The Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados

Old Apr 23, 2012, 4:35 pm
  #31  
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recent stay

Just returned from a short stay at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion and had a nice stay overall.

1) room:

Stayed in an ocean front room on the second floor. Room is nicely decorated in bright colours, has a king bed, two chairs, a coffee table and a small desk. Bathroom is very nice with separate walk-in shower and bathtub. Room itself is nothing extraordinary, but the private balcony (which has a large table, two chairs, and two comfortable loungers) and the views of the ocean which is 25-20m away are AMAZING. Being so close to the ocean and being able to hear the waves when waking up/falling asleep is a great bonus you dont get at most other beach hotels.

2) check-in experience:

Id requested an early 2p.m. check-in. My flight was slightly delayed, so I arrived a little later and was told I couldnt check in until 4p.m. Not particularly impressed as early check-in is supposed to be a guaranteed Plat benefit and I surely dont think a 2p.m. check-in is an unreasonable request.

Check-in was otherwise friendly, comp. drinks and wet towels were provided.

3) welcome amenity:

Welcome amenity consisted of a large plate of sliced fruit and a bottle of white wine (unfortunately no champagne as mentioned in a post above, but still pretty nice).

4) food:

Overall I found the food quality to be very good. Priced are somewhat steep, but not untypical for high-end resorts. Only aspect I wasnt too impressed about was the cocktails. Tried two cocktails and both were mixed quite badly.

5) service:

Staff were friendly overall, but a lack of attention to detaill and a pretty inconsistent level of service were somewhat prevalant, e.g.

- were kept waiting for 20min (along with some other guests) at breakfast until being seated even though half the tables were empty (but hadnt been prepared for breakfast yet)
- one morning half the breakfast order had been forgotten, the other morning they got part of the order wrong
- arrived at the beach at 8.30a.m. one morning and was told all the loungers were reserved Come on, not enough loungers on the beach (the main selling point of the hotel)?
- attempted to book a tour one morning, but apparently all tours had already left. No problem, enquired about a private tour (the booklet listed various companies offering customized, private tours). Concierge insisted no private tours were available and claimed the only option was to hire one of the taxi drivers waiting outside the hotel. Rate was quite reasonable, but it did make me wonder: Either the concierge made up the story to increase her commission, or she wasnt very nowledgable or theres really not a single company offering private tours despite the brochures stating otherwise (hard to believe, but not impossible)
- I appreciated the bottle of white wine provided as a welcome gift, but it wasnt chilled and there were no wine glasses in the room (just a minor detail, but drinking warn white wine out of coffee cups isnt 5* service)
. various in-room amenities were missing (e.g. no hotel directory, in-room dining menu seemed to be missing some pages, iron but no ironing board, no shower gel the first day, mix of Mller Harris and Rose products)

Overall service was still ok, but not up to the same level as at the Kea Lani or the Fairmont Southampton.

6) hotel amenities:

The hotel offers a wide variety of complimentary amenties which is great: e.g. comp. use of sports gear, non-motorized water sports equipment, comp. internet for all guests, comp. afternooon tea etc.

7) public areas:

nice gardens and pool area, spectacular views from the beach (the best feature of this hotel IMO)

8) conclusion:

Overall a very plesant and relaxing stay, the views from the beach are great and the food is good. The only aspect the hotel needs to improve IMO is the service.

As I was using some free night certs, it certainly was good value, but if I had been paying the going rate of $600+ I probably would have been slightly disappointed.

Would I return? Yes, if I happened to be in the area. Does it rank at the very top of my "have to return places" list or my "favourite Fairmont hotels" list? Not really.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 8:36 pm
  #32  
 
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How much to tip your butler and additions - Royal Pavilion

I booked the 60% off special rate for a stay this summer in one of the Beachfront Junior Suites. Am really looking forward to this now. I like the VIP treatment at customs associated with this too in addition to the butler service!

I have read on some other sites that there are somethings that you can ask at reservation such as asking for a exterior deck area with an awning, etc. Can anyone add to this advice?

Also what have those that have been there, how much have you tipped your butler(s)? Do you get 2 or 3 butlers a day? I understand that: 1) it depends on how much and what you used them for; and 2) local tipping customs in Barbados may be different from other locales.

I just want to make sure that whatever I do give that I do not make a faux-pas and insult the butler or other staff on tips.

Thanks!
PC
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 9:02 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by patty canuck
I booked the 60% off special rate for a stay this summer in one of the Beachfront Junior Suites. Am really looking forward to this now. I like the VIP treatment at customs associated with this too in addition to the butler service!

I have read on some other sites that there are somethings that you can ask at reservation such as asking for a exterior deck area with an awning, etc. Can anyone add to this advice?

Also what have those that have been there, how much have you tipped your butler(s)? Do you get 2 or 3 butlers a day? I understand that: 1) it depends on how much and what you used them for; and 2) local tipping customs in Barbados may be different from other locales.

I just want to make sure that whatever I do give that I do not make a faux-pas and insult the butler or other staff on tips.

