Blue Waters Inn - Reader Reports & Opinion
Blue Waters Inn April 2004
we are travelling through the caribbean islands since 15 years starting with Puerto Rice and then down the line till Trinidad. This time we vistided Tobago and it was the first time that we want to leave an island after three days. NO it was not the island it was the unfriendliest, disinterestedliest and rudest staff particularly Tracey Jones we ever had in all our 28 trips to the islands. The waitresses and waiters were standing at the bar talking to each other, but don't think that they came to us, no we had to go to them and place our order and had to take our order back to the table. The only three words the knew very well without a smile were the words "which room number". The only nice guy was the security man. Even the general manager, by the way, we saw him half an hour during our horrible three days was not interested why we left the hotel after three days instead of staying 11 days. Nothing against the location and the facilities but this bored staff was a nightmare. Thanks god we found Cuffie River. Tobago is such an beautiful island with absolutely great and lovely people. You have to look a very long time to find such a unable managment and staff. We will return to Tobago but never ever to the unpleasant place Blue Waters Inn.
First Timers' Report
My wife and I had never visited the Caribbean before our week at the Blue Waters Inn which ended last Thursday, although we’ve travelled extensively in other parts of the world. Here are our impressions of the holiday.
First of all huge thanks to Steve for this site. We had bought all the usual books but myTobago.info proved to be by far the most valuable source of practical information; information which really helped us during our visit. For example we hired an Almera from Thrifty, stocked up at the PennySavers supermarket at Canaan before travelling north east. We were prepared for a ninety minute drive (even though it was only twenty odd miles) and we were prepared for the potholes, chickens and lazy dogs in the road etc. All this information and much more is available on this site and I can thoroughly recommend anyone visiting for the first time to read it thoroughly and forget the books.
If you like to do a little self catering - as we do, it’s not that easy to buy stuff on Tobago - not until you’re used to it anyway. The villages have small shops often in roadside shacks but opening hours are unreliable, stock very limited and the shops may not be easy to recognise as shops at all! Even though we were tired after the journey the stop at PennySavers supermarket at Canaan was excellent advice. We stocked up on basics (and booze) here which lasted us for the week. Then we went to the local shops just to top up. Shopping locally is great fun of course and much can be learned about the local culture on a jaunt to track down half a dozen eggs and some bananas. Charlotville was our favourite for local shopping.
At BWI we had three nights in a self-catering room and then moved to a bungalow for the last four nights. The latter was far better than the former but cost more too. Generally the standard of accommodation was fine. Improvements could be made to the bathrooms which could do with an overhaul. The rusty fridge/freezers also give a poor impression. In the self catering room (efficiency) there was a lack of privacy because the bed was right next to double clear glass patio doors in front of which was a path which was a fairly busy thoroughfare to the other ground floor rooms and the dive centre. The only way to have any privacy was to draw the navy blue curtains which made the room into a dark cave by day. At night the curtain could been seen through if the light was on the inside - revealing all. None of this would cause a problem if your room is on the upper floor but we found it unacceptable and requested a move - which we got.
The restaurant and bar were just fine. I really can’t understand the regular posts on this site complaining about the staff. We found them to be very good. In fact we found them a highlight of our stay. One contributor was complaining that they had to go to the bar themselves and were not waited upon. Now the average price of a meal in the bar was between £4 and £6.50. I’m a big lad but this was sufficient to fill me. We were waited on each time we ate there but even if we weren’t at these prices for casual bar food - who the hell cares about going to the bar to order.
The staff in the restaurant were also very good. Food in the evening was mainly buffet style so there was rarely any need for waiting staff, but when they were needed they were efficient and cheerful. I really cannot understand the criticisms.
The general staff and management were friendly, helpful and had a good sense of humour. Any minor problems were sorted out quickly and with good grace. We also had lots of laughs along the way. My guess is that if you expect the staff to be servile and obsequious then all you’ll get is surly. Treat them as equals and you’ll get good service and lots of broad smiles.
