Fodor's Expert Review Southern Palms Beach Club

St. Lawrence Gap, Dover, Christ Church BB15017, Barbados See on Map

Jane Zarem

This resort is pretty in pink, you might say, with its (pink) plantation-style main building opening onto an inviting pool area and 1,000 feet of white sandy beach. Friendly, low-key, and peaceful are good descriptions of the day-to-day atmosphere. Play miniature golf or shuffleboard with the kids, learn to windsurf, take a scuba lesson in the pool, join a beach volleyball game, grab a boogie board or a tennis racquet, or hit the gym.


Rooms and suites are distributed among six buildings. All are decorated in a fairly casual "Caribbean cottage" style. Standard rooms have a private patio or balcony with either a garden/pool view or an ocean view. Suites are a little more stylishly decorated and have a separate sitting room with sofa bed, kitchenette with dining table, and private balcony with a beach/sea view. Duplex suites are a good choice for families, as they have a private bedroom on the upper level and a living room with sofa bed and kitchenette with dining area on the lower level.

Kids under 12 stay free.


Bathrooms are small—just enough room to turn around—and dated. Each has the requisite toilet, a sink in the counter with a large mirror above, a rather narrow stall shower with a curtain (not a door), and dispensers for shampoo and shower gel.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Even if the bathrooms were updated, they’d still be very small.


Just past the reception desk, the lobby opens to a view of the pool and garden area and the beach beyond. Off to one side, there’s a concierge desk with tour information, an Internet room with a couple of computers, and four steps up to a breezy porch with seating, tables, and a wall TV for arriving or departing guests (or anyone else).


The hotel has two well-maintained swimming pools. The larger pool attracts families with young children, while the smaller pool is generally quieter. Both have enough sun loungers to go around.

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The hotel offers massage services but doesn't have a full-service spa. There is, however, a beauty salon.


The small indoor gym has a few of basic machines, and a newer outdoor gym has new workout machines—a good place to sweat off those extra vacation calories!


The Garden Terrace restaurant serves breakfast (buffet or à la carte), lunch, and dinner—seasonal à la carte dishes, barbeque nights, and Caribbean buffets. Live local bands energize the after-dinner crowd three nights a week, and a steel band accompanies the Sunday buffet lunch. As an all-day dining alternative, the beachfront Khus Khus Bar menu features grilled fish or steak, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and more. There’s all-day room service, too.


Khus Khus Bar can wet your whistle all day long with a long, cool drink—at the beach, by the pool, with a snack or a meal, or just because it’s hot and you’re thirsty!


The hotel faces Dover Beach, one of the south coast’s nicest, with its broad white sand and palm trees for shade. The sea here can sometimes be a little rough for tentative swimmers, but sun worshippers will find plenty of beach chairs.

This beach is a nesting ground for the endangered Hawksbill turtles. If your timing is right (May-December), you might see the tiny hatchlings—hundreds of them—racing to the sea.


Getting Around

You can easily walk to shops, restaurants, and nightspots all along St. Lawrence Gap. Buses travel frequently along Hwy. 7, the main south coast road; you can catch a bus west to Bridgetown or east to Oistins. Taxis are on call 24 hours a day. Tours can be arranged if you want to explore the island; if you prefer to get around on your own, several car rental agencies are located at or near St. Lawrence Gap.


At St. Lawrence Gap, try Primo Bar & Bistro (10-minute walk) for delicious seafood and an excellent view or Café Sol (10-minute walk) for reasonably priced Tex-Mex (or Gringo) food, tasty margaritas, and a lively atmosphere.

A little farther west, Champers (10-minute drive), just off the main road in Rockley, is a picture-perfect seaside restaurant in an old Bajan home—great ocean view at lunchtime, classy atmosphere in the evening. But if you want to go local, head for Shaker’s Bar & Grill (10-minute drive)—at Browne’s Gap, also in Rockley—which has a rum shop vibe and finger-lickin’ BBQ.

The Oistins Fish Fry (5-minute drive) is a must-do event on Friday evenings. All along the waterfront in this south coast fishing village, local folks grill fresh fish (and chicken for landlubbers), served with traditional Bajan sides. Seating is at communal picnic tables, servings are huge, prices are low, and music adds to the fun—a good time for the whole family.


St. Lawrence Gap has a lot of nighttime activity. Try The Old Jamm Inn or Scoopie's Jazz (5-minute walk) for drinks, music, dancing, and a convivial crowd.


This is a small, unpretentious resort with a perfect beach location. Staff members are friendly and accommodating, the hotel food is good, the activities and entertainment are prolific, and you'll find lots more options nearby.


91 rooms
Breakfast Yes
Lunch Yes
Dinner Yes
Bar Yes
Cafe Yes
Room Service Yes
Gym, Pool
Free Parking


Phones: 246-428–7171

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