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“First Class”

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Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in The Bottom
Certificate of Excellence
Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“First Class”
Reviewed March 26, 2011

We have recently returned from a holiday in Saba from March 13th to 19th. This was our first visit to the island. With so many wonderful places to visit in the world, it should be telling to say that we will return to Saba and the Queen's Garden Resort as the island is unique in a variety of ways and the people who live there are extremely friendly, kind and considerate. The island is an incredible oasis and the resort is wonderful and well suited to our interests and vacation style.

The Queen's Garden Resort is located on Troy Hill overlooking The Bottom, which is a small village that hosts a well established medical school, and is the municipal centre of Saba, located in the southwest corner of the island. The vistas from the Queen's are spectacular with the Caribbean Sea beckoning in the distance and lush foliage below. The airport is located on the northeast edge. “The Road” that connects Troy Hill and the airport is 16 km/9 miles long and is the only road. It winds through Zion Hill/Hells Gate, Windwardside, St. Johns and The Bottom. There are a variety of smaller side streets which exist to facilitate access to homes or small businesses in the villages. More about “The Road” later.

Claire and Hidde manage the property and are in my estimation the best of what a management team can be. They work very hard, putting in long hours carrying out a variety of tasks from front desk to food production and service. In addition they provide incredible personal service, looking after the booking of daily activities and arranging for taxis as needed. The real difference is not found in that things were efficiently attended to, but the manner in which they were accomplished, which was thoughtful, always friendly and made to seem effortless. They have put together a staff of hard working delightful people some of whom are local, others who hail from Europe and The United States. Each staff member is worthy of mention, but in particular Bas, Lotte, Linda and Aghir made our stay particularly special.

The strengths we experienced were most evident in two key areas; attention to detail and personal service. Greeting guests as they arrive from the airport after what for most is a long journey. There was an abundance of genuine smiles, engagement in meaningful conversation, sharing of stories and always, always looking for ways in which they can make your stay enjoyable. This is the meaning of hospitality; it does not get any better.

Keith-Executive Chef and Kevin-Sous Chef come from the United States. I believe that both of these young men are professionally trained chefs and the quality of food at the restaurant is excellent as a result. We had three dinners at the hotel as well as 3 or 4 lunches and breakfast each morning. The yellow fin tuna entree was exceptional. Each meal was of good quality and very consistent. In particular we enjoyed a special menu on our last evening. The effort was apparent and represented some of the best food found anywhere, period. The selection of both old and new world wines provides enough variety to satisfy a developed palate.

The suites of which there are 12 are exceedingly spacious and well appointed. The open-air design is unique and functional, providing a connection to the outdoors while also providing interior comforts. The island does not have any mosquitoes or no see ums so the opportunity for open windows and doors without screens is most welcome.The property has many stairs because of its placement on the side of Troy Hill. The stairs were very manageable for us but could be a challenge for some people. The common sitting areas and particularly the lounge by the bar is well designed, well placed and very comfortable. The overall layout of the property provides all guests with ample room and good access to all amenities.

As previously noted The Queen's is located on Troy Hill at the furthest point from the airport. This provides wonderful seclusion, but on Saba everything is beautifully tranquil. It also provides excellent access to some of the islands best hiking trails. The location does add a cost to the holiday in taxi fares. However the rates are quite reasonable ($8.00 per person plus tip one way to Windwardside) and the drivers like Eddy and George are characters who you will want to meet and come to know. They are Ambassadors... the best of Saba and the kind of wonderful people who call it their home. I understand that car rentals are available, but my personal view is that taxis are a better and safer option.

Finally, “The Road” a 9-mile stretch of concrete is an engineering feat. Much of the road is built on the steep slopes of the mountain which provides spectacular ocean views, but means that driving should be left to those who are not made queasy by hairpin corners, steep inclines and cliff like drop offs. The road has a low curb, which provides some comfort and protection. The hotel is located a short drive from Windwardside which is the small commercial centre where you will find the shops and restaurants of the island.

If you're reading this, and are considering going to Saba and staying at the Queen's we highly recommend both choices.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank CDN-RS-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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298 reviews from our community

