Frigate Bay Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Out Of Bounds Hotel Escazu
Warm, friendly atmosphere
Please don't be put off by all the negative comments on this board, this place is great. The pool is fab and the grounds are beautiful. It's not a 5 star hotel so don't expect all the luxuries and mod cons, if that's what you're looking for then you're better off staying at The Marriott. But if you want to be greeted with a smile and a chat when you order your drinks at the pool bar then go to the Frigate Bay Resort.
It's not an overly expensive place to stay so what you get is value for money. The rooms are basic but perfectly functional, they're not luxurious but you're not paying top dollar for them. In fact, personally, I think it exceeded its vfm.
My comments about eating etc are spookily similar to those ones posted on May 22nd 2005, especially the comment made about Marshall restaurant on your last night.
If you're after some r n r then St Kitts is the place to go and the Frigate Bay Resort is the place to stay.
Ok if you don't pay much
My husband and I stayed there for 5 days for our anniversary. We won a bid for the hotel via sky auctions web site. If we had paid normal price, we both would have been upset. The room was big, but rundown, as well as the hotel. The toilet leaked and so did the ac unit so the balcony floor was always wet. The bathroom was very small. There was a dirty, not sot smooth pathway to the beach, which was not that great. There was a nice beach if you walked 5 minutes down to Timothy Beach. The hotel restaurant was very expensive, but the food was good. The best thing about the hotel were the beautiful grounds and friendly staff. St. Kitts, however is a beautiful island and we enjoyed the sights. We would go there again, but would probably stay at the Mariott.
We planned to stay at Frigate Bay for the last night of our honeymoon. The website was lovely, but the reality was less than exceptional. The facilities (and the grounds) were run down and the beach (accessible via a muddy hike through a construction zone) was littered and unpleasant. Although we were hoping to stay in a more intimate setting, we checked out almost immediately and switched to the Marriott across the way. Considering that the prices were comparable, it was a no-brainer . . .
Frigate Bay Resort and our vacation review
My husband and I wanted to get away to a nice island as a last hurrah before the little one comes along. (I am 15 wks pregnant). We found our getaway in St. Kitts and it did not disappoint.
We stayed at Frigate Bay Resort - We flew thru San Juan going and thru Miami coming back - with an hour layover each time. The weather forecasted in 4 different weather links, not rain, not showers, but Severe Thunderstorms all 4 days we were to be there. We said "why not" and went anyway and the weather in early May was Great! Of our 4 days, the day we arrived and the day we left were partly cloudy. But no rain - so we were still able to do things.
The resort is nice, quiet - at least he time we were there - is bright and cheery and clean and perched on a hillside. The location is just great - not as far out as the monolithic Marriot or Timothy Beach Resort - and right within laking distance (up the hill) from MArshalls' - where you Must spend your last evening dining by the poolside by romantic candlelight, soaking in the cool mountain breeze off the Carribean side. More on food later.
The resort was kind enough to give us a double bed since when we booked we received 2 single beds. Never spent time at the pool. Instead we walked the 6 mins along the beach to the Carribean side and enjoyed the ocean and the shacks and the snorkeling. First day we checked in and hung out by our ocean, lunched at Mr X's Shiggety Shack (inexpensive Yummy sandwiches and cold Carib beer and Tings.) Everyone along the water rents lounge chairs and umbrellas for $3+. Do Not let them charge you more than that.
We came back later that night after having dinner at the Sunset Beach Cafe - part of Timothy Beach Resort - to Shiggety to enjoy their beach bonfire. The food at Sunset was really tasty and service was great. BTW, Check the bill as they often include the serivce charge - which is 10-15% tip. Don't forget to check that before they take the itemized bill away and when you ask if they did, they might just say"No, tip was included" and then you pay twice. Or don't let your husband be in charge of this then. :)
We rented an Avis car for the day - they pick you up at the resort and you drive on the left and you must pay for the temp license. This was worth the money - if you think of renting scooters, think again. St. Kitts is hilly and you would have trouble climbing the narrow roads - esp in wet dark night time. We went to Rawlins plantation for the lunch buffet - reservations a must. This was fantastic - worth the trip, felt like an enchanted adventure as you seekj this out of the way place only to find this oasis of sprawling flora/fauna/gourmet cuisine. We filled up here ($30 pp) and didn't need dinner till way later. Since we had the car, we drove back into "the country" for dinner at Sprat Net. I've had bbq Texas, Louisiana and Carolina style - but this Sprat Net was probably the best! Casual and fun - gotta go.
