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“Very Pleasantly Surprised”

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Long Bay Beach Club
Ranked #7 of 25 Hotels in Tortola
London, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Very Pleasantly Surprised”
Reviewed 1 August 2006

After my girlfiend had announced to me that she had planned and arranged a romantic getaway to celebrate our 5th anniversary, I was at first thrilled and excited, and then when learning that this was to be at the Long Bay Beach Resort and checking out the reviews on this site, a little nervous.

It has to be said outright, that just like her, this trip turned out to be perfect! Our experience of this resort could not have been any better. Having travelled all over the world, and stayed at alot of the best hotels, I was hesitant to see that the reviews of this resort warned people away, who were picky and hard-to-please. However, the staff was unbelievably friendly and helpful...making sure that we had everything we needed, and often a lot more towels than I am proud to have requested.

I also found the gift shop in the resort to be of great help, especially for picking up little things (like suntan lotion, or bottled water, etc...), when we didn't want to leave the breathtaking beach and head into town. It seemed to offer so much variety of things, we never really had to be taken away from the romance and relaxation.

In fact, just being able to wake up in the morning to the sound of waves crashing, and then open the front door and be confronted by the gorgeous scenery made me wish that we could have stayed there together forever. I am usually one who craves city living and creature comforts...but the romantic atmosphere, amazing service (and great food) that the resort offered, has now firmly converted me.

On top of this, the island itself is simply beautiful, with plenty to see and do; and even has the option of several short excursions to the surounding BVI islands for the day.

Next year it is my turn to choose a place for our anniversary, and I already know that I am in for a huge challenge if I am going to out-do the Long Bay Beach Resort.

  • Liked — from the moment we checked-in, till the second we left, we were treated like royalty
  • Disliked — having to match it next year when it's my turn to choose
  • Tips/Secrets — there is a great place nearby where you can swim with dolphins
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
16 Thank erezgehl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2006

After my recent stay at the Long Bay Beach Resort in Tortola I am left with mixed feelings. Please note that while I couldn't truly recommend the Long Bay Beach Resort at it's current price point, Tortola as an island is a jewel of a vacation spot.

On the positive side, being upgraded to a beachfront room for free was a lucky plus and made the stay truly memorable as it soothed some of the feeling that the "all inclusive" option was a waste of our money.

Our room had beautiful wooden vaulted ceilings, a double sink, a huge king size bed, beautiful full wall sliding glass door with a beautiful view and a cozy deck. Outside of a small ant infestation in the bathroom that was easily cleared up by the hotel within our first day, our room was clean, beautiful, spacious, well air-conditioned and well maintained. The only complaint I would have would be that the TV was badly positioned in relation to the bed, but honestly TV was not a priority during our stay; I don't think we even turned it on.

The hotel pool is also great, however it's placement is sort of odd being upstairs from the main lobby level and a short walk from the beach front rooms. The pool bar was well stocked, the bartender was very friendly and efficient, even thou a bit overwhelmed at times, and also acted as a short order cook (excellent burgers and hotdogs, mmmm). The pool even sported a small slide fit for young ones, which was an unexpected surprise. The pool area was clean neat and adequately stocked with chairs and shaded areas for loungers.

As for service and many of the complaints you may read about service... it's the Caribbean ... relax mon... u'll be happier for it. :D

As for food my fiancé' and myself decided to take the "all inclusive" package at the hotel "BIG MISTAKE". The food was edible at the hotel and ranged from good to so-so. There was nothing I'd say was bad, however, we were never completely wowed by the fare either and honestly we felt the value just wasn't there to justify the price.

Compared to other hotels in the same chain "Elite Hotels" the food was sub par and honestly not worth the "all inclusive" premium.

Due to the limited selection of restaurants and fare, we were driven out of the hotel mid trip to sample the great restaurants of Tortola which was fun but out of budget :/. However, in all fairness, the Palm Grill is worth at least a night’s dinner and the pool bar's burgers and dogs were good, but eating exclusively at the hotel on an all inclusive plan, is hum drum at best and expensive gruel at it's worst.

The real reason I travel to the Caribbean however, is to enjoy the crystal blue waters, excellent beaches and wildlife. I have been an avid snorkler and diver for almost 15 years. I love the Caribbean for the water sports and aquatic environmental exploration. This is where I feel the hotel fell seriously short especially in regards to the quality I expect from an "all inclusive" hotel.

THE WATER OFF THE BEACH IS EXTREMELY ROCKY

For the first several feet (3 to 5) in the water there is sand as you might expect. However, after that the ground turns to rocks, or more accurately boulders, like a submerged beach long jetty that extends at least 50 to 100 yards off shore and takes up the entire useable beach at the hotel. There are plenty of places I could imagine an unlucky bather could sprain an ankle, or much worse.

