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The House 4.5

Saint James Parish, Barbados

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Secluded, luxurious atmosphere
  • Spacious beachfront with cabanas and loungers
  • Landscaped, inviting pool area
  • All rooms are spacious, contemporary suites, with upscale amenities
  • Massage jet showers with rainfall showerheads
  • Beautiful ponds and gardens
  • Thoughtful extras, such as welcome drink and jet lag revival massage
  • Champagne breakfast and afternoon tea included
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No on-site spa
  • Small property can feel congested

Bottom Line

The most upscale of all the Elegant Hotel properties and one of the most exclusive resorts on the island, The House is the definition of luxury. Located on the ritzy west coast, the adult-only property doesn’t even have a sign out front on the road. The property is secluded and private, with manicured gardens, koi ponds, and a chic lounge area. The rooms are spacious and contemporary with upscale amenities including a massage jet shower and a free bottle of rum punch. Thoughtful freebies include welcome drinks, champagne breakfast, and jet lag revival massages. There is no spa on-site -- surprising for a hotel of this caliber.

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Scene

Secluded, private, and posh

The House is a private, adult-only, intimate property, with compact grounds. Parking is available at Daphne’s Restaurant next door, and the entrance to the property involves a walk down a scenic boardwalk over a large koi pond and entrance through a shaded, picturesque arch. Once through the arch, there are manicured gardens, ponds, and waterfalls.

There is no reception area, rather, there is a main lounge, bar, and restaurant room that looks out onto a sundeck and the ocean. The lounge is chic and modern with white covered furniture, colorful accent pillows, modern artwork, vases with fresh flowers, and white candles. There are two rows of dining tables on the left and the bar is located near the sundeck on the right. Directly outside of the lobby is a scenic sundeck with chairs and tables for guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or drinks from the bar. The pool area is to the left and the beach is directly out front.

The atmosphere at the property is luxurious and upscale, but not stuffy. The lounge, bar, pool, and beach areas are relaxed and inviting. The property is well-staffed and workers are eager to meet guests’ every need. Due to the compact nature of the property, the lounge chairs are set up close together, particularly by the pool, and can feel congested.

Those wanting a larger luxury property can look into the famous Sandy Lane Hotel up the road. One of the most luxurious resorts in the world, Sandy Lane has more amenities including four restaurants, three golf courses, and nine tennis courts. However, it is more expensive and more formal, and the type of place where some guests come to see and be seen.

Location

Close to Holetown and Limegrove Shopping Center

Map of The House

Centrally located on Highway 1 just a bit south of Holetown, The House is in easy driving distance to local sights and restaurants. The hotel is next door to Daphne’s Restaurant, run by the Elegant Hotel chain, and its sister property, Tamarind. Buses and other public transport run frequently.

  • Five-minute drive to Limegrove Shopping Center
  • Six-minute drive to Holetown
  • Six-minute drive to Sandy Lane Country Club
  • 14-minute drive to Bridgetown
  • 15-minute drive to Speightstown
  • 18-minute drive to Harrison's Cave
  • 22-minute drive to St. Lawrence Gap
  • 23-minute drive to Oistins Fish Fry
  • 23- minute drive to St. Nicholas Abbey and Cherry Tree Hill
  • 30-minute drive to Grantley Adams International Airport    

Rooms

Junior or one-bedroom suites are upscale and luxurious.

The House is a small property, with 34 guest rooms that are either junior or one-bedroom suites. The rooms are as upscale as the rest of the hotel. The white bedding matches the chic couches and chairs furnishing the rest of the suite. There are colorful pink, red, and orange accent pillows on the bed and living room furniture. The end tables, bed frame, and tables are a dark modern teak wood. Each suite has its own private patio or balcony. Three of the Garden-View Suites have their own private plunge pools.

The marble bathrooms are equally luxurious with double vanities, fresh flowers, and high-end toiletries. The massage jet showers have rainfall showerheads and look like they should come with their own user manual. 

The rooms come with a wide selection of tea and coffee making facilities (the one-bedroom suites have Nespresso machines), fully stocked minibars, and a bottle of The House’s own rum punch. Other amenities include safes, flat-screen TVs with cable, and iPod docks. The room rate includes a champagne breakfast as well as afternoon tea and canapés.

Features

A two-tier pool that can get a tad crowded, and a spacious beach with turquoise blue water

The House’s pool is circular with two tiers and a waterfall in between. The area is nicely landscaped with palm trees and greenery, and there are beige cushioned lounge chairs. Since it’s a small property, the pool is not particularly large and you may end up sitting close to your neighbor. The beach is spacious for the island and has plenty of blue cushioned loungers under umbrellas or white curtained cabanas; beachside service is available. The water is turquoise blue, clear, and calm on the day of our visit. The hotel offers free motorized and non-motorized water sports including waterskiing, banana boating, snorkeling, sailing, boogie boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, and paddleboarding.

The House Restaurant is located in the open-air lobby and on the sundeck. Dining is provided through Daphne’s Restaurant, owned by the Elegant Hotel chain, next door. Mount Gay 1703 Bar is located at the end of the lobby, close to the sundeck, pool, and beach. The staff often circulate the public areas with free refreshments including frozen yogurt, fruit, lemonade, and chilled water.

Additional amenities include a small fitness center with a treadmill, stationary bike, weight bench, and free weights. The hotel has an Internet room and library with two computers. There is no spa at the hotel but there is a masseuse on-site and a beach cabana for massages. Guests can use Ying Yang Beauty Spa, a full-service spa, at Tamarind next door.

Waves Barbados, another west coast all-inclusive property, has a full-service spa on-site. Waves is also more affordable.

Services

An "Ambassador" service model

The House uses the Ambassador service model throughout the property. This means that there is no reception area or front desk; rather, guests can ask any staff member for help regarding excursion bookings, local advice, restaurant reservations, or room requests and it will be handled promptly. So guests do not have to get up and seek help in a particular area, but can book a sea turtle excursion while lying by the pool or request more pillows in their room from their breakfast dining table. This service model adds to the luxurious and relaxing atmosphere of the hotel. 

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Address

Paynes Bay, Caribbean

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