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Reviewed June 22, 2018

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a review about the amenities, facilities or the staff while you are a guest of the property. This is a review of my experience with the resort reservation team and the GM.

On April 24th, 2018 I happened to visit the Coral Reef website which at the time had 3 offers for guests making a booking from their site. One was a couple's massage, option two was a jetty transfer and option 3 was a meal on the beach prepared by the chef.

I had option 1 in mind and confirming with them over email about the duration, I proceeded to make a booking despite paying more compared to aggregators such as MMT, GoIbibo. A month later I was raving about the resort to one of my friends and happened to visit the website to show him the offer I was talking about. To my surprise I noticed that 2 of the 3 offers were taken down and only the jetty transfer option was provided. I called up Coral Reef only to be informed that since the massage option was not there on the site any more I could not avail it. It felt like a perfect click-bait offer meant to increase footfall during the lean season.

I first tried to cancel the booking via their website, which was unable to find my booking information (Their website has since been updated and it was able to find my booking, with updated T&C on cancellation). I then emailed their GM, Mr. Sanjay on May 24th requesting for a cancellation. This was the email point of contact mentioned in the booking confirmation. This was followed up by several calls, WhatsApp messages after no email response. I understand that the network can be sketchy in Andaman but during the course of the 1 month I tried to get a refund, I received 1 phone call from the team towards the end of the refund process. This behavior from a team where the GM personally responds to every TripAdvisor reviewer was NOT expected. In the meantime I also emailed their reservation desk. After about 2 weeks of conversation with Mr. Sanjay he informed me that he was going to instruct his reservation team to issue the refund. Happy Days I thought! NOT!!

After a couple of missed deadlines on the refund date (due to network issues) I finally got a screenshot which showed me that I would be getting ~ Rs.1200 less than what I had paid them. This, when the T&C on the booking clearly mention that the guest will be entitled to FULL REFUND of the billed amount, when making a cancellation prior to 15 days of booking date. (see attached screenshot upload)

When I spoke to Mr. Rakesh of the reservation team he informed me that they have to pay tax (TCS or something, as told by their CA) on the amount they received. What I fail to understand is why they have to pay tax on income which they never had in the first place? Even if they are paying taxes, shouldn't your T&C properly spell it out? Does MMT/GoIbibo charge you for taxes they have to pay for income on a cancellation where you are supposed to get FULL refund?

Bottom line - DO NOT book your vacation at Coral Reef via their own website, you are better off booking through MMT, GoIbibo etc., especially if you think you may need to cancel your booking.

This experience was really a shame, because I was really looking forward to staying at the Coral Reef. The click-bait nature of their summer offer, failure to adhere to T&C outlined in the booking and the effort I have had to make to retrieve my hard earned money from them has left me exhausted.

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
5  Thank JB_trip_master
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2018

Good property for vacation. , however, the internet does not work in the room ( which is the case with entire Havelock). Service is little slow you have to remind for room cleaning 1-2 times.

Everything else is fine.

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank VishalS2298
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coralreefresorthl, General Manager at Coral Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2018

Hi Vishal,

Greetings from Coral Reef Resort. Thank you for taking your time out to review us on Trip Advisor. I am glad you liked the property and at the same time regret on not being able to provide you with a good network service. As you know Havelock being an Island,we also do face this issue most of the time.I am also alarmed to know that you had to call our Housekeeping team a couple of times for which I will look into closely so that it doesn't get repeated. We really work hard to render exceptional service to our guests and value your feed back which will help us improve every day. I hope to have you visit our property again in the near future.

Regards
Sanjay

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2018

Well it has been long overdue to write the review based on the experience I had with the property. I was in Havelok during the November 0f 2016. The ambience and wood work of the rooms were quite impressive . The staff is polite and well trained. The Manager of the resort and the front desk staff were specially impressive. The food was a bit on the mark when it came to variety but overall it was good. Yes I paid a good amount of money and when I compare the ROI on it , it wad good. Wifi and no wifi and bit less of variety in food does not hurt especially when you want to travel far and away from mainland. At least it does not bother me . The behaviour of the staff and promptness matters and it was at its best . Property was clean and well maintained and the private beach was also good break from hustle bustle on other beaches.

