Sunset Shores, Villa Bay, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
In order to review this hotel fairly, considering it was the hotel we stayed at and which hosted the Feast of Tabernacles in St. Vincent, I would like to begin with the good, then move on to things that are minor quibbles of some indifference, and then close with the bad before making overall comments. One of the things that Sunset Shores has going for it is its location, with some beautiful sand on the coast of St. Vincent. It also has very friendly staff, especially the cleaning staff, who were gracious and friendly to talk to, even when we were telling them that we didn’t need fresh sheets that day. The fact that the hotel has the space to host a Feast of Tabernacles for around 100 people and be able to feed them all is also a very good thing. This is a place that has a lot going for it. The food was generally tasty as well, with very good soups, excellent breakfasts and dinners (the lamb was especially choice, as was the catch of the day), and it provided a good place for fellowship and conversation, generally. These are no mean advantages to a hotel.
Needless to say, the hotel did have some quirks. Some of these quirks appear to be due to not really knowing what appeals to Westerners, such as the fact that they failed to understand how much water someone could drink (that someone being me, of course). Some things were amusing quirks, such as the way that the plumbing didn’t always work very well or made strange sounds because of low water pressure. Some things were easy enough to understand because of the place the Feast was being held at, including the way that the hotel double booked its area a couple of times, forcing us to move one choir practice because an exam was being held in the church room (which could have stood a bit more cooling), and the loud music and fuss of a large group of models and beauty pageant contestants whose charity event on behalf of endometriosis gave a somewhat off-key start to our eighth day. For the most part, these quirks were easy enough to understand.
There were, however, two things that the hotel did wrong that were impossible to overlook. One of these problems was a distinct lack of transparency in terms of pricing. We were quoted prices before going to the Feast of Tabernacles that were labeled as being inclusive of the VAT that were significantly lower than the prices that we were charged, which were very steep. Then there is the matter of the VAT and service charges of the meals not being included in the meal plan, or the fact that the meal plan only included water and not any other drinks (at least except for fruit juice in the breakfast buffet), nor any soups or desserts along with a limited menu for the dinner plan that was not communicated to people staying at the hotel. Overall, this is a very big strike against a place when it comes to being able to handle business like the Feast of Tabernacles. In addition to this, the hotel twice failed to properly schedule our transportation despite charging us for this service. The first time was when we arrived at the island, and waited in vain for a taxi scheduled from the hotel when we had repeatedly told them when we were arriving on the island and found them surprised when we showed up when we told them we would come. The second failure was more critical, when we were told that someone would be waiting for us at 4:15AM when we had to go to the airport and instead it wasn’t until nearly 6AM when a taxi showed up, but only because a friend of ours was able to get in touch with a taxi driver he trusted, with the hotel’s taxi being a no show and nearly causing us to miss our flight. That is simply unacceptable, and in light of these failures this hotel cannot be recommended for future Feasts of Tabernacles.