More about Ku Hotel
Ku Tries Hard to Deliver
For our first trip to Anguilla we stayed for 2 weeks at Ku on Shoal Bay East. The apartment itself was lovely – tastefully furnished (minimalist chic with cool colours and furnishings). The location was great too – Shoal Bay East is wonderful and you felt as though you were in the centre of the beach action though sometimes it was nice to explore quieter beaches. However, I must stress that Shoal Bay East is by no means busy.
While we were there we did encounter a few problems - the main one being with our shower which ended up being completely re-fitted on the third day of our holiday due to hardly any water pressure. I had a bit of a panic when I walked back into our room one afternoon and there was dust, tiles and cement all over the bathroom but to be fair, the workmen did a great job of tidying and we never experienced any further problems with the shower. Also when we first arrived there (5th November) the pool looked very cloudy and we both agreed we didn’t fancy using it. About 3 days later it was cleaned and re-filled – I’m sure people must have been complaining.
Other problems included a faulty DVD player and twin beds instead of a double bed in our room. Both of these problems were again dealt with efficiently. Also, quite a few times during our stay the water was turned off. We were never warned about this and sometimes it was inconvenient.
The Ku market just a few steps across from reception was a great facility and we were able to get our basics there when we didn’t want to travel. It was also very handy for using the internet.
We only had one lunch at Ku while we were there. At night the bar seemed to lack atmosphere and there didn't seem to be many people eating there. Our lunch was ok - though given the wonderful choice of places to eat on Anguilla it was perhaps the most average meal we had.
I still think Ku is a good option to stay in Anguilla. It does seem to be prone to a few problems but overall we were happy with our accommodation especially given the price we paid. I should also say that whenever we did complain to staff about anything or asked them to do something they always went out of their way to help. All the staff we encountered at Ku were helpful and friendly.
We wanted to give Ku a 4 star rating but if we are being honest a 3 star rating would be more accurate. If you go there expecting Cap Juluca then you will be disappointed. Myself and my husband are very relaxed and if staff are helpful and try and sort out our problems then we are happy.
(For $10 it is possible to head over to sister hotel Cap Juluca and they will set you up with a sun lounger and umbrella on the beach. We did this once and had a great day.)
My husband and I stayed at Ku from November 7th through November 16th, 2006 for our honeymoon. I had done a lot of research regarding where to stay, where to eat and what to do while in Anguilla. I quickly realized that Anguilla is a very laid back, quiet and absolutely beautiful island. That is exactly what we wanted for our honeymoon.
We had first heard about Ku through Conde Nast Travelers "Hot List for 2006". I love Conde Nast Traveler and feel that they are fair in their review of resorts, hotels, restaurants, etc. I had also read a lot of the reviews of Ku on Tripadvisor.com and other travel websites. Ku was also one of the more affordable hotels in Anguilla. So being affordable and being on one of the top beaches in the world make our decision pretty easy.
Our general experience at Ku was very positive. We decided to purchase the "Love at Ku" package, which included 7 nights stay, 4 dinners, continental breakfast every morning, one day car rental, sunset cruise, 2 spa treatments at Ku (package states a couples massage, but you can trade that in for 2 other spa treatments), complementary bottle of champagne upon arrival and all taxi transfers paid for. We added two nights to our stay. We were very happy with the package overall and would highly recommend it to people (especially honeymooners). Some of the highlights at Ku are the absolutely beautiful beach, the clean, spacious and chic rooms, the friendly staff, the intimacy of the hotel (only 27 suites), the free internet cafe and the convenient market just to name a few. Despite what some of the others have said regarding the food at Ku we really enjoyed our dinners there. Don't get me wrong the service, although pretty pleasant was extremely SLOW (they were also a little forgetful).
The various negatives that were mentioned in the most recent reviews (pool having to be drained, slow service at the "restaurant", older kitchen and bath amenities, shower issues, skimpy continental breakfast) were a bit of a nuisance, but we got over them. We knew going to Ku that it wasn't going to be a 5 star resort, so we weren't expecting the Ritz.
We would definitely go back to Ku.
One thing I wanted to mention about transportation to and from Anguilla...we flew into St. Maarten and had elected (via the Ku questionnaire) to take advantage of the private ferry from St. Maarten to Anguilla and the "executive service” option (this claims that someone will meet you at customs and take you over to the ferry for a cost of $50 per couple). We would recommend the private ferry (it was actually a speed boat) service, but the executive service is a rip off. The St. Maarten airport is literally right across the street from the ferry pick up and drop off area. So instead of paying $50 for a taxi to take you across the street (we had someone meet us outside of the airport, there was no helping us through customs as stated) I would either walk or just get a cab right outside the airport (I can't imagine it would be that expensive). Save yourself the $50!