Now why I named the review the way it is. This is because during my stay in Havelok there was a major storm that shut down the communication with the mainland stranding some 3000 tourist on the island for 3 days. For 3 days the Navy and other ships could not rescue the people out of the situation. In these testing times, the staff and the manger Mr Sanjay manned a cool head and provided for every bit of basic amenities for the guests. In fact technically most of us were not guests any more as we had checked out of the hotel to got the port for our onward journey. The panic set in when people came to know that transport to the mainland were cancelled due to extreme weather, every tourist was tense and confused.

CHOICE was between waiting in long lines for our turn , because there were many rumours about rescue ships coming any minute or look for a place to stay. The best resorts of the area , I would not name ..were flooded for they were near the beaches and most low-lying other resorts had four deep water running trough common area.

In this state of affairs also the staff of Coral reef ensured that when we went back looking for rooms they obliged. The meals were made on last day . The rooms were clean , telephone lines were running and most important they was no flooding in the resort.
Everyone was scared doing those times , but the staff maintained their Cool and kept to the high standards of hospitality. They kept helping out guests as more people poured in from other bigger properties with a SMILE on their faces amongst a panicky and stressed lot of tourists.

Siddhartha & Tripti

Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank sidmaveric120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coralreefresorthl, General Manager at Coral Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2018

Dear Siddharth,

Greetings !!!!!!!!!!

It gives me immense pleasure to receive this note from you and I am left with no words to express my gratitude for the lines of praise from your end. It makes me nostalgic when I recollect the moments of togetherness we spent during the days of panic and tension. You and Tripti were indeed so Co-operative and supported us in every little steps that were to be taken during the moments of crisis.Your review takes me back to memory lanes and brings back the moments when all of us used to sit on the lobby watching a movie or just gossiping to beat the tension within us, and the support all of u gave were commendable. I have shared your sentiments with my team and they have generously thanked you and Tripti for being a lovely Couple. We hope that we will definitely meet again in Coral Reef Resort to re unite and be in a much relaxed situation where I am sure both of you will enjoy our company as well as explore Havelock in a much better way than the previous one.
Thanks again for keeping in touch.

Regards
Sanjay

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2018 via mobile

Awesome resort... very comfortable well mention. It has a beautiful beach. There were games near beach Side. They provide facility of special dinner and pool side dinner for this they charge extra.There swimming pool is just wow.

Date of stay: May 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank parvi2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coralreefresorthl, General Manager at Coral Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2018

Hi Parvi,

Great to know that you have enjoyed your stay with us at Havelock and would like to thank your for your review. It is always satisfying to hear that our guests have had a comfortable stay with us as we constantly strive to render the best of services to our most valued customers.I have shared your sentiments with my team which I am sure has motivated them to do even better in future. Thank you once again for your words of praise and hoping to get an opportunity to serve you again in the near future.

Regards

Sanjay

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Reviewed June 6, 2018 via mobile

Anything is Havelok is expensive but the Coral Reef resort was a big letdown for the amount of money paid .

The rooms made mostly of wood were nicely done but everything else from toiletries to towels to bedsheets we're ordinary . There is no mobile range and WiFi was terrible .

The food was just decent while the pool which also had movie blaring out was again a letdown .

With very little quality accommodation available at Havelok this may be one of your very few so called up market options. So arrive with low expectations and enjoy the most beautiful ocean you can find anywhere on this universe .

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Tamal G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coralreefresorthl, General Manager at Coral Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2018

Hi Tamal,

Thank you very much for your candid review of your stay at our hotel last June. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, as we strive to improve with each and every stay. I greatly appreciate your comments about aspects of the room that need updating. It is a pleasure to announce that we have been implementing many of these upgrades to the property with time . Our rooms have been furnished with new mattresses, bed sheets,window curtains,in-room accessories, and much more! In taking great care of our charming hotel, our main priority is to be able to offer a very well-maintained and comfortable atmosphere. I hope that I can convince you to change your mind about another visit to our property. Please reach out to me directly at [Gm@coralreefhavelock.in] if you would be willing to give us a chance to turn your experience around. It would be such a pleasure to personally welcome you back to our new and improved hotel!
With much appreciation,

Regards
Sanjay

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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