Daily Archives: February 23, 2007

Trip Advisor.Com Has Traveler Reviews Of The Good And The Bad In Barbados


Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Highly Rated – But GEMS Hotels Slammed

The power of the internet once again becomes apparent when researching a holiday destination. Those glossy brochures and slick resort websites can make the worst dump look like paradise on earth – but there’s nothing like reviews from fellow travelers to reveal the truth. With over 5 million online traveler reviews and 10 million visitors per week, Trip Advisor.Com is probably the foremost travel review website in the world.

So let’s see what the folks at TripAdvisor.Com have to say about some of our Barbados destinations, shall we?

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

What’s not to love about Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary? All the reviews are extremely positive, and some folks have taken the trouble to upload their own photos. Here’s a review from a Lancashire tourist…

We were told to go early and we were not dissapointed. What a wonderful experience. We arrived about 8.20 (having travelled down on the Boogie Bus). No one around, just peace and quiet. We walked around on our own and saw lots of birds, animals, crabs and humming birds before we even went into the aviary. It was wonderful just to stand and watch the birds, the toucan was especially cheeky and tried to knock my bottle of water over. We were then joined by a young lady who came in with water, she was wonderful and talked to us for ages, introducing us to all the birds. She also told us it is best to come early as the birds quieten down in the afternoon heat.

Would recommend a visit here to anyone, it is a part of our holiday we will remember just as much, if not more, than some of the more expensive trips that we went on.

… Traveler review of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary at TripAdvisor.Com (link here)

Little Arches Hotel

“Fabulous from start to finish!” characterizes most of the reviews for the Little Arches Hotel. Truthfully, I didn’t read through all 133 reviews, but I think I see a trend! Check for yourself here.

Peach and Quiet Resort

Peach and Quiet is Adrian Loveridge’s establishment at Inch Marlow. With a beautiful vista, superb meals and the attention to detail by Adrian and Margaret, Peach and Quiet is one of those places where people come back again and again every year. I had forgotten that P&Q won the 2006 Traveler’s Choice Award for “Best Bargain In The Caribbean”.

Many reviews, nearly all positive with many perfect scores – and even the two that were not raving about Peach and Quiet make it clear that they were looking for a different type of vacation. Hey… if you want to stay at the Hilton for five times the money, go ahead!

Tarnished GEMS Hotels Rated Poorly

Blue Horizon Hotel

“Food terrible…”, “Budget with a capital B”, “OK hotel but…”, “Really bad…”, “A dump”, “Hair in the bathroom, food terrible…”

With reviews like this, one wonders how the place remains open. Oh, I forgot… this is one of the GEMS scandal hotels, so you and I throw tons of tax money at it to get those great reviews. Check them out here.

Savannah Hotel

“Simple, adequate, over-priced”, “Average hotel that needs lots of help and good management”, “a great 3 star hotel”, “not as bad as others have suggested”, “would not recommend”, “never again”

I had dinner and drinks at the Savannah a couple of years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly, but I didn’t stay there and that was a few years ago. Oh well, more GEMS scandal hotel money down the drain. No wonder Standard and Poor’s recommends that the government sells the place.

With reviews like this, we should receive an excellent return on our investment of tax dollars. (NOT!)

Time Out At The Gap Hotel

“What do you expect for the money”, “Awful”, “Spoilt my stay on the island”, “unfriendly & tacky”, “Did the job”, “Bitten by bugs…”, “ok for budget travellers”, “nightmare”, “No no no no no no no no!”, “Not as bad as I was expecting…”

Wait a minute… this is a GEMS Hotel. How could it possibly get reviews like this if we’ve been sinking gazillions of tax dollars into the place? All these reviews must be lies! Lies I tell ya!


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Moody Blues’ John Lodge Loves His Barbados Home – And Barbados


We see many of the rich and famous in Barbados. Mostly they just sun themselves and relax, and even those who have second homes on the island seldom contribute much more to the country than an ordinary tourist.

And then there is Moody Blues bass musician and golfing fanatic John Lodge.

I meant to write about John Lodge’s local charity work earlier but you know me – full of good intentions but perpetually behind the power curve.

John and the Moody Blues are touring now in Las Vegas and then California. But whenever he can, he heads home to Barbados where he contributes in many ways – sometimes publicly and more often quietly.

If only more of the rich and famous took an interest in Barbados the way that Mr. & Mrs. Lodge do.


John Lodge personal website (link here)

Moody Blues website (link here)

photo: John Lodge, Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Sir Garfield Sobers at a golfing charity function.


Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

Standard and Poor’s Says Barbados Should Sell GEMS Hotel Disaster

Helena Hessel, Director, Sovereign Ratings at Standard and Poor’s talking to the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier this week…

With regards to pumping money into non-profitable areas, the director drew on the example of the Savannah Hotel, a member of the GEMS of Barbados group, in which the government owns shares and essentially supports it. She argued that there is no reason why the Government should not sell these shares and allow the hotel to be run privately, therefore freeing up capital that can be used in other more productive, or income generating ventures.

… read the entire article at the Barbados Advocate (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Business