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“Simply Unforgettable” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tamarind by Elegant Hotels

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Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Simply Unforgettable”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

For four unforgettable nights room 203 at the delightful Tamarind Hotel in Payne's Bay, St. James, Barbados was our home away from home. With its secluded, Spanish-styled three-story structure, we were spared the cramped feeling of the typical high-rise resort. Located on the second floor, our room was spacious and charming. It was modern but without that sterile look or feel of modernity. It had character. Ordinarily, we spend little time in our rooms when on vacation, but this particular room cuddled us rather than pushed us away, and who doesn't love to be cuddled? A short walk along a corridor and down the stairs and Wham! The bar is right there (FIFA World Cup Matches and all). The swimming pool is right there. The breakfast area is there. The dining area is there. All out in the open and without the restriction of walls. And the beach is there with its blue, green waters of the Atlantic.

At the beginning of each day, beach towels and spread were already neatly folded and laid out on beach chairs; we didn't have to go to some booth to get them. In addition, attendants were constantly walking around and offering cold mini-towels (scented with peppermint or lavender) and popsicles to provide some comfort from the summer heat. It appears that summer is the low season in Barbados, but that worked for us in that the hotel and environs were not crowded. And not a lot of kids running around either. We saw only two of the little scaly-wags.

The food was great. In fact, it was so delicious, stylish, and sophisticated that it made going out to dine elsewhere unnecessary. But one night we did leave the comforts of the Tamarind to dine elsewhere. My friend, Ralph, who lives on the Island and whom I had not seen in ages took us to Oistins, a very popular part of the island for dining out Friday nights and for enjoying the local fare. Saturday nights are the best time to go there. It is less crowded. I had fried chicken (been having this craving for fried chicken lately - not the fast food type but the home-cooked type), peas and rice, flying fish, macaroni and cheese, and mauby. All local, at-the-side-of-the road, sit-down-on-a-bench stuff. The experience in one word? Out of this world (well, four words)! Oh! And "mauby" will have to be explained in its own blog. It has been over thirty years since I last had that beverage.

The most memorable part of the Tamarind experience, however, was the hospitality of the staff. Typically, Caribbean people are tremendously cordial and courteous, but the members of the Tamarind staff embodied those constructs. Their hospitality was certainly not contrived, and their level of professionalism was admirable. Our Aruba experience several years ago used to be the benchmark for the ideal vacation, but our experience at the Tamarind is now the new benchmark, and by a significant margin as well. We can't wait to go back there and for a more extended stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RicCouchman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,061 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (377)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

Stayed for 8 nights in May (our third visit to Barbados, having stayed at Crystal Cove and Colony Club)
The hotel was kept nice and clean, rooms were a decent size with views of the pools or ocean.
We only ate in the hotel on our first night and wasn't over whelmed, choosing to dine off site or at neighbouring Daphnes.
The bar was well stocked and reasonably priced but quite slow ( having stayed in various Caribbean resorts, I would say that even by local standards the service was poor)
The best feature of the hotel was the beach, a great stretch with lots of sun loungers
Breakfast was great with the usual English breakfast items, cereals and pastries
Spa - no bargains but a decent massage
Location - great beach, next door to Daphne's , walking distance to Scarlett's and The Cliff but otherwise a 5 minute taxi to holetown ($10 US)

I don't think I'd rush to return to Tamarind, we got a great price and enjoyed a fab holiday with perfect weather but for me the hotel lacked any soul.
Overall I preferred the ambiance and location of Colony Club in comparison, but there is certainly no major faults at the Tamarind and depending on budget it's still a great hotel on the stunning west coast

Room Tip: Ocean view every time
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JB1981London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
charleston,sc
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

We had a great stay at the Tamarind! The hotel & grounds are just as pictured. I found that our bathroom was actually quite updated- no complaints there. We were in room 106 which was a great location- directly in front of the pool/bar area. It might not be a good location during the peak season though. The bed is really my only complaint- it was like laying a sheet over a brick. I was actually in pretty bad back pain daily and dreaded sleeping at night. I talked to other guests and they had comfortable bedding so it's not a hotel problem- just that particular room. I did not share the same experience as the other guests in regards to service. It was certainly not poor, but it wasn't out of this world either. I did think the grounds were pretty, the room was a nice, large size and the bathroom was updated. It was in a great location- easy access to the public bus which we used constantly to explore. Be prepared to spend a decent amount of money on food- pretty much wherever you go on the island. We did take advantage of the free breakfast and managed to only eat one other meal with light snacks during the day. The water sports are a nice extra and the pool is great as well. Roddy's Sea Turtle Tour was one of our favorite things to do in addition to the reggae bus. If you can go to the fish fry in Oisten's do it, also try and catch a game of road tennis- unique to Barbados. We really enjoyed the George Washington house and Martin (the tour guide) was awesome. Overall, loved the island- thought it was beautiful and the people were very helpful & friendly.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank graceleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
346 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

We had a week at the Tamarind which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The room was a good size and well air conditioned, the facilities, especially all the free water sports were excellent and the bars and restaurant were also good. Best of all though were the staff who were charming and couldn't do enough to help.

