Barbados with an elegant English twist; Cobblers Cove will be chic and charming to some and stuffy and somewhat out of touch with its Caribbean setting to others... Whatever your opinion on this member of prestigious hotel group Relais & Châteaux (the only one in Barbados and one of only six in the Caribbean), Cobblers' understated brand of fancy in a tranquil garden setting will help you fall under its spell...
On the outskirts of Speightstown (St Peter) on the west coast of Barbados, Cobblers Cove is situated about 45 minutes from the Grantley Adams International Airport. The capital Bridgetown is 12 miles from the hotel, and the nightlife of Holetown is about a 10 minute drive away.
Children are not admitted at Cobblers Cove between January and March.
WIFI connection is free throughout the entire resort.
The hotel's main building resembles a little castle with its pastel pink exteriors and contrasting white turrets. Set upon three acres, Cobblers Cove has something of an English country manor ambiance, with a stately sitting room complete with comfy armchairs, porcelain dinnerware displays and chess set. Outside, a small swimming pool is lined with plastic sun loungers and bright blue parasols. On the pool deck, hotel staff make the rounds with cold towels, fruit kebabs and homemade sorbet from 11:00am.
A small arts and crafts room aims to keep the younger guests occupied. Above it guests will find the large library and TV room, with cable television, DVD player (DVDs are available at Reception) and computer. Also on-site is an air-conditioned hair salon and treatment room. Across the road meanwhile, guests can keep fit on the floodlit tennis court or in the well-equipped and well-lit gym, found in a yellow Chattel house (traditional wooden home). Besides the water sports that are available, there are few other leisure facilities offered to guests.
Cobblers Cove features only 40 suites which creates an intimate atmosphere at the hotel. The superior garden suites total 22, and come with garden views only. The deluxe 1 bedroom suites (6) also have garden views but are that little bit closer to the beach, while the eight ocean front suites directly face the sea. The deluxe 2 bedroom suites (2) are good for groups or families travelling together. Meanwhile, the Camelot and Colleton suites each feature marble floors, hand painted furnishings and their own roof terraces with private plunge pools.
Regardless of the category, each suite contains a separate sitting room that directly opens on to a spacious balcony or patio. Little extras in each room include a wet bar, stocked mini-fridge and Seersucker bathrobes. There are no televisions in the suites; they need to be rented from Reception.
The open plan suites are light and airy - fitting for their Caribbean setting, with soft neutrals, cool greens, terracotta tile floors and rattan furnishings. Clean and comfortable, they are elegant yet homey at the same time.
Cobblers Cove boasts a reputed bar and restaurant The Terrace, led by Irish executive chef Brian Porteus. The Terrace is open-air, under a wooden apex roof and boasts a casual yet elegant ambiance. Tables dressed in immaculate white tablecloths are perfectly lined up to the take advantage of the beautiful sea views. Simple but classy, the restaurant boasts a sophisticated menu of international cuisine using Caribbean ingredients and flavours.
Dinner specials are around BBD$75 (£23.25), and can include dishes such as pan seared chilli pork fillet with creamed corn, sweet yam, crispy prosciutto and ginger mash; or an entrée of lemongrass poached lobster tail with spices, pumpkin purée and citrus foam. Entrées go for around BBD$45-$50 (£13.95 - £15.50), while mains start at BBD$70 (£21.70).
At lunchtime, the menu is simpler and includes posh sandwiches and gourmet salads such as coconut shrimp and guava, vanilla and orange duck leg confit, or seared Bajan pepper tuna for BBD$50 (£15.30). The exchange dining programme allows guests on half board meal plans to try other restaurants at participating luxury hotels on the island.
The bar meanwhile, nestled between the pool and the restaurant, boasts a fantastic drinks list, with a wide variety of spirits, liqueurs and cocktails.
The rock wall on Cobblers Cove's beach straight away dims its aesthetic appeal... The beach is accessed by a small staircase where guests will come across rocky patches at first - guests need to veer to the right to feel the sand between their toes. It's not the most spectacular beach you'll find in Barbados, but it is a lot quieter than most of what you'll find elsewhere on the island. Complimentary water sports include skiing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling. A swim pontoon is also available to guests.
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