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“Beautiful property, but not a "Top 500" hotel at the moment”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of The Reefs

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The Reefs
Certificate of Excellence
Bayonne, NJ
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, but not a "Top 500" hotel at the moment”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2008

For a New Yorker, Bermuda is a phenomenal getaway. Take a short hour-and-a-half flight and you reach an island paradise. Set on a cliffside with a clean, good-sized beach, the Reefs' physical property epitomizes that island paradise. But I think The Reefs gets away with overcharging because of the mystique of those gorgeous grounds, and the beauty of Bermuda in general. We are easy to please, and with our wonderful company, and our wonderful vistas, we could have slept in a tent, and probably still would have rated this 3 stars. To be fair, perhaps some of the issues (discussed below) are a result of the ongoing construction of on-site timeshare properties, but that is still not an excuse.

The Good:

We stayed in the Windy Brae cottage, with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a private balcony and hot tub overlooking the ocean, and surrounded by lush greenery. The views were absolutely breathtaking, and the rooms relatively clean (I use the word "relative" because of some problems with vermin, although I would like to think that ants and water bugs are par for the course in a tropical environment surrounded by lush greenery). Security guards made rounds in the evenings as we sat outside enjoying our hot tub. The beds and linens were decent, as were the furnishings, although nothing to write home about. As I stated above, our company and the views assisted us in overlooking some major problems.

The Bad:

For $900 a night for a two bedroom cottage -- with no working phone in the cottage (for the entire time of our stay), no hot water on arrival (although that was fixed the same day we complained), no room service (because of the construction, even though about $130 of the $900 nightly fee appears to comprise a resort fee), and a requisite walk to the room (with a 1 year old baby in a carriage) on a dangerous, curvy, main roadway with no sidewalk, (due to the construction of timeshare properties) -- one would think that the service would be impeccable to compensate for these inconveniences. At best, the service was inconsistent.

The construction "discount" at the moment does not seem to compensate sufficiently for the lack of amenities. In addition to the dangerous trek to the main property, our cottage was adjacent to a separate construction site, and, on one morning, at 7 a.m., we heard men loudly complaining about their jobs at the Reefs outside our windows.

We opted for the breakfast plan only and took cabs (although expensive) to various restaurants on other parts of the island for dinners (as an aside, I would recommend Blu, the Lobster Pot and the Seahorse Grill). One gentleman we met had visited the Reefs numerous times in the past, and had previously been satisfied with the meal selections. He commented that he was disappointed, however, with the lack of selection at the one functioning restaurant, Coconuts. Also, on our last evening, we took the five-minute walk down the same busy roadway to the "recommended" Henry VIII -- a glorified Ground Round. The $250+ for dinner for 4 was NOT worth it.

All in all, the service at the Reefs was just decent in my opinion. Yes, the staff are friendly and try to remember that you drink iced coffee, etc. However, that service was inconsistent, as noted above. As an example, on our last day there, here is a sequence of events that transpired:

(1) The evening before, the front desk informed us that our bags would be picked up from the room at 9:45 a.m., and that a cab would be waiting for us at 10 a.m. at the front reception area.

(2) At breakfast, around 9 a.m., a waiter informed us to call the front desk. The front desk informed us that we should leave for the airport 15 minutes earlier -- at 9:45. We assumed our bags would be picked up 15 minutes earlier as well.

(3) Around 9:45, as we were checking out, the bellhop asked us to traverse the dangerous highway one last time to (a) pick up our bags and (b) meet a taxi cab there. Needless to say, we were miffed, as we had rushed through breakfast to leave earlier, only to find that our bags had not yet been picked up. We informed the bellhop and the front desk that we had no desire to make the dangerous voyage back to the cottage with the baby, and then wait on the no-sidewalk-having street for a cab that was already late (on our last "voyage" earlier that morning, we all were thankful that we had made it through our 5 day vacation without being hit by a car). Our party was quite upset at that treatment, and the experience soured what was an otherwise relatively pleasant vacation. We are still unsure whether there was a miscommunication between the front desk and the bellhop, but, such a miscommunication, on a property with a mere 65 rooms or so, should not have happened.

The Reefs is undergoing construction, so it is difficult to imagine what it would be like when it is fully operational. The friendly staff, although likely biased, touted the greatness of the Reefs when it is fully operational. In a few years, we might revisit the Reefs, but at the moment, we are looking forward to trying out a new property on the island.

