Escape at the Gap
Travel Blogs from Christ Church
... underground exploring at Harrison's Cave. It is a big attraction here in Barbados. A very large cave with a tram that takes you through to see the rooms and formations. The tour itself was ok but we had more fun getting there .....driving through the countryside just taking in the surroundings. After our cave visit, we were in desperate need of gasoline for the car( Gas stations are few and far between unless you are ...
... on and off all day so a lazy day at the villa was a great idea. Ruth and Malcolm still end up getting burnt though. These cloudy skies can be deceptive.
Later that evening Henry and I went to Cin Cin for a meal while mum stayed home to baby sit Ruth and Malcolm. Malcolm says that they're going to party as soon as we leave and the cheeky smile from mum confirms that she will be the one getting the party started.
We enjoyed ...
Alvan arranged for a friend of his to take us out on a island tour this morning, with 430 sq km of land and 97 km of coastline to cover we weren't going to cover it all but we had a good go.
We started out with a visit to Harrisons cave, here we just booked our slot and we had an hour and a half to wait. We made good use of that time by carrying on to the parish of St John and visited the ...
... into the water to catch the fish. The flying fish are fascinating; they skim over the surface of the water using their large lateral fins as rudimentary wings. Some of them can go for a surprising distance.
At around 10.50am we went along to the Exchange, which we were soon to nickname "Wetherspoon's" due to its similarity, in style and layout, to establishments belonging to that well-known pub chain. We managed to get a ...
... on the "To Do" list when we got here. We shared the experience with "Just Jane" Arnie and Jo from Adelaide who arrived here a couple of days before us. As a result of our factory tour we are now also well stocked with Mount Gay Rum.
The water temperature is a mere 27.5 degrees, the days are around 34-36 degrees and the nights are in the high 20's. We are once again swimming ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Escape at the Gap Christ Church
Great Value for money
My husband and I wanted to take our three 'adult' children to Barbados so we could not go back to Club Rockley (too much money). We 5 adults booked ourselves in to Escape at the Gap. Having read some awful reviews before we left we were dreading what we were going to find. We need not have worried. The hotel offers great value for the money and we spent two glorious weeks there and did not want to come home. We had the ocean front penthouse, the lovely Catherine looked after us and kept our room nice and tidy and changed the sheets and swept all the sand off the floor daily!! Sorry Catherine! The food was excellent, plenty of variety to suit everyones tastes. The pirates restuarant made you feel that you had really got dressed up and gone out for a lovely meal. Some of your reviewers have said that they had to queue for their meals. The only queuing we did was for the absolutely delicious omelettes, freshly prepared with your chosen ingredients at breakfast.
Well worth waiting for. Unlike the 4* plus Club Rockley we never had to queue for dinner because you booked the time and place you wanted to eat at breakfast. This was well organised and you were able to just have a few pre dinner drinks before sitting down for dinner. I would also like to criticise the reviewer that stated that the swimming pool by the beach was only 4 feet deep - yes it was, but it is quite obviously meant for children and not adults and when the gorgeous beach and caribbean sea is only 10 yards away who needs a pool anyway!!! The staff were lovely, special mention of Cecil, Sonia, Cathy and Katrina.
Christmas Day and New Years Day was great because at 7.30 to 10.30 you could have continental breakfast and then at 11.30 to 2.30 they served us Brunch (just like home). I urge people who dont want to stay at home at Xmas and New Year to try out this hotel. The beach was never too busy, the sunbeds were free but you had to pay 5 Barbados $ for a mat and 5 for an umberella so it did not break the bank. As far as the beach sellers were concerned, once you had told them to go away they rarely bothered you again. We would certainly go back to Escape at the Gap.
All of these reviews are accurate
I can only agree with all of the reviews below after having returned from Escape yesterday. Where do I start? On the plus side I think my wife and I feel that the hotel offered overall good value for money.
The food was not too bad. The Pirates restaurant is the best of the 2 eating places. It's a pity you can't eat here every night though. The emphasis is on quality and not quantity in this restaurant. The beach was very nice but unless you were up very early to put a towel on the sun lounger you have to pay for one!!! Thank goodness my missus was up at 0630 - 0700 every morning. You get a bit of hassle on the beach from the locals but I found it quite entertaining. My wife was hassled when she was on her own (I'll say no more on the subject). The location of the hotel is excellent with shops and bars within easy walking distance. On the downside the main fault is the level of customer care and service offered by the staff. I didn't at any time feel lack a valued customer and I think they just couldn't be bothered most of the time. The bar staff were especially ignorant to me. The pools aren't great. It's just as well the beach is good. The room was adequate and clean but was right next to the nightly entertainment. So we found it really difficult to get our 1 year old son to sleep on a night. This seemed to finish no later than 11pm though. The beach front restaurant has a bit of variety. There were 5-10 minute queues for eggs on a morning and sometimes the same for the 1 toast machine. Plates sometimes ran out and you had to wait a while. The salads and pasta at Lunchtime were superb. It's a shame that the fish and meat to go with it weren't up to standard. The 1 time I wanted a full fry up (New Year's Day), there was only a continental offering. How gutted was I to learn that people who turned up 1 hour later for breakfast got a full service. The maid who cleaned the room never once changed the sheets. I know this because of the sand in there!!!! Despite telling it how it was, all in all though I have to say it was good value for money!!! We payed more than double for our main holiday in the Seychelles 6 months previous. We were expecting the same standards as Escape (Carlisle Bay) in Antigua (before it was destroyed in a Hurricane in 1998). Sadly these standards weren't met. We won't be returning unless there is a really cheap deal on offer.