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macmachugh
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Climb aboard the Winair Twinotter in St Martin for a 15 minute flight to Saba and step into another world. This tiny island with its lush vegetation, toy town houses, rollercoaster road seems inhabited by only smiling, friendly people. Queen' Gardens can be seen from the road seemingly hanging off the mountain side, a collection of colonial style buildings with spectacular views, the Caribbean forming the backdrop between high peaks to the left and right. Arriving is a treat and is well covered in previous reviews - be assured all that is quoted is true and matches standards I have only experienced at the best Asia has to offer. The attention to detail is exceptional, nothing is too much trouble for Claire and Hidde, who from the start have an enthusiasm that is infectious. There is a small, young support team who focus on offering a quiet reserved interest in the guests wellbeing making you feel you are the only guests who matter - certainly standards and style of service I thought were long gone.
Apparently Saba offers spectacular scuba diving, challenging trecks and is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast. We don't dive or treck and avoid walking if other modes of transport are available! Long, quiet, lazy days spent around the pool are our forte and Queen's Gardens is perfect -after two weeks we left relaxed, recharged and ready to face reality.
This is not a place for children, for beach lovers, night hawks or tuxedos at eight - it is for those who enjoy their own company, who are laid back and seek excellent service and appreciate creativity, quality and presentation in their food.
The appeal of a suite was an influencing factor in our choice of Queen's Gardens as little is more depressing than having only a bedroom to return to. The accommodation was large, comfortable and homely with none of the impersonal 'where am I - it looks like Chicago but I think I'm in Dubai' feel of many first class hotels.
If you feel you need to step off the world for a hefty dose of peace and quiet - head for Saba and Queen's Garden Resort - we may be around the pool, if so, don't wake us!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank macmachugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
palm beach, fl
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2011

Saba is not a fancy island (anything but), and queen's gardens is not a fancy resort.
But the quality of the personal service and the food is beyond compare.
If you are going to Saba you cant find a better choice.
If you are looking for an island with a slow pace and a friendly feel and you are happy to hike and dive and relax, Saba is amazing.
If you need to lie on a beach: there arent any! Not one....
But Saba is beautiful and should not be missed.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank rslcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2011

We have just returned from a week's diving holiday in Saba where we stayed at the Queen's Garden Resort in one of their wonderful suites. This boutique hotel is small, casual and attractively presented. Our suite was furnished in a colonial style and very comfortable. The bathroom was simple and basic but adequate and what it lacked in luxury was more than made up for by a large private outdoor (but covered) jacuzzi from which you had a beautiful view to the sea below while wallowing in the warm water. It would have been nice to have had bath robes and perhaps larger fluffier bath towels to complement the experience. The hotel is built on many levels so there are quite a few stairs to negotiate but the advantage is that you have lovely views from almost everywhere in the hotel. The small pool is also well positioned, again with a great view over lush flora to the bay, and a very pleasant bar just above. We very much enjoyed the lunch menu which was simple, fresh and flavoursome but were less impressed with the evening meals at the restaurant despite its good reputation. The chef seems to use few herbs and spices and instead drenches the food in oversalted gloopy sauces, sometimes several at the same time. The few vegetables on offer were overcooked and any salad consisted of finely shredded lettuce and little else. Nonetheless, the ambiance was charming and very atmospheric. The staff at this hotel are really fabulous and probably the best I have ever encountered, anywhere. Unobtrusive but unfailingly smiley and helpful, they read your mind before you have fully formed the thought. They are all without exception simply fantastic and we were so impressed by the warm attention we received. The particularly lovely location of the hotel means that it is some 15 minutes by car from the other little restaurants and small shops in Windwardside which means either a very long walk or a $25 return taxi fare.

We really enjoyed our stay here. My husband went diving every day, I lazed by the pool, we both read a lot, loved our nightly jacuzzi sessions and slept well and long. Most evenings we went to Windwardside to meander around and eat (restaurants are all tiny and booking is recommended, last orders are usually around 8 or 8.30pm). We'd both thoroughly recommend a stay here for a very quiet and relaxing time.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2011

We recently returned from a delightful holiday at this resort on the Caribbean tropical island of Saba. We were hoping to have a restful, interesting and carefree break from our busy routines and this resort was just the ticket! It is situated on the small Netherland Antilles island of Saba which boasts great diving, snorkelling and hiking. There are no beaches so those types of activities are not an option. The rain/cloud forests of the island though insure a scenic view at every turn and plenty of exercise hiking for those so inclined.

The real delight of this resort was the management and staff who attended to our every need and managed to do it without being intrusive. The couple who manage the resort are friendly, helpful and industrious people who clearly made the point that they were wanting to make a holiday work for the client. We took advantage of a package offered to us which included a discovery dive, guided snorkel trip, guided hiking and culinary lessons with the in-house chef. Great ways to add diversion to a holiday of poolside reading, swimming, touring and resting. The wait staff were always pleasant, happy and eager to know how they could help and are as much a part of our holiday memories as anything. We stayed in one of the Royal suites which was absolutely terrific- spacious with separate living room, bedroom, sitting room and bathroom. The in-suite Jacuzzi soaking tub and its view were unbelievable and sometihng we enjoyed very much.

