Crystal Cove reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.5 Excellent

  • Cleanliness 4.5
  • Location 4.5
  • Rooms 4.0
  • Service 4.5
  • Value 4.0

2400 TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

Lots of good, some not so good

kimpB7955PX (Chicago, Illinois) on Jul 04, 2022

Just returned from our much anticipated trip to Crystal Cove in the Barbados. I kind of have a love/hate opinion with this resort...ok, maybe 'hate' is too strong, a love/dislike opinion. There was much to love, quite a bit that I disliked. The good stuff first! Loved the size of this resort, never felt crowded, no issues finding loungers by pool and at beach. Loved the beach, with the exception of the rocky (not small little rocks, LARGE). Ocean floor. Lovely shades of blue and green. Plenty of space and did not feel crowded. Loved all of complimentary water activities. Tubing was a blast! My husband paddle boarded once but it was a bit rough which made it challenging. We rented a jet ski for 30 minutes ($80 US dollars), so much fun cruising the coastline, looking at all the houses and resorts up and down the coast. We booked the sea turtle snorkel trip with Dwayne on the beach. We were lucky enough to swim with two sea turtles and we saw tons of fish over the shipwreck and coral reef. The water was not as clear some other carribean islands that we have visited but possibly due to tropical storms that were passing through? LOVED the tropical drinks!! Lots of fun drinks to try off their drink menu. The Martinis at the Wine Bar were standouts! Some drinks were super strong, others not so much...depended who made them I guess. House wine was fine although the Wine Bar did not have Chardonnay once while we were there, every single day I asked for it, every time I was told they didn't have any (even though it's on the menu). Our favorite place to hang out was the covered outdoor longe right off The Wine Bar. We would get a cocktail every evening before dinner and enjoy the stunning views. Definitely appreciated this spot having ceilings fans and the cool air coming from the air-conditioned Wine Bar. I read that The Wine Bar served Tapas, but we never saw anything like that while there (would have been nice though!) Love the pools. Yes, they were small but they were never crowded. There were 3 pools on 3 levels. All faced the ocean and they had a super tropical vibe. They do need to do a refresh of this area however, it is showing its age, but should be an easy fix to update. The Cave Bar was a great focal point of the resort and pool area and we enjoyed the swim up portion. The inside of The Cave Bar was too hot to hang out in, also, lots of flies. Good spot to grab a drink and take to dinner. Loved our room BUT...so my husband is a Titanium Marriott member. Rather than use points we paid for our room to ensure that we would have an Ocean View room. We were given an Ocean View room (#127) but our view was considerably blocked by a huge tree right in front of our balcony AND the employees set up a red canapy/tent type thing right there between the tree and our balcony. Not such a great thing to stare at while sitting on the balcony...additionally, the balcony was kind of shallow and not well covered. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is sit on the balcony and gaze at the ocean. I probably spent less than 10 minutes total on this balcony, for the reasons listed above...what a shame, especially since my husband is Titanium which was not acknowledged by Crystal Cove in the least. We did enjoy the bottle of rum punch that was delivered to our room upon arrival, not sure if this was due to my husband's Titanium status or not. Room itself was spacious and well appointed. 2 level, two full baths, bar area with a fully stocked mini fridge (fridge was restocked daily and included bottled water, soda and beer), plenty of closet space and a comfortable bed. Bathrooms appeared to be recently updated. Room was great, balcony and view...not so much. Loved that our room was steps away from EVERYTHING...pools. bars, beach, lobby, restaurants...all just steps away. So convenient and a huge plus. Staff-I would say 60 percent of the staff was good...pleasant and helpful. 40 percent, not good...unfriendly, some bordering on rude. Not everyone is cut out for the hospitality business, management needs to cut loose the one that don't want to be there, it is a HUGE deficit for the resort to employ unfriendly, uncourteous individuals. They totally ruin it for the 60 percent who are good, and it obviously ruins it for guests who spend their hard earned money on a vacation that for many is just a yearly event. Retrain your staff and let go those unwilling or unable to smile, offer friendly greetings and show genuine interest in pleasing guests. This is hospitality 101. 40 percent not great is unacceptable. I gave a 4 star rating, I would have given 3.5 stars had that been an option, in large part because of that 40 percent. FOOD-so this is my 3rd all inclusive resort vacation, additionally I have been on 6 or 8 cruises. I'm looking for that elusive unicorn...fine dining at an all inclusive, like really good restaurant type food (my husband and I fancy ourselves foodies-doesnt have to be fancy, but it does need to be good!) Definitely haven't found it yet and the Crystal Cove was sadly disappointing food wise. Sigh. Food was average at best. Breakfast and lunch...blah. Meh. Dinners were slightly better, the best being our 2 dinners at The Waves Shiso restaurant. Those meals were pretty good...but not great. I want really good food while dining out and certainly on vacation, didn't happen. Still looking for that unicorn. Bottom Line-we really enjoyed our stay at Crystal Cove. Lots of good. Plenty of not so good.. Will I return? Probably not...improve the food and get rid of that 40 percent, then I would consider returning. The competition is stiff. So many beautiful islands and resorts to choose from!! Step it up Crystal Cove, you can do it!!

