Coconut Court Beach Hotel review
Why the review?
Having been to Barbados on a few occasions, always staying at an all-inclusive resort has meant that the island never got to be explored. This time was going to be different!
Every all-inclusive hotel we have stayed at has provided all the food, drink and entertainment we have needed for a 2 week break in the sun. Then when it was time to leave, we realised that we had never actually left the resort so the rest of the island was missed. Doing this a few times, we decided to change things and in July 2017 we chose to stay at the 3 star, 112 roomed, Coconut Court Beach Hotel, Barabdos staying on the bed and breakfast option.
We chose this hotel due to the location as we had previously stayed in a hotel just 100 meters away. We knew it was in a good location on the island right between St Lawrence Gap and Bridgetown. Now the island itself is quite small (imagine a little bit bigger than the Isle of Wight) but with mainly single roads, travelling around it can take a while. Coconut Court is based in Hastings, (South coast) close enough to the airport for only a short trip but far enough away not to be pestered by any planes over head.
I do not want to speak about the flight other than to say we were disappointed but landing at the airport and getting out into the sun was just what we had ordered. Going through customs was easy enough, the collection of the bags in a small airport made things a lot easier.
The booking of the hotel included transfers to and from the airport, so leaving the main part of the terminal we had to look out for the Coconut Court board and just outside the exit doors was our driver waiting patiently.
The trip to the hotel was only about 20 minutes and the journey was fun as the driver kept us entertained with stories and ideas of where to visit. She pointed out some places to visit and suggested some places to eat.
On arrival at the hotel it was obvious that this was not an all inclusive resort. It was set back from the road and had a small car park at the front. Our driver dropped us off and we made our way into the reception area. This was cool, clean and looked the part. There was no queue and we had quickly sorted our room card (proximity operated) and had set up a charge account to the room so we could use the bar and restaurant without the worry of needing cash on the beach.
A member of staff then showed us to our room, on the top floor. He insisted on carrying our 2 big suitcases. To note, there are no lifts and lots of steps but getting to the room was a bit of fun with reading all the room’s different names. We got to our top floor (which was an upgrade), room 85 and looking out the window it was clearly worth the few levels of steps and the extra few quid.
The room was spacious, clean and the air conditioning was running. There was a large bed, a sofa, large TV, a safe and a small kitchen area where a kettle, microwave and a toaster sat on a worktop above a fridge by the front door.
There was a large wardrobe with an ironing board, that was going to be left untouched for our stay. The heat or the use of rum was going to put pay to that idea! There was plenty of drawers and a hairdryer in the room so certain amenities can be left at home.
The bathroom looked large and the shower area was a large unit which had a walk in space with a fixed glass screen providing ample room for a good lathering up. A pull across ‘drip dry’ line sorted the swimwear out. It ticked all the boxes we needed but then we explored the balcony. What a view!
The view was posted on social media and caused a stir, with people asking for room numbers on future bookings. I can honestly say that the 2 weeks we were there I did not get bored of this view and loved sitting on the balcony watching the world pass by.
The water in Barbados is safe to drink form the taps, we took bottles with us that we refilled and placed in the fridge so we could take out cold water with us. This one little known fact saved us a small fortune.
Wi-Fi is great all around the hotel. Once you check in you are given a password and they use your email as a log in, which can be used on a number of devices. We had Wi-Fi in the room, at the bar, restaurant and even on the beach. The only small issue that at really busy times we had a slower connection and sometimes got thrown out. But re-logging in was easy and sorted this problem.
The hotel is set on a beach. All beaches in Barbados are public, so there can be people walking along the front and of course now and again there is the roaming ‘beach seller’ with their trinkets and wares. I would suggest that if you are not a strong negotiator, say no to these people otherwise they like to pressure people into buying. That said the beach has it own security and they make sure these people do not bother the residents and are moved on.
You collect your beach towel from the shop, signing to say you will return it at the end of the stay. If you need it cleaned, you can exchange it for a small fee. The sunbeds are clean and comfortable. We liked the low trees where there is plenty of shade and the ability to drag chairs out into the sun where there is plenty of room on the beach to do this. We watched crabs scuttling around and even a few humming birds flitting across the beach.
