Barbados Hotel, Resort & Villa Reviews
Discovery Bay Hotel 09/02/2003
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
We booked Discovery Bay direct through Kuoni and stayed on an All Inclusive pakage for 16 nights in late Aug 2003.
The hotel manager states openly that the hotel is a 3 star hotel. I would agree but believe quite firmly that in some areas the hotel exceeds that status easily. But the basics first. The room we stayed in was clean with an en-suite bathroom. It was principally designed for a couple but we had a 7 year old with us so a single bed was arranged in the room for her to sleep on. It didn't really cramp the space in the room but more than one child may prove uncomfortable. The room was air conditioned and had sliding patio doors. There was a mini bar but little else. It was comfortable but not plush. Other accomodation including the superior rooms were the same except they had a sea view but there was some 'family' accomodation in a bungalow but you might wish to confirm that prior to booking. Most rooms overlook the garden or parts of it.
The main hotel building was airy and comfortable. It had the main reception, a small shop, a lounge and bar area and the main dining room which was used for breakfast and evening meals Lunch was taken in a covered area by the pool which was actually rather pleasant but had limited tables. It also had the beach bar and kitchen for lunchtimes there. To counteract overcrowding lunch lasted for 3 hours. The pool was 7ft at the deep end and about 30 ft long. It was clean but did have a couple of loose tiles on the bottom and an irritating ledge that ran around the pool at about 3 ft down. Potential to catch feet or heads if jumping in - especially the kids. The gardens were tastefully landscaped with a wide variety of trees and shrubs with grassed areas in between. As you walk through reception you look across about 100ft of garden to the pool area (surrounded by waist high bushes) then a further 60 ft or so before the well kept and tidy beach with a bouyed off area (200ft x 200ft) to swim in and a small floating raft to sit on. Excellent for the sunsets! The bouyed off area is excellent for snorkelling with a vast range of fish and coral to see as well as keeping motor boats and the like out. Just along the beach is a similar area with marginally better snorkelling. There are plenty of deck chairs both on the beach and by the pool but there is limited shade around the pool. Although a few beach vendors come and go there is security on the beach with a gurad permenantly on the hotel stretch - not that they were needed.
The food was actually quite good and they offered a varied menu with no particular menu reappearing in our 16 days there. The only time the menu was the same was for the functions which fell on Sat, Mon and Wed night. Apart from the Wed the other two nights had BBQs which were excellent. Breakfast was fairly standard in what you could get but lunch was very good with a either a buffet or menu to choose from. On days out we asked for packed lunches which were huge and good quality with snadwiches, 3 types of fruit each, fish or chicken and drinks.
The entertainment was limited but they did have a tennis court across the road and a shed with table tennis and darts in by the beach.
Without doubt the very best part of Discovery Bay is the staff. It is predominently for this reason that we considered the hotel excellent. They could never do enough for you, were quick to pick up your names, were exceptionally polite and had a fantastic rapport with the kids. The manager Charles is very keen to expand the reputation of the hotel and is pursuing a number of initiatives to improve all aspects of the food, entertainment and facilities at the hotel, including a kids club which starts in Dec 2003. He welcomes comments which is why I am repeating here pretty much what I said in my comments sheet when we left.
I suppose the ultimate question has to be would you go back? Without doubt YES. It is not Sandy Lanes and does not try to be so but it has an ambience and character of its own which is very relaxing and ideal for smaller families.
As far as tours and the like go car hire was cheap and fun - avoid the moke during the wet season. A small jeep is only a a few dollars more a day. Otherwise speak to the rep for spacial deals on combining trips in one day.
Barbados was a real treat and made evn more special by the staff at Discovery Bay so to them a huge thank you and see you again soon!
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