I traveled with a friend to Bermuda from March 14th thru the 18th and stayed at the Grotto Bay Resort, room 432, ocean facing room. Check in was quick and easy, our room was ready for us (arrived around 2:30pm, before posted check-in time) and the friendly bell man took our bags to our room while we got a quick lunch at the on-site restaurant.
The lobby is charming, there are several seating areas, which are often in use since this is the only place you can use WiFi. There isn't WiFi in the rooms and the hotel charges per device to use it, which seems antiquated in a time where you can get free WiFi at any coffee shop or fast food restaurant.
There are two restaurants, adjacent to each other, one often houses the buffet option, the other strictly menu items. Mostly people wore smart island casual for all meals. We did not purchase the inclusive meal plan, and based on what we spent, we are not sure how anyone would be able to eat enough to justify the daily price difference. Prices for the buffets are reasonable (I think it was $24 breakfast, $15 lunch, not sure about dinner), and the menu items were on par with what you would expect dining out. We were happy when the quality of the meals matched the price paid. We never tried the dinner buffet.
For all meals, this restaurant excelled at providing gluten-free options for my friend. The wait staff seemed knowledgeable about what was safe for her to have, or were happy to check with the chef to see if the dish could be made gluten-free.
All of the buildings are two stories tall, and our room was on the second floor of building 4. We had a mostly nice view, although where our building was located facing the ocean meant we were also facing the airport and bridge. With the balcony doors closed, we were not bothered by any road noise. Unfortunately, we can't say the same thing about the walls, since they seem to be paper thin! We could easily hear the person next door coughing, sneezing and snoring!
The room we stayed in was a standard double, and roomy enough for our needs. The decor is worn and outdated, but the room was fairly clean. Both dressers had mostly broken drawers so we didn't bother unpacking our bags but left them on top of the dressers. The bathroom did have nice floor to ceiling tile, but was on the small side. The shower features a half glass enclosure and half open, with poor water pressure. There is a mini fridge in the room that regularly cycles on and off, which adds to the overall noisiness of the room. Thankfully I packed ear plugs and used them after the first night.
The grounds are beautiful and seem well maintained. We were only able to enter one of the caves and did swim in the icy cold water (off season temperatures) which was a thrilling experience. We did not try the spa facilities, nor swim in either the pool or the hot tub. We did visit the beach a few times, which was clean with plenty of chairs to use. There is a dive shop adjacent to the hotel beach, but we didn't use any of their services or equipment so we can't offer opinions on those.
There is a bus stop at the front gates of the resort. We purchased a 3 day pass, for about $7/day. We think purchasing a book of tickets would have been cheaper (since we really only rode the bus 2x a day), or you could go with exact change if you can figure out how much you need. We found the bus schedules a bit confusing, but often times people waiting for the bus were very friendly and helpful in getting us where we wanted to go.
One of my greatest objections about our visit was the poor flow of information. We knew we were visiting in the "off-season" but when we asked for directions to see Fort St. Catherine, no one mentioned that it was closed that day. Over half the shops in St. George were closed when we went to see the scheduled mayor speak/reenactment on Saturday. Hopefully our experience was the exception, not the rule, but there seems to be some disparity among the islanders about whether to embrace tourists or not. We had two bus drivers who were borderline rude when we asked about whether we could reach our destination using their bus line. Strange attitude when tourism is their number 1 source of income.
All in all, a very relaxing stay, we would recommend to those who are satisfied with basic hotel amenities, a mostly friendly staff and standard room accommodations. Kudos to the restaurant staff for all the gluten-free TLC.
- 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