Thanks!
PC
You don't need to ask for the deck area, that is what the beachfront room is. All the beachfronts are on the ground floor and walk out onto a deck that is maybe a couple feet elevated off the sand. What I liked about those rooms were the deck had several seating options and decent shade, but they lack privacy since they are on the ground level.

We didn't have a butler, but even if we did, I can't imagine what I would have ever asked him to do.

If you are used to Fairmont service, Royal Pavilion was kind of a shock. Service is different... imagine Hawaiian service levels being considered uptight. Very friendly, almost familiar interactions with the staff. Sometimes I considered the service too familiar, but not anything that would prevent me from going back. Just different.

The room, any room except a Villa, has got to be one of the best beach rooms ever if you want to be right on the beach. The rooms are just so close to the water, it is awesome.

Tipping, restaurants frequently include gratuity on the bill, otherwise tipping is similar to Canada.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 9:39 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by qbrain
You don't need to ask for the deck area, that is what the beachfront room is. All the beachfronts are on the ground floor and walk out onto a deck that is maybe a couple feet elevated off the sand. What I liked about those rooms were the deck had several seating options and decent shade, but they lack privacy since they are on the ground level.

We didn't have a butler, but even if we did, I can't imagine what I would have ever asked him to do.

If you are used to Fairmont service, Royal Pavilion was kind of a shock. Service is different... imagine Hawaiian service levels being considered uptight. Very friendly, almost familiar interactions with the staff. Sometimes I considered the service too familiar, but not anything that would prevent me from going back. Just different.

The room, any room except a Villa, has got to be one of the best beach rooms ever if you want to be right on the beach. The rooms are just so close to the water, it is awesome.

Tipping, restaurants frequently include gratuity on the bill, otherwise tipping is similar to Canada.
Thanks for that

I usually don't ask for the butler as well. I probably wont ask as much anyway - I like to unpack my own things, etc. I was more wondering about tips such as at the end of the trip? I have seen at another resort in Turks&Caicos it is $100/day/butler at the end of the stay hence the initial question.

I will be looking forward to seeing the differences in the services if any compared to the usual Fairmont expected service.

I saw that the deck is next to the beach, but I read here and in another forum that asking for an awning for extra shade as it is not generally associated with all rooms.

Looking forward to the relaxed atmosphere, scenery and staff- wish the trip was now
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 8:01 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by patty canuck
Thanks for that

I usually don't ask for the butler as well. I probably wont ask as much anyway - I like to unpack my own things, etc. I was more wondering about tips such as at the end of the trip? I have seen at another resort in Turks&Caicos it is $100/day/butler at the end of the stay hence the initial question.

I will be looking forward to seeing the differences in the services if any compared to the usual Fairmont expected service.

I saw that the deck is next to the beach, but I read here and in another forum that asking for an awning for extra shade as it is not generally associated with all rooms.

Looking forward to the relaxed atmosphere, scenery and staff- wish the trip was now
please don't forget to report back! will be staying two nights this coming fall/winter
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Old Oct 17, 2013, 8:29 pm
  #36  
 
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nice stay...

I just got back from 6 nights at this property in early October using free nights. great time of the year to be there btw.

For the seasoned american traveller, at first sight things might appear a little off. it's fairly small, almost a boutique property. there is a small gym, no spa. not all the public spaces, or even the room that we got, were in tip-top condition (considering the minimum $500/night rate). and service is not like in america, no sir... all in all, having also stayed at the fairmont orchid my first impressions were negative. there are a couple of trip advisor reviews that give voice to these concerns.

But you just need to get in the spirit. We had a fantastic time. The level of service they aim for exceeds the Fairmont Orchid, they are trying for five stars. Staff are super friendly, in a far more genuine way than in most U.S. hotels. Yes, it's true that not everyone gives you robotic hellos around the property, and the cleaners tend to congregate and chat (note: what's with the 4pm check-in?). It seems that the Bajan spirit has its positives and negatives. deal with it

The basic offer is solid. all rooms have a sea view with terrace facing onto a superb beach. plenty of free shaded sunbeds on the beach, good free wifi signal, free non-motorised watersports, delightful free afternoon tea.

the hotel is pretty quiet, mostly UK visitors with some US/Canadians. Holetown is where the action is for those interested.

what they do need

- refresh public spaces and equipment/furniture
- offer a shuttle service to nearby holetown. $15/each way in a taxi for 1 mile is not good.
- the food was solid, perhaps not spectacular. prices were fairly ok, they are conscious of competition from holetown. they need to improve the quality of some ingredients I noticed. eggs were pretty bad. some of this may be a problem of barbados (very high prices, lots of imported foodstuffs).

As for the suites, we stayed in a 3rd floor ocean view room and were happy with that. the view was great, and you are just a flight of stairs from the sea. Privacy is not as great in the ground floor suites. honestly, $100/day to tip the butler? they will be cleaning your derriere for that.

a tip - no-one is talking about it too openly but the TA web forum is full of stories of dengue fever on the island. I didn't get the impression it is a big risk by the sea at a top tier hotel where they fog for mosquitos. but why take the chance? bring some deet.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 12:56 pm
  #37  
 
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Just booked a stay for July - great deals going on right now on the Fairmont website. Price per night is half of the Amex FHR rate. Will post an updated review on our return.
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Old Jun 3, 2015, 3:19 pm
  #38  
 
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One quick question for anyone who has stayed here in the past.

