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Reviewed 12 March 2010

We stayed in the Penthouse over Christmas and New Year and had a fabulous time at Reef View.

The apartment was well equipped for making meals but perhaps most importantly had a great large fridge/freezer to keep all those beers cold and plenty of space for ice for the gin & ting!

Each room has a ceiling fan, we could have had air-conditioning in the bedroom at an extra cost, but the trade winds kept us lovely and cool in bed so you didn’t need it.

The apartment was lovely. Very clean and spacious with cathedral ceilings, and a fantastic balcony to sit out on, watching the sunset with a cocktail and a fabulous view of the sea. On a clear day you can see the volcano on Montserrat.

Nick & Karoll are some of the most sociable, kind, thoughtful, nicest people that you will ever meet, warm and welcoming with big hearts…
Amid their incredibly hectic schedule, they went to the trouble of cooking a delicious feast and inviting all the guests over to share Christmas with them..... just because that's who they are!!

It was a great occasion and a fun way to spend the festive season Caribbean style.

Some reviewers I see have chosen to dwell on negatives but they seem to forget N&K are running a very labour intensive business, which at the same time happens to be their own home. They have nowhere to hide but are so accomodating I don't think the word NO is even in their vocabulary! We stayed 3 weeks and we have seen with our own eyes what they do day in day out to make sure everyone has a great holiday. I do however think they would do well to investigate the possibility of human cloning since just watching them was enough to wear me out and send me back to the fridge for refreshment.

I am guessing but in order to keep the prices affordable for guests, they do absolutely everything themselves. This includes cleaning all the rooms so they can guarantee they are in tip top condition for the new arrivals AND being the bright smiley face to greet you after your long flight and immigration experience at the airport AND preparing a welcome bbq, making you feel well at home before you head off to your comfy bed for your first night's sleep.

When you do get out and about you soon discover Antiguans in general aren't overly energetic when it comes to customer service - so with that as a backdrop you appreciate the efforts they go to at Reef View even more.

ReefView IS set within a rural neighbourhood and people ought to know that because of this, it is not unreasonable to expect that, as visitors, we will encounter other people living out their lives - as people do in Antigua. This may not be quite how we would do things at home but if we love home so much, why do we go on holiday? Surely it is to expose ourselves to different sights, sounds and stimulation.

Some are good, some not so much...... but for those people who have managed to let a simple noise ruin your holiday - didn't you ever think of earplugs???

This is not a $1000 a night resort like those only a couple of minutes up the road but you do get far more than you pay for by staying with Karoll and Nick. If you are fun loving, friendly people who are keen to get an insider's view of how to maximise your Caribbean holiday - then Reef View is definitely for you…

We came as guests and left as friends. Thanks for everything, Jen and Richard

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank UKYorkies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2010

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Beach Loft Cottage for a week to celebrate his 30th birthday and overall we had a fantastic trip, helped along greatly by Karoll's tips and advice. There were a couple of things that disappointed me based on my expectations from previous reviews which I thought it would be good to clear up for other people's reference but on the whole I would definitely agree with the majority - that Reefview apartments are a great place to say.

To ensure I've covered everything, I've explained my reasons for each individual rating...

Cleanliness - The cottage was spotlessly clean throughout, only marked down for the occasional presents from the dogs found outside in the mornings. Karoll would always ensure these were cleared up - usually before we were up - but perhaps just keeping the dogs out of the cottage's 'private garden' would be a better option.

Location - The apartments are located in a rural village which has the great benefit of being away from crowds of tourists. There are a number of lovely beaches and restaurants within easy reach on the bus - Fryes beach and Dennis's restaurant being favourites. I was expecting more of a beach within walking distance - the beach is very close but with very little sand and the sea full of seaweed it's not much use for sun-bathing and swiming. However it was perfect for a long peaceful walk and not spending all our time there meant that we got out to see many more fantastic beaches. Things were a little less easy in the evenings as the buses stop at 6pm so you have to get taxis to and from the local restaurants if you don't have a car.

