Coco Reef Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
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.
Ken Taylor from U.K. visited in September 2005 and awarded
My wife and I stayed at Coco Reef for two weeks and I have to say that the overall experience was excellent. The staff, without exception, were friendly, courteous and helpful, the rooms were extremely good, air conditioned and cleaned twice each day, and the quality of the food, while a little repetitive, was of a very high quality.
If you visit make sure you chat with Bernicia, the restaraunt manager who will give you a colourful insight into Tobagonian life, and the two Trevors, one on the beach and one in the restaraunt, who are both fun guys. The beach is excellent although being private you do miss any local character and it would be nice if the hotel authorised some of the local craft makers to come on to the beach to display their wares.
The night life was a little low key, in a Piano Lounge style, and ends at 10.30 every night. They could improve this by making it less formal, and introduce a greater island flavour to it.
One word of caution. If you want to visit different places on the Island, which you really should, I would hire a car and tour independently. We went on three Virgin excursions and while bits of them were interesting, the Rain Forest and Argyle Falls, it is at the cost of sitting in tour buses for hours and hours. We also went over to Trinidad with Virgin and my advice is dont bother. It is a very long day, starts at 6.00 am and while the bird sanctuary and swamp were ok the remainder of the visit was in a small mini bus, lunch at a very average restaraunt and some shopping in a pretty tatty street in Port of Spain. Trinidad is nothing like Tobago and I felt this trip was a day wasted.
There were a number of small children when we were there, very well behaved, but there is nothing for them to do but paddle in the sea but they all seemed ok with the heat.
All in all Tobago is a gret Island, well worth a visit and Coco Reef is an excellent hotel.
2 Bedroom Garden Villas? 04 Aug 2010
Anessa DM from Trinidad
Hi, i stayed at Coco Reef for my honeymoon a few years ago, but really did not notice any 2 bedroom villas. I'm going back this December and taking my parents and son with me; i saw on their website that hey had this accomodation type. Has anyone stayed there or can give me any information on these rooms (bed size, ammenities, etc.)? I'm not seeing any additional information on the website nor or on any of these forums. Thanks
Another Great Vacation
Just got back from a two week stay at the Coco Reef. This was our third time vacationing there in the last 4 years. Obviously, we love it or we wouldn't keep going back.
It was just as we remembered (if not better). The staff are all fabulous. The hotel is beautiful. The beach and ocean are what we enjoy the most. There are always lounge chairs available. The water is calm and clear and it is a natural aquarium. You'll see all types of tropical fish swimming in the bay and around the breakwater. If you don't have your own snorkeling gear you can borrow some from the dive shop on the beach (Undersea Tobago).
We always choose the BP meal plan (breakfast only) as we like to journey outside of the hotel to experience local cuisine at night. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoy breakfast. There is such a large variety to choose from I don't know how anyone could find fault with it. There is an 'egg' station where you can order eggs/omelets made to your liking, a warm foods station where you can find potatoes, pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon, grilled tomatoes, etc. Fresh fruit, juice, baked goods, yogurt and cereal are also available. Toast is delivered to your table. We ate so much at breakfast that we didn't need to eat lunch most days. We enjoy watching the birds at breakfast. It was also very cool to see the owl and falcon the hotel occasionally brings in to keep the birds at bay (first time we've seen this at the hotel).
We also have some favorite places to eat dinner. La Cantina (right next to the RBTT bank next to the hotel) is a fabulous little place to get a wood fired pizza and a good selection of wine. Plus, they have a selection of gelatto for desert (not to mention the tiramisu was fabulous)! The prices are great too! There are so many pizzas to try you could eat here every night.
Dillons (also just a short walk from the hotel) is another great place. Hooked and Cooked (aka. the catch of the day) was always fabulous. I also tried the shrimp curry and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cafe Coco which is just a short walk away is another good place to eat. Unfortunately their menu hasn't changed at all in the 3 years we've been going there, but the food is good and it has a great atmosphere.
If your in Tobago, you have to try a Roti. You can normally find these in Store Bay (also a short walk from the hotel) or pretty much anywhere on the island if you have a car. It seems like every village has a Roti stand. I highly recommend giving these a try.
As for activities...
We highly recommend taking a boat trip or chartering a boat for a day with Cocomotion. This year we chartered Cocomotion twice and loved every minute of it. Marlin (owner) is very knowledgeable about Tobago and its history. He also knows how to grill up some delicious fish for lunch at No Mans Land (not to mention that his wife's carrot cake is to die for). Marlin is one of the few boat charters/snorkeling tours that actually follow the hotel rule of 'no soliciting on the beach'. So unless you see Cocomotion pull in/out with other guests from the hotel, you'll have to give him a call to set something up. The hotel can help you with this or just stop at the dive shop and tell them you'd like to set something up with Cocomotion and they'll help you.
Jet skis are also made available right at the beach. This is not affiliated with the hotel. We highly recommend locating Shawn for your jet ski rental needs or if you just want to get to know a local. He is a great guy!
It was another fabulous vacation at Coco Reef. I'm sure we'll be back again in the future.
I'm Loving It!
Just had to write on the forum - I am currently on my fourth visit to the CCR and we are all having a wonderful time - I posted a review in May of last year stating that I felt the standard had slipped here. Well all I can say is Eric and all the senior staff here have taking control and you can really notice the difference, the staff are all just superb a massive difference since last year. There was a 10 hour power cut here yesterday and the way the staff dealt with was fantastic - full credit to them all. Will post more when I get back!!