Barbados: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Sea, Sand, Sun ..... Service? Idyllic destinations always have the natural beauty, great attractions and best ways to kick back and relax. But what about when it comes to service?
Unfortunately quite a few places lack this all important aspect which should be a key factor when your main target market is tourism. Barbados hasn't escaped this list and currently falls with the top 2 of poor customer service destinations. Having to correspond and visit quite a few of these locations on a daily basis for clients, we were amazed by the results of a few of these.
Here we've compiled a list of the absolute worst service performers in Barbados and our final verdict of each one. Compiled based on the following criteria:
Ease of communication via email
Ease of communication via phone
On site service and staff or management attitude
CK Cocktail Kitchen
This one by far deserves to be at the top of the list for worst service providers on the island. We won't go into full details as a full review can be read here. In summary, we decided to go evaluate this property one evening and sat there for over 20 minutes without any form of service. Countless staff passed by delivering orders but zero attendance to anyone in our party. We finally gave up and left rather than beg for service. A TripAdvisor review was also made and this was followed up by an immediate apology and a personal message asking for the date of this visit. This was provided and no follow up has been made.
FINAL VERDICT: Not worth the visit ALTERNATIVES: Sea Horse Restaurant (better service and views) or Crave Restaurant (lower prices)
We've contacted this hotel initially in the summer of 2017 via email with a direct client query. Luckily this was one of 3 choices as the Crane Resort failed to reply. One year later contact was also made for our internal queries and despite not responding for the previous year they once again found it fit not to reply again. A comment was left via their Facebook page approximately 1 month after, they apologized and for not responding and will look into it. A few more months passed still without a reply.... maybe they're still looking into it.
FINAL VERDICT: Not worth the stay ALTERNATIVES: Higher End - Sandals Resort / Lower End: Accra Beach Hotel
Atlantis Submarines Their main office is a great atmosphere albeit a bit crowded or hectic just before dives. We needed additional information which unfortunately wasn't possible to be provided by front desk staff. Instead we were provided a business card for the appropriate person.... this may have well been a blank piece of paper as it's also been months without reply.
FINAL VERDICT: Still worth the visit
ALTERNATIVES: Unfortunately no other close alternatives
After reviewing Divi Heritage for budget based hotels on the west coast, we also contacted Europa Resort to get some information on their packages and stays. Rather than email we called directly for the General Manager (Ms. Kesuram) and was told she was not at the property at the moment but we were given an email to reach her. Sent off the email the same day. After one week with no reply, tried calling once again; this time she was in a meeting ... so decided to leave 2 contact numbers for her to call us back. Needless to say that never happened. A subsequent review of their property via TripAdvisor painted a mixed picture of positive and negative situations.... from great friendly staff to poor WiFi and theft from rooms.
FINAL VERDICT: Not worth it ALTERNATIVES: Divi Heritage (beachfront, Adults Only, self service)
Amazingly, we've recently contacted 11 hotels on the south and west coast of Barbados, from budget to luxury properties with a general query. Out of those 12 only 3 have opted to reply.... MoonRaker Beach Hotel and The House.
Honorable mention of those hotels not interested in potential guest interest:
South Gap Hotel Savannah Hotel Rostrevor Hotel Southern Palms (second time contacting them) Ocean Spray Apartments Fairmont Royal Pavillion The Palms Resort
Copacabana Beach Club Coconut Court Hotel
It's interesting to note that all queries to hotels were directly related to bookings for clients or staff, yet there was no reply. When you have a service based entirely on tourism but yet selective on the clients you reply to; those potential guests will invariably opt to stay at another establishment.
Over the years we have sent numerous emails to hotels worldwide as first choice destinations to clients, however in the cases with no reply all bookings are sent to alternate hotels. Barbados would remain a very good destination with nice beaches and friendly people but lacks tremendously in quality customer service.
How long would you wait or tolerate poor service?
Let us know about any experiences you've had with tourism businesses in Barbados.
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