Coco Reef Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Jacqui Bell from U.K. visited in February 2007 and awarded
I have just returned from my first visit to Tobago, where my husband & I had a truly wonderful - but all too short - week of pure relaxation.
Tobago and the Coco Reef was recommended by my uncle (who co-runs a big game fishing safari company and has been lucky enough to visit a large number of exotic locations so should know) and with the benefit of all the positive reviews on this great site (thanks), we booked last year.
This hotel is great. The staff were so incredibly friendly & welcoming, cheery faces everywhere, and from ALL staff, not just those with client-facing roles. The social director helped us book a catamaran trip and even chased them up when they were a bit late arriving (delay caused by customer at another hotel still in bed hungover & finally decided not to go), suggesting we went to the beach to wait. She brought us some water & then came to find us when the car arrived - and when she saw us the following day came over to ask how the trip had gone.
Rooms spacious & well-cleaned. Air-con fully functional.
Food excellent. We ate in Tamaras most evenings & had no problems booking a table. The norm appears to be to do this at breakfast, and always had a choice of times. Lunch BBQ also very tasty. I can't understand why some people don't like it. The evening menus had a choice of about 6 dishes per course, some fairly "international" in style, some with Caribbean flavour. All nicely proportioned & well-presented. Maybe tricky for non-fish-eating veggies? Not sure. There was only 1 evening we felt that there was nothing particularly inspiring, but it was still good.
All this when the hotel was completely full.
It didn't feel like it though. There was always plenty of room on the beach (clean & well-maintained) & at no time did we feel it was overly busy. The beach is great - the rocky breakwater may not be natural but has brought many benefits. Where else can you stand & feed bread rolls to tropical fish as some did? Nicely sheltered, perfect for getting used to snorkels. No problems with sand-flies either - this is the 1st foreign holiday I've been on & come home without a single insect bite.
And finally, Virgin's check-in & chill-out is most certainly the way to do it. Yes, the airport's close, but virtually no plane noise at all, you don't need to worry about that.
I'd love to go back, and soon! I can quite see why there were so many back for the 3rd, 4th... time.
Megan Bowser from U.S.A. visited in September 2006 and awarded
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Cocoreef for one glorious week in September of 2006. This was our first trip to the Caribbean and we cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay. We have already booked our stay there for this year.
We arrived on the last Tobago Express flight a little after 10pm on a Thursday night, completely exhausted from our 4 flights (16 hours of traveling). We walked into the open air lobby with a look of awe on our face at the beautiful site that met our eyes. They were expecting us as we were the last patrons they had arriving that night. We were ushered to the front desk to check in. While this was taking place we were brought refreshingly cool rum punches which helped ease some of our travel weariness. We were then given a short tour of the resort and then taken to our first floor Deluxe Ocean View room where our luggage met us a few minutes later.
The room was your standard American hotel room with Caribbean flair. King sized bed, small table with chairs, television, bathroom, patio, and let's not forget the air conditioning which was keeping the room nice and chilled. We were impressed with the 'Welcome' that was spelled out on the bed with palm fronds and flower petals. It was a very nice touch.
We quickly changed out of our travel clothes and headed back to the lobby to enjoy the nightly entertainment and start our vacation off on the right foot with some ice cold drinks from the bar. We sat near the end of that lobby where we could overlook the beach.
Our daily routine stayed fairly constant throughout our stay.
We awoke in the morning and headed to the breakfast buffet. The food was delicious and there was such a variety to choose from that I doubt anyone could find fault with it. Breakfast easily became our favorite meal that week.
After our leisurely meal we would make our way down to the resort's white sand beach. The hotel was only at 50% capacity the week we were there so we never had any problems getting lounge chairs. In fact, most days we were one of the first few people to arrive on the beach. The beach was always immaculately clean. The man made rock wall that protects the beach has turned into a reef like setting which is great for snorkeling. It also keeps the water nice and calm. The resort also has many non-motorized water sport activities (snorkel gear, kayaks) that are free to use. We got a lot of use out of the snorkel gear. However, you are only able to 'borrow' the gear for two hours at a time as there are not enough sets of fins/masks to go around. There are times when we had to wait 2-4 hours until we could get a set that we would share between the two of us.
While on the beach, you cannot beat the service. There are 1-2 waiters who take drink orders and deliver them to your lounge chair. You will also find a fresh fruit tray making its way around the beach in the morning. Ice cold hand towels are brought around in the afternoon when the heat of the day is at its peak.
Every day, we ate lunch at the open air beach side restaurant. Fresh fish, chicken, pork chops, and hamburgers are all grilled to order right in front of you. Side dishes were available buffet style. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate lunch at a 6. The food was ok, nothing special. One of the restaurantís redeeming qualities is that it is on the beach. Just a few short steps from our lounge chairs. We were able to eat lunch with a wonderful view of the ocean without having to change out of our swim wear. Just throw on a cover up and go enjoy lunch. Ice cream is available from the bar and you can get it in a plastic cup to take back to your lounge chair.
