11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I went to coco reef last with my partner...
"I went to coco reef last with my partner for two weeks - one week we spent half board and one week bed & breakfast (we could choose which nights we wanted as 1/2 board).
It is a stunning hotel on the edge of the most famous of the beaches in Bermuda being Elbow Beach. The view from the balcony (we had the closest room to the sea) was stunning - we could clearly see the fish in the water from our room.
The food was superb! The weather great (apart from a tropical storm), views were beautiful, and most of all, all Bermudians were wonderfully friendly.
Do hire a moped - it really is worth doing.
Cannot recommend Bermuda and coco reef highly enough."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of June 2006
We'll be back!!!
"Loved the smallness and quiet. Other resorts were big, crowded and high on cliffs so that you had to walk up and down hills to the beach and some were quite a ways to the main road. Travel is convenient by bus, which you can walk to, and by taxi which will pick you up at the resort. The staff is new, so they are still learning the ropes of the hotel but they are courteous and very concerned about your stay and will jump to fix any problems. Just ask them. There is pleny of information in brochures around and if you really want to know what's going on just ask Robin or Curtis. The food is great and you can get a dine-around program which Coco Reef has with The Reefs, Pompano, and Cambridge; all different in scenery and delightful. Tennis courts are fun, but there is no exercise room or concierge or spa at present. The pool, dining room and bar sit high enough to enjoy the beautiful ocean and hear the waves. We, too, considered staying longer, but the airlines wouldn't cooperate. We had an oceanfront room, but the ocean view rooms were fine. There was a bottle of champagne waiting for us because of our 30th anniversary. We highly reccommend the Coco Reef."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of June 2005
Re-do, well done
"Resort very comfortable. Staff is new and should become more attentive as they gain experience. Rooms clean, and views lovely. Dining room definitely above average."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of June 2005
Beautiful Setting, Lovely Property
"We spent 4 nights at Coco Reef in June, celebrating our 10th anniversary and my husband's 50th birthday. We had been to Bermuda before, but this was our first stay at Coco Reef. On the whole, it was a lovely hotel. Beautifully set on a bluff with a small but secluded beach; large rooms (and a very comfortable bed); and a friendly staff. The place is very quiet--not for people seeking a party time. And while it calls itself a Resort, it is really a small hotel with a pool--no spa, concierge, or other resort amenities.
its location, just a few miles from Hamilton, can't be beat. We rented a motorbike and could get into town in 10 minutes. The bus also stops right in front of the hotel's entrance.
The management went out of its way to ensure we had a great trip. I would recommend Coco Reef to couples seeking a quiet and comfortable getaway. Not for kids or partiers, which is how we like it!"
- Travel date: Mon 13th of June 2005
Wonderful small hotel on Elbow Beach
"This hotel was truly wonderful. I don't understand the poor reviews, they must have been there prior to the new management and renovation. Coco Reef is a lovely small hotel, right on Elbow Beach. The rooms look out on the ocean and you can walk out to the beach directly.
The staff and especially the manager do everything possible to make your stay wonderful. They even call ahead to see when you may need transportation and take care of all reservations for dinners. The key to our safe had been lost, they replaced the lock immediately and left us a bottle of champagne.
The personal attention was marvelous. The landscaping is beautiful and the food was really good. It felt like our private get away.
Highly recommend. A fantastic option. Much better than the large crowded high rise properties. The staff is friendly and really cares that you have a relaxing experience."
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of June 2005
It surpassed my expectations!!
"I checked all the reviews before I arranged my trip to Bermuda. My cousin went there on her honeymoon and said it was nice. I decided to go there in spite of reading the reviews but I was alittle leary of my choice.
I am so happy I went there, it was beyond the pictures you see online.
My room was right on the beach and when I woke in the morning I was greeted by the beautiful Bermuda sea and sun. My room was beautiful and clean and the service was excellent. I have never stayed at such an accomodating place. Everyone was so helpful and pleasant it made my stay there so relaxing that I didn't want to come home. in fact we tried to extend our vacation but the flight expense got in our way.
The food was excellent . The breakfast buffet was fresh with plenty of options and plenty of food. We also had an excellent dinner there.
The grounds are exquiste and well kept.
I had also heard of the beds being put together to make a kingsize bed-yes they were and I will tell you I had a kingsize bed that was as comfortable as my own at home. I slept like a baby on it.
I have wonderful memories and beautiful pictures of the hotel and Bermuda
and I would advise anyone to try this beautiful hotel.
- Travel date: Tue 31st of May 2005
Recent stay at Coco didn't disappoint -- read on & see photos!
