Blue Waters Inn - Reader Reports & Opinion
Angela Cassels from U.K. visited in April 2010 and awarded
The accommodation was very comfortable and the staff were lovely. It was right on the beach, and with beautiful weather we had an excellent time here. We birded on two days with a local birder (spectacular!), and visited the offshore island bird reserve with very good local boat business. Food was good but not exceptional. We snorkled from the beach. Overall, a very good stay.
James Rydberg from U.S.A. visited in November 2009 and awarded
This was our annual "boys" trip for scuba diving and we happened to have chosen Tobago this year. We all had reservations about this destination due to our experience going to the South Pacific. I must tell you, Tobago is a Gem!! We had a rental car and experienced the island in a unique way. Driving it. Spotless island w/ warm hospitable people. And those roads? What an trip driving it. It gives the "Road to Hana" a run for its money.
OK. Now Blue Waters Inn. Great place. Hospitable staff, clean rooms, good food (although we never ate dinner there) only breakfast and lunches. Service and prices were very good.
We particularly loved the location. Speyside is a hidden "diamond in the rough". Great location for diving (as the bulk of good dive sites are ALL off of this location) including Little Tobago and Goat Island.
Also Charlotteville which is a very unique place for restaurants, fun & sunsets over Man-O-War Bay and is the next town over the "Hill" from Speyside.
Plan on revisiting soon. Kudos to the whole staff @ Blue Waters Inn!! We really loved it.
Brian Jones from U.K. visited in November 2009 and awarded
Room although large was fairly basic and in need of some maintenance. eg. Loo roll holder broken and not fixed. Lights not working.
Having said that, the balcony of the room was only a few steps from the beach with a nice view.
The bar / Breakfast area sits right by the beach very pleasant but watch out for the price of drinks at the bar they are very high compared to the rest of the island.
Speyside is not far away but is up and down quite a steep hill.
Jeff Stanley from U.S.A. visited in November 2009 and awarded
We thought this place was great. Everyone was very nice and accomodating. The food was good and they got lobster for us. We were upgraded from the one bedroom we reserved which was appreciated. Breakfast being provided was a nice addition.
The snorkeling wasn't as good as expected as the water was a little rough and therefor cloudy. The trip to the bird sanctuary was average and they need to do some improvements to that island (Little Tobago). We did get rained on, but that's why they call it a "rain forest". The views entering the resort are spectacular and there are great views from every room at this resort. We would reccomend this resort to others.
Ian Winn from U.K. visited in June 2009 and awarded
My wife and I stayed at Blue Waters for one week after finding an incredible, half-price deal on the web. As such, we were more than happy to overlook the relatively minor quirks in room decor and service and fully enjoy both the hotel and its truly spectacular surroundings. Furthermore, as far as a previous reviewer's comment of this being the Worst Hotel Ever, I would submit to them that, well, they need to get out more.
Blue Waters Inn is located in Batteaux Bay, the last inhabited beach on the northeast side of Tobago, a fifteen minute, one-steep-hill walk from the sleepy fishing town of Speyside. The bay itself is a gorgeous, calm, quarter-mile of yellow sand and has an excellent view of both Goat Island and Little Tobago. There's a more than decent reef about a hundred yards offshore-- snorkeling is best in the middle of the bay, toward the southern end-- and the pier itself is Speyside's most convenient launch pad for snorkeling/diving/twitching trips further afield. There's also a steep, forested series of nature trails both along the bluff behind the hotel and into the island's interior-- great places for city-dwelling nature geeks like ourselves to amble sweatily through bamboo stands and tropical foliage staring at birds and lizards. Out of laziness more than anything, we drove our rental car into town for dinner most nights but the walk itself is nothing to be shy about unless, perhaps, for a single woman on her own. Outside the Blue Waters grounds expect to be minorly harassed by itinerant mango vendors and tour hustlers but we encountered nothing more sinister than that during our entire two weeks in Tobago.
As for the hotel itself, the rooms are basic, brightly-colored, steps from the ocean and more-than-adequately furnished for those with simple needs. The shower always had rapidly-available hot water, the bed was comfortable and, even though we travelled during the hot/wet season, neither insects nor climate-control proved to be a problem. The room came equipped with a plug-in mossie-killer, the housekeepers sprayed for other insects and, because there was always a welcome breeze from the sea, we never had need of the air conditioning and only used the ceiling fan at night or during the occasional afternoon siesta. To be nit-picky, the shower-head, toilet handle and sink fittings were a bit rusty, the room could have used a lick of paint, and the color-scheme veered into "Carribean Holiday Kitsch" territory, but overall the place was clean, cosy and the sound of the ocean right outside your door makes it easy to forgive these slight infractions. Our ground floor room also had a simple patio with space to dry our clothes along the railings.
Breakfast was included in the price and we found the restaurant to be better-than-average despite the horrific reviews we'd previously read on mytobago and other forums. Dinner was a bit bland and overpriced but not much more so than other restaurants in Speyside. Figure $250TT with drinks per person whereas the Birdwatchers in town ran about $170TT. Lunch, however, was actually quite good-- bordering on delicious-- if a bit limited in choice. We found it perfectly fine and competitively priced for burgers, flying fish or crab sandwiches, chips, salad, etc. and we ate most of our lunches on the premises. Service could be a bit slow but hey, there are worse places to linger than by the ocean, watching herons and listening to the breaking surf. Moreover, we found ALL the staff to be both friendly and accommodating, especially the lovely and helpful Vanessa at reception. Tobagonians, like most people, appreciate good manners and by minding our pleases and thank yous, and by leaving a small tip at the end of every meal, we found ourselves treated exceptionally well, to the point of being given complimentary drinks on our anniversary, allowed to use the kayaks at daybreak, etc.. Breakfast came with fresh fruit, toast, omlettes, eggs or pancakes and, best of all, coffee and tea that were available 24hrs a day-- though be careful with the milk before 7a.m. as, having been left out all night, it has invariably curdled. Happily, Coffemate is also on offer. The best part of the restaurant however, aside from the cheerful, sassy service of Erica the head waitress, was the bar and the bar staff. My wife isn't fond of either pineapples or coconuts but even she was won over by Kim's excellent pina coladas. Also, be careful of the complimentary welcome rum punch as it's a potential knock-out blow after a long flight.
(Side reviews on other restaurants in Speyside where you will invariably be heading at some point in the name of variety: Birdwatchers: excellent but closes early. Great shrimp and cocktails. Speyside Inn: decent food and wine but *in-bloody-fested* with mosquitos AND the dreaded sand flies-- I forgot to spray the night we went and paid the price with 100+ bites on my ankles alone and a woman who worked at the dive shop there was bitten so badly it looked like she'd come down with measles. Consider yourselves warned. Jemmas: not only horrible but, well, one of the dullest, most uninspired meals I have ever been overcharged for and no, I do not need to get out more. It's marketed as a "Tobago institution" but in my opinion-- and that of my wife who works in catering-- this translates to the downtrodden cafeteria of a Men's Correctional Institution.)
Bits and bobs: kayaks are available upon request at BWI and we made full use of these. It is possible to kayak to Goat Island and have a snorkel, provided you don't mind towing the boat behind you as you swim (the island is privately owned and you're not allowed to