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“Disappointed with the Island Inn”
Review of Island Inn Hotel

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Island Inn Hotel
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Bridgetown
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 2, 2008

My husband and I spent a week at the Island Inn in June and we had booked the hotel due to the wonderful reviews we had seen on Trip Advisor. However, I was very disappointed with the place - it is quaint and has character but our room was very dark and smelt damp and the bathroom was shabby and tiny and didn't even have a shelf on which to put your toiletries. The shower area (no bath) was tiny and the shower didn't spray but just spluttered out. But, the maid service was good and the room was kept clean but it badly needed a new coat of paint.

We did look at other peoples rooms around the pool area and they did seem to be better than ours and had better facilities in the bathroom.

Overall the hotel just looked tired and uncared for.

The pool area was very small and had weeds growing through the stones, if you could find a sunbed, the area where the sunbeds were was very tiny and you were right outside soemone's veranda and they had to almost walk over you when leaving their rooms. The matresses for the sunbeds were tatty and coming apart at the seams.

The food was average, some of the serving staff were very pleasant but some could be quite stroppy, Earl the daytime barman was wonderful and seemed to be doing all kinds of jobs as well as running the bar.

If you like a small place where you can socialise with other guests in the evenings, and everyone knows what you've done five minues after you've done it, then this might be the place for you. The evenings were the best part of the holiday for us and we met some very nice people from our home county of Leicestershire.

Finally someone had written in their review that there were no mosquitoes but this is not the case - while we were there many people suffered badly with mosquito bites and at least 2 of them had to visit the doctor due to them getting infected.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SouthwarkSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 28, 2008

We've just returned from the Island Inn after spending the week there. We chose this hotel based on the reviews we had read on Trip Advisor. Glad to say the reviews were accurate and it was exactly as we had expected.

Our transfer from the airport out to the hotel took about 20 minutes. We pre-booked our taxi which cost £65 whereas a local taxi costs approx £10 each way. There were plenty of taxis available.

We arrived just in time for afternoon tea which is usually sandwiches and cakes. Tea and coffee is available all day and night.

We were all-inclusive and the food was pretty good. Breakfast was fresh fruit, yoghurt, bread/toast, cereals, full english and if you ask you can have poached/boiled/fried eggs (juice is 'juice drink' not fresh or from concentrate). There was a different lunch and dinner menu every day. There's quite a bit of fish on there but they will always accommodate you if you'd prefer something else.

The beach was literally just across the road behind the hotel. It was alway quiet which was nice. The local racecourse exercises their horses in the water every morning around 6am. Bridgetown is a 25 min walk along the beach, you can only go so far though and have to go onto the street. There are beach sellers further down the shoreline, closer to Bridgetown but they can tell if you're not interested and won't approach you. One thing to mention is that you must not wear your bikini top if you go into the shopping area, it's deemed to be inappropriate and is frowned upon.

We went to the sister hotel named Mango Bay in St James for a day, it's offered once a week and includes your lunch and a catamaran trip on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reception books it for you and they give you a letter for the restaurant., you have to pay for your taxi. We found St James to be a much nicer area and would probably stay in that area next time if we were to return to Barbados.

The great thing about the Island Inn is that it's intimate and has a friendly atmosphere. We got to know the vast majority of the people staying there. Yes, the bathrooms are tired but it's nothing a lick of paint and some new grout wouldn't sort out and they are clean. Each room has it's own set of relaxers outside and is air-conditioned. They give you two beach towels which would have been handy to know about.

They hosted a rum punch party on Wednesday night,
there was a BBQ that night and a calypso dancer kept everyone entertained!

One week was long enough, two weeks might be too long unless you were planning to travel the island. Our flight was delayed on the way home and we were more than welcome to stay for lunch/drinks for the rest of the afternoon.

The bar has a full range of spirts, not just the local ones and closes at 11pm. Bottled water can be purchased for $4 to take to the beach but the tap water is ok to drink and we had no problems.

