This comfortable hotel is set in St James.
Prices in the calendar are based on the cheapest room(s) available and your search criteria
We stayed at Coral Reef as there was no space at the Fairmont where we stayed previously. Immediate impressions were very positive. The communal areas were bright and airy, lovely decor and furnishings...
The reception team were very helpful and accommodating. The garden room we had booked was amazing. It was large, spacious (probably double the size of the room we had at the Fairmont), beautifully furnished with a view of the sea in the distance.
It was when we went to the restaurant that the shine started to tarnish. During our stay the lady on breakfast did not crack a smile at all. If you did not 'register in' you were barked at to do so. The more 'mature' gents who were serving were just lovely but some of the younger female team members in particular were surly, rude and sometimes just not interested in serving you. Your level of service truly depended on who you got allocated. The food was overall very good but the lack of service negatively impacted the whole experience. It has to be said that the chef's on breakfast who were serving at the counters were lovely and worked as quickly as they could to plate up the wishes of each guest. Note: it was only on the last day that we were made aware that you could have asked for other dishes such as Eggs Benedict.
The pool area was large and clean but not supervised and getting drinks when there as a bit hit and miss.
There was a plunge pool outside or our room which I am not clear on how it is 'cleaned' but my son did on a couple of occasions use it and as this is the only thing he did different to us we have to assume this is how he got an ear infection.
When we arrived the path leading up to the room was covered in branches from some of the tees/plants which had fallen (not an issue) and so I moved them into what was a substantial pile to the side. However, that pile was still there 6 days later when we left. The mongoose in the gardens are interesting creatures to watch and on an evening we were aware of them begin on the veranda and in the morning they left their 'deposits' on the steps but these steps were not cleaned at all during the stay.
The beach area is narrow and early on a morning, before breakfast, you had people putting their towels on the beds. The watersports area gets very busy and is in between this hotel and the Colony Hotel next door. Right next to it is a water 'tributary' which collects all types of rubbish but no one takes the initiative to clean it each day.
The owner walked through the restaurant most evenings speaking to guests but it has to be said that not once did she come to say hello to us and in fact walked past us looking the other way. Appreciate she may for some reason not have liked the look of us but in hospitality surely you at least try to treat your guests the same? And interestingly, it was only as we were in the taxi to leave for the airport did the GM (son of owner I believe) come out to ask us if we had had a good stay. Too late.
Six of us, all adults, spent 12 days at the Coral Reef Club. The place is beautiful, non-glitzy and the service is in a class of its own. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time and have no negatives to report.
Given that this hotel, like many others, had a period of closure due to Covid, there are some maintenance items that need to be actioned and I understand they will be addressed during the shutdown in September 2021...
This however did nothing to detract from our enjoyment.
We particularly enjoyed the tennis, the sailing, swimming, snorkelling and last but not least the food and drink. Most of the staff are loyal, long serving people. That coupled with the fact that the owners live on the premises and regularly take an interest in the operation of the hotel, probably explains why it is so successful.
We have no hesitation in recommending this will run hotel.
We had two accommodations - a corner suite above the restaurant and the adjoining suite. Beautifully connected via one entrance door into two separate suites and the sea-facing balconies with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea open up to make one big balcony.
The rooms are spacious, as are the bathrooms.
Views facing the sea are to die for...
The service was honest and good, but had to ask for the rooms to be made to suit our timing.
The laundry service is slow, at best.
We found the staff in the restaurant extremely resistant to serve, defensive and passive aggressive. Sometimes, individual members of the restaurant staff were actually argumentative. As vegetarians, we really struggled to have substantial meals and eventually I gave up, resorting to asking for a double portion of just salad and French fries every day, The salad arrived unprepared, with the plate stacked with just leaves and pieces of tomato, etc.
Though there are vegetarian possibilities on their lunch and dinner menus, the staff were completely unhelpful in making us aware of what options might be possible.
Lazy, lacklustre, tired and passive aggressive restaurant service made our stay less enjoyable than it could have been.
In general, it was a good experience and loved staying in the suites we had.
The High Tide Dive Centre is attached to Coral Reef Club so for us as cub divers, this was great. it's not a 5* PADI Dive Centre however, but Sim is a fantastic instructor and Lenny was super Dive Master and dive guide. Sea life is minimal but there is good coral in the various reefs. There's a ship wreck that's also to nice to dive around. Boats are not luxury - no toilets, towels, tea or coffee. But competent service in these parts.
It’s really hard to explain how good this hotel is except to say the welcome, service and consistent interest in the guests is extraordinary. A holiday is Barbados is basically made up in 3 areas. Accommodation, food and daily sunbathing with water sports...
The suite we were given was spacious modern beautifully clean with an exceptional sized hotel bathroom the air conditioning worked perfectly and the designer bedding as lovely extra touch. we were steps from the sea restaurant and beach. We tried numerous restaurants on the island but found the best evenings were in hotel restaurant which had daily published menu’s. The Beach was comfortable with plenty of service and beds available. Highly recommended and we will return. Thank you Nigel for making this such a good experience for us.
This is as good as it gets ! Stunning hotel, beautiful beach, great pools, amazing staff, delicious food. Absolutely nothing to fault here at all. Added bonus of the tennis and the swimming lessons...
Yoga was great too. Most brilliant stay - already planning our refund! Hotel perfection personified