Grafton Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Grafton - Don't Worry, It's Ok (report From Christmas Week)
My wife and I have just got back from Tobago. We stayed at the Grafton Beach from 24-31 December. It was a fairly late booking, and we accepted the recommendation of Hayes & Jarvis that the Grafton was a reasonably good middle-priced hotel. After Iíd paid for the holiday, I saw bad reports here and on the TripAdvisor website, and asked Hayes & Jarvis whether the hotel was going to be OK or not. After checking with their reps and customer relations people, they assured me that the hotel was OK. So we flew out on Christmas Eve, although with a certain amount of trepidation.
We neednít have worried. The hotel is good Ė itís not great, but then itís not the price of a great hotel. It was probably built in the 70s, and itís looking a bit dated and rather tired in places. But itís clean, and the staff are excellent.
Our room had an ocean view, and was fine, with excellent daily maid service. If I had niggles, it would be that the aircon was a bit noisy, and the bathroom extract fan didnít always work.
The food seemed fine too. Because our plane was delayed, we were the last people to eat dinner but there was still a good choice of food available. There was a wide selection of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We enjoyed some excellent fish, chicken and beef. We also ate in the Neptune seafood restaurant over the pool, and the food there was very good too.
The pool was crystal clear, and was cleaned regularly. Most of the surfacing around the pool is a fairly grippy concrete, but there are smooth tiles in the adjacent reception/bar area. In fairness to the hotel, there are signs warning guests to dry off before entering these areas from the pool, in order to avoid slipping. There were loads of clean sunchairs around the pool, in fact we never saw them all taken. Beach towels were available every day, and I even exchanged ours for fresh towels one afternoon after weíd got the first lot of towels sandy on a nearby beach.
Although the beach looks great in pictures, I have to say itís rather disappointing close-up. Itís rather dirty-looking, and the sea had crashing rollers all the time we were there, so it wasnít ideal for swimming. The sunchairs on the beach were tatty. And Iíd fully agree with othersí comments about the hotelís Beach Bar Ė itís a complete disaster area and is in need of some tender caring arson one dark night.
Anyone going to the Grafton should be sure to visit some other beaches. We hired a car from Singhís (the inhouse rental agency) and visited Pigeon Point which was magnificent. We also went to Buccoo and Arnos Vale. Incidentally, Alvin at Singhís was very helpful and laidback Ė he didnít even take a credit card deposit for our newish Toyota hire car.
There was entertainment every night we were there. Maybe thatís because it was Christmas week. Most of the entertainment was excellent, and the guests really enjoyed it. There were some daytime activities arranged, but these tended to be ďpower walksĒ or strolls to the nearby bird sanctuary.
Above all, Iíd highlight the excellence of the staff. They were - virtually without exception Ė polite, helpful, well-trained, friendly and unusually quick for the Caribbean. Itís a shame that some of the guests werenít as polite.
I know itís wrong to single out any one member of staff, but my accolade would go to Josanne, one of the lounge bar hostesses. Her elegance, attentiveness and warm hospitality were qualities any hotel manager would give his right arm for.
So, if youíre planning to visit the Grafton Beach, donít be put off by some reports youíll read. With hotels, as with everything else, you get what you pay for. The Grafton Beach is a mid-price hotel, and it delivers good value.
This is a true report on Grafton Beach Resort. My husband, baby and I stayed at the resort 3 November 2005 to 17 November 2005. Booked through Virgin Holidays online, our complaint letter is on its way to them.
We went on this holiday with an open mind after reading the reports on this site, I also posted a note to which Steve Wooler responded, thank you.
On our arrival to the hotel we had to complete the normal form filling procedures only to be advised that our room was not ready. We explained that we really needed to get to our room, as we had to get some essentials for the baby, but were once again advised that we would have to wait. We eventually got our room after waiting for over 1.5 hours. This is unacceptable.