  • Liked — The vistas and location
  • Disliked — The construction and lack of value
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Hoya_Lawya_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (326)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2008

Just returned on April 13 from a 3 night stay at the Reef's with 5 girlfriends for a weekend away from kids and husbands! We had a wonderful time and we were blessed by warm and sunny days. Since I didn't see any other reviews here on Tripadvisor since the Reef's reopened in early April '08, thought I'd comment on what's going on there.

The Reef's, as other reviews have captured, is a special small hotel on an unbeatable location on a lovely small beach. EVERY room has a stunning ocean view. All the rooms (I saw 3 of them) were very clean, with excellent mattresses and linens. Flat screen TV's and ihomes (little clocks w/ speakers that you can nest you Ipod in for music) in our room. Some of the furniture was a little tired as well as some of the bathrooms. However, our Longtail Suite bathroom, which was huge with a jacuzzi tub, separate shower, two sinks and separate W.C. seemed to have new tile and some new fixtures. And we could see that other rooms were being renovated while we were there.

The grounds, pool area and beach were impeccable and tasteful. Friendly service on the beach.

The new and improved lobby and clubhouse are lovely. While we were there, only Coconuts was opened serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner was outstanding both in quality of food and in service. Breakfast and lunch were solid, but service is a little slow and inattentive at times (shouldn't have to wait and wait and wave down a waitress for water or more coffee).

I'm not sure when the other restaurants will reopen, but the clubhouse did have a lounge open on Fri and Sat. nights with live music (pianist or guitarist). We ate in Hamilton at Astor's one night (very good) and at the Waterlot Inn (over-the-top excellent!). We partied a litte at Elbow Beach Hotel since the Reef's was soooo quiet at night.

They are building the fractional ownership condos right now and construction will go on throughout the summer. There is a very large crane on the premises and they were working every day we were there. We were not bothered by construction noise at all where our rooms were located (above Coconuts), but we were very glad that we were not staying at the cottages across the street from the clubhouse!

My only "opportunity areas" for the Reef's are:
- Spa: treatments going on while, literally, a jack hammer is working on the other side of the wall. They should warn you, discount the treatments or provide noise-cancelling headphones with an ipod!
- Spa: overly aggressive sales pitch on skin care products. I signed up for an hour-long relaxing facial, not an hour long diatribe on how "wrong" my current skin care routine is and how buying $250 of products from the Spa would fix everything. I was not able to relax, felt less lovely than when I walked in because of her pointing out all the wrong things I was doing and their affects and annoyed that I paid for this treatment.
- More attentive service during breakfast and lunch at Coconuts.
- Offer room service, at least with a limited menu. We wanted to continue to celebrate my friend's big birthday with a bottle of champagne or wine when we arrived back at the hotel at 11 pm on Thurs and found that all lounges were closed and that there is no room service at all. This is a missed revenue opportunity for the hotel. I assume that during peak season, the lounges stay open a bit later.
- Continue the room renovations. For the prices that are charged during peak season, I would expect an updated bathroom and furnishings. We had a relative "bargain" rate because it was mid April.

Favorite things:

- great views, beach and walks (we walked to Horseshoe Bay daily and walked the beaches and paths)
- friendly staff
- excellent dinner at Coconuts
- size and location of the hotel (not a big hotel filled with conventioneers, but not so small that there's no activity).

Overall, the Reef's is our new favorite on Bermuda and we'd return again!

Any questions, let me know!

Lynne

  • Liked — Views, beach, Longtail Suite
  • Disliked — Pushy spa staff, inattentive, at times. staff at Coconuts during breakfast and lunch
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank blondfromBeantown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marblehead, MA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2008

I just spent four days at The Reefs in Bermuda. I had heard that they were in the process of a major renovation, but due to the long winter we have had in New England, I really needed to get away. I am happy to report that even with the renovations, including a new kitchen and a large building project, the stay was perfect. The attentive service by their staff, many of whom have been there for 10+ years, was superb. As they are in the process of building a new kitchen, which will be completed later this summer, all the meals are served at their beach side restaurant called Coconuts. I had Maine lobster, rack of lamb, and the last night, a filet. The presentation, service, and food were out ofn this world. We stayed in a beautiful lanai called Seabreeze, at the end of the point. It seemed to be newly refurbished, and very upscale. It included one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in, along with our own hottub, and jacuzzi. The decorating was very contemporary and warm.
Don't give a second thought to staying at The Reefs during the construction project, as you will not even know it is going on. They have gone out of their way to over compensate with exquisite service. The new bar area is complete and twice the size, yet it kept the original charm.
There is a reason that The Reefs has won so many top awards, and they continue to do better. Thanks to maitre d's Alan and Wyman, along with Mervin the bell captain, who just won the top award for Bell Captain of the Year for the entire island, and finally to Edwina and Leena May, who took such good care of us at breakfast and dinner. We'll be back soon.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
6 Thank PSCMarblehead_MA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redwood City, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2008

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at the Reefs in mid November '07. We took advantage of their "Endless Summer" package which included transportation to and from the airport, a 3-day bus/ferry pass, a bottle of champagne, breakfast, dinner, and an oceanfront lanai.

