I have been holidaying in Barbados for the last ten years and this holiday at Seawards did not disappoint, the staff were lovely meals superb. I must say that the last review would have put me off if I had not known the location of Fitts Village. The villa is beautifully planned out with three well appointed bedrooms upstairs. I spent most of the day either soaking in the pool or swimming in the sea just footsteps away. No sign of diesel smells or loud rumbling noises beachside.
Parking was as we expected as the villa clearly shows it's parking space and thankfully no gate or wall to negotiate, so we just parked our Jimmy at an angle or should I say abandoned!
Thank you for a lovely holiday
Any check on us will show that, sadly, this is the first bad review we have felt the need to post on Trip Advisor. Even on this occasion we tried every way possible to be reasonable and come to a fair and just agreement with the company renting this Villa, so that we could report the same within this review. However, we were just dismissed by what we now perceive to be, non caring people who are more concerned in trying to cover their backs at any cost, rather than listen to and understand the concerns of their paying clients. And so, we feel that it's time to tell and show you the things about this Villa that the rental agents or management company never will !
My wife, young daughter and I booked and paid for a one week rental of Seawards through Vacation Rentals in the USA. Our stay should have been 22nd April 2015 until the 29th April 2015. Sadly, things were so bad that we stayed there for just one night !
When we first found and selected 'Seawards', on Travel Keys website, the description suggested it was idyllic. How WRONG could we be !
Nowhere does it, now or then, mention or show that this villa is situated directly on the main Bridgetown Highway, nor did it mention that all you have to park any vehicle on is a 'pull in' directly outside of the front door, right alongside of this extremely busy highway . There is no secure parking area, no drive nor any form of sheltered forecourt that we feel one has the right to expect when paying the kind of money being asked for this villa.
So bad was the traffic noise and accompanying diesel fumes directly affecting this property that we could not remain in this Villa for more than just SEVENTEEN HOURS. It really was that bad !!!!!!!
The agent has tried to defend the property by claiming that the owners installed double glazing "at great expense" recently and it is true that there is double glazing there. One cannot imagine what it must have been like beforehand though because, sadly, the constant traffic noise is still most prominent and quite unbearable now ! To make matters worse, the management company's advice was to "turn on the Air Conditioning in the front bedroom as this helps to disguise the road noise" ! A statement that we found so absolutely ridiculous that we can't even find the words to describe it ! Let alone beg the question, "how is one supposed to deal with this awful continuous noise when trying to sit outside in the rear yard, then ?"
Since our strong formal complaint and walk out, we have noticed just one website now carries a notice warning people of Seawards proximity to the main highway, however this still falls way short of describing the truth. The constant on-going heavy traffic noise, sounding of air horns and all the associated fumes totally spoiled any chance we had of enjoying our stay there, it was still so overpowering, even when keeping all of the windows closed
The associated fumes that we mention are created because a great many of the vehicles using this road are heavy diesel powered lorries and buses, en route to and from Bridgetown. These fumes are particularly strong at the front of the building, where you find yourself standing directly on the highway because there is no solid fencing, no hedge, nor any driveway at all, to offer any sort of barrier between the house and this main road. These offensive fumes are very apparent in the rear yard also, especially where the particularly small splash pool is situated. Readers should be aware that this traffic is continuous, not just during the day time but all through the night also. And Barbados drivers do like using their horns ! My wife, young daughter and I did not get any real sleep at all during the one night we stayed there, in fact we were up and packing our cases at 04.30 hrs the following morning whilst also searching for available alternative accommodation.
To recap, you have a holiday villa, on a beautiful island, so close to the main highway that it has to be double glazed to try and make it a little quieter ( who else has double glazing in Barbados ? ), an expensive vacation home where you cannot open a window at any time because of the increased noise and fumes this permits. And the only advice you are given by the management company is to turn on the air conditioning in the front bedroom so that this noise helps mask out the traffic noise ! Who goes to Barbados so sit indoors all day, using the air conditioning to cover up the traffic noise ?
Apart from this MAJOR problem, the villa is pleasantly furnished and the decor is in good condition. What is described as a 'covered terrace' is basically like being in a dark and gloomy cage, with large metal doors, at the rear of the house. The garden is very small as is the recently installed 'splash pool. The location of this pool means that it is visible to the main highway through a small non solid trellis fence alongside of the house, all of the garden area suffers from the same terrible traffic noise. And of course here, you cannot turn up the Air Conditioning to try and disguise it !
To the rear, the villa is completely NON PRIVATE. During the short time we were actually there, we lost count of the number of people walking directly by the small hedge at the bottom of the yard and all looking straight into Seawards garden. This started as early as 5.30 am as the beach path, close to this hedge and just on the other side of it, seems a popular route for joggers and walkers.
The beach area is very small, especially at high tide and you CANNOT safely swim within the area directly to the rear of the property, this is due to a close inshore reef that is very sharp and especially dangerous to children. This reef runs quite a way along this stretch of coastline and to be fair is not uncommon at other places in Barbados. To swim, you have to walk a distance along the beach to a place where there is an access way through this reef. None of this information is generally forthcoming nor was it previously given to us prior to discussing and booking this property !
As stated earlier, we felt the situation so bad that we just could not stay there more than a matter of hours, this despite having paid in full, in advance, some months previous. In our case the situation was more serious because my wife had only relatively recently recovered from a long stay in hospital with acute double pneumonia and so air quality for her is of the highest importance to us. Naturally, we felt we had every right to expect this from an expensive beach side holiday villa in Barbados.
On the following morning, after first arriving at 'Seawards', we waited until 8 am being the earliest we could 'phone the property representative that had met us at the Villa the evening previous. We told her how bitterly upset and disappointed we were with the whole situation concerning the excessive noise and fumes and how we felt the villas proximity to the main highway had been deliberately kept from us, we confirmed that we felt we had no choice but to leave. She did not try to defend things at all, she merely said that the Villa Management Company would call us, they did not, nor have they made any direct contact with us since !
We waited until 11 am so that we could personally hand the keys over to Annette the cook, when she arrived. We also explained fully to her why we felt we had to leave, particularly considering my wife's medical condition. She understood fully, saying herself that it was especially noisy there. It was not this lady's fault and so, despite everything else, we still gave her a cash tip, along with a hug - and then left.
At the time of writing this, the very small number of future bookings logged suggests to us that many others already know what we did not ? And perhaps why this Management Company seem so desperate to try and hang on to our money, at any cost ?
On closing, we would simply say this - Would anyone in their right mind leave a property that they had rented for a week and paid for in advance, after such a short time and knowing they would have to incur considerable additional expense to find alternative accommodation, if things weren't really as bad as we say ? All of our concerns above, we feel, are backed up with the photos we have included, plus a video clip you can see at https://vimeo.com/130540499
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We were fortunate to come across "Seawards" while looking for a Villa on the beach. Its location on the St. James coast is ideal with access to a fabulous beach and within reach of a supermarket and restaurants. The Villa is spacious with all amenities including a plunge pool surrounded by a well kept garden. The staff which included a cook and housekeeper were courteous and willing to please. We will most certainly return, hopefully this year.