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Stunning Coco Reef Tobago Voted ‘World Class Resort of The Year’ in 26th Caribbean World & Living magazine International Awards

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 25 January 2021 | 0 Comments

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25 January 2021

Multi Award Winning, World Class Bermudian Hotelier & Entrepreneur Mr John Jefferis, who celebrated 55 years in the hospitality industry recently, is no stranger to glittering Award ceremonies and accolades. Jefferis, owner of the Coco Reef Resorts in Tobago and Bermuda, built his career on creating outstanding hotels in the Caribbean region. At the 26th International Caribbean World & Living Magazine Awards it was voted ‘World Class Resort of the Year’ in recognition of its impeccable, first-class product to both consumers and corporate travellers. Jefferis cuts an iconic dash in the Caribbean hospitality sector, due to his avant-garde trademark style that sees him operating more like an impresario than a hotelier. 

He readily tells people “ we are not only in the hotel business we are business of theatre - my job is to invest money into the hotels and setting the stage. The staff are the actors and the stars of the show, Every day is a live how and we cannot ever have a poor performance” . This philosophy on staff is further emphasised by a large sign over the General Manager’s office door, it says:  “Hire for Attitude – Train for Skills” 

As one of the most respected hoteliers in the Caribbean region, Jefferis is probably best know for the Coco Reef - Tobago and its sister hotel Coco Reef Bermuda - both hotels that epitomise the luxury of decadent style, a magical location and impeccable service. He also owns Cafe Coco, a 250-seat Caribbean themed restaurant, a nightclub, and a number of other business in the Caribbean region including Cuba. Future plans include new hotels, restaurants and an art gallery - just a few of the many ideas that will come to fruition. 

Jeffries has had an illustrious career that includes serving as the President of the Bermuda Hotel Association and as a member of the Bermuda Government Tourist Board and Marketing Committee, and was chairman of the Gaming Sub Committee. He is also a former President and Chairman of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and was Chairman of the CHA’s Marketing Committee for six years. John Jefferis is chairman and sole shareholder of the Palm Reef Hotel Development Company Ltd, Coco Reef Resorts Ltd, Caribbean Construction Company, Island Resorts International Ltd, and Inflght Catering. 

Jefferis showed early promises as a student at Birmingham University where he received the Hotel and Catering Institute’s National Award for the top final year management student, earning him a sought-after internship at the Savoy Hotel in London. He then moved to Bermuda where he was employed as Junior Assistant Manager at the Belmont Hotel, gaining promotion to General Manager where he was the youngest person ever to hold that post. Subsequently, Jefferis became Managing Director of the Elbow Beach Hotel and Development Company and a member of the Board of Directors. During his tenure at Elbow Beach, he instituted a number of new concepts including the installation of the first international toll free reservation lines direct to the Island in 1984. Jefferis is also the creative brains behind the production of a much celebrated Elbow Beach Promotional Film and the first sub-leasing of a hotel restaurant to a celebrity chef. It was whilst at Elbow Beach that Jefferis instituted the idea of adding a Resort Levy to the guest’s bill - and idea was subsequently copied by many other Bermudian hotels provide participating hotels with millions of dollars in much needed net revenue. 

In 1992 Jefferis commenced the design, development plans, financing, and construction of the $82 million Coco Reef–Tobago which fast earned its place as one of the Caribbean’s most successful properties. The opening of Coco Reef - Tobago, which Jefferis designed, brought long-awaited British Airways flights direct to Tobago to make the island a serious tourism destination. A well-known leading Caribbean Tour Operator/Airline Executive stated: “Without Coco Reef, there would not be any Tourism in Tobago.” 

The International Caribbean World & Living Magazine award for ‘World Class Resort of the Year’ joins a string of countless accolades that include Bermuda Hotel Association’s first “Bermuda Hotelier of the Year” in 1989, The Caribbean Hotel Association’s “Caribbean Hotelier of the Year” in 1991, Caribbean World’s  “Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism and Travel”  in 2008 and Ernst and Young’s  “Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 2000. Coco Reef - Tobago has won The World Travel Award for the “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel” for the past 11 years. Jefferis himself was honoured by International CaribbeanLife’ in 2014 as “Entrepreneur of the Year.” 

Celebrated magazine Caribbean World Travel & Living, which is now in it’s 30th year of publication, was launched in 1991 at the World Travel Market by the Queen’s first cousin the late Lord Patrick Lichfield. It was founded by respected, multi-award winning publisher Ray Carmen who remains at the helm today. Follow John Jefferis on Twitter via @Johnjefferis1 and visit: