and Lobster Alive restaurants), where tourists are actually treated well and not with disdain. Maybe it is just the attitude of the people living here but we did not have a good experience. Although the Savannah’s saving grace was the beach to the right of the hotel which is beautiful and quiet. Best things to do are: hire a catamaran and go sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and horse-riding. Stay clear of: Oistin’s Fish fry (unless you like loud music, pickpockets and terrible overpriced food), the buses (an experience to say the least), Bridgetown at night (unless you want to be mugged), Harrison’s caves and the Rum tours (these are a waste of money).