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“Wonderful views, wonderfully friendly staff, thank you so much”
Review of The St James

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The St James
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Reviewed 25 May 2013

We stayed here in May 2013, my first time in Barbados, and I highly recommend the hotel.

It is on the platinum coast of Barbados, about 2 miles south of Holetown and 5 miles north of Bridgetown.

The beach is lovely, the views from our apartment were incredible. We were on the 2nd floor in the middle at the front.

The rooms are air conned with a fan and very cool if you need them to be which is a great comfort from when you've been sun bathing all day! There are free beds at the front of the hotel which you can use daily. Only for hotel guests.

The staff are perfect. It's a small hotel so you will get to know them.

Jennifer runs the hotel and was so kind to us. She could not have done any more. Thank you. taking us to the nearest store in her car to show us where it is. We got married @ Sandy Lane beach which is say 1/4 mile up the beach and wanted to play our wedding photos. Jennifer so kindly telephoned around to find internet cafes for us to be able to play the photos on a DVD. When nowhere could be found that evening she even let us borrow a DVD player. And she arranged a bottle of bubbly to be delivered to our room - thank you!

The two maids/cleaners Annette and Jaddine are friendliness personified - thank you so much for your warm welcome and happiness everyday.

Thank you also Matthew (gardener) and Carson (security).

In terms of what's nearby, the beach is long and has a beach bar at one end and watersports (jetski, water ski) are next door to the hotel. And the turtles are close by and snorkling is easy from the beach.

An ex-Sandy Lane chef runs a takeaway across the road two days a week with meats and the fish catches of the day - very tasty.

There is a garage 3 mins walk away, with basic groceries etc and beers/wine. There is a fridge, cooker, freezer, toaster, etc, everything you need in the apartment kitchen. Even our washing up was done daily for us thank you!!

Nearby there is Daphnes restaurant (5 mins walking distance) which is very nice. There is a Roti bar for snacks next to the garage too and an ice cream parlour. A very friendly english lady called Karen (Hi Karen!) runs a roadside restaurant opposite with good food and drinks/rum/cocktails etc. Sandy Lane beach is walkable too, say 5 mins on foot along the beach or road.

We ate at Tides too where we met Cliff Richard. That's a nice restaurant. Main courses in the top restaurants are say £15-£50. Several other top restaurants are nearby eg the cliff, but these are all cab rides or bus rides, not really walking distance. A cab to each is say £7.

The nearest town is Holetown, with everything you could need and two streets (called 1st and second st) with nightlife and a number of restaurants eg thai, indian, italian which are all fairly good value. It's the 'fine dining' restaurants which are more expensive. There is a shopping mall in Holetown too with lots of designer stuff, watches, cartier, louis v, etc. Plus a garage with groceries.

The buses are regular say every 5 mins and the bus stop is right outside the hotel and buses take say 5 mins to holetown. There is also a chemist by the bus stop.
The blue buses are government run and similar to english busses. The yellow busses are privately run and play loud music and the conducters drink beer! Not the drivers though thankfully! Either is 2bbd per trip anywhere (60p).

This hotel is really good value, with sensational views and sunsets. I read all thee reviews below before I booked and was impressed hence we booked here. We were not dissappointed. This hotel was rated No 1 in Paynes Bay. Then one lady below wrote a negative review saying it was loud etc. Heaven knows what she was talking about. It's great place - so ignore her review and book up! Happy to answer any Qs you have - reevesqc@hotmail.com

Once again thank you to all the staff. We will return.