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

Lovely hotel, friendly staff

540hj on Jul 04, 2022

My family and I stayed at Crystal Cove and had a lovely holiday. The hotel was great and the staff were so friendly. The only disappointing element of the holiday was being hassled to book the trip to swim with the turtles through the hotel rather than through Dwayne on the beach who we have known for many years. It is important to us when going on holiday to support the locals as much as possible but when we mentioned that we were going to book through Dwayne the reception staff kept telling us not to and to book through them instead. We were also talking to another lady on holiday who experienced the same thing. She had even paid a deposit to Dwayne and was told by the hotel that it was better to book through them. Dwayne was kind enough to return this deposit but it's disappointing that the hotel seem so focused on making money that they take business away from the locals.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

Very happy with this hotel and may return.

Holidayheaven1017 (Highworth, United Kingdom) on Jul 03, 2022

The only reason I gave 4 stars and not 5, was due to the food. Although very acceptable and nice, it was not 5 star food. Everything else about this hotel, we loved. We hAd a great time with the family at this hotel during the last 10 days of June. We flew with BA from Heathrow, which although delayed by 30 minutes or so, we had no problem at all getting through the airport and out to the taxi area. No need to pay extra for speedy airport arrival. Our room was an Ocean view (room 346 – see picture). Lovely view and very tidy and acceptable room. The bed was probably the most comfortable bed we have ever had on any holiday anywhere. The room was also nicely airconditioned. Taxi cost from the airport is $58 Barbados and takes about 30 minutes. Prices are displayed just outside of the arrivals area, meaning you shouldn’t get ripped off. If you are happy with your driver, make sure you get his or her card as it will be cheaper to book taxis with this person (including when you need to return to the airport for you homeward journey), than going through the hotel. Food was very acceptable (no problems with any food eaten over the 10 days for any of my party), but it would have been nice for more options during the evening meal. Sometimes this was buffet, sometimes Al la carte. Lots of choice at breakfast, including omelettes and poached eggs to order, porridge, pastries and full fry up. Lunch was either served to your table, or buffet. Make sure you book your evening meal time with the lady in reception at breakfast to ensure you get a table. We observed a ,man in his 40s and 2 teenage girls that were forced to order room service as no table available in the evening. This seemed a bit harsh on them, which also cost them £$20 extra for room service. I did feel the hotel should have found them a table, accepting they may have to wait a little to be served. I am sure they won’t forget this experience. Alcoholic drinks were available throughout the day, via the swim up bar, bar by the beach or the pop up bars that appeared most afternoons. Cocktails were great, although I felt they were a bit stingy with the alcohol, so not so strong. Maybe that was a good thing, but I did overhear an American guest asking for a double shot. Particularly good was the rum punch, rum squash and mud slides. House wine with the evening meal was pretty good. The location was particularly good, with good swimming from the beach and some lovely sunsets directly out to sea. Swimming is mixed with both sand and rocks. Take some sea shoes or waterproof sandals if you can. Snorkelling gear is also worth taking, especially for the boat trips, but you can also see some great fish swimming from the hotel. I think you can borrow snorkelling equipment from the sports area on the beach, but best to check before you travel. We took our own. If you like boat trips, ask the person at reception to book you on a catamaran trip. Some of these are booked up for weeks in advance, so if you prefer a trip with lots of other people, my advice is to book in advance. The alternative (which we did) was to book a much smaller catamaran, suitable for 6 to 8 people. We had the perfect day, snorkelling with turtles and over shipwrecks. Point to note, the catamaran trip went to a much better shipwreck and place to see turtles, than the glass bottomed boat trip, also booked via the hotel. We did both and didn’t regret it one bit. The catamaran was our favourite though, with a very informative captain. A lovely lunch was also included. Boat trips are also a little cooler than on the beach or around the pool. If you fancy a night out at a different restaurant, try the Sea Shed, you won’t regret it. Lovely food, lovely location right on the beach and very relaxing. This was our best meal during our stay. Taxi will cost you around $50 to $70, depending on size of party. Another restaurant we tried was La Cabane which was a little closer. Food was fantastic and restaurant was actually on the beach. Both were great, but Sea Shed was our favourite. Best to book both in advance though, especially La Cabane. Our party was 6 people, which included 2 children and they loved the Kids club and spent a few hours there most days, returning with painted pebbles, or bracelets they made. We would not hesitate to rebook this hotel.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Perfect place for a honeymoon

