We met my parents here and stayed for three nights. We basically just wanted to experience being on the West Coast without having to spend $600+/night on accommodations for the 4 of us.
There was people to greet us right away when we arrived and they helped us with our bags to our room, we had a ground floor.
We had ordered from the grocery list so that we would have some stuff in our room and not have to worry about finding a store or anything right away. Unless you have a problem with walking a short distance with a bag in your hand don't do this! Firstly, they weren't in the room when we got there and we had to ask and they took a few hours to get them to us, obviously they forgot and had to send someone to the store that we ended up going to anyways. They then charge you a huge amount for the items that you could have just gotten yourself for 1/3 the price. They charged about $25 (US) for a 6 pack of beer when it's only about $2.25 (US) per beer at the grocery store across the street. We easily walked to the store and got some snacks and beer just across the street near the little mall parking lot. And the cab driver that drove us from the airport to the hotel was happy to make a quick stop for us at the gas station or grocery store on our way as well, just offer them a little more money than you agreed to for the convenience.
It definitely stunk a bit on the side door access as it was right next to the gutters. But every hotel along the beach had these sewer gutters in between, I just think that the entrance doors are unfortunately placed too close at this place. We had the two french doors to go in and out of when we weren't going far from the hotel and the smell wasn't on that side.
The room was very clean, nicely arranged for the 4 of us. Definitely outdated. This place seems like it would have been really nice about 25 years ago. I heard they put all their money into the Southwinds and if they just updated a few of the appliances like the refrigerator and the beds/bedspreads etc. it would be a much cozier environment to live in.
My husband and I slept on the fold out couch and it wasn't comfortable at all and they didn't leave any pillows and when I asked for one they brought me this really huge puffed out pillow that was clearly old and the inside cotton was all balled up. It was unusable. My parents had about 4 pillows on their bed though but they like their pillows and were unwilling to share so, we didn't have pillows unfortunately and I used my airplane pillow. We're young and easy to please though and we weren't paying so I didn't really have a place to complain about that sort of thing. We come from -30 weather and were just happy to be there.
The internet was definitely in and out and seemed to work better when you sat on the front porch outside and worked a little better during the day than at night.
The showers didn't seem to have hot water, not even necessarily warm. But we didn't say anything and were only there for 3 nights and it was hot outside. I think if we would have said something then they might have done something about it?
Also, be warned! They claim that you can use the amenities of the Far more posh resort next door, The Almond. Well, you CAN use them... but for the amount they charge you to use them, you might as well just stay there.
The Almond Beach Club looked like a really nice place to stay, and it's way more expensive and I think an all inclusive. If you want to use their bar you have to buy a pass for $40 US and that doesn't include the drink prices. That's just to use it. There's a fee to USE the restaurant, a fee to USE the pool, etc. A day pass just to USE everything is $100 US. It's not worth in my opinion, if you're gonna pay that you might as well pay just a little bit more and actually stay at their nicer hotel. If you want all that, from what I saw, it was a nice looking place.
But we're not picky and it was an affordable place in a really good location and for three nights we were totally happy with it. It seems like a lot of time share holders stayed there for long periods and they're satisfied with what they've got. it's true, you get what you pay for, it IS right next door to one of the most expensive hotels on the entire island (Sandy Lane) so I mean.... really, what are you expecting?
The staff was always really pleasant, although whenever we asked for something it would take a few hours, maybe the next morning, to get it. Our coffee maker didn't work and I'm a fiend for my coffee and when they brought us a new one the next day it didn't work a whole lot better. I asked for an in-room safe and they kept saying they'd get on it and never did. I was a little annoyed with that but then again I didn't do much about it except ask twice. I should have complained if I really wanted it and made a bigger deal about it and I would have gotten it.
They had a little welcoming party for everyone on Monday with rum punch which was nice.
The hot tub didn't have any water in it and was not in use, but hey... who wants a hot tub in 28 degree weather right! No one seemed to mind and it at night if it rains it was a nice table to congregate around with lights and shelter if there's a "Passing SHower".
The Sandy Lane beach is RIGHT there, except when the tide is in it's a little more difficult to access from the beach line as there is a wall that the waves crash up against. You have to walk out a bit where they are just passing over you and not crashing you against the wall. My parents walked over there the next day though with total ease when the tide went out. And I thought Sandy Lane and the little cove beyond it was one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.
The Catamaran cruise we took later that week would take us actually to the Sandy Lane Beach for lunch and in the other direction (North) of Divi there is a little beach area where the Turtle information sign is. That is where the catamaran actually took us to swim with the turtles and snorkle around the shipwreck.
You can walk along the beachline to reach Holetown shopping area and there is many restaurants and shops. It's easier to get to from the beach I think, and more pleasant of a walk. But the busses can take you on the road very easily or you can walk the road as well.
We ate at a little place on the beach called Surf Side and it had your basic Flying Fish Sandwiches and rum punch with a great ocean front seating. Casual and low key, inexpensive place for lunch.
Overall the Divi is a very pleasant place to stay and in a fantastic location, not on, but very close to the beach. You can see the ocean from your room and some of the rooms are actually ocean front. It's not as far from the beach as I thought, I didn't even think we could see the ocean from our room before we went from what I looked up online.
Sunset is a big event every night with everyone gathering along the wall for pictures and then everyone sort of mingled around for while until it got dark.
A note on drivers. If you call a cab to take you anywhere, definitely bargain with them. We took a cab to the Harrisons Caves and he charged us $60 Barbados. When we found a cab for our ride home in the Caves parking lot we asked how much and when he said $60 my husband said "$60! (looked over at us and said) Didn't we pay $50 for our ride here?!" and then the driver quickly said "yes, that's fine, $50 is good". Then, the next day when we got a cab to the Aerial Zip line adventures which was about the same distance away the driver initially said it would be $45 Barbados.
We hired a driver to take us to our next hotel that day for $40 an hour. He was a great driver and guide and took us to places we didn't know about, scenic overlooks and stuff and restaurants for lunch. His name is Danny and a girl at the front desk recommended him. When she recommended him she had said $30 Barbados an hour and when I talked to him on the phone to reserve him for the next day he said $40. I should have said "$40, the woman who recommended you said $30". But I'm not as smooth as my husband when it comes to that. But just to give you an example of how you can bargain with them. I can give you his number if you message me.
If you want to stay on the West Coast, on the beach - or at least where the beach is accessible in a 5 minute walk and a view from your room; you don's care about frills like a pool, swim up bar, gym, spa etc; you want a clean and relaxed environment; don't expect any more than a clean, pleasant room to stay in and a great location, then this is a very good place to stay for the price.
You have to be a very easy going traveler and get yourself on Island Time as soon as possible. The Bajan people I think can come across as inattentive to a lot of visitors and I think it's a misunderstanding. Every time I talked to anyone from there they were respectful and very helpful and informative. They just don't do the small talk and cater to you in a fake way. They're on a frequency I think that most vacationers take about 3 or 4 days to get on.
If you find this is a good price and you want a great location and aren't to picky, don't hesitate to stay here and give it a try.
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- Also Known As:
- Divi Heritage Hotel Saint James
- Divi Heritage Saint James
- Divi Heritage Barbados/Saint James Parish