We explored beaches - all the ones everyone raved about. I have to say, the best beach for snorkeling - clear water, no seaweed and no sea eggs/sea urchins on the bottom, no murk - this would be either Marriott Beach (Atlantic side) or Frigate Bay/Timothy Beach (Carrib side). Banana and Cockshell are nice becuz they're secluded but the water had tons of seaweed. Turtle Bay Beach is fun for a drink and sand volleyball (quite organzied in what reminded me of an outside beach bar in Belmar, NJ) but they didn't have barely any beach/sand for laying out and their water is shared by boats that come in.
The Marriot is gigantic - reminded me of Vegas. Ostentatious - we went there one night to gamble $16 on slots - we no high rollers. But they get the prize on best beach chaise and umbrella. We also had lunch poolside - big sandwiches - although we probably would have preferred Shiggety's or MOnkey Bar's. But being the MArriot, it was nice to use their beach showers and beach chairs. The beaches are all free/public, we just couldn't use the pool - we often wondered why you'd come to an island like this and use the pool instead of enjoying the ocean? The sound, smell, feel is uncomparable to chlorine water...
Food - already mentioned Shiggety (yummy and inexpensive and so convenient), Sprat Net(Great BBQ and local scene) Rawlins (best in ambiance and island experience), Marriot poolside cafe (good for lunch food), MArshall's (best in service and perfect last night dinner), Sunset Beach Cafe (good for watching the sunset and the fish was excellently prepared). Day we left we ate at Frigate Bay Resort's restarant: JAsmine. Their lunch was great. We were the only ones there - so service was magnificent.
For breakfast, we found Ram supermarket in town and stocked up on fresh muffins and granola bars and yogurt and prepared and drank the coffee in our room on our balcony. PErfectly tided us over as we looked forard to lunch anyway in a new place...
Walk if you can from Frigate Bay to Marriot and Shiggety, etc. If at night, walk along the roads. GReat exercise and in my opinion, not worth the $8-$10 each time you need to get there. Use your money instead for the great food.
Not so great
We were booked to stay at Frigate in on 3/21/05 for 5 nights. We arrived about 2:30PM and checked into the hotel. First the reception was poor, Then we went to our room. The room was unpleasant. No hot water, the door had some trouble locking, the dresser was in poor condition, the fan was broken and overall the room looked like it was not cleaned or bed spread washed in a while. This was poolside, ground floor. We requested another room, then said they had none. But we could see that there was as there were no lights at night in the upper rooms. The next day we again asked to change room they said they would see what the can do. We went to pick up our rented car and came back, still no advise on other room, they said later on. We took a drive around to check the island out. We drove by some other hotels. We went into the Angelus and found it looked very nice. We asked any rooms available, they said they'll check and see what they can do for us. Immediatedly they showed us a room, now that's a Hotel room, immediately we reserved and went back to Frigate and check out; they did not even ask why we check out early. By the time we got back to Angelus they even added a cot for our small daughter. Frigate is a nice compound with beautiful garden but if maintained it will be a beautiful hotel.
Good value and nice location
We stayed at the Frigate Bay Resort from 2/12-2/19 with another couple.
Room and Pool:
A week before I emailed the hotel and asked for nearby rooms and a good view since we were celebrating an anniversary and a birthday. They gave us the best view (for a hillside room) that they had. Room 308B was on the end and had a view of the golf course and Frigate Bay. The pool was cold, but refreshing and they had a swim-up bar. When we stayed there it wasn't crowded, so getting a chair wasn't a problem.