About a month prior to our stay, we received a letter from the Reefs informing us that there would be construction on the main restaurant, resulting in its closure. In light of this inconvenience, they offered a discounted rate fr our stay, and assured us that Coconuts (which is usually closed during that time) would be open and available to us.

We decided to keep our reservation and were so glad we did. The employees of the Reefs were very, very nice. The food at Coconuts was very good, with the exception of our first night there. It was a Bermudian holiday AND a Monday, so we suspect that had alot to do with it. The room we stayed in was wonderful, the view was absolutely breathtaking.

The only downside was the construction. They are/were building Reefs condos on the western side of the property, as well as a new restaurant, so trucks, backhoes, and jackhammers were a daily occurance. It really couldn't be heard when in our room or at the beach. We could see it though, which was a bummer. The worst construction noise was at the Wyndham next door, which was being demolished and will be replaced by a Ritz Carlton I believe. They started much earlier in the morning since there were no occupants. It didn't bother us all that much though, there were so many positives to the trip.

A great thing about the Reefs is that you can use the snorkeling gear and kayaks for free whenever you want. We went kayaking along the coast and saw all kinds of fish and amazing little coves. You don't have to go anywhere to snorkel, as there are really great underwater structures right off the beach.

My wife and I enjoyed ourselves so much at the Reefs, we can't wait to return. It was so relaxing even with the construction on the condos and the new hotel next door, I can't imagine what the Reefs will be like once it has been completed.

  • Liked — The view from our room
  • Disliked — construction
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Eric22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunswick, Maine
Level Contributor
200 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2008

The Reefs is a wonderful place for a honeymoon or relaxing vacation. The restaurant choices are great, the pool is beautiful, the beach is perfect and views are super! Many other reviews state there are too many kids, I agree, it really is not the spot for kids. Kids don't have a ton of fun and the adults annoyed by them are of course not enjoying themselves. My advice to people with young children, pick another place, a place that has something for everyone. The spa is also very good. I found the staff to be very friendly, relaxed, helpful and very efficient. If you go make sure you plan to dine on the beach at least one night. Space is limited for this very romatic event so plan accordingly! And don't forget to take your shoes off during dinner and get your toes in the sand while you dine.

  • Liked — VIEWS/BEACH/POOL
  • Disliked — DECOR OF ROOM/DISTANCE FROM ATTRACTIONS
  • Stayed August 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank SSSNES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2007

Wonderful! Went here on our Honeymoon for 6 or 7 days. Staff is unbelievably friendly and helpful, romantic, great beach, good restaurants, would DEFINITELY go back! The rooms need a bit of updating, but I believe they are working on that. The views are outstanding from any room..that more than makes up for the size and not being updated. Loved it. We hope to go back soon.

  • Liked — Staff, Beach, Room views
  • Disliked — room decor
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank rmfog1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2007

As I sit here at my desk answering e-mail and generally living the daily grind, my mind wanders to my wonderful trip to Bermuda, and my fantastic stay at The Reefs. I was there attending a friend's wedding, which was an intimate and polished affair. I was completely charmed by the general atmosphere and had a total blast the entire time. It's a lovely little hotel, very intimate and Bermuda-authentic. The staff is friendly and attentive. The private beach is quiet and relaxing. And dinner at Coconuts on a clear night is a real treat. It's a bit of a haul to get into some of the more touristy haunts, but the staff is ready and willing to set you up with a bus map or a taxi, and it's pretty easy after that. I suggest a taxi-- most of the drivers are good for a bit of trivia and a laugh.

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank chinook211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reefs

Property: The Reefs
Address: 56 South Shore Rd., SN 02, Bermuda
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bermuda > Southampton Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Southampton Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Reefs 4*
Number of rooms: 81
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Widely recognized as the best hotel in Bermuda, this award-winning and intimate hotel offers spectacular ocean views from every room. Perched along limestone cliffs overlooking its own private beach you'll enjoy legendary Bermudian hospitality and gourmet dining at three different restaurants. The Reefs is one place where you will feel perfectly at ease. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reefs Hotel Southampton
Reefs Hotel Southampton
Reefs Resort Southampton
The Reefs Bermuda/Southampton Parish
Reefs Bermuda

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