We went out to dinner a few times while in Anguilla. All of our dining experiences were wonderful w/ a couple exceptions.
My husband and I went there for their "Cooking Demo". Basically the cooking demo consists of one of the chef's at Cuisinart (we had Chef Athena) cooking for you while you watch. There were three other couples in our demo, which was nice. There are five courses and you can choose to do a wine pairing with each course (this of course is an extra cost). This was one of the most fun things we did while in Anguilla. The food and wine were fabulous. It is a bit pricey, but worth every dime.
Located on the west end, right down the beach from Ku. The food was excellent (I had the penne vodka w/ fresh lobster) and very reasonably priced (compared to the cost of our meals at other restaurants). The chef at Zara's sings while he is preparing your food which you can see and hear through their open kitchen. The service was so so, but still worth the trip.
3. Koal Keel
Koal Keel is located in the Valley. This is a little different from most of the other restaurants because they are on the water. The atmosphere was very romantic. There was a saxophonist performing the night we went. The sommelier was very helpful, making sure to select a wine that went perfectly with our meal and was in our price range. The food was very good. They are known for their desserts and ask you to place your dessert order along w/ your dinner order. I got the ginger streusel which was good, but I would probably try something different next time. All in all a very good experience.
Pimm's is the high end restaurant at Cap Juluca. I had heard that Pimm's was very pricey but so were all of the other restaurants we had been too, so we decided to go anyways. Well first I have to say that the location of Pimm's is by far one of the most extraordinary locations of any restaurant on the island. It is located ON THE WATER, literally. The waves crash against the side of the restaurant. It is gorgeous. If you go make sure to get a table by the water. The food was also good, but EXTREMELY OVERPRICED!!! I got a shrimp and pasta dish for $48 and my husband ordered a seafood spring roll for $28. It was obnoxiously expensive. We would recommend going for a drink so you can experience the location, but have dinner elsewhere.
By far our most memorable dining experience! It is one of the top three best restaurants I have ever been to. From the food, to the atmosphere, the service and the wine, it was just perfect! We would HIGHLY recommend going here. I had the lobster and shrimp cakes for an appetizer (it could have been a meal) and they were out of this world. My husband had the Reggae stew for dinner while I had the "Caribbean Sampler" (small portions of their lobster, jerk chicken and mahi mahi). For dessert we had the lemon butter pound cake w/ ice cream and fresh berries! The entire meal was to die for! An A++ in our book.
Some of the other highlights of our trip:
•The Cuisinart Spa-very reasonable priced and excellent service.
•Chocolat Catamaran all day trip-Rollin takes you out from Sandy Ground for an all day trip around Anguilla and some of the surrounding islands. Lunch is provided and there is an open bar. There can only be 12 people on the catamaran at once, so it is not too crowded. The snorkeling we did while out with Rollin was great (especially at Little Bay).
•The sunset cruise included in our package. We were taken out by the guys that run the Shoal Bay Scuba shop (right next door to Ku). Food was provided, but no alcohol. The sunset was stunning. Definitely something we would recommend.
•Make sure to try Uncle Ernie’s (located right next to Ku). The food is delicious and very reasonably priced!
If you need a cab driver, request Don Richardson. He is wonderful, kind and very knowledgeable about the island. But keep in mind cab fare to pretty much anywhere from Ku is around $50 roundtrip. Everyone says renting a car is the way to go.
As you can see we had a fabulous time in Anguilla and we will definitely be back!
My friend and I just got back from a 4 day stay at Ku. We absolutley loved it from the get go very welcoming staff easy check in. Had requested a garden/ocean view room with 2 beds but ended up with a pool/ocean view with a King bed. No biggy they brought us a roll away bed which was shockingly comfortable. The staff was just wonderful. The rooms are very pretty & spacious with complimentry robe & slippers. Two air conditioners which we were able to control. The kitchen was fully stocked and functional. We made use of our DVD player each night, the front desk keeps a descent collection you can pick from. The pool was great although they were lacking in chairs around the pool I think they put all their chairs on the beach. The beach is just steps from your door and it's absolutely breathtaking and we enjoyed every second of it even though we were the only ones not on a honeymoon or anniversary.
We attended the Managers cocktail party on Monday night we had great rum punch and appetizers. We never ate breakfast or dinner at the restaurant. There little on site market was pretty sparse & the items they did have were pretty expensive. I think a can of salsa was 8 bucks & a bag of tortilla chips was 6 candy bar 3 bucks. I would have liked to get some cereal, bagels and sandwich meat but they didn't have any of that at the time. My last day I saw little boxes of cereal. It would have been nice if they had snacks at the bar, I did eat a burger there for lunch once but my friend & I prefered the little yellow restaurant 2 doors down on the beach called MADEARIMAN REEFgreat food. Ernie's the restaurant/bar in between the two had great excellent frozen drinks but I would pass on the food.
