Southern Palms is a well run, comfortable, colonial style hotel on Dover Beach. The location is superb - a very short walk from St Lawrence Gap and all its restaurants, as well as from Dover and its shops and restaurants. We did not eat at the hotel restaurant except for getting a hot dog with fries for my daughter on the day we left which was good and not expensive. The staff were friendly and efficient. Our suite was very spacious, with a comfortable king bed as well as a single bed in the bedroom and a Queen size sofa bed in the sitting room. There was a microwave, toaster, kettle and large fridge with freezer. The air conditioner was efficient and quiet. Our balcony looked directly over the beach and sea which was lovely. The room was cleaned and beds made every day, although the washing up was not done (but we did not expect it to be). Only clear surfaces
were cleaned so if you want it well cleaned you need to be tidy! The grounds were extremely well kept and clean. The beach in front of the hotel was virtually empty (unlike the hotels either side where the beach was fairly crowded). We stayed at the Divi next door last year in an ocean front suite (would not advise anything else there) which was fine and very cheap but we preferred the SP and it was definitely worth the extra expense. There is building work going on at the southern end of the beach which was noisy on a couple of days but far enough from the SP not to bother you too much. It rained on 2 to 3 days whilst we were there which is very unusual for March but we still got burnt - sunbathing in the cloud is very deceptive and almost more dangerous than the strong sun - any time between 11.30am and 2.30pm and you will burn even through thick cloud unless you have factor 30 on. We ate at:
Bellinis - good and not too expensive, but portions are huge so be warned about having a starter and a main.
Jumbies which used to be the Jam Rock Cafe - good for children and food good (except the hamburger which was a bit processed) and fairly
Harlequin which was excellent but again large portions so beware. We
split one main between two 12 year olds and it was still plenty. Slightly more expensive but worth it.
Aquapisce - we ate there last year and it was just as good this year and fairly good prices for really good food - very quiet so not the place to go for a rave.
Cafe Jungles in Dover - really excellent food but service very slow -still, a nice fun place and excellent value.
There were 4 or 5 turtles in the sea on Dover Beach the whole time we were there and you could snorkle over them in just a few feet of water which was fantastic - no need to pay for an expensive catamaran
trip. One turtle laid its eggs on the beach one night which we didn't
see but we saw the trail and the Turtle Protection man was there to mark where the eggs were laid for keep them safe.
We went up the West coast to Mullins beach for waterskiing as the sea was rough at Dover at first, but for the last 5 days or so the sea was much calmer than last year and there were watersports guys offering banana boat rides, jet skiing, windsurfing etc on the beach. Usual offers to buy aloe, jewellery and more suspect substances but a simple no thanks always suffices and they don't pester you. If you do have problems, always say you've been coming to Barbados for ages and you've got all the stuff they're selling already!
In conclusion, if you want fast, super efficient service in glitzy surroundings go to Sandy Lane. If you want to chill in a relaxed atmosphere and don't mind a bit of peeling paint and limescale on the bath then SP should do you fine.
We'll be back next year.
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- Also Known As:
- Southern Palms Hotel St Lawrence Gap
- Southern Palms Christ Church
- Southern Palms Barbados/St. Lawrence Gap