Rooms - The cottage was lovely - very cute and romantic. Simply decorated with great views and loads of plants attracting more humming birds than I'd ever dreamed of seeing! I was slightly apprehensive about the outside shower at first but it actually turned out to be perfect for cleaning off without getting steamed up and hot. We didn't do much cooking but the kitchen (and bbq!) appeared to have everything you'd need if you were. Slightly marked down as the view wasn't as good as I was expecting as there's a hotel between the cottage and the beach and there's no air conditioning in the cottage. You could usually get a lovely breeze coming through though so the a/c wasn't generally an issue.

Service - Karoll was very helpful, providing info about the island and suggestions of what to do. We wouldn't have seen and done as much as we did without her advice, especially using the buses which we probably would have been too scared to do without her telling us how! She also offered a selection of trips without being pushy - we decided to take the snorkelling trip and had great experience, seeing loads of fantastic fish and an eagle ray! Nick and Karoll helped us get the hang of the snorkelling (neither of us had done it before and were a bit nervous) and stayed close by, holding my hand until I felt comfortable.

Value - Overall I think the apartments are good value for money compared to other apartments and hotels. It did turn out to cost a bit more than I'd originally budgeted due to a few unexpected extras such as the wire transfer fees and the airport transfer only being available at 10.30am meaning that we had to pay for a taxi for our evening flight. So there probably are cheaper options available but given the personal service and unique location you get at Reefview I think this is money well spent.

Sleep quality - This is the only thing to let Reefview down! While the bed was lovely and comfy there was a lot of noise outside from roosters and dogs which unfortunately meant we didn't sleep very weel. We had to close the windows at night to try to reduce the sound and so used the fans (there's no a/c) throughout the night which is a) a waste of energy, b) still very hot and c) still pretty noisy.

It's hard to say whether or not I'd recommend Reefview as, while we had a fab time, it's not for everyone. If you want a rural setting, immersion in the local way of life and to be away from the tourists, and don't mind noisy nights, then YES! If you're after luxury and facilities close to hand then perhaps not.

If you do go, then a few tips from our personal highlights are lunch at Dennis's, snorkelling trip with Nick and Karoll and the Sunday night BBQ and steel band at Shirley Heights.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JQI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

Beach Loft and surroundings:
• Rustic
• Basic
• No door on bathroom which is adjacent to the kitchen
• Steep ladder up to loft with strange stair configuration (dangerous & tough to get luggage up and down)
• Were there for 10 days and did not have sheets changed
• Had to ask for clean towels
• Could not use patio in the evening as there were too many bugs. We were eaten alive the first night we arrived!
• Strange sewage smell in patio area
• Dogs relieved themselves in the patio which we cleaned up. We did encourage the dogs to visit but as dog owners we know that they can be trained to “go “ in one spot and this should have been the owner’s backyard not ours!
• There was a rooster in a pen right under the bedroom window so if you like to sleep past 5:00AM while on holidays you can forget about it! It was awful listening to him scream!
• Although the area around the apartments is very tropical it is not at all manicured and in fact quite wild and messy.
• Owner’s unit had lots of stuff visibly thrown here and there…no pride of ownership there!
• Parking is ridiculous. On a rough, dirty side street beside the complex with not much room to maneuver.
• Had to fight with gate upon entering/exiting complex with arms full of beach towels etc.
Owners and excursions etc:
• Snorkelling trip pricey at $85.00 per hour with a three hour minimum
• Saw a lot of marine life which was awesome but the snorkeling was a bit too aggressive and therefore not a relaxing experience

