Grafton Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Caroline from U.K. visited in May 2008 and awarded
After reading some not so great reports on the Grafton we were pleasantly surprised once we got there. Some people are never happy!!! It is a lovely hotel, great location, friendly staff. Everyone and everything in Tobago is laid back so don't go if you want everything 'now'. It was a fantastic, relaxing break and the hotel has everything you need, island tours, taxis, internet access. The rooms were cleaned daily and the girls came round every night to turn down the beds! Food was good, especially at Neptune restaurant over the pool. Although a few areas could do with some TLC the hotel itself is lovely and has a great atmosphere whether you are young or old. Great views from the main restaurant/bar area. We had a sea view room which was really nice but I think most of the rooms actually saw some of the sea. If I was to return to Tobago I would definately go back to the Grafton. Really good value for money, just don't go expecting lavish style. It's clean, friendly and the foods good.
Kay Renwic K from U.K. visited in April 2008 and awarded
I felt that the hotel promised more than it actually offered. We had notification that the beach bar was closed but I know that it was opened for one night for a private function. The swim-up bar was only manned for 30 minutes during the week we were there. There was insufficient variety in the food which was probably due to the low numbers in the hotel.
The room was fine and the availability of drinks during the day/evening. The standard of entertainment was poor.
I had read reports before going and was concerned however I was in Tobago to attend a wedding so this affected the choice of hotel.
SarahN from U.K. visited in December 2007 and awarded
Review for Grafton Beach Resort, Tobago.
• Dates stayed: 29th December 2007 – 5th January 2008.
• Duration: 1 week.
• Guests: 5 guests, 3 rooms.
The Hotel – The hotel itself is a nice enough layout, with a large reception and seating area and a circular bar which you can sit round. The buffet restaurant overlooks the sea and is a nice breakfast and dinner location. The second small grill restaurant overlooks the pool on a bridge. The hotel’s location to the beach is good, it is also a 5-10 minute walk from a local supermarket and also a fantastic bird sanctuary (free, feeding times 8am and 4pm) is down the road. You are a short and cheap (£5-£10) taxi ride away from the lovely stunning Pigeon Point, Bucco reef, Store Bay and the Sunday School locations.
The Rooms - The rooms in the Grafton are pretty basic but have everything that you can really need including a mini-fridge (unstocked), hairdryer, TV, drawer space, mirrors and wardrobe with hangers. They also have a small balcony. Note that the rooms are rather basic, although clean they are not by any means luxury but rather dated, the bedspreads a little old and in one room the bath was a little rusty. The room service was excellent though so you will come back to a nice clean room.
Food/Drink – As an all inclusive resort Grafton offers breakfast with consists of toast, cereal, freshly made omelettes/fried eggs etc, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit juices and other slight variations around this.
Lunch time offers two options – the beach bar which serves a variety of burgers, chicken, fish all served with salad and chips, pretty basic but all you need for lunch and quite tasty and the buffet place. They also do a ‘tea’ at 3pm ish of sandwiches, cheese and biscuits and fresh fruit.
Dinner – supposedly at the Grafton there are 2 restaurants, a buffet and a sit down seafood grill. At the time we were there the hotel was probably half-full so they did not open the second restaurant which was not good, as you pay for an all inclusive you expect a variety of places to eat. We did bring this issue up with the manager who said that it was due to numbers, yet this was not our fault and we booked the hotel expecting 2 restaurants – so bear this in mind. However the buffet restaurant was nice enough; soup to start, bread, then a small choice of salads, a fish and another dish, a carvery and then a potato, rice and vegetable dish. Then a small selection of desserts, ice cream and fruit. After 1 week this restaurant did get very samey so be warned and check that the second one will be open.
The drinks menu is OK but cocktails limited – no sex on the beach!?!? And also for 3 days they run out of crème coconut so could not make pina coladas and some other creamy cocktails – not good going for an all inclusive and if you only there for a week!
Entertainment – This was pretty poor to be honest. The hotel did make a small effort to put on some entertainment every evening but it was of a pretty low quality and nothing to write home about.
Location / Beach/ pool – Some comments on here have mentioned that you need to cross a road to get to the beach, but I would not say this is so. You walk past the pool, down the steps, past the security hut and then merely cross a small lane – a metre across – and through the pool bar onto the beach. I would not regard this as an issue. In fact the road makes a lovely walk past the beach and nice villas, up to the supermarket. The hotel’s proximity to the beach is a good feature. The beach itself is lovely, the sand is dark, blackish in places and the beach is palm fringed and quite long, making a lovely walk. It is a bay so offers good snorkelling opportunities on the right side. We did an island tour one day and seeing the other beaches in comparison this is a lovely wide, long beach. Note the waves can be quite big! The pool is small but nice enough for children. There is also a swim up pool bar and a Jacuzzi – both of which were not in use when we visited.
