Fodor's Expert Review Discovery Bay

Hwy. 1, Holetown, St. James, Barbados See on Map

Jane Zarem

Considering the beachfront location and convenience to shopping, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities (all a five-minute walk from your room), Discovery Bay by Rex Resorts—an all-inclusive beachfront resort in Holetown—is quite reasonably priced. A group of plantation-style buildings set in 4-1/2 acres of landscaped gardens face the beach, pool, and restaurant. A broad lawn is a great place for little kids to run around and play; big kids and adults can enjoy volleyball, shuffleboard, and croquet!

YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi in public areas (lobby, restaurant, pool, beach) is fine, but service in rooms is spotty.


Rooms are adequate—indeed, rather basic and uninspired. Beachfront rooms offer unobstructed views of the ocean from the balcony or terrace. Beachfront “club” rooms are similarly located but, with an added sitting area, are more spacious. Garden rooms overlook either the pool or the landscaped gardens. Beachfront and garden rooms can accommodate two adults and a child (ages 14 and younger). Beachfront “club” rooms can accommodate a family of four. Connecting rooms are also available.

A beachfront room is well worth the additional cost.


The bathrooms are small and functional—except they’re not always entirely functional. Renovation is long overdue.


A reception desk, offices, and a few seats comprise most of the lobby—and a small Lobby Bar is open evenings.


The pool is located between the great lawn and the beach. Cushioned sun loungers, small tables, and umbrellas are positioned on the pool deck. The bar is nearby.


The resort’s Crystal Spa offers massage, facial, body scrub, and mani-pedi services (extra cost).


The informal Garden Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner; breakfast is buffet style, and dinner alternates between buffet (often themed) and table d’hote. Lunch and afternoon tea are served by the pool and beach at Sugarbird Bar & Grill. Local beers, house wines, and cocktails are included in the rates.

YOU SHOULD KNOW All meals are served at set times; there’s no “all-day” dining.


The Sugarbird Bar, by the beach, serves drinks from mid-morning through sunset. The Lobby Bar, open every night, often has evening entertainment.

Bartenders are instructed to carefully measure the alcohol that goes into the (included) drinks to the point of being stingy; ask for a double!


The beach is quite nice, with soft white sand and a calm sea for swimming. Non-motorized water sports—kayaks, snorkels, and standup paddleboards—are available to guests. Other water sports—scuba diving or snorkeling trips and waterskiing—are provided by a third-party operator and, therefore, cost extra.


Getting Around

It’s an easy walk to Holetown and Limegrove Plaza, an upscale shopping mall with high-end boutiques and inviting cafés. Sunset Crest Shopping Center and Chattel Village (shops) are just a little farther south—and also within walking distance. Buses stop on the main road, heading north to Speightstown or south to Bridgetown. The fare is $1 each way. Taxis are always on call. A rental car makes sense if you want to explore the island on your own.


The resort is all-inclusive, so you’ve paid for your meals—but if you want to venture beyond the hotel restaurant, 1st and 2nd streets in Holetown are lined with restaurants and bars. At tiny, funky, and informal Ragamuffins (5-minute walk), for example, you can dine on steak, curry, or Bajan specialties inside in the authentic chattel house or outside on the porch.

Just north of Speightstown, also on the waterfront, The Fish Pot (12-minute drive) is a great spot for lunch when heading out for a tour of the east coast or for dinner anytime—fresh seafood, of course.


On 1st Street in Holetown, a lively evening is almost guaranteed at Red Door Lounge or Duke’s Night Lounge (5-minute walk). And on Sunday nights, Ragamuffins (5-minute walk) has a Drag Show that attracts a crowd and often spills into the street…sometimes until 3 a.m.


While nothing here is what you’d call “snazzy,” the beach is nice, the price is right, and the location is convenient.


86 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service no
Free Parking


Phones: 246-432–1301

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