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“you must visit this hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Crystal Cove

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Crystal Cove
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Appleby, Barbados   |  
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“you must visit this hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

We have just come back from Crystal Cove Hotel in Barbados, we have stayed here several times before, this hotel is the best kept secret on the Island, once again many thanks to Sophia and team for making this a special holiday once more. Please bring back Neville Huggins from the Tamarin, he is a great asset to your hotel and many of your repeat guests like us miss his sailing and him.
june and steve

Room Tip: ocean view rooms
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,089 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (259)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

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!!!

Room Tip: Most rooms seem to be ocean view but 221 was fantastic!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We stayed here between 3rd and 13th November 2012. On arrival we were slightly disappointed with the reception area and then the walk way to our room (202). It looks quite tatty and would benefit from some maintenance work. However, the room itself was very nice. Although we had paid for a garden/pool view room we also had a lovely sea view! Bonus. There is a large bathroom with twin basins and the shower is very powerful and hot! The bed was really comfortable. The hotel is quite small which we liked. The beach is gorgeous and there is a good range of watersports to be had which were all included in the All Inclusive package that we had. There are two restaurants, Reflections and Drifters. We ate mostly in Reflections (which is where breakfast is served) You must reserve a table in here for the evenings and the same goes for Drifters which is open air. The food in both restaurants is excellent with great service. However, we preferred the atmosphere in Reflections. Nightly entertainment is good. We enjoyed some good singers and also a limbo show and a fashion show. There is no evening entertainment on Sunday. The service from all staff is excellent. We had no tea/coffee making facilities in our room when we arrived (although it stated that this was in the room). I asked i reception for a kettle etc and it was delivered within 30 minutes. The same applied when I asked for a bathrobe. It was delivered very quickly. Also our air conditioning stopped working and a maintenance man appeared within minutes and quickly resolved the problem.

On the downside, this hotel is not appropriate for any body with a disability/ or problems with walking as there are lots of stairs everywhere some of which are quite steep. There is only one ramp which goes to the Drifter Bar but you have to negotiate stairs to get to it!!

Overall, this is a very nice hotel, with friendly and helpful staff. As it is small its very easy to make friends with other guests too.

I would recommend a trip out on the turtle watching boat. A guy on the beach will sell you this and it is well worth the money. He charges $50 US per person but we negotiated a price with him so it can be done!! However, I think it is worth $50 US!! We went twice we enjoyed it so much. If you need anything from the supermarket there is one just down the road from the hotel which we walked to. However there is not much pavement and the road is busy! We walked back along the beach!

A trip to Holetown is worth a morning as there are lots of quaint shops and also bigger designer stores. We went to Bridgetown but if I went to Barbados again I wouldnt bother especially if there is a cruise ship in dock because you will be pestered by taxi drivers etc.

All in all I really enjoyed my stay in this friendly hotel.

