Hotel Tamarind Hotel 5 star
Paynes Bay, St James, Barbados Paynes Bay, Barbados -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Fresh from a fancy makeover, Tamarind, like its sister hotels in the Elegant Hotels group, provides holidaymakers with an excellent standard of four star accommodation and facilities. In fact, it was probably our favourite of all five Elegant properties on the island. Modern and comfortable, Tamarind also succeeds where other hotels don't; that is, creating a beach resort that appeals to both families with young children and couples on romantic getaways. The resort atmosphere remains intimate thanks not only to its size but its setup (adults-only areas, family areas, etc.). Tamarind is a great choice for any holidaymaker looking for a casual-chic beach resort with a friendly ambiance...

  • Seaside
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    • Hotel Tamarind

      Tamarind   -   © Dubus / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Tamarind

      Tamarind   -   © Dubus / EASYVOYAGE

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    Location 7.62 /10

    Overlooking the tranquil Paynes Bay on Barbados's famed "platinum coast," Tamarind is a short drive south of Holetown, and about 20 minutes from Bridgetown. Allow for approximately 45 minutes to reach the Grantley Adams International Airport.

    Accommodation 8.95 /10

    With 104 rooms, Tamarind remains a comfortably-sized hotel, with seven categories of accommodation spread throughout its well-maintained grounds. The standard pool/garden view rooms, one bedroom suites and ocean front rooms are positioned next to the Rilaks Deck and Pool. The junior suites meanwhile are found at the other end of the property near the restaurants and main pool.

    All rooms feature the same décor theme but have slightly different sizes and layouts depending on their category. In all cases, they are immaculate and spacious, and boast modern, tasteful furnishings that are harmonious with Tamarind's Caribbean setting. From feature walls, to objets d'art, or abstract artworks that add colour and personality, the attention to detail in each room is impressive. We personally loved the unexpected but sophisticated colour scheme that combines khaki green, mustard yellow and raspberry red. In a nutshell, comfortable, understated luxury... Each room also has an (empty) mini fridge, flat screen television, and private, furnished balcony or patio.

    Overview 8.45 /10

    After extensive renovations in 2010, Tamarind was reopened with a brand new, sleek look. From the spacious, open-air lobby with high ceilings and marble tile floors, guests glimpse the beachfront gardens and sea straight away. In the general Reception area is a small gift shop, jewellery boutique, mini mart and beauty salon.

    The hotel's layout is such that the resort seems bigger than it actually is. The attractive Mediterranean style buildings contain three storeys of accommodation and are situated so that they surround one of three pools on-site and/or overlook the neatly landscaped gardens. The beachfront grounds are quite spacious and there are plenty of corners where guests can pull up a sun lounger and chill out. On the southern side of the resort is the Rilaks Deck, a "South Beach Miami inspired" raised outdoor living area scattered with lounges and daybeds that overlook the water and the Rilaks Pool. (the "quiet" pool). We must applaud the person at Tamarind with the very clever idea of ensuring that each pool claims its own area within the resort.

    Towards the centre of the hotel is the adults-only pool, clover-shaped with water jet features and nestled in lush gardens. This tranquil area seems miles away from the hub of activity at the beachfront. Next door is the resort spa; guests may opt for treatments in one of the two private rooms, in-room, on the beach or by the pool.

    The largest pool is at the northern end of Tamarind, between the bar/restaurant area and only metres from the beach. The pool deck is strewn with contemporary outdoor furnishings; while on an adjoining deck of the 246 Restaurant (see Food and Drink) guests enjoy alfresco dining with water views.

    For the younger guests, the Flying Fish Kids' Club is a bright, supervised playroom for children aged between 4-12, with dedicated games and activities for each age group (4-7 and 8-12). Older kids can hang out in the Teen Den, with comfy couches, funky light fittings and bright green walls. There's Internet access, gossip magazines, a pool table, shuffle board, foosball, a Wii console and a huge flat screen television. Once a week there's even a teen disco.

    Other facilities include a large, well-equipped gym (with flat screen TV and complimentary water), and a small business centre (free Internet access and local phone calls). The latter, with only two computers, gets quite busy and there can be a wait to use a computer. WIFI connection at Tamarind is not complimentary.

    There are no traditional sports on offer at the resort which is a shame, however there is a variety of free activities for those holidaymakers that want to keep moving but don't want to slog it out in the gym. Tamarind organises regular sessions of "Yogilates" (yoga meets Pilates of course!), cardiostick and pool sports (basketball, water polo, etc.). There is also regular live entertainment such as jazz bands, steel pan orchestras and salsa groups so guests only need to get their dancing shoes on!

    Food and drink 8.95 /10

    There are several dining options at Tamarind. The 246 Deck Restaurant is open for all day alfresco dining and dinner, enjoying a beachfront position. The Sugar Cane Room is an open-air but covered restaurant, set further back from the beach and behind the main pool; it serves buffet breakfast and afternoon tea. Lunch and dinner are also served here should the weather turn.

    Also next to the pool is the sunken 246 Bar which boasts a cosy lounge ambiance. Long couches scattered with plump cushions in sensual jewel tones and funky light fittings create a pleasant place to enjoy a cocktail. Meanwhile, an all day menu and tapas plates are available at the Rilaks Deck on the far side of the resort. It also has its own bar.

    The 246 Restaurant hosts regular themed nights such as the Caribbean Asian buffet, the "signature seaside grill" and the manager's cocktail party. There is also regular live entertainment on the pool deck. The menus are varied, while the meals are well presented and served by efficient, professional wait staff. However, it would be great to see a few more Bajan specialties added to the menu...

    Beach 7.95 /10

    The beach is the most disappointing aspect of the hotel. West coast beaches are generally calmer but less stunning too. Tamarind's wide beach is at the heart of Paynes Bay and boasts golden sands and jade waters however there are large expanses of rocky surfaces underwater. Guests therefore need to walk a little to the left or right to find a sandy spot, one that's easier on the soles of the feet!

    A wide variety of (pre paid) water sports is available at Tamarind, including hobie cat sailing, kayaking, boogie boarding, snorkelling, and tube and banana boat rides.

    The pool and beach attendants do the rounds with flavoured water, cold towels and ice lollies. Food and drinks service is also available.


    To know

    Weather permitting, the Tamarind offers complimentary water taxi transport between it and its sister properties on the west coast; Colony Club and Crystal Cove.
    Whne it rains, don't stand under the Manchineel trees that line the beach. (The tree and its fruit contain strong toxins that when combined with rainwater can cause blistering of the skin).


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      stretching, spa, beauty salon, keep fit, massage

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      aerobics, dance, fitness, gym, water-polo, kayak, sailing, sports

    • Hairdresser


    • Three pools, in three separate areas
    • A variety of facilities and activities
    • Comfortable, tastefully decorated rooms
    • Friendly, professional service from Reception to the restaurants


    • No "traditional" sports on-site (tennis, volleyball, etc.)
    • The beach (some rocky areas)

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10