Well what can I say about Escape at the Gap: Our first impressions were: Its clean, the room we had was in the main building, a one bed suite on the ground floor. It was supposed to have a pool view but you could'nt see the pool for a big bush infront of the patio window. There was a kitchen but the fridge was missing and the hob did not look safe to use. There was an unusual smell in our bathroom but we could not change room's as they were all booked up! They did put a bottle of champagne in our room on arrival as it was our honeymoon which was nice!! The Virgin Rep at our Hotel was helpfull and friendly. We never used the Gym so I can't say what that was like, the pool's looked okay but we never used them because there was always a lot of kid's jumping in and generally having a good time. The beach was down some steps from the hotel so we went on the beach everyday which was lovely. The beach was almost white, the sea was turquoise and soooo warm it was lovely.
However the amount of Aloe Vera sales men, jewelrey sellers, dope sellers, activity sellers and water sports sellers spoilt it. You have to be carefull of the Aloe Vera guy's they come and start smearing aloe vera on you when you are laying relaxing and while you are talking to them to get rid of them they are pushing an old rum bottle onto you filled with aloe vera. They tell you it will stop you burning but it does'nt!! They will start saying I hav'nt eaten in 3 days, however some of them are always doped up to the eyeballs and always have a banks beer in their hand and gold teeth! If you give them all a polite no thanks they will come and talk to you anyway and keep coming back until you buy something from them!! The sunbeds were free however if you want an umberella and a cushion to lay on they are $5 BD each for a cushion and $5-$10 BD for an umberella, you get these from the guys who work on the beach they are really friendly and often ask you at breakfast if you want anything setting up and by the time you have finished eating your meal your sunbeds have been taken to the place you want to sunbathe along with your unberella and cushions which are very comfortable. The food was nice, it consisted of pasta,lasagne,bolognese, rice, various chicken dishes, chinese,burgers,salad,chips, full english breakfast, cereal etc. The al a carte was nice but not a lot of choice. I also got a couple of hairs in my food which put me off a bit.
We went on quite a few trips with Virgin: Jeep Safari- excellent a must its brilliant fun excellent photo's take a good camera! Atlantis Submarine: Good, Photo's don't really come out though,a bit clostrophobic cheaper alternative, go to the west coast and take a snorkel and flippers underwater camera's work really well! Discover Barbados- a bit boring it was on a bus but still worth going you see a different side from the jeep safari. The sunbury plantation house is also a bit boring and the food I had was not very nice. Saturday night live-an experience. Harrison's Cave- amazing but you need a good flash on your camera. The free shuttle bus to bridgetown is good, i loved colombian emeralds, but again on the streets you get people bothering you and as you shake their hands they put a bracelet on you etc. The humidity at the time we went was quite bad so I would'nt recommend going in the rainy season. We went in Sept and it was very sweaty the air conditioning in the room was a life saver! The bed linen was only changed once and the room was always full of sand so I dont think the floor was cleaned very often! The towels you could change every day if you wanted. The whistling frog's were not put in the brochure and they start calling to each other at 6pm and don't stop until 7am very noisy but you get used to it eventually, it was too quiet to sleep when I got home! The entertainment is also very loud so don't think you can have an early night if you stay in the main building! The music is all the same each week, but there are some good singers, the fire eater is good with the limbo dancer. The steel drum player is good and there is a karaoke night and a bbq but it all adds to the experience and atmosphere. At breakfast you look out onto the beach and when you eat in the main building you look onto the sea it is lovely. Generally it was a good holiday because you make it what it is at the end of the day, but I don't think I would go back to the South Coast or Escape at the Gap. When you think of Barbados you think of the views, the beaches and the color of the sea which are excellent but it is quite a poor country and I was shocked at the way people live was a bit upsetting. I must admit I am used to spain and greece etc and it was very different to what I was expecting. It was a nice holiday though and very relaxing and we enjoyed ourselves.
I stayed at escape at the gap in July 2003 and all i can say is watch out of the locals on the beach!
Great for the children...........................
Just returned from this hotel 29/9/03,we went out to Barbados to get married. Thank god they stopped doing weddings at this hotel. Myself and my husband bought 40 guests with us 20 of them stayed at this hotel when we pulled up outside the hotel it looked very shabby and unkept unlike the photos displayed on the internet and in the brochures,the staff need to definatly do some serious training on customer care,they only spoke when they was spoken to. We were very surprised to read that that the hotel only opened in 2000 it really does need some updated furniture a good paint and a good clean. The food was very good and you didnt starve. After the first 2 days of shock at the state for the amount of money paid we decided to make the most of it we had a 'wicked' time cause there was so many of us, (not thanks to the hotel staff)
The wedding was beautiful I must admit the wedding coordinator and the staff at PROSPECT BAY (sister hotel) really went out of there way to make it special. For the kids it was fab at escape cause there not has materilistic as us and they didnt pay all that money for rooms and beds without headboards.