For Dinner you have the choice of eating at the same beach side restaurant where lunch is served or at the upscale restaurant off of the hotel lobby. We only ate at the upscale restaurant once. We seemed to be the odd ones out at the resort that week because we chose not to go with the all-inclusive meal plan. It seems we picked the wrong night to eat at the upscale restaurant. It was buffet night. The food was good. We had a bottle of wine to enjoy with our dinner. However, we weren't particularly impressed with the meal. Especially for the price. I'd rate the meal a 7. On a few other nights we ate at the beach side restaurant where you can order ala carte off of a limited menu. However, the atmosphere is much more casual there. Halfway through our stay we decided to leave the resort and try the Coco Cafe just a short walk away. We found this to be the place where we truly enjoyed our meals in every sense and went back every night after.
Halfway through our stay the air conditioner in our room decided to stop working. After informing the front desk, they were quick to respond. The unit could not be fixed that late in the day and we were promptly moved to another room for the night until it could be repaired. The staff were all very helpful. The following day we were informed that we could return to our room as the unit had been fixed.
All in all, we truly enjoyed our stay at the Cocoreef. It was exactly as we expected, thanks to the wonderful reviews we had read on this site. Special thanks to Trevor, the beach waiter.
Kevin & Lorraine Ashman from U.K. visited in September 2006 and awarded
Having searched for an ideal location for our wedding, we narrowed it down to Tobago and because of this informative site we chose the Coco Reef Resort. We are so glad we did.
On arrival we were greeted so personally it was almost like we were the most important people there, (The other guests that we spoke to said this also)
We chose our location with the Social director which was the top of the steps leading to the beach and asked what was our 'theme' we simply said 'tropical'
That was as stressful as it got.....
The staff, the minister the ceremony, the location was absolutely excellent. We would without doubt recommend the CoCo Reef as a wedding venue. Absolutely unique, definately not the conveyor belt wedding that we had read about at some other locations in the Carribean.
Our 2 week stay was made delightful by the friendliness, politeness and attentiveness of all the staff from the cleaners, waiting staff, gardeners to the managers and department heads.
The whole resort - gardens, beach, rooms and all communal areas was kept spotlessly clean 24/7. The food was excellent even though we were there during the change over from high season to the quiet season.
The beach was raked and cleaned early every morning. the scuba diving centre on the beach 'Undersea Tobago' has to be recommended The staff were very experienced and caring and the tuition was second to none.
All in all, if you want a holiday (or wedding) to remember this is the place to go
Phil Owen from U.K. visited in September 2006 and awarded
We stayed at Coco Reef for 2 weeks just into Oct 06 and it was very, very good. All positive reports on this and other web site were well founded.
Staff were genuinely friendly and engaging. We had no problems or isues during our stay. Although very close to airport ( you could walk to terminal building in 10 mins ) there was very little noise. Planes come in over the sea into Crown Point but take off heading over Scarborough.
We had a suite which was well appointed and maintained and decorated in that 1980's style hibiscus colours typical of all the hotels we have used in the carib. No contemporary, benign corporate imagary.
I guess the hotel was about 2/3rds full when we were there and suspect that as with all hotels that service will suffer a little when full. But would not expect it to be significantly affected and it would not put us off going back again. The man made lagoon area is a real bonus to the hotel offering safe swimming and snorkling in clear water.
The review on this hotel in my opinion is very accurate. We met numerous couples who were on thier 2nd, 3rd or 4th visit. You dont get that many repeat guests if it is not good.
We also went diving with Uderwater Tobago and found them to be very good. Although when we return to Tobago I will stay a few days at a Speyside Hotel in the North and the rest at Coco Reef. The diving is reputed to be a better for experienced divers and although you can travel from one end to the other it long trip on a twisty road. As we found out when we did the island tour !
Which is well worth doing.
Only two improvements we could suggest were :- extend the beach resturant roof further over the deck to give more space to sit when it rains. Get another CD for the music machine. They appeared only to have three and after two weeks had heard enough of Celion Dion :-)
from U.K. visited in June 2006 and awarded
If you want a really unbiased report of this hotel just read Steve's review it truly does say it all. We were particularly lucky in that the hotel was only 30% occupied during our visit so we had immaculate service and attentiveness. I do not however think there would be much less attention to individuals even if it was full occupancy as the resident manager M Eric Ferniet has wonderfully well trained staff whom it appears need no encouragement to be nice. At the same time it is a requirement in my book that guests also are polite and friendly to the staff, and if you are I promise you that at the Coco Reef it will reap dividends and rewards that will just add to your enjoyment of Tobago
The local radio station quoted last week a comment on Tobago picked up by one of their reporters quote
'Tobago is great for the newly weds and the nearly deads'.
We definately do not come into the first category and sincerely hope we are a long way from the second, but even so we think it is great for anybody who wants to get away from the rat-race for a while,change down a gear, chill out and maybe even become a nicer person. Finally my wife's comment is that everybody should swim/paddle in the Nylon Pool - she can't guarantee it will make you look ten years younger - but it will certainly bring out the awe factor one used to experience as a child.
We can't wait to return