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Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels
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Reviewed February 13, 2006

We've bounced around the idea of going to Turtle Beach in the past but the 4 star rating with a rather large price to match kept us away. However I'm pleased to report we returned from a very enjoyable trip from Turtle Beach.

If you are looking for a resort with a young crowd, alot of boisterous action and activities by the pool all day, in honesty this is probably not the place for you. If you are looking for something a little more charming and serene - this IS the place.

Pools:
Very nice. Two to choose from - one more for adults perfect for laps, the other a freeform with waterfall for families. Both have large steps to ease in and the family pool has a tiled "seat" around the perimeter. There is also a (warm) hot tub.

Beach:
BEAUTIFUL sand. White and powdery with a soft texture. I was worried based on brochure pictures that shade could not be found but there is shade. The waves are VERY high so if you enjoy playing in the waves then you will enjoy. If you want to drift in the sea, you're out of luck. There were yellow and red flags the entire time. However, the water is a beautiful aquamarine. You can walk straight into shallow water with very minimal rocks or seaweed (if any). The watersports team will still take out the hobbie sail during a yellow flag. My husband loved it! They also have lots of nice beach loungers with sun shades you can adjust. Another nice touch is that you can help yourself to beach towels as much as you like. No big "security" feature you often find at Spanish resorts. We also never went down early to save our spot.

Restaurants:
While we were there, the resort was experiencing low occupancy (due to a cancelled conference) so we had a-la-carte dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At first I was a bit dismayed because I had a fussy 4 yr old with us and was concerned he wouldn't eat. On the contrary, the food was fabulous and there was always a choice that would suit my son. On a couple occasions there were no items my son would eat, so I simply asked if they would make me some fries and in 5 minutes - fries. On another occassion, a peanut butter and jam sandwich saved the day. Just ask - if it's in the realm of possibility, you will get it. I found the food at their main restaurant to be quite good consistently (and I'm very fussy). Their specialty restaurant is Italian. It was fantastic! (Which I found surprizing because their main restaurant fails miserably at pasta.) By the end of our trip, the resort was filling up so buffet breakfast started up again (which helps to get in and out a bit quicker). Only complaint would have to be some servers. It took too long to get coffee sometimes.

Kids Club:
Very good! Better when more kids are there. There is a small playground and an indoor facility. Sonia was fantastic and she did crafts with the kids.

Fitness & Tennis:
Fabulous gym complete with lots of equipment, machines, free weights, mirrors, towels, water, boxing gear and punch bags, etc. Tennis courts were available almost all the time and there's water and cups courtside. I didn't notice a pro or any fitness instructors while we were there. However, I know you could arrange one.

Rooms:
Most of the rooms have a great view of either the beach or pool and have a balcony or patio. We found our room quite adequate. It was not plush by any means and this is where I think their 4 star rating shows the most. However, the room was spacious and comfortable. We had a queen bed and a full pull out couch, table and chair. The TV was a bit small but it was sufficient. I didn't see a single bug the entire time we were there. We had hot showers consistently every time. There's a mini bar in the room but it's not stocked with anything. There is a "Dover Mart" within a 2 minute walk from the resort where you can pick up bottled water, pop, etc. if you wish (we did). The resort is just showing it's age a bit but the management and staff seem very willing to correct anything you may find. If you need more towels, you don't have to ask more than once.

Bars:
Some might not like the fact that there are only a couple bars and no swim up bar. However, I love the mixed drinks they make in the Carribean. It's something that falls short on my Mexican vacations. Also, brandies, cognacs, grand marnier and other "top shelf" liquors are all available anytime. And I rarely saw anyone tipping. You just didn't feel that pressure.

Entertainment:
Again, more on the subtle and elegant side. For example they would have singers at night during dinner and a floor show one night. We've never been fussy on the cheesy "big shows" so it was perfect for our taste.

All in all, we had an amazing vacation. We found this resort to have a more sophisticated and upscale flair in a low key nature. Yes you can find "5 star" resorts in Mexico and Dominican Republic for much less but they lack the attentive service, quality and charm you will find here. Barbados and other Carribean islands are generally more expensive so you have to get your head around that. You won't see marble in your bathroom but you can turn on a tap in Barbados and drink the water without fear of illness. Another big plus.

For what it's worth - we've been travelling south 2 times per winter for several years now - all 4 or 5 star and never the same resort twice. This is the first place my husband said he would go to again.

Cheers!

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27  Thank family-of-3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2006

Just got back from a week at Turtle Beach. First let me update on the Beach Bar everyone has lately been writting about. When we first got there work was moving so slowly I thought the lumber would rot on the beach before they would get it nailed on. We were working on Carribean time, certainly not NY time! However, after our second day there someone turned on the afterburners and work really took off. I feel confident in reporting the bar will be completed by the end of this year (I think!). We really had a great stay. The staff was very friendly and really tried to make our stay enjoyable. The food was good. It wasn't four star, but then if that's what you want you should not go all inclusive. This place continues to be one of our favorites in the Carribean for all inclusive resorts. The birds were about in the morning in the restaurant but as long as you stayed with your food it was not a problem and hey afterall, it's the Carribean! If that bothers you, then take a winter vacation in Cleveland!