An honest review
Just returened from Escape at the Gap... were impressed by food and friendliness of the staff. We had no problems with our room, which was spacious and cleaned daily to a high standard. There was however a problem with the pool cleanliness whilst we were there,which proved annoying when it affected both pools at the same time. There were other annoyances including (apart from the above), water pipes burstsing on 3 occasions, warm beer, both restaurants running out of plates, breakfast relying on 2 domestic toasters neither of which worked efficiently, (our tip of the day...take your own toaster!), and the continuous onslaught from the beach sellers. Also as a previous reviewer noted, there was to our mind only 1 bar in use all day not 3 as stated in the brochure. We were surprised that Virgin Holidys gave this hotel a "Flagship" rating and we note that in this years brochure, it has lost this "accolade".
However...relax...chill out...this is Barbados and the beach the hotel is sited on, is to die for! Enjoy your stay!
Just returned. unlike the Virgin brochure this hotel has 1 bar not 3 and this closes at 2315 and that is often only if you complain to the manager that the staff are trying to leave early!. Unlike the brochure this hotel has 2 restaurants but what it does not mention is that only 1 is open at a time. A review in Jan mentioned the broken gym equipment -still broken in Aug. Oh and what about the barman that followed not 1 but 3 women to the toilets and grabbed at least 1 of them outside ?
Well he may have been fired or just suspended. The maid service is good as long as you tell them that it may be an idea to change the sheets after 8 nights, that you have not had a towel exchange, that the bed is poorly made or the floor not swept. The nightly entertainment was ok but not nightly? The good news is that you need not worry about your habit because drugs are freely available on the beach hooray! Hope this is of use to you DONT BOTHER!
stayed in jan 03, accomodation was fantastic, the staff were friendly and helpful. great views from room. food was good and included a fair variety.i would stay at escape at the gap again.
We stayed in November 2001. Having arrived after a long flight and spent what seemed like forever in immigration, we arrived at the hotel tired and very hot. The walk to our room felt like a hike up a mountain, but was well worth it when we got to our room - what a view! We were fortunate enough to have a sea-view room and looked out over the beach and it almost felt like you could jump in the sea from the balcony!The pools were not too big, but with the Carribean that close, who needs the pool? The beach was clean and the sea warm and inviting and having spent a couple of days touring Barbados while there, I think our beach was one of the best, though not a great deal of watersports available for those more active holidaymakers. The snorkelling was good fun though, plenty to see if you are brave enough to venture out a way from the beach.The food was ok, I have had better, I've also had much worse, and for the price that we paid, I think we did rather well - the barbeque night was by far the best!. Pirates restaurant was ok, if not a little too hot and humid for me, and the food was ok, though I felt the portions were too small and that more emphasis was given to the food looking pretty than the size of the meal. The staff were great, firendly and very helpful, and apart from the constant sales pitch from jewellery salesmen and even a guy selling pure aloe vera straight from the plant (and it DOES work on sunburn!), our days on the beach were very peaceful and relaxing. Would we go back?......without doubt. Escape at the Gap is one of the more reasonably priced hotels on Barbados, and is certainly value for money. I would recommend it purely on the beach and sea alone, but the rest was pretty good too.
Average Hotel, nothing special
Stayed at Escape at the Gap, Barbados in January 2003.Was disapointed on first arrival. Put it this way the brochure had a very good photographer! We arrived at 3.30 pm all of us starving hungry. There was nothing to eat. Snacks were available at 4.30, which were quickly eaten up by all the other guests.Our room was huge though smelt musty. The housekeping left a lot to be desired. They usually cleaned the room in the afternoon - very poorly. There is no ventilation in the bathroom/toilet.This slightly shabby hotel is separated onto two sides of the road which is a pain to get to the facilities on either side. The main swimming pool is tiny and can only accommodate a few children at a time.However the food was the plus side. The buffet menus were really good, lots of variety. The dinner in the pirates restaurant was gourmet style (though small portions, in my opinion.)Also The kids club was excellent, the staff looked after the children at convienant times, giving parents quality time for themselves. There was lots of children and my daughter made many friends.The staff were very friendly if you made an effort to talk to them.The hotel is based on a nice enough beach with lots of sun loungers but poor watersport provisions. The sea is not smooth though great for 'riding the waves'.The gym had lots of broken equipment which was fixed part way though my stay.The evening entertainment was poor, however the hotel is situation in the most lively entertainment area, there are lots of nightclubs, bars and restaurants nearby.Though I was not very impressed (bored mostly). My daughter had a great time, so did my husband who spent most of it at the bar. I stayed here for two weeks which was one week too long.