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“"Rough around the edges"”

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Coco Reef Resort & Spa Tobago
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Crown Point
Reviewed 8 January 2009

The Coco Reef is never a four or five star hotel and is pretty sub standard in comparison to other five star hotels in the Carribbean.
The Hotel is in a good location, close to other beaches and places of interest.
The rooms were pretty basic even though we had upgraded to a deluxe ocean view room, the decor was shabby, the bathrooms would benefit from a total refurb.
The Beach was clean and there were plently of beds and areas of shade, the lagoon was ideal for swimming and snorkling and was very calm.
The pool area was hardly used as it was pretty shaded all day but this was ideal for the non sun worshippers, no need to fight for your sunbeds and parasols.
The all inclusive package did not cover all items, such as afternoon tea and there were no tea making facilities in your room.
Howerever there was a good selection of cocktails and local beers and spirits.
The wine served at meal times was ok although there was a restriction on the number of glasses the waitress could serve!
Food was ok you certainly wouldn't go hungry but you might become a little bored, same food each night different flowery menu to make it look and sound good!
The entertainment was laughable especially Elvis, but there was the odd cultural show that was worth watching.
Staff were very hit and miss either very good or absolutely terrible, some staff were extremely rude and disrespectful.
We did have to make a formal complaint about a member of staff, this was dealt with by the hotels management , and appropriate action taken.
The hotel is suffering from the economic downturn and staff are working reduced hours but this is no excuse for cut's elsewhere such as the availability of restaurants and choice!
Gym ok but lack of equipment led to having to wait to get on the cardio machines.
On the whole we had a fantastic holiday, hotel wasn't great but it did not spoil the whole experience the island is fantastic, as are the people.
Sunday School is a must, as is a trip to the rainforest, and a jeep safari, you get to go to all the places tourists dont go!!
Don't be put off by this review just go with an open mind and and don't expect too much!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cazzann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 January 2009

Let me first start by saying that Coco Reef is NOT a 4 or 5 star resort as is frequently billed by the locals. If you are used to staying at 4 or 5 star Caribbean resorts then please book your vacation elsewhere as you will be sadly disappointed.....mostly at the horrible excuse for customer service, and the fact that "All Inclusive" really only covers the most basic of foods and drinks. The hotel also has no on site activities for guests.

The Good: At Coco Reef the beach front is small but quite lovely, and the clear blue water fantastic - and, as we discovered on our last day there, there is a great benefit in the hotel having the lagoon for bathing as waters elsewhere were rough yet most of the hotel guest enjoyed the calm waters of the lagoon. There is also an abundance of beach chairs and umbrellas so there is no need to rush out at 6am just to secure one.

The Not So Good: As with some resorts, there is minimal food and beverage service on the beach, and if you do manage to have a server take your beverage order be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes for your drink. Very disappointing. There are, however, a few fellows who walk around handing out bottled water which was nice. The "All Inclusive" package does NOT cover room service, the mini bar, snacks during the day (and there are no snacks after dinner time for those of you who like late night snacking), premium "top shelf" drinks, wine, champagne, and several specialty dinner items... whew, it may have been easier to say what little was covered...lol.

The Bad: The hotel room was also very disappointing. We requested a king bed and was never told that the hotel has only Queen beds until we got there... not really a problem, but they should have said so up front. We were there for our anniversary and was told that the hotel would provide a complimentary bottle of wine or a fruit basket on the day of our anniversary as a gift - nice, but we weren't too surprised when neither arrived...lol. We'd been there a few days by then. The bathroom is horrible! No other word can be used. The tub was stained, the water pressure was quite low, and the shower head in our room was terribly rusted.

The Very Bad: Now (and this was my pet peeve), if you have special dietary requirements - low fat, low cal, gluten free, or diabetic (sugar free), then you may have major problems at Coco Reef. ...And yes, we did inform management that we had a diabetic person with specific dietary needs in our party PRIOR to our arrival. Anyway, at breakfast we asked our server about sugar free options for breakfast beverages as there were none available at the buffet table (other than hot tea or coffee which we did eventually drink), and were told there was nothing else; and the response to our request for something from the main bar (like seltzer or diet soda) was met with advice from the staff to "just add some water to the fruit juice and it wouldn't taste as sweet". (Huh??? Just FYI to those who don't know... sugar molecules do not disappear when diluted with water - they just become less densely packed, but hello! the sugar is still in there!). Well we finally found a F.B. manager who replaced the items in our mini bar with bottled water and diet coke (the extent of their sugar free beverages), and we actually went off property to purchase a large supply of sugar free foods and beverages which we kept in our room and took with us at meal times.

