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Reviewed February 12, 2011

Having read some of the later reviews we were a little nervous about coming to Mango Bay. We had booked a one bedroom apartment and when we arrived we were disappointed by the standard of the room. It was old and tired and we were not happy. However, the duty manager Candice, came over and could see the problem and promised to try and arrange another room. She did this within 2 days and we moved to a superior room. What a difference the room was large and sunny. As it was our anniversary we were also given a Lobster dinner, very thoughtful and we really appreciated the gesture.

The food is a full english breakfast and three course lunch and dinner and the food was excellent albeit a little fattening!

The staff are very good, attentive and friendly and as this is a small hotel the guests tend to get to know each other which makes the atmosphere very welcoming and friendly. This in turn leads to a very relaxing and enjoyable stay.

It is situated in Holetown, at the end of a row of bars and restaurants so if you get stir crazy there is much to do just outside. There is a new shopping centre just opening 3 minutes away and that is worth a visit.

On my return I have read the reviews again, now I know a little about the hotel and I can recognise what people are saying (except the people who sadly obtained an infection that I dont understand) . I think their reviews are a bit harsh and the expectancies are not set correctly, this is not Sandy Lane. It is a boutigue hotel and should be seen as such although I aree it is starting to get tired. The staff make up for any shortcommings and I would recommend this hotel without reservation. The manager is absolutly focused on providing her guests with a fantastic holiday and she does.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cgou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2011

Just returned from spending two weeks with my wife at this wonderful hotel. First visited two years ago and if anything it has improved. The staff are still as welcoming and freindly and the service with a smile is spot on.
The food is of a high quality and the balance between buffet and a la carte is excellent pleasantly served by a dedicated team who aim to please the guests.
House wines are very good and not cheap plonk, as are the drinks from the bar many of which are premium brands. The service at the bar can be somewhat slow at times, but the cocktails are worth the wait.
Any problems are normally swiftly resolved by the hands on management who are always visible and not hidden away in an office. Even the owner is a regular visitor and communicates with the guests.
The live evening entertainment provides a blend of music for all age groups either for dancing, which we like, or just for listening. Even the executive chef sings occasionally with some bands, and he has a superb voice.
Sometimes the heavy rain showers can spoil the evening as the area is open. Perhaps they should consider some form of retractable cover for this area ?..
The uniquenees of this hotel seems to attract returning guests on a regular basis, the blend of ambience and quality in a relaxed and infomal environment must form part of the recipe for it's success.
We will be back for more.
Grahame & Betty Heap
West Yorkshire.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank GrahameHeap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2011

We stayed for 2 weeks from 18th Jan 2011 with our 2 1/2 year old daughter. The staff were fantastic with her and went out of their way to accommodate her needs. Whilst this is not a typical children's hotel set up there were a small number of children with other guests and staff and the hotel could not do enough to help. We were very nervous after reading some previous reviews on this site but have enough common sense to realise that some people will have a problem wherever they go. This is a four star hotel, ok this covers a wide margin of hotel qualties but overall this deserves its four stars based on quality of service and facilities. We had a deluxe top floor room which offers fab ocean view (not the full ocean front ). The room was large and well furnished. I believe some of the rooms are needing refurb and we did see one so I can appreciate some other comments about this and I can understand why the standard rooms might be noisy near the street but we knew this before we booked so paid for a better room away from the road. The hotel are aware of all maintenance issues and I believe there is a continual improvement programme. There are some minor issues but if you get upset about a few (very few) missing pool tiles then you need to get a life! This is not a five star hotel and those comparing it to Sandy Lane are misguided, this is not in competition with Sandy Lane and not in the same price bracket. For the location of this hotel in St James the value is great, the food is great and the service is lovely. Also remember that the service in Barbados is polite but distinctly more friendly and laid back in style than in some other countries. If you want five star service then be prepared to pay for it as this is not a part of the world where you can expect a bargain. We have stayed in four & five star hotels and for the same quality in Barbados it is going to cost a lot more than in some parts of the world. As for the quality of drinks, we never had a problem with ordering bottled beer if you don't like draft, the bar staff were friendly and accommodating as were the restaurant with my daughter's meals. One day my husband was not feeling well and the waitress tried to assist with his meal options to help out. The food was of a good standard and both the buffet and a la carte lunch and dinners were excellent. The dining room is open air so the birds are a price you pay for fantastic views and a lovely atmosphere. We hadn't done all inclusive before and were pleasantly surprised by the style and quality of meals. We had one incident while there due to another guest being rude about my (actually well behaved) daughter. This woman took offense to our daughter being in the restaurant for some reason and one lunchtime made a very rude comment. The waitress could see i was upset about it and came to check we were ok. Also the restaurant supervisor came to talk to us and reassure us that our daughter was very welcome and there was no problem for anyone else. They handled it very well. On the whole all other guests made her very welcome and the nightly bands were good enetertainment for all the family! There are plenty of hotels that don't accept children in Barbados and those with similar problems with children should stay in one of them! I would return to this hotel without hesitation.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Doughgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2011