It was a great little hotel with character and an affordable way to visit Barbados for a short stay. Great for couples, not much to do for kids. If you hear a crash/bang it's either a bread fruit falling from the tree or a monkey crossing your roof.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SarahandSte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2008

After reading the reviews about the island inn we thought we would give it ago.We were not expecting too much but found a little haven,everything good said about the island inn is true.The staff are fantastic, I have to mention DORIS,ANGELA ,ANDREW,CYRLENE, JACKIE(our fantasic cleaner) EARL ,MICHAEL, and the lovely SHARRON and of course THORA all the staff tthere were great but i dont know all their names. The cooks and kitchen staff were great. We were made to feel very welcome by all. Dont go expecting the RITZ because its not its the ISLAND INN and its great! We had a fab and relaxing holiday and will be going again.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lpherts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2008

We were booked at the Island Inn 8th june for 2 weeks The first week we had problems with the staff namely Anthony the waiter at dinner his rude comments spoiling any pleasure we had at dinner. Howerever we were mainly eating dinner at the many varied and excellent restaurants by this time and we decided to " grin and bear it " However during the second week the staff problems escalated with Michael one of the barmen the main problem . During all our stay he was surly unhelpful but on cocktail night he excelled himself We average 4/5 holidays a year and have NEVER FOUND ANYONE SO RUDE This led to us packing and leaving the following morning leaving a very sour taste. Do not stay here .

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank grahamggm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2008

Stayed at this lovely hotel for the 2nd time - cant wait to return next year. As always friendly helpful staff, clean rooms, nothing changed much from last year and nor would we want it to. Always recommend the hotel to everybody - just the quiet and relaxing holiday you always get here

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank OWENPAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2008

I stayed here recently and think this hotel is decidedly overrated. I guess I came to Barbados with high standards. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as beach destinations in Australia and Asia, eg the Whitsunday Islands or Thailand / Bali. It is very expensive for what you get and, in landscape terms, is hardly spectacular, give or take the odd postcard scene. It's worth a try, but, unless you're already in Europe or the States, it probably doesn't deserve the distance or expense.

My thoughts on the Island Inn, therefore, may be coloured by my attitude to the Caribbean more generally. That said, by any measure, I think this hotel falls short. I found the staff decidedly obnoxious and unhelpful. For the money I paid, I could not believe that I was asked to fetch an iron and ironing board and carry it to my room on my own. This may sound petty, but it seems such a basic element of hospitality.

This was symptomatic of a wider mediocrity at the place. I think the hotel is pretty run down and in need of tasteful renovation. The merit that it has as a heritage building is totally overshadowed by its substandard presentation.

The bathroom in my room was grimy and unpleasant. The furnishings were tasteless. The food is very, very average (although I also generally didn't think much of the food I had elsewhere on the island).

Noise carries dreadfully around the hotel, both from the bar area and nearby rooms. I could not only hear my fellow guests drinking, dancing and dining. I could also hear their more intimate activities afterwards, even though they were not being particularly loud. I'm sure they could hear me cough / roll over in bed / watch TV. The hotel's acoustics are just plain bad.

There is very little of interest in the immediate area and the nearby beach is average indeed. I hired a car (another disaster, but I won't go into that here), so was able to get around. Even so, my impression was that Barbados and perhaps the Caribbean generally is best done in a very expensive resort that you don't leave except for the odd guided tour.

I would advise tripadvisor travellers to give this a miss. I simply cannot understand why this place has such good reviews.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank OJ_HK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2008

Just arrived back from an amazing week in Barbados. We booked through Nextescape to stay at the Island Inn hotel, basically upon the strength of the reviews read on this website. We have no complaints whatsoever in fact it was very difficult to pick fault with anything other than the very minor stuff we already knew about. Very accurate reviews throughout.

In summary, Yes, this is a 3 star hotel and is not 5 star luxurious but the service, quality of food, relaxed atmosphere and location more than make up for it.

FOOD: Breakfast was either hot full english or fresh fruit and croissants, plenty of coffee and fruit juice. After day two, we skipped the cooked breakfasts - increasing waistline! Lunches are great, 3 course again with salads, ice cream, fish, chicken, etc or just a sandwich. Alternatively if you book the day before, you can arrange for a packed lunch (we did this twice) where you can arrange for sandwiches, fruit, cake, bottles of beer, pop, etc. which comes in a cooler bag for taking on the beach. This is well worth it, the flying fish or tuna sandwiches are lovely. Evening meal was different every night and again 3 course with waitress service and plenty of choice. Also, we had a BBQ one evening which was great.

