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Fairmont Royal Pavilion
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Reviewed June 3, 2013 via mobile

We came as a family for a weeks stay, my wife and I in a beach front suite, our kids in the garden villa.
First off let me give you the good points, which hugely outnumber any minor issues.
The location: Top class, right on the beach on the best bay in
Barbados. Massive beach front prominence, with lots of space. A huge swimming area, swim up pontoon and complimentary water sports. I counted over 120 beds laid out in pairs under umbrellas, which considering the hotel only has 74 rooms and a further 40 beds round the pool means no mad rush in the mornings.
The staff: FIRST rate, superb, so friendly, nothing is too much, you actually get fed up saying hello and good morning by the end of your stay. I could not find fault with any single one of them and they alone would make me return.
The room: we had a beach front suite and had everything we could want, and was literally right on the beach. Very clean and very well serviced, turn up and turn down service and towels replenished if needed3 times a day. Evening canapés, cold towels, waitress service on the beach.
Food: again superb, morning breakfast buffet was great and we are in both restaurants and had lunch a few times, all very good.
Gardens: take a walk round the gardens and see the in house green monkeys, the fauna on display is incredible.
Oh and FREE WiFi throughout, even extending to the beach.


So the minor tweaks?
To boost this hotel even further up the list?
Evening entertainment: needs more and needs to be centralised, the atmosphere in the evenings was very quiet. With only 74 odd rooms a challenge but a better atmosphere in the evenings would be good, central it around the main bar, maybe even some TV screens to show sporting events?
Breakfast Buffett was superb but the same each day, how about a special of the day to liven things up?
Hooks on the parasols to put your belongings on the beach, also put the tables on the beach on some kind of leveller to stop everything sliding off due to the slope of the beach.
Re paint the outside, currently a pretty unattractive pink.
Oh and repair the holes in the roof on the beach suites, everytime it rained all our stuff got soaked!!


And that is about it.
One of the best placed, friendliest hotels you will ever visit, already looking at dates to revisit




  • Stayed: May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank MGowing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPavilionHotel, General Manager at Fairmont Royal Pavilion, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Hello M Gowing:

Thank you for the great comments and mentioning our staff first; I will certainly let our team know you enjoyed their service! I thought your comments captured the best points of our resort and am glad you enjoyed your visit.

On the "few tweaks" you mentioned we are on the case. We are updating our entertainment for next season, we do offer it on 7 nights between the outlets however we can perhaps do more to centralize this as you mentioned. Our beach Club area (located at Water sports) is getting a 60 inch TV and we will be televising all big games and events by July. I like your idea of some sort of hook on our beach umbrellas and will have the team look into it! I am further having the team look at adjusting the tables to be “flat” as well. Pink paint: Yes, there is “pink” and then there is “pink”! Interestingly enough we are speaking with our designers on the possibility of a new shade of pink… Will keep you posted. Lastly the roof areas over the Jr. Suite porches were designed for sun rather than rain protection. This said we are looking at this and plan to (1.) add sunshades over all the Jr. Suite rooms and (2.) make the existing covers waterproof.

Your comments are insightful and appreciated; we hope to see you back soon!

Sincerely:

Wayne Kafcsak
General Manager
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Simply put - I love this hotel. My sister and I stayed here recently for the second year in a row. We reserved the suite on the ground floor. You don't even need a beach bag because you are set up with your room literally on the beach on your own private deck. The hotel was full that weekend but it did not feel crowded.

The beach is exceptional. The room was great. The service, including butler service to our patio throughout the day with fresh towels, strawberry smoothies, water, caffe lattes in the morning, and lunch in the afternoon, was perfect. The hotel itself does not feel like a chain at all - it has a very Bajan feel to it. The grounds are well kept. It is quiet and peaceful.

The staff was exceptionally friendly and responsive, especially Tawanda. She greeted us with lavender soaked towels and champagne upon arrival and took care of all of our cars, restaurant reservations, etc., throughout our stay. I had offhandedly mentioned when I booked the room months before that it was my sister's birthday and there was a bottle of champagne on ice when we got to the room with a thoughtful note wishing her a happy birthday.

