by Diana Lambdin Meyer
One of five properties that comprise the Elegant Hotels Group in Barbados, Turtle Beach Resort is an energetic, all-inclusive property on the island’s south shore. With 161 rooms, it’s one of the larger hotels on the island, and certainly one of the most popular for families.
Turtle Beach gets its name, as you might guess, from the many green turtles that come ashore to lay eggs in the sand. It’s not as common on this particular beach as it once was, but be sure to ask about the most recent sightings in the area. Snorkeling with and feeding turtles is a wonderful outing while in Barbados, so be sure to check with your activities director about the options.
You would never know it by looking around, but Turtle Beach was built more than 50 years ago. However, numerous renovations and updates over the years, plus an attentive, meticulous staff, keep the property looking like the doors just opened a few days ago.
Our Editor Loves
- Pools just for kids
- One-bedroom suites
- Ping-Pong and billiards tables
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Turtle Beach is a pleasant 4-story resort that meanders through gardens and along the beach. An ocean view room is certainly fabulous, but a garden view room with a patio opening near the pool is quite convenient if you're the type of family who runs in and out of your room often. If you're too close to the courtyard, the nightly entertainment after dinner might disturb an early bedtime for kids.
The 161 spacious rooms, which underwent renovations in 2011, are either Junior or One-Bedroom Suites, and all have connecting capabilities. You have your choice of rooms with a queen bed and two twins, or two queens. All rooms have sofa beds. Cribs are available at no additional charge.
Each room includes a mini-fridge stocked with water, juices and soft drinks; an additional charge is incurred. Each room also has an iPod docking station and a good-sized flat screen TV, although DVD players are not available. The cable system offers movies on demand, if you're planning on a nice evening in with the family. There are plenty of electrical outlets on the credenza for charging an iPhone and camera. However, here's an oddity -- there are few electrical outlets in the bathrooms. The hair dryer is attached to the wall, adjacent to the mirror, just outside the bathroom. At least the bathrooms are quite spacious with plenty of counter space. Shower and tub combos are the norm.
Bright blue beach towels are provided in each room, but each guest will also receive a towel card for turning in and checking out additional towels poolside.
Be sure to remind the kids to keep the patio door closed with the air conditioning on. Otherwise, the floors develop condensation, creating a slippery surface that contributes to unwanted dampness in your room.
Three adults or two adults and two children fit comfortably in a junior suite.
Four adults or two adults and three children can fit comfortably in a one-bedroom suite.
we stayed here for 8 nights in October and it’s a fantastic place. The staff are the absolute winners here they are what makes the place so lovely. Really really lovely. Shout out to Joy at the Sandtrap and Captain Sam. My daughter was so taken with Captain Sam she even made him a cake. Food was ok. We weren’t happy with a few nights choices and I mentioned it to the reception so straight away they suggested that they deliver a plain steak and chips at the same as our buffet opened. Now you’d ant complain at that. I’m fact everything this hotel say they will do they most certainly deliver. Fabulous. All of it. Thanks for a lovely half term
Firstly we did get the wow factor when we pulled up to this hotel. The reception and surrounding areas are beautiful. The reception team checked us in and were fab for the whole week we were there. We had a sea view room which was on the 4th floor and really was a great view. The beds were comfy but some of the furniture was dated. There was no mirror at the dressing table which I found strange, and plugs were limited. We also had ants on the bathroom side, but let’s face it, we are in a hot country!
Whatever u do, do not sit down in the dining areas without being ‘sat down’...you will get shouted at. Even if half the room is empty! They are not in a rush to sit you down or to clear any tables...short staffed maybe? I’m pretty sure I’m the week, we met 2 staff in the main restaurant who were nice. The staff in the restaurants you book gave good service tho
Need the toilet?...make sure you don’t leave it last minute. There is one toilet for the whole pool area, the sand bar and for the whole of the beach too.
At the sand bar was a guy called Winston I believe...could not be any ruder and definitely had his ‘favourite’ customers as he was nice to the odd few. I mean I’m always cheerful and polite towards everyone so I really don’t understand people like that at all and I continued to be polite even when he wasn’t
There were two bar staff each day doing waiter service drinks at the pool and bar who were lovely but it was pot luck if you actually got the drink you asked for so we got our own.
The location of this hotel was brilliant and everyday I got up early and went for a stroll . The water sports team were amazing, the beach was absolutely incredible and all the families we met were lovely too. The food was not great but the drinks were fab!
My kids loved the ice cream shop and coffee shop but it is only open for a few hours a day
We went to several bars in the gap, Carlisle bay and to the boatyard where the staff were incredible and couldn’t do enough for us.
Overall like the title...service let’s this place down massively. I honestly can’t believe how miserable they were...what happened to service with a smile.
Love to go back to Barbados as it’s such a beautiful place...just not to this hotel
You come to an island because of the beach, and Turtle Beach is a good one. Spacious and more than 200 feet long, it's one of the better hotel beaches in Barbados. A gentle surf and white sand make it an ideal location for sunbathing, wading and sandcastle building. Don't worry about packing lots of beach toys for the kids -- the resort supplies quite a few in the pools, around the beach and at the kid's club.
