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“fantastic barbados” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Palms

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Southern Palms
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   St Lawrence Gap, Barbados   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in St Lawrence Gap
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“fantastic barbados”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

Just back this morning from a hot and sunny barbados, we spent a glorious week in the southern palms hotel, we opted for bed and breakfast rather than all inclusive as the resort looked as if it had enough places to eat, we chose to upgrade to a sea view as as well. no complaints at all, the staff were great, the location was fantastic, right on the beach, had a good choice of food at breakfast, hired a car for a couple of days to see a bit more of this lovely island. try the rum punch( even better its free at the welcome meeting on the mondays) hats off to all the staff, now to start saving again!!

Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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638 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Pontefract, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

This hotel could be so much better! We booked it through Virgin Holidays, having been several times to Barbados, we decided to try a change from our usual haunt - the splendid Accra Beach. This hotel is priced slightly above that, so we were expecting something really good.

After a very long day travelling our reception was blunt, unwelcoming and disappointing. "Have you a reservation?, name?, Fill this in.......please" It was not howvever as disappointing as the room we were given. We booked three weeks in a pool view room, in what Virgin described as a four star hotel. We were given a small grotty unpleasant box. My wife sat down and was distraught. However, being nice folks, we had a cup of tea to see whether this box grew on us! It didn't. So we went back to see Miss Personality on the desk. " It's a basic room, that's what you booked ". No we booked a pool view room in a four star hotel and that is not what we have been given! We were then showed another room which was slightly worse. No thank you. " See the Lady who gives out the rooms tomorrow."

After spending the first night and most of the second day with our tour rep and the rooms lady, at around 4pm we eventually moved into a room of the standard and price we had booked in the first place. In fact the room we had to bargain for was rather pleasant.

The rest of our stay matched the inconsistency of our arrival. The Southern Palms does some things well. The food is good and most of the bar staff are friendly. The people on reception are hit and miss. The manager is delightful, however we only met her twice in the last three days of our holiday.

The hotel itself is older accommodation but if you get one of the reasonable rooms, they are very good. It's a lovely location.

What you do not get at this hotel is a consistent feeling that you are valued and welcome as a customer. Some of the staff are warm and welcoming and some are bordering on surly. The hotel reminds me of a tight knit country village; until you have been going there for fifteen years, some of the locals do not want to talk to you!

Sorry but I'm a city boy, I do expect that people will at least try to be professionally pleasant. I will not be back.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Houston
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2011

Friendly reception staff and a lovely location on Dover Beach, which is gorgeous.

Right in front of the hotel, the beach is less crowded (there are other hotels on either side, more crowded on the east side....all beaches in Barbados are public). The food in the Southern Palms restaurant/ bar was mostly good--we ate three or four meals over six days and weren't unhappy. We didn't eat in the other more expensive hotel restaurant since there were so many choices within walking distance (and some cheaper), but on a few nights it seemed non-hotel guests came along for a special buffet.

We were in Room 203 with a balcony overlooking the smaller of two pools. The rooms are spacious and clean, if slightly tired. The ocean view rooms have a fridge, sink and hot water kettle. The staff will automatically give each guest a pink beach towel on check in but charge a fee (B$50) if not returned, so don't lose your towel. Chairs on the beach are free.

The location can't be beat...of note are two convenience stores just a few minutes walk in front of the hotel to the right (west) or left (east), the one to the east is larger. There are plenty of restaurants in St Lawrence Gap--and several directly across from the hotel (breakfast across the street is convenient and cheaper). Getting a taxi is never a problem if you want to do something like eat at the fish fry in Oistins (don't miss it, especially Friday nights).

Be prepared for a bit of sticker shock if you have US$--the prices in Barbados for lodging and food are somewhat high. All the Southern Palms staff are really friendly, although I didn't find the woman (concierge?) in the lobby to be falling over herself to be helpful. There's an internet room with several computers and a good connection plus wifi throughout the property, which I didn't use.

I'd stay at this hotel again for sure.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Slough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2010

This was our first stay at Southern Palms. We were looking for a hotel to replace the Sea Breeze that we had grown to love over many years that sadly has been spoiled by a move up the pricing scale and down the personal service scale. We believe we have found that replacement in Southern Palms.

Southern Palms is a hotel where you can feel at home (and "chill out") from the moment you arrive. The staff are very friendly and caring.

'Pros' - The 1000 feet of beach means that overcrowding is never going to be an issue; unlike the two adjoining residences where sunbeds are crammed on.

The bar and surroundings are second to none being right on the beachside.

The proximity to bars and restaurants (of all qualities and prices) makes the location ideal.

'Cons' - the management welcome cocktail was disappointing due to the almost total absence of management and the reluctance of those there to circulate amongst the many guests that took the trouble to turn up.

The hotel restaurant was (in my opinion) overpriced in comparison with the other local restaurants. This was reflected in the very low occupancy during the period of our stay at all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The only busy meal was the Sunday Lunch buffet event which was reasonably priced and well attended and received. This was the only time we used the restaurant.

