If you read the reviews about Taino Beach, you will see a wide variety of opinions. After traveling all over the Carribean, I would say this is a typical place with some positives and some opportunities for improvements.
The Beach: The beach is wonderful. You must remember that this is a natural environment. This year, there is a lot of seaweed washing up. The same problem is occurring in Florida. You cannot fault the hotel for what Mother Nature is delivering. Many have said they have never seen the seaweed in this quantity in 20 years. The hotel crew was attempting to bury the seaweed as is being done in Florida, because no one knows what else to do with it. During our stay, the hotel was replacing many of the chaises. The chaises reported as dirty in another review have been replaced. There are shade facilities, but they get reserved early with beach towels on the chairs, etc. I'm an early riser, so I just joined in and reserved ours daily.
The Rooms: We stayed in the Marlin, and unfortunately had a Studio sized room facing the parking lot instead of the pool. If you look at the floorplan of the hotel, the studios face the parking lot and those who pay for the upgrade to the 1- Bedroom face the pool. Yes, the studio is darker. Dark is great for sleep; and since we were on vacation, we did not spend much daylight time in the room. The only time we found the size and darkness of the studio to be an issue was when we wanted to have our cocktail hour before dinner. Having a wine glass at the pool would not be allowed, so we opted to sit in the gazebo close to the Front Desk building. Many evenings were were alone and other times we took the opportunity to visit with others sitting in the gazebo. The appliances used did work and the room was clean. Yes, the sheets need to be replaced as they are pilling. Towels are only changed at the beginning of your stay, but this is a specialty hotel; sort of like a condo. You should be aware of this when you book this hotel.
The Pool: The pictures show lots of inner tubes for a lazy river ride. There were usually enough available tubes when we wanted to cruise around the pool. There was only one day when tubes were in short supply, but there were also some families at the pool that were reserving the tubes at their chaises (although they were not actively using the tubes). Can you blame the hotel for this or the inconsiderate people? The Grotto Pool Bar was fine. The only issue is that you cannot charge your drinks to your room. You need to settle your bill at the time of purchase. This is a bit challenging as I am not sure how people manage this when they swim up to the bar. We kept our cash at the beach / pool at a minimum. If we could have charged our drinks to our room, I'm sure that we would have frequented the Grotto more often. As a result, we tempered our drinking during the day. The drink prices were probably a bit inflated but I would expect this at any hotel. There is an apparent price difference between the Grotto vs. the Restaurant even though the drink menu is the same. The difference is that the Restaurant adds the automatic 15% gratuity to the drink where the Grotto has a giant tip jug. Just tip the server at the Grotto what she deserved and the price would have been the same.
While at the Grotto, I had the opportunity to talk with one of the member of the hotel. He explained some of the history, how the original owner had died (not for this review) and how the facility took a negative turn. He even used the "dump" term. He also said that there is new management team that has true hotel background and they are gradually improving the shortcomings to turn the place around. We saw that during our visit.
Membership: You can stay here without being a member. We did and were not subjected to the sales pitch. Many warned us that our turn would come.
The hotel runs a ferry to the restaurant / shopping area close to the Count Basie Square. Some nights it was a bit off-schedule by 3 - 5 minutes. But, I also saw them wait for families with strollers as they were rushing along the dock area to catch the ferry on the way back. The boat crew were very considerate of others. After a few days, they get to know you somewhat and are quite friendly.
There is a shopping shuttle to take you to a grocery store where you must reserve your spot on the bus. Since we were there over Easter Weekend, we only were able to go to a convenience store instead of a regular grocery store due to all of the public holidays for the weekend. Yes, the prices are higher than in the USA, but aren't they always higher while on vacation? Just don't buy 6-packs of beer at the duty free liquor shop they take you to.
Overall, the facility is quiet and relaxing. We purposely did not want to stay at a hotel with 500+ rooms. We wanted something smaller, no wild evening parties, easy access to many restaurants, and a short walk to the beach. This facility fit our needs. If you are looking for a 5-Star or a place with all-inclusive type of ammenities, this is not your hotel. But, after traveling many places around the world, I alway remind myself that I am on vacation and not in the USA. When you travel outside of your home country, there is a different culture and you should embrace it and try to enjoy it. No complaints allowed.
We had a nice vacation. If you want some true R&R and are not a high-maintenance type, Taino Beach Resort is a very good option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our exclusive Taino Beach Resort & Club offers owners all the comforts of home, but far, far away from any worries of home. With full kitchens, master bedrooms, and spacious patios, the whole family can enjoy their vacation. Views of the beach and pool. Ferry service to Port Lucaya. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Taino Beach Resort And Clubs
- Taino Beach Resort & Clubs Hotel Freeport
- Ritz Beach Freeport
- Ritz Beach Hotel Freeport
- Ritz Freeport
- Freeport Ritz
- Taino Beach Resort & Clubs Bahamas/Freeport, Grand Bahama Island