Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Quite a few amenities for the price -- but a low-end and tacky aesthetic overall
Nothing about Ocean Club Resort will blow you away. A drab lobby with curt service sets the tone for this 84-room resort, which features depressing gray hallways and unexceptional pools. The cafe isn't gourmet, the fitness center isn't grand, and the beachfront isn't full-service, but for the price, you'll be happy to have amenities at all.
If the small pools, poorly serviced cafe, and surrounding greenery with goofy animal figurines doesn't set off your tacky alarm, the rooms probably will. The bathrooms are small and old, the decor is island-kitsch overload, and the beds are neither plush nor comfy. Redeeming qualities do, however, exist: washer/dryers, full kitchens (or kitchenettes in the studios), flat-screen TVs, and spacious furnished balconies in all units.
Minor details go a long way toward contributing to the resort's appeal, like free bicycles for exploring the island and high-quality barbeque grills. It also helps that there are two pools, with loud children gravitating to the smaller beachfront pool, leaving the adults in relative silence at the garden pool. There are no attendants cleaning the pool areas at regular intervals, though, so during the afternoons, you might have trouble finding a fresh towel or an unoccupied lounge chair.
Guests at Ocean Club Resort have the benefit of still more amenities due to a free shuttle that goes to the property's sister resort, Ocean Club West. While there are no new amenities to explore, the pool is nicer, the Seaside Café is better, and the fitness center is bigger. The sister property is also located on a more prestigious portion of the beach, right next to Grace Bay Club.
On the eastern edge of Grace Bay, featuring a particularly long expanse of beach
Located on the far eastern stretch of Grace Bay, Ocean Club Resort's beach is surprisingly wide and accommodates a large number of guests without feeling too crowded. Aside from the beach and a few nearby resorts (like Grace Bay Club), the only attraction within walking distance is the golf club, though most popular sites are within a five- to ten-minute drive.
Even the studios are spacious -- especially for the price -- but plagued by an overload of kitsch
There is something of a palm tree explosion going on in the rooms; they are featured on everything from the ice bucket to the pillows to the lamps. You may start to think you are at your grandmother's house in Florida rather than a beachfront resort. Beyond that, the units have their ups and downs; among the better features are vaulted ceilings with fans, furnished balconies and patios, and full kitchens or kitchenettes. Drawbacks include small bathrooms with walk-in showers and old beds with scratchy sheets -- but the price is hard to beat.
In terms of views, be careful when booking -- those who reserve "ocean view" rooms will be sorely disappointed to find out that the views offer just a sliver of actual sea vistas. Rather, the bulk of your view will consist of the parking lot and the much nicer Tuscany resort next door, or, if you're lucky, the hotel's courtyard and pool. If a substantial ocean view is a must, be sure to book a "beachfront" unit, which is only available in the one-, two-, and three-bedrooms.
A surprising number of amenities for the price -- but quality is minimal
Hard drinkers seem to congregate around the small bar at the Cabana Bar & Grille, and the fact that the nearby pool is filled with children doesn't seem to deter them from ordering another double. The food is the usual island fare of chicken wraps and fish tacos -- sans exceptional ingredients or enticing twists. The drinks are certainly strong (perhaps to please their main demographic), and are served in cheap plastic cups. Service is also a disappointment -- after waiting 20 minutes, I had to get up from my table to ask for the check at the bar.
On a beach lined with high-end properties, the Ocean Club Resort is decidedly mid-range. But it still has its advantages: a beachfront location, an on-site cafe and bar, two pools, and a fitness center. Sure, tacky rooms need some aesthetic rehabilitation and the size of the pools is hardly worth getting excited about, but the price is right.