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“Very difficult review to write”

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The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Hastings
Certificate of Excellence
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Very difficult review to write”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

As my title above shows, I have real difficulty deciding upon my rating for this hotel.We Booked it
at a special price with Tropical Sky which seemed good value.

The hotel itself is very nice. The rooms and balconies are a good size and well furnished and the aircon is good. The beds are very comfortable and a very good size. The view is very pleasant too from all of the rooms (except the 2 on the pool level). The beach is great but there is no shade at all so if you do need some rest from the sun you need to go and sit near the pool area where there is shade. The hotel is very small so the only entertainment in the evenings is talking to other guests around the bar. There are a number of people employed at this hotel who were outstanding in their duties, Michelle and Felix at the bar and Alicia in the restaurant particularly.

I could not recommend this hotel as suitable for young children (for a variety of reasons) or people who cannot handle stairs (no lift).

When I write a review of a hotel or restaurant I always try to concentrate on the good points, however in this instance I am going to go into some details about the poor points.

1. Food - The evening menu has normally 4 or 5 main dishes included (3 extra charge). The
hotel recently wrote on trip advisor (5th July) that they had listened to their
customers and had started changing their menu 2 times per week. We were
at the hotel until 1 week after this and the 2 per week is in fact every 6 days.
It gets extremely boring after a couple of days. Following a number of complaints
from guests the chef laid on 3 specials for the next night and virtually everyone
took those options. If you like food that is liquidised then you will undoubtedly
enjoy the food. If like me you like to see a vegetable or potato during your holiday
you may like to think again. I got quite excited on the plane home when I saw and
ate some carrot ! There is also no children's menu available.

2. Website The SoCo website says occasional entertainment but didn't see any at all

3. Rooms The website also says that tea and coffee making facilities are in the rooms.
In our first room we had a coffee machine - no coffee/ tea/cups etc. In our
second room (the hotel asked us to move due to a flight delay the previous
week!) we didn't even have a machine ! The doors do not seem to fit properly
nor do they lock properly, so people going out at 6AM to claim a sunbed have
to slam their doors to close them (see No 6 also).

4. Cleaning The rooms were not cleaned as well as we would have expected. The shower
screen didn't seem to be done, sand always in the corners and edges of shower,
bed not changed regularly.

5. Sunbeds I read a lot on sites before we went about shortage of sunbeds and were assured
that this was being sorted out. It wasn't. There are about 15 sunbeds around the
pool area and some 10 on the beach. When we spoke to Nicole (Manager) on our
first night (at a cocktail party) we were told that if we didn't get a sunbed we could
always lay on our towels! The hotel makes great issue that they have ordered
some more -Nicole told us they would be 6-8 months to arrive, however unless
they get rid of some of the imitation Rattan chairs and tables which are not
used that often, then they be of the beach variety. Every morning towels were
on all sunbeds around pool by 6.30. I do not go on holiday to get up early just
to reserve a sunbed. We always used the ones on the beach, but there were
rarely any spare ones. In all 25 sunbeds for 24 rooms is just not enough.

6. Noise The doors all have big gaps around them, which lets in lots of noise from the
very busy road only some 20 feet away. There is also a bus stop right outside
where taxis and buses hoot their horns from about 6am, therefore coinciding
with people slamming doors (bad locks) on way down to reserve their sunbeds !
If you are a very light sleeper expect to wake up very early.

All in all our holiday in Barbados was good but could have been a lot better. I enjoy my food
but would prefer to eat it with a knife and fork not a spoon or straw.

Don't get me wrong the hotel is fine, it just needs to decide, is it a Hotel with a restaurant or
a restaurant that is also a hotel, which is the priority?, and also to resolve the above issues.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Bycroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (337)
Date | Rating
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English first
Newquay, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

What an amazing first experience of Barbados. There aren't many hotels where you'd receive a personal handshake and warm and friendly greeting from a character like William; we knew straight away that we were in good hands.

The decision to stay at the SoCo hotel shouldn't be a difficult one. If a small yet high quality boutique hotel literally on the beach isn't enough, the wonderful staff make this place what it is. The bedrooms are well proportioned and the bed was incredibly comfortable!

We had an amazing experience, made all the better by the outstanding service extended to us by the wonderfully friendly Michelle and the hugely entertaining Felix, the service in the restaurant was friendly and relaxed (Chantal and Neil stood out to us) and how lucky the SoCo are to have Andrew at the helm in the kitchen; his international travels have certainly helped him to create a high quality menu.

