Coral Reef Club
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Travel Blogs from St. James
... See that's Barbados for you.
Within a few minutes were sitting in the shade enjoying our drinks. But not before we realise that the beers still have their tops and the owner isn't about go come out and open them.
Just like a resourceful boy scout Phil borrows Malcolm's lighter and 2 beers are open. As he struggles with the third, Henry reaches over and takes the offending bottle from Phil declaring that ...
... ocean on your right side and walk along the shore to town.
Barbados was controlled by the British government as a former British colony and reflects its British heritage. Bridgetown (Barbados' main city) is much like visiting a city in England. After all Barbados flew only one flag -- the Union Jack -- for over 300 years until it gained independence in 1966.
Barbados enjoys excellent weather the year around with temperatures between 75 to 85 degrees. The island is ...
... bus driver $20 BD and he just shook his head. He then pointed at a glass box which the exact money had to go in. I had no less than a $20 note – fortunately Lisa did and we got on.
The bus went all around the houses and we got to see a lot of the built up residential areas of Barbados between the south and west coast. Rows of wooden houses built in a tight knit fashion and quite a few of them looking ...
... beautiful jewelry and even tried on a few pieces. I had to show Tony how well I wore diamonds in case it slipped his mind! Actually, we were on the hunt for a new watch for Tony and some souveniers for Sydney and Kaden. Barbados likes to shut things down early or completely on Sundays, so we had to plan time in Monday’s schedule to resume some more shopping.
Back at the hotel, we went for a swim at the beach to ...
... the last of our drink, one of many staff were promptly there to serve our needs. I love service like that! Being bread lovers, Tony and I dove into the bread basket after deciding on what we would share for our 2 course meal. He started with the GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SALAD WITH MESCLUN GREENS, ASPARAGUS, PARMESAN AND TRUFFLE VINAIGRETTE. I had the mouth watering OPEN RAVIOLI OF CHARGRILLED SHRIMP WITH ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Coral Reef Club St. James
Faultless - 11th September 2004
We have just returned from two weeks at the Coral Reef Club. I have to say this is such a beautiful hotel, the rooms, restaurant, gardens are all immaculately kept. We took advantage of the free tennis coaching and water sports which were great fun, good way of meeting new people.
Although the food in the hotel was exceptional do try the others restaurants in Holetown. The Cliff & Calabazza were very good. You can walk along the beach to the Lone Star Restaurant which is excellent for both lunch and evening meal (don't try and walk if the tide is high, there are rocks which are a little tricky to pass).
Our only regret is that we went on the tour companies Catamoran trip (Tiami) where there were approx 40 people on board. We were told by one of the guests that The Catamoran you can get from the hotel takes about 12 people and you get to the turtles early before all the others boats arrive.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Barbabos, it is far more sophisticated than most of the other islands. If you are looking for a luxurious beach holiday this is definately the hotel for you.
I just got back from honeymooning at the Coral Reef Club, and it was better than I had imagined. The hotel and gardens are beautiful and impeccably maintained. Our suite was large and well appointed. We enjoyed the clubby feel of the hotel. The food and drinks were all excellent, as was the service. We loved the beach, and snorkled in the reef every day. If you are looking for wild nightlife, this is not the spot for you, but if you are looking for supreme service and relaxation, this is the ideal place!
The best hotel in Barbados
An excellent hotel. I wouldn't even bother considering the other hotels on offer - this is the one. We have stayed in several places in Barbados and the Caribbean and none can match the Coral Reef. To get such a combination of top quality accommodation, food, service, setting and general ambiance all under one roof is very rare.
My husband and I picked Coral Reef Club as the sight of our May, 1st 2004 wedding and honeymoon after reading lots of positive reviews and tour books. We could not have been more pleased with our decision! When we arrive at the resort I was so happy at how lovely the property was. The gardens were beautiful and the hotel was well maintained and spotless. (The pictures on the website were helpful, but did not really do it justice.) We stayed in a Luxury Junior Suite which I would highly recommend. The room was beautiful, the bathroom was very spacious (large shower and seperate soaking tub)and I was impressed with the quality of everything. Plus , we had a large veranda that overlooked a private garden area. We especially loved eating our breakfast there on the veranda every morning and watching the birds. (This room service is included in the meal plan.)
The restaurant is top notch. (A very relaxing yet refined atmosphere...) My husband and I enjoy fine dining and were never disappointed with our dinner. The service was good and the entertainment was tasteful. (We did use the "dine-around" option 2 nights to eat at other resorts that participated and were not nearly as impressed with the other restaurants.)
Our wedding ceremony was so lovely. Scarlette, who is the wedding coordinator, is the best! We had e-mailed numerous times before our trip. She arranged for the paperwork, the pastor, the photographer, flowers, cake, hairdresser, etc. She met with us when we arrived to finalize all of our plans and go over details. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The price of the wedding package we chose was reasonable considering the quality of care put into making our day very special.
The staff was helpful and curtious. And, we met lots of nice couples from the US and Europe. We took advantage of the included water sports... snorkeling, sailing, kayaking. Fun! The water is warm and clear, and the beach is clean. We enjoyed watching the sunsets from the recliners on the beach. We also took advantage of the computer lab to e-mail friends back home after we got married.
