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The SoCo Hotel
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All reviewsmr browna small boutique hotelevery mealother guestsroad noisecatch of the dayrooms have a sea viewbroad walkreggae busesfishsouth coastdeluxe roomsmall beachfourth floorspecial thanksboard walkspecial mention
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Reviewed September 30, 2013

Wonderful 15 night stay ! The only negatives were a lack of loungers and that the menu usually only changed every four days so could feel repetitive although the food was generally cooked very well and the wines were very nice indeed. A couple of days before we returned home several new loungers arrived which improved that aspect and there are also a couple of nice-looking restaurants close by,if you fancy a change and we went to Tapas,which was very good. Apart from these couple of minuses,everything was perfect !
It would be difficult to say which was best about the hotel - the staff or the location - as both were superb. Wake up in the morning to views of the blue Caribbean Sea from your bed and just a few yards away past the pool area and down the steps to the beach. Hotel is situated at one end of the "boardwalk",a wooden boarded pathway along the seafront and about 1200 yards long. On two evenings we saw large Hawksbill turtles laying their eggs on the beach along the boadwalk. We also saw a few occasionally in the sea and on a couple of occasions we helped the volunteers catch baby turtles as they hatched from their nests and started crawling in all directions - they don't instinctively head towards the sea as we thought ! The beach the other end of the boardwalk is wonderful,with powdery white sand and very clear sea,with occasional waves that may surprise you ! A combination of fantastic location,spotlessly clean hotel with lovely rooms and great friendly staff made this a wonderful holiday.

Room Tip: We had a room on the top floor (4th) which was excellent. All rooms have sea views but there's 2 rooms on the ground floor and these are just a few yards away from the bar and pool area with less good views of the sea. They may be very good for people who find climbing stairs difficult but if I was placed there I would have been very disappointed. I would personally also try to avoid room 201 where the door opens directly into the reception.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank KevinAndrews190784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Well what can I say about our fantastic 10 days in the Soco Hotel in Barbados. From the moment we arrived it felt like we were staying with family, the greeting received from Andrew and Albert was like we had known them for years. The rest of the staff were equally welcoming and could not do enough to make our stay a holiday to remember. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle for hunting the Island down for Sour Sop (a fruit found in the Caribbean) for me, the coconut bread she made for us and the wonderful cocktails she produced. And Erline whose smile and cheerfulness was the brighter and warmer than the hot Barbados sun (I’m better for seeing you).
Some people reviewing this hotel have criticized the menu saying it was repetitive, my wife and I would have to disagree as there was three changes of menu during our 10 day stay and found the meals to be of excellent quality. Also the staff / chefs were very accommodating to our individual needs /tastes and would make changes to what the meal was served with on request.
I’m not going to write too much about the accommodation as other reviewers have described it perfectly, but I would agree the rooms would benefit from having a fridge. Apart from that the rooms were spacious with one of the most comfortable beds that I have slept on in a hotel.
If I was to give a point for improvement it would be regarding the area at the bottom of the steps leading to the beach and the board walk, this area is uneven and untidy looking with a tap for washing sand off your feet, this is in stark contrast to the rest of the hotel. I think it would benefit from a slightly raised platform to level off this area as well as allowing the sand to fall away underneath, and rather than a tap a shower would look more in keeping with the chic style and clean lines of this Hotel as well as been more efficient in removing sand from ones person.
Overall I can not praise this hotel enough and would most certainly return.
Thank you all once again for a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NauticalJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Seldom have I experienced a holiday so perfect as our week at The SoCo; from the moment you step into the air conditioned lobby until the moment you leave the stunning beach side terrace you are treated to a holiday experience one rarely finds but always hopes for. The atmosphere created by the team of caring & dedicated staff is one of perfection.

Some of the small ‘touches’ that really do set this hotel apart from the rest; Erline and Michelle would bring around a tray of iced drinks when the bar is opened, shortly after we would be treated to chilled face-flannels to cool down in the Barbados sun. Ever been in a restaurant and forgotten your glasses? They have spare spectacles’ to loan out to guests.