Overall we loved the entire experience again and hope to go back next year.

Room Tip: Pay extra for the ground floor suite. It is well worth it, from having someone greet you at the airport and fast track you through customs, to the location on the beach.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank EMP0726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPavilionHotel, General Manager at Fairmont Royal Pavilion, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Hello EPM0726:

We appreciate your returning with your sister for the second year in a row, and I am flattered you feel Fairmont Royal Pavilion is perfect! For those who have not stayed with us, it is hard to convey how remarkable our beach is and the sand being literally right at your doorstep at a Jr. Suite deck. This and our friendly staff like Twanda at the concierge make for a great Caribbean hotel.

With only 75 rooms it is true, even when we are full the resort feels uncrowded. Likewise we think of ourselves as a boutique luxury resort benefiting from the standards and quality of a great Brand in Fairmont. It is a great combination,

I am very glad your return experience this year met your expectations and we look forward to hopefully seeing you next year.

Sincerely:

Wayne Kafcsak
General Manager
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

It obviously depends on your perspective, but for me this hotel was disappointing. It looks like it still needs a good refurb. A tired, sandy pink exterior with two 3 storey 'office blocks' for the rooms. Yes the rooms are clean and functional with a fabulous view over the beach, but I had no feeling of personality. Of being in the Caribbean. It is all function rather than style. It doesn't feel like it celebrates it's Bajan location with its decor being brown inside the rooms and food being bland rather than the nicley spiced local offerings. We only ate in once in the evenings. Not just becuase the prices are so much higher than out and about on the island. The staff are pleasant enough (some great, some indifferent) but there was no real feeling of a personal relationship with any of them. The closest I got was to Shawn - a local guy who runs a great little speedboat at the end of the beach which we enjoyed a few times.
We did have a great holiday but I would not recommend this hotel if you want somewhere special.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank IwishIwereonholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPavilionHotel, General Manager at Fairmont Royal Pavilion, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2013

Hello Iwishiwereonholiday:

Thanks for your comments, I am glad that overall you felt you had a great holiday with your family!

I do appreciate your perspective on the design of our resort. There are indeed elements which are classic “Bajan grand” style at Royal Pavilion such as our arrival area, lobby, Palm Terrace restaurant, and the simplicity of Taboras restaurant (named for the Horticulturist who planted our gardens many years ago). Our room buildings while offering amazing views are indeed three story structures, and are clearly very pink! I did mention in another Trip Advisor posting we are rethinking our specific shade of pink and are looking at design elements for further improvement to our structures, both inside our buildings and out. I am not sure if you saw one of our Jr. Suites where we did incorporate “modern classic Caribbean” into our 2010 renovation. Components of this design will be incorporated in our next Ocean View room refurbishment. We do continue to capitalize on our great natural views and have changed metal porch railings for clear glass panels you can see through.

I have let our chef’s know you felt we could improve our dining offerings and we take your comment to heart. We do endeavor to deliver a wide variety of good culinary offerings at a reasonable price but as I have said previously, Barbados is an island of many amazing dining options so there is a wide selection of offerings for any taste and preference. In our culinary program we are conscious of this and work at finding an appealing quality balance while we continue to refine our offerings. This said the quality of the ingredients we use are fresh, mostly local, and the best that can be found on the island while we focus on great recipes. On price I will candidly say we aggressively review other hotels and restaurants pricing to absolutely meet or have a lower price than other dining locations on most items. I am not sure specifically where you may be comparing us too, but again I will review this with our team to make sure we are on point.

Royal Pavilion is known for having some great employees however rest assured we have significant training programs to bring all our team to the highest level. In addition to having noteworthy Caribbean trainers, we also send approximately 15 to 20 of our staff to other Fairmont’s and 5 star International hotels. We passionately aim to be the best in our class here in the Caribbean; I will appropriately incorporate your observations in our upcoming training programs.

I am sure if you were to return to Fairmont Royal Pavilion you would see our continued improvement over your last visit, we hope to see you back soon to show you first hand!