"We just got back THIS MORNING from a wonderful three-night stay at the Coco Beach Resort in Bermuda (formerly known as the Stonington Hotel). I looked at at least a dozen hotels last minute and for $200 per night including breakfast each day, plus all those fabulous taxes all the hotels tack on, I know we got a GREAT deal as many of the hotels, including the one right next door, Elbow Beach, was starting at $400 a night and boxed you into full meal plans. I read EVERY review on this site on the Coco Reef hotel, and if you read them carefully - the bad ones that have been submitted recently are for stays in 2004, not 2005. The hotel has a new manager since the fall of 2004 whose name is Robin Gilbert - you can read a press release about him on the hotel's website, which you can find easily by doing a search for coco reef bermuda (can't post commercial sites here). Robin was there to greet us, we saw him walking around at lunch saying hello to everyone, and had a smile for us each time. My boyfriend and I are in our early 30s, and while it is true that Bermuda is generally laid back and quiet and we found the dance club in Hamilton completely dead at 11:30pm and most of the guests of the hotel in their 40s, 50s and up, it is a great place for a quick quiet getaway away from the hubbub of the daily grind. You won't find a spa or gym or kids center, but you will find beauty, the sound of the ocean waves gently nearby as you drift to sleep at night, and friendly if not perfect service.
A good location too - quick to the airport, quick to town to shop, eat, etc. and not too far from the rest of the island either. We rented scooters at the hotel and took a nice scenic ride to St. George (don't go on Sunday, though, everything is closed except for the public dunking at high noon) and also a ride to some of the other bays and coves. We really felt centrally located, where anything we wanted to do was not too far away.
All the rooms have a deck that faces the ocean or are on the ocean. No garden views. No views of dumpsters. The rooms are spacious and we found them to be very clean. We had working air conditioning, fan, fridge (which we didn't use but probably would have if we had stayed longer) and a TV with enough channels for us to stay entertained during a cloudy first day. The only complaint about the room was that you had to jump around to get water in the shower and hot water was scarce. The housekeeping lady we had had more positive energy than anyone I've seen. She practically beamed when we asked if we could have extra towels from the beach.
We only ate lunch and breakfast at the Coco Beach Hotel and they were meals that were fine. Not anything that stood out (except the french fries) but good and much cheaper than the Elbow Beach Hotel down the block. We are NYC foodies and so ate out every night elsewhere, though we heard that because the hotel is still affiliated with the culinary school next door, you can get pretty much whatever you want if you just ask. We had excellent meals at Frescos, Monte Carlo and Port o Call -- all in the town of Hamilton, in that order. These are restaurants in the high end of prices, dinner for two was approx. $140+ including dessert and drinks. Excellent international wine selections at Fresco's and Port o Call. The hotel is a $10 cab ride into Hamilton, which we found very reasonable and since we were having a few drinks, didn't want to risk it at night on the scooters. The hotel bar has a half-priced happy hour, and the frozen peach drink and the dark & stormies were very good.
HOTEL IN GENERAL
The staff was very warm, friendly and attentive. We did not see the indifference that I had read about in some of the reviews even once. While the service was slow by NYC standards, you have to relax in the islands, and everything we asked for we (eventually) received. The front desk called you a cab into town, rented scooters for you, gave you a wake up call -- all with a smile. There is free internet access at the hotel, and wireless access in part of it. The 2 computers provided were always working and available. The hotel was nowhere near full (despite several other hotels being sold out like the Reefs, Elbow Beach, etc) and I did wonder whether they would be able to keep up the excellent service levels if the hotel was full. Not sure I'd bring kids here if I had them, not too many activities -- you'd be better off at a larger resort but you'd be giving up on the quaint local feel of this hotel. The store at the hotel that sells toiletrees you've forgotten and gifts was very small and not open often, so I'd recommend you get what you need at the pharmacy or supermarket just at the bottom of the hill, particularly if you are staying longer than we did. There are neighborhood cats around, and if you're an animal lover like me, it is fun to watch them play in the grassy areas as you sit on your private deck and watch the sun go down and where your biggest decision is where to put your beach chair the next day.
The beach is right in front of the rooms, sort of at the bottom of a little cliff. Just go down a few steps and you are there. Beach towels, lounge chairs and umbrellas are provided free of charge. It is a small beach area, though if you wade out a bit you'll be able to avoid the rocks. In addition, if you have a fear of heights, you'll be limited to the bottom level of the beach, as there are additional chairs and sandy areas on additional higher levels, but the chairs can be set pretty close to the edge. It is a great area for some peace and quiet. It is clean, and you can bring drinks down from the bar and we also saw wait service in the beach area too. The water was still pretty cold for early May, and we found warmer waters at some of the nearby coves and bays like Horseshoe and Jobson's.
