St. Lawrence Main Road, BB15017, Barbados
The Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in Barbados is ideally located on a half mile of white sand beach amidst twenty acres of tropical gardens.
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"The Divi could improve their communication a bit"
Kyle on Dec 1, 2004 >
Visited on: Dec, 2004 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
504 people found this review helpful
We decided that this year we would spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Barbados. We were there December 21-29, so we also had the opportunity to experience Christmas in the Caribbean. This was our 5th trip to Barbados in 10 years. We love it there, but see only a few reviews on this website for Barbados resorts.
The Divi Southwinds is in the process of receiving a facelift. I got the feeling that the Divi corporation had purchased this resort within the past few years, and is slowly renovating the property. There were some very new sections, and the oldest of the buildings were obviously empty and not being used. These could be viewed as an eyesore by some, but it seemed to make it a little more romantic and not so "antiseptic". Their advertising states that they are on "acres of tropical landscaping". That's true.
We enjoy beach vacations the best, and are not real pool people, so we opted for a "Beach Villa". These are one bedroom suites with a fold out sofa in the living area. There's a full kitchen, but no little extras like salt and pepper, or dishsoap, or similar items that you would not use up in just a week. These rooms have recently been redone, and the furniture, decor, and bathroom were very nice. The balcony was large with a table and 4 chairs. The view of the beach was slightly obstructed by the "jungle", but the palm trees and other vegetation was a perfect hang out for birds, crabs, frogs and other wildlife - as well as the many cats that strolled through the resort on a regular basis.
The bad news is that the beach and the beach villas are on the other side of the road from the main resort. This is also the good news! The road is really nothing more than a one-way lane. AND....this resort is smack dab in the most happening portion of the southend of the island - St. Lawrence Gap. This area is full of great restaurants, nightlife, street vendors selling both jewelry and food. There is nothing like eating chicken with your fingers hot off the grill of a local man practicing his own style of entrepreneurship! This area does not really get going until after 8:00 or so at night. There was also a great internet cafe within about a 30 second walk from our room. I did notice, however, that the restaurant of the resort was almost always empty. We would walk in there in the evening for a drink at the bar, and were greeted enthusiastically with menus, and it was apparent that these people wanted to serve us dinner! We never ate at the restaurant at all. We made breakfast in our kitchen, ate on our balcony feeding the birds who landed there looking for a crumb, and bought sandwich stuff in the local mini-marts for lunch. Since we've been to Barbados a lot, we have our favorite places for dinner.
Beach & pool:
The beach is not a bad size, a tad bit narrow, but not as narrow as the Accra's beach - about a mile away. The beach chairs were on the old side, and once the resort was full, (apparently a lot of people travel on Christmas Day) there were not enough chairs to go around, and the staff was scrambling to bring chairs over from the pool area. A few people did not appear to know the "program"; they would take chairs previously "saved" with beach towels. There were some fireworks on the beach THAT day! I also saw a few Europeans go topless, but after a couple of days they were reminded by staff that going topless is not legal in Barbados. We opted for the pool after a few days of a crowded beach; there was hardly anyone there! The pool is big, with a smaller one next to it for children. The swim up bar was popular! There is another older pool right on the beach, and it was unclear to us at first, if this was really part of the resort. A third pool appeared to be reserved for "Members"; this resort is also a timeshare. On the timeshare subject - we saw many families greeting each other after a year of being away. It seemed as if there were many loyal Divi fans.
Because the location is in St Lawrence Gap, there are many things to do within walking distance. In May, the Graeme Hill wildlife sanctuary was built within an easy walk of the Divi, and we did this twice. Taxis are so abundant and cheap in Barbados, we never rent a car. The Divi could improve their communication a bit. There was no "map" of the resort, and with a resort like this that is bi-sected by a road, and has private areas for members only, this would be helpful for the novice. Also, we arrived after dark, and no one helped us through the resort and across the road to our beach villa. This was a little disconcerting. We had to follow obscure little signs.
All in all, we would return to this resort. We have been at the Divi on St. Croix, and have plans to stay at the Divi on St. Maarten in the spring, and would recommend the Divi resorts generally. It is probably a mid-level resort, a little pricey for some, but certainly not out of sight.
"Barbados is one of the better Caribbean islands to visit"
Craig and Carolyn from Ottawa on Feb 1, 2008 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
528 people found this review helpful
We are a married couple in our 50's and have travelled extensively in the Caribbean. This year we used an exchange with out timeshare thru Interval International,in other years we have gone to all inclusives such as Breezes in Curacao, Club St Lucia in St Lucia and Almond Beach here in Barbados and we prefer the south coast of Barbados to the west coast. This resort would be considered a 2.5 or 3 star.
Divi Southwinds is on the south coast a short 15 min drive from the airport. Check in was handled efficiently and promptly, the front desk staff are very friendly and professional, particularly Ingrid.
We had a one bedroom garden view suite.These suites are large one bedroom with a fold out sofabed in the living room. There is a full kitchen with all the cooking utensils you need but no extras like salt and pepper or dishsoap. We would have preferred a pool view but if you dont like the heat of the midday sun for breakfast or lunch on the patio then the garden view is better. The rooms are nice,large but could stand a refurbishment especially the floors and sofabed.The garden view suites offer you a view of the wild monkeys on the property that are entertaining to watch.
Water in the shower was a problem all week, going from luke warm to scalding, maintenance were called several times but they were never able to figure it out. The in room safety deposit box was also non operational and could not be fixed while we were there.
The restaurant on the resort was almost always empty. We were disappointed the one night we did go for the "member's gala". Although the food was good the service was disappointing to say the least! Long time members who had been coming to the resort for years got preferential treatment,for instance the couple beside us were served dessert and coffee before we got our main course and their water glasses were refilled routinely ours were not! When I got exasperated by the service I complained to the General Manager, Alvin who happened to be there and immediately the service changed, in fact the staff then went overboard and almost became oppressive. The General manager told me " we would talk about the poor service" but he never got back to me. Overall we were disappointed in the restaurant and could not recommend it and we would not go back.
There are 2 bars on the resort, one near the pool and one near the beach. They also were almost always empty except for the daily happy hour. Prices were reasonable and the staff were friendly.
Beach and Pools:
The pools looked tired and needed updating and better maintaining especially the pool near the beach which is apparently being closed.A third pool is reserved for members and seemed better cared for. The beach was nice and the south coast tends to be rougher and has fairly large waves suitable for body surfing, it may not be suitable for young children although there is a kids pool. Elvis on the beach will look after your lounge chair needs and he was great.
The grounds were nice and had tropical plants, vegetation and trees.
Activities were fairly sparse, they had aquacise, beach and pool volleyball
Tours were plentiful and there is much to see and do. Last time we were on Barbados we did an adventure tour of the Island and did a catamaran day trip and swam with the sea turtles, both are great and not to be missed!
This year we went into Bridgetown again for shopping and the market, the pelican craft market is also quaint. Oistens on Friday night for local crafts and local food, again dont miss it. Sunday morning we went up to the Crane for brunch and listened to local gospel music, this was great and reservations are a must!
Finally, the Bajan Roots and Rytham show Wed and Fri nights was specatcular and very professional a real sampling of Caribbean music. It costs around $75 US but includes the show, your dinner and all the drinks you can eat. Beulah who works on the DIVI beach during the day doing hair braiding can book the show for you at a discount. She is fantastic and also works during the shows as a server and she will not only get you a better seat she will look after you well during the show ( many many drinks)
All in all, Barbados is one of the better Caribbean islands to visit, friendly people, lots to see and do and spectacular weather. The Divi is an adequate resort in a fantastic location, right in the middle of the most happening part of the Island, the St Lawrence Gap.The area is full of great restaurants, nightlife, food markets, Canadian banks (the Royal Bank and Scotiabank) and street vendors selling local products. Divi needs an upgrade and we heard from time share owners that had been going there for years that there are major plans for upgrading the resort. Some of the older buildings near the beach on the resort are dilapated and need tearing down as they are an eye sore and not used.
All in all we would return to this resort for its location but if you are lookig for a 4 star all inclusive resort such as Almond Village you might want to try Turtle beach on the south coast or the new Almond opening on the south coast soon.
"Absolutely relaxing and enjoyable"
Posted by: Rhea
on May 16, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Barbados
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
555 people found this review helpful
i stayed at Divi this weekend with my family, it was very relaxing and the entire family had a great time. My girls were very excited and we're already planning another visit for this summer.The staff was very friendly and helpful, especially Victoria.
May 13 2011
The room was quite comfortable and were very convenient had everything you could think off. The garden view was nice, and the children were quite fascinated by the monkey we saw.
Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants and bar was nice we especially like Joslyn's on the beach.
they were all great, i think the girls wished they could take the pool home with them.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities were quite helpful and pleasant there was a very nice young man in activities but i regret to say i forgot his name.
had a very great time we liked it for it's simplicity and relaxed atmosphere.