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“Wow Barbados”

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Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Certificate of Excellence
Wigan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wow Barbados”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Omg Barbados,first time to Caribbean for new year,what a place ,the people are great and the yellow buses a must . The hotel was excellent and the staff treat you like royalty, so polite and can not do enough for you . New year there was spectacular ,the hotel did a fab job ,food is excellent . Fab place , thanks to all the staff . The people on the island are wonderful, good shopping lots of designer shops Ralph Lauren etc . Lots of dollars required expensive place but worth a visit

Room Tip: Sea view a must
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Crossywigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Kent, England
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed at Crystal Cove last August and had the most fantastic relaxing time.

It is one of the smaller hotels and in my opinion all the better for it. The staff are incredibly friendly and so attentive, nothing was ever too much bother. The watersports are free and mean you are able to combine relaxing by the pool or on the beach with sailing, kayaking, snorkelling or water skiing.

It is perfectly designed for families with three small pools, one of which is ideal for toddlers. The kids club is clean and well stocked with games and toys. Our daughter loved it, especially the arts and crafts. She made several friends there and even had dinner there one night allowing my wife and I the opportunity to dine alone.

If you are looking for a relaxing break, I could not recommend Crystal Cove highly enough.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank wombledavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire, England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed for 9 nights arriving just after Christmas as a party of six: 4 in one room with kids aged 4 & 6 and the 2 pensioners in a separate room.

We found the hotel incredibly friendly and relaxing with a really good atmosphere with the other guests all keen to mix.

A particular highlight was the staff & guests cricket match vs. turtle beach – awesome fun, has to be experienced to be believed.

What’s good:
- Location: west coast, calmer side of the island; south end of St James and close to top hotels & restaurants. Easy access to bars of Holetown via the local bus
- Rooms: clean, spacious and kids slept well each night
- Beach & watersports: sizeable sandy beach with free water-skiing; banana boats, sailing, kayaks. Good snorkelling
- Staff: excellent; friendly & helpful. Made us all feel very welcome from arrival to departure.
- Kids club: superb; great staff with a fantastic, clean air conditioned facility with new toys – and one which the kids wanted to go to.
- Service: you don’t feel like you are being ripped off when you get there, free wi-fi; free computer room; no beach towel charges or cards to hand in; free tennis with free racquet hire.
- Food: very good quality food for an all-inclusive. Having done all-inclusive in the past we were surprised by the quality of the food. No complaints!
- Pools: three reasonably sized leisure pools, all warm – one with swim up bar others with waterfall
- Décor / layout: hotel was recently painted, clean and tidy communal areas; good beach bar
- Atmosphere: there was a fantastic atmosphere driven in part by the other guests; a high proportion of whom were returning customers. The cricket match (including current and ex Windies players) fostered a brilliant atmosphere with the staff
- New year eve entertainment and beach bbq: despite a reputation as a naturally miserable sod, I was impressed by the quality of the nye entertainment, they made a real effort and the beach bbq was a real highlight

Why not a 5 * resort
- Strides: gentlemen have to wear trousers in the evening – jeans are not meant to be permitted. It’s not rigorously policed but I’d prefer they’d drop the rule
- Swimming: I’m a keen swimmer and was hoping to knock out a couple of 1km swims in the sea but unless you go out before 9am or with a guide you’re in danger of getting mowed down by a jetski. It can be a bit of fun getting into the sea if you don’t know where to go and there isn’t a clear area roped up for safe swimming. The pools are not designed for lengths
- Gym: the gym was hot and it’s worth wearing insect repellent. This is my excuse for not using it much and putting on weight.
- Food choices: there were some comments about limited choice for lunch but I was happy with the daily options and there was always fresh fish & chicken
- Limited local bars and restaurants within walking distance. You can’t pop into The Cliff for a cheap budget bite to eat in shorts and flip flops
- Taxi’s: if booked through the resort it is expensive and you don’t get exceptional cars or particularly personable drivers
- Layout: there are nicer looking hotels on the coast but was well presented
- Service in restaurants: can be slow, not all the staff are up to the standards of the others

All in all highly recommended

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank BunionMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Having just spent 6 days and 5 nights at Crystal Cove and reading these reviews it is clear to me that there is a total difference in expectations between English and American tourists. 99% of the amazing reviews are from people in the UK while 99% of the poor and terrible reviews come from Americans.
Positioning this resort as 'premium' is currently a complete misrepresentation, maybe in 2002 it was, but it looks like nothing has been done to it since then.
Here are the facts -
Yes it is on a beach - beware, you will risk injury getting into the water on the many rocks that line the beach front.
You get a room with a bed - if you are over 6 foot enjoy you vacation sleeping with your feet hanging off the bed.
There is a shower in the room - Be ready for the water temperature to randomly change between scolding and freezing.
There is a fitness center - Hope you like working out in 85 degree weather as there is no AC, also the cardio equipment is circa 1999.
You can have as much food as you want - As long as it is between certain times and you like to be herded like cattle to the buffet. Expect to see the leftovers magically appear as the 'soup of the day', tomorrow.
You can have as many drinks as you like - Hope you like watered down alcohol. There is no way i can drink 3 Pina Colada's at lunch followed by 4 mojitos on the beach in the afternoon and not be a complete mess. Do not expect to get drinks served to you on the beach as you would at other 'premium' resorts. The beach and the bars could not be positioned further apart.
There are waiters ad waitresses - Make sure you ask for what you want 5-10 minutes before you need it as that is the average time it takes to even get a coffee at breakfast.

Bottom line - this resort is completely over priced and should be rated as 'average at best'. There is not a single thing that is premium about it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank CISSP10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
babb23, Manager at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Dear Reviewer

Thank you for your comments and I am truly sorry that your stay at Crystal Cove did not meet your expectations.