Room Tip: Defo pay for a room at the front - spectacular views from the balcony. Not on the road
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank reevesqc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 39 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2013

This was a holiday with my wife to celebrate her 50th birthday and it was our first trip to Barbados. We had the most wonderful holiday from the moment we arrived in Barbados to the moment we left. We were greeted by Jennifer the manageress on arrival. Jennifer could not do enough and we were shown to a wonderful apartment overlooking the sea with a large balcony. It was very spacious and the condition could only be described as excellent. Very clean and bright. The room had cable TV, full kitchen with microwave, dishwasher etc. Jennifer had put some food in the fridge to get us by the first day. The view from the balcony was spectacular with a turquoise sea and golden sands. As it turned out we could not have picked a better location as we were directly on the sand, with a family of turtles living out in the sea directly in front. I visited these turtles every morning before the catamarans with tourists arrived around 10 am and had a wonderful time swimming with these amazing creatures. There is a lot of talk about cruise ships coming in to Paynes Bay. In the off season when we were there (April 19 to May 3), these came on a Wednesday and the beach got busy from say 10 am to 3 pm. However this was not a problem as the residents of the St. James have their own beach loungers and umbrellas etc with plenty of space. We were also directly opposite a pharmacy and doctor and the bus stop was directly outside the door. I had not been on a bus for 30 years and you simply must get on a ''reggae'' or yellow bus. I had the time of my life. There is a fish market about 300 yards further down the beach and we bought different types of fish there to have for lunch. It was cheap. In addition at the weekends the local chaps went out fishing themselves and sold their fish on the street beside where we were located. it was even cheaper. A real bonus was that on Thursday Friday and Saturday evenings a chap by the name of Connie sets up a very professional type barbecue opposite the apartments. I was there early one day and he detected my Irish accent. He told me of his time spent working in the Irish owned Sandy Lane Hotel. Basically one gets a choice of 2 salads from a few different sorts and two ''carbs'' such as macaroni pie, rice, sauteed potatoes etc and then choose a main course such as fish, shrimp, chicken and ribs. I used to get mixed fish.It was delicious and the cost depended on what you had but varied between BD 20 and 28. We also had access to a nice bar on the beach called Coconutz where JJ does excellent cocktails at really cheap prices. There are glass bottom boat trips to the turtles and the wreck to see fish (See Big Daddy and Pompidou) and we were within walking distance of restaurants such as The Cliff, Daphnes and Scarlets. The maid in the our condos Annette and the night watchman Carson were such nice people. Matthew works for the condos on the beach and is so nice. There are all sorts of people selling things on the beach but honestly they will not bother you. Spider, More or Less, Big Daddy, Mr. Pineapple and more are all so respectful and really ensured we had a great time. Jennifer could not do enough in terms of reservations and she ran a drinks evening with some food for those who were in the apartments one Friday evening. She had her friends come along and most of us decamped to Oistens later on and had a ball dancing and trying various cocktails of rum till the wee hours! Supermarkets are nearby and the St James supplied us with snorkelling gear and flippers etc for the two weeks we were there. There are also barbecues available to use and we had great fun a couple of evening with Canadians that we met in the condos.
An outstanding place to stay and we will be back as soon as I have my pennies saved!!!! Thanks to you all at St. James again!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank biccus8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

Great location in Payne's Bay along west coast of Barbados. Large rooms and balconies in main building. Sandy beach, great for swimming, snorkelling, going on glass bottom boats for turtle watching tours or just swim out to see the turtles. Convenient to supermarket and shopping, plenty of restaurants and cafes, and has full kitchen and barbeque for cooking at home. Easy parking off street in front of building. Have gone in February for past two years; great weather.

Room Tip: Rooms in main building have the best view.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Herbert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2013

I spent a week in January here with my girlfriend and we both loved the place. We had the smallest and cheapest room on offer (room 9) but we still found it very charming, clean and comfortable. We took a peak at some of the other rooms and they would compare to most 4-5 star hotel rooms that I've stayed in in the US or UK. The wow-factor has to be it's proximity to the beach, as you can see from the photos you literally walk out of your room and you're on the beach. The staff were lovely, (particularly our maid Javine!) and when we asked where to buy snorkel gear to see the turtles one of the guys Matthew gave us some for free.

