The House and Trip "advisor"

. Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sorry for completely unrelated to computer post, but I feel I need to rant - something I feel I'm quite good at.

We recently returned from a two weeks vacation in Barbados. Specifically, we stayed the entire time in a hotel called "The House" located on the so-called "Platinum Coast" of Barbados. It has 4.5 stars and according to Tripadvisor reviewers, it's the best hotel on the island.

It goes without saying that WE HIGHLY disagree. Numerous times I had tried to post an honest review and several times TripAdvisor had taken it down for idiotic reasons.

In fact, we had witnessed many establishments in Barbados have overly positive reviews on TA... Something is fishy and stinky here.

No more !!!

This is MY blog and I am the writer, editor, and owner here. I will publish whatever I think!

Again sorry for off-topic, but it must be done.

I will publish the review in full here and add things as I recollect

The original review (originally rated with 3 TA's stars):

First I 100% agree with Mjyz0 about "The House" is being FAR cry from #1 hotel in St. James, Maybe #1 value? but then again everything in BB is very expensive.
I think it's not fair by Mjvz0 to even mention Sandy lane resort. It's completely on a different planet in every sense, including the price - in Nov 2014 is starts at mind-blowing $1800 (US) per night !!
Let's not compare apples and oranges here. You can't expect a comparison at  1/4 of the price.

There were some good points about the House, but I feel strongly leaving a 3-star review due to HUGE overabundance of FAKE REVIEWS!!!! Do yourself a favor and read some of these 5-star reviews - most of them are one-liners and nearly identical or using language which no one outside PR department uses. You have been warned !!

We were "lucky" (*) and got a garden view room with a private pool. If I’m not mistaken only 2 other rooms could boast the same.
Included Breakfast is indeed a bit monotonous, but not identical daily. We had better and worse. So far we could find something which we liked daily. Free champagne is nice, but we don’t really care about it during breakfast.

Free 4pm tea service was a nice addition - in addition to tea (no cheap Lipton here!) we got a few small sandwiches and some sweets.
The bathroom was moderately updated and usable. Linens and towels are always spotless white.

WiFi is actually usable and reasonably fast (then it was working)
In-room teapot, espresso machine were ok and Tea of choice is Twinings.
TVs in the room had 40 channels or so including some premium channels.
AC in the bedroom was really quiet.
Service was mostly good, but then it’s pretty much expected of a hotel that aspires to be boutique.

Service was ok, BUT last year we stayed at a truly boutique resort on Curacao (5 stars btw) at a very comparable price (!!) and enjoyed a really amazing service. The House could learn a thing or two from them.

Remember that * near the lucky room - yea - it had few drawbacks:
It is located right above the bridge and every single time car drove over it - it made HUGE noise in our room.
The wooden bridge:
Our room was right above it

The bathroom is absolutely TINY! So tiny, we could barely use the double vanity without bumping into each other.
The mattress is VERY firm - you might like it - we didn't - it was extremely uncomfortable and sleep quality suffered hugely as a result.

The hotel is really OLD. Think 50-60s It is partially updated, but we did not at any moment felt the "luxury". Most of the renovations ware done using cheaper materials and in most cases done without talent or skill. Case in point - Bathroom - you can't sit on the throne and close the door in this order without hurting your legs. The wall tiles are really not that great under close examination. The Toilet cover is mismatched and doesn't fit. The ceiling fan when replaced, left huge gaps around and it does not look professional or luxury.

"The house" doesn't have its own restaurant so the food is catered by a neighboring "Daphne's", which like already mentioned - is OVERPRICED and food quality is FAR from the level it's prices would suggest. I mean - it's perfectly edible -  but for $30 (us) pasta dish, I expected a small miracle.
BTW: Speaking of Daphne’s (and most other fine dining establishments on Barbados) - DRESS CODE IS REQUIRED !!!! Do pack your elegant clothing if you want to be allowed in. No flip flops nor short pants.

BBQ and 7 Course dining nights cost arm and leg - we haven't tried it yet, but at $80 (US) person I am less inclined to gamble.

Beach entrance to the water is pretty rocky and if you have water shoes you would be much more comfortable. Beach service was almost nonexistent - only once or twice a day we were offered bottled water and that's about it, The rest of promised items like Ice Cream, Smoothies, and Fruit salads  WERE ONLY available at exactly 2:30pm - and god forbid you to ask for it at 3:30pm !!! The feeding time is over !!! It’s NOT being brought out to you as other reviewers had mentioned - you have to go to the bar area and ask for it - every single time!

As for "nice afternoon tea" so many English reviewers boast about - I am not from the UK, but we both love drinking tea - even more than coffee, however not while it's 85F and no breeze! The sandwiches which accompanied tea were never amazing. Maybe UK food is supposed to boring and stale - I don't know

TONS of homeless folk hang around right on the beach and right in front of the hotel. Constantly ether panhandling or selling crap. Honestly - If we spend the whole day on the beach - we were approached at least 15-20 times a day !! And none of them can take no as an answer.
Hotel staff does very little about it.

There are some stray cats roaming around the hotel dining area and begging for food. You might find it amusing, but it’s not hygienic and we noticed hotel staff petting and feeding them. The same staff brings you your food. Back in the US, it would have been a huge food safety violation.

We would never go back here nor recommend you to do so. There are many better places to visit like St. Martin for example.