A true gem in this reosrt is the on-site restaurant and it's chef, Keith. The meals coming from the kitchen were gourmet and clearly French influenced. Despite the fact that this small 12 suite resort is on a tiny Caribbean island, the meats offered in addition to the freshest local seafoods were remarkably prepared and presented. The wine list offered was interesting and diverse. We thoroughly enjoyed every meal we were served, light or full, for the duration of our eleven day stay.

We are not divers but the island has three dive shops and no shortage of options for those wanting to dive and snorkel the marine park which surrounds it. The full time inhabitants of the island could not be any friendlier. Trips to the two small towns on the island are easy by cab and the opportunities to sample the other local restaurants were fun adventures too. The Swinging Doors restaurant and Brigadoon's were both a nice treat for us.

All in all a unique, memorable and pleasant holiday destination which we highly recommend!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 154995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed February 6, 2011

On a recent trip to the Caribbean I decided to check out one of the islands off the beaten path. I flew over from St. Maarten and stayed at the Queen's Garden hotel in Saba. The cab from the airport took me up and over the peaks of this tiny island that is all mountains and dropped me off at a great hotel littlerally hanging off the side of the hill. I was greeted with a welcome drink and cold towel (I love that Caribbean custom) and met up with my friends who were already at the hotel. I went straight to the bar to catch up with them. There is a great little lounge overlooking the pool with a view down the valley to the ocean. After a few drinks the bellman showed me to my room. The suite (I think they are all suites) had another good view that could be seen from the living room, jacuzzi and bedroom. Everything was open air - no mosquitos on Saba! The decor is traditional colonial caribbean but with more wood than bright colors. Sitting in the jacuzzi relaxing before dinner was great. The bed was very comfortable and I had everything I needed.

They also have a little restaurant that is maybe 10-12 tables. I had the crab cakes and lamb. My friends really liked the lobster salad and filet. The deserts were out of this world. Breakfast in the morning was cooked to order and very quick.

This is a very small hotel and the bellman was also the waiter for dinner. The managers really make me feel at home. Most of the other guests were couples. The island is very peaceful but you can hike and dive. I'm not sure about bringing a family but I will be returning with a girlfriend to share the jacuzzi!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Harrysxm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roanoke
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2011

My wife and I traveled to Saba for her birthday. To understand our taste in hotels you need only understand my wife's motto: "if it is not nicer than my house, then why am I paying to stay there."
Saba is a mountainous island. Queen's Garden takes advantage of the elevation by providing a magnificent view of Fort Bay from nearly every room on the property. Our single bedroom villa was clean (very important to us), and included: a large living room with flat screen TV and sound system equipped with docking station; large bedroom with king size bed equipped with an alarm clock docking station; and a nice size jacuzzi with a view. The resort provides free WiFi for as many devices as you like.
My only criticism would be that the bathroom, shower and closets were a bit small, but Claire (who manages the resort with her husband, Hidde) shared with us their plans to renovate and enlarge these areas, and to add a spa! (Spa service is currently provided in room.)
Queen's Gardens has a restaurant on site that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (except no dinner Monday night). A fully stocked bar is located onsite, too. THE STAFF AT BOTH ARE COURTEOUS AND GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO SATISFY YOUR EVERY NEED! The restaurant and bar usually close around 10 p.m. (a bit early for my taste), but given the close proximity of the bar and restaurant to the rooms a later time could be disruptive to guests taking advantage of vacation to head to bed early.
We cannot say enough about the staff: they even washed our shoes after they got extremely muddy from a hike to Mt. Scenery.
Claire (who single-handedly made our stay outstanding) also shared with us that they are working through a list to update the property as it is about 15 years old and beginning to show some wear and tear. However, this wear and tear does not detract from the stay, and is overshadowed by the awesome staff.
As the French say, "Que vous voulez!" ("Whatever you wish!"), and such is the experience as a guest at Queen's Gardens. We highly recommend Queen's Gardens for a 3 or 4 night stay to Saba!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank srbelle24014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa

Property: Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa
Address: Troy Hill Drive 1, The Bottom, Saba (Formerly Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Saba > The Bottom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in The Bottom
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa is a luxurious all suite hotel located on the island of Saba, which is part of the Caribbean Netherlands. The resort is built on one of mount scenery's hills, Troy Hill, and is nestled among tropical forests and its lush gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea. This panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea makes the resort a special intimate place to spend a relaxing holiday. The altitude of 1200 feet and the fresh trade winds guarantee an extremely pleasant climate year around. The hotel features a full service on site restaurant and full service spa equipped with Finnish Sauna, Turkish Steam Room, Herbal Facial Aroma Pots, etc. Offering full body massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Queen`s Gardens Resort - Hampshire Classic Hotel Saba
Queens Gardens Hotel
Queens Garden Resort
Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa Saba/The Bottom

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