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.

“Another great experience”
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
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

Just spent two weeks at The St. James. Since this was my third stay in 12 months, I welcomed back by Jennifer, Carson, Annette and Sonia as "family." I loved the ocean front unit. Nothing like walking into the living/dining area first thing in the morning and seeing the beautiful sea or watching the spectacular west coast sunsets.

This is the ideal location for those who want "self-catering." I typically buy items for breakfast and snacking. There are a range of dining options in walking distance in the Paynes Bay Area or via a 10 minute bus ride to Holetown.

There was an earlier comment about the street noise but I was not bothered by it. The apartments are located on a major thoroughfare--making getting around very easy. Of course there will be some noise but it was not enough to keep me from having restful sleep.

Certainly if one wants an idyllic paradise with no street noise and no jet skis/catamarans, etc., then it may be in your interest to spend a LOT more money to buy those amenities. For me, The St. James meets my needs and is now my first choice when I travel to the island.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
Thank TheBajanQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (51)
There are newer reviews for The St James
See the most recent reviews
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

11 - 17 of 51 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2014

A wonderful get away on the beachfront, nice people, friendly, good food, relaxing beach, Barbados rum, beautiful stay. Would like to go back some day and visit more sites. Good overall experience in Barbados.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Enthimia-Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We really wanted somewhere wonderful to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and we certainly found it at the St James hotel, from our collection at the airport by Kendrik in his super clean air conditioned car, arranged by Jennifer, to our celebration dinner at The Cliff, arranged by Jennifer, absolutely everything was perfect except losing to Italy in the World Cup, something even Jennifer couldn't arrange!

We booked room 7 a studio overlooking the beach and Paynes Bay, the room was very Bajan all colourful patterns and limed wood, the bathroom was nice, the shower good and hot with lots of clean towels. Kitchen area nicely done, hob, microwave, pans, everything you need and some items you don't but the fridge was the standout feature freezing ice in no time. As it's a studio the bed is in the living area along with a couple of comfy chairs, a small dining table and dining chairs, all in good order but nothing to rave about. We found the bed to be very comfortable, not hard at all like some have commented, perhaps the rum helped, but super clean and always well made by Annette the always smiling maid. Air conditioning and ceiling fan worked well, only watched the TV briefly once (with the sparrow) and didn't bother with the music centre but we didn't come to the West Coast of Barbados to sit in a hotel room and when you open the double doors onto the balcony this place really makes sense - it's an ever changing incredible view any time of the day.

The balcony has two wonderfully comfortable armchairs and a small coffee table or rather a small rum n coke table, sitting watching the sun set right in front of us every evening never got boring, breakfast on the balcony watching the beach vendors, fishermen, jet ski dudes or our man cleaning the hotels sun loungers and setting the umbrellas for the day, we even had our very own sparrow to entertain us. If you go please give him a little cereal in the morning, you'll spot him standing on one leg and fluffing up or chasing everything else away.

If we wanted to go to a restaurant we mentioned it to Jennifer and she sorted a great table at the best time, or a taxi, or arranging a surprise for my wife on our 25th anniversary at The Cliff, she's super as well as being super efficient. In the evening when we returned to the hotel we were met by Carson, now there is a character! Yes he speaks with a heavy accent as he's from Barbados but I guess he might have struggled with my Yorkshire but we found an occasional biscuit/cold coke/cold beer helped with international relations and he seemed to know the answer to most of our Bajan related questions, a very nice and kind gentleman.

Over the road Thurs-Sat is the roadside BBQ, great fish, chicken, pork or kebabs all served by the most surly bunch of vendors I've ever met. It's good food at a great price but how they keep going the way the look and speak to you is beyond me, especially the axe woman on the till. The buses stop outside the hotel and it's a couple of dollars wherever you want to go, left up to Holetown and Drift/Beach House/Tides/Surfside and the crazy 1st & 2nd street, go right for Bridgetown and the South Coast.

Every morning we walked down the beach past One Sandy Lane (completely fantastic and completely devoid of any life) and round the corner tide permitting to the Sandy Lane Hotel's beach which is perfect, right colour sand and sea sloping just so into the water - wonder who arranged that? Going the other way is also a must all the way to the fish market and the Cliff, go at sunset and sit on the deck at Daphne's for happy hour cocktails and say hi to Troy a real gem. Another must is Scarlet's over the road from The House, a little weird inside but the clue is in the name, definitely try the Purple Rain cocktail.

The Good: really nice hotel run by lovely people in possibly one of the worlds best locations

Not so good: idiot beach vendors and Wednesdays - go and you'll know why!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We stayed at St James for our honeymoon, staying for nine nights.

Firstly you must understand this is not a hotel. It is an apartment building that gives you the chance to live on the beachfront, but independently.

