Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

BERMUDA (August 28, 2012) – At a presentation event held earlier this month, Minister of Tobago Development, Dr. The Honourable Delmon Baker, presented Bermudian
hotel developer John Jefferis with an  award in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Trinidad & Tobago’s independence and Mr. Jefferis’ invaluable contributions to Tobago’s tourism

Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence from Great Britain on August 31st, 1962 and is observing 50 years of Independence this year, 2012. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is remembering and celebrating this important milestone with a series of fitting initiatives. These aim to recognize and celebrate some of the important events, people and places that helped shaped the country’s rich and diverse history.

“I am delighted to have received this high-profile award from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of Coco Reef – Tobago,” said Mr. Jefferis. “The management and staff have worked extremely hard to ensure that all guest needs are met and that we continue to be the leading hotel on the island. I accept this award on their behalf and wish the Government much success over the next 50 years.”

Minister Baker said: “We expect that Coco Reef will continue to be the flagship hotel contributing to the long term success of Tobago’s tourism industry.”

Since opening in 1996, Coco Reef has been the leading hotel in Tobago and the winner for four years in a row of the World Travel Award for the “Leading Hotel in the Caribbean.”

The opening of the property was a major factor in attracting direct flights from the UK to Tobago. Mr. Jefferis was part of the Government delegation that met with British Airways in London. At the meeting British Airways agreed to put on direct flights to Tobago mainly because of the opening of the Coco Reef Resort. However, there was one problem; there was no airline catering in Tobago. Mr. Jefferis offered to start an airline catering company in time for the first flight. As agreed, British Airways started their direct flights to Tobago, which subsequently became very successful.

Coco Reef – Tobago has developed through continual capital reinvestment, including the more recently constructed all suite Palm Wing, which includes the Havana Suite with its lavish marble and gold bathrooms. Over US$52 million has been invested in the property and it is regarded as one of the most successful hotel developments in the Caribbean. The hotel project, which was designed by Mr. Jefferis, included the construction of a 400-metre white sand beach, using sand shipped in from Guyana and a protective rock reef, which subsequently became a coral reef that serves as the habitat for 24 different species of fish.

Mr. Jefferis added: “No matter how much was spent on capital improvements at the property, our customers tell us it is not the marble and gold that makes them want to return, but the exceptionally friendly and professional management and staff at Coco Reef.”

The 10 acre property is renowned for its manicured tropical gardens, 140 rooms, suites and villas, including the US$4,000 per night Sunset Villa that is popular with celebrities. The project architects for the construction of the hotel were the Bermudian architectural firm, Cooper Gardner.

Following in its big sister’s footsteps, Coco Reef – Bermuda opened in 2004 and consists of 64 rooms situated on a spectacular beachfront location. The hotel features an award-winning atrium lobby, two restaurants with fabulous views and exotic private dining facilities.

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