What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Overrated and not worth the rates that they charge over the holiday period
My wife and I stayed at the Fairmont Royal Pavillon for 2 weeks around Xmas 2020. We had never before been to Barbados, but it was one of the few easily accessible destinations from the UK during this time and felt safe because of the country’s relatively strict Covid protocols - so we picked a hotel based on the online reviews and the Fairmont got great reviews We’ve stayed in some expensive places from time to time, but they charged probably the most I’ve ever paid for a hotel so our expectations were high. The hotel did not live up to those expectations. The biggest letdown was the service - which was generally poor and inconsistent, and definitely not commensurate with a 5* hotel that charges upwards of US$1,000 per night. I don’t think I am exaggerating if I say that 2/3rds of our service requests (which were nothing unusual or exceptional) resulted in some kind of issue. Nothing huge but it is just amazing how they can so consistently get basic things wrong Requests for coffee are met with tea, requests for no toast are met with extra toast, room service wouldn’t show up or would not bring what we ordered, you might or might not be able to get service at the beach etc etc. Also the property is in need of some maintenance. Even though it reportedly had a full overhaul in 2017, the age of the buildings is showing (and not in a good way - given it’s not exactly a heritage property...) and also the inside of the room could do with some touch-ups e.g. furnishings were fraying at the edges and the alarm clock display was completely faded out If this were a 4* hotel charging less than half what they charge, that would be forgivable but not at the rates they charge. They lack the attention to detail that is needed to have a great 5* property, and much of the staff are just going through the motions. I felt this pretty much from day 1 I know that the hotel closed for a number of months due to Covid, and it felt to me like all the staff were laid off during that time and new staff were brought on board who lacked experience and a sense of ‘ownership’ for their jobs and for the place overall. That may not be the case, but that’s definitely how it came across to me. We’ve since moved to another property nearby where we are getting proper 5* service for half the rate that the Fairmont was charging us. I would urge discerning travellers to think twice before booking here. It’s not all negative though as the hotel does have a great beachside location with every room overlooking a beautiful beach. If that’s important to you (it was a factor for us), then this is potentially still a good place. The ground in which the hotel is set are also nice. And also their Covid safety protocol is very good. Newly arrived travellers were required to stay in their rooms until their local Covid test has come back negative with security guards posted outside to ensure compliance. That’s obviously a nuisance when you are a newly arrived travellers, but it’s reassuring for everyone else. This protocol was not implemented in most other hotels where people awaiting their test results just had to keep a safe distance from other guests. However, as of today the Barbados govt has changed its position on this and now all hotels are forced required to enforce this stricter protocol so this is no longer a differentiator. I really wanted to like this hotel but instead I just felt continuously frustrated with their inability to provide good service for the entire duration of our stay.
A wonderful position on St James beach
The Fairmont is a beautiful hotel in a perfect setting on St James beach. We arrived after staying at The House hotel with our negative results from our second covid test which is just as well because people were quite rightly restricted to their rooms & balconies while awaiting their test & results at the Fairmont. Security guards were on every floor to make sure the isolating guests stayed in their rooms. Before we arrived I made contact with Jason Young at Front Desk who arranged fast track arrival at the airport for us and copied me in on the email he sent to the company at the airport who arranged this, which was just as well because they didn’t have us on the list. They were happy to oblige when I gave them a copy of the email. There was a really nice bottle of wine in our room thanks to Jason as I mentioned it was my husband’s 60th birthday the day we arrived. Jason is the most efficient member of staff at the hotel who I interacted with, and such a nice person. The rooms are very nice with a large balcony, I think we also got an upgrade because we were on the top floor. The hotel looks bigger than it is because it is on a large plot and spread out so it feels spacious. The food quality is high class but the service so slow. Breakfast would take an hour and a half, we would wait an hour after ordering before the food would arrive. This was definitely an issue experienced by all the guests. I mentioned it to the general manager who was aware of the problem. They must have been understaffed in the kitchen but they need to get this right for the type of hotel this is. We had better service at other hotels we stayed at in Barbados during this period. We had lunch at the hotel the first day we arrived and they got my order wrong so I had to wait for my meal to be cooked again. We decided to extend our holiday so I spoke to the manager and asked if he could give us a price to stay 5 nights more. He said they had availability but we would have to book with British Airways as our original booking was with them. There was no availability with British Airways online which I mentioned the next day. He told us to call them which we did and they said they had no availability. We passed this information onto the manager and he said he would release rooms to them but this didn’t happen. It was at this point we decided to stay somewhere else. Such a shame it didn’t make sense but we got fed up trying. They gave us a complimentary taxi to the hotel we moved onto which was a nice touch. We did enjoy our stay at the hotel, the position is fantastic and the hotel itself very classy but we were very disappointed with the service.