I wish we could have stayed there longer as the other side of the island doesn't even compare. Ku is everything I look for in a hotel as far as price, size and amenities. The staff was a bonus perk. I would go back to Ku in a heartbeat.
Anguilla a.k.a. Shangrila
We stayed at Ku' in Anguilla in June 2006. It was the most beautiful beach that I've ever seen. After staying in St. Maarten for one week the solitude of Anguilla was heavenly.
It was not Lobster season, but the cook located two huge lobsters for my husband and me. We stayed in the biggest and most beautifully appointed room. It had a huge bedroom, living room and kitchenette. We were literally steps from powdery white sand and calm blue/green ocean. Ku' is the sister resort to Cap Ja Luca. You have privaledges there as well and we did go there one day, just for the experience (all the movie stars stay there, I'm told). I much prefer the intimacy and view at Ku'. I cant wait to return.
Stay somewhere else
We stayed at the Ku for 8 nights in November 2006. Our beach front room was nicely situated on the beach, next to a local restaurant that has loud live music once a week. The same night was a live band at the Ku bar. Dueling bands. Great, unless you prefer the sound of the beach. The "bar" also plays music all day, consisting of 1 CD, played over and over (rasta Flintstone music). The hotel beach is small and the chairs fill up if it is a busy day, so you must "stake your chairs" early in the morning. The hotel beach is also next to a public beach that gets very full on weekends. If you like bowls for your cereal in the morning, bring your own; they only have 1 on any given day. Be prepared to get wet; and not only at the beach; the bottom suite flooded with 3 inches of water while we were there. The suites have a full kitchen, which comes in handy since the food at the restaurant is less than average and the service is poor. Eat out elsewhere or cook your own. We toured 5 or 6 other hotels on the island with a wide range of prices and certainly felt that we were staying in the least desirable of hotels regardless of the price. Management did not respond at all to problems encountered. We will return to Anguilla but never to the Ku.
Not So Great
Say NO to KU. The location is lovely. the rooms are in need of new fruniture. . The plumbing needs to be replaced. We had floods on two nights.The food is just passable.Don't pay for the breakfast buffet. They's hardly anything to eat. The tiles in the hallway leading to your room are extremely slippery when wet, even if you take baby steps. The curtains in the rooms are just thin white cotton, without any form of blackout. (from people passing by to morning sunlight. If you stay in room 118, tell them to turn off the speakers outside your bedroom. The music is loud and very unpleasant. Go over to Cap Jaluca.(Ku's sister resort). It's free and glorious. Ku's beach is tiny, and you'll have to get up very early to get a chaise.
All in all, I'd go back to Anguilla, bu NOT KU.
We spent a week at Ku from January 15th thru the 22nd and loved the property. The room was big and bright and had a lovely view of the beach and pool. The entire staff was extremely helpful and always eager to help us with reservations and recommendations.
The location of the property is perfect. It is located on one of the nicest beaches on the island and is a short drive to all of the others. Also, close to many of the best restaurants.
We can recommend this property 100 percent and plan to return next year.
Beautiful, Relaxing place!
The two days we spent on Anguilla and specifically at KU were the most relaxing I have ever had. We are extremely high energy people and don't stay too long in one place when we vacation, but KU was so incredibly relaxing and lovely , with one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen., that I wish we could have stayed longer. The reviews of Ku on Tripadvisor are inconsistent, and I can see why and how different "types" of people would have such different experiences at KU. We went on a weekday, so we had the beach and the chairs and umbrellas to ourselves for the most part. The hotel was booked on the weekend, so everyone had probably cleared out by the time we got there on Monday. There were also no bands scheduled when we were there, so it was very quiet. The mixes of CD's they played at the bar was perfectly good. Of course there were some songs that my ear didn't like, but isn't that always the case? The beach was beyond gorgeous. The welcoming rum punches were awesome! The managers cocktail reception party was a very nice touch, and the entire management /guest services team were so kind to us when we checked in and all throughout our stay. Our room was so delightful with a lovely view of the ocean (even on the ground floor) I am an interior decorator, and I am very much aware that they have taken an older property and freshly painted it , put shiny new hardware on old cabinets, put in cute faucets and shower heads and inexpensive white wicker furniture and white curtains, and thrown in some colorful blue and green pillows and market it as minimalist cool...South Beach meets St. Barts. Despite this...it was lovely in it's simplicty and it worked for me. Still totally worth the money! We loved the TV selection, DVD, and we paid $8.00 extra for excellent internet access in our room to take care of business and make calls home. The king size bed was so comfortable and the shower (water pressure) was one of the best I've ever experienced in any hotel...we both loved it! Next time, we will rent a car and go different places for dinner on the island. We chose to stay close to KU, eating lunch at Ernies (next door on the beach) and dinner and breakfast at KU. Which brings me to my next observation, and another reason why different people can have such different experiences at the same place. The Anguillan people in general, seem proud and reserved. They are not the type to dote all over tourists - at all! In a very brief stay, I definately noticed an indifference at times by a few people, particularly in the restaurants and with government officials when entering and leaving the country. So to sum it up, the food was perfectly good at both places, but the attitude of some of the wait staff was unfortuantly "iffy." My husband and I try our best to be respectful and kind, and we noticed we actually turned some of those "attitudes" around, thank goodness! On another subject, my husband received a massage at the spa and loved it, and their work-out room looked really nice. The staff did a great job of accomodating him with little notice! We never used the pool, except to hang out by at the cocktail party, but it certainly looked beautiful and clean to me. Overall, I highly recommend KU!
