Coco Reef Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion

Holiday Report   

Simon Pilgrim

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 03 December

Firstly, and as with most mytobago info seekers, many congratulations on such a helpful and superbly constructed site!

Hotel: Coco Reef - as depicted a delightful hotel and one that I would have no hesitation in recommending. We shall certainly be going back next year. In discussions with numerous other guests it appears that repeat business is very much the case with Coco Reef guests. Given the above it seems churlish to make comments but helpful observations as follows:

Guests - eclectic - be warned!

Children - far more than we would have anticipated and more the surprising given the time of year i.e. term time. Screams of delight or were they screams of annoyance from other guests were very much to the fore! The Saturday return flight home confirmed that Coco Reef was not singled out as the sole benefactor!

Bedrooms - those on the ground floor were significantly larger due to the balcony "effect" although sea views may be more restricted. Bathrooms are really the only disappointing feature being cramped and not having a separate shower feature but what the heck, who is spending the days in the room!

Staff - absolutely fantastic with service to match 5* city hotels

Food - wonderful and varied as the menu changes every two days - diet now necessary! I would thoroughly recommend going "All Inclusive"

Taxis - hotel has own fleet and costs are proportionately higher. We had a strong recommendation of Royal Taxis that are opposite the main drive to the hotel and used them throughout our holiday. Jameison and Lester were most helpful but in particulate Alvin (aka Pigeon) who was our guide throughout the island - a very gentle and knowledgeable man who also seemed to know everybody. I cannot recommend Alvin highly enough and no I am not on commission! Golf - as a keen golfer it was appropriate to visit both the courses:

Mount Irvine - a delightful setting hewn 30 years ago from a coconut plantation. The course is excellent with some memorable holes especially those fronted by the Harrison Ford palace (and yes, Calista and HF in residence during our stay!). The disappointment was that the course is being neglected by the owners (Mr York, a steel magnate from Trinidad). This to the extent that after the fist hole we declared bunkers as Ground under Repair - no rakes, no sand and full of weeds. It is also more expensive than the alternate course at the Hilton complex. Why? It is beyond belief but hopefully somebody will see sense sooner rather than later. Golfers require complimentary courses and would have this if the Mount Irvine owner can be reasoned with.

Hilton GC - a new yet delightful course in superb condition at a cost of $95 per round to include a buggy. Not an option to go without a buggy as a long drive between holes. The cost goes down according to the packages that one may purchase. A difficult course that will test most standards and with the Atlantic breezes at a constant the course can be played at most hours of the day. Take plenty of balls as mangrove swamp and water hazards to the fore. Trips - Peter & Mona on their boat Coco-Motion for a mornings snorkelling was fun and exhilarating, especially as 2 x 200 hp engines power the 31 foot craft. Peter is a delight and his knowledge of fish is fascinating. Is Mona's carrot cake the best ever? Enjoyable but.............! Overall a great trip if a little on the pricey side - $60 per person

Island Tour - inevitable and already highlighted Alvin's features but.....

Trinidad - the day trip by air was a delight but.......... The visit to the Wright plantation house to tour the rain forest, watching the birds and animals being fed, followed by lunch in the house was a must as was the Swamp Boat. This was early evening and took us to a spot to watch the flighting of the Scarlet Orbis - 10,000 of the brightly coloured national bird of Trinidad. The bit in between to Port of Spain was a bore and a suggestion to anybody considering this trip would be to find an alternative fill in. Personally and despite my love of cricket, I do not wish to visit an empty cricket ground nor drive by Brian Lara's house nor visit a souvenir shop. It was good to return home to Tobago! Other Hotels - visited other hotels just to compare!

Hilton - a great new complex and impressive. We visited a room and suite and could find no fault. Observations were such that would I wish to dine internally every evening - surely when in the Caribbean the "open air feel" is the preferred atmosphere rather than a restaurant that could be any city hotel in the world? The Atlantic wind was a constant and whilst great for the golf I would imagine a little tiring after a while. The beach looked good but the sea not suitable for swimming due to power of waves - hence guests bussed to Pigeon Point. Other guest's comments were of tardy service but this may be in view of hotel being inundated by guests from Grand Courlan and Grafton Beach where problems have been occurring due to food contamination!

Blue Haven - went with much anticipation as much heralded by friends who had stayed. Setting is delightful (nearly as good as Coco Reef!) although did not find that friendly. Architecture of new blocks interesting to say the least - bar and pool areas were not what I would recommend for a 7 day holiday but as I say, first impressions!

Grafton / Grand Courlan - see above! A great holiday, a wonderful island made more pleasurable by its people

Coco Reef Resort Review   


Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 December

We are very grateful to you for running this site and having studied everything before we booked we found that things were closely as expected.

Statues apart (!) the secluded atmosphere of the beach was so attractive that we hardly ever left the hotel. Palm trees on the beach are still in their infancy and the shortage of shades led to "German practices" when the hotel was very full during the first part of our stay. Our fellow guests seemed to be 99% European and 90% British. This meant that (dearly though we love our numerous American friends) we were spared the background twang of the North American matriarch which sometimes features in holidays in this part of the world. It also led to some women in a wide age range sunbathing topless. Being completely out of sight of all Tobagans apart from the occasional waiter we are sure that nobody minded. The beach drinks service while good was a bit much for one waiter and sometimes there was a long wait between rounds.

