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“I would recommend Grotto Bay”

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Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hamilton Parish
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 13, 2008

We stayed at Grotto Bay the first week of March (through Orbitz). Not too many guests at that time. They are in the process of renovating rooms, but we didn't stay in one. We stayed in Rm 534, a third level, king bed with view of the bay (and airport). Agree with previous review that the room smelled a bit musty and moldy, but not unbearable. The bathroom looked renovated. The location is <1 M from the airport, but airport noise is not an issue. The taxi ride was $10. The bus also stops at the airport, but you can't bring luggage aboard.
Make sure to book your dinner reservation with the front desk. Even though dining room may not look busy, they seat you in back if you just walk in. It was OK food, nothing too spectacular, and overpriced (as anywhere else). Not much choice nearby within walking distance aside from Swizzle Inn down the road.
We went the a grocery store (W&S) for breakfast and lunch supplies to save money (in room cube fridge came in handy).
At this time of year, the pool was open but empty and the poolside bar was closed. Staff was friendly. The bus stops in front of hotel and was easy to use (3 d pass for $28). The bus pass also allows you on the ferry.
Within walking distance of hotel, there are also nice trails in the nature preserve near the hotel.
If I were to go back, I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TRVLR009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 3, 2008

I just got back from Grotto Bay Beach Resort today and I have to say that I had mixed feelings about it. I had good expectations after reading other people's reviews. But I wasn't thrilled by my experience. So, let me start with the things that I liked about it. The staff was very friendly and the proximity to the airport was a plus. Also it’s a beautiful property. They have a small private beach (which is more on "the bay" than "the ocean"), but it’s clean and very well kept. The grounds are large and beautifully maintained and apart from the noisy roosters who live there, it's nice and quiet. Lastly, the highlight to me were the underground caves with natural pools, which are right on the premises. That is was a really cool surprise.

What I did not like were the rooms. They are doing some renovations now, so hopefully they will be addressing the big issue of smell. I'm not a super picky traveler. But the room I was in smelled so musty and moldy that it was unbearable. In fact I switched rooms TWICE, just to try to avoid the smell. The room on the higher floor that I finally “settled for” was slightly better than the ones closer to the beach. Those smelled like a musty camp ground bunk-house. It wasn't dirty, it just smelled moldy.

The staff was very nice about allowing me to change rooms a few times. They said that this was typical for Bermuda. They explained that this is a problem all over the island and people even experience this in their homes. The front desk manager said that eventually you just "get used to it".

But I was still very unhappy about staying in a place that I had to go out and buy three scented candles and four sticks of incense, just to make it bearable enough to stay for a weekend. Especially at $180/per night! If this is typical for the island, they should install de-humidifiers or something else (even Glade Plug Ins) to manage the problem. Not just expect people to get over it (not at a place that calls itself a "resort"). I caught a "cold" the first night there and I realize now that it may actually have been allergies brought on my mold spores. Because other guests I spoke to had the same experience.

The other thing I didn’t like is that the hotel is not close to any restaurants and they have no room service. So you are stuck with their on-premises restaurant which is good, but overpriced. It was 3 star food for 5 star prices. The only alternative (unless you take a taxi or bus into the neighboring towns) is a local dive about a quarter mile up the road. I do love the island. But the next time I go, I will pay the extra $20 or so per night to stay at one of the better hotels.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled solo
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3  Thank KCOnTheRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2008

Stayed here from 2/13/08 to 2/20/08--through Orbitz--and just got a ridiculously good deal.

My partner and I are frequent travelers and don't mind a few "issues", especially when traveling on a budget (we like to save our money for doing things and diving into the local culture, rather than sleeping on Egyptian cotton).

Anyway, we booked an oceanfront superior room overlooking the beach--it was a modest room, but clean all the way around. The first night was just great, but we got some neighbors with the loudest children (at 5:30 AM) the next night.

We can put up with a lot, but this was a non-stop screamfest for several hours.

We called the front desk and asked to see if another room was available--one was, but was nearer to the construction zone of the hotel, so that didn't work. I walked up to the desk and spoke to the manager on duty--Donna Alvarez--who was unbelievably condescending (even being rude to her colleague with her at the front desk, who rolled her eyes at me, as if to say, "She's like this ALL the time"), but ultimately helpful (I think I finally charmed her a tiny bit). Maybe?

We got a suite on top of the hill and it was terrific. It had a Murphy bed, but it was super comfortable. No, really!

