Coral Reef Club – Barbados
Hotel Type: A five* family owned-and-run luxury Caribbean retreat.
Location: Set amidst 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, on the beach on the calm west coast of Barbados, just 45 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from Bridgetown.
Style: Tropical colonial splendour.
Rooms: 88 spacious rooms, elegant suites & plantation style villas, some with plunge pools, nestled among 12 acres of lush seafront tropical gardens.
Favourite Room: Vicky’s favourite room is the Luxury Cottage/Suite as they are incredibly spacious, with their own private plunge pool and located in the front half of the gardens leading towards the sea. You will feel in a world of your own.
Ideal For: Balmy days and sophisticated Caribbean evenings.
Swimming: In the turquoise ocean, in either of the 2 outdoor freshwater pools or in some rooms own private plunge pool.
Dining: The Oceanview restaurant serves delicious contemporary and Caribbean flavours with daily changing menus inspired by organic local produce, freshly caught fish and high quality meats. Expect live music, Barbecue’s and à La Carte options! Head to the bar for a sundowner on the seafront. There is also no extra charge here for room service.
Children: The place to introduce your children to Caribbean sophistication.
Activities: There are complimentary non-motorised watersports including: Hobie Cat and Laser sailing, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding and Snorkelling. They also offer subsidised speedboat activities including waterskiing, wakeboarding and inflatable doughnut riding. Or you can try Diving with Padi and NAUI certification offered. Those interested in turtles and conservation can participate in the highly respected Barbados Sea Turtle Project, right next door to the hotel. Play tennis, there is even complimentary coaching available. Play golf on the local course just 10 minutes away. Take a tour of the garden every Wednesday. Head to the fitness centre , the boutique or join in a yoga class.
Spa: An award winning spa housed within a beautiful colonial inspired building. The facilities include a luxurious Relaxation Room, an outdoor Hydro-pool, a Thermal Suite with a serene Crystal Steam Room and Experience Shower and a Spa Lounge offering secluded relaxation. As well as four treatment rooms and a Manicure and Pedicure room.
Accessibility: Facilities are available on request.
Low Season Price From: £383 per night in a Garden Room or Cottage including breakfast.
High Season Price From: £408 per night in a Garden Room or Cottage including breakfast.
Open From: All year round.
Smart but understated, the Coral Reef Club has been the retreat of choice for discerning travelers for decades. It is still owned by the same family, and their weekly cocktail parties are not to be missed. Guests need not lift a finger – the service is faultless, and you soon see why most people are seasoned regulars. Set along a long stretch of white sandy beach, in 12 acres of lush tropical gardens and lawns, filled with frangipani, hummingbirds (that are surely some of best in Barbados), it is pure Caribbean sophistication. The colonial style architecture sits gracefully amongst the palms, looking out over the emerald Caribbean. If you love unpretentious luxury, there’s no better place to unwind. Or enjoy the odd sundowner or two.
Scattered around the verdant gardens, the rooms, suites & villas are simple and elegant. White tile floors, white walls and high, beamed wooden ceilings and covered verandahs, they are colonial style and supremely comfortable. The Garden Rooms and Cottages are larger than many hotel suites, with living areas and a private garden or balcony. For even more space, the Superior or Luxury Junior Suites are intimate and romantic. Some look out over the water, whilst most are dotted around the garden or have views of the pool. There are a variety of Two Bedroom Suites with interconnecting room options for families, with many having a large living area and plunge pool. We love the architecture of the Luxury Cottages and Suites. The cottages on the ground floor have a private plunge pool, whilst the Luxury Suites on the first floor have spacious balconies. They are great for families – accommodating two adults and two children (on a large sofa bed). Relax in Caribbean bliss in one of the Luxury Plantation Suites – they have romantic getaway written all over them. Overlooking the sea, they have a large terrace with wet bar and plunge pool. The palatial villas sit in large private lawns with a shared swimming pool, surrounded by palms and bougainvillea. Tamarind has three doubles and two bathrooms, and Ixora has four doubles, three bathrooms and an en suite shower room. They both offer families more independence, with a full kitchen.
Dining at the Coral Reef Club is delightfully old school formal. Think afternoon tea, dressing for dinner and waiters in bow ties. The Reef Restaurant, with its white linen tablecloths, looks out over the beach and beyond, serving the daily catch, mixing classic European influenced cooking and Caribbean flavours. The menu changes daily, with a West Indian evening and a fabulously sumptuous barbecue on another. The breakfasts, laden with tropical fruit and freshly squeezed juices, are equally impressive. Guests can also dine at The Sandpiper, the club’s sister hotel.
The accommodation choices for families are excellent, with all the baby equipment you could need, and a babysitting service. And it’s worth noting – most rooms have no TV. For children up to 11, there’s an activity programme that includes sailing and swimming, whilst older children can take part in the complimentary water sports. The water off the beach is calm and clear – perfect for swimming. An in-room dining service is available each evening (children under five are unable to eat in the restaurant after 7pm), and the chefs will prepare baby food too. Children under the age of 12 are unable to stay between mid-January and the end of February.
There are all the toys at the Coral Reef Club. All the non-motorized water sports are complimentary, from taking out a hobie cat or a Laser, to the more sedate paddle boarding and kayaking. Diving and snorkeling really shouldn’t be missed here. The pristine waters are brimming with all manner of marine life, and the hotel has its own PADI centre, catering for all levels from beginners to seasoned divers. There are several shipwrecks close by for exploring – and a night dive off one of these is a highlight. The hotel can also arrange deep sea fishing. Thrill seekers can waterski, wakeboard or doughnut. There are two tennis courts with complimentary coaching every day except Sunday, for both adults and children. The renowned Royal Westmoreland, with its par 72 championship course is within easy reach, as are the three courses at Sandy Lane – arguably offering some of the finest golf in the entire Caribbean. The Spa at the Coral Reef Club is delightful – so definitely make sure you book a treatment.