A great alternative to the hotels, most of which are all-inclusive, if, like us, you'd like to explore the island by day and try all the different restaurants that it has to offer in the evenings.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2012

We spent a week of our honeymoon here and I was on pins and needles waiting to move to Oceans 2 Resort! The property is extremely noisy, the towels are thin and threadbare. I dry my animals at the back door of my home with towels far superior in quality to what they offer guests as the St. James. No wash cloths, no soft sheets, no peace, the property is extremely noisy with a group of young and noisy Bardians living in a small alley next to The St. James. The police visited the noisy group twice in our one week stay. The cruise ships drop people off each day to swim with the sea turtles on the stunning, crowded, noisy beach. Trying to sleep is like sleeping on a freeway. It was not clean to my standards by any stretch of the imagination. I bought gloves and disinfected and cleaned door handles, the inside of the refrigerator, bathroom etc. I could not sleep or relax the entire week. The staff are charming but the hotel was not a good experience for my husband or myself and we travel a couple months each year. I would not recommend The St James and I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank missyme1016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StJamesBarbados, Public Relations Manager at The St James, responded to this reviewResponded 29 November 2012

Hello Missyme1016,

I am sorry to hear that your stay with us wasn't up to your expectations. I apologize on behalf of the noise and the "pins and needles" you felt during your stay here.

I would love to make it up to you and your husband by offering you a studio ocean front room which shares no borders with the neighbors and has no windows giving onto the road, i'm sure this room would fit you perfectly and i'm sure at the time it would have been offered to you if it wasn't already taken.

I am deeply regretful to hear that our linens and towels don't compare to the ones you wash your "animals" with at home, but thank you for this as i will make a note of these issues and deal with them right away so that this doesn't happen again.

Allow me to say that this is the first time we have had such complaints at The St James and i do not take them lightly. I can appreciate your honesty but respectfully i can't say the same for the tone portrayed in this review.

Thank you MissyMe1016 i wish you and your husband safe travels and all the best in your future endeavors.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2012

I have just returned from my stay at the St James and let me tell you this place is a slice of paradise! First of all the rooms were huge and had everything one would need: wifi, satelite TV, fully equipped kitchen and balconies that face the ocean which make for a spectacular sunset.
The staff were very friendly and made my stay extremely relaxing. Every morning my clothes would be washed and folded, and by the time i got back to my room after having a swim everything was spick and span.
On the beach you have locals offering you water activities if you want to get active, or if you rather just sit out and tan then you have your own private area with long beds and umbrellas.
I would recommend this hotel to families with toddlers, couples and solo travelers.
I would like to thank the ST James for giving me an upgrade at no extra cost and making my overall stay a positive one!

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jean Christophe P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

What a fantastic place to stay.The apartments are light and airy with great balconies looking out to the sea.All the staff are really helpful,welcoming and friendly and are always on hand to help you find your way around Barbados.The bus stops just outside the hotel for access to Holetown for the supermarket,bars ,restaurants or for last minute groceries there is the garage further up the road (walking distance).The hotels location directly on the beach is one of the best ,just a couple of steps out of your room and you are on a superb beach.!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JD2604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The St James

Address: Paynes Bay, Barbados (Formerly Beachcomber Suites)
Region: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish > Paynes Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Price Range: £134 - £521 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The St James is positioned right at the centre of Paynes Bay, and looks directly out across golden sands and the azure Caribbean Sea. The St James is literally right on the beach and our guests have a wide stretch of beach on which to relax on their sun loungers under sunshades.A huge attraction for the St James is the presence of a large family of friendly turtles who have made their home in the waters in front of the hotel. The opportunity to swim with the turtles each morning has become a unique experience for our guests.The St James consists of 11 different apartments and studios and we can accommodate a party of any size.We do not have a bar or restaurant as our guests love experiencing the world renowned bars and restaurants in the local area, or preparing their own meals with delicious fresh Caribbean foods from the supermarket just down the road. Each apartment has a fully equipped Italian open plan kitchen, and we can also provide a cook upon request. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The St James Barbados/Paynes Bay

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