The hotel is situated on a very picturesque clean, sandy beach although if I was being really picky I would say that I would have preferred a wider stretch of sand as I felt a little confined - but the whole of the west coast of Barbados is like that.

A couple of other tiny points which I raised with the hotel -- our bed was curiously short. I am just under 6 feet and I only just fitted into the bed. It made me wonder whether they had it the wrong way round as it felt wider than it was long. The other thing is that the wireless internet, although complimentary throughout the hotel, can be a bit erratic and sometimes slow.

I know what other reviewers mean when the say the hotel is looking a little tired but think that perhaps they mean that it is a little old fashioned. It is certainly not trendy or boutiquey, tending more to a rustic look, which was fine by us. Overall then, a great holiday.

Room Tip: We had a pool view room which was fine. If you upgrade to an ocean view room just be aware that ther...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PaulofPleshey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2014

We visited Barbados in nov 2012 and stayed at this brilliant resort. We travelled with our son 23 yr old and our niece in her late 20's . The resort offered fantastic facilities, good water sports, and lovely staff. The manageress allocated to us was antonia, a lovely character, very helpful and nothing was to much to ask of her. Food was excellent, our only complaint was that no matter how many times we told the waiters not to chill the red wine, they simply kept on serving red wine chilled, which temperatures are far too cold to enjoy red wine. As one would expect wine is quite expensive overall.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vsp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
57 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

We attended a destination wedding over a long weekend and we had a great time. Our room had an ocean view and a small patio at the ground level and we really enjoyed sitting there. The staff was generally very helpful, and the food at the restaurant good, and the breakfast buffet was excellent. They also have free water activities like sailing and paddle boarding. All in all we really enjoyed our stay.

There are also a few other restaurants a cheap cab ride away.

The one fault was the maintenance crew which failed to properly fix our toilet during our stay, but it wasn't that big a deal.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beaufour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Cala de Mijas, Spain
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

We went to the Tamarind to celebrate my 50th birthday and it totally exceeded our expectations. We had an Ocean view room on the 3rd floor and there was a birthday cake and wine & a birthday card all there on our arrival -nice touch! The beaches are just beautiful and you really aren't pestered by sellers, they are all friendly and polite. The food at the hotel was amazing, lobsters, steaks, jumbo shrimp everything you could wish for. Breakfast was good too, we went half board and just ate two meals a day we were so full. All the staff are friendly and nothing is too much trouble. We also enjoyed meeting the Managers of various departments at the weekly cocktail party by the pool. Loved Happy Hour, great cocktails Arden! It was fairly quiet while we were there but that suited us, we enjoyed some class entertainment in the evening (great sax player) while we ate our meal looking at the ocean. We swam with the turtles and went with Roddy (big hat, gold tooth) on his boat who totally looked after me as I was a little nervous. He even emails photos of the trip to you all included in the price and came looking for us when my partner wrote his email down wrongly. Also Angie on the beach for T-shirts & sarongs, nice lady. Paul on the beach will take you anywhere you want to go on the island in his taxi, you must see the Atlantic side, its another world. Don't miss Oistins, a street fayre where locals mix with tourists, great music, food and drink. All credit to Kim the hotel manager who has really pulled it together with the help of her fantastic staff and made the Tamarind a wonderful place to stay, we hope to return soon.

Room Tip: An ocean view is nice.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RayJulieGrays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamarind by Elegant Hotels

Property: Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
Address: PO Box 429, Paynes Bay, Barbados
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish > Paynes Bay
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Tamarind by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tamarind rests on a 750-foot crescent of premium West Coast white sand beach and is as family-friendly as it is an exclusive adult hideaway. Tamarind features contemporary guestrooms, an intimate spa and relaxation space and two restaurants. Contemporary sun loungers, day beds and decks, transform outdoor spaces into outdoor 'living rooms' providing flexible spaces for dining, drinking, relaxing and events. Complimentary features include: motorized and non-motorized watersports, daily buffet breakfast, WiFi in rooms and throughout property, fitness center and classes and water taxi to other Elegant Hotels' west coast properties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind By Elegant Hotel Paynes Bay
Tamarind Cove Saint James
Tamarind Cove Barbados
Hotel Tamarind Cove
Tamarind By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Paynes Bay

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