More about Coral Reef Club
Plush and luxurious. But where's the beef!
The Coral Reef Club is a plush and aristocratic resort on the West coast of Barbados. Family owned for more than 40 years, one would think that there would be an ambience of laid back relaxation. Instead, both the clientele and the owners were consumed by their upper-crust British atitude. The room was very nice, the restaurant excellent, and the beach well groomed. However, I felt like a tresspasser for the entire duration of my stay. The rooms are very lovely.
Coral Reef Club - Vacation in the lap of luxury
The Coral Reef Club is a 5-star resort on the west coast of Barbados, just north of quaint little Holetown. My parents paid for this vacation, which is the only way in the world I'd ever be able to stay at such a nice, expensive place.
Although you can stay in more traditional hotel rooms at the Coral Reef Club, we stayed in one of the stand-alone cottages you'll see scattered around the beautiful grounds of the resort. The only thing that ever interrupted the peace and tranquiliy of our cottage was the occasional monkey on the roof, but even that wasn't a very big deal.
I would definitely highly recommend this resort, though beware that you'll pay dearly for your stay. In addition to my comments, you can read more about the Coral Reef Club by accessing their web site:
http://coralreefbarbados.com/ One of the greatest things about the Coral Reef Club is the food. The dining area, with its spectacular view of the ocean, offeres gourmet meals that are simply to die for. Every meal we had was excellent and I can assure you we never went hungry. We did venture into Holetown for several meals so we could get a more diverse taste of the island, but nothing we found there was better than the food at the resort. Breakfast was made to order and delivered directly to our cottage with a copy of the daily newspaper. We enjoyed sitting our our patio each morning casually eating breakfast and reading about local issues and events.
We stayed at the Coral Reef...
We stayed at the Coral Reef Club Nicely secluded bungalows with breakfast delivered to your patio. Lots of flowers and shrubbery for your breakfast view.
Very nice but a bit stuffy!
Our Luxury Suite Room overlooking a pool was very nice, very plantation, and roomy. There were two pools on the property. The pool below our room was always filled with families with young children.
The staff wasn't overly friendly however, I would say they were "politely nice" and proper. It seemed a bit formal and certainly it was true when we found out that men were required to wear trousers at dinner and "caps" weren't ever allowed at the restaurant.
The property sits next to the slowly eroding beach. There is a sandy beach if you walk just down to the next hotel, but it's not huge. There is a great area for snorkeling right off shore which is roped and buoyed off from boating areas. I saw huge coral heads, lots of small fish, and larger parrot fish. The water is beautiful which should go without saying. There is also a roped off swimming area with two floating platforms perfect for soaking up the sun, diving off from and mingling with the other guests. We met some "lovely" English people.
The jewelry/pottery/hair braiding/jet ski vendors were supposed to stay on the beach behind the rope segregating the club but they would occasionally cruise by to politely harass and generally just hang out. The restaurant had good ambiance and great service. The snorkleing and jet skiing right off shore was a big plus for me.
Get out there
Take advantage of the island. Get out of the hotel and do some exploration. There is a bit of gambling, though nothing extreme in Bridgetown as well as some of that duty free shopping. Besides dining at Daphnes, lunching at Sandy Lane, touring the Coral Reef Club and The Crane???
Ahh yes, dessert at Daphnes.
Seriously, Barbados is one of those island that has not been taken over by the massive tourism wave and remains a bit on the upscale side without being stuckup and snooty.
My new husdand and I stayed at the Coral Reef Club from December 5th through the 12th. I can't begin to say enough wonderful things about this amazing resort. I couldn't be happier that we selected such a lovely and beautiful location to spend our first week as a married couple. The food was unreal!!! I have never eaten so well in my whole life (and probably won't until we return). The staff was very, very friendly and we really appreciated all the special attention they gave us. We will always cherish this resort and can't wait until we can return to celebrate our anniversary!
We stayed at the Coral Reef Club from 24th March - 9th April 2005,the hotel had been recommended to us,and we were not dissapointed.The gardens are beautiful,rooms very nice,but no t.v which would be a nice touch for those evenings that you dont want to stay in the bar after dinner,the plantation suites are stunning.
The staff were the friendliest most attentive bunch that we have ever experienced,the beach was smallish but pretty,shame about the rocks in the sea.
The main bar area has a lovely colonial feel,drinks are not expensive for such a great place.
The food is simply amazing,we arrived on B.B.Q.night - Wow,I had a fillet steak amongst other goodies and it was the most tender fillet I've EVER had,and I've had them all over the world,several other fillet steaks enjoyed over the following 2 weeks were all the same quality,I dont know where they get their meat but it is amazing.
The O'hara family run a very tight ship and are extremely friendly,they even came out to say goodbye when we left.We cannot wait to return next year.Well done Coral Reef.
My husband and I stayed for a week at the Coral Reef Club in April, 2004. Upon checking into a beautiful cottage I was not happy to see an umbrella in the corner of the room. Good thing it was there, as there was rain EVERY single day of our stay. We had breaks of sun, maybe 1/2 hour each day. Sometimes the rain was torrential There are no casinos, very little shopping, NO TV IN GUESTROOMS. One day we ventured to the "TV room" where we were treated to a choice of BBC or CNN. We did alot of reading that week.