We ate mostly breakfast at the resort. Service is pretty slow, but that is the way at every restaurant on the island. We learned to live with it as they are on 'Island Time' and so we adjusted. We ate dinner at the Fisherman's Wharf one night. I was not impressed and got sick that night (the only night I got sick so I know it was from there). We also ate at Marshall's and it was great. One caution, if you get the Lobster and Filet, be prepared to order an appetizer and desert as the serving was very small. My husband was a little disappointed, as the rest of us got nice servings of shrimp and fish. We also ate at Dolce Cobana's which was good and Sprat Net which is a must! For lunch we ate at the Monkey Bar which was okay and Shiggidy Shack which was very good.
Beaches and Water Sports:
The Frigate Bay Beach was very nice and wasn't that far of a walk from the hotel. We did alot of snorkeling right from the beach. We saw lots of different fish, a turtle, squid, an octopus, barracuda, and a spotted eel. Beware of the fire coral, my husband dove down to get a picture of the turtle and got stung even though he had a shirt on. They do have jet-ski rentals which we did one day and that was pretty fun. Warning: Do not mix alcohol and motorized watersports. We rented a car and went to Turtle Beach which is a must. This was where we saw most of the monkey's. We missed the pig, but other than that we had a good lunch and enjoyed the beach. Another beach to go to is Friar's. It was almosted deserted and we had the whole beach to ourselves.
The first full day we took a taxi and toured the island. It was worth the $60.00 and our driver was very nice. We rented a car later and went to the south side of the island which was not included in the tour. I did not do the Volcano hike, but my husband and a friend did. They went with Perriwinkle Tours and Oliver, a 64-year old, gave them the tour. They said it was challenging but worth it and Oliver was a great guide and did not look or walk like a 64-year old. We did go to the botanical gardens on both St. Kitts and Nevis. We took the ferry to Nevis and on the way say some whales in the distance. Nevis was nice, we were disappointed in our taxi driver as he seemed to be doing other business while giving us our tour. He took us to the Four Seasons where we ate lunch. The resort was spectacular, however, after checking the rates, I can see now why.
We went to the casino at the Marriott. My husband won playing the slot machines. The Marriott was nice, but I was glad we stayed at Frigate Bay, it was smaller and more relaxing.
Overall we had a very nice stay in St. Kitts. We liked the island, but would probably go to some other islands before returning. Frigate Bay Beach resort was a nice hotel for the money.
A Two or Three Star On St. Kitts
We (my wife and 13 year-old daughter) stayed at Frigate Bay from Dec. 29, 2004 until Jan. 4, 2005. It's an older resort and it looks it. While the rooms were clean, the entire facility needs paint and overall repair and refurbishment. We had a complete kitchen, but the stove/oven was dirty and in need of repair. Only several dishes and pots/pans were available. One of our two bathrooms had ants around the tub and toilet area each day. Nearby beach was dirty looking and a disappointment. Hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. Our maid stopped us before we left because we left a personal item. Restaurant is way overpriced, and food was poor. We bought food at local super market and ate in about 75% of the time.
Best restaurants were Island Spice, Ottley's, and the new Mariott, where we had a great Mongolian buffet for $25.00 (U.S.). The Mariott, by the way, is gorgeous.
We'd go back to St. Kitts for the beauty of the island and friendliness of most of the people. The Frigate Bay is a bit rundown and, in our opinion, is a 2 or 3 star resort at best.
My wife, 22 month old son, and I spent 6 nights at the Frigate Bay, from Christmas Day through New Years Eve. There is a lot to recommend about this hotel, but still much to be desired. Our major point of reference is the Tamarind Reef Hotel in St Croix, which we visted two years ago.
Location: As its name suggests, the Frigate Bay Resort is located in the Frigate Bay region. This is on a pensinsular where the island is very narrow, so that you can easily walk from the Atlantic to Caribbean. The Carribean side is much more desirable, since it is much calmer. Most of the tourist hotels on the island are situated in the Frigate Bay region, as well as some condos and homes. The gigantic Marriott resort dominates and, in my opinion, spoils the landscape with its golf course and shopping-mall like architecture. The Frigate Bay resort is situated on a hillside and many of the rooms have reasonable views. The pools is clean and nice, with a nice swim-up bar.
