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“Still working out the kinks”

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Calabash Cove Resort and Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Still working out the kinks”
Reviewed January 7, 2010

I have to agree with part of the last review. My husband and I travelled to Calabash Cove for our honeymoon in December and for the amount of money that we spent, I expected more.

Positives:
- Staff is very friendly
- We stayed in cottage #4 and it was beautiful. Very spacious and we loved the outdoor shower. It was also very secluded which was a plus.
- Food was good. It started off average for the first couple of days and then it got considerably better.
- Peaceful location.
- Barbara, the maid is really nice. She would always say hi when she came by and asked how our day was going.
- Grounds were always kept very clean, the foliage is beautiful.
- The pool was never over crowded. I am usually an ocean person but I loved spending time in the pool.

In between
- The service started off bad to average. There were times that my husband had to get up from dinner and get our drinks because they were sitting at the bar for 20 minutes. The waiter would be talking to the other staff members instead of doing his job. This got better over time. The resort needs more consistency.

Negatives:
- We did not get picked up from the airport, which was included in our package. We wandered around for 20 minutes looking for our driver and finally called the resort to which they replied "oh, I thought we were picking you up from Bay gardens", This was extremely frustrating considering I sent them our flight information more than once.
- We arrived to see that we were booked in cottage #8 instead of #4. I had confirmation that we specifically wanted #4 so we spoke to Konrad (the manager) and he argued with me for 5 minutes saying that it was impossible that it was confirmed and that I just wanted it so badly in my head that I made it up. I later forwarded him the confirmation email upon our arrival back home and he appologized. I was shocked that manager would actually argue with a guest like that.
- We continually had to ask to have more shampoo/conditioner, towels and our fridge restocked.
- My husband got food poisioning one night from the paella.
- Pool bar was not always staffed, although I believe it was better than normal. There was many couples hanging around the pool when we were there so I think that's why they had someone working there more often.
- The road to the resort is horrendous, but I hear that most of them are.
- They do have North American outlets in the cottages but none in the bathroom. Instead of having two 220V plugs, they should have one of each.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kheckl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2010

I was very much looking forward to my week long stay at Calabash Cove over new year 2009/10, however im afraid to report that we were somewhat disappointed. This comes as a surprise to me considering the overwhelming volume of positive feedback on this site.

However, I think it is only right to start with the positives:
- Timely and very comfortable pick up from the airport and transfer to the hotel (approx 90 mins, with a nice stop for a drink en route)
- Friendly welcome with refreshing towels
- Helpful advice on excursions from the manager
- Food was very good indeed (when it eventually arrived, more of that later) – I would recommend the lamb on the dinner menu!
- Pool was very nice and lots of sun loungers
- Amazing views from all locations, with great sunsets

Yet, in my opinion there is significant room for improvement, most particularly in the restaurants and overall service at the hotel. I have set out below the key issues in my opinion:

- Consistently long waiting time for meals at the restaurant – Wait of over an hour for breakfast and lunch (nearly) every day, dinner on the second night at the hotel was well over two hours, lunch one day was also over two hours and one morning we had to wait an hour for room service. In my view the waiting staff were also somewhat forgetful and very sloppy at times (we once had to send back my girlfriend’s lunch twice). I dont know if this was the result of not staffing adequately for a full hotel, but there is clearly room for improvement here. Also, the tablecloths were nor ironed nor were they changed between diners, resulting in a poor initial impression when you sat down to eat (food marks on the tables etc).

- Housekeeping left significant room for improvement – A number of small issues that could be easily fixed, were simply left unattended resulting in an overall sense of carelessness: safe not working on arrival, no shampoo or shower gel on arrival (half used bottle in the shower) that was not replenished at any point except when I asked for it, light in the bathroom not working for two days, bathrobes not replaced etc

- Spa was in fact nothing more than two small rooms (with no windows), there are no other facilities one would usually associate with a spa (steam, sauna, plunge pool etc). However, the ladies that worked there were very nice and did a good job. The fitness centre is nothing more than three or four machines and some free weights in a room.

Individually, none of the issues set out above would be an issue in themselves but taken together they combined to become very annoying. It must be said that when we complained to the manager after a particularly long lunch wait the manager tried to be responsive and showed concern.