My wife and I have just returned from our fourth visit to Mango Bay having holidayed in Barbados every year since 1991. We were lucky to be recommended this hotel by our neighbours in London after the hotel we frequently stayed in was redeveloped into apartments.
Mango Bay is a true reflection of Barbados. It is welcoming, very civilised, extremely well managed and additionally offers many of the things which attract visitors to Barbados notably its location in a picturesque bay on a lovely sandy beach.
The accommodation is very comfortable and we have stayed in deluxe and ocean front rooms and one bedroom appartments. On this last visit we chose a one bedroom appartment located right on the front which was very spacious and entirely adequate in every respect. It was particularly well located for an early morning swim in the sea just yards away from our terrace.
Food and drink was as usual to a very good standard and there is plenty of both. The wine selection had changed since our previous visit in favour of a light Californian selection. Our party preferred the original Chilean wine which we were able to request without any difficulty. Service in the restaurant, bar and elsewhere in the hotel was friendly and efficient and any minor niggles were dealt with speedily with senior management always visible and taking a keen interest in all matters.
On the beach the hotel has invested in a new motor boat which was easily available for skiing and wake boarding. It is also available for cruises up and down the coast although I think you have to pay for such excursions. All the water sports are free and the hotel has a hobby cat and kyaks for use of the guests as well as the motor boat. In addition we particularly enjoyed the large catamaran cruise for nearly three hours up the coast organised by the hotel, again at no additonal cost.
Like all beaches on the west coast of Barbados the one at Mango Bay is liable to erosion. I'm sure this can come as a shock to first time visitors to the hotel. During our stay the beach was at quite a low level but there was still enough beach area to sunbathe quite comfortably and it was in a better state than at many other hotels nearby. Hopefully the sand will soon come back soon as it normally does in an amazingly short period of time.
I have just read a few earlier trip advisor reports on this hotel which were unfavourable in some respects. Clearly Mango Bay is not a Sandy Lane type hotel neither does it pretend to be ( thank goodness ) and neither do its room rates compare! It does provide ( as it did on this recent visit ) a very attractive venue for a relaxing and enjoyable Caribbean holiday for a fair price, particularly when one takes into account all the amenities on offer at the hotel. After 20 years of visiting Barbaos I would confidently say Mango Bay is as good as it gets on the island !

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank papahills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2011

My wife and I have just returned from our second visit to Mango Bay in the last 12 months. For our first week we were alone and for the second joined by our two young children with their grandmother so we had two contrasting weeks. On our first visit last year we were so impressed we booked this year's holiday before we left - notwithstanding a year's anticipation, we were just as happy with our choice this year. The greatest testament to the hotel is the number of returning guests year after year - at two visits we are still very much novices. Before we left for our most recent holiday we were surprised to read some more negative views of the hotel which certainly did not marry with our experience. Comments included criticism of the food which is actually one of the hotel's strengths and a suggestion to spend a "bit" more and go to Sandy Bay (more later).

The hotel is located in Holetown at the end of two small streets that contain some of the best restaurants and nightlife on the island. Holetown is a pretty, small town soon to be enhanced by the completion of a very smart up market shopping gallery and an ideal base on the beautiful West coast. The hotel is relatively small, right on the beachfront and well maintained. There is an on-going programme of room refurbishment and the Superior rooms we occupied were modern, comfortable, well equipped and clean.

We have been fortunate to stay in some of the most luxurious hotels across the world and this hotel ranks strongly with any of them - not as it happens because it is very luxurious but because of the atmosphere and environment created by the staff who are very ably led by an excellent general manager Shireene. The staff are all local people and bring the local vibe to work - relaxed, friendly and warm. This rubs off on the guests and there is a real club atmosphere about the hotel with everyone made to feel welcome. The general manager genuinely welcomes feedback and acts upon it immediately. For example early in our holiday we commented on a too relaxed approach to time management in the water sports team. Within a week a new water sports manager had been appointed and standards had been restored - so do not be afraid to pass comments to the team - they respond really positively.

The food is excellent - varied, fresh and reflecting caribbean and european tastes. We did though experiment outside the hotel a couple of times. The first time we went to Tides in Holetown which is a beautiful restaurant again on the beach. The food is very good if a little complex. The service is very attentive although a bit rushed (it feels as though they want the table back soon) and impersonal as we were served by at last 5 people despite "our" waiter personally introducing himself. The annoying aspect of this restaurant is the practice of including a service charge in the bill and then suggesting a further tip. The most cynical view of this policy might be that some people just miss the fact that they tip twice, the most benign that it gives an opportunity to tip "your" waiter if indeed you had one to yourself. We questioned the policy with the team who struggled to give a satisfactory response and were told the the owner was too busy in the kitchen to talk with us. An interesting comparison to the leadership from the front seen at Mango Bay.

Another night we went to the signature restaurant at Sandy Lane "L'Acajou". I have to say that a number of people had advised against going to Sandy Lane with suggestions that we would find it unfriendly and unwelcoming. That could not be further from the truth. We received a very warm welcome in a beautiful relaxed setting - quite a contrast to being raced to our table by the Tides team. The team are charming, have time to talk and advise on the food and wines and made our evening an absolute pleasure. Not inexpensive but not a dissimilar cost to Tides and far better value. The general location is fabulous and it is easy to see why Sandy Lane is so popular but it is very expensive and for those (like ourselves) on a sensible balanced budget then a stay at Mango Bay with a few treats at Sandy Lane seems a good formula.

On to the kids who joined us for the second week. They had a whale of a time - swimming, snorkelling, sailing, jet ski-ing and water ski-ing. The hotel facilities are excellent and all of the hotel based water sports are free and no problems booking up every day for what we wanted to do. Again the staff made the children feel very welcome and were very accommodating in offering variations on the menu to suit them.

One final tip, we booked through Prestbury Travel who were excellent. We booked their VIP Transfers which meant we by-passed the long queues at passport control - great if you are travelling premium economy or upper class as your luggage is out quickly, and you can get through the airport in less than 30 minutes.

In summary, a great hotel, couples and family friendly. Our thanks to Shireene and all the team - see you next year.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank portugalfan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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