For a strong and determined swimmer/snorkler DURING RELATIVE CALM this is not really an issue, as long as you don't mind the discomfort of balancing on rocks in surf occasionally and the possibility of a skinned knee. For the adventurous there is some great wild life to be seen offshore of the hotel. If you are blessed with calm seas even a novice can have a great time snorkeling; sadly even a mild squall can ruin the surf for several days and make the water dangerous in my opinion (and given the almost complete lack of other bathers, the opinions of the other guests as well ).

The beach is basically useless for casual / restful bathing. I wouldn't recommend entering the water, to any but the most experienced swimmers during times of even mild surf. During calm periods casual bathing is possible but not entirely enjoyable and possibly stressful to some.

In addition or possibly due to the state of the ocean by the hotel there are very few water sports available from the hotel unlike many hotels that offer a plethora of exciting options from sailing to jet ski's to banana boat rides. Sadly the only option my fiancé' and I found for our "all inclusive" water sports dollars was free snorkel gear rental (of which we bring our own). There were other off hotel options which were great fun however, they were not included in the "all inclusive" premium charged by the hotel devaluing that option in my opinion even more.

Once again like the food my fiancé' and myself were driven from the hotel to explore Tortilla’s other aquatic options for our needs. We had a great time at Smugglers Cove and had 2 fun day trips on the White Squall II (Which I HIGHLY recommend). The hotel was very helpfull in booking and advertising these options which was nice.

In conclusion the value of the Hotel as an "All Inclusive" resort here is suspect at best. When you strip the hotel of it's "all inclusive" option Im not sure if it stands up to the other hotels on the island from a value standpoint either, I honestly didn't research that.

Since I've had other experiences with the "Elite Hotel" chain that simply outstripped Long Bay by miles (St James Club and the Wind Jammer) , Im going to have to say that this hotel did not meet my expectations. Overall I'd say the room (which we had upgraded by lucky happenstance), and pool were great, the food was Ok, the beach was very disappointing and water sports were basically non-existent. All in all the value simply wasn't there for the price... in my opinion.

  • Liked — Our upgraded room view was beautiful and the room was spacious.
  • Disliked — The waters off the beach were basically unusable
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't get the all inclusive option, it's not worth it.
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
21 Thank BeachBrowserNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brooklyn, ny
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2006

On our fourth trip to Tortola, with two kids and grandparents in tow, we decided a villa rental was the way to go. Since we had positive experiences at Long Bay Beach Resort in the past, we decided to rent one of their villas. This was obviously a huge mistake.

The layout of the villa was perfect for us. Living space downstairs with no AC (but we were rarely there in the daytime so it didn't matter), two air conditioned bedrooms upstairs, a private pool, and across the pool, a separate villa with a bedroom and bath (also air conditioned).

We booked this trip months in advance allowing the resort plenty of time to prepare the home. Well, apparently that wasn't a top priority for the staff even though the resort was not even half occupied at the time.

The freezer was missing a handle, knobs were missing from the stove, and a broken microwave, toaster, and blender made it difficult to enjoy the full kitchen. Upstairs in one bedroom the air conditioning didn't function properly for the first 4 days of the trip and the staff made no more effort to fix it than to say "we'll be right there". I am a laid back person, but right there on Long Bay time means 15 more phone calls and 2 days later when you threaten the front desk.

Halfway through our stay we ran out of water to find that the gentleman who cleans the pool is supposed to check the water tank. However, he never came to service the pool so why would we have a full water tank???

Most frustrating was the lack of service from the staff and general manager. When we voiced our complaints to him, he simply said he'd take care of it and then saunter off.

My suggestion is to find another villa in Tortola. It's a beautiful island with many more affordable options. Don't make the mistake of staying in a Long Bay Estate Home.

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
10 Thank lindsayandchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 June 2006

Well, I got back from my 10-day honeymoon at Long Bay about a month ago. I wish I had never left. Going into the trip, I really felt like I knew what to expect based on the multiple reviews and interactions I had prior to the trip. I was pleasantly surprised by my low expectations.

Let me preface by saying this: if you are uptight, demanding, in a hurry, and/or impatient...you probably won't enjoy it as much. We went with the expectation of having no concept of time. Sure, it took a couple minutes to be seated at dinner or get our food, but we didn't care. The island is tiny and there aren't enough people willing to work at the resort to cater to everyone. Just sit back, enjoy the weather, and you'll get your food/towels/drinks. The people who are there are more than inviting and pleasant to be around (unless you start bugging them about every little detail). They are doing their best, so just let them do it.

