I've thought long and hard about what rating to give Mango Bay. On the one hand I could say this was a terrible experience as we ended up having stuff stolen whilst at the hotel but that's not a true reflection of the hotel itself, so I base this review on the hotel and not influenced by what happened to us there.
As with another recent reviewer, we too spent a long time researching hotels in Barbados, specially those who offered all inclusive and a great range of activities. All the search results kept coming back to Mango Bay.
Our initial thoughts were that the hotel is pretty average. rooms are basic (despite the fact we upgraded to a superior room), the towels, bath robes, bedding etc aren't of great quality and overall the complex looks like it needs a bit of a refresh.
Mango Bay is billed as a 4-star resort but I think a fairer reflection should be a 3-star. For comparison we recently stayed at a 4-star in Antigua which was streets ahead of Mango Bay in all respects. However, Mango Bay was significantly cheaper and it's priced at the 3-star level so we can't complain in relation to what we paid.
The restaurant is pleasant. right on the front with lovely views and the sound of the sea. The food was on the whole quite good - a choice of two different meats and a fish every night. The desserts where a bit disappointing though, mainly just defrosted gateaux or chemical based mousses and the like. On the plus side all the serving staff at the bar and restaurant were really fantastic, smiles on faces, nothing too much trouble for them to help you. A real asset to Mango Bay.
We knew about the beach works beforehand and whilst we were there the actual works didn't bother us. a couple of diggers moving rocks etc, nothing too intrusive. People should be aware however that the beach works are being done for a reason - there is no beach at Mango Bay! We looked on Google earth before we booked and thought the beach looked small but ok. That image is very out-of-date. The "beach" outside Mango Bay is about 2-3 meters deep, the waves will stretch underneath your sun lounger if your up against the back wall!! Obviously this is not the fault of the hotel. This is due to natural erosion, which the government in Barbados are trying to correct with the beach works and once it's done I have no doubt the beach will be amazing outside Mango Bay.
The beach works did however have a disappointing knock-on effect on our holiday. One of the main reasons to pick Mango Bay for us were the all inclusive water sports but there were none! This was the most annoying/frustrating part of the week. When we checked in, reception spent time explaining all the water sports included and said to book them with the water sports people beside the hotel. On the first day I asked if we could take out the hobbie cat but was told the sea was too rough. Ok, fair enough. The next day I asked again but was then told that the mangrove swamp next to the hotel was discharging into the sea right outside Mango Bay (another thing the government are trying to correct) and therefore the water wasn't suitable to let guests in. Ok, slightly annoying but ok. The next day I asked yet again to be told that there are too many rocks in the way and it's not safe. At this point we were really annoyed and spoke to reception, who seemed to have no idea about the water sports. Basically it transpired that all water sports were cancelled due to the beach works. At no point were we told this! Why had reception not told us?
The boat used for water skiing was also broken during our week there. Again, we had to keep asking each day and were never notified by reception of this.
On the plus side, the couple of included trips we took on the boats were the highlights of the week. Really great fun and snorkelling with the turtles was amazing.
Also, the hotel ran shuttle buses to a great beach further down the coast. That was a real highlight. the staff there,
Now, I have to mention the unfortunate incident that befell us. Whilst relaxing on the decking on the beach front we left our beach bag with camera and e-reader inside when we went to the bar. we got drinks then collecting our bag and went back to our room when we notice that the camera and e-reader had been taken. We notified reception right away who said they would call the police. They didn't until the following morning and although the police officer came it was far too late for anything to be done. Did the hotel make checks with the staff to see if anyone saw anything? I don't think so. Did they seem concerned this had happened on their premises? I didn't feel like it. Did the manager come and speak to us to let us know what action the hotel had taken? No. The first the manager knew about it was when I emailed him after we got home to enquire if the police had produced the report yet (oh, by the way, the police in Barbados are truly awful! it took them a week to write the report for our insurance company, by which time we'd left the island and were back home).
It was an unfortunate incident, which did overshadow our holiday but overall our experience of Mango Bay was not made any worse by it.
In summary, Mango Bay is a 3-star hotel with poor reception staff who don't seem to know what's happening within their own hotel. The restaurant food is ok but the staff there are fantastic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mango Bay Barbados is ideal for those seeking the convenience of an ALL-INCLUSIVE beach vacation combined with the personal and friendly service of a small resort. It enjoys a sought-after beachfront setting in St. James, on the famous west coast of Barbados.There are restaurants, bars, boutiques and cinema just steps away from Mango Bay in lively Holetown, including the brand new, upscale, LIMEGROVE LIFESTYLE CENTRE across the road from the resort. Mango Bay is approximately a 45 minute drive from the airport, and a 25-minute drive south of the hotel takes you to the capital Bridgetown. Mango Bay definitely gives you added value for an all inclusive hotel- included is a complimentary two-hour catamaran cruise to see the turtles, waterskiing & a glass bottom boat ride. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mango Bay Hotel Holetown
- Mango Bay Barbados
- Mango Bay Saint James
- Barbados Bay Mango
- Mango Bay Hotel Barbados
- Mango Bay All Inclusive Barbados/Holetown