We are continuously seeking to improve our product. Our guestrooms were refurbished in 2010 and we are currently seeking to do further refurbishments. We also have refurbished the Reception and Lobby area with modern furnishings. The furniture on the pool deck and at Drifters Restaurant has been replaced by more modern furnishings as well. We will continue to improve the property to make it pleasing to all customers.

Thank you once again for your valuable feedback.

Kindest Regards

Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

We were lucky enough to stay at Crystal Cove earlier in December, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Never been to Barbados before, but somewhere I had dreamed of visiting since I was a child - it exceeded all expectations. What a wonderful place. This hotel is charming and the staff are brilliant, so friendly and helpful, there were no exceptions. Our favourite lady was the lovely Joan in the restaurant - always smiling and nothing was too much trouble. Our room was lovely and overlooked Drifters beach bar, and then the beach. It was spacious, with a huge comfy bed and plenty of storage space. Lovely cotton sheets and fluffy towels, together with beach towels which were changed daily. I find it very difficult to find a fault, but just one - the baths need replacing. The enamel had gone yellow and there was rust all round the plug hole, also the shower head and taps were silted up with limescale. That's all! The hotel was quiet when we stayed (mid December) and we never had any trouble finding sunbeds. The evening entertainment was good and varied, but be warned, it finishes at 10.30 and everyone seems to go to bed then - don't go here if you're looking for lively nightlife! The food was good and varied, but we ate out on three occasions, at The Cliff, The Tides and The Fish Pot, which I have reviewed separately. Please hire a car and explore the island like we did, we covered the whole island in a day, it is absolutely beautiful and there is some stunning scenery. Well done Crystal Cove and well done Barbados, we loved you and hope to return one day.

Room Tip: Just one small thing, the sea is surprisingly noisy at night and there are six rooms which are right...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank buntylicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Crystal Cove is a very pleasant, smallish (88 room?) resort hotel close to Bridgetown in Barbados. The resort has a good beach; three small-but-pleasant swimming pools; a very well-equipped gym; and an excellent kids club.

Watersports equipment was good, however there was very little wind of any quality in the two weeks we were there, and the jet ski touts were charmless and very annoying. (They weren't employed by the hotel - beaches are public in Barbados, meaning that you get pestered on them.)

We had one of the beach-front suites. This was great - a very nice room, split into a ground floor level with a balcony, with a mezzanine level above with a very comfortable double bed. The view of the sea was fantastic, and some of the sunsets were glorious.

In terms of food, the two restaurants were good. The fish was excellent, although I’d have loved spicier dishes (I should have asked). The staff were very friendly in the first week - they couldn’t be more pleasant and helpful. Bizarrely, new staff came in in the second week, some of whom were less good, but hey-ho.

All in all, we had a very enjoyable, relaxing stay.

Room Tip: The beachfront suites are great.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James_Manktelow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

After staying on Barbados at the same hotel for over 20yrs we were hesitant about going to a new hotel (our home from home had been closed down this yr) but we love the island so much we didn't want to go anywhere else.
I was going alone to escape work but then my mum said she would come and use it as a 'research trip for a new hotel'!

We'd heard about Crystal Cove and being part of the Elegant Resorts we had high hopes but these weren't met... They were exceeded 1000 times over! When you arrive on the island you're automatically relaxed but we were slightly apprehensive. We had a car collect us from the airport thanks to Virgin and with 30mins we were at the hotel and were welcomed like we'd been visiting forever.

The food was great, good choice every night, bar staff were entertaining but knew which guests wanted to chat and who didn't. We love some banter at the bar! And thanks to Ryan it was there if we wanted it.
While we were there it did rain during a lunchtime so everyone rushed to Reflections (only one indoor and one outdoor restaurant) but the staff coped brilliantly.
All staff from concierge, waitresses, front of house and water sports were great ( we already knew some from ABV). Joan kept the restaurants running like clockwork while Sophia adds glamour front of house!!

The rooms have everything you need and we couldn't find one room location that you wouldn't want. They are up together, just missing a tea and coffee machine but if you really needed it the hotel will provide it.

The evening entertainment is of good quality and you can sit outside and watch/ listen or it's great background music while you're eating dinner in Reflections.

The only points I'd make is there's not a huge amount of poolside sun beds but the beach is fab and with the continual delivery of ice lollies, jelly, juice and fruit you can just stay put on the sand. The furniture around the pool is really nice rattan furniture to sit and read or grab the free wifi and the beds on the beach are soooo comfy and have a handy built in sun visor/umbrellas.

A poolside/beachside bar would have been great. The hotel did have a tendency to need somewhere to gather to chat and make new friends and get a drink. Although Drifters was great it was a little walk if you we're at the north end. When i say ' little walk' its only about 2 mins!!

This hotel is great whether you are a group, travelling alone or in your honeymoon it's relaxed, friendly but with standards you'd expect. We visited the sister hotel Tamarind by water taxi which is slightly larger hotel and looked great but we were pleased to come back to Crystal.

We ate out at Daphne's for my birthday (I had balloons and a card from the hotel too) during our stay which is gorgeous, as was our drink at The House. All the restaurants on the island are fab if you want to venture out.

All in all our stay reminded us why we love this island so much and now we have a new home in Barbados and I'm already planning a revisit in Feb!

Visit soon, I will be!!

Room Tip: I don't think there a bad room. The suites do give you more space.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BathTcw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels

Property: Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Address: Appleby, Barbados (Formerly Crystal Cove)
Phone Number:
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Saint James Parish
#6 Luxury Hotel in Saint James Parish
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Saint James Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 88
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
Crystal Cove Hotel Barbados
Crystal Cove By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Saint James Parish

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