Stayed 4 nights at the GBBR early this month. Once again, grateful for all the TA reviews (read them all!) as it really helped in making a choice. I visited Bermuda in '08 on a cruise so never got the chance (or time) to come this far east. The resort is very close to the airport (about 5-7 minutes drive). I can also confirm - I could see the airport from my balcony - you don't hear the planes take off.
Check-in/check-out: very quick and efficient. I was on a Jetblue Getaways vacation and everything was included in the price - taxes & service fees. At the front desk, they'll change any Bermuda dollars you don't want to bring home with you.
Room: (Sandy's lodge). I booked an ocean view deluxe, and had requested a top floor. And what a view! I had unobstructed views of the small beach, swimming pool area, the causeway, airport. Nothing like sitting on the balcony, or lying on the bed, enjoying views of boats on the blue, blue water. You could the remains of the sunken wreck from the balcony. Big room, clean, with king size bed, small fridge, room safe, TV, coffee maker with packets of ground coffee, sugar, etc. There are ample drawers to store away your things as well as a hallway closet (not huge) to hang clothes. The bathroom was a good size, clean, with shower and tub. The tub did have what appeared to be faint tracks of a long-removed tub mat, though. Toiletries (shampoo, soap, lotion) were provided. I found no toothpaste, but I usually travel with all my toiletries so I was set. There's a shop in the main building that carries all sorts of stuff, if you ever need supplies. There's also a shop across the street where you can pick up items.
I did have a housekeeping problem which was later resolved. The bedspread had what I thought was a funny smell (body odor/sweat), but the real downer were the stains on the other side of the bedspread. A notice in the room indicates the resort does its best to conserve water, so the sheets are changed every 3 days or so; unless you request otherwise. So what went through my mind was: does this mean the linens are not changed between guests if it's not after 3 days? I'd like to think that's not the case. Anyway, I left a note on the bedspread requesting a change, the reason for it, with the stains in plain view. The note was gone and the bed nicely laid when I returned that evening. It was only when I was getting into bed that I realized that nothing had been changed after all. I was really disappointed, as the stains were so obvious on the white background. I immediately called the front desk about this. I probably should have done this instead of leaving a note. Someone soon brought me a freshly laundered bedspread in exchange. She was dismayed when she saw the stains.
Afternoon tea was served the day I arrived. It was a very nice touch. I'm not sure if this is a daily occurrence, as I was never around again at that time of day. The bar by the pool was closed due to the low season. But I saw quite a few guests making good use of the pool. I dipped my toes in the ocean, and that's about all you'd want to do. It was freezing, although the weather was pleasant - low 70s.
I didn't opt for a meal plan as I wasn't sure how my days were going to go. I had dinner the first night - pasta with chicken, mushroom sauce and arugula, some wine and dessert. It was not gourmet, but all right and satisfying. There didn't seem to be a lot of people around when I arrived, but dinner was quite a packed room in the Palm Court Dining Room. I found the breakfast next morning to be ok too. I would highly recommend the ultimate nachos at the bar. Huge portion and very delicious! The rest of the time, I ate out. You can get sandwiches, snacks and soda, etc., at the gas station (Rubis?) close to the hotel. I also had dinner at Swizzle Inn, which is worth at least one visit. And it's so close - from my room to Swizzle was about a 5-minute walk.
I didn't have as much time to explore the grounds - which are lovely. The grotto was open and I planned to go in, but it looked dark and intimidating from the entryway; and I had forgotten to bring a flashlight. The hotel cannot be held liable for injuries... etc. :)
There are things to do around during the day, if you don't want to go into Hamilton or St. George. The Crystal Caves is close by and definitely worth a visit. It's not far from the Swizzle Inn. There are nature walks, etc. Please see Guest Services for recommendations. Special thanks to Esme who gave me superb suggestions on things to do/see during my short visit. She provided lots of helpful tips... like the best side of the bus to sit for beautiful ocean views on the way to/from Hamilton. As a result, I was able to do a lot and at a relaxed pace. There are about 3 or 4 bus lines that stop at Grotto Bay, so getting to Hamilton/St. George is easy. It's about 30 to 45 minutes drive to Hamilton, depending on the route, and traffic conditions. St. George is much closer. I didn't mind the commute, as I got to drive through other parishes and see more of Bermuda. Best to avoid rush hour though, if you can help it. If you're out late at night, the last bus to GBBR leaves Hamilton at about 11:45 p.m. or so. After that, you'd have to take a taxi. If you'll be doing a lot of commuting, I recommend getting the pass that's best for your schedule. You can them at the front desk. The pass is good for the ferry, too.
Except for the housekeeping mishap, everyone I met was polite, friendly and professional.
I would stay here again, now that I know what works for me and can plan better. I found I do like coming back here after a long day. Many thanks also to Janay (sp?) at the front desk, Eugene who helped me with my bags, and Alfred who waited on me at dinner.
- 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/Hamilton Parish