If you don't like rum, you might change your mind by the time you are thinking about heading home!

Huge credit to Mr. Taylor for embarking upon a project like this - I'm sure many customers will have very fond memories of The Soco Hotel, we certainly have! It was a pleasure meeting the General Manager (Mr. King) too - he can be very proud of the team that he has assembled, the level of hospitality surpassed our expectations.

Room Tip: With all rooms facing towards the sea, everybody gets a share in the amazing view. The ground floor...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Juan_Matador
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gunnislake, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

i returned from the soco hotel last week having stayed there a week with my sister.fantastic hotel! we went there for a chill week which we really did have.best part as everyone is saying was the staff.albert the security man was a complete star.all of the staff in every department really should have a mention but they know who they are.THANKS GUYS! we swam most of the days in the channel of pure turquoise water right in front of the hotel.there are turtles there which swim within feet of you which was wonderful.we also saw a ray.the hotel is very small,only 24 rooms but this was great as all of the holiday makers talk to each other and its like one big family.they were all great.room was lovely.we asked for tea making facilities as there was none in the room also an iron,they arrived within 15mins.thats service for you.the food was lovely BUT needs a more frequent change as gets very boring.but thats the only thing i would criticise.if they were short staffed in the restaurant the management helped out which i thought was great.my sister and i would love to go back there.just have to save up now! barbados itself is the friendliest island i have ever been to and ive been to a few.wonderful people,helpful and always smiling but then look where they live.stunning place.thankyou soco for a stressfree fantastic holiday.hopefully see you soon.regards the sisters!x

Room Tip: if you have a problem with stairs you will have problems as no lifts but there is rooms on ground fl...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cornishpasty66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick, England, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

This is a small, quiet hotel. All aspects of the service are excellent. This is not a hotel for those who are looking for entertainment 9am till midnight. This is a gem, chic, stylish with comfortable facilities, a chef that understands food and bar staff that will keep you going morning till night! My daughter and I loved it and I am sure we will not be the only ones who do. With regard to the number koof sunbeds, take time out to see the rest of the island, it is well worth it, base yourself around the pool when you need to. Andrew, in the kitchen, has real skill and the variety of the food offering will develop. Michelle and Felix are masters behind the bar. Beware 'no' is not an option. And do not forget both the restaurant and housekeeping staff, not so high in profile but pivitol in delivering a high standard of comfort. We look forward to coming back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gabby S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

My experience at the SoCo Hotel was amazing, the hotel itself and the staff and location went beyond my expectations, the hotel was beautiful and gave a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. This Hotel is by far the best hotel iv'e ever been too, and i will definitely be returning. Firstly in this review, i'l start with location.

--Location--

The location of the hotel is on the south part of the island, at the sea front, this gave a brilliant over-facing view of the sea, which we were provided to look at on the balcony, this view also looked amazing on each floor, as i had stayed with my parents we had different rooms, and the view from each room (which was a fair distance apart) gave spectacular views, and on the right hand side gave a magnificent view of the beach and the palm trees that over-face it, (as added with the pictures) i had walked up and down the beaches of Barbados during my stay, and the view of the beach from the hotel is still the most beautiful in my opinion. The location also gave fair distances from places we wanted to go, for example, Bridgetown, Barbados capital, was only 5 minutes away in a mini taxi, and other places such as the horse racing area was a 5 minute walk away. i had compared the location from looking at other hotels during my stay, and i can still decide the SoCo hotel had one of the best locations on the island.

--Hotel and Staff--

The Hotel was beautiful, from the entrance you could tell this would be a great place to stay, as we first encountered the hotel we were greeted by staff members in the lobby, shown to our rooms and even given cold wet towels and cocktails to refresh ourselves after the long journey, the Hotel rooms were beautiful, as each room encountered a huge comfortable king sized bed, a huge television which let us watch a good variety of tv shows, a fair bathroom with everything you need, a good shower, hairdryer, sink, towels and more, and the hotel of course had a balcony which let you see the beautiful view of the sea and the amazing beach that was surrounded by the hotel. Not only were the rooms great, but every day the beds and towels were changed, and the floor and windows were cleaned, which meant the room would be perfect to come back to after your relaxing day in Barbados, and of course, air conditioning! which meant sleeping would not me too hot nor too cold, but perfect. We were also provided with two wifi connections for our gadgets, which worked fairly!