We booked this hotel as your web site and brochure describes it as a family hotel, however we did not find this was the case whilst staying for 14 nights. Firstly the hotel was tiled through out, including the rooms, we understand that this is normally the case, but usually non-slip tiles are laid. When the main feature of the hotel is the swimming pool and the rooms and reception area surround it they will obviously get wet, unfortunately when these tiles became wet, they were extremely dangerous, and we were unable to let our baby walk in case she slipped and hurt herself. We only realised this as on the day of our arrival our baby slipped and fell, banging her head on the hard floor. Also during our stay one other guest fell and broke her arm and had to return home to the UK early. Apart from swimming and playing on the beach our child had to stay in her pram, which was very difficult as you can imagine with a 14 month old. Again this is unacceptable.
In the 14 days we stayed at the hotel, the pool was never cleaned once, and the bins, which surrounded the pool, were never emptied. I can vouch for this as I put nappies in the bins daily before and after my baby swam, the bin was over flowing and smelt pungent by the time we left. The reception toilets were in a disgusting state, apart from being filthy, the toilet doors did not shut or lock properly. The toilets at the beach bar were a no go area, with hackers from the beach freely using the facilities, although they were not buying food or drink. The beach bar was also dirty, and when there were rainstorms and vegetation fell from the trees this was just left lying for people to climb over. The gardens were not maintained and there were cats everywhere who were so hungry that you couldnít eat anywhere around the pool as they attacked you for the food. A lady close to us was quite badly cut by one of the cats trying to get her food. The sun lounges were filthy and never cleaned, and the surrounding area never swept from the day before. Unacceptable.
FoodThe food in the main restaurant was always cold and never topped up. The selection was minimal compared to other Caribbean destinations we have visited. Extremely dissapointing.
I can say that 50% of the staff were wonderful, but unfortunately the other 50% really let the hotel down. When we asked for something it was always a problem, if we suggested or made a complaint they argued with us, and when we asked to see the manager or the rep to air our concearns we were always told that he was too busy at the hotel next door. Extremely unprofessional.
RoomsWe had a nice room, but once again the tiles on the floor were unsafe and extremely dangerous when they were wet. Unfortunately our room door did not fit its frame properly therefore leaving spaces at both the top and the bottom, so every mosquito, fly and other insects were able to fly into the room so we were all covered in bites, which again was unnecessary as we were all were protected with repellent and spray. Should this really be the case in a 3.5V resort.
Although pool towels were meant to be provided between 8-10am. No towels were ever available, which meant that most people were to scared to hand their dirty towels at the end of the day just in case they didnít get another clean one in the morning. Unacceptable.
Unfortunately during our stay the weather was not great, no daytime animation or activities were arranged for the guests who were either left sitting in their rooms or in the reception area getting extremely drunk. I find this hard to believe in a hotel that you would class as a 3.5 V resort.
FlightOur outward flight was excellent, the staff were superb and provided us with the adequate assistance required when travelling with an infant, however I cannot say the same for our return flight. The staff appeared to be extremely inexperienced and did not even provide us with an infant meal, which had been pre-ordered. One of the staff gave us a bassinette to place the baby in, without a blanket in the base or to cover her with. In addition, once the baby was in the bassinette and sleeping the girl then decided that she had not made it properly and that we would have to remove the baby and wait for another cot. I understand that safety comes first especially when itís my child, but to do this in the middle of the night when our baby was already settled and sleeping was quite unacceptable. Our baby was not offered an infant meal, which was requested at the time of booking and also when we carried out or check in and chill out booking. We also explained that we had a connecting flight to catch and would appreciate getting off the plane early, which other passengers were allowed to do, we were told we would just have to wait. Again I find this totally unacceptable.
