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“Crystal Cove” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels

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Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Crystal Cove”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2014

Our family of four (children aged 16 and 12) have just returned from 11 nights at Crystal Cove. The hotel is reasonably small - approx 80 rooms, and was running at around 70 - 80% occupancy during our stay. This was our first visit as a family to Barbados, we go to Mauritius every Easter and thought we'd give Barbados a try this summer, mindful that it is the rainy season in the Caribbean - here's what we thought of it:

We flew with Virgin for the first time and were all impressed - the flight to Barbados was only a quarter full, so plenty of room and service, food etc, pretty decent - we think our experience was better than previous flights with BA.

On arrival at the hotel, the usual drinks and towels to cool down after the journey, and quick check-in. Our one bedroom garden view suite (143) was well located, although with a hotel this size you are fairly close to restaurants etc wherever you are situated. The suite had a master bedroom with separate bathroom and a living room converted to children's bedroom with another bathroom. The rooms were a little tired, but clean and well air conditioned and had a free mini bar which was restocked everyday with water, soft drinks, beer and nice miniatures of Mount Gay rum and vodka.

Food - breakfast served in Reflections the more formal of the two restaurants and was very good with an egg station, a good range of cooked food, daughter loved the bacon. Lunch available in both restaurants, Drifters the open air restaurant was buffet, but we preferred lunch in Reflections from the menu which changed daily. Dinner - each evening one restaurant was a la carte and the other buffet. Again, we preferred Reflections, but for those that want to wear shorts and T shirts the food is equally good at Drifters. Whilst on dress code, Reflections is hardly formal, smart jeans and shirt or polo shirt is absolutely fine.

The food was always good and service generally very quick by Caribbean standards, although a couple of lunches including our last day lunch service was very slow, even though the restaurant was virtually empty.

Drinks - all the usual soft drinks for the children along with alcohol free cocktails. Banks beer is pretty good, and premium spirits available. We usually drink red wine, but stuck with the white here - only one choice, but it was okay, and whether lunch or dinner they keep topping you up! Cave bar open until 11.45pm.

Great range of free water sports and you could usually make a booking at shortish notice. The water sports team were excellent and did their best to teach my son and I to learn to water ski!

Sun bed hogging is as prevalent here as everywhere else, even though there are more than enough to go around...

We have travelled very extensively, and the sea and the beach are as good as anywhere that we have been!

The 3 pools are small, but the temperature perfect.

The evening entertainment was exceptionally good, probably the best we have seen. Look out for Virgo if you go, we saw them at Sandy Lane as well when we visited for dinner one night which I will review separately.

Being the rainy season expect some rain every day and high humidity at this time of year, but we all enjoyed our holiday, and would probably come back to this hotel, although we had a day at the Colony Club which was a cut above, but equally more expensive. Similarly Sandy Lane is superb, but pound for pound, Crystal Cove is very good value for money.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Nick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,736 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (499)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2014

I stayed at Turtle Beach - the sister hotel - back in June and took a day pass for Crystal Cove. The staff were friendly and helpful offering drinks and snacks on the beach. The beach was beautiful with calm waters. We had lunch here which was great and had enough variety. The pools were great on different levels. I would definatley stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank holidaylovercrb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwickshire
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

We have just returned from our 3rd stay at Crystal Cove and it is just as good as ever. We know Barbados well and wouldn’t stay anywhere else.

Read any of the positive reviews on here and you will soon spot the themes…..lovely location, friendly and helpful staff, great food and more. There were just one or two occasions when the service was a little slow but it didn’t bother us…..except possibly for our very last lunch when we virtually had to run from the restaurant to the taxi waiting to take us to the airport.

There are too many great staff to name them all but I promised to give Shauna in the restaurant a special mention because she was lovely, very attentive and always smiling.

Rather than just repeating what everyone else has said here are a couple of our favourite things to do
.
Swimming with turtles – go with Roddy on the glass bottom boat which is moored off the beach. He’s the one in the “coolie” hat. If you’re not sure which is him ask one of the water sports guys. For US$60 you get a couple of hour’s snorkelling with the turtles and over a wreck which is just brilliant. He includes drinks and takes his own underwater camera. Give him an email address and he’ll send you the pictures within a day or so. Try to go earlier rather than later in the day.

Catamaran cruise – during the day or sunset. We have done several different ones but would recommend Elegance Barbados. Check out their website. They only take up to 14 people so you get a much more personal and friendly service. It is also more relaxed and quieter (if that’s what you want) than some of the bigger party type boats. Their prices also include return taxi transfers to Bridgetown.

I can hardly wait till we’re back there again, watching the sun go down with one of their great cocktails.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms at the opposite end of the beach to the water sports are great...lovely views and v...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gijandj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JCMK14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
4 of 5 bubbles 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
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Anita L
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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Saint James Parish
#4 Luxury Hotel in Saint James Parish
#4 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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