Coco Reef Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Chris Straw from U.K. visited in May 2006 and awarded
This is no ordinary all-inclusive resort.
Staff are superb, all have a charming smile and their sole objective is to make sure that you have a good holiday.
No queues for food or drink and even waiter/waitress service on the beach!
Excellent food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The description of the food in the Restaurant Menus has to be seen to be believed, it makes one's mouth water and the fayre served certainly does not disappoint.
The bedrooms are air conditioned and comfortable, with good sea view and impressive maid service twice per day. (Where do they find all those petals to decorate the beds?
The beach is relatively small, but adequate for the out-of season guest. Swimming in the warm, sheltered bay is a delight.
Children are allowed and so your solitude may be disturbed. However, this is not a resort for children because there
are no children's activities other than the sea and deep pool - no life guard.
The airport is next door, but there is no intrusive noise, in fact it is difficult to believe that it is so close.
Ramona Andrews from U.S.A. visited in April 2006 and awarded
My husband and I stayed there for 3 days in April, short stop-over from Trinidad. We had a wonderfully relaxing time there.
Accomodation: Was fantastic, we had a nice view of the beach. Clean, well maintained rooms, nice tropical decor. The layout of the hotel made you feel very private - when in the balcony, we felt like we were in a private villa.
Beach: was great - good one hour rule on kayaks and other equipment, so it was easy to get the equipment. Beach was clean, enough beach chairs etc. However, though Storebay beach was right next door, it took some walking out of the property down to the public road to get to that beach. We went to Storebay to enjoy some more 'local' flavours such as local food, music, trip to Buccoo Reef etc.
Restaurants: thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast buffet - best I have seen. Staff was accomodating in getting us seated for dinner though we had no reservations. I did notice some guest not observing the dress code, and they were still admitted to the restaurant.
Rented a car and with a map, drove around the island. Not recommended though as there were not too many signs.
In short, I agree with the other reviews - this is an excellent place for relaxing, sunbathing, some activities, couples, or families with small children. Not too much excitement and night life for singles, couples wanting night life. But, that makes it great. If you want rest, relaxation, pristine beach, great staff, great food - this is the place. I prefer this than a hotel trying to accomodate everyone, and end up pleasing no one.
One suggestion: they should have an iron in each room as standard. We had to call down for one every night and wait up to 15 mins for one.
We would HIGHLY recommend this place and we will certainly return.
Brian Oxley from U.K. visited in March 2006 and awarded
On behalf of my wife and I, I would just like to add a report in case like us any of you have any doubts about visiting this hotel due to negative comments (which we were at first worried about). The hotel is classed as 4 star plus but we feel it should have been 5 star!. First of all the location was perfect, 5 mins from the airport (you couldn't hear aircraft noise) and great to be the first drop off after a long flight. Rooms- if you have booked like us De luxe Ocean View that is what you will get, that said because they have beautiful grounds some of the foliage is rather overgrown so not a complete sea view (the Junior Suites are completely clear but then that is on the next price band), however when we left they did appear to be tidying up the trees and foliage. The rooms were spacious, colourful with cane furniture and beautiful decor and the maid service with fresh towels everyday was second to none. Restaurants - Tamaras and Bucchinals. Tamaras is part of the all inclusive package and is A La Carte and you do have to book for this and the best time to do this is first thing in the morning from your room if you like to eat before 8.30 pm, otherwise if you are quite happy to eat say 8 - 9 pm, then no problem you will get a table waiting maximum time only say 10 - 15 mins. It is worth going to, the food is superb, the only requirement the hotel ask is that gentlemen wear long trousers, no shorts, beach footwear etc but certainly not collar and ties so it isn't strictly formal. Bucchinals downstairs is the beach restaurant but that also is excellent and it certainly isn't the case of McDonalds downstairs and A La Carte upstairs, its just its a buffet instead of waitress service in the evenings. At lunchtimes they had a wonderful bbq serving wonderful fish such as catfish, tuna, steak, stir frys, you name they have it, it was so good that we had to force ourselves to make sure we were eating salads as we were having two dinners daily!!! There were restaurants locally but to be honest the ones we saw looked more like snack bars and we weren't sure how busy they were at night and we didn't venture out at night as the street lighting looked a bit non existent!
However, we did hear from other people that Dillons nearby was quite good so maybe that is worth a try.
Swimming Pool. Yes it is small but I would say average than small, you certainly can have a decent swim, but not safe for small children as there isn't a separate section and most parents opted for the sea which was safer.
Entertainment. Excellent, not repeated - likewise neither was the food, so we never felt like oldie holidaymakers the second week. Mostly finished before midnight.