Anyway, to end my review I will say this: the island of Tobago is wonderful! The beaches are gorgeous and the glass bottom boat trip we took to the Nylon Pool and Coral Reef was fantastic! These things however had nothing to do with this hotel. Coco Reef has horrible customer service, and the rooms need to be upgraded. Like us, if you're used to Sandals or Beeches resorts then this is NOT the place for you. I suggest you rent a private villa on the beach at Tobago Plantations with a personal housekeeper and chef. If this is your first visit to a beach resort then you may like it...

Happy Travels!!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank SuperSci_MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2008

Firstly let me say that this hotel has great potential. It's in a great location, less than 5 minutes from airport (you do NOT hear aircraft noise though), with a great beach and fairly attractive buildings and grounds. Having also seen some of the other hotels on the island, we had made the right choice! However, our experience overall was a bit of a joke.
I'm listing below some of the things we found wrong/bad etc - a lot could easily be rectified if the staff were more forthcoming.
- No tea/coffee making facilities in the room. However, we learned on day 4 that you could request a kettle etc (why can't they tell you this, or just put them in each room, would make life simple!).
- The air conditioning unit in the bedroom blows down on to the face of the person sleeping on that side. OK if you like a frozen face, but whoever designed the rooms could easily have put the aircon unit on the other side of the room or something. We taped up the vents with a plaster so it blowed upwards.
- The all inclusive package doesn't include afternoon tea or the minibar. When you're on holiday and taking an all inclusive package this is just irritating.
- TV reception was very poor for first 3 days, then packed up totally for 3 days.
- The pool is small, almost always in the shade, and is quite grubby. Could do with a total refurb. The sea is so calm and shallow they really don't need that pool at all anyway. There was hardly anyone ever at the pool (and the maintenance men used to walk through constantly so it wouldn't be very relaxing there anyway).
- When we were there both restaurants had the same menu every night. What is the point of having a choice of two restaurants when the menu is exactly the same? The vegetarian options were a joke too. On a couple of nights there were NO vegetarian options - or rather there was a vegetarian starter only ("Chicken soup"!!!!!!!!!!!). The food was ok at best and a farce at worst. The best meal we had was the night a group of travel agents turned up for a visit - there were separate menus in each restaurant that night too - coincidence??
- Orange juice at breakfast was either watered down and sweetened, or tasted like the most sharp grapefruit juice you have ever tasted.
- The staff were all miserable - apart from Gary the barman, Michelle the egg lady at breakfast and the bbq chef at lunch. They don't wear name badges so you don't know their names. Gary was the only one who introduced himself and had a chat with us. He is the shining star at Coco Reef.
- The entertainment was very poor. Every night there was something different but everything was to karaoke backing tracks. The Elvis impersonator was just laughable. Only one one evening did we have anything bordering on tolerable - a girl singer who was very professional and actually played some Caribbean style music and got guests dancing. Otherwise there was very little atmosphere.
- Housekeeping was a bit random - some days they left no loo roll or tissues, other days they didn't fill up the water in the minibar. Sometimes they didn't replenish the beach towels and we had to go to reception to get some. and on that subject, once we asked reception for some fresh dry towels and were told eventually someone would bring them but we had to go down the corridor ourselves to put the wet ones in the laundry basket!
Again, when you are on holiday trying to relax this is just irritating.
- Whenever we asked a member of staff something we just got a yes or no - if we were lucky. Sometimes they just stared at you then turned away, so you were left thinking "are you sorting this out or are you just ignoring me". Some staff training wouldn't go amiss.
- The rooms are a bit basic and could do with a refurb. The wallpaper in the bathroom was peeling, and the bath taps were crusted with limescale.
- The pier near the sunset villa was a total mess. Chipped concrete and for the first few days of our stay had about 3 large gaping holes in it. Very dangerous I think - a child could have gone running on the pier and straight into one of the holes. These were filled up eventually with palm pots (but still looked messy, they had just been dumped in there with no thought).
- Bobsters Champagne Bar sounded quite nice, but this is really just a service bar for the restaurant, so when we decided to go for a nice quiet civilised drink after dinner one night it was chaotic with waitresses constantly in and out with drinks orders. One night we went into the bar to get served as there was no barman around in the gallery bar (it was Gary's night off!) - so my husband got two drinks to bring out to the gallery bar. Although there were three or four waiters hanging around not one of them offered to open the door for him and it was another guest who actually got up and helped him!
- When you had lunch at the beach restaurant if you had wine you had proper wine glasses, but if you had rum punch you had a plastic glass. If you had a COCKTAIL however you had one of those white styrofoam coffee cups - VERY elegant, NOT! WHY?!! I can understand plastic glasses if you take drinks on to the beach, not a problem at all, but why the white styrofoam?
- We discovered that there was a choice of Sauvignon blanc or chardonnay for the wine in the all inclusive. This was random as sometimes you got chardonnay, sometimes sauv blanc and sometimes I am sure a mixture. We specifically asked for Sauvignon blanc one lunchtime and the waitress was having difficulty understanding - so we said clearly "2 glasses of Sauvignon blanc (which we had to write down for her as she'd never heard of it!) white wine", so she then repeated "so you want 2 glasses of sauvignon blanc and 2 glasses of white wine?"!!
- We had booked an all inclusive package and paid for an extra night to guarantee late checkout. We had friends staying in a villa on the island and when we checked in we asked if they could use our extra night "all inclusive" that we wouldn't use, on our ACTUAL last night so they could have dinner with us. Once Reception had actually understood what we were asking they said it would be no problem, just check with them when we were ready and they would organise it. So on our last evening I checked again with Reception who said fine, but I needed to advise the restaurant hostess - which I did. She said fine no problem. So we were not amused when we were presented with a bill for our friends' dinner that night. How many times do you have to explain, and why is there absolutely no communication between staff? We got it sorted in the end, but it was embarrassing and unnecessary.

