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“Perfect place for a romantic holiday”

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Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 25, 2014

We returned here having got married at the hotel four years ago. We had booked a Junior Ocean Suite but were upgraded to a one bedroom suite which just happened to look onto the garden where our wedding ceremony had taken place. We got a lovely welcome back, with some champagne and snacks in the room
The hotel has been improved in the last four years with the outdoor furniture upgraded. The beach has been extended by reclaiming the area to the rocks which means there is plenty of space and plenty of beds which all come with individual shades.
The dining choices were previously more limited as at that time Drifters was more a bar that served food. With it’s new furniture and extra tables it was our preferred option being outdoors and by the sea. We only stayed a few days as this was Part 2 of a longer holiday. Had we stayed longer we would have taken advantage of the dine around options at the other hotels in the group to get some variety.
The hotel is a great location to hop on the buses and get into Holetown. My Barbados location of choice is the West Coast to see the sun go down and from Crystal Cove you can enjoy walks along the sand in either direction. The perfect place for a romantic holiday

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SarahJT325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 22, 2014

We have just returned from our wonderful wedding at Crystal Cove. This was a bright sunny day made perfect. The wedding co-ordinators take the stress out of the whole day, from the day we arrived the only two things we needed to choose were the colour of the flowers and the venue, we chose the gardens at the top of the hotel for the perfect setting followed by photos on the beach which we pretty much had to ourselves (to the left of the hotel).
Crystal cove has a very British feel to it as most of the guests are from the uk. its small enough that most people say "good morning" over breakfast but also has enough well laid out space to loose yourself if you want to.
Just about every single member of staff from the lovely manager Olivia to the gardeners and bar staff make this hotel somewhere you want to return to again and again as many people we spoke to had!!
The evenings were low key with entertainment consisting of singers or a band and a dj while dinner was taking place. You can choose to eat down by the beach at Drifters or the main restaurant both fabulous but whichever choice the food was delicious, Just remember to book a table after you have finished breakfast or you may not get the time of your choosing.
The beach is the best part you can walk to the right for quite some way and not be bothered at all and its a definite photo opportunity to the left, you can almost walk to the famous "cliff" restaurant.
I also celebrated my 60th birthday while there and we went to Carlile Bay near Bridgetown to "lobster Alive" a fantastic place right on the beach serving fresh lobster and a really fantastic Blues/Jazz band playing while we were entertained over a glass of bubbly or two!!.( expensive but a birthday treat) and an afternoon that was unforgettable.
We did the Dine around option and ate lunch at Tamarind hotel, dinner at Colney Club and also dinner at Turtle Beach all of which were fab but none could hold a light to Crystal Cove for atmosphere and charm.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Yve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EHGSocialMedia, Guest Relations Manager at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2014

Dear yveEngland,

Many thanks for taking the time to write such a heartwarming review.

Thank you for choosing Crystal Cove for your very special occasion, and we are pleased that you had a wonderful and unforgettable holiday and wedding ceremony.

With the happiness and satisfaction of our guests being our top concern, we are so glad that our staff exceeded your expectations in providing outstanding service.

Again, congratulations from all of us, and we look forward to having you return to us in the near future.

Sincerely,
Frankie F. – Social Media/Guest Relations Manager

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Reviewed March 21, 2014

I booked this hotel based on the website, the reviews of service and food, and the booking office's feedback. The hotel and "pool" look nothing like the website. There really is no pool. Service is spotty at best; sometimes you had someone friendly, while other employees couldn't care less and looked miserable having to be there. If you ordered something, sometimes it came, sometimes it did not. It really was a crap-shoot. The food, especially the buffets, were a step above a cafeteria in every way; I was shocked given the rave reviews and the price to stay here. There was a horrible septic smell near one of the restaurants every morning as we walked down to breakfast. As for the bathroom next to the beach, you had to literally hold your breath, as the smell was horrible. The are no top shelf liquors or wines. Champagne is an extra charge which I find remarkable at $600+ a night. I was told by the booking office and also read that there was "constant" waiter service on the beach. That could have been further from the truth. At the price we paid, I expected much more. We had such high hopes, as we have stayed at other all-inclusives and were very impressed. Unfortunately we were extremely disappointed here. If you're looking for that quintessential calm, caribbean water, this is not the place for you. It was hard to find a good spot to swim, as the area was very rocky. The ocean was also rough, I was surprised to see such a current on a caribbean shore. I would never recommend this hotel and I would urge people to stay away. It needs major renovations, a deep cleaning everywhere, and much better food and service. If it wasn't for our sense of humor, and the inability to book somewhere else as vacancy was limited, I would say this place is terrible. Our ability to laugh about it, and the nice weather was the only saving grace.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Christina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oskeete, General Manager at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded March 22, 2014

Dear Christina P,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments, and we regret to hear about your disappointment in your stay with us at Crystal Cove.