Second, we stayed in a beachfront cabana. We knew it wouldn't be the Ritz or Marriot, but it was awesome. Opening the sliding doors and listening to the ocean crash through the screen doors is so peaceful. We didn't have any problems with bugs in the room, which was another surprise. The A/C units are a tad undersized, but if you leave them on for a while, the rooms is quite comfortable compared to the temperature outside. The linens aren't the greatest either, so if you have room in your suitcase, I would suggest bringing some softer sheets (however, they won't be washed everyday, and if you forget to take them off, you just lost them).

Third, the food was very good. I thought it wouldn't since the reviews tended to slight them. However, we did the all-inclusive, so the cost of every meal wasn't a burden on us. If you plan on drinking lots of mixed drinks every day, I would suggest doing the all-inclusive. We didn't quite break even, but I wasn't stressing out over the bill every night. The only drawback with the food is the schedule of the restaraunts. Having 2 on the resort was a major reason why we chose Long Bay. However, only 1 of them is open at night. The only places to eat lunch are 1748 and the pool bar. I shouldn't have expected them to be able to fully staff each one at dinner, but don't expect to have too much variety as far a dining options go. But, if you aren't used to shrimp, lobster, and caviar, expect the food to be very flavorful and delicious.

Fourth, the resort staff is great. The receptionists, bartendars, and servers are all very friendly and will treat you with respect, as long as you respect them also. If you go looking for a "couples massage" at the resort spa, STOP. They only have 1 professionaly trained massuese. We were incredibly disappointed for having to pay $100 for one of us to get the equivalent of a 10-year-old.

Lastly, be warned that the ocean isn't the best for swimming/playing around in. If you plan on being in the ocean a lot, take some *SECURE* sandals/flip flops/aqua socks. There are too many rocks to simply walk right out and swim. The waves weren't as big as people made them out to be, so don't worry about that unless you want it to be like a lake. Also, if you can do a day sail to Cooper Island or Peter Island or The Baths or all 3, I would recommend that. It was a great way to see some more of the area and snorkel with some really cool views (sharks, sting rays, turtles).

If you have any detailed questions, feel free to e-mail me at the address shown above.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 2 June 2006

Having read some of these reviews before we booked this holiday and our wedding ceremony on the Long Bay beach (we are a Canadian and English couple living in Toronto) we now find many of the negative ones laughable as this is the most fantastic place and the friendliest people you could wish to meet. Not having a Microwave is not a problem and the people from Leicester (UK) (have you been to Leicester?) are just ridiculous. Also the cockroach mentioned (go to India,Thailand or Malaysia like we have and then complain) but we never saw anything like this in any of the places we ate and you have to understand this is a hot climate.

IMPORTANT - YOU HAVE TO LEAVE NEW YORK OR LONDON BEHIND. The Caribbean people are laid back but are the friendliest people you could wish to meet i.e. Conitta, Eric, Sandra, Mabel, Sheryl, Carlotta, Juney etc etc... we had a few probs re: lost baggage (American Airlines) and the whole staff of Long Bay were fantastic and the friendliest people.
Would totally agree though with food being overpriced (especially the evening buffet's) however the lunchtime food in the 1748 is good. Outside restaurant Coco Plums is a must and great value. If a special occassion then Sugar Mills has best Steak and Lamb Chops however you do pay for it and its a bit pretentious.
We were upgraded to a Beach Cabana which was fantastic as the Long Bay beach is pure heaven and yeah it is rustic but please how out of place would a Hilton or a Ritz be. Believe us you just sit on your deck with a Rum overlooking the most fantastic view and then walk down your Cabana steps to the best beach and waters.

This place is a must for just letting the City go i.e.Computers, cell phones etc etc... and as long as you have a smile on your face and do not treat everyone as if they are your servant the staff will love you and do anything for you.
Wont mention any names but we enjoyed a few drinks on the beach with a member of staff on her day off who is beautiful (you know who you are).
Pool bar is great and you meet lots of good people as there are no whiners because they are too busy complaining to reception about the most trivial things. The pool girls are busy and understaffed but bare with them.
Our Wedding day on the beach just outside of our Cabana was fantastic and we fully recommend getting married here.
There are many ways to get to the island however AVOID TAKING BAGGAGE VIA AMERICAN AIRLINES as they are renowned for losing or delaying it (12 days later still not received and not known where it is).
We look forward to returning for a future anniversary.
Another tip, we booked through Nicole at Elite Island Vacations and she was able to match an Expedia price deal which was important to us as she liaised with Carlotta (wedding planner) in relation to our Wedding plans.
Enjoy your stay.