I am totally flabbergasted as to how this hotel got the Best Hotel in the Caribbean award - whoever voted for this has obviously never been to Galley Bay (our favourite) in Antigua nor to at least ten others in the Caribbean that I could from personal experience (and probably another twenty or so that I KNOW of) name as better.

In summary, a nice place with potential, but could do with a big refurbishment, some attention to detail, some staff training and a better chef and better entertainment. We loved the island and would probably go back - yes we would probably stay at Coco Reef again but definitely on bed & breakfast rather than all inclusive, as there are some lovely restaurants nearby and the all inclusive package was not good value.

Stayed: December 2008
6  Thank Bluewitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2008

We stayed here for just 1 night (courtesy of Virgin Atlantic following a flight cancellation!!).
So not a good start and was not in the best fame of mind when we arrived.
But hey, this is 'the best resort in the Caribbean - isn't it?
Er ..... I don't think so!!!

For starters - it is a pink painted enclave, with a silver, man made beach - and with every luxury, but no atmosphere.
We were put in an amazing luxury villa in the grounds, surrounded by gardens, palm trees (& mossies!). Very luxurious, patio, sunbeds(but no sun!!), and when we opened the front door - we had a nice view of ..... the perimeter wall about 20' away!!
Expected to see barbed wire on top!
Food was Ok ('ish) staff were helpful, but a bit mechanical!
Beach could be Ok, but is jam packed with sunbeds about 12" apart - ditto the pool.
The perimeter fence went along the beach and out into the sea - making a kind of sheltered pool - thus excluding any one from the baches either side (both almost deserted and much more attractive i think!)
Someone I spoke to (another virgin!) likened it to 'an upmarket Butlin's! About right I think.

All in all, not really our kind of place but as it was at Sir RB's expense and only 1 night, couldn't really complain. But 2 weeks here would really do my head in!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank terri728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2008

We returned to Coco Reef, after 8 years away (20 Nov 2008 - 4 Dec 2009) expecting great things. In the main, the hotel and staff lived up to our expectations, and we certainly had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. We do concur with most of the comments below - some things could be improved, but overall Coco Reef tries its best to deliver quality accomodation and service. We will certainly consider a return visit.

The hotel's biggest asset is its location, and the beach, and lagoon are breathtaking.

The General Manager, Eric Feniet runs a tight ship, and during our stay a great deal of maintenance was being undertaken to ensure that visitors during the peak season (Dec 08 - March 09) will see the hotel at its best. Eric considers customer service a priority and is ever present, eager to hear any constructive feedback and act on it.

