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Dover Beach Hotel 2.5

Christ Church Parish, Barbados

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Oceanfront location 
  • Walking distance to the nightlife of St. Lawrence Gap
  • Rooms with kitchenettes and terraces, some with ocean views
  • An oceanfront terrace with lounge chairs and views of the Caribbean
  • A small, cozy restaurant and bar within earshot of the crashing waves
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free on-site parking

Cons

  • Some of the rooms are in need of updating
  • Not all of the rooms have ocean views
  • Some rooms have unattractive views of the parking lot
  • The gym is dingy with old equipment
  • No lounge chairs on the beach
  • Noise from the pool and street may be bothersome in some rooms
  • The pool is small with only a few umbrellas for shade
  • The surrounding area, and the adjacent abandoned lot, is not very attractive

Bottom Line

Set on the southwestern shore of Barbados, the Dover Beach Hotel is a 59-room lower-middle-range hotel with a courtyard pool, small restaurant, and large terrace set over the crashing waves of the Caribbean. The hotel is walking distance to the action of St. Lawrence Gap, the entertainment hub of the island, yet retains a quiet demeanor, far enough away from the nightclub noise. A beautiful stretch of white-sand shoreline is adjacent to the property, but the hotel lacks its own official slice of beachfront. The hotel's rooms are set in colorful two-story buildings overlooking the gardens, pool, and sea but they are basic and in need of updating. Those wanting to stay in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap might enjoy the South Gap Hotel.

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Scene

A family run budget-minded hotel close to Maxwell Beach and Dover Beach, and walking distance to the action of St. Lawrence Gap

Sitting on the terrace, rum passion in hand (the hotel's signature drink), watching the sunset and listening to waves crash into the thick wall of tumbling boulders is an ideal way to spend time at the Dover Beach Hotel. The low-key, family-run budget hotel sits at the southernmost end of Dover Beach, adjacent to Maxwell Beach, a lovely stretch of white sand fronted by several hotels and dotted with color-coordinated lounge chairs.

Surrounded by well-kept gardens of palms, flowering shrubs, and flamboyant trees, the hotel is located in a nondescript neighborhood that is a mix of hotels and residences. While the hotel retains a quiet vibe, the scene shifts quickly as guests walk to the north and enter the bustling St. Lawrence Gap, a one-mile stretch of restaurants, karaoke bars, and nightclubs where party-minded revelers can dance and sing until 4:00 a.m.

Guests of Dover Beach, mostly families, seem to follow the hotel's laid-back rhythm, spending their time lounging poolside, walking the beach, bodysurfing in the waves, and enjoying the breezy ocean views from the terrace. Most of the rooms at the hotel come outfitted with kitchenettes making it easy for guests to shop at the nearby market (or at the on-site boutique) and stock their refrigerators with the necessities to prepare simple meals. The hotel also has a cozy bar and restaurant that's close to the ocean, allowing guests to listen to the sounds of crashing waves during dinner.

Location

In a quiet enclave of residences and hotels facing the Caribbean, close to the beach and St. Lawrence Gap, about a 20-minute drive to the airport

Map of Dover Beach Hotel

One of the Dover Beach Hotel's greatest assets is its dramatic setting highlighted by a thick concrete terrace that juts out over a rocky outcropping to meet the churning, crashing waves of the Caribbean. To the south is Maxwell Beach and to the north is Dover Beach, two lovely stretches of white sand bordered by aquamarine water. 

  • Five-minute walk to St. Lawrence Gap
  • 10-minute drive to Barbados Golf Club
  • 10-minute drive to Accra Beach
  • 10-minute drive to Oistin's Fish Fry
  • 15-minute drive to Bridgetown
  • 20-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport
  • 20-minute drive to Foul Bay
  • 25-minute drive to Holetown
  • 30-minute drive to Harrisons Cave
  • 30-minute drive to Bottoms Bay
  • 35-minute drive to Andromeda Botanical Gardens
  • 35-minute drive to Barbados Wildlife Reserve
  • 50-minute drive to Animal Flower Cave

Rooms

Studios and one-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes, private balconies, and colorful but basic Caribbean style

The Dover Beach Hotel's 59 rooms are set in three separate buildings -- Calais, Goldwater, and Flowers. The cobalt blue and pale green-hued Calais building incorporates the entrance and lobby and contains a variety of rooms with ocean views and pool access. The pink colored Flowers building is set behind Calais. It offers rooms with views of the landscaped gardens and a picnic area. The aqua-hued Goldwater Building is also set among gardens behind the Calais building.

The rooms fall into two basic categories: studios or one-bedroom apartments. All of the rooms are finished in similar fashion with basic white ceramic tile floors, and basic white wood or white woven wicker furnishings. King (often two twins pushed together) or twin-size beds are outfitted with standard white sheets and pillows and flanked with bedside tables. Built-in vanity stations, accent chairs, and small round tables with two chairs complete each space. Caribbean colors dominate the style of the rooms: There are accent walls painted soothing blue or pale green; thin, motel-quality, multicolored bedspreads; framed artwork; and window treatments coordinating with the selected wall color. Flat-screen TVs are a standard amenity in most rooms as are single or double closets with safes and iron and ironing boards. All rooms have private terraces furnished with a small table and two chairs.

Most rooms feature kitchenettes with four-burner gas stovetops, microwaves, and mini-fridges as well as white cabinets stocked with cookware and tableware. Deluxe rooms in the Goldwater block have coffee stations in lieu of kitchenettes while the one-bedroom apartments have full kitchens with ovens and large refrigerators.

The bathrooms feature white tile work with ribbons of accent tiles, some updated and others showing their age. Single vanities, and walk-in or traditional shower/tub combinations, are also standard. The bathrooms are finished with stationary liquid soap and shampoo and plenty of white towels.

Features

A small courtyard pool, an intimate pool bar and restaurant, and a large terrace facing the Caribbean

The Dover Beach Hotel is light on features, but it appeals to budget-minded travelers by combining basic rooms with an oceanfront location that is walking distance to a variety of restaurants as well as the vibrant nightlife of St. Lawrence Gap. The hotel's pool is small but adequate, ringed with tall palm trees and neat rows of blue lounge chairs. A few steps from the pool is a small bar and restaurant, finished in Caribbean style with dark wood floors and tables set with red chairs and madras-print placemats. Bartenders are eager to display their mixology skills, especially around sunset when guests are enticed to carry tropical cocktails to the oceanfront terrace to watch the crashing waves and changing light as the sun sets along the coastline.

Things You Should Know About Dover Beach Hotel

Address

Dover BB15026, Caribbean

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