Personally, I loved the feel and the charm of the hotel. It was classy without seeming snobby. It is perfect for honeymooners. Although, I would not recommend it for people looking for a party like or a very casual atmosphere. Also, we saw almost no children there the week of our trip. (Again, great for honeymooners.)
We hope to go back sometime for an anniversary!
Spent a week at this gorgeous resort late April. If the weather had cooperated, it would have been almost perfect. We were met by one of the owners when we checked in and personally escorted to our fabulous room. After showing us around he then had 2 rum punches sent up to our room, which was a really nice touch. We ordered a room service lunch which was served on our terrace, which overlooked the very pretty gardens. Room service is great at this resort, as there is no difference in price between eating in the restaurant and ordering room service. The grounds and the beach are beautiful, and the sea warm and inviting. The restaurant is 5 star and the service at this resort is superb . I would have liked it to have less of an English Country Club feel though and more of a Caribbean atmosphere . The food was great though, and despite having many top class restaurants on our door step, we chose to eat at the resort on several nights.
American's beware though, especially laid back californians, it is very British and comes with mandatory dress codes which can become a bit tiresome after a while. Some other observations:- we would have liked a coffee maker in the room, there was a toaster(?!), but no coffee maker. Also, I would have liked an iron and ironing board in my room. They were available, but you could only have one 'after hours', which was quite inconvenient.
This is definately a resort you should go to for a special occasion. It was very relaxing, especially as there are no t.v.'s in the rooms. For this reason, I'm not sure it would be a good place for older children. There just wasn't enough for them to do at night, especially as the restaurant and bar area's are so obviously 'child free zones'. But for my husband and I , it was almost perfect.
Have just returned from another great holiday at this hotel. It is hard to fault very much here at all. Friendly staff, beautiful rooms and a great atmosphere. Very welcome new additions at the hotel include a new internet room where one can online 24 hours a day and at no charge! This can be very useful if wanting to catch up with business and friends at home.
One word of warning though. For anyone wanting to go to Barbados for a beach and pool type holiday please beware that Barbados has a very suspect climate. Yes it is very warm all year round but at any time of year you are likely to run in to rain and a lot of cloud. I have never been in Barbados once when there has been one complete day with a cloudless sky. Please do not listen to all the blurb about wet and dry seasons. It is complete nonsense. Yes from June to December the "wet season" the rain is heavier but in the "dry season" January to June the rain is probably more persistent. Please dont go expecting one or two cloudless weeks as in the Med or many other locations. You will almost certainly let down. I wouldnt trust the Barbados climate an inch and I say that from experience! As for the hotel though
yes it's great and highly recommended!
Much better that anticipated
My wife and I visited the Coral Reef Club for 7 nights in late April. We had a wonderful time. The staff was extremely courteous and attentive, except for maybe 1 or 2 workers. The beach was clean, there was no problem getting beach chairs or umbrellas. It was also not a hassle to utilize the included water sports, including skiing, tubing and snorkeling.
The reef was beatiful. You could go right off the beach into great snorkeling over coral, or walk down 50 yards or so into a sandy swim area. I couldn't be more happy with the beach, swimming and snorkeling
Dinner tended to be expensive. We chose not to get the 2 meal a day plan at $75 USD pp, and we ended up spending about $65 pp while getting to choose our restaurant.
THE GARDENS AND ROOMS WERE EXCEPTIONAL. Everytime we went on a tour or bus ride, the vacationers staying at other hotels were in awe over the resort. It was truely beatiful.
The best part is they did not nickle and dime us. Our bill matched our receipts...no surprises! They also put a huge fruit basket in our room when we got there for free.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TO ANYONE.
Americans: Some of the Brits and French were a bit snobby to Americans, while others were very friendly. I am not sure what the deal was, but beware that you might get a few dirty looks when you speak
Just about perfect
World class, five star food, rooms, service. Great beach, walk for hours, great swimming, reef right in front, turtles not far. Plantation suites are unbelieveable, like you have stepped back in time to colonial England. Bar and pool in room. Coral Reef Club is rather formal however, staff all in white. Very old school, blue blood feel which you may love or find a bit much. Best resort for food, rooms, service, snookering. Expect high level of formality which I found made it a tiny bit harder to relax. Waters sports are included but timed to the minute, food is great but dining room is dead quiet, just the clicking of the china. I would not change a thing but if you want a more relaxed, fun atmosphere with kids and music, etc go to Crystal Cove. They each have their personalities. Coral Reef's is perfection and formality. Will definitely return. Many rooms are far from ocean. Get the MAP, the food is wonderful, esp the Monday night Bajan buffet. Very few kids. Bar never included and pricey. We split our vacation between Crystal Cove and Coral Reef, both are great for what they offer and are very different. Drink, dance, and jet ski at Crystal Cove, then get out your white shirt and dress shoes for Coral Reef. A great combination. Coral Reef's exchange with Sandpiper is nothing to speak of. Cheers.
Its been a few years now, but we had a wonderful honeymoon at the Coral Reef Club. The grounds were beautiful; the staff was friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere was perfectly soothing. From drinks on the beach to great dinners and flying fish breakfasts in the room after a cooling morning swim, everything was just as we wanted. There were quite a few repeat guests present during our stay, which spoke highly of the place. All in all, it was just about perfect.
Five days of perfection, both with the first class accomodations, superb service, world class cuisine, plus the rarely found family owned personal attention. We believe that Coral Reef is both Five Stars and Five Diamonds.