Grafton Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Grafton Beach Over New Year 2004 09 Jan 2005
Geoff Seabrook from Surrey
We stayed at the Grafton Beach for a week over the New Year holiday. It was a late booking and the hotel was surely not our first choice. We've also never stayed AI on Tobago before and did not go with high expectations that this was a luxury resort.
Our experience certainly exceeded our expectations. The AI package booked through Best@Travel was not expensive. The rooms were as nice as the rooms at the Coco Beach and the food way just fine. It was not gourmet, but we don't expect that at these prices. Our two teenaged boys were well catered for and we all felt the food service was just about perfect for a family holiday. The staff were efficient and helpful. We were worried they were a bit unfriendly when we first arrived, but think this was due to the fact that the hotel was full and had a lot of leavers and new arrivals that day. It must have been pretty stressful for them. From then on it was all smiles. We thought it was strange they’d want you to book the restaurant as it was all inclusive, but quickly realised all they were doing was trying to avoid a mad rush at certain popular times.
We have to mention a couple of niggles, after all nothing is perfect. The advertised free non-motorised water sports seemed to only be snorkels and masks. Our boys wanted Body Boards, which were rented from the beach vendors in the end. Beach and pool towels were also a bit short, although as we said before the hotel was completely full. We never had to wait more than an hour for a towel but they did always seem to be playing catch up.
In conclusion we found the Grafton Beach a wonderfully relaxed hotel. It does not have the stuffy formality of some Caribbean hotels, but then if you want that you should go to Barbados and not Tobago. We thought it fitted well with the relaxed atmosphere of Tobago and will certainly consider it again for our next trip to Tobago.
Grafton Beach Resort - April 2005
Spent 24 hours at this hotel in early April...the reason the stay was so short was the disappointment at the quality of the room and the very average food. Had an ocean view room in the row nearest the beach. The bathroom was out of US circa 1985 with bits missing and the room in general was tired and lacking in facilities - there was no hotel/island services information of any kind (not even phone numbers!). The bed was lumpy and the A/C very noisy. But, the view was beautiful and it's on a great beach. I transferred to the Coco Reef where I was much happier despite the limited beach. The staff were in a different league - friendly and interested versus bored and sullen (on the whole).
The Grafton may be good value but you may get a surprise if you are expecting a luxury hotel.
Grafton Beach Resort - August 2005
I haven't stayed at any other hotels on the island so can't make a comparison but I have to say I was pleased with the Grafton. You have to remember that it is a 3*+. If you expect 5* you will be disappointed. The resort itself looks, (and is), quite dated. However, the staff are all very friendly and helpful and it is clean and quite well maintained.
The food in the main restaurant was generally very good and there is enough of a variety to cope with most people's tastes. Staff are attentive and quite quickly become used to where you like to sit and any preferences. We ate at the other restaurant on only one night, (the Neptune), and whilst it was nice I didn't think the standard was significantly higher than the main restaurant. We ate at the beach bar twice and found the standard of food there to also be high, albeit you are limited to 'snack' food on all but Sunday, i.e. burger and chips, hot dog and chips etc.
Service at all three bars, (the main one, the beach bar and the pool bar), is friendly, albeit a little relaxed. You soon slip into 'Tobagonian time' and don't worry about it. Again, they are quick to note what you drink and how you like it. However, if you like snacks with your drinks you will need to supply them yourself. Crisps/nuts etc are not served.
The rooms, like the rest of the place, are dated but clean and the housekeeping service is good. All rooms have air conditioning. Ours was effective, if noisy! There is also a ceiling fan in the rooms and a fridge - very useful for supplies of cold water and nibbles!
There are three shops in the resort and you can get pretty much anything there from sun cream, mossie spray, stamps, water and cigarettes to souvenirs. However, they are expensive! As an example, a large bottle of water there cost approximately 15 times as much as it did when bought 'off resort' - that's probably an excessive example but it's the one I remember!
There is an ATM/cashpoint, small grocery store and pizza place about 5-10 minutes walk which is very convenient, albeit a very hot walk!
It is their quiet time of year, but we were told the hotel was quite full. We had no problems getting loungers either by the pool or on the beach. The beach is not the white sand of Pigeon Point but it is nice and not crowded. You have the usual hawkers both based on the beach and wandering up and down. In all cases they were pleasant if a little pushy. However, they do take the hint - some sooner than others! There were children of all ages on the beach although I'd hesitate to recommend either the pool or beach for very young children unless strong swimmers or in lifejackets/buoyancy aids as they are quite deep, i.e. the pool is quite deep as soon as you get in and the sea becomes so quite close to the shore.
You can use the spa facilities at Le Grand Courlan next door and if you like that sort of thing I'd highly recommend it. The price list in the room, (I think), leads you to think it's more expensive than it is. I thought the prices I was actually charged were extremely reasonable and the lady I got, (Hazel), was fantastic.
My only real whinge is that they close the gates to the beach at 6pm. This means that if you want to watch the sunset or visit somewhere down there after this time you face a very long trek back via the road. I'd like to see the guard presence on the gate until, say, 11pm.
Overall, we were very happy with the hotel for its price range and star rating and met several people who having been coming back for years, even shunning more stylish and expensive resorts in favour of the Grafton.
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.
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.