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Sep 5, 2010 02:29 PM

The Reefs in Bermuda

We are Reefs repeaters from 94 I think? I have been oh, 8 times. I expect amazing meals, great service and the standards the Reefs is so famous for...well, our friend just came back with an abysmal review. She said the owner is broke, the island is full of drug/gang issues, the service was bad, the food was so so and the rooms were run down..

We head back in June I hope..I always form my own opinion but read some similar reviews on TA that I NEVER would have seen in years past at the Reefs. We are big time foodies and always LOVED the food at The Reefs.


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  1. I'll follow up on the owner, David Dodwell, being 'broke', but I find that hard to believe. I go to the spa at the Reefs every month and we've had breakfast and lunch there - is it spectacular? No. Is it acceptable for a resort? Yes. The service is excellent. I have not been in the rooms so can't comment on that. And yes, we are having gang and shooting issues, there are profound social issues we are all trying to get to grips with What you have to keep in mind with Bermuda is that we don't have what I call 'in the compound ' tourism like certain Caribbean islands do - where visitors are kept separate from residents in gated resorts.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Athena

      thanks Athena..I live in the Caribbean and understand the all inclusive mentality of staying in your property..we never do that..and even back when we first started traveling to BDA there were issues with crime and murders. And as to David Dodwell's finances, well I guess it's none of my concern so long as the property is running great. It is odd to see so many mixed reviews when for years all were honestly, glowing. Our dining experiences were always amazing. Who is running the show now, his son? Gosh he was a little boy when we started going. Stephen was a great manager..We will still go unless between now and June things change. I miss Patricia Allison the res manager..

      1. re: phelana

        I checked TA and there are wildly veering reviews recently. And it's impossible to know whether it's the hotel or if the reviewer has certain, um, expectations.

        I hope you do come in June (and you do know the water will be colder in June than November?). I've never admitted this on Chowhound before, but I think the best food (outside of Rustico and lunch at Harry's) is in Bermudian homes - so we'll have to raid Tom Wadson's farm when you get here and have you over for dinner :-)

        1. re: Athena

          Athena, thanks ..sounds like a plan.

      2. re: Athena

        I have read on TA that you are the resident expert for Bermuda.

        How would you rate:
        Fourways Inn, Tamarisk Room, Henry VIII, Barracuda Grill, Blu? Which dining room at the Reefs is most elegant?

        Are there any other restaurants you would recommend as "can't miss" during my brief visit to Bermuda next week?

        Thank you.

      3. Phelana,

        Not sure about the reports on David Dodwells finances but I did write up a report on the food at Ocean Echo from early this year. Service was excellent, in fact that was pretty much what saved the entire meal. The food was only ok for me, much better food outside of the resort. With wildly conflicting reports, I think alot has to do with expectations as Athena has noted.

        As for violence and crime, yes, it has increased substantially since I arrived on the island many moons ago. It still is isolated to certain segments and areas of the island and doesn't tend to affect the tourist trade but that doesn't mean that regular pre-cautions shouldn't be taken still to prevent pickpockets and robbers. Those will occur no matter what part of the world you are in and I think people tend to forget that.