Many of the hotel's outdoor amenities--restaurant, swim-up bar, etc. were still closed for the season, but the trade-off in seclusion more than made up for that.

The location is terrific--about a $10 cab ride from the airport (with a nice tip; about a 6-minute ride) and once you rent the scooters (an absolute must if you want to explore all the island has to offer)--it's a great base from which to start.

The cruise ships start hitting the island in mid to late March so if you like having the run of the place, go now! Otherwise, it can get fairly crowded, particularly the town of Hamilton.

The Swizzle Inn up the street is a great place to eat and drink--the "minor" version of the nachos is a sweet deal at $7.95. You will be full.

A top-notch romantic meal can be had at Tom Moore's Tavern which is also close by to the hotel, and if you're from a big city, $225 for two including wine (and impeccable stealth-like service) is not so crazy.

Skip the Crystal Caves and check out the ones on the hotel's property. Essentially the same thing.

There is a nice supermarket called The Marketplace (with Publix shopping carts) a mile and a half from the hotel (toward Hamilton) that has a nice selection if you like having a few drinks, groceries, fruit, or the ol' wine and cheese at your beck and call, especially if you have a fridge in the room--our suite definitely did, can't remember 100% if the oceanfront superiors did.

The only room service the hotel provides is pizza delivery. Not that you'll need it. Did I mention the Swizzle? :)

A trip to the Dockyards is a treasure hunt of shopping, particularly on a scooter, because there is cool end-to-end island scenery.

If you're bored or it's raining, there is a small, but nice bowling alley in St. George's parish near the movie theater. Fun!

The Aquarium/Zoo is so-so, unless you have kids, who I imagine will find it vastly entertaining.

The town of Hamilton has some great shopping and dining. The High Tea at the Fairmont Princess is outstanding. $29 per person and worth it.

Horseshoe Beach is very pretty and was fairly secluded when we went--I suspect that will change as the season approaches, but it is worth looking at and a great picnic place.

All in all, the Grotto Bay is a really nice place to unwind, unless you're used to Ritz-Carlton type amenities.

Say "hi" to the roaming chickens for me!

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

I just returned from a romantic week long vacation at the Grotto Bay. I absolutely loved this resort! We stayed in a newly remodeled Ocean View Deluxe room. Everything about this hotel is lovely and I only have 2 complaints: as mentioned in previous reviews, the hotel walls are thin and we could hear our neighbor’s television; also, there is a $5 charge for the Internet and the Pin that they gave us didn’t work. Other than that, the hotel is fabulous!

The pros of the resort: The service is exceptional and the concierge answered all of our questions and set up dining reservations for us. Our bed was very comfortable and our room was spotless upon our arrival. Housekeeping did a great job of providing plenty of toiletries and clean towels. The refrigerator and the in room safe are 2 amenities that definitely came in handy during our stay. The resort grounds were immaculate. We especially enjoyed swimming in the temperature controlled pool and in the pool in one of the on site caves. The Jacuzzi was also lovely, but tended to get a little crowded. Also on the grounds was a little cove just beyond the Jacuzzi and fitness room that had an assortment of tropical fish. We were able to get extremely close to crabs, anemone, angel fish, squids and other magnificent creatures that live in the little cove.

The location is excellent because there is a bus stop in front of the resort that is serviced by the 1, 3, 10, and 11 bus routes. I highly recommend investing in a bus pass because the buses are always on time and easy to use, plus, the taxis in Bermuda are rather expensive. Hamilton is only a 30 minutes trip by bus. As mentioned in previous reviews, food and beverages in Bermuda are quite pricey, however the Shelly Bay Market Place is close by and accessible from the 10 and 11 bus route. We bought breakfast and snacks for the week that we kept in the room’s refrigerator to save money. Also, when coming into Bermuda, we brought a few snacks with us as well as 2 bottles of wine (1 Liter of liquor is allowed through customs per person). Most nights, we either ate at the Swizzle Inn or somewhere in Hamilton or St. George.

We are both avid scuba divers but most dive shops are closed in the winter, including the dive shop at the Grotto Bay. If you enjoy diving, Blue Water Divers and Watersports is open year round.