The Hotel had a big boundary to relax, Including the outside area which contained sunbeds, chairs tables, umbrellas, a fair sized pool and an awesome bar, all positioned out in a clean and perfect way. The pool was a good size, and there was plenty of space to walk around, The bar was amazing, they would serve free drinks on your stay, whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, even randomly throughout the day the bar worker Felix made us all a pink cocktail unexpectedly walked to the sunbeds and gave them out, the staff that worked here really made the place, as they were nice, funny, kind, and really good to get along with, me and my family had became great friends with the staff that worked here. The hotel at night was very nice, as the front SoCo logo on the hotel lit up, and the outside area was surrounded with black stokes that let off fire, gave a relaxing atmosphere, the bar would be open til 11pm at night which was a fair time.

--Meals--

During my stay we had eaten at the SoCo Hotel's restaurant most of the time, because the meals there were delicious, they had breakfast, lunch, and dinner, each time you were given a menu to have a variety of delicious foods to choose from, breakfast had a wide range of delicious things to eat, such as a British breakfast (sausages, egg, bacon, beans, toast, nom!) to pancakes and a wide range of other things in the morning, lunch and dinner consisted of a wide range of choices too, including specials that were delicious, For example, during my stay i had tried a wide variety of sea food and delicious foods, that iv'e never eaten in my life, i had eaten during my stay in the SoCo hotel such as Lobster, Sword fish, Flying fish, King fish, Baracuda, and much more, and if your a fussy eater its great too because aswell as the wide range of foods they do they can also do things like steak, burgers, and many many more to choose from on the menu, the menu also changes every week so if your planning a long stay, then there will be an even bigger variety to chose and try on your stay! the chefs that worked there are amazing cooks, every meal was very nice, and the staff that served you were great too, that came and served you with drinks when you wanted, and collected your orders, they were very posh too, including pulling out the chairs for you to sit on, and placing napkins on you!

--Fair Review--

Since i have to mention disadvantages too, there is not many to pick up on, all i can mention is the WIFI, that would randomly disconnect on you or sometimes go slow or be hard to connect too, but in the end, it always worked, and it was kind of fast, and the sunbeds, sometimes there were not enough to lie on, however the workers there pulled some out and put them on the beach for us to relax and sunbathe.

--Additional benefits--

The Hotel displayed many positive things during our stay, it showed us how positive this hotel is, They held cocktail parties every week! and they also held fun quizzes for us at times, hosted by a cocktail bar worker, (hey Michelle;) ) Another great reason why this hotel really stood out, is for example during the stay we were caught up in a tropical storm, (tropical storm chantal) which was heading straight through the center of Barbados, the hotel had provided us with water and extras to keep safe, and they even moved everything from the bar, inside! so we had a mini bar to go to in the day! The staff were extremely friendly, i had also met many friends here, and the place was not too overcrowded because the hotel only has 24 total rooms, which is a perfect amount on my opinion, So this hotel certainly does stand out overall.

--Conclusion--

I had a two week stay at this hotel, and i must say, it went very well! i'm back now and i miss it very much, i was really sad to leave and i miss the staff that work there! All together the hotel was perfect, the rooms were good sized and the food was incredibly good, my experience here and the family found it amazing, each one of us enjoyed it allot, and we all want to go back, so i'm going to give this hotel a 5 star review, because it was excellent, and the hotel has only been open for a few months,

This Hotel is worth the visit, it's going to be outstanding in the future.

Room Tip: Every room was beautiful, i had been in multiple rooms, and each one had a brilliant view of the hot...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S_C_Caribbean, Public Relations Manager at The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your five star review. It is always wonderful to hear such wonderful feedback from our guests – we really appreciate it! We do, however, wish to apologise for any issues with the wi-fi connection you experienced during your stay – we are aware of the problem and are currently trying to fix it. Once again thank you and we hope you visit us again soon!

Warm regards,
Management
The SoCo Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I have just returned from a 7 night stay at the SoCo Hotel with my boyfriend.
The hotel itself is light, modern and new inside. Good size rooms, big bathroom, big comfortable beds (slept so well whilst I was there!) and all the rooms are sea facing. We had a room on the top floor so the views were amazing particularly at sunset and early mornings.

