Water shoes are recommended for swimming; no beach umbrellas
Wi-Fi comes with a fee
This family-friendly hotel near the capital of Bridgetown has seen better days -- though regulars like it for its reasonable prices, central location, and ability to accommodate large groups. Named after the flower, Amaryllis once had a decent reputation in Barbados, but today the resort seems to lack direction and just feels tired. All rooms and suites contain balconies/patios, and most are equipped with kitchenettes, but decor and furniture are worn, and some bathrooms need serious remodeling. The beach, though rocky, has a protected swimming area, thanks in part to the artificial reef that helps protect it from heavy surf. The Chattel Plaza, within steps of the property, offers some respite from the main building’s limited offerings. The Amaryllis Beach Resort closed and is undergoing renovations; it will reopen in November 2015 as the Sugar Bay Barbados.
A casual but outdated resort in need of a fresh perspective
It is quickly apparent that this hotel is ideal for large groups, field trips, or families looking for a casual atmosphere (couples, look elsewhere). (For instance, near the main restaurant, the outdoor pool and garden area is a breeding ground for noisy kids.)
Upon closer inspection, the hotel reveals its age, though a few areas have been updated -- mainly the second pool area, bar, and water sports center. The beach area has lounge chairs, but it can be rocky and water shoes are recommended. At night, the restaurant and bar service can be slow, and the manager’s rum punch party -- normally a moment for the staff to shine -- turns into an opportunity to give a long-winded speech asking for donations. The staff should instead be asking guests for suggestions so they can take the resort to the next level.
By far the best thing about the Amaryllis is the newer Chattel Plaza. The attractive Caribbean-motif setting next to the resort entrance has a coffee shop, salon, fitness center, decent restaurant, and wine bar.
On the southwest coast between Bridgetown and St. Lawrence Gap
The Amaryllis has a good location on the southwest coast of Barbados near the capital city of Bridgetown and the cruise terminal. St. Lawrence Gap, a hub of restaurants and nightlife, is a few miles in the other direction. The hotel is walking distance to Chattel Plaza for a coffee shop and wine bar. Taxis are readily available at the resort, and the economical bus that circles the island is easily accessible from the main entrance.
19-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport
6-minute drive to The Gap
7-minute drive to Bridgetown
9-minute drive to Oistins Fish Fry
19-minute drive to Sandy Lane Country Club and golf courses
21-minute drive to Flower Forest Botanical Gardens
Rooms and suites are comfortable but need some major refurbishing
Rooms feature either garden or ocean views. Some ocean views are obstructed from the large fauna in front of the property. Furniture and appliances are outdated, but all rooms contain air-conditioning, balconies/patios, coffeemakers (coffee can be purchased from the convenience store), cable TV and comfortable mattresses. Most rooms come with tub/shower combos, but these desperately need updating. There are 12 wheelchair accessible rooms as well, a rarity in Barbados.
Mini-fridges and coffeemakers (coffee for purchase at the convenience store)
Free beach chairs and towels; lost towels will incur a fee
The beach is Green Globe Certified and is a nesting spot for turtles.
The attractive and newer Chattel Plaza at the entrance of the resort includes a coffee shop, beauty salon, fitness, center, restaurant and wine bar, and the 19th Hole Amusement (a bar with late-night snacks and video games)
Water sports shop offers free use of non-motorized water sports and can arrange jet skis, windsurfing, and other activities at an additional cost
A weekly manager’s rum punch party, though staff might ask for donations
Live entertainment on select nights
Kids' activities are available on a seasonal basis
Guests receive a 15 percent discount on green fees for the Barbados Golf Club when booked through the hotel.
Convenience store on-site for basic essentials including some grocery items
Limited options on-site -- the best bet is Chattel Plaza’s 39 Steps
The Almond Tree is the resort’s main restaurant, located next to the beach. It serves a basic breakfast, as well as dinner daily. Dinner combines local and international flavors, and depending on the night, could be served buffet style or a la carte. The Sunset Bar is next to Almond Tree, serving cocktails, beer, and wine.
The Turtle Nest Beach Bar is located adjacent to the smaller outdoor pool and water sports center. The look is meant to replicate an authentic rum shop, and drinks and snacks are sold daily. Once a week they host a barbecue buffet for dinner.
Chattel Plaza has a coffee shop for pastries and espresso drinks, as well as a nice restaurant and wine bar, 39 Steps.
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