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“First trip to Caribbean -- absolutely loved it!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of ReefView Apartments

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ReefView Apartments
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Cades Bay, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cades Bay
Victoria, Canada
1 review
“First trip to Caribbean -- absolutely loved it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

We stayed at ReefView July 7-14, 2010.

We went to Antigua during the “off” season – the middle of summer – knowing full well that it would be hot. But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The traffic was light and the beaches were not crowded.

ReefView is located on the south coast of Antigua, away from the main tourist area. Staying there gave us a chance to be among the local people – who, incidentally, we found to be happy and friendly. This made for a very relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of big city life or of tourist trap destinations. A nice place to go to have no worries and feel safe!

We bought produce from the small fruit and vegetable stands found along the roads – especially mangoes. We bought goat water for lunch one day at another stand within easy walking distance from ReefView (“water” is the local name for soup). We had planned to get conch water, but the ocean was too rough that day and they hadn’t been able to collect any conch, so we had goat water instead – which was surprisingly not bad at all! Pepperpot and fungi (dumplings) at a local café made for another good lunch. And huge servings of lobster for dinner at O.J.’s was also memorable.

They say that Antigua has 365 beaches and you can go to a different beach every day of the year. We certainly did exactly that for the week that we were there: we went swimming at a different beach every day! In fact, on our last day we actually swam at three different beaches. Definitely plan on spending time in the water – that’s the way to cool off from the summer heat! Tip: We froze bottles of water in the freezer overnight to take with us to the beach the next day.

The beaches are gorgeous: beautiful sandy beaches, with each beach being different from the others (some on the east coast have fine, powdery, white sand). Great places for swimming if you are a swimmer like me, or for playing in the water near shore if you are a non-swimmer like my wife. There are small coral reefs near shore at several beaches and rocks at others with lots of colourful fish to see swimming around them. Even my wife put on a facemask and saw a few fish. (My wife was so inspired she signed up for swimming lessons immediately upon our return home.) Some beaches that we particularly liked are: Hawksbill, Ffryes Bay, Hermitage, Half Moon Bay, Long Bay, Jolly Harbour, and Turner’s beach. Nearby Morris Bay isn’t bad, either.

The local beach, Cades Bay, just a block or so down the road from ReefView is a good walking beach – not so good for swimming, although in a pinch if you need to cool off you could go in the water there. We went for a walk along the beach several mornings and had a hard time deciding which conch shells to leave behind – my wife wanted to bring them all home! We recommend bringing a pair of shoes or sandals suitable for walking in the water, since there are places where the water comes up to the shore and you will want to walk out into the water to get around. These will also protect your feet from the sharp needles that fall off some of the bushes in places along this sandy beach.

Since I am fair-complexioned, one concern I had before coming was how to avoid too much sun. We used lots of sunscreen (went through three bottles in one week!), and I brought along a couple of pairs of light-weight, quick-drying, long-sleeved shirts specifically designed to block the sun (you can buy these in sporting goods stores). I wore these when the sun was high in the sky; short sleeves the rest of the time. I even wore a shirt while swimming much of the time to keep the sun off my back, especially at times I spent with face mask or goggles floating around watching the fish. With these precautions, we did not get sunburned at all.

It rained just about every day we were there, but usually just for a minute or two, often accompanied by wind, and then the sun would rapidly reappear. Most days it only rained at night, but even when it rained during the daytime we didn’t ever wear a raincoat and we soon dried off afterwards.