The Pledgers

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2006

I just returned from Long Bay last night. I used these boards prior to my trip and wanted to post a review to share info with everyone who will be visiting Tortola. We stayed at the resort May 20 thru May 26 in a Villa on the all inclusive plan. We flew Usairways to San Juan and then Caribbean Sun from San Juan to Tortola. Flights were on time (early) however Carib Sun Lost our luggage for 24 hours. For this reason I suggest using carry -on or pack some swim suits, underwear ect in a carry- on. Apparently lost luggage happens all the time because we met several people with the same experience. Even a bride to be! Now for the review of the resort. Long Bay is a large, hillside (read long hilly walks) older (circa 1970's) resort. If you are looking for a new resort such as Iberostar, Sunscape, Secrets, ect you will be disapponted. The beauty here is the location, beautiful beach, and stunning views. The rooms are clean, with standard hotel furniture and decor. Sheets and towels are thin, motel quality. Toiletries are dollar store variety. Water pressure is adequate. The staff is wonderful. Everywhere we went we were greeted with "hello, "how are you?" "enjoying your day?" "have fun today" ect. Truly nice.
Every question and request was answered. We were greeted by name and never ignored. The meals were delicious, banana pancakes with rum butter sauce, fresh ground beef for hamburgers, veal, swordfish, rack of lamb, red snapper, tuna steak, rib eye steak, prime rib, fresh vegetables, gorgeous fruits, great salads, and fresh baked pastries for deserts, pecan pie, cheesecake. How anyone could complain about the food is a mystery to me. Restaurant service can be slow, so be patient.
Prior to my trip I was nervous about the resort..so this review is meant to reassure anyone thinking of visiting Long Bay. Go with an open mind, take your best manners, smile, treat people with respect, enjoy the beach and beauty. Enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank Jayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 May 2006

For everyone reading these comments and thinking how can this hotel have such widely varying reviews, don't worry we thought the same thing !! In a different setting Long Bay would be no more than an average hotel, but the beach location is truly stunning.

We stayed for four nights in early May, and the hotel was fairly empty which added to the appeal. We booked directly through longbay and got a significant discount from the big online travel websites above. We paid $192 a night for a long weekend, (don't do all inclusive, food quality not good enough)

First the negatives, the hotel is a little rough around the edges in parts,especially further away from the main building, and with the exception of the buffet breakfast at 1748, the food is pretty poor and overpriced. The staff are generally friendly though sometimes you do get the feeling that they are just tolerating you, However, in our view these negatives can all be explained by the fact that Tortola is not resort developed at all, so don't expect the kind of hotel refinements and service you would get at big resort or city hotels.

To the positives, our room was absolutely fantastic, we got an upgrade to the top floor of one of the Family Villas on the hill room #152. The view from the balcony was simply breathtaking, it was the highest point and furthest away from the main complex, and in our view was probably the best room in the entire hotel. The pool area and tennis courts are a good alternative to the beach, though we spent most of the time at the beach. The breakfast buffet at 1748 has a great selection, expecially fruit, juices, cereal etc, the hot food was ok but was stiil overpriced for the quality.

Definitely recommend hiring a car to get away from the resort, if you want to do anything but lounge at the beach or pool. We hired a car just for 24 hours and spent an afternoon walking around Sage Mountain. Make sure you take a map from the shop at the car park before setting out on foot as we didn't manage to find the lookout and just wandered along forest paths for a few hours !! Smugglers Cove was fantastic, beach is great and snorkelling is awesome. Recommend Sugar Mill & Quitos for dinner, in that order, Both have some great dishes, especially the jerk shrimp at Quitos.

Also recommend the White Squall day trip to Virgin Gorda & Cooper Island. Pierce and Chris, the captain and "first mate", were great fun and kept the drinks flowing throughout the day.

Last little tip, take plenty of cash as there are very few ATMs and only one on the Long Bay side of the island. Friday is pay day so the ATM frequently runs out of cash. We had to take a taxi to Road Town just to find a working ATM. !! Though you don't need cash at the hotel for meals, drinks etc, the shop and expensive taxis only accept cash so without a car, cash reserves run down quickly.

On the whole would return purely for the views and location, but just don't expect big resort luxury & service.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Long Bay Beach Club

Property: Long Bay Beach Club
Address: PO Box 433, BVI, Tortola (Formerly Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Tortola
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Tortola
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Tortola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Long Bay Beach Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on one of the most beautiful, mile-long stretches of white sand beach in the Caribbean, Long Bay Beach Club is truly the gem of the British Virgin Islands. Guests enjoy terrific accommodations including Beachfront Rooms and Suites. The resort amenities include the historic beachfront 1748 Restaurant & Bar, tennis, amazing beach and much more. Fantastic location on Tortola's much sought after West End, just minutes from Soper's Hole Marina. Popular excursions include sailing, diving, sightseeing, and shopping. Great restaurants, bars, and nightlife nearby. Perfect for couples, friends, and families. Also ideal for those seeking a land / sea vacation that includes sailing and hotel stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas Hotel Tortola
Long Bay Beach Resort And Villas
Long Bay Beach Hotel
Long Bay Beach Resort Villas Tortola
Long Bay Resort Tortola
Long Bay Beach Club Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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