We’ve never been to the Caribbean before so cannot really judge the food fairly. The hotel dinners were a bit too similar from one night to the next. By the time we came home we were fed up with it, but this is probably just personal taste. A trip to Jemma’s in Speyside did little to change our opinion. Perhaps we’re just not keen on Caribbean cuisine - or haven’t tried enough of it yet. The highlight for me was a chicken roti at a beachside shack in Charlotville. We made our own breakfasts so can’t comment on those in the hotel.
The beach was wonderful. The water was clear and warm and the slope to deeper water was gentle enough and predictable. A diving platform provided a resting place for the unfit swimmer (like me). I did get a six inch jelly fish sting on our last night which brought a minor swelling and a small amount of blood but no pain. There are also those little stingers which you get in Thailand which give a pinpricking sensation for about thirty seconds then go away with no lasting effects. Anyone know what these are? Anyway we both swam every day and my wife who stays within her depth had neither stingers nor jelly fish.
I read on another post that someone complains that the beach was not clean. In our experience this is total rubbish. The beach was PRISTINE and kept this way by a group of cleaners who cleaned and raked up any almonds and leaves every single morning. I repeat that the beach was perfectly clean.
Beach loungers could have been better. There are two types: wood with blue canvas and white resin with yellow cushions. The latter are far fewer but much more comfortable than the former, so there is a scramble to get the comfy ones in the morning with all the usual farce of false towels going over the prized white resin ones to stake claims before breakfast. I’ve seen this situation so often elsewhere with some extraordinary situations developing as a result - we like to call it lounger rage. IMHO BWI should scrap the aging blue ones and provide sufficient of the more comfortable (and less likely to rot) resin ones. Help keep blood off the beaches!
We tried lots of stuff on the island. Good things included my first attempt at SCUBA diving, Englishman’s Bay, the glass bottomed boat trip to Little Tobago, Argyle falls, the Waterwheel restaurant at Arnos Vale (superb location for a lunch), the birds which are all around the BWI. Not so good things included a look around the hotels and resorts in the south, a tour of Cocoa Reef Resort (if you like this place you don’t like the sort of holiday we do), the Saturday market at Scarborough. The very best things were: the people, a guided walk into the rain forest with a guide named Alison who also works at Argyle Falls, the kids as they leave school with their shining faces and pristine uniforms, the rain forest.
We flew Excel Airways from Gatwick and, because this was just a one-week break we took advantage of the low cost fare and went economy. This was a BIG mistake. I’m over six feet tall and “well built”. The space in the seats was very small. It would have been difficult if it was a three hour flight to Spain but nine hours across the Atlantic was torture. My wife is a seven stone sparrow and she found it cramped also. The food wasn’t up to much either. We asked about the cost of an upgrade at the airport but this is more than double the cost than if it’s purchased in advance. We found that “economy” turned out to be a false economy and won’t make this mistake again.
Duane, the hotel manager, gave us a very valuable piece of information about getting on well with Tobagonians (is that the collective noun?). It’s this: start every conversation with “Good morning/afternoon/evening” and you’ll get on much better than if you just say “Hi”. This was so true and I recommend it to anyone.
Will we go back to Tobago and the Blue Waters Inn? Oh yes!!
Bob & Jeannette Kerr.
Recent Visit To B.w.i. April 19th/may 3rd.
This report is purely subjective. my own,my husbands and our 2 friends. Due to hiccup over booking, found out 3 days before we left i can report on both self/catering and bungalows!!
I have to give all praise to Duane Kenny for admitting the mistake [we'd booked 2 weeks in a was B.W.I's and NOT blaming it on anyone else. Duane made excellent reparation and we were very satisfied.
5 nights in 2 bedroom self/catering. the only cooking we did was to use the kettle for tea & coffee and the glasses & fridge for wine and cold drinks etc. Rooms 34/35 upper deck. Very roomy, reasonable view from both balconies. Clean, fresh towels and bed linen every day. Only changes would be cosmetic, bathroom and kitchen could be spruced up a bit, lacked a woman's touch!
