Tamarind just gets better. Each year, there are a few niggles, but the great thing about the management is that they listen to them and improve year on year. This was our 3rd visit to Tamarind and 9th Barbados trip and we're already looking at booking again next year.
Our room this time was just amazing. Sea view, very spacious, more storage space than any other room I've been in, great balcony, super-efficient air con. An extra bonus this time was a small plunge pool right outside the door which feeds into the spa pool below... very handy on those really hot evenings.
Last time I reported about the limitations of the lunch menu. This has been re-vamped and extended. The quality is much better than before. One day I had the tuna nicoise which was superb. All menu items are reasonably priced. The bar staff get better and better each year. This time I tried a few concoctions recommended by the brilliant Arden. Whatever they're paying him, it can't be enough. I have now perfected his vodka, tomato, mango, chilli cocktail which is a daily routine for me now. It does get busy at the Relacks bar at happy hour when there's only one member of staff on so sometimes there is quite a wait, so this perhaps needs attention.
Tiffany, the concierge is excellent. She is very happy to ring round restaurants and sorted us out each night. This is far easier and cheaper than doing it yourself. Let me explain... There is a phone and telephone directory in the room. It is easy enough to ring the restaurants and make reservations as I did last year, since I felt a bit guilty asking Tiffany to make my phone calls for me when I could easily do it. However, the in room phones are billed to the guest per call and I ended up with a hefty phone bill. Inexplicably, if you use the guest phone in the hotel lobby, there is no charge. Sometimes, this year, I had to phone the restaurant Tiffany had very efficiently booked to confirm the booking. This involved a trip to the lobby to make that phone call. This is an inconvenience that could be avoided by making local calls free from guest rooms.
Beach staff are brilliant too. Special mention must go to Tito and Melissa who always take time out to chat to guests and both are hilarious but very efficient and exceptionally hard working.
The restaurant has moved up a notch. Last time I reported quite a lot of repetition in the breakfast menu and some long queues at certain times. This time, there was a better rotation of breakfast items but it's not quite right yet. Eggs benedict appeared twice and flying fish twice in a two week stay. EB is my all time favourite so some nice hollandaise would have been good to go with them. Also while I know it's expensive, some smoked salmon a couple of days wouldn't have gone amiss. It was available one year. This is probably the victim of budget cuts though. However, queues are no more. Sherissa is ultra-efficient and makes sure everybody is seated promptly. The coffee is OK, but no more than that. However, we've been spoilt a bit in Europe over the past few years with the rising bar in the quality of the coffee. I was in NYC recently and noticed how poor the coffee was there, compared to Europe.
Some urgent work had to be done to some admin offices which was handled very professionally by the maintenance team. It was obvious that some heavy construction work was underway. The area was screened off and the management made every effort to ensure guests were unaffected. One of the builders put his drill through our water feed which cut off our supply. The management quickly put this right so we weren't inconvenienced. I think Kym, the manager was on vacation, but it is testament to the excellent staff that despite her absence, the place ran like clockwork
Perhaps the next big thing to improve in rooms is the shower. At the moment, they are mixer showers, not thermostatically controlled which involves a lot of guess work and the occasional cold shower when you can't be bothered or are too drunk (thanks Arden) to get the temperature right.
Overall though, I can't recommend Tamarind enough. It is a home from home for us and, in all the two weeks we were there, I can honestly say nobody had a bad word to say about it.
- 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