Carlisle Bay is one of those hotels where you feel at home the minute you walk through the front door. Professionally, I shouldn’t like it as much as I do, but that’s just one of those anomalies that happens to us all once in a while.
I have a bit of history here, having visited several times over the years, and while nothing has notably changed to warrant any obvious mention, this is a hotel that delivers a great family vacation, up to a point.
Let me clarify. Carlisle Bay would make many folk run for the hills, never to return again. Especially those seeking an adult holiday as this place is, at times, completely overrun with overenthusiastic kids. Having been here with my children at varying times and various ages, I can cope with this because, ultimately, as those of us with kids know: if the kids are happy, we are happy. What may not suit is that this resort is not a finely-tuned machine, rather a more well-oiled one. Experience has taught management what works well and they go with it. Lacking are the small enhancements which would label it exceptional.
Notable, bad and good, are the following. The pristine, long, golden beach with a soft, sandy bottom generally has a breeze blowing by to keep you feeling fresh on a hot day. If you’re travelling with offspring, the Kids’ Club here is a gem. It is well thought out for those six and under, being secure and well run. And the Beach suites include a second bedroom for the kids: less stress and good value for money.
For adult travellers without children, there are suites set apart to ensure a safe distance from the early morning risers in the family accommodation. The restaurants are nicely done, again with an adult-only restaurant for lunch at one end of the beach. What I must take umbrage with are decisions which don’t make sense. The club for teens, the Crush Lounge, complete with play stations, table football, ping pong and more has been closed. No one on-site could tell me why, and considering the number of teens hanging around, this is a seemingly short-sighted decision.
In addition, the activities schedule is rather limited, bearing in mind the number of tennis and water sport facilities in place which could be put into action. Finally, the lack of staff around the beach and pool areas led me to wonder whether they either needed more employees or a more visible management team. The sleek, modern images on the hotel’s website are somewhat misleading, as although the suites are modern in style, the cool, calming, atmosphere that one would normally associate with these interiors is left outside the hotel gates.
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