Near-Perfection, True Luxury
Myself and my family are no strangers to Fairmont Hotels. I’ve been fortunate to experience many of the finest Fairmont hotels around the world. The Fairmont Royal Pavillon’s biggest strength is its serene location, right on the beach. The beachfront is pristine in its presentation. The water is unbelievably clear, with no coral or rocks to hurt your feet. Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic was a unique experience, as the hotel and beachfront was incredible quiet - almost too quiet. All of the rooms at the Fairmont are beachfront except for a few villas. If you are on the bottom floor, you can walk right out to the beach. There aren’t too many rooms at this hotel, so it makes it all a lot more private which is quite nice. The pool at the hotel is beautiful. The hot tub heater broke down on my second to last night at the hotel which was annoying but not the end of the world. The staff were extremely attentive to fixing it. The staff at the hotel were very accommodating. We had a second hotel booked after the Fairmont, and comparing the service, we really liked the demeanor of the staff at the Fairmont. The food at the hotel was very nice. However, the food prices were very high. We were fortunate to get a breakfast-included promotion which saved us literally an arm and a leg. The gym at the hotel was small but perfect. The Precor multi-function weight rack was perfect for my needs. They have dumbbells that go up to 50lbs as is standard for most small hotel gyms. There also was treadmills and a spin bike. The Director of Rooms at the hotel Pauline Suryana is amazing. Very nice lady, as are all the staff. Pros: - Unreal location on the beach - Good service - Very nice rooms - The gardens are beautiful - Quality food Cons: - Isolated from town, hard to order in food or get groceries - Food is extremely expensive My rating for this hotel is 9.5/10. My favorite hotel chain is Fairmont by far, and this location is in my top three Fairmonts.
5 Star Stay
I stayed at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion for 10 nights in December 2020 and loved it. We ended up getting our Covid tests at the hotel and quarantined here for 2 days. After that we enjoyed the resort including the beautiful grounds, pool, beach club , and restaurants. We absolutely fell in love with the beach in front of the property. I have travelled around the world and this is the best beach hotel we have stayed at! Make sure you also take the garden tour at the hotel. Our tour guide was an actual gardener ( Grafton) who took great pride showing us the lush grounds. Some 5 star hotels will bring outside staff into run a resort. This is not the case with the FRP. All the staff are local Bajans and their pride in the resort and Island are evident . Well done management for providing a truly 5 star destination with a local flavour. Other highlights of our stay: Hunte Gardens,Bathsheba Beach, El Tigre Catamaran and Turtle swim ,Island Tour with Tervette Tours, dinner at Fish pot.
If you have to quarantine, this is the place to do it
Barbados is requiring a negative Covid test after arrival, so we booked a few nights at the Fairmont since they offered the test at the hotel. It was the best decision we made! The hotel room is very comfortable. We could sit on the balcony and enjoy the weather. What makes this hotel the best is the staff. A huge shout out to Pauline who was so patient with us as we were waiting on our test results. She and the staff answered all of our questions and made sure we were comfortable. When we were able to leave the room, the beach is perfectly sandy. The water is blue and swimming perfect. The Fairmont is a beautiful hotel on one of the best beaches in Barbados. The staff is top notch. It's definitely the hotel to stay at in Barbados!
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