To top it allOur flight times leaving Tobago were changed by Virgin, although at the time of booking and departure this was not the case, we were promissed by the Virgin Rep "Nadia" that we were booked on a later flight to Scotalnd than had been previously booked and that Virgin had picked up any additional costs. Well can you believe it that when we arrived at the North Terminal at Gatwick that yes we had seats reserved on the later flight, but that no aditional vosts had been paid, so to cut a long story short we had to pay an additional £186.00 to get to Edinburgh plus a 1.5 drive home from their.
To Sum it up, on completing the hotel questionaire I handed this into reception and asked the staff if they are read, I was told that only the management get to read them. I asked what the Tobago and Trinidad Tourism Board rate the hotel as, and was informed that they rate the hotel as a 2.5*, Virgin rate it as a 3.5V which we would take to be 3.5*. This is not the case, if you are a experienced traveller rate this resort at more 2*. Unfortunately the Tobago and Trinidad tourist site does not have any information on its accomodation page (correct me if I'm worng) so I cannot verify the information that the reception staff gave me.
Hotel For Heavy Drinking And Smoking.
WE RECENTLY SPENT A WEEK AT THE HOTEL DURING THE OCTOBER HALF TERM HOLIDAY.
ON THE WHOLE THE HOTEL WAS GOOD.THE STAFF WERE PLEASANT AND HELPFUL.THE STANDARD OF THE ROOMS WAS FINE AS WAS THE QUALITY OF FOOD.
ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WAS THE LOUNGE AREA. THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR NON SMOKERS.THE LOUNGE AREA IS VERY LIMITED.MOST PEOPLE WHO FREQUENTED THE LOUNGE AREA SEEMED CONTENT TO DRINK AND SMOKE HEAVILY. THIS CAN BE OFF PUTTING IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO DO EITHER,ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN. IT MEANT THEREFORE THAT UNLESS YOU WERE INTO SMOKING AND DRINKING,YOU WERE EFFECTIVELY BANISHED TO THE SANCTITY OF YOUR OWN BEDROOM.
THE HOTEL STAFF SEEMED RELUCANT TO DEAL WITH DRUNK GUESTS.ON ONE OCCASION A WEDDING PARTY!!!! DRUNK THEMSELVES SILLY AND STARTED JUMPING INTO THE POOL FROM THE BALCONY OF THE RETURANT THAT IS PERCHED OVER THE POOL.THIS WAS EVEN THOUGH CHILDREN WERE SWIMMING BELOW THE JUMPERS. THE STAFF DID NOTHING TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE!!!!!!!!!!!!
IF YOU WANT TO DRINK YOURSELF SILLY THEN THIS IS THE HOTEL FOR YOU. IF HOWEVER YOU WANT TO ENJOY THE TRUE CHARM OF THE ISLAND WITH PEACE OF MIND,MAY IS SUGGEST THE HOTEL NEXT DOOR. THE BROCHURE STATES THAT THE NEIGHBOURING HOTEL IS FOR ADULTS ONLY.THE STAFF AND REPS SAY THAT OLDER TEENAGE CHILDREN CAN STAY THERE THOUGH. IT WAS MARKEDLY UP MARKET IN ITS GUESTS THAN THE GRAFTON.
Grafton Beach Resort - Taking Our Baby!
We are leaving the UK on the 3 November 2005 for 14 nights at the Grafton Beach Resort. I am worried as the reports appear to be very mixed. Can anyone give any good advice, on anything apart from the obvious we should be taking. Can you also tell me if the there is a supermarket near by.
Thanks for your help.
One Night 19 Oct 2005
Gisela Grell from Bonn, Germany
Spend a night at hte Grafton Beach Ressort. We had a delay because of a technical problem with the Condor flight (looks like this happened some times, it happent two times to me within 10 flights).
Nice big rooms and very nice stuff. It was a little bis confusing beause we came late in the night and there were not enough rooms for all the people but in the end it worked out good for us.
Not a place I would spend my whole holidays but this is a very personal view because I prefer guesthouses with self containment.
Cheers and thanks to Condor to show me the nice and expensive hotels of Tobago for FREE even if it is for only one night.