Average at Best
My husband and I stayed at Ku for three nights at the end of January / beginning of February 2007. I entitled this review "Average at Best" for these reasons:
-Check-in was disappointing. We had to wait about 10 minutes even though there were two employees behind the desk. They had just checked-out other guests but were busy chatting with them about a trip one of the employees would be taking to the States next year. No big deal, but a disspointing first impression.
-We could not get to our room any earlier than 3pm even though they knew in advance we'd be coming from another resort on the island. Again, no big deal but disappointing since we requested an early check-in. Good thing we rented a car.
-Employee service not up to par with similarly priced resorts on the island. Most every time we went to the bar we had to approach an employee to get served. All bar employees I saw were very young, which may have been the reason they lacked attention to patrons & problems.
- If we did not keep the window in our bathroom open (which did not have screens and they have mean mosquitos and no-see-ums) the bathroom smelled up the entire unit with a disgusting sewer smell.
- Most of our windows did not lock nor did they have screens. My husband had to fix the sliding glass doors in order for them to lock.
-The Bar ran out of Carib and had no intentions on restocking. The bar employees didn't care that Ku's market had plenty, and, in turn, the market didn't care the bar ran out. Good thing we brought a cooler along. We stocked up at the market before the closed and brought it with us to the beach.
-The Restaurant ran out of propane...and stayed out of it for our entire stay. That meant nothing but continental breakfast and limited dinner options. Again, good thing we rented a car.
- Speaking of limited dinner options - The Restaurant was out of 4 of the approx. 10 items they offer for dinner.
- Only one morning out of the three we were there did anyone clean up the beach and straighten out the chairs. We noticed a table with the same empty beer bottles on it for two days. This was overly apparent because Shoal Bay Villas portion of the beach (one foot next door) was immaculate every morning.
- The pool and main walkway is lined with candle laterns that some nights were never lit and other nights only half lit. It would have made for a nice ambiance to have them lit every night.
These minor inconveniences, though many, did not ruin our stay.
The positive side of Ku:
-Big, Bright and Clean rooms. The man who helped with our luggage and showed us to our room was nice and even explained all the amenties of the room (A/C units, room safe, etc.).
-The beach is nice (not Rendezvous Bay nice, but nice - we also stayed at Rendezvous Bay Hotel - see review). The sand is rough - mostly crushed shells - not like the white powder you'll find elsewhere on the island.
- Beautiful Sunsets
-It is within walking distance to four beach bars: Uncle Ernies (not the best Ribs on the island, don't let anyone tell you that), Madeariman (which I understand will be closing soon), Elodia's and Gwen's. With the exception of Gwen's, these bars are literally right next door (or two doors down). wen's is a nice walk down the beach and has pretty good food.
- You can walk the beach to Serenity - their food is good (the pumpkin soup is to die for) and location spectacular.
-Snorkeling is decent out by the reefs and the reefs break the waves coming in so the beach immediatley in front of Ku is a little calmer than the other resorts along Shoal Bay.
-Prices at the bar and market are fair.
If you like the location and are on a budget, assuming you don't expect a fully functioning resort - stay at Ku. If you think $400 a night deserves a stocked bar, full menu, doors that lock & windows with screens - you should look elsewhere.
a pleasant stay
We had a very nice stay last week at Ku. The rooms were clean and well furnished. I only ate at the restaurant once and that dinner was fine, nothing to rave about but fine. There are so many very good places to eat on the island that I would venture out. This is not a 5 star place but a very good 3 to 4 star. The people were helpful in recomending places to eat and seemed to care about their guest in general. I thought it was a very good buy and would return. You will need a car to travel out, as most place we went to were on the other side of the island .