Essentially, Calabash is a very nice hotel and could be lovely place to spend a holiday. However, I think the traveller’s overall experience will be very much determined by what one was expecting. I have to admit that I expected a high end, luxury resort – this is where the hotel positions and prices itself. However, in my opinion Calabash is far from a five star resort so if this is what you are looking for then I think you may feel the same as I did.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Devs101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD, USA
Level Contributor
83 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

Our stay at Calabash Cove in July, 2009 was our first return to St. Lucia in 14 years. In 2008, we stayed at Hermitage Bay in Antigua and loved it, but were looking for something similar, more reasonably priced and maybe a bit less stuffy. After a long search, we settled on Calabash Cove. And we're glad we did.

We arrived via St. Lucia Helicopters (highly recommend them) which saved us more than 90 minutes of driving after a long flight. We were greeted simply, but warmly with a delicious beverage. Staff Member Skittles - yes, that's his preferred name - took us to our room and showed us around, obviously very proud of the resort with nice things to say about its owners as well. We would see Skittles many times over the coming week, and he always flashed a smile and took time to make sure we were thoroughly happy.

We stayed in Cottage #5, which is the one non-duplex cottage on the property. We chose it for a bit more seclusion and the view. It was beautiful. The craftsmanship of the construction, including numerous artistic carvings and such inside and out were really a cut above. An air conditioned bedroom was welcomed, as was the large living room and outside verandas. A beautifully located hammock was also a nice touch. The bathroom was also generously oversized with a private toilet area and an outdoor shower. Towels were plush and numerous, linens were top-notch as well. About the only thing lacking was a full mini-bar, which is odd since there is a small wet bar station in the living area. CC was happy to provide beverages on-demand, but it seemed a missed opportunity to not offer minibar setups...we would have happily paid a charge for the convenience! The cottages have both US 110v and British 240v outlets.

The cottages are far enough away from each other that privacy is very good. We didn't hear other people's conversations or music. One thing to consider, if you like listening to music as you relax, you'll need to bring your own player and speakers. We loved the in-villa music system at Hermitage Bay, so we made sure to bring a small portable speaker for our MP3 player, so we could sit it by the private plunge pool. And on the pool...it is larger than most plunge pools we've seen, clean and temperate.

Daily housekeeping was consistent, unobtrusive and complete. We met our housekeeper, Barbara, who was friendly, open to chatting and did a great job. She took care of our place most of the week.

We took advantage of the all-inclusive option, as this was truly a rest vacation for us, not an excursion adventure. We ate in the restaurant for Breakfast and Dinner nearly every day, and had room service for dinner and drinks. With regard to the all-inclusive, the only upcharge we had our entire stay was for a reserve bottle of wine from their cellar...and it was very moderately priced to begin with. Any liquor we requested....regardless of the expense...was included. None of that silly "Beefeater is included, but if you want Bombay or Hendricks, it'll be $27" we've heard about at other resorts. No silliness at all and no complications.

The food was very good, if a bit inconsistent. The resort is still new and is still working out its system. As we were one of only 8 - 10 couples there the whole week, we felt that they were also still figuring out how to balance low-volume service with high-quality. (In many ways, it is much easier to run a very busy restaurant.) Several nights, the restaurant was fairly busy with folks coming in from the outside. There was a limited selection of vegetarian dishes. Soups were generally excellent. At breakfast, we really liked their poached eggs...a simple thing, but also easy to screw up. They were delicious. They made very good use of local fruits and vegetables and offered a nice mix of Caribbean dishes and continental cuisine. The menu did not change much over the course of the week, a limitation that we assume (and hope) will change as the volume of diners increases. Service was friendly, unobtrusive and efficient, even when it was raining. All staff members were excellent.

We can't wait to go back again!