Rooms: We were given a poolside queen on the ground floor. These rooms are basically walkout basements, with no ventilation other than the air conditioning and the sliding door to the patio that also provides access. The rooms are reasonably spacious and quite clean. The hot water was scalding hot and plentiful. The toilet flushed only moderately well. A small refrigerator was very welcome, since a suite with kitchen was not available to us. One evening, the hotel hosted a private party around the pool, and the speeches and music were quiten loud and intrusive.
Beaches: The Carribean is within walking distance (a 5 minute walk), down a path and along the golf course. The path to the beach had a black muddy section that the hotel management finally tried to bridge with some plywood. The closest beach is sub-standard, with dark sand that looks like oil stains (though it might be volcanic), a steep drop-off, and a smelly lagoon nearby with a blocked outlet to the sea. You can walk to the beach in front of the Timothy Beach hotel, which is a about 1/2 mile down the beach and quite a bit nicer. Several bars are dotted along the beach in little shacks. Deck chairs can be rented for US$3 per chair and umbrellas for US$3 each from local entrepeneurs. The best beach we visited was Friars, which is a taxi-ride away (US$8 each way), and that had a lot of amenities like drinks for US$1 and cheap chair and snorkel rental from local entrepeneurs.
Food: We ate at the restaurant a few times. We thought it was overpriced, and the food mediocre compared to, say, the Sunset Cafe at the Timothy Beach Hotel. Christmas dinner was US $40 plus 19% tip and tax for a reasonable 4 course meal. The only breakfast we tried was absolutely heinous. It's hard to make a breakfast quite that bad: strange-tasting oatmeal, pancakes that tasted like pure baking powder, and eggs without any taste at all. The rest of the time we ate cereal for breakfast in the room. One night they did a Caribbean buffet, which was quite good, for only US$20 plus 19% tip and tax.The dishes included goat stew, pig tails and beans, jerk chicken, green bananas and fried breadfruit. We had one lunch at the poolside bar, and found the menu to be quite pricey. A steak sandwich was dry and tough and not worth the US$15 plus 19% tip and tax.
Staff and Service: The staff was quite friendly overall. Like most places on the island, the restaurant waitstaff worked on island time (minimum 1 hour to get a meal served). Beach towels could be exchanged for fresh ones at the poolside bar, but they never seemed to be available. One night, we tried to arrange a babysitter through the hotel (one of the staff at US$10 per hour) but she failed to show and did not let us know in advance.
Summary: Although the Timothy Beach was our first choice, we found the Frigate Bay Resort to be acceptable. There are plenty of restaurants in walking distance (we liked the Sunset Cafe), but it was disappointing to find that one had to catch a taxi to get to the better beaches. The taxi fares tend to add up after a while. The guests we met at the Frigate Bay seemed to be very nice people. Some even lent us clothes due to our luggage not showing up (no thanks to US Air). Overall I would rate the Frigate Bay a B in terms of value, compared to an A for the Tamarind Reef in St Croix, which offers a similar level of amenities, but seemed to us to be a much better value than the Frigate Bay. If we went back to St Kitts (less likely than St Croix), we would most likely try the Timothy Beach Hotel.
A little piece of heaven on earth
We have just had one of the best holidays of our lives. The Frigate bay resort was welcoming, clean, comfortable and good value for money. The staff were friendly, helpful and polite. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
The location is ideal as the local beach is clean and safe (Caribbean side) with a good choice of places to eat within a comfortable walk or very short taxi ride. The pool is well maintained and the views are gorgeous.
Forget the over commercial large hotel down the road, try this friendly place where you will be treated like a person not a number. Ideal for total relaxation.
What a view
While not on the beach the view from the rooms more than make up for it. From the 2nd or 3rd floor you have wonderful view overlooking the golf course and the breakers on the atlantic side. Frigate Bay has a great swim up bar and live music. Its a great value and a wonderful place to stay.
TripAdvisor Reviews Out Of Bounds Hotel Escazu
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