03 Feb Hotel Review: Amaryllis Beach Resort Barbados
In Barbados I stayed at the Amaryllis Beach Resort, which is located in the Hastings area, just south of Bridgetown. The best thing about this hotel is its location; it’s a 15-20 minute drive from the airport and only a few minutes by car from all the attractions of Bridgetown. There’s also a bus stop right outside the hotel should you need to take public transport.
The hotel is situated on a white sandy beach with an artificial reef, which was created to provide a protected swimming area and to protect the beach from being eroded by heavy surf. It’s a relaxing, tranquil spot and the beach chairs and towels are complimentary. The water sports shop provides access to free non-motorised water sports and can also arrange for the rental of jet skis, windsurfing and other activities at an additional cost.
The two outdoor pools and jacuzzi are open from 9am to 6pm daily, but with that gorgeous sandy beach, there weren’t many people lounging by the pool!
The Amaryllis is set in lush, tropical grounds and there was always space for our rental car in the hotel car park. There is 24-hour security and a barrier at the entrance to the hotel, so it feels very safe. On-site facilities include a convenience store, gift shop, gym, arcades, internet kiosks, activities desk, car rental facilities and even giant chess!
The ‘Chattel Plaza’ out the front of the hotel on the main road has a coffee shop with free WiFi called ‘The Coffee Bean’, along with a popular eatery called ‘The 39 Steps Wine Bar and Restaurant’. There is also a beauty spa, hair salon and an amusement centre. On days where we didn’t eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we bought a coffee and a pastry from The Coffee Bean and went on the Internet.
The hotel has two dining areas- the Almond Tree Restaurant and the Turtle Nest Beach Bar- and you have the option to eat at the hotel for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. We ate three breakfasts in the Almond Tree Restaurant and took advantage of the Happy Hour between 5:30pm and 6:30pm at the Sunset Bar. There is free WiFi in the Sunset Bar so you’ll find most guests huddled around the counter. Unfortunately I found the WiFi to be slow and unpredictable- sometimes it would work OK, and other times I just couldn’t get pages to load.
The breakfast at the Amaryllis is served between 07:30am and 10:3am every day in the Almond Tree Restaurant. It’s a self-serve buffet consisting of the usual items such as tea, coffee, fruit juice, cereal, fruit, yoghurt and cheese, plus some hot options such as bacon, breakfast potatoes and baked beans. There is also an omelette station where the chef will prepare your eggs any way you like- boiled, scrambled or an omelette with various fillings.
We stayed in one of the Ocean View Studio rooms. These rooms have twin or king beds; a kitchenette (equipped with two burner stove top and microwave, toaster, pots, pans, cutlery & crockery, refrigerator); telephone (international direct dial) with computer outlet; television (cable); central air conditioning (with individual controls); private bathroom with tub or shower; coffee maker (coffee available for purchase in the Convenience Store); hair dryer; clock radio; ironing kit; in-room safe (additional charge); patio or balcony.
Our room was very spacious with a big bed and decorated with local colours. Most importantly it had A/C, which is essential in the tropical climate. I would have liked to have seen more plug sockets around the room, as we had to unplug the TV to accommodate all our electronics!
One of the frustrating things for us was not having WiFi access in the room; there was only wired Internet available at an additional cost of $100 BDS for the week. When you have two people with numerous devices, including smartphones, iPads and laptops, it’s nice to have complimentary, fast WiFi. We ended up taking our computers down to the Sunset Bar every morning to take advantage of the free wireless Internet, but we would rather have had it in the rooms.
On the plus side there was plenty of wardrobe space and it was handy having the kitchenette to be able to prepare your own snacks or drinks if you like. We mostly ate out, but if we had more time at the hotel we would have bought some supplies from the shop downstairs to save on costs; dining out in Barbados can be quite expensive.
The Amaryllis is Green Global Certified, and in an effort to conserve the environment, they heat water for the rooms using solar panels. As a result, this tends to cause a delay in the delivery of hot water and we were informed about this in a welcome letter upon arrival. We had to leave the tap running for about 5 minutes before the water began to get slightly warmer, but even then it was barely lukewarm. I’m not a fan of cold showers even in hot countries!
The bathroom was spacious and clean with fresh towels and a wall-mounted hairdryer, although it did have quite a strong damp smell after a couple of days of use.
We had a beautiful ocean view from our balcony, so it was always nice to wake up to the sight of palm trees and sunshine!
The staff at the Amaryllis Beach resort were very helpful and assisted us with organising some of the activities we wanted to do. If we needed to book anything over the phone, they happily called up the number and made a reservation for us. The whole resort felt friendly and safe, and the setting is very pretty.
The location of the resort is very convenient because it’s just a few minutes from historic Bridgetown and its garrison, plus some other cool tourist hotspots such as The Boatyard, Brown Sugar restaurant, Pebbles Beach, Cuz’s Fish Shack and Carlisle Bay. If you plan on taking a catamaran cruise, you’re really not far at all from Bridgetown Harbour. Hastings is sort of a half-way point between the major attractions of the south coast (Saint Lawrence Gap, Oistins and Accra Beach) and the upmarket spots on the West Coast (Sandy Lane, Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown bars and restaurants).
If you’re looking for ultimate luxury, the Amaryllis might not be for you as it looks a little outdated, but the rooms are clean and spacious and the resort is set on a lovely beach. It’s a relaxing hotel set away from the main road at the bottom of a small hill, so you don’t have to worry about any noise. We can’t comment on the food or entertainment as we were out every evening, but the hotel provided a decent base to see the rest of the island.
My stay at the Amaryllis Beach Resort was organised by Travel Supermarket as part of the A to Z of Barbados Challenge. All opinions expressed here are my own. To learn more about the Amaryllis Beach Resort and to make a booking, you can click here.