An important note: mosquitoes were NOT an issue at all during our stay at the height of the rainy season. Last time we were in St. Lucia in 1995, my wife was eaten alive. This time, a couple of bites total. Whatever they are doing to control the population, it's working. It was wonderful!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BobinBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ST.LUCIA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2010

definitely one of the most romantic place to be..........day and or night.
the setting and the view is breathtaking
its easy to forget home............. definitely will return.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VALKERY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2009

By far, the most perfect place I have ever seen, stayed, or dreamt of! Look no further and book the Calabash Cove! Romantic, quiet, beautifully appointed, scenic, exclusively perfect. We stayed a week and hated to leave. The staff were extraordinary. Anything we asked for was accommodated. Candles for the bedside. Boxed breakfast to go. Anything. The staff were all delightful, attentive, knew us by name. The owners, Konrad and Robert are on premises and chat with the guests and are so amiable. Clearly they love what they do and have great pride in their property and service. They deserve all our business as they have the finest hotel! A gorgeous property and a luxurious experience.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississippi
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 16, 2009

My wife and I stayed one week at CC Resort and hated to leave. The Waters Edge Cottages were beautiful - a blend of rustic (exterior - porch and living area) with contemporary (personal plunge pool and bedroom with spa bath). The in/outdoor shower was beautiful, and privacy was not an issue. The plasma tv was great, as we connected our camera and music player to treat ourselves to a personal slide show of the pictures we took while on our vacation. The staff was terrific - Chris and Joseph, as on site managers, did an excellent job of answering questions and providing information, making us feel welcome. Barbara, our housekeeper, was warm and friendly, and a joy to talk with. Every single staff member, whether a grounds keeper, waitperson, or security person, was friendly, smiling as we passed, saying hello and wishing us a good day. Security was present and roaming the grounds both day and night. This was a comfort, though the area did not feel threatening at all. The view was wonderful, both from the cottage as well as from the restaurant/lobby above. The steps from the cottages back up to the lobby were numerous and steep, but the view was worth it (and who doesn't need a little more exercise when they've eaten so much good food and napped so much on the beach?!). We couldn't recommend Calabash Cove Resort more. We'll definitely be back! :-)

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MikeandCassy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2009

the two best things about this hotel are the location and the food
i really think the location is unbeatable - yes it is up a very bumpy road and it is a long way from anywhere but for that you get the ultimate secluded beach location
the beach is used exclusively by hotel guests with NO vendors at all
the view is to die for !

the food is perfect - yes the service is slow but this is island life. the food is really very very good - anyone who complained about this food in a hotel is just crazy
definitely have the all inclusive - it includes room service and all the specials

we stayed in one of the cottages which was great - i agree the lighting is not really good enough and aircon in the lounge area would be helpful but there is air con in the bedroom which was fine and who goes to St Lucia to watch TV anyway !

the rooms are spotlessly clean and the pool areas are too

i agree full-time staff in the swim up bar are required but the level of service could not be faulted - we had a small problem with the in-room safe which was sorted out immediately

we did a couple of excursions which were great value and really enjoyable - there is no hard sell at all from the hotel - in fact we had to enquire about whether they could help us with excursions before they would even show us a brochure !

the personal touch at the hotel is really welcome - the owner of the hotel was around in the bar area most evenings and he seemed genuinely interested about what people thought

this is a quiet hotel perfect for couples - dont take children but DEFINITELY DO STAY HERE. it certainly lived up to our expectations

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank expressManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Calabash Cove Resort and Spa

Property: Calabash Cove Resort and Spa
Address: | Bonaire Estate, Marisule, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Gros Islet
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Gros Islet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Calabash Cove Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on gently sloping, tropical beachfront on the northwest coast of the island, Calabash Cove is one of just a select few five-star resorts on St. Lucia. Nestled in the sheltered bay of Bonaire Estate, Calabash Cove is perched on a hillside sloping gently towards the Caribbean Sea, where cool ocean breezes provide a wonderful respite and the turquoise sea is offset by the vibrant green of tropical vegetation and views of Walcott Island. A private beach and nearby coral reef provide the perfect place to rest, reflect and dream. The resort has been designed with great care to complement and exist in harmony with the beauty of the natural surroundings. The main buildings of the hotel, such as the lobby, restaurant, bar, sanctuary, and infinity pool with waterfall lie on a slope, with the villas in the midst of lush vegetation perfectly situated to view nightly sunsets. The natural elements of earth, wind, light and water are represented in the exotic wood, stone and natural materials used in the composition of the buildings. The peaceful and tranquil gardens, under the care of one of the finest landscape architects in the Caribbean, have been created to capture and optimize the natural splendor of the area and are filled with vibrant, fragrant flowers set amid groves of trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Calabash Cove Hotel Gros Islet
Calabash Cove Resort And Spa St. Lucia/Gros Islet

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