We definitely enjoyed our visit there. ReefView owners Karoll and Nick Williams are very friendly, as are their two dogs Jabba and Ozzie, their macaw Keeshie, and their cat Spooky (of YouTube fame: see “Spooky the cat - learns to swim, Antigua, Caribbean”). This is one of the most memorable holidays we have ever had.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, BC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

We stayed at Reefview Apartments in February this year for 1 week and were so sad to leave, that we went back for one whole month this summer. It was incredible. One week on this island gives you only a taste of what there is. After a second week you really start to relax and get to know the neighbours and feel comfortable with walking into the village and buying lunch. The fried chicken at Goldie's (she cooks it in her front yard) is the best I've ever had. And also her Conch Water (soup) is delicious. The local fishing wharf is about a block away and the tiny restaurant there was also great. We never felt out of place, even though we were the only tourists to visit it, and the owners were so warm and welcoming - to the point where Shenette invited me into her kitchen and taught me how to make Pepperpot (the national dish) and Fungi (a type of dumpling). What a fabulous day that was!
Nick and Karoll are truly wonderful hosts and, along with their dogs, cat and mccaw, become your family. The gardens around the house are bursting with colours and tiny geckos dart here and there.
We had a car and so were able to explore many out of the way beaches, although our favourites were Turner's and Morris Bay - both a 4 minute drive from Reefview.
Dinner at OJ's is a must, and we would often take a bus there (so we didn't have to worry about driving at night after a couple of drinks) and then someone from OJ's would drive us home. This is what you get for actually living in a village, rather than staying inside the gates of some all-inclusive hotel. Everyone we met was so warm and friendly. We made many friends while in Antigua and left Karoll and Nick with such gratitude for giving us this wonderful opportunity.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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Effort, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

We just spent one week in the Penthouse Apartment at Reef View Apartments. Karol and Nick were great hosts. Arriving at the airport in Antigua and getting thru customs and immigration takes about 1 hour but once we exited the airport Karol was waiting to wisk us away from the crowd. We enjoyed a scenic drive to Reefview stopping along the way we were able to purchase groceries and experience the local life. We arranged with karol to have dinner with the first night which was very relaxing, enjoying food, wine and good conversation as we learned about island life. Our week consisted of Beach time.. Turner Beach is my favorite, white sand and snorkeling right from the beach. We had a day on the Obession fishing charter where we caught Wahoo, Tuna, Barracuda and had a chance at a Blue Marlin. Nick helped us arrange the trip and it was a great one. We spent another day on a snorkeling trip on Creole Cruises which we highly recommend. The reef was wonderful, full of corals and fish and Lobster lunch and rum was delicious!
The Penthouse Apartment is light and airy and we enjoyed our stay accompanied by Ozzie, Jaba and Spooks, the resident dogs and cat. Nick and Karol made us feel at home and helped us to really enjoy Island life.

Thanks guys for a great vacation and the video of our fishing trip. It is a vacation we will always remember!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2010

My fiance and I stayed with Nick and Karrol in May this year and had a brilliant time. We went diving almost every day and Karrol arranged everything we could ever need - dive reservations, dinner, even a rental car from the on island agency. The hotel is out of the main city - which is a good thing, and about 10 minutes drive from Jolly harbour, so even for shopping you do need a car. . . with a car it's perfect - you could drive around the entire island in less time than it takes to get across London, and if you go out early - 8/9 am the beaches (which are all public by law) will be abandoned - you'll have the island to your self.

Perfect holiday with bright white sandy beaches and a relaxed island vibe. The room was bright, clean, and had optional airconditioning & loads of hot water.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2010