The day we were to return to the States, a snow storm hit New York and our flight was canceled. The Grotto Bay was extremely accommodating and we were able to stay in our room another night. We didn’t mind the flight cancellation since we were thrilled to have an extra day in paradise :)

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Krista S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2008

Had a wonderful stay at Grotto from Sept. 21-29, 2007. Due to
on-site remodeling of a couple of guest buildings, we were upgraded to a suite - how great is that!
We spent most days either in the ocean or the pool, and liked the poolside restaurant/bar a lot, as was so convenient to both. We loved the calm and gentle surf of the bay setting, as we can no longer withstand the pounding surf of the south shore.
This is especially wonderful, for those of us who just really love to actually swim in the ocean, or would also be safer and great for families with children. We had come to swim, relax, and unwind, and Grotto definitely was the right spot.
We chose the all inclusive plan, which was new to us, but certainly provided our needs well, and included most major liquors. Evening dining (two separate dining rooms) was nice, with delicious dinners. Breakfasts were a lavish buffet spread, including fruit-eggs-cheeses-meats, etc - although you could custom order from your waiter if preferred. They hold two theme nights weekly (by the poolside restaurant) - One International Night and the other Seafood Night. Both were fun and they had a great little combo for entertainment and dancing. Couldn't have enjoyed these more!
The entire staff at Grotto was so attentive during our stay. During our travels, this has not always been the case, so this was most appreciated. No request was too great - just ask - and it was done. We were impressed with the hotel's head management team, which certainly reflects the great direction of their General Mgr, whom could be seen around the property daily. Kudos to Mr Martens!
Definitely consider Grotto for your next Bermuda getaway. It has a magnificent setting overlooking the bay and causeway. It has wonderful pool, and although the beach is not huge, it is nice and appointed with lots of loungers for all. It is close to St. Georges and the airport, and yet totally accessable by bus (bus stop directly in front of hotel) and not too far away from anything. We enjoyed the peaceful setting of this area and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a very laid-back holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ziplady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

We came back from a short weekend getaway from Jan 31-Feb 3 from Bermuda. Grotto Bay is a great place and very affordable to stay in. They put us in newly renovated rooms at the top and the view was amazing from the balcony. Their construction is now at the bottom area of their resort so we didn't hear any construction. I do agree with some of the posts that the walls are a bit thin and you can hear your neighbor sometimes. The bathroom and room was very clean. Fresh towels every day. Their pool wasn't heated so it was a bit cold around this time of the year (70 degree weather at most). But Grotto does have a small hot tub (about 4 people) that we liked to spend our time in. They also have a small exercise gym with a treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc.
They have a restaurant where you can book your dinner and we only ate there once. I think they were short staffed that night because the service was quite slow but otherwise the food was ok. Food was expensive but it is also expensive and comparable to anywhere else in the Island.

Grotto's location is less than a mile from the airport. I recommend just taking the taxi to/from the airport. It was only about $10 (with tip). Yes it's true that it's not located in the main city of Hamilton but the bus system in Bermuda is very convenient and easy to use. The bus stop is right at the entrance of Grotto Bay.

Their staff was also very nice. Their concierge will also be very helpful and suggesting how can you spend your days/time around the island i.e. which bus #s to take and where to go first.
They also provide a daily 'what to do' or events going on.

Their onsite underground cave was pretty cool too. Not much to see but it's definitely better than paying $16 for admission fee to another underground cave. It's really almost the same thing. I didn't get to swim in the cave pool because it was cold and didn't really have time.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank red g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2008

My wife and I did a winter getaway in January '07. Our 4 days in the Bermuda off season were great! Grotto Bay is all about their location; close to the airport and public transportation. It has everything you need (a definite 3 star locale) with the only negatives being somewhat thin walls (you can easily hear the neighbors TV) and some off season construction going on even in the early morning hours.
But.....the private bay, the pool, the lobby, the restaurant and the on site cave are all great. You wont get the sound of waves crashing on the bay, but the calmness makes up for it. Any questions about this location, please ask anytime. We will definitely be going back with family and staying at Grotto Bay!
We did a full tour of the island during our stay and could not find a place with a better location.

Stayed: January 2007
15  Thank jscozz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 11 Blue Hole Hill | Bailey's Bay, CR 04, Bermuda
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bermuda > Hamilton Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hamilton Parish
Price Range: $200 - $520 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Full service resort nestled amid 21 acres along the water's edge featuring three restaurants, two bars, water sports, dive shop, tennis facilities, cycle livery, three beaches, children's playground as well as our unique Natura Spa located in one of our Grottos. Resort features Room only, Breakfast Plan, Breakfast and Dinner Plan as well as All Inclusive Supplement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grotto Bay Beach Hotel Hamilton Parish
Grotto Bay Bermuda
Hotel Grotto Bay Beach
Grotto Bay Beach Resort Bermuda
Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa Bermuda/Hamilton Parish

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