After a long search for a place to spend 10 days, we found that Barbados would be the perfect spot. With a mix of city, beach and plenty of activities, we were really excited. Then we started looking for places to stay and were pleased to find Crystal Cove. The entire trip was amazing and we can't wait to go back!
We opted for the private car for airport transfers. Our driver was lovely and even waited an hour for us as our flight arrived late due to weather in NYC. Once at the hotel we were tired but the hotel staff got us checked in quickly and handed us drinks right away. We were already starting to unwind…
The room (221) was a dream – right on the water, nothing obstructing our view of the amazing ocean outside our huge sliding glass doors and crashing waves putting us to bed every night. There is a public path to the beach just below the balcony so we got some noise in the mornings but nothing much to worry about.
The food was pretty good and we weren’t disappointed over the 10 days we were there. We switch from Reflections (formal dining) to Drifters (casual) almost every night. My husband wasn’t keen on wearing long trousers but for only a couple of hours it wasn’t too bad. The wait staff was amazing and Joan was one of our favorites. We looked forwarded to chatting with her each night. Shauna was also worth mentioning as she never let our glasses go empty for long! Thanks ladies!
Lisa at the concierge desk was fantastic! We had some ideas of what we would like to while in Barbados but she brought it all together. Mount Gay Rum Tour (see review) and swimming with sea turtles on Jammin’ Catamaran (see review) were the highlights of our trip. Short trips from the hotel as the location was really close to a lot of things.
We met some lovely couples and enjoyed vacationing with so many polite Brits. Hopefully we weren’t the rude Americans mentioned in the review below It was nice and quiet – just want we wanted.
Beach was lovely but some people thought it was a little rocky. You may want to bring water shoes but you can avoid the rocks if you’re careful. Plenty of chairs available at any time of day. That was nice as we had to fight for chairs on a cruise we went on recently. No one needs that kind of stress on vacation – glad to not have it at Crystal Cove.
Use the water sports area! We got snorkel equipment and just swam around near the hotel. Lots of great rock formations that attract some fun fish to look at. The Jet Ski guys were even polite when we didn’t want to take a ride.
We took the shuttle to Bridgetown ($5 each way per person) on Friday which we found out later was not the day to go. We’re from a city so it wasn’t a big deal but there was also a cruise ship in port so the city was a lot more crowded than normal. Pick a day earlier in the week when there aren’t ships in port and I’m sure you’ll find it just as lovely but similar to other cities like Boston or NYC on a much smaller scale. We wished we had taken the shuttle to Lime Grove and walked over to the Chattel Village instead.
On our final day we wanted to go over to the east side of the island and once again Lisa was amazing with her planning. She suggested hiring a car as it would be cheaper than an all day tour or taxi. A beautiful Mercedes pulled up and we were whisked off for a three hour guided tour by our driver. We went everywhere and he shared so much amazing information about everything. It was $120 for two people and worth every penny.
Finally, the island itself is just amazing. We were so impressed by how proud the Bajan people are of their island. They are truly ambassadors to this beautiful place and their culture. Get ready to listen to a lot of Rhianna too! They are really an example to us all when it comes to hospitality.
Some helpful hints:
- No camouflage clothing! I’m not sure how we missed this but unfortunately we found out when we arrived and my husband would be down a pair of shorts for the entire trip.
- Drinking water is most likely better than your water at home. As mentioned above, Bajans are very protective of their island and in turn, clean (free) tap water.
- The boat shuttle from the hotel only goes to Tamarind. We wish it had gone to Turtle Beach as we would have liked to explore the area around that property instead.
- One thing that would be nice is coffee makers in the room. Something small but there is coffee almost always available just outside of Reflections.
Enjoy every minute of your trip!!!
- Also Known As:
- Crystal Cove Saint James
- Crystal Cove Hotel
- Crystal Cove Barbados
- Crystal Cove Hotel Barbados
- Crystal Cove Barbados/Saint James Parish
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "An enchanting blend of vitality and Caribbean charm."A colorful and vibrant beachfront all-inclusive property with 88 rooms offering a seductive Caribbean charm that will make you feel at home from the moment you arrive. Crystal Cove's warm, relaxed ambience and friendly service which includes all-inclusive accommodation as well as a Supervised Kids Club (for children aged 3-11) appeals to families and couples of all ages, many of whom return there year after year. ... more less
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