Known locally as "the pink palace," the Southern Palms Beach Club is a no-frills resort found on the edges of St Lawrence Gap. With a variety of activities on offer, this hotel is a good choice for those who like to socialise or keep active whilst on holiday. However, while it may be pink it's certainly no palace... Therefore the resort is really only suited to those who require clean accommodation without any of the extra bells and whistles.
The resort is located on the island's popular and developed south coast, at the eastern end of St Lawrence Gap. The Grantley Adams International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away, and a quick 15 minute drive from the capital of Bridgetown.
WIFI connection is available free of charge in the lobby.
The management's complimentary rum punch party is held every Monday evening.
She's 50 but still gorgeous; make sure you say hello to Koko, the green winged macaw who lives in a huge cage next to the lobby.
Southern Palms Beach Club consists of several buildings that nudge the beachfront, their candy pink walls and white trim probably visible a mile away. There are 92 units situated in six different buildings, with the lobby, pools and bar and restaurant at the centre of it all. The main pool (medium-sized and square) is a few steps from the lobby but also at the water's edge and therefore boasts uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea. This pool features a fountain and pond attached; the latter home to fresh water turtles, goldfish and pink tilapia. The second, smaller pool is found on the far side of the bar and restaurant. A sprinkling of plastic sun loungers and outdoor settings can be found nearby but we did notice that very little shade is provided by the pools themselves.
The resort has been cleverly designed so that most rooms and facilities face the sea and therefore take advantage of the lovely views. However, some buildings comprise at least three levels and with the absence of elevators, those less mobile might do best to request a room on the ground floor.
Activities available for guests include tennis (the resort has two floodlit courts, daytime play is free, night time play incurs an extra charge), beach volleyball, shuffle board and mini golf. The mini golf course is situated by a huge Banyan tree; tournaments are played regularly, with bottles of Bajan rum at stake! Other facilities include a beauty salon, souvenir shop, guest laundry (tokens may be purchased at reception) and mini gym. Besides a very small playhouse, there are no specific facilities set aside for children.
The 92 units at Southern Palms fit into a garden/pool view, ocean view or luxury suite category. Overall, the accommodation is clean but basic and in need of an overhaul. The rooms' layout and size may differ slightly even if they belong to the same category. While guests will appreciate the iron and ironing board in every room, they may not appreciate the USD$3 (£1.85) fee per day to use the in-room safety deposit box. (A free safe is available at reception).
The ocean view rooms feature a double and single bed draped in bright, tropical flower-print linen (there are matching curtains, too, overkill?) and simple furnishings. The only very modern item we spotted was the small flat screen television mounted on the wall. These rooms also feature a kitchenette and large, sliding glass doors to a terrace or balcony. The bathrooms tend to be a tad small and minimally decorated. Even if the rooms have the benefit of being both clean and spacious, a makeover would really lift the overall standard of all room categories.
For those wanting to splurge a little extra, the luxury suite is the size of a small apartment and features a very comfortable king size bed (but there's that tropical floral linen again) and furniture in natural materials. The suite also boasts a fair-sized full kitchen, a large sitting area, two huge flat screen televisions (one in the living area, the other in the bedroom), and an iPod docking station.
The Garden Terrace Restaurant serves all main meals (buffet and à la carte service), while the Khus Khus Bar just next to it offers an all day snack menu. The restaurant is open-air and very casual, with woven raffia armchairs dressed in cheery, garden-themed printed cushions. Several times a week the restaurant hosts special theme nights accompanied by live entertainment. Complimentary afternoon tea is offered daily. The large, sunken bar sits in front of a sea-themed mural and stocks a wide range of alcohol, also only a hop, skip and a jump from the beach.
Southern Palms boasts a wide, sweeping beachfront of about 300 metres. All beaches in Barbados are public so the hotel's location (in a rather developed part of the island's south coast) means that it is certainly no secluded spot. That said, the "pink palace" does have an enviable, spacious beachfront with soft, white sand. A smattering of plastic sun loungers is found on the beach and there are a few palm trees to provide shade from the hot Caribbean sun. Guests can get up to a game of beach volleyball, try their hand at windsurfing, snorkelling or even borrow the boogie boards for a frolic in the surf.
Hotel reviews based on comfort, location and price ratings of its categories
Hotel reviews based on its services and facilities.
Mark out of 10 for geographical location