DRINKS: The bar shuts at 11pm which is probably the only slight niggle I have. However, I think I must have drunk my own body weight in Rum Punch during the week as well as sampling most of the extensive cocktail list so no real complaints. The local beer (Banks) is also okay. Only things not included are bottled water at B$5 a bottle and premium spirits, red bull, etc. It's cheaper to buy water from the beachside hut or Shell petrol station just around the corner.

ROOMS: Comfortable king sized bed, great air-con, well appointed room. Bathrooms are a little tired but clean. Room cleaned and beds made everyday. Free gratis safety deposit box in the room too which is handy.

LOCATION:
2 minute (literally max 100 yards walk) to Pebbles Beach across the road where there is fantastic watersports, diving facilities. White sand and clear blue water - picture postcard stuff. You can also use the sunbeds at the Grand Barbados Hotel next door (unofficially) for free. It's a 15 minute walk to Harbour Lights, the notorius nightclub on the edge of Bridgetown where a £10 entry fee per person gets you all you can drink (local stuff only) between 9.30pm and 3am on Mondays, Weds and Fridays. The City of Bridgetown is about a half hour walk away where there are large department stores, banks, restaurants, etc. St Lawrence Gap is the real "action area" for bars and clubs, some 5 miles and B$25 away in a cab.


HOTEL ENTERTAINMENT: This is not Las Vegas by any means but is amusing nevertheless. Usually three times a week and a band/solo artist. If nothing else, offers cheesy background music whilst eating dinner in the outside restauarant.

CAR HIRE:
This is something I would definetly recommend so to enable you to see the best beaches and sights on the island. I booked through Stoutes Car Rental, picking the car up and dropping it off at the Airport (7 days for £140). All drivers need a permit at B$10 each by the way at the time of booking. The car also saves getting a taxi (£15 each way) or paying for an expensive pre booked transfer! Also, fuel is half the price than at home (60p litre) making travel very cheap.
It is only a relatively small island, 25 miles long by 15 miles wide so can be travelled extensively, even in a week.

BEACHES: My top five beaches visted: 1) Gibbes Beach 2) Mullins Beach 3) Miami (Enterprise) Beach 4) Dover Beach 5) Pebbles Beach. The beaches South of Bridgetown on the West Coast tend to be white sand and wider where the ones to the North of Bridgetown are more golden and Narrow.

ALSO:The hotel has a sister resort (The Mango Bay) in Holetown, on the West Coast. During your stay, you are also allowed to use their facilities, enjoy unlimited drinks (everyday)and lunch (once per week). This is an absolute MUST for everyone but you need to book this with reception the day before you intend to go up there. It is not advertised anywhere and we only heard about it from other guests.

WOULD I VISIT AGAIN: Most Definetly YES, excellent value for money!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank pdaboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Inn Hotel

Address: Aquatic Gap, Garrison Historic Area | St Michael, Bridgetown, Barbados
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint Michael Parish > Bridgetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Bridgetown
Price Range: $237 - $475 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Inn Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Island Inn is a quaint, 24 room, all inclusive property with meeting and function facilities. Situated less than a mile from the centre of Historic Bridgetown and within the Garrison Area – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel is footsteps away from the beach at the beautiful Carlisle Bay and Pebbles Beach and is conveniently close to shops and restaurants. Island Inn will amaze you with its disarming simplicity and old world charm. Whether you’re here alone, with the family, or with a group, travelling on vacation or on business, the Island Inn Hotel offers an unrivaled warmth of atmosphere, with contemporary trappings and a true Bajan experience. Originally constructed in 1804 as a Rum Storage facility for the British Regiment, Island Inn Hotel is now part of the historic Garrison area of Barbados. The building was designated a national treasure of Barbados. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Hotel Bridgetown
Island Inn Barbados
Island Inn Hotel Barbados/Bridgetown

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