The Bedrooms – good modern bathroom, walk in shower with plenty of hot water, hairdryer and a spacious bedroom, large comfy bed, good quality linens, spotlessly clean room with sea view, good sized balcony with table and chairs (2). Plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe with lots of hangers. Large flat screen TV with Freeview and iPod docking station.

The Restaurant – An open kitchen so you can see where your food is prepared, a well thought through menu, with many choices for breakfast and lunch. The dinner choices were a little limited as for some of the options you had to pay an additional USD30 per person, but only if you wanted steak, lobster or shrimp. Nice white linen table cloth and well prepared and varied menus create a great dining experience. A special thanks to Neil, always greeted us with a smile.

Pool/Bar Area – Felix, Erline and Michelle are a real asset to this hotel, they obviously enjoy their job and ensure that you enjoy your holiday, forever producing wonderful cocktails. Often you would find your next drink ready and waiting on the bar before you had even asked for it. The whole bar experience was excellent, this part of the hotel purrs like a Rolls Royce. Which is made all the better by the crisply efficient staff especially Michelle who had us in stitches with her quiz evening.

The pool side seating is plentiful and varied to suite every guests needs. The hotel was full when we visited last week and we never struggled to get a sun lounger, either by the pool or on the beach.

Beach/location – The SoCo is right on the beach with a safe, shallow lagoon for swimming or paddling. It is at the end of ‘The Boardwalk’ so a short stroll takes you to ‘Blakeys’ for an evening of music or cross the road to local shops. Hop on a bus to Bridgetown or go the other direction to Oistins for Friday night fish-fry; it’s all within easy reach.

The SoCo is a very special hotel, the food, the cocktails and the service here is just outstanding - touches of elegance everywhere. Come and discover perfection.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Missy2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

This is a small Hotel of only 24 rooms situated right at the western end of the famous Boardwalk.
First impressions always count highly as you only get one chance at them and in this respect the Hotel came out as A No. 1.
The Lobby is very small but well laid out in a modern minimalist style with white furniture.
Reception is well organised with cold drinks and towels presented, our rooms were ready and registration was efficient and one of the easiest that I have done to date.
The food was brilliant as a mix of Barbadian/Fusion/Nouveau Cuisine with the usual Beefburger and Chips if you so desired. Always served with Silver Service which, I have to say, did break down once during our stay with an inordinately long time to wait between courses but this was just the once due to staff illness.
The rooms were extremely large and had one of the largest beds I have seen, supremely comfortable and with excellent pillows.
As regards the staff then I have nothing but praise for the way they carried out their duties.
At times it was difficult to know who does what as the reception staff were serving food along with the bar staff but everyone was cheerful and efficient.
The reason for our visit was the celebration of our friends Ruby Wedding Anniversary and the Hotel put on a special evening for us which I am sure will be remembered for ever.
We all chose the Steaks, at extra cost, and they were Cordon Blue standard.
Our thanks go to Neil for the presentation of the table layout which we were told he did solely on his own.
Although I wanted to give this an overall excellent rating there are several minor details which could improve the experience at minor cost.
Namely, there was no fridge in the room to keep cold drinks, there was space for one, maybe it had just gone missing. There was no milk substitute for the room coffee making facilities during our entire stay, black coffee was OK but .......
Several times our knife or fork was taken with the first course, it should be replaced for the main course without having to continually ask.
There is nowhere to go when it rains, and boy did it rain sometimes.
As the bar faces directly west it needs to have either the roof line extended or a roll in roll out canopy fitted. This will not only serve to keep the staff out of the sun but it will stop guests almost burning themselves on the hot marble bar top and serve as a refuge from the "Liquid Sunshine".
Another little thing, which is also possibly dangerous, is the access onto the beach and Boardwalk.
This is by a set of steps at one end of the pool area at the bottom of which is set the tap to wash off the beach sand when re-entering the Hotel. The run off from the Tap has caused the sand to gradually wash away exposing the rock underneath, stepping on this from the bottom step is quite painful and can cause a person to stumble or even fall.
I would suggest that a small wooden platform at the bottom of the steps would eliminate this problem and make the access look more professional and in keeping with the rest of the Hotel.
They need to have more sunbeds around the pool area substituting them for the furniture which was hardly used.
Finally, and I was very upset about this one, if you are going to have a dress code then please ensure that you stick to it, the Hotel states that evening meals in the restaurant are smart casual.
To me, smart casual is collared shirts and slacks , in all cases the ladies looked lovely but some of the men turned up in scruffy denim shorts and flip flops.
This not only let the Hotel down very badly but showed that Management have not got a grip on their policy. I do not take the attitude that the guest is always right , other Hotels have this policy and it is always adhered to. It is for this reason that I have deducted a point.
All things being said I can thoroughly recommend the SoCo and my wife has asked if we can return on our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, that is not a problem with me.

