We stayed here for a fortnight in July 2012 - and could happily have stayed for another few months! We had a room on the second floor with incredible views out over the Caribbean - even better than the views at the exclusive Sandy Lane resort less than a mile down the coast. I must've spent at least an hour each day just gazing out onto the water.
The rooms are very well equipped with a slightly-dated but perfectly functioning kitchenette, a ceiling fan in the main bedroom area, an excellent, modern air-con unit and a really good powerful shower in the bathroom. We had a couple of issues with the loo not flushing properly, but any problems were fixed immediately by the helpful staff. The hotel also arranges a weekly cocktail party with entertainment and nibbles for all guests, which was a nice touch.
An in-room safe with electronic combination lock is available for a small fee, and fresh beach towels are available daily for a $20 returnable deposit. There is also free wifi available but only in reception, so take your iPhone or iPad with you.
Bath towels and bedding is changed every 48hrs by the fantastic cleaning staff - we had Avril looking after us and she was just brilliant. The hotel staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful, especially Shakeera, Lisa and Justin.
My only quibble is that the pillows were not very comfortable, but it didn't stop me enjoying a good night's sleep - in fact, the only thing that ever kept me awake was the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.
The best thing about this hotel is quite simply its location - right in the heart of Holetown with a vast array of bars and restaurants nearby. The cost of living here is high, but there is still good value to be found at some of the local bars such as One Love on First Street and the Golden Anchor at Folkestone. Our favourite restaurant was the Beach House, just two minutes walk away, where a fantastic three-course meal for two, plus a bottle of wine, cost around $200BDS (about £35 per person). We also drove down the coast for lunch at the swanky CinCin, which came in at a similar price including drinks.
Happy hour in Zaccio's next door to the hotel became a bit of a habit, with bottles of Banks at reduced prices from 4-6pm. We also enjoyed an unexpectedly brilliant meal at the local beach bar, Surfside - someone in that kitchen definitely knows how to cook!
There is a supermarket across the road from Sunswept Beach, but even here prices were occasionally eye-watering. Despite this, we tended to buy our breakfast and lunch there (they do pre-packed salads for around £4, whilst six bottles of Banks cost around £5).
Five minutes walk away is the LimeGrove Shopping Centre with stacks of designer shops, and a lovely bar in the middle where you can get decent cocktails.
But the real entertainment is on the beach - look out for big Mark Jackman when you get there, he has a boat called Karamar moored just off the beach and he runs terrific snorkelling trips to a nearby shipwreck and to swim with the turtles, which was a brilliant experience - I also hired a jetski on a couple of occasions, again right off the beach. The jetski costs around £30/hr. Mark is a real character and he really looked after us brilliantly during our two weeks on Barbados - he is one of the funniest guys on the island. A lovely guy called Trinny also runs a great little beach shop next to the hotel, selling snorkels, ice creams, etc.
There is no rush for sunbeds in the morning, so take your time enjoying breakfast on your balcony and take in those stunning sea views.
We understand that the hotel is closing down in April 2013 for a refurb, only to reopen next summer as an all-inclusive (or semi-inclusive) resort, which is a bit of a shame, because the current set-up certainly encourages visitors to get out and about, to meet the locals and to sample the hospitality of Holetown.
We hired a car via Drive-a-Matic (based at the airport) which came in useful on a couple of days when we had a bit of rain, as it allowed us to head out further afield and explore more of the island.
This was the perfect beach holiday for a good price in an amazing location, but it is the people we met on Barbados who really made this trip special for us. Thoroughly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our philosophy is to provide the comfort of a home while you enjoy the luxury of a holiday...Tropical Sunset (formerly known as Sunswept Beach Hotel) is situated in Holetown, the west coast's primary hub for visitors and locals alike. Set on the shoreline of the Caribbean Sea, guests can enjoy the breathtaking view from the comfort of their private balcony. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Sunswept Beach
- Sunswept Beach Holetown
- Tropical Sunset Beach Apartment Hotel Barbados/Holetown