Calamityjanie70 (Reading) on Jul 03, 2022

From the moment we first made contact, Crystal Cove made us welcome. The staff are incredibly friendly and this was the perfect place for our honeymoon. As a relatively small resort, our room was close to all amenities but still felt private. Our balcony looked over the beach and the sound of the Crystal clear sea was beautiful. The food was excellent and whilst the rooms seemed a little tired, they were cleaned perfectly every day without exception and the hotel will be updating all rooms soon. It was very quiet, not much entertainment but that suited us fine. My husband isn’t usually a beach fan but… it was so beautiful and the loungers were perfect and plentiful, we spent everyday there. It was rainy season but this didn’t spoil anything. Would definitely recommend this destination to anyone seeking an idyllic getaway.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Amazing Holiday

Faye690 (Iver Heath, United Kingdom) on Jul 01, 2022

So we finally returned to Crystal Cove after trying for 3 years because of Covid, We went with an open mind as Covid could have changed things but I'm glad to say it didn't. I wasn't overly pleased with my room due to its position and the position of the snack cart but the niggle I had was rectified as soon as I reported it and the room has the most amazing view from the balcony. Always keep immaculate by the cleaners. The staff do an amazing job, anyone who can wear a mask in that heat all day deserves a medal, from reception to cleaners. Everything is done with good cheer and to ensure you enjoy your stay. Big shout out to Celeste, Raheem, Mya, Alison, Sheriann, Kathy and anyone else I have missed. I hope Marriott realise their biggest assets are their staff! Food - excellent, Al a carte was fabulous and if you can't find something you like I can only assume you are a picky eater. The wraps and caesar salads at lunch were to die for Drinks - excellent wine choices/cocktails/beers though my husband did miss not having a banks Vista bar - the gem of the hotel. We also used the dine around program - we visited Waves (Kyria) for lunch and dinner (Shiso), Tamarind for lunch and Treasure Beach for lunch and dinner. All fabulous - give them a try if you have time Watersports - the sailing and rings were all good fun. We did snorkel but took our own equipment Water taxi - this is a free taxi which runs from Waves up the West Coast to Colony Club. We used this a lot! Worth it to get to the sister hotels and also just for a trip to see the shoreline of the West Coast We absolutely loved our stay and will be returning

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