Although we do not have an Olympic-size pool, we instead have three pools that are all connected and positioned to offer our guests three separate levels where they can swim, sunbathe, or simply grab a nice, cold beverage at our swim-up bar on the upper deck by the waterfall.

We are sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with our quality of food. We receive great feedback on the quality of our food and we are sorry that you did not express your disappointment to us as our culinary team would have been delighted to prepare your meals to suit your personal taste and preferences. We also offer premium drinks at all of our bars, and if there is a reasonable request for something that is not on our drinks menu, we will make it a priority to source the specific item to satisfy our customers.

You will be happy to hear that we are remodeling both bathrooms you have mentioned at different intervals in the upcoming weeks, and we do apologize for any inconvenience you encountered prior to this remodeling.

As for our beach service, we offer a variety of drinks, frozen treats, fruit, and jelly on the beach at strategic intervals during the day; so, we apologize if there was misunderstanding of this service.

Crystal Cove is located on the West Coast of Barbados, which typically is a very calm coast, unless interrupted by occasional strong currents. On a normal day, the water is smooth enough for daily water sports such as banana boat rides and waterskiing – both of which are complimentary.

We continuously strive to provide exceptional service for our guests, so we are grateful for your feedback as it helps us to identify areas for improvement to ensure the highest level of guest satisfaction.

We hope to welcome you back one day, so that you can truly experience the splendor of Crystal Cove.

Sincerely,
Olivia Skeete – General Manager at Crystal Cove

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Reviewed March 20, 2014 via mobile

Style over substance.
Upon arrival we were greeted with rum punch and hors d'oeuvres, but then it all went wrong.
The room, 111, was not a pretty sight.
Damp patch on ceiling.
Blisters & bubbles on wall.
Red, blood like, staining on floor where air conditioning unit had leaked.
Six chips in the enamel in bath.
Very poorly applied silicon & grout repairs.
Chipped tiles.
No mixer tap in shower, so it was a lottery if you got a nice shower. If other guests turned a tap it changed the temperature. Very poor show for this quality and price hotel.
Plumbing under sink secured with lots of mastic & cable ties.
AHU remote and telephone had in ground dirt.
Torn net curtains.
Dodgy home made security bars on patio doors.
The next day we were shown another room. Not much better, so we declined to move. Then another, upgrade to ocean view. Not 100%, but ok. We were given two bath robes and slippers. 3 left feet and 1 right ! ! ! ! !
The food was just ok. Al a carte is a choice of 2 or 3 options after you dismiss the vegi & kids options and all pretty bland. Not the exciting West Indian spicey food we were expecting. We ate out on 5 out of 7 nights because of this. You have to book your dining time slot after breakfast, & I heard someone say both restaurants were full and they were recommended to go to the chicken shop down the road !! On a plus, there are some fantastic restaurants nearby. The Cliff, CicCin & Daphne. Oistins fish fry is a must on Friday or Saturday evening.
The location is fantastic and the beach great with really useful 'pram' type covers on sunbeds. The three interlocking pools are realistically only usable by children due to their small size and being overlooked by the restaurant. There were only a few sun beds by the pools so had to go to beach where there were always plenty on sun beds. Service was good by all staff. Never saw the Virgin rep after we complained on the first day, not even to see if we had sorted the room.
Again on the plus side, as we were being picked up at 4.30pm, we asked if we could keep our room on till 4.00. This question can only be answered on the morning of your departure, how strange. They did allow this request at US$50, which, I guess, as a gesture of good will, they waived.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank gerryh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EHGSocialMedia, Guest Relations Manager at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded March 22, 2014

Dear gerryh99,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments, as we continuously use the feedback from our guests to improve and enhance our product and service offerings.

We are aware that there was a leak within the room you first occupied, and we do apologize for any inconvenience resulting from this. We did ensure that our maintenance team resolved this issue as efficiently as possible because the comfort and happiness of our guests is our first priority.

We are sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with our quality of food. We prepare our meals with medium spices in an effort to meet the satisfaction of all guests, however, we are always happy to cater to guests who wish alternatives or have a special personal preference. I do wish you would have expressed your dissatisfaction while you were here, as our culinary team would have been delighted to prepare your meals to your specifications.

