A friend and I spent four nights here after spending three nights at another Elite Island Resorts property in Antigua (St. James's Club) and we found the staff here to be a bit more animated and friendly than at St. James's. Although the staff in Barbados was friendlier the service was still perfunctory. Questions about menu items were frequently met with a blank stare and an "I don't know" response. I had to ask the servers if they would go find out because it was obvious they were not going to go to the kitchen on their own. On our first day I ordered a hamburger at the grill on the beach. When I asked if they could put a piece of bacon on it -- which was pre-cooked and stacked on a dish next to the lettuce-- the reply was a firm "no, that's for the wraps." When I started to put mayo and lettuce on my bun the same cook stated "that's for the wraps."
We had a one-bedroom suite that overlooked the pool that was spacious and comfortable. The bathroom did not have any ventilation and the lighting was not great. The towels were a little thin and I had to ask housekeeping for a new one on the first day because the first one I picked up had a hole in it the size of a fist. The housekeeper was embarrassed when I showed it to her. They leave pool towels in the room for you but you only get one and they don't change it out while you are there. Maybe I was supposed to leave it on the bathroom floor with the bath towels in order to get a fresh one. Having an in-room safe and free WiFi came in handy. Sometimes we had to go to the lobby or restaurant to pick-up the signal. This was a small thing for us because we were trying to disconnect but if you need Internet access be aware you may not always get a signal in your room.
The food is ok. It is mainly buffet at lunch and some of the items seemed heavy for a tropical climate (Chicken a La King and other similar dishes). A saving grace at breakfast was the daily omelette bar and the station that made pancakes and french toast to order. There was always a tomato salad offered at lunch, and by "salad" I mean chunks of fresh tomato in a bowl without any dressing. They did have a good pasta salad and the scalloped potatoes were also very good. They change the hot entrees daily. Dinner was served and in addition to the regular menu they offered items that could be purchased for an additional cost. One night we sprang for the $35 (U.S.) surf and turf special. The meat was good but I think the lobster was a large shrimp (Langastino?) given its small size. Still, I don't regret ordering it. The upstairs restaurant, Enid's, is also good. It's a smaller dining room with a totally different menu and we enjoyed eating there. We decided we would laugh at having to ask the waiter to kill the cockroach-looking insect that was running around the table next to ours. It is a tropical island so we accepted the fact that bugs exist where there's a lot of vegetation.
The beach at this resort is small. I would say it is about 40 feet deep at the widest point and then tapers off. There are plenty of beach chairs but folks do grab them early and keep them all day. Because the widest part of the beach is right outside of the dining room, be prepared to look at sunbathers while eating breakfast. That could be good, but odds are it will not be.
To access the water there is one short flight of steps. It's a bit rocky but not too difficult to find some sandy areas where you can stand. They do offer paddle boarding, kayaks and snorkeling and the water is clear and warm so you should take advantage of it. There is also a nice walkway to the north of the resort that is open to the public and goes at least a half a mile or more north of the resort. There are some gaps in the walkway and a few rocky areas that are easily maneuverable even in bare feet and the walk is worth it. It's a very beautiful area.
Finally, if you tire of the resort, Lime Grove, a new shopping complex with high end shops (Louis Vitton, Gucci, etc) is about a half-mile up the road. If you walk to Lime Grove you can also stop in the Chattel House village. Since one day of our stay was overcast, we took a taxi into Bridgetown ($20 U.S. each way and a 20 minute ride). Per the visitors map, Broad street looked like a shopping street but aside from one block of duty free shops the remainder of the stores appeared geared to locals: markets, hardware, etc. The Parliament Museum is nearby, as is the statue of General (?) Nelson. Being a bit parched we asked directions to "Lobster Alive" a restaurant that everyone was talking about. It was about a five minute walk from Broad St. Since it was 3 p.m. the restaurant was almost empty. This is mainly a dinner place so we weren't surprised it was empty. We sat on the patio and ordered their Rum Punch. It certainly packed one. It was so good we ordered a second one before taking a walk on Carlisle Beach. This is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a drink. At night the restaurant has a jazz trio so I imagine it could be a lot of fun. We didn't have any food but can highly recommend the punch.
The resort appears to attract a lot of long term (1 week to 1 month) visitors from the U,K. and that contributes to a friendly community feeling in the restaurant bar area in the evenings. The resort also had some good entertainers on Friday and Saturday night.
The resort is about a 40 minute and $40 (U.S.) taxi ride from the airport. My friend had to leave for the airport at 5:30 a.m. and the the taxi rate was $50 at that early hour.
All in all, the resort is nice. I had purchased the package in a silent auction so I paid one-half of the daily rate (regularly $250/person/day, we paid $125/person/day). At the rate we paid I feel it was a good value.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to The Club, Barbados! The Club is the only Adults Only All-Inclusive resort in Barbados (all guests must be 16 years of age or older). The Club is located at St. James Beach, on the highly sought after West Coast of Barbados. We offer a terrific variety of guest rooms and suites, a luxurious Spa & Salon, two restaurants, bars, freshwater swimming pools, fitness center, and much more. Enjoy amazing ocean views, evening entertainment, and a cheerful, friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy a cocktail with your fellow guests and explore the best of Barbados. Perfect for couples, honeymoons, friends, girlfriend getaways, spa retreats, and anyone seeking the fun, sun, and relaxation Barbados is famous for. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Almond Beach Club Hotel Saint James
- Almond Beach Club And Spa
- Almond Beach Hotel
- Almond Beach Resort All Inclusive
- The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa Saint James Parish