Just got back from a week at Reefview Apartments with a friend and had a great time!
Karrol picked us up from the airport and told us so much about the island on our way to the apartments- she even stopped to show us all of the best beaches and attractions along the way as well as a few stops for kick off vacation beers/cocktails. She also introduced us to friends/restaurant/bar owners who really take care of their guests :)Karrol and Nick were so knowledeble about the island having lived there for so long- we really got a feel for the real Antigua by staying with them.
The apartments were very cute, clean and well kept. This is not a resort so don't expect all the comforts of a 5 star hotel- these are beach loft apartments, simple and quainte-staying at a place like this gives you more of a feel for the island instead of staying at a lavish resort. they have tv, ipod docks, kitchens stocked with cookware, microwave, toaster, fridge, cooker etc. they even have a gas BBQ by the patio table we used a few nights which was great. They also offer beach towels, coolers etc. and will stock your fridge with fruit, wine, beer etc.
The apartment we stayed in had the outdoor shower which we LOVED- very refreshing to shower outside after being at the beach all day. The only downside to this apartment is that there is no door to the bathroom- I didn't mind much since I went with a friend, but might make for awkward moments if you are there for a romantic getaway :)
Karrol and Nick prepared a welcom BBQ dinner for us which was lovely and relaxing after a day of traveling from Washington DC- at dinner they showed us videos of guest snorkel trips and gave us a great orientation.
Shirley Heights is a must on Sundays!!! Karrol and Nick took us there, and we stopped to take photos along the way- great BBQ and bands-they will stay at Shirley Heights as long as you wish to dance and party! Karrol was so much fun- she took photos of us dancing and having a great time- other musts: snorkel trip, Barbuda day tour with lobster lunch and frigate birds at the mangroves, half moon bay
renting a car is also a must-taking the buses can take a long time although they are cheap- but if you really want freedom and to be able to explore the island rent a car
also note there are animals on the property- we loved it! their dogs Jabba and Ozzy were so sweet- they were very well behaved and would only come into the apartment if we asked them to (which we did a lot :) their cat spooks was also great- very sweet kitty- they also have a parrot they rescued ans she wanders about the property and loves attention
we really had a wonderful time there and learned so much about the island and the culture from Karrol- so glad we found this little gem

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Antigua
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

Having just returned from two weeks at the Reefview apartments in Antigua, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. From the minute we arrived I knew we had picked the perfect place. Karroll met us at the airport and drove us back to apartment, all the while pointing out places of interest, giving us tips and advice for our stay and providing us with refreshing ice cold drinks which was really appreciated. I couldn’t have been happier with the beautiful spacious apartment which provided everything we required. I was amazed at the level of thought that had gone into providing the little things that would be useful – a hairdryer (with diffuser!), ample towels for beach and bath, mosquito repellents (candles and plug in), bookshelves with an assortment of books, reading material and board games (in case we got bored I suppose!!!). Not much chance of that though – the view from the balcony was lovely – you could see and hear the sea and the lovely comfy chairs made it the perfect place to relax in the morning with a cup of tea and evening with a rum punch or two. There were beach mats, chairs and cool boxes available for picnics on the beach which we made good use of and ample information on places to go, where and what to eat, local customs and transport.
Watch the fabulous sunsets (great views from the beach), tour the Island there is a perfect view round every corner, walk to the village and chat to the extremely friendly local people (in fact everyone we met across the island was friendly and helpful), chill out on what feels like your own private beach, relax in the comfortable spacious apartment, enjoy the warmth and the refreshing breezes. Visit Shirley Heights on a Sunday evening for a truly great time – bbq, rum punch, steel bands and reggae (Nick took us there in the car and was a mine of information – just like having your own personal tour guide). We saved the trip to Barbuda for our next visit (yes, we will be back), but heard from others that it was a remarkable and enjoyable experience (if this is your only visit be sure to take the time to do it). You are spoilt for choice with fabulous deserted beaches around every corner, but Half-Moon Bay was definitely my favourite. Visit St.John’s but don’t just stick to the area around the harbour, see the beautiful church and the food market, and walk the streets to get a feel of the Antiguan way of life.
If you don’t have a car (although I would thoroughly recommend that you do - only to ensure you can see the all of the island - not because it is necessary) the buses are fun, cheap and frequent and will stop wherever you are and not only at bus stops. Just wave one down climb aboard and shout ‘bus stop’ to the driver when you want to get off. The supermarket at Jolly Harbour is a short drive or bus ride away and provides mostly everything you would get at home – try the cooked chicken portions from the deli counter they were superb. The taxis were reasonable too and there are a couple of shops that are walking distance from the apartment for emergency supplies. We hired a car originally for three days on our return from Monseratt (the service was prompt and efficient), Karroll was brilliant in arranging things when we decided to keep the car for another day, then another and then till the end of the week (we must have driven her round the bend!) but she sorted it for us with a smile. The car was delivered to the apartment and we were able to return it to the airport with no problems.
Remember to take insect repellent, the mosquitos seem to love fair skin (but didn’t bother us so much in the second week) and a hat (that sun is fierce).
Nick and Karroll have the most perfectly behaved dogs I have ever come across, Ozzie and Jabba would ‘knock’ on the door, but wouldn’t come in unless invited. It was a pleasure to share our breakfast with them and made you feel really at home. The cats popped in occasionally and were happy just relaxing under the cooling fan. But don’t worry, if you are not an animal lover they will stay out of your way.
Nick and Karroll were the perfect hosts – informative, helpful, warm and very friendly, it was a pleasure to meet them they went out of their way to ensure our holiday was perfect in every way. They were truly lovely people and Karroll’s bread pudding and warm muffins were superb. From the minute we booked at the Reefview, I was impressed by Karroll’s helpfulness, the information she provided for us before we arrived and her help in arranging our few days in Monseratt. No one made us feel that we had to ‘do’ anything and we had what we wanted and needed which was a perfectly chilled, relaxing holiday in a perfect place.
If you are not a lemming and would like to get a taste of the ‘real’ Antigua then the Reefview is for you. If you are a lemming and would prefer to stay in the pampered confines of the resort ‘prisons’ then don’t come to the Reefview, but beware - you will be missing out on an experience that is truly perfect and memorable in every way. I can’t wait to return.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2010