Is there a place to just get an iced coffee in the morning, or do we need to do the full blown breakfast? We would normally book through FHR but as I mentioned above, the promo is 270/night v. the 539 for the FHR rate, and we would rather have the privacy of a regular room v. the upgraded junior suite.
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 6:20 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by floridagal23
One quick question for anyone who has stayed here in the past.

Is there a place to just get an iced coffee in the morning, or do we need to do the full blown breakfast? We would normally book through FHR but as I mentioned above, the promo is 270/night v. the 539 for the FHR rate, and we would rather have the privacy of a regular room v. the upgraded junior suite.
There is a bar at the entrance to the restaurant where breakfast is served. I would go there in the morning we didn't eat breakfast and get a diet coke, so I would assume they can get you an iced coffee there also.
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Old Jun 4, 2015, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by FFMilesJunkie
There is a bar at the entrance to the restaurant where breakfast is served. I would go there in the morning we didn't eat breakfast and get a diet coke, so I would assume they can get you an iced coffee there also.
Thanks.
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Old Jun 24, 2015, 8:12 am
  #41  
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Going to the Royal Pavilion from the 11th to the 19th of June.

Does anyone know if they have available the BMW Bikes and Fairmont Fit?
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Old Jun 24, 2015, 10:09 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by lautaro
Going to the Royal Pavilion from the 11th to the 19th of June.

Does anyone know if they have available the BMW Bikes and Fairmont Fit?
I don't recall seeing the bikes and didn't ask about FIT. You may want to email the concierge there to get your answer. They have been very responsive to me in the past: [email protected]
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Old Jul 1, 2015, 8:25 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by FFMilesJunkie
I don't recall seeing the bikes and didn't ask about FIT. You may want to email the concierge there to get your answer. They have been very responsive to me in the past: [email protected]
I contacted them via email. They do not have the bikes, but they do have the Fairmont Fit benefit.
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Old Jul 6, 2015, 10:06 am
  #44  
 
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Just wanted to pop in with a brief report of our recent stay from last Thurs to Sunday at the resort.

We took the late flight from JFK on Jetblue and arrived around 3:20AM. A quick jaunt through immigration and the hotel representative met us outside of customs with a Fairmont sign. Our car service pulled up within a minute. You can take a taxi, but as it was our first visit and we arrived in the middle of the night, we chose to arrange transfers through the hotel. Next time we would probably just take a cab.

Check in was easy - everything was done in advance of our late arrival which was much appreciated! We had our keys within minutes and off to bed. It is a small property and right on the beach.

As others have said, all rooms are basically the same. The first floor rooms are "Junior Suites" and just from a glimpse seem to be the same size as other rooms but have different/nicer flooring and seating, plus of course the deck with chairs and butler service. We got a great rate of 270/night through the Fairmont website so a regular room was just fine for us for a quick weekend. We would consider staying in a suite next time as my husband really liked the idea of the private deck with dedicated chairs - some have awnings and some just umbrellas. Bathroom was well appointed with lip balm joining the usual line up of Le Labo toiletries.

We did not find the beach to be as well serviced as expected - setting up your chair cover and grabbing towels (both located by the pool) was pretty much 'on your own' style when we arrived at the beach though we did see attendants helping other guests at varying points in the day. This doesn't bother us, and someone was available if you needed to order a drink.
Someone did come around with smoothie samples in the afternoon which was refreshing.

We had lunch both days in the more casual restaurant, Cafe Taboras. The food was ok but expensive (and we always eat by the pool when we stay at hotels for beach getaways, so we are used to the pricing). There is a beach bar next door, JuJu's, where you can order better food at a fraction of the price. Tea is served from 4-5 and is complimentary - includes tea sandwiches, scones, pastries, and tea/coffee/iced tea. Since getting sunshine was my main priority, and Mr. Floridagal usually slept later than me, I just grabbed ice coffee from the bar for breakfast (as suggested by a PP, thanks). There is a nicer restaurant but it is closed in the summer.

Hotel staff was over the top friendly and the concierge was great. Hotel staff/concierge was on top of giving us notifications re: dinner reservations, booking transfers, assisting with cabs, etc.

Overall, a really nice property. It was small and quiet and the staff is great. We would definitely return.
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Old Jul 28, 2015, 7:23 pm
  #45  
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Stayed at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion in July for 9 nights. We booked a Beachfront Junior Suite that included a VIP Fast track trough Customs and Immigration on arrival, but there was no one from Fairmont to be found at the airport, so we had to queue... We mentioned this 3 times at Front Desk but received no compensation whatsoever, even though they sell this service for 50usd pp if you book one of the other rooms at the hotel.
The room and property are in excellent condition!
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