Room Tip: Facing the Hotel from the sea the rooms are numbered right to left. Those with a lower number i.e. 201, 301, 401 are almost up against an apartment block which restricts left hand views of the sea. The higher the number the better the view, our room was 206 which was on the very west end with excellent views all around.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank DevonJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We have just returned from a 14 night stay at this hotel and wanted to say thank you to the staff for a truly wonderful holiday Special mention to Erline, Michelle Neil, Alicia and Felix who were wonderful with us. All the staff work hard and nothing is too much trouble.
As it states its a small boutique hotel so you get to know all the other holiday makers and the staff pretty well during your stay. The staff all knew our names and had our drinks ready and waiting whenever we went to the bar.
No credit card swipe, no paying a deposit for the safe, no wrist bands for your all inclusive. Fresh beach towels in your rooms each day and hairdryers, iron and ironing board in each room. Refreshing change from the usual large holiday complexes.
Rooms - each room overlooks the beautiful beach and you can lie in bed and watch the waves. This is marred slightly by the road noise and constant tooting from the passing traffic but you get used to this pretty quickly.
Food and drink- this is always presented well and a good mix of local dishes. At times it can take about 1 hour to 1 1/2 for all three courses but then there is no need to rush. Down side is that you have the same menu for three and sometimes four days in a row They have around four menus which they alternate every 3 / 4 days, More variety / changing the menu more often would be welcome. Ask for soft poached eggs but they were usually well cooked. Ask for meat well cooked and it was often rare but that's a minor point. They use hot water jugs for the tea and coffee but use the same ones so your hot water for tea often has a coffee taste.
Music usually consisted of Michael Jackson or Rod Stewart the majority of the time in the restaurant.
Pool and beach - a number of people have commented about the sun beds There are 14 sunbeds around the pool area for an average of 50 guests so unless you want to get up at 6am to get a bed plan to spend the day on the beach.
Exploring the Island - We hired a car for four days and as the island is approx. 14 miles x 22 miles you can pretty much get round to see all the sights. (most locals don't know the hotel as too new so say opposite the Trident Insurance building) Roads were well worn with lots of pot holes, Plan to get lost as the signs are pretty haphazard but that's all part of the adventure
Local buses cost $2 and are an adventure. Bridgetown is the main town and shopping area. Catch Bus number 12 or13 from the Bridgetown Bus Station as both pass through Hastings.
St Lawrence Gap has restaurants and clubs and bars for night life.
Visit Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday night with all the locals, Harbour Lights for a great nights entertainment.
Whilst the shops are duty free you need to shop around as a lot of things were more expensive than back in the UK. Go to the Chattel or Pelican Villages for local crafts and gifts.
The island has a real laid back charm, everyone is friendly and helpful, cars stop to let you cross the road and buses stop and even reverse up so that you don't miss them.
View the huge houses at Sandy Lane and visit the Lime Grove mall for designer purchases.
We also visited Harrisons Cave, plantation house, two local museums and the Wildlife reserve where we got to feed the monkeys (aim for around 2pm which is feeding time)
All in all a very lovely and relaxed holiday which was over far too soon !

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Cargirl8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
l-elocin, Front Office Manager at The SoCo Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 28, 2013

Thank you Cargirl8 for taking a moment to review us. I am glad that you enjoyed your holiday and that our staff left an impression on you. I have noted your concerns, and we will work on them as we strive to continually improve.

Seems like you had a great time exploring much of what Barbados has to offer. It is refreshing to see that you went out and explored the island, as there is much to see and do here. With all your local knowledge, I'll consider you an honorary Barbadian.

Nicole

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