Sincerely:

Wayne Kafcsak
General Manager
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We recently went to the Royal Pavilion on out honeymoon. The hotel is really superb, with a fantastic location.
We stayed in a lovely room overlooking the sea, situated on the second floor. It was a really comfortable room with all the mod cons needed. Also the room has a U.K plug socket which was a god send. It also has a really good powerful hair dryer - not your usual hotel one that could not dry a moustache !!
This hotel was made special by its staff - they were all amazing, very friendly people especially Livingstone and Ryan.
Afternoon tea is also available everyday and s complimentary - this was lovely.
One of the best features of this hotel is its position it is on a lovely beach with fantastic snorkelling, also the turtles are found really near the hotel and the hotel water sports staff take any guests swimming with them everyday at 3 pm. - not to be missed.

Room Tip: All rooms face the sea - personally would recommend first floor as ground floor balconies are very visible from the beach. However all rooms are lovely. All have ceiling fans which are great as AC quite noisy. We used the an overnight and switched the AC off.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank yellow111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPavilionHotel, General Manager at Fairmont Royal Pavilion, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2013

Dear Yellow 111:

Thank you for trusting us on your special occasion (your honeymoon!) and thanks for the great review! Your personal history is now connected to ours so you both need to celebrate here regularly!

Fairmont royal Pavilion does have a great location; I believe our rooms are as close to the sea can be. Over 70% of our guests come from the UK so the UK electric plug (and PAL DVD players) are essential.

Our staff is what makes the hotel great. I will pass your compliments on to Livingstone & Ryan as well as the rest of the team.

Congratulations once again and have a great summer, hopefully the UK will finally get some sunshine!

Sincerely:

Wayne Kafcsak
General Manager
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

You can't fault the perfect location on Barbados' beautiful West Coast, with the benefit of one the widest strips of immaculate beach, gentling shelving so good for kids too. Or the pristine gardens with massive bearded fig trees where green monkeys live. Or the friendly staff. Or the great pool area with masses of sun loungers and towels. Or the cool bar area where you can retreat out of the sun and sit with a cold beer under the cooling fans. Or the ability to be in any number of restaurant hot-spots in 5-10 minutes using the efficient cab service from reception.
But somehow with all this potential, this hotel doesn't quite hit its potential. It should be more special than it is. The rooms are very nice, but I was struck that once you pulled the curtains and got rid of your amazing sea view, the room could be in any US city - it is a Fairmont hotel which makes no allowance for being by the glorious Caribbean. The colours are urban neutral, not aqua vibrant. It's all functional and acceptable without a wow factor.
The restaurant serves a great buffet breakfast, although some variety from day to day would help. Lunch is pretty standard fare, so best stick to a simple salad, pasta or a burger.
On our first night the restaurant ran an Italian night (amazingly) - we did try again but its not as good as you'd hope. Carribbean specialities eg Jerk chicken, lacked real spice.
And despite having plenty of customers, the bar shuts at 12 at the latest regardless - strange.
With a few small changes, this really could be 5 star.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ArkLark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoyalPavilionHotel, General Manager at Fairmont Royal Pavilion, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2013

Hello Ark Lark:

I appreciated your great comments; as you mention location on the fantastic West Coast of Barbados and right on the beach is some of our best assets!

I would admit in recent refurbishments we have tended to focus more on the outside of the room than in… The addition of the glass balcony rails two years ago and the placement of our beds so you can stare out to sea from under the sheets was our focus rather than wall artwork! This said, our renovated Jr. suites have been designed along a contemporary Caribbean classic theme and our Ocean View room category will be finished in the near future with a similar feel. Your point is well taken; we can be a bit more Caribbean in our interiors and we plan too!

I have shared your comments with our chef and indeed we are adding more variety on the breakfast line. our breakfast has come a long way in the last year and many say it is by far the best on the island however I know we can do more. We will!

Our menu offerings are being enhanced as I write this response. We try to find a good balance of reasonable price with a great product with both our food and beverage offerings. This year we do have two restaurants open most nights with the objective of endeavoring to have something for everyone… I believe you would notice continued progress in our offerings in the months to come. I have mentioned to our beverage team to keep the bar open as late as possible!

One again thanks for the comments:

Sincerely:

Wayne Kafcsak
General Manager
The Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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