If you walk just 100 yards down the beach, you'll be in front of the Elbow Beach Hotel, where there are dozens of chairs and lots more people. However, beware. The first day we sat there we had no problems. The beach boys from the Elbow Beach Hotel came by and offered us drinks, we ordered lunch off the menu (which was excellent but pricey, even for NYC standards -- $14 for a club sandwich and $9 for a hotdog), we were never asked if we were guests of the hotel even though our towels were clearly NOT the dark blue that the Elbow Beach Hotel gave out. The second day we made the mistake of plunking down right in front of the beach guard who was raking the sand and didn't look like he had much to do. It was 4pm, the chairs were less than half full and he wouldn't let us sit there because it was a private beach for Elbow Beach Hotel guests only. IF you stayed at Elbow Beach Hotel, it would literally take you 20 minutes to walk down to the beach, since the hotel is set WAY up on a hill. I think they even ran shuttle buses down to it. For the price difference and the fact that we only had to walk a few feet to our beach, I still preferred Coco Reef even though the sitting area is much smaller.
If you want to rent snorkel gear or other beach rentals, you have to do it from the Elbow Beach hotel, the Coco Reef Hotel doesn't have those amenities. However, as mentioned above, it is just a few minutes walk down the beach to get there and you don't have to go up the hill to the hotel to do it, the services are right on the beach. We didn't partake in the evening parties the Coco Reef Hotel had, like salsa night and dancing on Friday, because we went into Hamilton instead, however, when we peeked in, the dancefloor was packed. It probably would've been better with live music, instead of taped, but everyone did look like they were having a lot of fun. We rented scooters right from the hotel, Wheels is the company that brings them right to your door. We also left them in the hotel park
ing lot for pickup when we were done. Very convenient.
See my photos and go -- it's a great getaway!"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of May 2005
"For those of you that have never been to the old Stonington Beach Hotel the new Coco Reefs may seem pleasant. Beware ! --- this place is a dismal shell of its former self. We had been to the Stonington six times previously to our July '04 visit. Without exaggeration it was one of the finest establishments on the island. The staff, most of whom had worked there for many years, were the finest examples of efficiency and friendliness to be found. They have been replaced with a group of indifferent if not surly group of non-Bermudians. Everything from the rooms ( ice--what's that ) to the food is at best second rate. For what you pay there are much better options. If you want some history of what went wrong just check into the political scandal involved in the sale of this property."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of April 2005
"I read all the REVIEWS BEFORE I WENT, and I feel the people who wrote them are entirely wrong. The hotel is in a perfect location with a great pool and beach. We were only 10 minutes from downtown Hamilton where all the action was. The food in the hotel was fantastic and the people who worked there went out of there way to make you feel at home. One of my partners was runnig late because of the taxis and the hotel manager went out of his way to take him,what more could you ask. Some peoplin the other reviews commented on bug I Don't know what they where thinking it is a tropical island. I didn't have any in my room.
So if you arfe looking for a place that you can get the best of two worlds quite nights and the action is only 10min away then this is the palce. Now don't get me wrong they do have a bar and we did start there. i would recommend this hotel to all my friends and family."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of March 2005
Lovely Hotel; Great Location
"Coco Beach is a lovely resort. It is smaller than Bermuda's larger hotels such as the Wyndam, Fairmont, Elbow Beach, and Grotto Bay, but this is an asset. It feels more like a boutique hotel. It is on one of the best spots on the beach on the South Shore, and gets loads of sun (from sunrise until late afternoon). The negative comments about the staff and how the hotel is run are all misplaced. The staff is top notch, from the front desk to the waitresses, and the hotel is maintained in excellent condition. Yes, the King beds are really two double beds placed together, but that is not atypical for Carribean hotels. Bottom line is that if you are looking for the biggest hotel on the Island, and are only satisfied by a property that accomodates hundreds of guests, this place is not for you. However, if you are looking for a low key boutique hotel on a perfect sopt on the south shore, close to Hamilton, this is a perfect option. My wife and I are very discerning international travelers, and we WILL go back to this hotel. Have fun."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of February 2005
Very Big Disappointment
"Asking your guests to pay full, and I mean full, price demands that you provide full service in return. We paid full price but stayed at a poorly run hotel in the midst--I sure hope what we saw is not the finished product--of renovations.
During our four day stay the same Sade' CD was playing every time we entered the empty dining room. And it was very discomfiting to find ourselves in a place no one else frequents. It was almost like the hotel was closed, we just hadn't been told.
Perhaps current management feels the need to first kill and bury any remnants of the old Stonington name and loyalty, because that revered name remains on the menu cards, the in-room stationery, the dingy bathrobes and on many other easily modified items throughout the facility.
The Bermudians on the staff were delightful, and helpful. Easy and friendly hospitality is a universal quality of every Bermudian I've met, and this visit was no exception.
The contrast to our previous visit was brought home like a cold slap in the face when we dined at the Reefs, where we enjoyed a full dining room, scrumptious food and impeccable Bermudian service.
What we experienced at "Coco Reef" was not the labor pains of a new baby coming into the world, but the death rattle of an old friend."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of September 2004