Watch supporting video of this reviewCoco Reef Resort - Review Page 6

Meal Plans

The Coco Reef Resort offers a wide range of accommodation plans from room only through all inclusive. So popular has this last option become that it is now rare to find a guest not on that plan. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that this means reduced standards.

According to the room notes, the hotel's all-inclusive package includes the following:

  • Full Buffet Breakfast in Tamaras
  • Lunch at Bacchanals restaurant
  • Dinner in Tamaras or Bacchanals
  • Soft Drinks, Juices, Bottled Water
  • Beer, Local Brand Scotch Whisky, Dry Gin, Vodka and House wine by the glass
  • Local rum-based alcoholic beverages (Pina Colada, Rum Cooler, Planter’s Punch, Rum Punch, etc.)
  • Kayaks, Pedaloes
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • The hotel drivewayDay/Night Tennis
  • Exercise Room
  • All Taxes and Gratuities

The package specifically excludes the following:

  • Mini Bar
  • Bottled Wine or Champagne /Sparking Wine
  • Room Service Delivery Charge and Room Service Drinks
  • Champagne, Fine Wine, Liqueurs and Cognac
  • Picnic Baskets
  • Dinner Supplements
  • Laundry
  • Telephone Calls
  • Crown Terrace Tea and Coffee Service

In summary, the package includes everything one would consider reasonable.


The boutiquesThe hotel has a small arcade with four boutiques selling dresses, local t-shirts and similar souvenir-wear, plus a gallery selling the unique and distinctive Cuban art that adorns the hotel. There is also a hairdressing salon and a small general boutique.

Visitors wanting to buy some souvenirs of Tobago may wish to read our Shopping article.




The swimming poolA direct-dial telephone system allows guests to keep in voice contact with the world.

Free Internet access is provided to guests through two computers in a small air-conditioned room next to the front desk. Guests wishing to use their own computers or other devices can buy a 24-hour or weekly Internet access. Wireless access is currently only available in the reception areas, or possibly the rooms closest to reception.


The Coco Reef Resort places very great store on customer loyalty. And rightly so!

I have seen Internet reader reports, both on and elsewhere, voicing displeasure at the ‘special treatment’ given to repeat guests at the hotel. The complaining visitors often accuse the staff of being insincere and say that their apparent friendliness is simply to cultivate gratuities. Frankly, words fail me and I will refrain from voicing opinion about those who make such comments.

Statues and painting adorn every wallYes, the Coco Reef does ‘look after’ repeaters – and the more often you visit, the better you will be looked after I imagine. Doesn’t that apply at every good hotel? If not, then frankly those establishments don’t deserve repeat business. Do the detractors complain about the friendlier, more personal, greeting they get at their local restaurant or pub? Do they feel that this is discriminatory? To use a grossly awful Americanism: get real!

The bottom line is that repeaters are visitors who have “connected” with the hotel’s employees and, probably, Tobagonians in general. Once you’ve unlocked that initial reserve of the local people, the friendliness is invariably totally genuine. The Coco Reef is Tobago’s premier hotel and being employed there carries a certain cachet. Consequently the hotel attracts the best employees and has a low staff turnover. You would be surprised at the number of employees with more than 10 years’ service. Returning to a hotel is a compliment, so it is hardly surprising that many staff members remember repeaters and make a fuss when they return. The ‘special treatment’ given to repeat guests is not just a hotel-imposed policy or good job training – it is evidence of the very characteristics that makes so many of us fall in love with Tobago.


The lagoonThe Coco Reef Resort does not pretend to be a 7-star Dubai-type hotel and travellers seeking that sort of establishment would be advised to avoid disappointment and forget both Tobago and the Caribbean generally, and stick to the Middle or Far East.

The hotel quotes a repeat rate of 47%+. From our own experiences at the hotel, I know that this is not simply marketing flimflam.  In our 2011 review, we reported that we didn’t personally meet a single first-timer during our week at the hotel, although some must clearly have been there. On this visit, we did meet and talk to several; and most said they would be back, including one couple who said they normally never return anywhere.

Owner, John Jefferis, once commented: “Our guests come to the Coco Reef, not Tobago”. It took a few years to convince me of the truth of this, but he was undoubtedly correct.

Sunset over the lagoonAs we are well known to the management of the hotels we review, we appreciate that our experiences may not be totally typical. However, one of the reasons that we allocate a week to each review is that this gives us lots of time to meet and talk to other guests. We hopefully establish their opinions long before they learn our reasons for asking.You will never satisfy everyone.Yes, many guests commented that the hotel is somewhat ‘shabby chic’ and that their rooms would have benefitted from refurbishment.The Internet has many such reports of this nature. However, ALL the guests who made those comments equally said this this had in no way spoiled their holiday and most claimed that they would still return.

As I said in my introduction to this review, the Coco Reef Resort is very much more than the sum of its parts. We have never stayed at any hotel, anywhere in the world, where such a high percentage of the guests that we speak to have so clearly enjoyed their stay. What higher praise could there be and what more can one say?


Our review videos are available on both YouTube and Vimeo.

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