Maria's by the Sea, Road Town
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Maria's by the Sea, Road Town"
Thanks to all those for review and rate. I think I'm back on track, but message me if I've not returned the favour of a rate.
I was lucky enough to spend 4 years in the British Virgin Islands back in the 80s. It was a wonderful time - well I have to say that as I met and married Mr P on the islands. We left 28 years ago but we go back every 5 years or so. We’ve seen some changes in that time – when we lived there the population of Tortola, the main island, was 7000. Now it’s 24,000!This November we went back with my son and his girlfriend. Mr P junior was keen to show his beloved these wonderful islands and we agreed to spend some time on shore before chartering a yacht for a week of sailing. But where to stay? I consulted friends who still live out there and the general consensus was to try Maria’s by the Sea.
~~~Hotel Location~~~Road Town is the capital of the BVI and is on Tortola’s southern coastline. Two large areas of shore have been reclaimed and are known as Wickham’s Cay I and Wickham’s Cay II. These are now the main commercial and administrative areas – the main banks, accountants (the BVI is known as a tax haven) and the Government offices are all located here. Maria’s by the Sea is on Wickham Cay I and is a short walk away (no more than 10 minutes) from Main Street. It’s also close to the ferry dock offering connections to Virgin Gorda and an array of colourful huts selling t-shirts, beach attire and all the usual souvenirs.
~~~Hotel Features~~~The hotel has a restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a bar/lounge. For the business traveller there is a business centre as well as conference and meeting rooms. In all there are 76 rooms offering a range of accommodation from a standard room in the older part of the hotel to a premium suite in the new part of the hotel that was added a few years ago.
~~~Prices~~~The local currency is the US dollar.
Winter (mid December to April): $160-290 per night
Summer (May to mid December): $130-250 per night
But you will need to budget for an additional 7% Government Tax & $25.00 Hotel Fee per night to be added.
~~~Making the booking etc~~~We contacted the hotel by email to ask about availability of the suite and received a prompt reply. We confirmed that we would like to make a reservation and were told that the booking would be held for us. I was a little bit nervous as we got nearer our holiday and so I just dropped them another email to say we were looking forward to our stay and that we would be arriving late on the last flight in. I quickly heard back that all was in order that our rooms would be ready for us.Deposit/Cancellation Policy: Cancellation period is 48 hours prior to arrival.
One night’s cash deposit or credit card guarantee is required to secure reservation.
Check-in 3:00 PM
Check-out 11:00 AM
~~~Our family suite~~~What clinched the deal for us was a two bedroom suite. The BVI is expensive and having looked at other options, $250 per night for the four of us offered us the best price. We were in the low season; had we gone a month later we would have to have forked out another $40 per night.
First impressions of the suite were positive. The air-conditioning meant the place was delightfully cool and we were impressed by the size of the living area. The living area had a comfortable sofa and a couple of arm chairs as well as a dining table and 6 dining chairs. The kitchen area was off this room – all open plan – and had a four-ring hob, small sink, a few cupboards with limited crockery and utensils and a large fridge. There was a coffee maker but no kettle or toaster – making toast was a challenge but we managed on the hob! It would be difficult to cook more than a fry-up or a bowl of pasta but it did mean that we could get in a few supplies.
Both bedrooms were spacious with plenty of storage space. The master bedroom had a king size bed while the second bedroom had two queen sized beds. Both had a large flat screen tv and a safe (although the safe in one room didn’t work). There was a large balcony off both bedrooms and there were outside chairs and tables that were useful draping wet costumes! No sea view but overlooking the town was quite interesting. It’s actually described as a city view which is rather charming – Road Town is a small Caribbean town; beautiful but not quite city status!The only down side was the one bathroom which compared to the bedrooms looked rather sad. There was a bath with a shower but the main problem was a small step that turned out to be a bit of a trip hazard.
There was also pretty decent (and free) wifi.
~~~The pool and beach~~~Well let’s start with the beach and say it’s not really a beach but a man made stretch of sand that goes up to a sea wall. I certainly wouldn’t recommend swimming off it – the water looks clean enough but the two Wickham Cay areas make up Road Harbour which at times can be pretty busy as some pretty big cruise ships now come into the new cruise dock not to mention the ferries and the traffic in and out of the marinas that make up the waterfront.The pool however is a decent size and was very quiet when we there. It was nice to cool off in the water after a busy day in the heat.
~~~Bar and restaurant~~~It was late by the time we arrived at Maria’s and it seemed as if we had been travelling for days. Mr P and I however were keen to enjoy a drink at the bar and so we left our fellow travellers (the youth of today have no stamina!) to unpack and turn in for the night while we headed down to the bar. We got a warm welcome and although the restaurant was no longer serving food, we were presented with a huge bowl of peanuts to nibble while we sipped our cocktails. We went and sat by the floodlight pool on comfy sun loungers, listened to the crickets and enjoyed the warmth.
The restaurant serves typical fare – with a buffet or menu choice. Like most of the restaurants in the BVI, it serves international food with a few local specialities thrown in – for example conch fritters and johnny cakes. We only ate breakfast there on our first morning which was a great introduction to Caribbean life as the lovely waitresses spent a great deal of time shoo-ing out a number of chickens that were determined to get into the dining room! The breakfast was actually really good – we all had juices and various combinations of omelettes, bacon and sausage. The bill for the four of us came to jus under $50.
~~~Service~~~We found the staff friendly and helpful. When we arrived we were greeted politely and checked in efficiently. There was always a cheery hello as we passed the front desk and check out was similarly painless.
~~~Car hire~~~Another plus point is that one of the car rental operations has a base at the hotel. This is Alamo/National. I originally contacted another company in the past we’ve used – no response. I tried Alamo/National and got a pretty quick response and got a car arranged for an early pickup from the hotel for the morning of our first day. Being at the hotel, it was super convenient and on returning the car at the end of our stay on shore, they dropped us off at the yacht charter base.
~~~Overall~~~– this is not a luxury hotel (and the BVI is blessed with some excellent high end establishments); it’s very much mid-range but the prices reflect that. For us it was a perfect resting place for our three nights on shore. It suited us to stay in Road Town as we had friends to see and a few errands to run in town. I would definitely recommend Maria’s for a business traveller who needs to be in Road Town; holiday makers might prefer to be out of Road Town however and near to one of Tortola’s beautiful palm-fringed beaches. So, on the positive:
• Convenient town location
• Car hire on site
• Reasonably priced
• Well appointed bedrooms
• Nice pool
• Friendly staff
• Decent breakfast
But, the not so good:
• Mediocre bathroom
• Holiday makers may prefer a beach location
My star rating = 4 out of 5.
Product Information : Maria's by the Sea, Road Town
Manufacturer's product description
Address: Road Harbour, Road Town, Tortola
Rating: 3 Stars
City: Road Town
Country: British Virgin Islands
Listed on Ciao since: 28/12/2015