Overall though we were more than happy with Southern Palms and will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Guildford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2010

The location of this hotel is perfect for the beach and other restaurants, but the hotel restaurant is not up to standard. The management of the restaurant are non-effective and the chef is poor, hence hardly anyone eating in the restaurant which is a shame as the setting is lovely. It needs a makeover. Stay here room only to get the location and eat elsewhere. The bar meals are OK but you have to wait ages to get served and the food to arrive. The swimming pool is great and the pool staff are very helpful. The reception staff also are quite unfriendly apart from one male staff member.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Robertsbridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2010

I stayed at Southern Palms in October for the third time in some 5 years - always business trips unfortunately! The atmosphere is always good, with a refreshing absence of football shirts and tattoos, and then there is that beach which can brighten anyone's day!! As other members say, the restaurant can vary, but there are plenty of options nearby (good and bad). If you choose your breakfast items, instead of opting for the all-inclusive buffet, it is good value, and service is amazingly quick.

WiFi connection is available in room for BB$ 25 per week - none of this big hotel US$ 10 for 15 minutes rubbish!! The hotel's filter system does, however, intrude from time to time - eg blanking out Trip Advisor for containing "malicious opinions"!! There is also a free internet facility.

The availability of smoking rooms also influences my choice when travelling - confusing new anti-smoking legislation came into force in October, and whilst all businesses have rushed to put up their "no smoking" signs, I have yet to see any showing smoking areas, or putting ashtrays in place - mind you, it took even enlightened UK bar and restaurant owners ages to get round to this angle. SP had not yet apparently decided where smokers could go.

Some of the older rooms are getting rather dated, and SP prices seemed to have shot up since my last stay, notwithstanding it being low season (and very wet for a few days!). A refurb is probably due to maintain the high standards. Barbados is undoubtedly very expensive now, and I think hoteliers have got to seriously rethink their strategy. Fewer repeat Brit and Canadian vistors are coming, due to the recession, and many are talking about trying eg the Dominican Republic or Cuba next time. Also, the growing number of self-catering and/or condo-type offerings is not just coincidence. This is not a criticism specifically aimed at Southern Palms - more of a general observation - we are not all Michael Winners or Simon Cowells - thank God.

Another general observation - not sure if I was just lucky, but the airport immigration process appeared to have speeded up amazingly well. No longer were there monosyllabic officers holding up your passport at different angles, scratching around with a pen (maybe they have all gone to Antigua??). Possibly, however, I was just lucky that there were not 3 international flights arriving at the same time.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2010

We have been to the Caribbean many times before and this was our second trip to Barbados. We found the South coast to have better beaches than the West.
The first impression of the hotel on arrival was, "tight". We were greeted by the unsmiling receptionist and told that if we wanted to use the room safe it would cost us 3US$ per night! (Why have a safe in the room then charge extra to use it? Never encountered that in any hotel in the world.) Then we were told that there was a 50$ deposit on our beach towels. The room was basic; one very small double bed and a single, the bathroom impossibly small with standing room for one person only. No bath robes, but it was kept very clean and serviced at a reasonable time each day. Despite offering to pay, and low occupancy, we were not allowed to keep our room and extend check-out by 3 hours, but offered a half-hour slot to change in a spare room. The time of the slot was rigidly enforced and when we arrived 9 mins early from the beach, we were told we would have to wait for 9 minutes before we could use it. When we were allowed in it had been used by others and there were wet towels, toothpaste in the sink, and an overflowing waste bin, so our last impression was not a favourable one. Beach: Beautiful, although our section had no attendant and it did not appear to have been swept. To change our beach towels we had a trek to the "shop" at the front of the hotel near the road. It was often locked, so we had to keep going each morning until we were lucky enough to find it open and get fresh towels. On Sunday it was locked every time we went. There was no snorkelling kit available for the entire stay. (Apparently, people keep it all holiday if they get it, not surprisingly). The loungers were of the cheap plastic strip variety, so you fell through them. Food: Happy hour was very good value at 2 for one from 6 to 7 pm. The bar staff were pleasant. We tried to book the mid-week barbeque but it was cancelled due to low occupancy so we did not eat at the hotel at all and went out and about. Contrary to a previous reviewer there were no canapes at the manager's cocktail party. Cleanliness: The whole site was kept very clean and tidy. In summary, this hotel trades on its location right in the Gap, with many bars, restaurants, shops, banks, car hire etc and on one of the best beaches in Barbados, with turtles swimming up every day. Were it not for the location it would have been a bit of a let-down. We would rate this hotel as a very clean 2-3 star. Because of its lack of facilities and inflexibility, we think it was average value and would recommend others to pay a bit more if they can afford it.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Southern Palms

Address: St Lawrence Gap, Barbados
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Christ Church Parish > St Lawrence Gap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in St Lawrence Gap
#3 Romantic Hotel in St Lawrence Gap
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St Lawrence Gap
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Southern Palms 3.5*
Number of rooms: 92
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Southern Palms Hotel St Lawrence Gap
Southern Palms Christ Church
Southern Palms Barbados/St Lawrence Gap

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