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“Lovely hotel”

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Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Certificate of Excellence
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

Myself and my husband took our two boys (aged 2 and 5) here recently on the recommendation of a friend and we were certainly not disappointed. The staff are all very welcoming and friendly and always took the time to engage with the children. A small niggle was that our room was not ready when we arrived (late afternoon, early evening) so we had to wait in the reception area for about an hour (we had drinks but it was really hot and we had 2 very tired travel-worn children).

On check in, Caroline and the other staff from the kids club came to meet us and introduce themselves (they even knew the childrens names). The kids club is really nice - a large room with plenty of toys, computers, outside play area, wii, etc... and there is a daily plan of activities. Personally, I'm not one for leaving the kids in a kids club all day but having the option of an hour or two during the hottest part of the day is great and frankly my children would have stayed all day if they could! We booked a babysitter - Marina - to look after our youngest every now and again and she was great. Just a point to note - we were told by the travel agent that we could pay for the babysitter as part of our overall bill at the end of the holiday but when you are there you are asked to pay in cash - not a big deal but we hadn't factored this when changing currency.

The food is really good and we were never disappointed with the choice and quality. Breakfast is great with lots of choice, we had lunch most days at Drifters which has an amazing view of the sea and a nice selection of food. Dinner can be in either the main restaurant or Drifters. We only spent a week here and I think if we're had gone for two I may have started to get a bit bored of just 2 choices. Whilst talking about food, I highly recommend booking a night at The Cliff which is just up the road (you can see it from the beach) - beautiful restaurant which is on a deck over the sea and amazing food. Book before you travel to guarantee a good table.

The beach is beautiful with soft white sand and there are plenty of sun beds so no need for rising early to put your towels out! The sea is quite rocky so if your thing is to be able to walk out for meters in sandy water for then you may be a bit disappointed (though there are some sandy areas in the sea). The big plus with rocky water is the amazing snorkelling - beautiful fish and turtles. You can see the turtles popping their heads up out of the water from your sunbed. The watersports are great - banana boats, hobie cats, water skiing etc all included in the price and there is always plenty of availability. The only watersports you pay for are the jet skis which are operated by independents. There are a few hawkers on the beach but security do keep moving those on who become too pushy.

The swimming pools are really nice, but a bit small. Perfect for a quick dip to cool off but if you like to do a few lengths of a large pool then you may not be too happy. Swim up bar is lovely (though a small gripe is that it is very rocky underfoot in the pool around the swim up bar).

We had a one bedroom suite right on the beach front. The location was perfect - on the beach and away from the evening entertainment so we were not disturbed. The rooms are nice but need a bit of updating - small things like our balcony doors being really stiff to open and the bathrooms needing a bit of tidying up took the shine off a bit, but overall we were very comfortable.

The gardens are very well maintained but the resort is on multi-levels so if you struggle with steep paths or steps then you may find it difficult.

As we were leaving some of the public areas (toilets etc) were in the process of being upgraded, and the upgrading that had already been carried out was really good.

Overall a very nice hotel with very friendly staff.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms a right next to the evening entertainment so if you plan on going to bed early-ish...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JCMK14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (511)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014

As a travel agent I take reviews very seriously, this hotel and it's staff deserve all the credit they get. I stayed here with my family (including my 2 year old nephew) in July 2014 and then returned for the second week of my stay with just my partner (instead of a planned stay in another hotel).

The a la carte and buffet food- some of the best I've had on my travels, great menu for children also! Cocktails and selections of alcohol - amazing, no small plastic cups like a lot of hotels! The cleanliness and quality of the rooms- Perfect.

The pool area is so unique with rocky, natural looking pools and waterfalls on a few levels meaning something a little different (and in my opinion more beautiful) than very modern hotels with sunbeds lined up along a huge square pool. If you have children who want to jump in and out of the pool/play a lot maybe choose somewhere different but otherwise the pools where definitely big enough! In my opinion, why go to Barbados with such stunning beaches to sit around a pool, but yes there aren't many sunbeds going spare on the upper levels (something I definitely wouldn't change by the way!) Watersports staff were fab!!