From the moment we arrived we felt so relaxed and the staff are all so helpful and friendly and made you feel at home. I liked the fact it was a small hotel and although they were completely booked up it never felt crowded.
This was our first time in Barbados and absolutely loved it there.
The hotel is in a good location and it was easy to travel around using the buses (there are bus stops directly outside the hotel) the staff were always helpful in advising which buses to catch and suggesting places to visit.
The beach at the hotel is fairly quiet and the sea is crystal clear although a bit rocky when you go further out but you if you have snorkelling gear you will see lots of fish around the rocks particularly when the tide goes out a bit.
There is a lagoon area which is very calm for swimming and good if you have kids as its shallow.

You can walk up the boardwalk to more beaches like Accra beach and Rockley beach also. I would recommend taking a bus up to Carlisle bay which is a short bus ride away (less than 10 minutes) the beaches there are stunning and the sea very calm there.
The food at the hotel was very tasty particularly the fish dishes (Flying Fish was my favourite!) There could have been more changes of menu however all the dishes were well presented and tasty particularly at dinner time. The cocktails made by the bar staff were brilliant and never tasted watered down. They were always happy to suggest new cocktails to try.

There are also some good restaurants within walking distance too like Tapas and Naru and also a couple of small shopping malls a short walk away.

The only minor problems we found were that the wifi did not work very well inside the room however this may have been because we were on the top floor. When i used my ipad towards the balcony door and out on the balcony I had no problems getting connected.
It also works fine in the restaurant, pool and bar areas. It would have been nice to have a fridge in the room also to keep drinks cool. However neither of these things detracted from our experience.
There have been alot of comments about the sunloungers around the pool. I found it unfair that other guests would reserve sunloungers with their towels or shoes at a ridiculous times in the morning but not actually use them until later in the morning. I was up early every morning and even at 6am they had already been "reserved" but no-one actually using them.
To be honest this didn't affect me as I'm not one for sitting around the pool all day as I prefer
to be on the beach and swimming. We always managed to get loungers on the beach though. We also ventured out during the day so mainly used the beach areas in the morning and late afternoon.
I recommend hiring a car and seeing more of the island lots to see and so many amazing beaches you never get bored! The scenery on the east coast is stunning! The rep will arrange all of this and the car is delivered to the hotel.

I had a great time at the SoCo. The staff are a credit to the hotel and overall a lovely, relaxing atmosphere and wished we could have stayed longer!

Room Tip: All rooms have sea views but top floor probably the best views and more private.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S_C_Caribbean, Public Relations Manager at The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your review! We truly appreciate the feedback and are pleased to know that you felt so relaxed and at home during your stay with us. We are currently trying fix the problems we are experiencing with the wi-fi. However, I'm sure you would be pleased to know that we now have 3 additional menus (1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner), allowing for a wider variety at meal times. Thank you for visiting us and we hope to see you again soon!

Regards,
Management
The SoCo Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Witham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We've just come back from a week at the SoCo and had a wonderful time. No point repeating the detail about the food & the sunloungers as the hotel appear to have responded positively. Room was well appointed, loved the pool & the bar, and the quality of food and service was excellent. All staff in the bar & restaurant were so helpful but Felix, Michelle and Alicia were the most memorable for us. However we must mention Christine in the office. My wife found she had left her hat on the tour bus within a few minutes of getting back to the hotel. We mentioned it to Cristine and she got it back in our room within an hour!! Now that's what I call going the extra mile in customer service.

We went on a good value package deal but would go back again for a more normal price because the service was so good and they have promised to change the menus more frequently and add more sunloungers.

Incidentally we did 2 trips - the Nicholas Abbey and the George Washington house & garrison area. Both give you a good picture of aspects of the island's history and culture.

Room Tip: All rooms overlook the pool and bar.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S_C_Caribbean, Public Relations Manager at The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your recent review - we are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us! We hope to see you again soon.

Warm regards,
Management
The SoCo Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive

Property: The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive
Address: South Coast Boardwalk, Hastings BB15156, Barbados
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Christ Church Parish > Hastings
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Hastings
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The SoCo Hotel, located in the heart of Barbados’ south coast, offers an adult all-inclusive holiday in a boutique environment. Ideal for the discerning traveller looking for a modern, high quality hotel facility, The SoCo Hotel provides an uncluttered, chic holiday. Great food and drinks, friendly service, and one of the best views in Barbados are all part of The SoCo Hotel experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The SoCo Hotel-Adults Only All Inclusive Barbados/Hastings

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