We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Warning Warning!”
Review of The St James

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
The St James
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Paynes Bay
Santa Monica, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Warning Warning!”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I have just returned from my honeymoon - my husband and I spent nine days in Barbados :) We spent a lot of time researching hotels before we booked them, and ultimately decided to spend the first few nights of our trip on the south coast of the island, near St. Lawrence Gap - an area known for activity and nightlife. We decided to spend the next five nights on the west coast of the island, which we understood would be ritzier and quieter with calm waters. For our stay on the west coast, we flirted with the idea of spending $600-800 per night on a room - it's was our honeymoon. But after lots of looking, we stumbled upon this place, which seemed like a hidden gem! We read reviews and thought we'd found the perfect place for us! The pricing was so reasonable, and it seemed like a great deal. We understood this hotel came without a lot of the usual accouterments like pool, restaurant, and spa, and we figured that's how they kept the pricing down. We were okay with these things because the hotel sits directly on the beach, so we figured a pool wasn't necessary. We also didn't care about a hotel restaurant because it was described as "near lots of walk-able dining". Overall, we were excited to have found a place that was so reasonably priced because the 600-800 per night was starting to feel too ridiculous.

We arrived at the hotel on a Tuesday evening at about 6pm, after a long day of touring the island. We were tired, eager to get showered, and excited to explore the Holetown area and find a fun spot for dinner near our hotel. When we arrived, we were surprised to find that no one was actually working at the hotel except for a night porter, whose English was unintelligible. The office in the lobby had a sign that said office hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm, and if you have an emergency, call these numbers. The night porter showed us to our "luxury apartment" and gave us the key, and off he went. As we explored the apartment, we were shocked with disappointment. How could this be what we read about? Luxury apartment?? The apartment was dated, to say the least, with a stock of library books and a jam box / radio for cassettes. I suppose someone had actually used the radio player recently, because it had what appeared to be blood or ketchup smeared all over one of the speakers. Mystery unsolved. The kitchen was stocked with some glasses, dishes etc. The glasses were dirty (like disgusting, no exaggeration), and in one of the cabinets there was a half empty plastic bottle of some old / unfinished sports drink. The place clearly had not had a detailed cleaning. The air conditioning had been off, and the rooms were blistering hot and stale. The bed was hard, like what I imagine jail beds to be like. And the shower was broken. We were sorely disappointed, and by this time, it was late to start searching for another place to go. Also, we'd already paid for the five nights here. We wondered how we could leave and still get our money back. I went down to the closed office in the lobby and found the emergency numbers to call. When I called the manager's number - it was her home phone number, and her husband said she wasn't home. We were sad to be in such a $#!++& place, and we knew we could not stay here for five nights. An hour later, the manager returned my call. I explained everything that was unacceptable and expressed my confusion about how this apartment could be described as luxury. I told her we wanted to leave immediately and we wanted our money back. Again, it was getting later, and we didn't know where we would go. She offered we stay the night and said she would refund the balance for the next four days in the morning. We stayed the night, went out around the area, and left the next morning. Here are the things to know about this place: 1) It's not in walking distance to Holetown or restaurants. It may look like it on a map, but the road is narrow and winding, and you can't walk to Holetown from here. 2) There is not a walkable shop or grocery store either, and there is no room service or restaurant. So when you arrive and are happy to have a kitchen, you have to take a taxi or bus to a grocery store to get coffee, milk, sweetener. There is no access to any kind of food or drink at this hotel. 3) At night, no one works here, so you're on your own if you need anything. No one is there to even call you a cab!

We had just left Oceans Two resort on the south coast of the island when we arrived here. That property is also described as "luxury" and was not much more expensive than this hotel. Oceans Two was realllllly nice, so we came into this situation with similar expectations. Luckily, the manager refunded the following four nights, and we were able to go somewhere else. But geez, we were really disappointed and upset. And I can't imagine how anyone would give this place a good review. It is awful!

