Written on: 07/09/2008 by Quickdraw (2 reviews written)
Hotel grounds Ok, beach good.
Little to do in the evenings outside immediate vicinity of hotel.
My wife and I have just returned from Turtle Beach having stayed there on an All Inclusive package. We went for 10 days having arranged the stay with Best At Travel. They are commended for their hassle free package. We had to go via Barbados with Virgin.
A long day travelling, but after a short flight into Tobago from Barbados, we arrived just after 6 in the evening. We had no problems being allocated a room. The room its self was clean and functional. It was located on the 3rd floor at the far end of the hotel complex furthest from reception and the pool area. We did not mind this, as it was quiet for us at the end of each day. The room had a brand new and quiet air conditioning unit which chucked out a cool 17 degrees C after a very warm day. We hardly watched the TV, this was mostly due to very poor reception and in any case, we weren't even in the room from 0930 to 5pm every day and far too tired to watch it in the evenings. The view from the balcony was not bad, giving us views across the bay. The room was serviced daily, however, a couple of times it was still being serviced as late as 5pm. On the whole, it was cleaned to a satisfactory standard. There was refurbishment work going on the whole time we were there to some of the other hotel rooms, however it was not noisy and it did not bother us.
The hotel itself is 3 star and that is fair. We had read some pretty unsavory reviews prior to booking, but you have to trust your own instincts sometimes. The food was not bad with breakfast for me, being the best cooked meal of the day! The evening meals weren't too bad either, however if you're vegetarian, you might be a little disappointed. Lots of chicken, jerk beef, pork and lamb. The restaurant staff were mostly jovial and attentive. A word of warning though if you are not a bird lover. Despite their efforts in putting up fine netting, small birds to get in to the restaurant and fly about. Mostly irritating in the morning. Please take note, there is a dress code in the restaurant in the evenings. Guys should take some short sleeved collared shirts and a pair of trousers, ladies always made the effort and it is expected by the staff that you are dressed to a reasonable standard for evening meal. DJs and ball gowns are not required!
The pool area is pretty good, with an outside bar next to it. This is where you take most of your drinks from. The bar in the reception area was rarely open. During the day, if you remained by the pool area, you got what you went for, plenty of sun! We had very little bad weather. Considering it is the rainy season, we only had a couple of rainy days on our arrival, from then on, it was sun, sun sun. Evening entertainment. Hmm, some not too bad, a singer, steel drums, limbo dancing, but that's as good as it gets. Considering that there is very little to do in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, ie, no night life (You need to go to Crown Point or Scarborough by taxi), they could put on a bit more than they do.
The beach is not bad, but the shoreline slopes quite quickly into the sea. Children in my opinion, should be supervised at all times whilst there. The local children are used to it, don't be fooled into thinking you can leave your own kids to just have a swim. A 400 metre walk up the beach toward Black Rock, will take you to an old reef area on the beach with shallow pools. Younger kids will find this good for seeing small fish. There are a few stray dogs on the beach. Do not under any circumstances pet them or feel sorry for them. They are a nuisance and in my opinion, dangerous. Some are emaciated and are constantly begging for food. Some do venture into the hotel grounds and little effort is made to extract them. The beach vendors are generally ok, however if you are hassled, just tell them no firmly and they will go away.
Whilst in Tobago, you must see the island. This is best done on an all day tour. The prices vary. You get what you pay for. Just make sure that whoever takes you is fully insured. If it all goes wrong because you did it as cheap as possible, then you are partly to blame. We had a fantastic tour organised by our Rep. The island is beautiful. I snorkeled at Englishman's Bay. Saw some fantastic fish.
In summary, my wife and I had a good time at Turtle Beach and it was everything we expected. Remember, this is not 4 or 5 star and some people will always be disappointed with certain things. For the money, we got what we paid for. Would I go back? No, but only because having seen Tobago and enjoyed it, I would want to visit somewhere else. That's what the world is for, discovering.
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