Bacchanals restaurant would be more attractive in the evenings if the evening menu changed occasionally or offered some daily specials. We noticed this more through staying 14 days than would have been the case if we had gone after 7 or 10 days. This restaurant also cannot really cope with showers, which often led to disruptions and hastily gathered dishes. We could not fault Tamara's. The daily smiling greeting at breakfast was always a good start.

Entertainment was generally good and some quite excellent but scheduling sometimes led to pan music from 7pm to 11pm. We never understood why the entertainers were regularly left without light out on the Crown Terrace where it must have been difficult to see their music and instruments. Without a lighted area to feature the artistes and encourage people to dance the audiences were none too lively. It would have been good to go with a crowd of friends who would be unafraid of showing themselves up!

We had a very well situated front downstairs room next to the pool but with everyone passing by we had a choice between no privacy and darkness, for there were no net curtains. We mentioned this and the Bacchanals menu in our comments report to the hotel.

The twice-weekly one-hour tours with Delia Figueira the Chief Horticulturalist are not to be missed even if one is not interested in the subject. To see everything it is necessary to go on two consecutive tours. She is a born entertainer and highly knowledgeable.

Excursions: We were content to tour by car, walk around the neighbourhood and go to Pigeon Point by taxi. One of us having been there in 1981 PP seemed a bit littered with development. Spoilt by the hotel beach we were content to go to PP just once.

We probably won't go back, because there are so many places we have yet to visit but Coco Reef will be strongly recommended (alongside Rasa Sayang in Penang) to all whom we meet.

Thank you again for the website and for giving us this opportunity to express our experiences.

Coco Reef Swimming Pool   


Post Recreated: Originally posted - 29 January

My husband and I are staying at the Coco Reef at the end of April. I like to spend a lot of time around the pool and was slightly concerned at how small the pool looked - do many guests use the pool or do people generally go down to the beach?

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Coco Reef - All Inclusive V. Bed & Breakfast

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 29 January

we are going to coco reef in a months time and are just booking. is it better to go all inclusive or bed and breakfast? the difference in price is about 800 per person is it worth it? replies asap would be appreciated. many thanks and looking forward to tobago .

bridget and barry

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Coco Reef   

Miranda Lubbock

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 30 January

I have already replied to a couple of questions posted on the website but here is my review of the Coco Reef.

We stayed there from 9th - 23rd January on an all-inclusive basis and it was the best holiday we have ever had. The hotel is attractive, wonderfully situated with a perfect beach and excellent lagoon for swimming in. The staff were brilliant and attentive for the most part, or at least 85% of them were. The wonderful Benecia (a meeter and greeter at breakfast, and waitress at lunch) even procured a special request of grilled flying fish for our final lunch for four of us. There were a very few who didn't greet one with a cheery smile and they were mostly all willlng to put themselves out for you.

Lunch service was sometimes a bit slow, but then everybody tended to arrive at the same time. We found the food very good, with one or two exceptions, but we decided that it partly a matter of what you choose and what your expectation is. For instance, one evening three of us chose "bread and butter pudding" which came as an interesting chocolate spongecake-like thing which didn't resemble what you and I would recognise as bread and butter pudding at home. It was thoroughly enjoyable but not what we were expecting! Creme brulee on another night came completely cold, with the brulee soft. Again, my expectation had been a warm base with a hot, grilled top that was crusty so that you had to crack it with a spoon. What we got was not very nice in fact. Personally, if somebody else shops for, cooks and clears away my meal I am not too fussy, but if you are a fussy type, you could probably find something to be pernickety about.

The plus points of the hotel are undoubtably those I have named above, with the addition of the Gardening Tours by Delia, the Head Horticulturalist (1 hour, twice a week). These are not to be missed, even if you know nothing about gardens, as she is a guinea a minute, a born comedienne. We requested a drink at the same time every day on the beach and this was delivered unfailingly by a smiling Manning or his colleague, beautifully turned out in his white uniform.

Minus points: well, there are always a few but none ruined our holiday. We complained on a few evenings that the band on certain nights was too loud to permit a normal conversation, the artistes believing that they were there to drown any other activity out, rather than being an enhancement to a pleasant evening. Having said that, some of the evening bands were really excellent and very enjoyable (Exotic Vibration to name but one). Bands with loud drums were the culprits.

The bath is small by ouro standards, but I suppose this is to preserve their water supplies. Our water was lukewarm on many evenings which was another drawback. If I was being picky, I would expect a hotel of this standard to offer decent sized bath towels. Even the beach towels were larger than the ones in the bathroom so I took to using those instead of the ones provided for bath use. I was worried about the postings on the website mentioning a lack of shade on the beach. There is plenty of shade but it is true to say that you if saunter down to the beach mid-morning, most of it will have been snapped up, particularly if the hotel is full. Most days people are on island trips so there were only one or two days when the beach felt full.

Anybody worried about the proximity to the airport should not be. It is an advantage to be three minutes' drive away after a long flight. There is very little aircraft movement to and from the island and the wind blows in such a direction all the time that it blows the noise in the other direction and means there is hardly any noise whatsoever.

I have gone on long enough so, as I have indicated in earlier postings, I am happy to answer any questions from individuals should they wish to contact me.

Miranda L

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