We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our beach, and that you were satisfied with the service of our staff. Our staff consistently strives to make the overall experience for our guests a wonderful and welcoming one.

We must ensure that all rooms will be readily prepared for incoming guests, so we cannot guarantee late check-out until that morning of departure for the previous guests. We typically charge a higher late departure fee, but we waived this as we do extend our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you experienced while on resort.

We continuously strive to provide exceptional service for our guests, so we are grateful for your feedback as it helps us to identify areas for improvement to ensure the highest level of guest satisfaction.

We do hope to welcome you back to Crystal Cove in the future.

Sincerely,
Frankie F. – Social Media/Guest Relations Manager

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Reviewed March 19, 2014

Shocked at the negative reviews..

I have just returned from an amazing stay at Crystal cove.

Our room was beautiful, we had a patio area with a table & chairs and an amazing sea view. Great air con, tv, iPod Dock/alarm clock, iron, ironing board, safe & mini fridge. Towels changed daily and beds made beautifully. The only thing they need to sort is the shower. The taps were very temperamental, either boiling or freezing, and when you finally got the temperate right the shower isn't powerful at all.

There is an amazing cave bar that you can swim up to or sit it. Branded drinks included. The mango Malibu colada is highly recommended.

Lovely pools, all shallow & not very big so don't expect to get lengths in if you're there to exercise! I'm 5"4 and could stand with my head above water. But you have the sea!

Plenty of sun beds on the beach and around dotted around the pool areas. Not just lined up like some resorts which is nice.

2 restaurants, reflections and drifters. We did try both for dinner but much preferred drifters. It's much more casual & practically on the beach which suited us. Couldn't fault the food. Breakfast - buffet style, everything you could want. Full English, made to order omelettes, fruit salad, bagels, muffins, waffles.. Endless list.
Lunch was our favourite, great buffet with the most amazing made to order wraps.
Dinner, different each night, some themed, so great if you want to try new things.

The staff couldn't have been better, they were all so kind and polite and couldn't do enough for you.

We had a nail varnish smash on the tiles in our room one day which I was hugely embarrassed about but we informed housekeeping and they came round and fixed the situation straight away no questions asked.

The water sports were great, we snorkelled every day on the reef, went on the banana boat, ringos and kayaks (included!) There's always something to do. Beware of the water sports not being run by the hotel, the jet ski guy bugged us a lot but was always very pleasant.

There is a small shop on site with sun creams and little trinkets which is really reasonable. We took out US dollars which we wouldn't do again, all your change is given in Barbados dollars so you end up with a mix of currency that gets confusing.

We did 2 excursions which I couldn't recommend enough, Tiami catamaran cruise and the jeep safari around the island. Both amazing & well worth going out the resort.

There was entertainment every night, some different.. Dancers, singers & djs. This is always outside the formal restaurant reflections so we missed most of them but what we did see was good, just not our thing.

Thank you for a lovely stay, we already have holiday blues!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank AlexandraKM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

We have just had a week in this resort. The staff could not have been more welcoming. Great food . The formal restaurant was a bit stuffy but the beach restaurant was excellent we preferred this one. Rooms were well appointed. We had a couple of days out and they prepared pcaked lunches for us. The only negative was the cost of having any laundry done which was very expensive.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bully1959Canaries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EHGSocialMedia, Guest Relations Manager at Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

Dear Bully1959Canaries,

Many thanks for your kind review, and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We are happy to hear that you were pleased with the welcoming service of our staff as we constantly try to create memorable and relaxing holidays for our guests. We are extremely glad to hear your kind comments on our open-air restaurant seating. We continuously work to improve and enhance our overall guest experience so it is great to hear your positive feedback.

We hope to see you again soon!

Sincerely,
Frankie F. – Social Media/Guest Relations Manager

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

This Lionel Ritchie song could be the anthem for Crystal Cove. If you just want to kick back, relax and immerse yourself in a calm and picturesque resort then this is the place. No early morning dash for sun beds, clear seas and skies(most of the time), attentive staff, happy smiling faces its got it all.
Obviously the resort is not perfect some bathrooms are a little tired, food is not always served with the speed of McDonalds (other fast food outlets are available) but so what? If you want efficiency and sterility find somewhere else. Crystal Cove is like a favourite pair of slippers - comfy. Will I go back, in a heart beat.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fishman044
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

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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Saint James Parish
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Saint James Parish
#4 Luxury Hotel in Saint James Parish
Price Range: $417 - $1,269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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