When I was booking my Barbados vacation, I had narrowed my choices to the Radisson and the Hilton (which are close to each other). They both had good reviews, but the location right on the beach (Pebbles Beach/Carlisle Bay) sold me on the Radisson, and I'm so glad I chose it! I really enjoyed my week-long stay and though there were a few things that could be improved upon (see below), they were far outweighed by the benefits and I would both return myself and recommend it to others.
- Location, location, location! The beach that it's on is one of the best I have seen. It's a glorious strip of pinkish-white sand that stretches all the way to Bridgetown. It's clear for swimming and snorkeling (and the hotel has a pier, under which there are lots of coral and fish to see), perfect for a morning walk/run, and has restaurants, beach bars, and water sports equipment rentals all along the stretch. It's also neat to watch the horses from the nearby race track come down for a swim right beside the hotel!
- The staff are friendly and helpful throughout the hotel (restaurant/housekeeping/front desk).
- The building itself is a bit older, but it has been recently upgraded with modern decor. It looks fresh and clean, and the lobby area is inviting. The room was tastefully appointed and I wish I had the office chair for my desk at work. I loved the beach view of Carlisle Bay, and spent many mornings reading a book with a cup of tea on the balcony = perfection! The air conditioner was quiet and kept our room at the perfect temperature.
- There is free wifi throughout the property, with a strong signal wherever you go - lobby, room, restaurant, or beach! You can have up to three connected devices, and you don't have to continuously log in. This is a huge selling feature for me, as I hate having to pay up to $20 a day extra for internet just to share some photos on Facebook and check my email (however, these are also things I do not want to do without while travelling!)
- The hotel is within walking distance (or a short taxi ride) of a variety of restaurants in Hastings, including Blakey's, Tapas, Nauru, etc. It is also about a two minute walk from a restaurant called Brown Sugar that offers up a great selection of local food at a reasonable price.
- The food at the beach bar is awesome for lunch/afternoon snack. I overheard some people say that they had the best crispy fries on the island, and I would have to agree. Food is tasty, reasonably priced (drinks too!), and they will bring it right to your beach chair in a timely manner. The breakfast buffet was pretty standard, but good, and though it was included with our room, I saw that it was reasonably priced when compared to similar offerings from other hotels I have stayed at.
- They have a large supply of beach towels, in good condition. Some days it looked like all of the beach chairs were full, but we never had a day without one, and we didn't have to go down at 6 am to stake them out or anything. They have plenty of umbrellas that staff will set up for you if you're needing some shade.
- I liked that this was a smaller hotel (when compared to the Hilton, for example). It gave it a more boutique/intimate feel that I really enjoyed.
- There weren't too many complaints but one was that the temperature of the water in the shower was a bit inconsistent. There was always hot water available, but the water temperature would change from burning to cool in the course of one shower. My guess is that they have an older plumbing system that doesn't maintain pressure when people in other rooms flush their toilet/use their sink. You get used to it, as you would in any older home, but it would be great if it were fixed.
- The pool is very small. This was not a problem for me because I booked the hotel for the beach, but take note if you are a pool person.
- The hotel restaurant has an ok dinner, but service is slow and there is not a lot of selection. It's not really a problem because there are many other great restaurants around, just plan for going out.
- I would have liked a guest services book in the room, detailing breakfast hours, pool hours, where you can pick up beach towels (front desk), and general hotel and Barbados information. The front desk was always friendly and helpful with questions, but I would rather not have to bother them for simple information.
- The bed was a bit hard for my taste.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the picuresque Carlisle Bay Beach in Barbados, this new Resort features 124 renovated rooms with upgraded amenities including 42" flat screen TV with expanded cable, laptop size safe, complimentary wifi. One restaurant and two oceanfront bars plus new oceanfront fitness center and pool. Ideal for singles, couples and families looking for a quiet escape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados Bridgetown