The beach has golden sand and the sea is beautiful. The water is clear, light blue and luke warm. Just off the beech there is a small reef and the area in front of the beach seems a safe waist deep lagoon. Snorkelling around the reef is great, although you’ll need to take your own. We have written a review of the new full face snorkel, which you can read here. Tip, try and smuggle a banana from breakfast snap it and wedge it into a crevice in the rock under the water, then just float and watch all the different fish nibbling away.
The hotel has one restaurant used for all meals. Now we had the continental breakfast option, which meant, toast, cereal, fruit, fruit juices, tea/coffee and pastries. We did ask for the breakfast menu a few mornings to change things up a little and were happy to pay for eggs, bacon and sausage.
We did eat in the Hotel a few evenings as well, the steak sandwich is great, the burgers and the sweet and sour. All were worth the extra costs. While we are on about food, we wanted to explore the local foodie places and not be tied to the hotel so did not eat here every night.
We have to mention the Deck beach bar, run by one of the island best bartenders, Antonio. He opened every day from 11.00am and kept all his customers entertained. There was about 3 different happy hours, changing the ‘specials’ drinks on the hour, from 4.00pm until 7.00pm. We spent quite a few evenings here, even ordering food from the snack menu (the fish wraps are delicious). Antonio certainly knows his stuff and if you are lucky enough to grab 1 of the 4 chairs at the bar, he will keep you laughing all night.
There is a cabinet of books, all for exchange in front of the reception desk all free of charge, there were quite a few books and this will help on the luggage weights, as a good book is preferable to a Kindle in my eyes.
Monday night is worth spending at the hotel, with the Managers rum punch party and a few bits of finger food. This is the time you get to hear that the hotel is a family run place. The Blade family are still actively involved and are on hand to chat, explain and help their guests have a great holiday.
With most nights there was either live music around the pool or a DJ and the bar open or you can sit at the balcony of your room and enjoy it from a distance.
Outside the Hotel
Moving out of the hotel there is the ‘Mama Mia’ diner about 50 meters up the road, which you can eat lunch at or order a take away pizza in the evening. If you go further up the road past the Garrison, you start to hit a few more places to try out, including an Indian, Jamaican and a few others.
We have written a what to do in Barbados review (you can read it here).
Just past Mama Mia’s diner there is a shop that we called the $10 shop. Yep, take a bag as 4 bottles of Banks beer for $10 (Barbados) and quick trip back to the fridge in the room allowed us to have a beer whilst we got changed for evening shenanigans.
The other way is a better walk (facing the sea turning left), 50 meters along the beach you hit the ‘Board walk’ a decked walk way that stretches off into the distance and has loads of food places along the beach, these are up to a mile from the hotel so make sure you have suitable beach shoes.
NOTE – Food in Barbados, compared to the UK is a little more expensive, unless you are happy to really go out into the country and try new things like Oistins Fish fry then make sure you budget. There are $2 (Barbados dollars) to $1 (US dollar) and both are readily accepted around the island.
We had stayed mainly around Hastings for the duration of our stay and speaking to the lady at the activities desk in the hotel, we arranged a hire car for one day. So we can get out and view the rest of the island. It was a good deal as we checked the internet. The hire was an all in one charge (including a Barbados driving permit).
At the end of 2 weeks, on our last day we had arranged with the front desk our transfer back to the airport and we booked a day room for an hour (free of charge) so we could shower and change from the planned morning on the beach. However the rum party from the night before changed our plans (it was free rum, what can I say?).
Thanks to the hotel with a 12.00 check out, we were able to have a lay in and be out the room for 12, nursing only a small hangover. Sitting in the activities desk room, in the cool, reading and watching TV for a few hours saw us right to get back in a taxi for our transfer back to the airport.
That was it, apart from a very easy check in and comfortable departures lounge we were on a plane and back in Blighty before we knew it.
We truly loved this holiday, it was different to our normal breaks. Very satisfying that we got to see the island for what it is all about. Had we not stayed at this hotel we would not have done all these things, been so close to everything and seen a nesting turtle.
Thanks to the Blade family and staff who looked after us and gave us some unforgettable memories. Until the next time we go back, we will always have Barbados and Coconut Court hotel to think back on.