Finally the staff... We moved (as planned) over to Almond Beach village, we stayed for a little over an hour before checking back out (a different story for another time, put simply doesn't even compare to c.cove). As travel agents we then proceeded to drive around a large majority of neighboring hotels on the west coast, it is surprising what a difference friendly and helpful staff make to the whole holiday experience, none of the hotels we visited were as cheerful or willing to help as the staff here who moved things around just to fit us back in.
Colony club- undergoing some maintenance/cleaning but beach area very shaded/cramped plus reception staff unhelpful. Turtle beach-South side where the sea is very wavey and hotel larger not as quaint. Sugar cane club- quiet not as pleasant an atmosphere


This hotel doesn't claim to be a big hotel or a five star hotel so please note that all the reviews reflect value for money, atmosphere and helpfulness of staff.

Barbados tips- hire a car and explore the rugged east side, swim with turtles, stay away from Machineel trees (big red stripe around base) but also don't touch anything it could have rained on..i burnt my whole stomach.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank rebecca h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

This is a beautiful intimate hotel. The grounds are very attractive. The food was good with a la carte dinning options most nights. The rooms are nice, I had a one bed suite which was huge. They offer a lot of free water sports which is a nice touch. Snorkeling was pretty good here with the chance to see turtles.
The only negatives I would say is that the pool area is very small, they need more sunbeds around the pool with morr shadr options. If you get to the pool after about 8am there will only be sunbeds on the beach left. Also the drinks service with dinner was very slow, they need more bar staff in the evenings.
Other than that I enjoyed the hotel and am planning on returning

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank Carly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We have just returned ( family of 9 aged from 12 years to 77 years!) from a 2 week holiday to Barbados and for our 2nd week we stayed here at Crystal Cove. We had the most amazing time - all the staff are so friendly and helpful. The food was fab - we loved both restaurants and enjoyed the combination of al a carte and buffet. Our ocean view junior suite was perfect with amazing views. The hotel is right on the beach. We enjoyed all the water sports, drank many cocktails and ate lots of lovely food! The pools are perfectly big enough and the beach we found much less corally than some other beaches. Best holiday we have had and cant wait to return! much thanks from the Ladd/Lucas/Sargeant family.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Anita L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I have been going for 6 years to barbados and it's the most friendly Island I have ever know.
But crystal cove makes it better with its stunning beach and lovely rooms. Don't bother paying for drinks because they are free and so is the food for crystal cove is all inclusive.The people on the beech can nag you but once you get to know them they are good friends.water sports is free but you have to book and get up at 7:00 to get your sunbeds because their are people who get up early to get the best so be aware.but food can be slow.

Room Tip: 129 is noisy from the band till10:30 rooms near the beach are better
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Finlay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Midlands
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Written on behalf of my Mum and Dad, Mr & Mrs Shah

We stayed at the Crystal Cove from 15th July 2014 – 25th July 2014. Out of the three hotels by Elegant Hotels; Tamarind, Turtle Beach Resort and Crystal Cove, we opted for Crystal Cove as it was the smallest of the resorts, but it was not small on hospitality, service and the choice of food.

The Crystal Cove had a weekly activities sheet which was a great feature to know about what was happening within the resort. We were also impressed with the information left in the room each day to keep us updated.

All the staff within the Crystal Cove were very friendly, courteous and could not do enough for us; we could not fault the service. We particularly would like to thank a member of staff, Suzanne the Chef. She made us a Bajan Fish Curry and Rice which was delicious and we were very touched by this kind gesture.

The Buffet Restaurant and A la Carte had a wide array of food choices and it was different each day. Normally on holiday we miss our home food after a few days but at Crystal Cove we never missed it. The A la Carte dishes were well presented, mouth-watering and tasty!

We looked forward to the afternoon tea/coffee with cakes, biscuits and mini sandwiches at the Drifters Bar facing the beach. It was wonderful listening to the sounds of the birds, sea and rustle of the palm trees in the sea breeze.

The beach was calm with crystal clear waters. There was a good choice of water sports for all ages and the beach ambassadors attended to all of our needs. We were mesmerised by the dazzling Sunsets each day.

We also indulged ourselves by having body massages and treatments in the open under a gazebo on the beach front. That was an experience not to be forgotten and would recommend to anyone visiting.

The hotel had beautiful tropical gardens and an impressive arrangement of three lagoon style swimming pools uniting to a swim up Cave Bar which was carved into the rock face behind a waterfall; a picturesque setting to enjoy drinks. The choice of cocktails on offer was impressive and everyday there was a special cocktail of the day.

