We have just returned from a week at the Southern Palms with our children aged 19 and 17. We chose the hotel because of its position in the Gap, i.e. our children could walk to any bars and clubs and return to their room without taxis etc. It turned out really well as they palled up with other teenagers (safety in numbers and all that) and had a really great time. Firstly, we thought the Gap was much nicer than we had expected, it was tidy with nice restaurants and bars to choose from and generally a pleasant area to stroll in. Southern Palms was pretty central to all this and we could not fault it considering the price we paid. I would say it is a 3-4 star, and would merit a 4 star if things like the fish ponds were tidied up. But then this is Barbados, full of character, really nice people, and things like that are probably not important. When you have got such fabulous views/beach/sea etc. does it really matter ? The staff were lovely, no complaints whatsoever. We had one beachfront suite for my husband and myself, very spacious, everything worked fine including the air conditioning which was essential due to the heat. Our children had a garden view room which was adequate (our daughter joined us at the last moment and that was the only room left) a bit small but fine for 2 teenagers and with a large adjoining terrace. Because of the views of the beach and sea it is definitely worth paying extra for ocean front rooms. We had a barbecue meal at the hotel which was good but the restaurants in the Gap were very good indeed, our favourite being Harlequin. The Bean & Bagel was good for breakfasts. We did two trips - the Jeep Safari and the Catamaran trip up the west coast - both highly recommended. Swimming with turtles and snorkelling around the coral reef was magic. We hired a car for 2 days which was good, it enabled us to visit different beaches such as Crane Beach, Paynes Bay, Mullins Bay and Sandy Lane beach - all lovely with warm clear turquoise water. One tip if you are driving - watch out for pedestrians, they are given more respect than in the UK and you are expected to stop for them all the time, especially near roundabouts where there are difficult to spot pedestrian crossings - the paint has worn off the roads - and there are a lot of 'jaywalkers' to watch out for. Sorry I have gone on so much but it really was a good holiday, you will get sunshine and showers in July but it is so hot you don't mind about the showers ! The hurricane season is starting over there so I think we would return in May when the prices dip and the tropical storms haven't started. The only negative I can think of are the beach vendors who are endlessly trying to sell you aloe vera and hair braiding, they go away with a friendly "sorry I'm not interested", but they are on the beach (not in the hotel grounds) all the time. So the Southern Palms is highly recommended, a well run hotel with friendly staff who want you to return, I hope we will some day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.