Subscribers Forum | Page Five
We had a week At Coral Reef Club, and also visited some other Barbados hotels.
The coral reef at first site looked in need of refurbishment, but as the week moved along we realised that it just provided a more than acceptable standard of genuine friendly comfort. It is not what you may describe as crisp, but the staff were always attentive and plentiful. The food was excellent. A nice albeit small beach, plentiful water sports, lots of sunshine and sunbeds.
The two pools were small and disappointing, so the beach was the place to go.
The colony club was crowded and looked past its best.
Cobblers cove was tight and the plantlife in need of serious pruning.
Sandy Lane, pristine, lovely food, but perhaps a little sterile. It remains a favourite of your customers, it feels a little four seasons, which is some way off opening judging by the building site.
USA & Canada.
On our trip to USA and Canada - Auberge St Antoine in Quebec was a delight - so well designed, located and managed. Good food.
Old Windsor in Toronto was no good - boring room, very poor dining and service - concierge very helpful.
White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine - excellent as usual- cosy, charming, good food.
The Inn at Stockbridge is a delightful 'hide away'- very comfortable and inviting- no main meals.
On arrival at Elbow Beach in Bermuda, we learned that the main building is to be closed imminently - with just cottages and beach eating/facilities open!!!
I hope that this message finds you very well.
Xxxxx and I left earlier today from Bali after having spent almost two idyllic weeks there exploring the three Aman properties on the island. Indeed, we had a perfect Gallivanter’s Guide itinerary staying first at Amanusa, then in the Ayung Suite at Amandari and finally for six blissful evenings in the Indrakila Suite at Amankila. It was, indeed, a sublime escape.
However, I must confess that one of the things that made our stay most enjoyable was the time I was able to devote to reading past copies of the Guide. Indeed, each morning I would sneak into the Amankila Library—on my way down to the Beach Club—and pick up the portfolio of past issues, so that I could read a few each day while overlooking the pool and the sea. Indeed, after 5 mornings at the beach I believe that I have now read every issue—cover-to-cover—since 2005!
It was an absolute treat to spend such time with the Guide and read what is—without question—the most insightful publication in the industry.
HC – New Zealand.
I remember you said you would like an update from the Cipriani, where I am currently in the middle of a two week stay. Obviously the Cipriani, with its setting and its proximity to the town, is probably one of the most elegant holiday destinations. However the recession has obviously even reached here as the staff were only offered contracts this year from April to 31st August, which have been extended as and when the hotel has the bookings. Changes have been made and although Dr. Rusconi is a consultant to the hotel he has only visited once since his retirement and was most unhappy with the changes - however this has been told me by members of the rather disgruntled staff whose numbers have been cut and it would seem have to work harder.
Personally I think the changes made to the restaurants have improved the vitality of the hotel. The bar has been extended considerably and broken through to embrace the area previously occupied by the formal dining area. It serves the same menu as the lagoon side restaurant and presents an all day area of comfort for all drinks and light meals. If a guest wishes to lunch formally then the Fortuny restaurant is open for that purpose. I would imagine that these changes also help with staff distribution and shrinkage as only the one bar now exists in the garden.
However the prices of food and drink have risen considerably, albeit there are deals to be done on the rooms. Little treats such as chocolates and fruit etc in the rooms have been cut out - I think this is a mistake at this level of hotel and has been very much noticed by the long time guests.
There are many fewer guests from the UK - a few Americans, and a great deal more Italians.
It would appear that Dr. Rusconi is very much missed and the clubby, family flavour of the hotel is disappearing, although the principal members of staff are still in place and are as good as ever.
In any event I am really enjoying myself and my husband says he is enjoying the stay if I am !