Facilities – The Grafton boasts a range of facilities, but again I would take this with a pinch of salt. The tennis courts are pretty roughly tarmaced but are playable and have working floodlights. The squash courts are decent (at the time of visiting they had furniture on but after a word with the manager this was moved). There is also table tennis (at the time of visiting no ball!) There is also a scuba diving centre which I did 2 dives, a wreck dive of the Maverick and the Mount Irvine Wall – both lovely and the centre is recommended. You can also hire snorkel equipment free of charge here. Note other watersports are not included.
Staff /Service – I think slow is the best word to describe the service. The staff are not always openly friendly but do warm up after a little chat and effort on the guests’ behalf. The service here is very slow, the pace of life on the island is slow and this service in the hotel merely reflects that. You cannot expect Western standards of staff and service here as you will not get it. Not to say the service is bad, just slow. So sit back, relax and wait!
Safety aspect – Tobago, although has an increasing number of crime aspects seemed safe enough. Myself and my brothers went to Sunday School – a street party every Sunday – which was very safe, and also to nightclub The Shade on two occasions which again was fine.
Nightlife – Sunday School every Sunday evening is worth a cab ride down – steel band music and a DJ later on. Also The Shade and The Deep nightclubs.
The Island – A lovely island for exploring with some gorgeous little bays – Englishman’s Bay is worth a visit as well as the stunning Pigeon Point where you can take a glass-bottom boat over Buccoo Reef. Also Bloody Bay is nice and the fishing village of Castara. The birdlife on Tobago is astounding – parrots and hummingbirds are just some of the residents. The Grafton Bird Sanctuary (free) is well worth a visit as is a trip to the rainforest. A great sleepy, relatively safe and more unspoilt that other Caribbean islands.
Tobago is a lovely place to visit with great beaches, lush rainforest, good diving and a sleepy-laid back feel. It is not as developed as the other Caribbean islands, which I think is one of the positive points. But this means the hotels are a little more ‘rustic’ and slightly of a lower standard than some people might expect, so please keep this in mind and do not expect Western standards. The Grafton itself is a good base, a nice-enough hotel, a great location, decent food and clean rooms. I would rate it at a 3 star at the very maximum, a nice enough place but by no means luxury, so just make sure the price you pay reflects this.
Any questions about the Grafton please feel free to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
David Allen from U.K. visited in August 2007 and awarded
The Grafton Beach Resort is in one of the nicer locations on the island of Tobago. Unfortunately, that is where all of the niceness ends. The hotel is basically clean except for a few small problems and there is security, but we were able to drive through the gate at will without ever being identified - so how good could the security be?
The rooms need work and are covered in wet spots on the ceiling and have that moldy/musty smell about them. I stay at ocean locations frequetly and have not experienced that in a long time.
The final straw, however, for me was the staff. Remember this phrase, "well I never," because you will be saying it frequently. From the moment we walked in we could tell that this was going to be an unusually negelectful staff, and boy did they live up. The front desk staff will be rude, short tempered and will probably make you wait an exceeedingly long time to check in. The rest of the staff is no better, if fact they are much worse. When it comes time to pay the bill they will be all over you like a rash...and I am not kidding.
The Grafton also treats people differently based on how they look. If you look the right way you may get treated better, if you don't look the right way you experience what I and my family experienced.
There are many wonderful places to go in the carribean, I would suggest that you look there before you visit Tobago. They are not prepared for European and American travelers because we have an expectation that they are unwilling and unable to meet. They don't even try in most instances.
This place just happened to be among the absolute worst offenders of the bunch. It really is too bad because they have such a wonderful location that they could be very successful.
Back Caymen I guess.
Lina Mallon from Ireland visited in April 2007 and awarded
I haven't got around to this until now but better late then never....
We stayed 2 weeks at the Grafton in February (same time as Alex I am quite sure)
We where very happy with our stay. The rooms are clean and comfortable even though they are a bit tired.
The food was fine. The breakfast was nice even though I haven't had a rasher since I got back. Way too much of them for me but the fresh fruit was delicious.
We mostly had lunch in Buccaneros and we where very happy with the food there. I loved the fish and the salads so I was very happy my husband eat burgers and chicken and we never had anything to complain about. Kelly was always very friendly and always up for chat.
The first ten days we had no problem getting both sun lougers and umbrellas on the beach however the last few days people seemed to be down in the evening before to "reserve" beds. We were down quite early every morning and most of them where gone.
The evening food was OK in the restaurant but it was fantastic in the Neptunes Restaurant. I loved the girl cooking the food very friendly and very nice all the time. I asked her about the spices she had on the fish and the next day she had bought me some to bring home. Fantastic!
The restuarnat on the other hand was very "samey" not much variety but all well cooked and all nice.
In the bar they where always vry friendly as well although some of them seemed a bit rushed.
The drinks where nice even though some of them where a bit strong (never thought I'd have that complaint ) We are both in our early 30s and do enjoy going out and going to the pub but we have never had a vodka and coke that strong. We couldn't drink it...
Over all we where happy with our stay. As I said the hotel is a bit tired but I have heard it is supposed to be refurbished in the summer so hopefully that will be good.
Next time I think we will rather stay in an apartment and I don't think we will go all inclusive again. It is handy but it just isn't for us.