Room Tip: I would ask for a sea front room as these are bigger
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We returned from another great holiday at Crystal Cove at the end of October. After having a great holiday last year with our youngest daughter, our two eldest daughters plus one boyfriend decided to join us this year and Crystal Cove lived up to all their expectations.
We were greeted like long lost relatives on arrival, the staff are so friendly and accommodating the food excellent. The boys went on a fishing trip one day, and the chief was more than happy to cook the barracuda they had caught, it was amazing.
The water sports are great, we skied and weight-boarded every day, sometimes twice. There are people on the beach selling trips to see the turtles, which we went on and was worth every penny. They will keep asking you, but are always polite and friendly.
The hotel does need a few up dates, the patio doors and balconies need changing and also the baths are a bit past their sell by date. but not a problem.
There are some fantastic restaurants nearby, but beware Barbados is very expensive.
So if your looking for a lovely holiday in Barbados you wont go wrong with Crystal Cove.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth Dorset
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Third time to Barbados and third time lucky. Last trip we had gone and had a look around Crystal Cove and loved it so booked it for this year. We were the only guests checking in so didn't feel rushed. Our room overlooked Drifters outdoor restaurant with lovely views to the sea. The room was quite small but very comfortable. The furniture on the balcony was nice wicker chairs which makes a lovely change from the normal white plastic stuff you sometimes get. Air conditioning was excellent and at night we could hear the waves which was very restful. Had a slight problem with the toilet which refused to stop flushing but reported it the next morning and it was quickly dealt with. All the staff are lovely and forever smiling and will have a laugh and joke with you over meals. The food was nice except for a couple of nights when it was not but hey ho it happens. One night they only had spicy food which I do not eat but the kitchen were brilliant and coked me a lovely pizza instead. Nothing is too much trouble.
The sea is a beautiful blue but beware there are rocks underneath and there are only a couple of places where you can go in and it is sandy.
Pools are small but refreshing.
We took the water taxi to Colony Club and had the pool all to ourselves. it was gorgeous. However they have a problem with rocks so we couldn't go into the sea there.
Disappointed that the water taxi does not go to Turtle Beach. Although they said we could eat there the taxi to get there was a bit expensive so didn't bother.
Entertainment is low key but that is the same wherever we have stayed. Did have a slight problem with loud and rude Americans but only a few and the rest we met were very nice. Not the hotel's fault.
Spent a nice relaxing week there. Had we gone for 2 weeks probably would have hired a car as I might have got a bit bored but that is only me.
One member of staff stood out for us and that was Shauna. She is such a sweet girl who 150% customer service skills. Always happy and wanting to make your stay perfect. Will be a great manager one day I suspect. One day while we were there the chef was doing cake decorating. No one was coming to have a go. Off went Shauna and came back like the Pied Piper with children and guests eager to do the cakes. That is service!!
Only slight thing is that there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room. You could get early bird coffee in the cave bar from 6am but it is nice to make it in your room and watch the sun rise!
Thumbs up to staff and facilities at Crystal Cove. Will certainly return. Can't wait. Thank you all

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

This is a lovely hotel set in beautiful grounds. We had a very good welcome greeting complete with a rum punch. The staff couldn't do enough for us.
I was concerned about drinking the water as I usually have a problem and drink bottled water. However, after a couple of days I found myself drinking the tap water, having iced drinks and eating ice lollies and ice cream and had no problem at all. Neither did the children, including the toddler. She didn't like the taste of the milk but we found it tasted just like it does at home. We did find that we had to carry the pushchair up and down the steps but there was always a member of staff around to help.
We all loved the trip to swim with the turtles and see the wreck. We booked this through Dwayne (on the beach) and would definitely recommend it. It was very reasonably priced and the children went free. Dwayne and staff were so helpful with the children and helped them in the water and encouraged them all of the time.
We went on the submarine and found it a very interesting visit. Quite amazing. It was quite pricey for the whole family but worth the experience.
We used the Kid's Club for a couple of hours most days and they were very friendly and welcoming to the children. We paid for the 18month old to be looked after there by a nanny they brought in specially and this gave us the opportunity to go on a couple of trips she would not have been able to go on and attend a wedding on the beach. She was better off in the air conditioned room than she would have been in the heat and she seemed to enjoy being able to rush around and play in the cool for a couple of hours. The costs for this were quite reasonable considering it was 1:1. Children over 3 were free.
The sea was rough while we were there and the red flags were flying most days, so swimming was limited to a small area. The current was very strong so we never went out of our depth. Because of the rough sea the water sports were off for a few days and the sailing.
We all enjoyed the hotel very much and would return again.

Room Tip: We had the basic room but were upstairs so had a better view over the gardens and could see the sea...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
harpenden
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

we made our second visit to crystal cove in september and were greeted in a lovely friendly manner. Our allocated room wasn't to our liking, but the change request was dealt with immediately and most successfully.
The rooms are still good: though I guess after 15 years or so they (like some parts of the hotel) need to be spruced up a bit. Not a big deal and nothing that would stop us recommending the hotel again.
Though at our age (retired now!) perhaps we should go somewhere we haven't been yet. If the next choice wherever it might be in the world is as pleasant as Crystal Cove we will be happy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crystal Cove

Address: Appleby, Barbados
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Saint James Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Saint James Parish
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Saint James Parish
#8 Luxury Hotel in Saint James Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Crystal Cove 4*
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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Also Known As:
Crystal Cove Saint James
Crystal Cove Barbados/Saint James Parish
Crystal Cove Hotel Barbados

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