We were entertained every evening by different bands and singing groups. Our favourite was the “Champagne Band”. We could have listened to them all night and we left Barbados loving the Bajan music!

Anybody looking to go to Barbados; do not waste your time looking at other hotels/ resorts. Go to Crystal Cove and you will not be disappointed. Believe me, we are very fussy people and we were impressed!

Last but not least, we would like to thank all the staff for their kind hospitality and particularly thank Olivia Skeete-Baptiste, the General Manager at Crystal Cove for managing such a beautiful place to stay on holiday and enjoy the best of Barbados. This was one of the best holiday experiences we have had and we miss it so much since being back in the UK. We would love to visit again with the rest of the family in the near future!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Sonny206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

This was our third visit in four years to the Crystal Cove Hotel and as previously, they once again did everything to make it yet another fantastic, 2 week enjoyable holiday experience for us both. We were personally greeted upon arrival by the hotel Manager Mrs Sophia Babb who made us feel like a highly regarded and close member of their hotel family.
All the hotel staff were excellent and instantly remembered us from previous visits. We commented to the management on several occasions, that the hotel staff are their most priceless asset, who make your stay so thoroughly enjoyable. We have both travelled extensively for business and pleasure and can confirm that the staff here are the most friendly and sincere group of hotel people we have ever come across.
The hotel has made a series of investments and improvements since our last visit, these being a totally revamped Drifters beach front restaurant, new furniture in the Reflections a la carte restaurant, and totally refurbished restaurant toilet/wash room facilities. Refurbishment work started shortly after our arrival to the beach toilet/wash room facilities. To ensure these works did not affect the guests' total comfort and stay in any way, the hotel arranged, at no extra costs to the guests, a guided historical tour around Bridgetown one day, and the following days guests were given the opportunity of being transported to their sister hotel Turtle Beach where similar arrangements for all inclusive meals, drinks and water sports were available for participants to enjoy. We did not take them up on either of these arrangements because the disruption was so minimal. Finally, the hotel made available toilet facilities within some specially allocated bedrooms for anybody not wishing to go back to their own rooms. This all epitomised the hotel management's aim to achieve total customer satisfaction at all times, which they certainly did during our stay.
It's their attention to little things which make them stand out amongst all the rest with such things as, a bottle of bubbly and canapes delivered to our room upon arrival (something for all repeat guests), drinks, fruit, ice creams and jellies delivered throughout the day by one of their beach ambassadors.
Whilst the restaurants provide an excellent variety of meal choices, they are always willing and pleased to be able to offer you something different if what they show on the menus is not to your liking/taste.
There are activities arranged each day by the hotel if you wish to participate, the only one we entered in was the mixology, where each guest creates their own cocktail which is then judged with the overall winner receiving a bottle of bubbly, which went down a treat on our last night.
Yes, there was a problem with the bathroom during our visit, but this was swiftly and efficiently resolved to our satisfaction soon after advising the front desk. Things can go wrong even in the top hotels, but in my experience it's all about the speed and efficiency of the hotel's response. All I can say about those who leave negative feedback, is that they do not appear to give the hotel chance to discuss any grievance and rectify it before departure.
The team spirit at this hotel is such that one day we were served drinks at lunchtime by the hotel General Manager, Mrs Olivia Skeete, which shows the total team effort displayed by all, even those at the top.
My advice to anybody who wants to book an all inclusive holiday in a small and friendly hotel, which offers excellent food and drink, sports facilities, with everyone being made to feel like royalty, should look no further and book Crystal Cove in Barbados.
With this glowing report you might think I'm an employee, afraid not, only a very happy guest that loves returning to this fantastic hotel/resort.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Roger C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels

Property: Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Address: Appleby, Barbados (Formerly Crystal Cove)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Saint James Parish
#6 Luxury Hotel in Saint James Parish
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Saint James Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"An enchanting blend of vitality and Caribbean charm."A colorful and vibrant beachfront all-inclusive property with 88 rooms offering a seductive Caribbean charm that will make you feel at home from the moment you arrive. Crystal Cove's warm, relaxed ambience and friendly service which includes all-inclusive accommodation as well as a Supervised Kids Club (for children aged 3-11) appeals to families and couples of all ages, many of whom return there year after year. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crystal Cove Saint James
Crystal Cove Barbados
Crystal Cove Hotel Barbados
Crystal Cove By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Saint James Parish

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