Staff. Excellent, always ready to help, some people complained because of slow service, we didn't experience this and most of the staff loved it when you chatted to them and quite a few of the young girls were trainees and again loved it when you asked them about thier lives etc. Everytime we turned round someone was always there to fill up your wine glass! Leroy does a wonderful beach service serving cold water, cold drinks and the fruit kebabs were great!!
Chill-Out Service. This is for people who have booked with Virgin Holidays, excellent service, the ground staff come into the hotel on the last day (including passport control) take your heavy cases, give you your boarding passes then that's it, the rest of the day is free until you are ready to be picked up! You can keep your room on if it isn't being used (charge applicable) or else book a courtesy room. We were not able to keep our room on but fortunately for us we made friends with another couple who could and they very kindly allowed us to use their shower). Just remember though keep some money on the last day as all inclusive finishes 3pm and flight times can change as well.
Excursions - We loved 'The Island Girl' which can be booked via rep, wonderful food, catamaran, beautiful beach 'cotton bay' only accessible by boat (crew feeds a local stingray there - great for snorkling) also Speyside which is a walk in the rain forest and visiting the Argyll Falls was excellent. However to get to the waterfall you have to negotiate some rocks so use sensible footwear such as trainers, that said my wife had trainers but as they get wet they became slippery and she was a bit concerned as she had recovered from a torn cartiledge operation before she came to Tobago and so was a bit nervous of negotiating the rocks, that said the guides were on hand and helped everyone through okay and it was worth the getting passed the rocks to get to the waterfall which we both enjoyed swimming under. The best type of footwear our guide wore was windsurfing sandals which had a grip on.
Hotel good for honeymooners, couples, children (just watch pool for little ones)not really suitable for teenageers nothing to do for them, no games rooms etc unless they like swimming, snorklling etc or people who like nightclubs and busy night life, Tobago is not the place, Barbados is busier for this.
My only gripe is with trips, most were late pick ups- i.e. 8.15 pm for Sunday School ( we recommend this trip) on our ticket, others told 8.45 pm pick up, likewise with car hire, 9 am pick up, one chap had to wait until 11 am for his car!! and we heard about others complaining re-late pick ups. Any questions?
Julie L from U.K. visited in February 2006 and awarded
Have just returned from 2 weeks in the sun (and a little rain!) and thought Tobago just a fantastic place!! We did some brilliant snorkeling at Coral Gardens,Castara and Arnos Vale- and the hotel's beach bay was great too- we even had a turtle swimming around in the shallow water there.
Coco Reef is an extremely nice hotel -we had a suite overlooking the bay and the rooms were very spacious, well furnished and clean. Maid service twice a day was great.
The hotel is well staffed- all (apart from one girl) couldn't have been more friendly and helpful and made an especial fuss of our two children.
To be quite honest, I enjoyed the first week of the holiday more than the second, as the second week was half term and the hotel must have been at full capacity. Unfortunately I'm not sure that the hotel beach / restaurants can cope with the amount of guests there are when the hotel is that full. I found the beach quite claustrophobic, and do like more than 2 feet of space between myself and other people! Also - breakfast and lunch could be hit and miss with food / glasses / plates - waiting for items to be replenished/ replaced.
Don't get me wrong - I'm definitely a glass half full type of person (if you know what I mean)and we had a great holiday and have come back with some brilliant memories! I'm sure we will certainly go back to Tobago at some time, but probably not to Coco Reef at half term!!
Shauna Page from U.K. visited in December 2005 and awarded
I visited the hotel over the Christmas period and it certainly did not meet the typical standards of what I percieve to be a 4*+ hotel. The really positive aspect of the hotel is the staff, they were all extremely friendly and keen to go that "extra mile" in terms of customer service and the rooms are very spacious/comfortable. We were at the hotel on Christmas Day and the daytime entertainment, including a Tobagan Santa on the beach was great, however the evening Christmas buffet was a huge disappointment as the food was cold and due to a "skeleton" staff in the kitchen, was not cooked to a high standard - everyone I spoke to found the entire Christmas dinner a less than a positive experience.
OK so I will cover some of my criticisms of the hotel:
Buffet Breakfast and lunch - These are both buffet meals and the main problem is that there are a large number of birds flying through the restaurant. I am all for the "carribean wildlife experience" however I ceased eating breakfast when I witnessed a bird land in an uncovered pot of jam and saw birds defacate on the tables and chairs on several occasions.In fact one day at lunch, my father had to wipe the table because it was covered in bird excrement - it really doesn't lend itself to a great dining experience.
Dress Code: Dress Code is apparently "formal" in Tamara's restaurant ie, strictly no jeans. That is unless you are a regular Coco Reef patron - I saw a number of occasions where people were turned away from the restaurant for wearing jeans however, repeat guests were welcomed with open arms as they paraded through the restaurant in jeans and flip flops. I am all for casual dress but appears that it is only applicable for the loyal few.