The Reefs -- A superb South Shore resort -- A romantic place to dream for, the

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Every tourist visiting Bermuda fantasizes about listening to the soothing, rhythmic sounds of ocean waves as they fall asleep each night and awake each morning.


Every tourist visiting Bermuda fantasizes about listening to the soothing, rhythmic sounds of ocean waves as they fall asleep each night and awake each morning.

The Reefs, a fabulous ocean front resort nestled along spectacular cliffs in Southampton, satisfies those desires and enjoys repeat customers year after year.

This is an award winning resort whose sole purpose is to pamper its guests and put them perfectly at ease.

The Reefs, named one of the "World's Best Places to Stay'' by Conde Nast Traveler's 2001 Gold List, recently completed a five million dollar renovation programme and there is fresh sparkle all around.

The Reefs was built around the ruins of a 1680 farmhouse at Christian Bay, Southampton and was originally owned by Marmaduke Dando.

The Reefs Beach Club, as it was known, opened its doors in 1947 and it was the first cabana style beach resort in Bermuda. It still has that wonderful open-air feeling.

"Perhaps the trickiest part of managing a successful resort hotel like The Reefs is finding the proper balance between the expected and the unexpected, between change and the status quo,'' said owner David Dodwell.

"On the one hand, it's important for our guests, particularly our repeat guests, to feel that The Reefs remains faithful to its past reputation for delivering extraordinary vacations, providing the comfort and attention that makes each guest feel at ease.

"On the other hand, times change and guests' needs change and alert hoteliers must anticipate trends.

"It is a major step, continuing our pattern of upgrading the hotel,'' he said. "It is all about focusing on what our customers are looking for, being competitive with other hotels in Bermuda and arund the world. The customer is always changing. We have to adapt our product accordingly.'' Mr. Dodwell added that the work could not have been done without the suppot of the staff.

He said that when the plans were presented in December, the staff were "very enthusiastic''.

"They liked the ideas and wanted to participate fully, and I was very impressed with their commitment and enthusiasm,'' he said. " General manager, Neal Stephens explained that the recent renovation has resulted in the creation of 11 suite accommodations, including three Point Suites and eight Junior Suites, at the popular south end of the property where guests enjoy breath-taking ocean views and majestic Bermuda sunsets.

"We are thrilled with the dramatic enhancement the renovation has created with the help of architectural firm of Cooper and Gardner.

"As a landmark hotel since the late 1940s, we continuously strive for excellence.

" Last year all of our cottages were upgraded including the addition of private hot tubs.

"Our new renovation will ensure that our guests relax in comfort and privacy while enjoying the industry's most cutting edge amenities.'' One of the first noticeable changes is the redesigned arrival area featuring an expanded porte-cochere `roundabout' driveway with a covered walkway entrance.

A fountain with an enhanced landscaping scheme adds to the new dramatic sense of arrival.

The pool area has doubled in size with the addition of an "infinity or horizon'' pool which gives the illusion of water trickling over the cliffs into the crystal turquoise waters of the Atlantic.

The deck features a new hot tub spa and attractive landscaping.

Mr. Stephens said the top three qualities which clients rate as the most important are the size of accommodation, nice modern bathrooms and splendid views.

The Reefs has renovated guest rooms at the extreme south of the property into three new Point Suites featuring a more spacious bedroom, bathroom and living area with whirlpool Jacuzzi bathtubs and expanded balconies.

Completely up-to-date entertainment equipment including televisions, VCR and DVD players have been added.

Additionally they have created Junior Suites featuring a bedroom with step-down sitting area, new expanded balcony and a more spacious bathroom area featuring a walk-in shower for two with a whirlpool Jacuzzi tub.

Their private beach is perfect for breathing in the fresh salt air and you will be fascinated by the turquoise sea as you laze under a shady umbrella on pink sand or go for a refreshing swim around coral reefs. And the beach towels, chairs and snorkelling equipment are complimentary.

Other activities include tennis, shuffleboard, croquet, kayaks with guided tours and a fitness centre featuring stair climbers, bikes, treadmill, weights and Cybex exercise equipment.

Each meal is a special occasion at The Reefs. Three distinct restaurants are available: Ocean Echo Terrace Grill, Coconuts and the Clubhouse Dining Room.

In the afternoon enjoy the charming tradition of English afternoon tea in the lounge, or make new friends in the Club House Bar, a favourite gathering place.

Mr. Stephens said: "Coconuts was recently rated `the most romantic place to fall in love in Bermuda' by Bermudian Magazine.

The Club House is open year round and the cuisine focuses on local specialties with an international flare including influences from the West and East.'' An experienced general manager, the charismatic Mr. Stephens has been in the hotel business for 16 years and the moment you meet him you know that he is passionate about his work. He is extremely conscientious and works six, 10 hour days a week.

"What I enjoy the most about my work is meeting the guests, especially the returns. Many people tend to come the same week every year. Over the years I have become acquainted with repeat clients and enjoy catching up on their news.

"I never take our view for granted - it is good for the soul.'' Summer rates effective April 15 through November 5 start at $298 and go as high as $1192 per night, double occupancy, and include breakfast and dinner.

A five night minimum stay does apply during this time. The rates drop from November 6 through March 31.

Included in the room rates are complimentary rum swizzle and in-room beverages on arrival, daily copy of the Royal Gazette newspaper, afternoon tea and weekly manager's rum swizzle party.

The Reefs can be visited on the web at www.TheReefs.com. The telephone number is 441-238-0222 and the facsimile is 441-238-8372.

The Reefs' owner, David Dodwell.

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