Our one friend that week was our watier, David, from the Coral Reef Club. He could not have been more kind and we looked forward to his friendly face each morning as we watched the rain fall during breakfast.
The grounds are beautiful, and staff helpful. The beach was small and crowded, and the water filled with rocks. The majority of the guests that week were from a specific country, and I think they took a course in rudeness before coming to Barbardos. The local people are awesome, and in fact told us we were not the only victims of their rudeness. We have traveled in the Carribbean and Mexico and have always had very positive experiences with other tourists.
The restaurants were wonderful, but pricey. We would highly recommend The Tides, Mangos by the Sea, Carambola and The Cliff. The staff at The Cliff were kind enough to meet us at our taxi with an umbrella so we would stay dry. We did not have any problems with the tourists when dining out and spoke with alot of people.
On our last day we ventured over to Sandy Lane. My husband, an avid golfer, wanted to pick up some "Green Monkey" logo golf apparel. After having picked up several items and going to the register, we were told that they were unable to sell that to us as we were not guests at Sandy Lane. We had just about had enough of Barbados, and even tried to get an early flight out--but there were none. When we finally did leave, other people on the plane told us of similair experiences.
We would say to have a good time, get TONS OF SUN, meet wonderful people and be treated as guests should be - GO TO ARUBA!
A Relaxing Haven in Paradise!
My husband and I have just returned from an idyllic two weeks at the Coral Reef Club, and we can only recommend the hotel.
We have in the past few years travelled to may "longhaul" desinations including St Kitts, Aruba, Marguerita, Antigua etc etc, This being our second trip to Barbados. Our first time we stayed on the rather more hectic destination of St Lawrence Gap!!
The beauty of staying at the Coral Reef is it's flexible approach, the staff are attentive but not over the top, they have truely mastered the art of service, friendly but not intrusive and nothing is too much trouble. The most encouraging aspect was that you felt that the staff felt part of the hotel, one young waiter even shared with us his ambitions 'to be a manager one day'.
The grounds are beautifully kept and the rooms are airy, large with outstanding patios upon which room service meals are provided at any time of the day.
The beach is small in front of the hotel but the bay in total is large, and yes the area directly infront of the hotel is very "rocky" but in reality this is a beautiful coral reef which, for snorkelling enthusiasts, is excellent. There is also a "swimable area" a few yards down the beach - note when snorkelling access the reef from this part or you will provide endless entertainment to those on the beach with your antics whilst entering the water!!!
I had read many reviews before going to the coral reef, and can only say that this hotel only deserves the best ones! It is very much a European or Canadian resort and does live up to it's "English Country Club" atmosphere, but if you want peace and quiet where no one intrudes, butwhere people will be polite and friendly if you so require then this is the place for you. A true 5 star resort without the pretentiousness of it's competitor the "Sandy Lane".
We went for a long weekend as living in West Indies. We wanted peace & quiet & a bit of luxury, and we got it. We had wonderful weather which was lucky as rain season has begun. The Coral Reef Club is about 35mins from airport and set in fabulous secluded gardens. Luxury car will collect you $50 one way if you book(nice air con). We stayed in a luxury cottage suite which had its own plunge pool(very useful). We would have preferred an upper suite and not be looked down on by upper occupants. The separate bedroom and bathroom are huge, with luxury bed, furnishings, towels, sheets, pillows, and fantastic shower + bath etc. The separate dressing area and sitting room were not really necessary in our opinion. No TV but there is a TV lounge on property. Covered patio area large with table and chairs(for eating), sun loungers and also 2 sitting chairs, daily local newspaper delivered. Would have preferred veranda/balcony. We didnt like the 3 access points/doors for our cottage as we only had one do not disturb door tag and room service, maid etc arrived at different doors! This was annoying as we were disturbed when didnt want to be. Also NO COFFEE MAKER, this was a real set back for us, we did request one but none stocked only room service. This is a luxury resort with same price tag and feel this should be provided - We dont drink much coffee during the day but do like one in the mornings its impossible to know what time you'll wake and want a coffee not wanting to wait for it to be delivered. The breakfast tea was lukewarm when arrived.
Having had a little gripe(it was a big deal for us though) the staff were generally alot more cheerful than other hotels in Barbados. Greeting on arrival not brill though. The restaurant, bar area very nice, set on the ocean front , service and food best we've had anywhere in Caribbean. Lunch and Breakfast buffets very good and A La Carte dinners wonderful. Maybe need to book as it appeared many people came from outside in evening and reservations numerous. Noise kept low in evening, piano, couple of singers, etc.
Beach area small(but can walk a little, along the sand, past Colony Club + a bit further), Coral Reef area quite crowded as club seemed full(69 rooms I believe) nice sun loungers and waiter service for drinks on beach area. Water sports pretty good too. Sandy swim area with a couple of platforms. Massage excellent at health & beauty salon.
Too many children and babies at this location while we were there. Very surprising really as Coral Reef not really a children spot at all, more geared up for honeymooners, older couples or couples wanting peace and quiet. Many rules and regulations for required dress & for children to eat earlier and be kept quiet etc. Also too many Brits, we are Brits but like to get away from them. We do recommend Coral Reef for its wonderful gardens, food, service(generally), location, luxury rooms & peace & quiet. Its expensive but not for what was offered - if only there was a coffee maker!!
Coral Reef Club - accomodations