9 nights in furthest 2 bedroom bungalow at far end of beach. Again very clean ,daily bed linen & towels. Air/con in both bedrooms but none in main diner/lounge. windows wide open for plentiful breeze in evenings. VERY roomy comfortable bungalow, large private patio.loads of chairs. Huge non-working [thank antique T.V. only changes would be cosmetic , for kitchen. Large fridge/freezer,ironing board, iron. Phones in both bedrooms. Everything felt damp but considering you could cast a fishing line from the bungalow windows it wasn't surprising and quite liveable with.
STAFF. Delightful. All B.W.I staff were, with only a couple of exceptions, friendly,helpful and polite, right from the start. Even the exceptions gave us some welcoming smiles after a few days.
FOOD Fishpot restaurant. Breakfast, very good ,anything not in buffet could be ordered from the kitchen. Graham had the boiled eggs a few times .cooking times variable !! Evening meals could benifit from a bit more variation for guests staying 2 weeks and a few more sweet choices would have been nice but overall not bad at all. The menus at front door had interesting choices in but on the 2 nights non-buffet the menus were offered with a restricted choice only ,shame.
Shipwreck Bar. Good lunch choice but don't have the B.W.I club sandwich ,the turkey and bacon weren't the real thing, everything else was fine,although in all honesty we only ate in there a few times so we're not that reliable for true reporting on lunches.Oswin at the bar was lovely,he came across at first as being reserved but was a really nice chap. we had a lot of laughs with him.
ODDS & ENDS.
Beach CLEAN !! only debris was washed up from some rough seas and cleared away every day. Lawns swept daily of leaves. Surroundings tidy and well looked after. The bird life was lovely ,even the i loved .The fact that i now have one stuffed and mounted in a glass case on my lounge wall is neither here nor there!! DO visit the rain forest with Newton George.Well worth it,have a car for a couple of days and visit Pirate's Bay ,good beach and swimming for nervous nancies like Gill & I. Englishman's Bay steep drop into sea not for the likes of me.If your o.k. in the water then no trouble.
I WONDER IF STEVE WILL ACTUALLY PRINT THIS SAGA. If you send me a note back Steve, saying , halt please ,with the written diatribe. i will of course obey.
LAST BITS !!
Gill had bad insect bite on her ankle[ ants, they hate her in England it became infected , so beware , not much of a first aid kit at B.W.I we had to go to Charlotteville medical centre ,very helpful .Speyside medical centre out of dressings and NOT overly helpful
so, take things with you if you feel you may need anything of that nature.
P.S. I have this very unkind mental picture of Gill, dressing gown and sheet up round her ear holes sat up in bed all night with her beady eyes on her extra curicular room mate ,a largish lizard, her husband Andy yelling 'for god's sake woman it won't come near you'Had one in mine but much smaller.
Graham and i had a midnight meeting in our bathroom with well over 100 half inch black flying things ,got in through the window vents. There we were committing mass murder with wet flannels and wet paper. It resembled a scene from Alfred Hitchock's THE BIRDS !!
P.P.S. WEATHER for those weeks . variable. the rain on a couple of nights came down like bullets! Thought we would get washed away, 3 days cloudy with a few showers plenty of sun otherwise and the rain is warm ,if you're in the sea you're wet anyway, Weather didn't spoil our holiday at all , we just read a bit more on a couple of mornings. Played loads of tennis, practically up to Wimbledon standard now, the passing staff concealed their laughter well at our efforts ,we spent more time finding the ball outside the court than hitting it inside the court.
Blue Waters Inn
John And Maggie
We have recently returned from a week at Blue Waters Inn. We found the air-conditioned accommodation absolutely fine, cleaned thoroughly with clean towels provided each day. The buffet breakfasts and dinners were ample, varied and freshly cooked. The staff were quietly efficient, and welcoming.The beach and adjoining walkways were cleaned each morning. This hotel suited our requirements totally, it was quiet, uncommercial and in a beautiful setting...we would return tomorrow !
Couple Of Questions
We're thinking of visiting in April, and have a couple of questions...
How easy is it to go from BWI to see turtles laying their eggs on the beach - how would we get there/back in the middle of the night?
We are vegetarian (i.e. don't eat meat or fish) - how much choice of food are we likely to see? Would we be better off self catering?