Grafton Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
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.
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.
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.
Wonderful Holiday, Great Hotel 01 Feb 2006
Irene from UK
First of all my thanks goes to Peter Brown who responded to my concern after reading the bad reports on this hotel and he put my mind at rest .
We have just returned from a two-week holiday at the Grafton Beach hotel (12 - 26 January). Four of us had two interconnecting rooms, my husband and me with our grown up son and daughter.
This is my report on the hotel: We were greeted on arrival by the Customer Service Manager, Elroy Green, (wonderful chap) who showed a real interest in our trip and concern that my son had got a chest infection at the last moment and couldnít travel with us. Golden Caribbean had already faxed the hotel (commendation to them) to inform us that they had re-scheduled his flight to the following week. We were given a refreshing cocktail and Elroy showed us to our rooms where he checked all appliances to make sure everything was working. Thanks Elroy, for all your help during our stay! The rooms were ocean view and were clean and very comfortable. Maid service every morning made sure it stayed that way.
The hotel is a little dated, but my goodness that is compensated for by the excellence of the staff team. Every one of them was polite and very friendly and quickly attended to our every need. I take exception to the comment of Richard Buckley about as he put it, ďone old bald man who was grumpy and unhelpful.Ē I think maybe the problem was with Richard Buckley! If he had made the effort to talk to Philbert Cunningham (Mr C as heís called), he would have found a rather shy man who was warm and friendly and went out of his way to be helpful. When my son arrived the flight had made him feel quite ill and he spent the first day in bed. Mr C was the one who went out of his way to arrange for special drinks that we could make up in our room. In the middle of the very busy dinner preparation time, other members of staff arranged for bread to be brought from the pastry room so they could make some toast for him. If you bother to make the effort, you will find the staff are really sweet. If you donít, you are the one who misses out. Our special thanks to Ivis Bonas, restaurant manager, who is a real gem. Her warm and helpful manner at breakfast and lunch enriched our stay. Our congratulations to the management for creating this happy team. All the staff commented on how well they were treated and how much they loved the job. This was evident to us and we were sad to say goodbye to so many new friends. We feel the derogatory remarks about staff on this site are completely unjustified.
The food was excellent too! Plenty of variety at every meal and the fish and roast meats were particularly good. We thoroughly enjoyed the Buffet evenings. This is only because on A La Carte evenings the meals served were BIG portions and my husband was putting on weight!! I like to eat local food when I travel and there was plenty of Caribbean foods but also lots of other options too. The sirloin steaks were particularly good and we were told the beef had been imported from America. Those who said the food was dreadful... well, I wonder what they serve their families at home!!
Donít know why anyone would complain about the drinks either. We found them all full strength and no evidence of anything watered down. (We had learned all about watered down drinks on an all-inclusive holiday in the Dominican Republic where you can drink cocktails all day with no effect at all). The white wine was good too. I didnít taste the red, but Tim said it was not so good. However his favourite drink is Carib anyway.
We enjoyed the entertainment most evenings and found the rest rooms in the lobby were cleaned regularly. Only once during our stay did the hand towel run out and five minutes after telling a member of staff it was replaced.
We talked to many of the guests and made friends with some. When we were there they were a great friendly bunch! Interestingly they all had the same view of the hotel as us. Our thanks to the General Manager, Mr Dickinson who responded quickly and efficiently when we had a special need and even said goodbye and shook hands with us on our departure. Our stay was a very happy one thanks to all the staff for their friendly welcoming and warm Caribbean manner. Well done!! We look forward to seeing them all again in the near future. Irene
Where To Stay...?
I am considering going to Tobago on October 18th with my 15 year old son during his half term holidays.. my own family are from Antigua but we thought we'd go to another island. I am a little concerned though on several points: Firstly I wondering if the weather will be bad [raining all the , Secondly I tend to reserach the destinations I go to prior to travelling there and have heard time and time again that hotel staff in Tobago tend to be surly and rude not uniformily but this seems to be a common trait.
Finally I'm geting mixed reviews about the Grafton, Arnos Vales and Half Moon Blue Hotels.
I'm booking via a specific online travel company so can only choose the accommodation they offer which is: the ones listed above plus the Hilton Tobago, Le Grand Courlan Spa, Blue Haven , Coco Reef Resort and Turtle Beach by Rex. But the cost of these hotels is really above my budget aside from the Turtle Beach.. but the Turtle Beach does not offer just breakfast but an all inclusive option which works out expensive...
I could really do with some advice... my son and I went on holiday last year and had an awful time and we really just want to chill out and relax in pleasant surroundings. I can cope with rude staff but I'm worried that the food and accommodation might prove dodgy having looked at the reviews on tripadvisor.com. i am edging towards the Grafton.. would that be a good choice?