We were given room 6 and arrived eight hours late due to flight problems. As a result we were greeted by Carson, the night porter. We would strongly defend him against the below critical review. He has a strong Bajan accent but this is to be expected, he is an island native after all! We had no problem understanding him. Jennifer, the manager who is around during the day is outstanding.

The room itself was large and adequately equipped. It is not luxury though. The TV and music system need updating and the bed (hard and uncomfortable) and bathroom (particularly the bath/shower) would need improving to really be luxury. The kitchen was good though, with a Smeg cooker and a good dishwasher. The star of the show was the balcony, with great views onto the beach. The room also has free wifi access.

The building is situated on Paynes Bay, a 5 minute bus ride from Holetown but walking distance from Daphne's, The Cliff, and four or five other nice restaurants. There is also a petrol station with a decent shop where you can get essentials a couple of minutes away so the critical reviews below are a bit exaggerated.

The beach location is brilliant, and the chance to swim with turtles unforgettable. The St James has a small supply of snorkel equipment that you can freely use which was great and we got some brilliant photos as a result. The one issue with the beach is the never ending supply of salespeople walking past, some of them six or seven times in a day. All sell complete tat and a couple were too persistent or even intimidating. If you ignore them or pretend to be sleeping they will wake you up! This is an issue the local police need to clamp down on, and Jennifer does raise it with them. It is not legal and particularly unpleasant as some of the salespeople are drug addicts, freely using as they walk past.

This issue is not unique to the St James though, we walked round to Sandy Lane and they have the same issue, as does The House.

If we returned to Barbados then we would be happy to stay again at the St James, it was cheap, gave us freedom and offered us a comfortable time in a lovely setting. Compared to the rest of the west coast, this is the bargain. If you want a luxury hotel with all the trimmings then stump up the cash and stay at Sandy Lane. The website does oversell it though and could do with being changed to set expectations correctly.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank FTP82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

My wife and I looked for several weeks for the perfect place in Barbados to spend our “week in the Caribbean.” And we found it. Most of the other properties we searched were ridiculously expensive if they were nice, or “shacks”, or inland if they were inexpensive. The St. James was a fantastic value for us for its location and comfort!

First, what it is. We stayed in the studio, room 7 (best view in the hotel in my opinion!), which is right on the beach, with a big private balcony over-looking the beautiful blue Caribbean. We spent every morning having coffee and pastries on the balcony, and every night having a Banks beer in the moonlight. The catamaran tours all come to where the sea turtles live, just off the shore. They paid for a tour to take them there, but we swam out every day right from in front of the hotel! Amazing! The beach is quiet and clean, and the St James has lounge chairs, cushions, umbrellas, and water noodles for guests. There are several very nice stand alone restaurants (including the two best on the island, Daphne’s and Cliff), two in hotels next door, and a few local ones all within 5 minutes walking distance, as well as a gas station for snacks and Banks beer down the street. Holetown has a grocery, stores and more restaurants--a 20 minute walk or an easy $2 bus ride (take the yellow ones, they’re more fun!). We stocked up with groceries on the second morning, took them back on the bus, and had breakfast every day and several lunches in the room (out on the balcony of course). The room is spacious for a studio, the kitchen had everything we needed, the bathroom was a little small but fine, and everything was very clean and in good shape. The air conditioning is a very simple wall unit which worked great, and the décor is nice, but is dated. And Jennifer, the manager, was great! She arranged transportation to and from the airport, and our rental car we rented to drive around the island one day. She even set the taxi driver straight when he tried to charge us more than what Jennifer told us it would cost.

What it’s not. The St. James is not a luxury hotel with all the latest amenities. There’s no pool, no restaurant or bar, no flat screen TVs, no room service. If you want those, go pay the $400-600/night those hotels charge. The St James is perfect for independent travelers, or, in my opinion, people who actually want to enjoy Barbados instead of just their hotel room!

Room Tip: Room 7 and 4 (studios) have the best views, but the others have large balconies. When the catamaran...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank rlambakis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank jkelly7731
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
3  Thank JustinOSU99
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
0.2 mi away
Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
0.5 mi away
Beach View
Beach View
#1 of 26 in Saint James Parish
1,077 reviews
0.3 mi away
The House by Elegant Hotels
The House by Elegant Hotels
#2 of 26 in Saint James Parish
624 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.0 mi away
Colony Club by Elegant Hotels
0.6 mi away
Sandy Lane Hotel
Sandy Lane Hotel
#3 of 26 in Saint James Parish
846 reviews
0.8 mi away
The Club, Barbados Resort and Spa
The Club, Barbados Resort and Sp...
#10 of 26 in Saint James Parish
1,769 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

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: £137 - £532 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travel Republic (UK) so you can book your The St James reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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