Room Tip: Choose a room at a different hotel!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank jkelly7731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

51 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    34
    13
    1
    2
    1
See reviews for
9
33
6
1
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

My fiance and I decided to come here based on the wonderful reviews we've read on Trip Advisor. We thought that a luxury residence on a secluded beach would be a great way to check out the west coast of Barbados after spending 3 nights at Ocean Two on the south. Where do I begin? From the outside the place looks really great. We were greeted by an old man who could not communicate at all, and then walked into a property where nobody was working. We came up to our room which looked as though it was decorated in the 1970's and last cleaned in the 1980's. Nothing is comfortable, the air conditioning was very poor, the dishes were dirty, there were ketchup stains on the "Boombox" they had for us (a boombox should be telling). The worst part was simply the bed -- it was concrete slab with sheets on it. We tried to call down to check out and get our money back but nobody was working and the number to the managers house didn't connect with anyone. Needless to say, we got a horrible nights sleep and then got a refund in the morning. I highly recommend Ocean Two or Bougainvillae on the south coast as they are much nicer properties in a better (and more fun) part of the island. I'd like to finish by saying that I am not at all a picky traveler. I typically use Airbnb, stay in little rooms or houses, and very rarely (if ever) stay at a nice resort. But for the description and the reviews, I was expecting more than a dirty old, non-functioning, uncomfortable room.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JustinOSU99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
Reviewed 12 May 2014

We are just back from a two week stay at The St James Apt/Hotel and are counting the days until we can go back. We had an amazing large bright apartment with spectacular sea views – we could see No 1 Sandy Lane (on Paynes Bay) from our balcony. The apartment was very well equipped, spotlessly clean thanks to the warm and friendly Sonia and Annette. The hotel provides sun loungers, umbrellas and snorkel gear and the beach is very well maintained. It has fine white sand, turquoise crystal clear water, turtles and exotic fish very nearby and extremely safe – as I am not a good swimmer. Just a stroll up the beach to the right is the famous Sandy Lane Hotel and stroll to the left of our hotel is a local fish market where we bought flying fish. We loved cooking these at lunchtime and thanks to Annettes receipe, we learned how to cook them like the locals!! The hotel provides barbeques if you would like to cook your own food however we always opted for Connies barbequed food across the street or The Backyard Bbq (across from the Tamarind Hotel) every Thurs – Sat and took it back to the apartment. There are also plenty of great restaurants around. Jennifer the manageress is wonderful. She made all our dinner reservations for us and managed to get our requested table number on every occasion. She offered to get groceries for us before our arrival and did everything to make sure our stay was “absolutely perfect.” Carson the security man was very friendly and more than helpful. Being such a small hotel we got to know all the staff very well. I am so glad we found this wonderful place and would highly recommend it. Cant wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 228Jones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We visited the St James Apartments a year ago as a special treat for my wifes 50th birthday. We loved it so much that we decided to come back again this year and stayed 17 nights this time!! We had a fantastic time in this wonderful location. Indeed I cannot think of a better location. We are fans of self catering and do not really like the formality of hotels after a few days. The location of the St. James is perfect. The bus stop is outside the door and will take you anywhere you want to go on the island from there. In addition, Connies BBQ is across the road on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. In addition just down the road there is the Backyard BBQ as well as being within walking distance to The Cliff or Daphnes. There is a doctor across the road from the apartments.
In terms of accommodation, we were given a two bed apartment with one of the bedrooms closed off. We had apartment 6 which is simply wonderful with lots of light, a sea view and fantastic room. Jennifer is the manageress and had just taken over running the apartment building last year. She is so very helpful and has made changes. She now has an excellent team in place and nothing is too much trouble for her team. We had fantastic maids in the spotless room, Sonia and Annette and Carson the security man were so very helpful. Matthew who helps on the beach is also so friendly. Jennifer is so nice!! We had such a wonderful holiday! In addition all the catamarans come to Paynes Bay to see the turtles at a marker maybe 150 yards out. However, I can tell you that every single day within a few feet of the beach directly in front of our apartment I was snorkeling and saw many turtles plus wonderful coloured fish. I will try to upload underwater videos I made and will send them on to Jenifer for her website.
I have already booked up for next year!! We are so sorry to be home and I can only tell anyone who is thinking of booking here that they will not be disappointed and for the location, I believe that this represents excellent value. I also forgot to mention that the residents of the apartment complex have access to beach loungers and also umbrellas plus snorkeling equipment. There is the odd cruise ship that comes in but it was very very quiet there even over the Easter period when we were there. Oh and don't forget Coconutz on the beach for your Daquairis where Jason or Carlisle will make a wonderful Daquairi and give you the ''run off'', that is you will probably get two drinks for the price of one!! If you are wondering like we were after seeing this place on the internet as a location to stay in and worried whether you are making the right decision, I would have no hesitation in saying book this up!!