Turtle Beach has three pools. One is an oval shaped kiddie pool (about two feet deep) and there are two other, much larger pools that are about four feet deep. One of the pools will usually have a volleyball net stretched across it and if you don't find a ball floating nearby, just ask at the water activities desk.
Snorkeling equipment is available at no charge. Take out a kayak, attempt to stay upright on a boogie board, or try your hand at sailing or windsurfing. These are also included in your room rate.
The children's program is called Flying Fish -- an actual kind of fish in these waters, and sometimes served in sandwiches around the island. This particular program is for children who are toilet trained, and is available for children ages 3 to 12. The center is bright and colorful, with a designated area for Wii and computer games. Just out the door is a composite playground with a shock-absorbing rubber surface. The entire area is separated from the resort's public area via a long corridor and locked door. And because it is an all-inclusive resort, there is no additional charge for your children to spend the day or evening in the kids' club. This is the same area where you'll find foosball, Ping-Pong and billiards tables for families to enjoy together. The resort staff also coordinates cricket lessons and tournaments on the beach, as well as croquet and Frisbee competitions. Two lighted tennis courts are also located on the property.
Turtle Beach has three onsite restaurants, and of course, room service. Another beach bar offers non-alcoholic drinks in the afternoon.
This is an open-air, buffet-style restaurant that is open for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast includes just about anything you could imagine. Kids will enjoy a selection of dry cereal, pancakes and always a lot of fresh fruit. It's helpful to call for reservations for dinner to avoid a wait. Each night, the buffets take on a different theme, including Mexican, Italian, Hawaiian, so it's always a fresh take. Special seating for children is available at 5:30 p.m., so they may then be ushered off to the Flying Fish Kids Club or settle in with a babysitter, allowing mom and dad some time to themselves. Of course, children are welcome for dinner here throughout the evening.
This upscale Italian restaurant is known for its authentic cuisine and great seafood. Open only for dinner, reservations are required and children under 12 are not allowed. Neither are shorts or sandals. A suit and tie are not required, but you will see some men wearing them. Moms, this is a time to put on a nice dress and enjoy the evening.
The Waterfront Restaurant
Throw a cover-up on over your swimsuit, slip into a pair of flip-flops and grab something yummy from this beachside buffet restaurant. Open from late morning to late afternoon, this is the place you and your kids will head for a hamburger or beach snacks. Healthy choices include salad and lots of fresh fruit. Soft drinks, ice cream and other goodies are served here throughout the day. Kids will love the popsicles.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
In-room babysitting is offered for an hourly fee for your first child, and an additional $5 per hour for each additional child. If you stay out past 11 p.m., you must also pay for the nanny's cab ride home.
The Crystal Executive Spa is located in what was once a garden view suite, adjacent to one of the pools. Although it's a rather limited space, the menu of services is comprehensive. Specific prices are not listed for children's services, but we were assured that guests of all ages are accommodated. Open Monday through Saturdays.
The fitness center is located not far from the Flying Fish Kids Club, overlooking the lighted tennis courts. In addition to basic cardio equipment, a number of free weights are available, along with space for yoga.
If your flight is getting in late at night after the restaurants close, the kitchen staff arranges to have a small plate of refreshments waiting in your room for you.
Two onsite shops offer a small selection of souvenirs and basic sundries, and just about a block away in St. Lawrence Gap, you'll find a couple convenience stores and great resort wear shops. Most Sundays, you'll find a craft market set up in the courtyard at Turtle Beach. Have some fun with that -- the selection of handmade jewelry and art is as good as you'll find in most shops in Bridgetown.
An Internet center includes four computers and several books and games for families to check out on the honor system.
The Art of Smart Timing
This is the Caribbean, so it's wonderful here year round. The majority of resorts, including Turtle Bay, are also open year round. Common sense will tell you that it's busiest in the winter weather months and less so in summer. Because a majority of visitors to the island are from Great Britain, another busy time is in mid-October when many of the UK schools take a fall break.
Take note that Barbados is in the hurricane zone. Although it's been more than 50 years since the island took a direct hit, there's always the chance that heavy rain and winds from hurricanes could ruin a vacation. Travel insurance is always a good idea.
Turtle Beach is located on the south coast of the island, approximately15 minutes from the Bridgetown airport (BGI). The hotel will arrange shuttle service, or you can opt for a cab ride from the airport.
For more serious shopping, the resort provides one free shuttle per day to some of the island's retail districts. These are first come, first-serve, so make sure your name is on the reservation list. Otherwise, additional shuttles are available for $5 per person.
For Mom and Dad
Each night, as the dinner rush winds down at Chelonia, live entertainment begins in the courtyard. With plenty of room to dance under the stars, many couples appreciate a few spins on the dance floor while the kids are in the Flying Fish Club or with a babysitter in their own room.