STAFF- some are excellent, others are not so great. The BEST- Antonio Callabaro (Duty Manager) could not do enough to ensure that any issues we encountered were resolved quickly, and efficiently - he is an asset to the hotel, and a more than capable deputy for the General Manager. Friendly and professional at all times he always puts the customers first.

Special mention in terms of good customer service should go to Benecia (Restaurant Ambassador), the lady who cooks the eggs at breakfast, Jeremy (the barbecue chef) , Nichelle (room maid), Alicia (Bar lady) and 2 excellent senior waitresses, who reserved tables in Tamaras for us.

The worst staff - odd one or two (in restaurants) were slightly abrupt and not as efficient as might be expected.

Food - slightly disappointing and could be more innovative - not as high a standard as 8 years ago, hot food could be hotter, and buffets in Tamaras (Thursday and Saturday night) were not great. Ambience in the restaurant goes some way to restore the dining experience.

Advice - if something is not to your satisfaction, be sure to speak to the duty managers with regard to this - and hopefully the problem will be resolved - don't be silent, and let it spoil your holiday.

In summary - Coco Reef offers good value for money, in a great location (for beach, watersports - total relaxation) and like many other visitors to the hotel we too expect to make another repeat visit.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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5  Thank Xanadu-Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2008

I shan't go on at length and in many ways this wasn't a bad experience, just overall disappointing. To reiterate other reviews, this is miles from being the best resort in the Caribbean! By way of benchmark, we've stayed at Palm Island, Galley Bay & Blue Waters (Antigua), Coral Reef (Barbados) all of which I would return to and happily recommend. Coco Reef I would do neither.

There are some good staff - The lunch chef, the lady on the eggs in the morning, Gary in the evening bar stand out, because they seemed to care. The maid service is a little unpredictable but the room decor touches are nice, if a little cheesy. But overall indifference appears the norm.

The diving was good and the on-site dive school one of the main reasons we booked.

An unfortunate incident involving a river of raw sewage through the small parade of shops within the hotel didn't help and the smell of drains refused to disappear despite continuous burning of incense!

I didn't think the food was bad, but neither was it exceptional either and the restaurant is tired and dated in terms of decor and presentation of the buffet breakfast.

On one lunchtime when it rained, guests were forced to shelter under umbrellas in the (mostly) outdoor restaurant on plastic chairs and tablecloths, whereas any hotel with a focus on its customers would have immediately opened the indoor restaurant which is normally closed for lunch.

There appeared to be a number of repeat guests there, so each to his own but I think there are many better places out there to try. My advice if you have already booked is don't panic, it's really not all bad and I'm sure you have a good time. If you haven't yet booked - suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tonytravel13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2008

The hotel grounds are beautiful , it has a very stunning and impressive entrance. We rented out a 2 bedroom suite with kitchen , living room , and breakfast area included.....NOT WORTH THE PRICE AT ALL . The hotel rooms are old , the bed sheets were old. The towels provided in the shower were old and dingy and had an unpleasant smell, even though we requested the towels to be changed everyday , The staff didnt have great customer service , I had a waiter whistle at me to grab my attention to ask if i wanted somthing to drink ( RUDE ! ) They did not seem to have customer service #1 on their list. Most hotels greet you when you are in their lobby - not this hotel ! Staff seems as if they do not want to be bothered. I would have like to stay at the Hilton but they were not finished with construction as of yet. I would have rather paid to stay there instead. The price of the rooms are probably so high just to be able to maintain the grounds and not rooms.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Nica-dadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Coco Reef Resort & Spa Tobago

Address: Coconut Bay | Bon Accord Village, Crown Point, Tobago
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Crown Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Crown Point
Price Range: £197 - £445 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Coco Reef Resort & Spa Tobago 3.5*
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Exquisite architecture and well manicured grounds warmly welcome you to the enchanting paradise that is Coco Reef Resort. Tranquil turquoise waters caress the white sands of our private beach with magnificent snorkeling just outside the breakwater. Enjoy kayaking, pedalos, diving, tennis, gym, in-house shopping, massages, manicures, pedicures and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coco Reef Tobago Hotel Crown Point
Coco Reef Tobago Crown Point
Coco Reef Resort Tobago
Coco Reef Resort & Spa Tobago Crown Point

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