Warning;
On the last day, just as we were leaving, the owners came in, opened the fridge and accused us of breaking it and were demanding that we pay for the repair. We DID NOT break their fridge but they insisted that it was not broken before we arrived. We felt like we were being set up. Karoll then said that on one of the night s that we came back a little “cheery” we might have broken the fridge and not realized it. The depate carried on for what seemed to be an eternity! To now be accused of being liars AND drunks! I was so angry, I left the apartment and went to sit in the car. Karoll came out a while later with my husband and in her annoyingly sweet passive aggressive voice told us that they waived the charge for the fridge.
We had to check out at 10:30 even though our flight wasn’t until 5:00 and the new folks weren’t arriving until much later in the day. We spent the day at the beach, went to Jolly Harbor to shower and change. Just were hopping back in the car to go to the airport when Karoll came careening into the parking lot and parked her car in front of ours. She hopped out and said that with all of the goings on regarding the fridge she had forgotten to bill us for the snorkeling. She came armed with proof that we had gone. We had never denied going and paid her immediately. As she was walking back to her car she back tracked, stroked my arm and again in that sickening sweet voice of hers said “oh, I’m also missing a silk cushion, but that’s alright love, do enjoy it” I was livid! Now we are perceived liars, drunks and thieves!!! It was appalling! She was driving off when we got her attention, she stopped, we suggested that she search our vehicle for the cushion at which point she said that we must have taken it to the beach and left it there!!! We were being goaded and harassed in a very public, touristy area which was very unprofessional of her given that she had her Reefview sign clearly displayed on her car.
In closing, this was one of the worst holiday experiences we have ever had and I would caution anyone from vacationing at the Reefview. I am shocked at all of the glowing reports. She had two books which she kept hounding us to fill in and I do know that Karoll filled in for those who didn’t bother with glowing reports. When I said that I felt compelled to post a negative report on TripAdvisor, she said :go ahead, I will retaliate”
We went out of our way to purchase and bring the little incidentals which she requests in her emails. She offered to compensate us but we declined. When things were starting to head south, I did mention to her that we bought things to them in good faith and now they were treating us like criminals and she said that “yes’ she too was surprised as we seemed to come across as decent people in the beginning. Newsflash Karoll, we are still decent folk….I do however question the integrity of both you & Nick.
Advice: Pay a little more, the Oceanview apts. looked beautiful,and experience the lovely island of Antigua without the stress of Karoll & NicK!.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank blueinbarrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2010

We are just back from a fortnight with Nick and Karoll at Reefview. The apartments are located within minutes of a wild and unspoilt beach where local fishermen compete for fish with the pelicans and frigate birds. A short drive away are numerous other spectacular white sandy beaches with or without beach bars and local restaurants.

Nick and Karoll generously share their extensive knowledge of the island and are experts at describing the local flora and fauna. A snorkelling trip from their boat is an incredible experience. Nick has an encyclopaedic knowledge of marine life and we were thrilled to see reef sharks, turtles, an eagle ray, lobsters and shoals of multi-coloured fish whilst being expertly and safely guided.

Our clean and airy apartment had all the amenities we required and a lovely balcony with views of Monserrat. We were able to cook there or eat out at recommended local restaurants or eat freshly caught fish barbecued by our hosts.

This is a great place to stay especially if you don't want the bland all-inclusive type of holiday. Thanks to Nick and Karoll we feel that we know a bit about the real Antigua and would thoroughly recommend a stay there.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank pallincoln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2010

Reefview is the perfect getaway location, we stayed in the penthouse which is wonderfully spacious with great sunset views from the balcony. Nick and Karol are great hosts, Karrol picked us up from the airport and we really enjoyed the first night BBQ and the rum punch. Spent most mornings driving to a beach and lunch at a local beach resteraunt then spent the afternoon at the local beach (2 min walk) which is quiet (ie no one else is there so just how we like it) and excellent for snorkelling, viewing the egrets and pelicans. I enjoyed the best snorkelling trip EVER, with a trip on Nick's boat onto the reef. 3 hrs of incrediblle fish, rays, baracuda - An incredible experience. Ozzie and Jabba (the dogs) and Spooky and Cassius (the cats) were also very welcoming, well behaved and made it feel like home rather than sterile holiday accomodation. Unfortunately we were only able to stay for 1 week which was much too short .

We would thoroughly recommend Reefview to anyone wanting to experience the true beauty of Antigua

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank BongoStraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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