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Avidhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Birmingham England
124
Reviewed January 19, 2006

My family has just returned from spending 12 nights at this hotel. I feel that the points that are raised are honest after reading some bad reviews about this hotel before we left.

1: Picked this 4.5 star holiday through Virgin Holidays (stayed in a Virgin 3.5 star hotel in St Lucia last year and it was awful so decided to pay a LOT more this year). On a whole the hotel and grounds are fantastic, however I feel, bearing in mind the cost that the rooms let them down. Don't get me wrong they were very spacious and the bed was comfortable, but the furniture very basic and it was in desperate need of total refurbishment. Cleaned every day and the maids were great.

2: Food - Absolutely fantastic. A la carte every evening. Fabulous choice at breakfast and lunch too.
My mum is now called "Bubbles" from Little Britain as she didn't stop eating!! I am a very plain eater so on a couple of nights there wasn't anything that I liked so a few words with Hilary or Tyson ( the Maitre D's) and it was sorted. These guys were fantastic - nothing was too much trouble. My only bad point was that the majority of the female staff were very sullen and miserable.

3: Beach - sand was like flour and the sea was crystal blue, however it was rough every day, some more than others, but with my kids being 13 and 10 they loved it with the boogy boards. Beach vendors will accept a polite no if you don't want anything. Beach bar serving cold drinks all day. Maradonna and Tyson work in there and they bring the drinks to your sunbed, we even had cold towels and fresh fruit bought to us.

4: Ice cream and drinks available all day for the kids.

5: Entertainment on the nights was not very good, in twelve nights we had one floor show which was excellent, on the other nights it was a singer, which our kids were not interested in.

On a whole it was wonderful, one thing Virgin need to look at is charging kids aged 12+ as an adult, they don't drink alcohol or eat as much, this is a bit naughty on their part.

24  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2006

My fiance and I have just returned from a very relaxing week at Turtle Beach, We have been to Barbados once before but stayed on the West coast and after experincing that, the south coast is extremely rough and the red flag was flying most days saying not to swim. All the staff at the hotel were most helpful, in particular Hyacinth (reception)and Hermanius (Bell Boy) who could not have done any more for us, however after staying in various 4 and 5 star hotels in the past, this is definitely NOT a 4 star rating. We chose a Junior Suite with Ocean View and this had no luxury apart from the view of the beach and pool as far as we were concerned. If you want Luxury then Sandy Lane is the place but unfortunately you cannot get all inclusive!! If you prefer sitting by the pool, be warned the pools are not heated, the sea was actually warmer than the pools. As regards the brochure comment walking distance to St Lawrence Gap, the busy part with best restuarants on, is a good 25 min walk with lots of street hassling with beggars which is not pleasant late at night. Breakfast and lunch choices were the same every day but were very good and to everyones taste buds. However the Chelonia restaurant had a very limited menu and was not pleasant the one and only night we tried for dinner. The looky looky men on the beach were in all mainly polite and when you said no, they were ok and would just stop to talk. All in all we had a lovely time, but bear in mind it is a family run hotel so if you just want a romantic holiday, probably not the place to go. If you want an excellent restaurant recommendation, go to Restaurant at Southseas, (10min walk)it compares on the same par with the Cliff on the West coast but half the price...You get what you pay for!!

Stayed: January 2006
8  Thank MrsB3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2006

My husband and I were married at Turtle Beach in December. We had about 10 guests, including 2 young children. Turtle Beach was very family and child friendly. Great place to have our family there for a few days before the wedding. There was a wide selection of food, as there were 3 restaurants to choose from. However, it was difficult to make a reservation for dinner at Asiagos due to private functions. We did dine there one evening, and the food was excellent. The resort could do with a better selection of beer - Banks is great, but it was the only one being served. Also, the hotel did not have enough locks for the in-room safe so we had to keep our valuables locked in our suitcases.

The beach at Turtle Beach was beautiful. The ocean was rough while we were there and it was difficult to swim, but I still enjoyed it. The staff is helpful and pleasant. We were upgraded to a one bedroom suite and it was very spacious. The bed was very comfortable and they had a great selection of TV stations - ESPN, HBO, TNT, ABC and more. There was construction going on though, and it started up around 9am so we didn't get to sleep in too often.

The wedding was well planned thanks to Rosalind and Luanna. Reverend Seale, who was the officiant at the ceremony, was exceptional. We were very pleased we had the honor of being married by him. Our wedding photographer, Steven Cumberbatch, was wonderful. He did amazing work. The wedding pictures came out more beautiful than we had ever expected. If anyone is in the process of choosing a photographer and has any questions, please feel free to email me.

Stayed: December 2005
9  Thank delvarina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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