Activities center can arrange water sports and bike rentals (for a fee)
Free Wi-Fi and parking
Main hotel construction is tired and outdated
Some rooms show age and have outdated decor
Sprawling property can require lots of walking
Spa is small and cluttered; and fitness center dark
Check-in is an unusually late 4pm
This 133-suite mid-range property sits in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap among shops, restaurants, and nightlife. The expansive property spans 20 acres between the main coast road and beautiful Dover Beach, so there's room for a slew of kid-friendly activities including tennis courts, mini-golf, and a kids’ club. Much of the hotel is terribly outdated, though the open-air beachfront restaurant is a contemporary highlight. One- and two-bedroom suites have kitchens, and a patio or balcony. Suites near the pool are better suited to families with young kids, while beach villas have ocean views and offer more quiet. Travelers seeking a self-contained beachfront stay on smaller grounds could try Blue Orchids Beach Hotel.
Sprawling family-friendly resort on garden grounds bordered by gorgeous beach
Unfolding across 20 acres of lawn and garden grounds (bisected by the St. Lawrence Gap), Divi Southwinds has enough outdoor space and features to run kids ragged and for adults to find retreat. While families with young kids are often at the main pool, other areas such as the beach (which is nice and wide) and beachfront pool, tend to be much calmer. Divi is one of those rare places where clans and couples can happily coexist. The main area of the resort features a high-rise '70s style hotel building that contains most of the rooms -- and shows its retro age, but gradual enhancements to the entire property are slowly but surely giving Divi a modern lease on life.
The grounds near the pool and garden are where all of the kids’ and sporting activities are found -- making it a hub of activity. Pure Beach restaurant and bar looks modern and cool with open-air seating and an indoor/outdoor bar perched right next to the beach. It’s particularly pleasant at night when bamboo torches frame the pathway out front, and neon blue lights accent the space with a contemporary flavor.
There's a large open-air conference and event space located in a separate building (next to the main pool) which does attract a small business crowd. Overall, kids rule here, and adults can find their chill zone on the beach. Note that past guests have complained about long walks through the grounds and a late check-in time of 4pm.
A south coast property in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap, right on Dover Beach
Divi Southwinds has a central south coast location that’s within easy reach of many local attractions. Beautiful Dover Beach borders the western edge of the property. St. Lawrence Gap -- an iconic area known for its dining, shopping, and lively nightlife -- divides the property in half. It’s a 16-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport, seven minutes to Bridgetown, 10 minutes to Oistins Fish Fry, and a 10-minute walk to Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.
One- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens -- some refreshed and others dated
Many suites at the Divi Southwinds have been operating on time-share status for years, and are starting to show their age. However, some rooms have been updated with a fresher, more modern feel as the entire resort undergoes a gradual facelift. Functional furniture typically features matching blond wooden pieces with yellow walls and ocean-blue color accents. Updated rooms feature a more contemporary color scheme with soft beige walls and pops of aqua. Kitchens are spacious and feature large refrigerators, microwaves, kettles, blenders, and the usual cooking and dining tools, in addition to coffee- and tea-making ingredients. Layouts vary from compact to spacious -- depending on the category. Penthouses unfold over two floors.
All rooms have balconies or patios, with either garden views (looking over the front of the property grounds to the main street); pool views (observing the central pool and expansive grounds to the rear); or ocean views (looking towards Dover Beach). Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, iPod docks, safes, and irons and ironing boards. Bathrooms offer shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and free individual toiletries.
Three pools, a beachfront restaurant/bar, and family-friendly activities
The stunning stretch of Dover Beach that unfolds along the rear of the resort is a mega highlight. There’s clean sand and clear aqua water. Pure Ocean restaurant and bar is perched right next to the beachfront. It offers open-air seating and an indoor/outdoor bar area that overlooks the beach. Local and international flavors feature fresh seafood, meat, and vegetarian options. Kids are catered to with their own menu, and all-inclusive meal plans are available.
Three pools are on offer at Divi -- the biggest and most central forms the resort centerpiece (where families and kids tend to dominate); there’s another right next to the beach (that's more relaxed and adult); and a third pool (which was free of guests altogether during Oyster’s stay) hidden on the edge of the resort property.
A huge conference and events space neighbors the main pool on one side, and the activities center sits on the other -- this is where beach towels are collected; and an array of activities from water sports to bicycling can be arranged (for a fee). Sporting activities include a nine-hole mini-golf course, a decent playground, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and a huge lawn area for sporting games. The kids’ club offers movie nights, treasure hunts, and sand castle building contests.
There’s an on-site convenience store for groceries and essentials, and laundry facilities are available to guests. The resort offers a small gym, and a spa -- although it feels more like a small local beauty salon than a resort-style offering. Free Wi-Fi is provided, but it’s an annoying system that only works on one device and requires continual logging in.
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