"My family of 4 stayed over Easter 2010 in the garden appartment. Karroll met us at the airport and gave us a very welcome cold bottle of water! We drove home the scenic route, stopping to buy delicious local fruit on the way. There is so many positive things to say!
Fabulous welcome dinner, delicious punch, amazing island knowledge,amazing door to door car rental service! The best snorkelling experience....and what can we say about the pets, they made my daughters holidays( mine too actually, every morning nothing better to wake up then a stroll and a swim along cades bay with Jabba and Oz.)strolling through the village to buy freshly baked bread from the wood fired ovens.....trying not to eat it until getting home!
Staying in a local setting, although you get the odd wake up call from the local wild life, you get a real feel of the real Antigua. Rather than the glossy all inclusive resort, where you never leave the hotel and give nothing back to the locals - some of whom have very little.
You must eat at Dennis's on a sunday - suckling pig for lunch - delicious and fabulous goat curry. Chappies in the village was amazing and huge portions!!! Surfing at half moon bay....
We will definately be back to Reef view ...thanks so much to Karroll and Nick, who trulely love this Island and all its nature."
You should take the negative responses with a pinch of salt. You will be staying in someones lovingly looked after home...Karroll and Nick live next door, happy to be there if you wish and be invisible if thats what you want. This Island is very expensive to buy anything and everything....so yes, if you break something you should replace it. Yes you need to transfer your deposit - this is the norm with booking a holiday let in the UK.....on the other hand, we ran over on our snorkelling trip and a few other things and Karroll did not charge us ......so swings and round abouts.
Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ReefView Apartments

Address: Cades Bay, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary Parish > Cades Bay
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cades Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Three uniquely decorated, fully equipped holiday/vacation homes set in lush tropical gardens - affording spectacular panoramic views of Antigua's famous Cades Reef and neighbouring islands. Located within a stone's throw of a long sandy shoreline fringed with coconut palms on the outskirts of a small fishing village. Owned and operated by long time residents Karoll and Nick Williams - always on hand to help you get to know THE REAL ANTIGUA!!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Reefview Apartments Hotel Cades Bay
Reef View Apartments Antigua
Reef View Apartments Hotel Antigua
ReefView Apartments Antigua/Cades Bay

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