Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Low rates get you to Grace Bay, but few other selling points at this beachfront hotel
Sibonné Beach Hotel, with 28 rooms situated around a surprisingly lush courtyard, is in desperate need of a makeover: The small rooms are smelly and poorly furnished, the pool is likely the smallest of any Providenciales property, and there’s no gym or spa. Guests surely come here for one simple reason: a cheap home base for exploring the island. Nonetheless, those who can scrounge up a few more dollars would be better off staying at The Sands at Grace Bay, which offers beachfront accommodations that are less worn and grounds that are far more expansive and comfortable.
That the Sibonné has managed to maintain its spot of beach between the much nicer Somerset and Sands at Grace Bay resorts is a testament to its lasting power as one of the only waterfront budget hotels in Providenciales. The sand and surf are just as pretty no matter where you go on Grace Bay, so guests at Sibonné who are looking solely for direct access to that powdery white oasis will find everything they had hoped for here.
But even for one of the cheapest options, Sibonné lacks appeal. The rooms carry an overwhelming musty odor, the design is kitschy and inconsistent (mismatched lamps on either side of the bed, for instance), the beds are unremarkable, and the others features, like the tube TVs and plastic patio furniture, are second-rate. The hotel has no gym and no spa, though a restaurant and bar with a noticeably more festive decor is located on the grounds (though not owned by Sibonné). The circular pool was empty when I visited, no doubt because it is difficult to relax or swim in it. Check-in was quick and the clerk who wavered between adequate and surly offered little in the way of orientation.
In a central portion of Grace Bay within 15 minutes of most attractions
Since Sibonné is located on a great stretch of Grace Bay beachfront, it’s not surprisingly bordered on both sides by hotels. A number of restaurants and shops are nearby, some close enough to access via a short walk on the beach.
Unexceptional, but typical for a budget hotel -- except, of course, for the smell
Rooms have some redeeming qualities, like vaulted ceilings in second-floor units, but the overall aesthetic is worn and stale. The cheap-looking furniture is a mixture of plastic and wood; a musty odor is so strong that it often lingers in outdoor spaces; scratchy white sheets are uncomfortable; and cracked cement on first-floor patios feels like it belongs in a parking lot rather than a beachside hotel.
Beachfront lounge chairs and umbrellas, but an underwhelming pool
Even though you may expect less from a budget hotel, when compared with the rest of Grace Bay’s properties, Sibonné falls horribly short. The best amenity, the casual bistro and bar, is maintained by different owners but sits directly next to the pool.
You can tell that the Bay Bistro is independently owned just by its décor and service – both of which far exceed that of the hotel.
The on-site Bay Bistro is a surprising add-on to a virtually amenity-free hotel. Staff is friendly though not especially enthusiastic, but the food has a winning reputation with locals. Brunch is a particular favorite, and modern Caribbean dishes like the conch and mushroom crepe are best polished off with some homemade ice cream. There's a covered patio, and the bar area is also quite nice, with a semi-open-air setting, brightly painted bar stools, and several couches and comfy chairs for lounging.
The 28-room Sibonne Beach Hotel was one of the first properties on Grace Bay, and has endured as one of the only budget options on the sand. But there's no gym or no spa -- only a small circular pool and a modestly priced restaurant. Worst of all are old rooms with an overwhelming musty smell that overflows into outdoor spaces. Rates are among the island’s lowest, and those looking for nothing more than a simple room in a great location might come away happy. Just remember that nicer options -- including The Alexandra and the neighboring Sands at Grace Bay -- can often be had for not too much more.