Room Tip: Well worth getting a sea view and rooms on the second floor rooms 6,7 and 8 would be better. Room 7...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank biccus8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Perfect apartment and location for a european family with young kids. We loved how the beach felt very private and very quiet compared to other beaches we have seen in other trips.
The staff working there was incredibly helpful and professional. Jennifer got back to all my questions (as a mother of two I had MANY) and she was incredibly helpful.
I loved how we could get a private and kid friendly tour with the boat leaving right in front of the beach.
Taxi to and from the airport, maid, cook, porters and gardeners: an incredible group of honest people ready to help and always greeting you with a genuine smile. The staff was also very helpful towards our kids. I remember how one time the maid (Annette) helped me clean one of my twins when we rushed upstairs after an "accident". My girl still talk about her and "how nice she was". Our cook was very professional and her food was a-ma-zing. Both Carson and Matthew were so nice and kind towards our kids.
I felt safe, respected, valued and most of all not just a guest: the staff was genuinely interested in knowing us to better serve us.
There is no doubt that we will be back. Hopefully very soon. Thank you Jennifer and staff!

Room Tip: We stayed in apartment #8. It worked very well for us. The balcony railings were a bit wide (we have...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trabiPortland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed 28 April 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed in the lovely ocean front room for a week. Upon arrival we were greeted by Carsen, the security/maintenance man, who gave us our key and showed us to the room. He was very friendly and if we needed anything he would gladly help. The ocean front room was beautiful and very large. I could just step out on to the porch and watch the beach from there or walk a few steps and lay out on the hotel's cushioned beach chairs. The room included a living room, kitchen and bedroom with a cleaning lady that came everyday. I enjoyed the hotel for its boutique feel and quiet surroundings, other than the morning traffic because the hotel is on a main road. The manager of the hotel is a very nice lady who assisted us with any of our needs while staying. I would definitely go back to the this hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014

I have stayed at the St James 3 times now and I shall be heading back very soon. The location is perfect with an amazing beach on one side and bustling St James parish on the other. Plenty to see and do in the area but most of the time I simply relax on the beach. It is a small aparthotel so the staff get to know you well during the stay and they are all extremely helpful and friendly. The area is safe and just a short bus ride or gentle stroll from Holetown. I love the decor of the apartments and the size of each room is amazing! I hate small hotel bedrooms so this is perfect and not at all claustrophobic.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RomanNose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Paynes Bay
0.5 mi away
Beach View
Beach View
#2 of 26 in Saint James Parish
1,065 reviews
0.2 mi away
Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
0.3 mi away
The House by Elegant Hotels
The House by Elegant Hotels
#1 of 26 in Saint James Parish
623 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.6 mi away
The Sandpiper
The Sandpiper
#13 of 26 in Saint James Parish
294 reviews
0.6 mi away
Sandy Lane Hotel
Sandy Lane Hotel
#3 of 26 in Saint James Parish
838 reviews
0.8 mi away
The Club, Barbados Resort and Spa
The Club, Barbados Resort and Sp...
#10 of 26 in Saint James Parish
1,754 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The St James? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The St James

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing