Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Sean Booth/gill Seal from U.K. visited in August 2007 and awarded
we actually won a weeks honeymoon at le grand courlan.
it was everything we expected and more.
everyone made our honeymoon fabulous.
accomodation food spa wonderfull.
Julie Cumberland from U.K. visited in April 2007 and awarded
A group of us (5 adults) have just spent a week at the Grand Courlan (April 2007) Hotel and Spa, sister hotel to the Grafton, at Black Rock, in Tobago.
It's a great place to go if you want a break from the kids and the daily stress of UK life – you simply have to slow down on this island.
Staff are welcoming and warm/friendly and for the most part, do the best they can to ensure you feel at home. The all-inclusive rates which include a spa treatment per day, are a great benefit and make for an easy stay – we recommend the rum punch. Staff at the spa are professional and well-trained – although the ambiance may not be all it could be, that does not detract from the quality of the treatments.
The hotel could do with the planned refurbishment (summer 2007) but rooms were comfortable and well situated – as is the resort – not for those who can't manage stairs though – it's built into a hill which makes for great views across the bay, especially from the dining area. Check with any booking that you do have a sea view. The music festival each April is well worth checking out and features many top artists (Diana Ross, Elton John).
Tours from the hotel and around the island are a lot of fun including reef snorkelling, rain forest walking and waterfalls and all manner of watery pursuits.
One upsetting aspect is that Tobago does not have a good attitude towards stray dogs, which are around the beach and the hotel area. The dogs are very friendly and not dangerous but it's not all a good story – one little puppy had been severely burnt by a staff member throwing boiling water over it – we tried out best to get this pup to the local RSPCA (see ttspca.com) but as I write, we await news on that as the puppy was not used to being handled. We heard that the member of staff had been sacked – I hope so – the pup was in constant pain and being cared for by guests – not an acceptable situation. Sadly, the hotel chains don't seem to care or it they do, it is not a situation that they handle well. The local RSPCA really need the Tobagonian government to assist with a programme of support alongside local business.
Apart from that, you will want to come back to this island many times, it has retained a magic not evident in other parts of the caribbean.
Jean Ferguson from U.K. visited in February 2007 and awarded
The room was very well equiped and the bathroom was adequate. There were only about 6 umbrellas around the pool area that probably had seem better days.
The real down side to the hotel was the food every meal was buffet and was never served hot. They served things like Fish fingers, spare ribs with no meat, chicken legs, the salad consisted of lettuce, tomato and cucumber and the same three vegetables and fruit were served every day. It would have been nice to have an A la carte menu for the evenings bearing in mind this is a 4 star hotel complex
On the plus side the spa treatments were excellent and they made the holiday.
Brian Garth from U.K. visited in February 2007 and awarded
Hi, just got back after two weeks at the le grand courlan spa resort.after reaching the hotel,first looks where very pleasing,but after we had been given our rooms things went downhill,this hotel was suppossed to be a 4 star, we would not have given 2 stars.if we had not been with a group of eight for daughters wedding we would have asked to be moved to another hotel.while we where in rooms waiting for bags we got a knock on the door it was daughter in tears saying how rundown everything was,on closer inspection we where shocked at seeing broken and rusty handrails ,the pool area was no better, dirty covers on sunloungers,broken umbrellas and not enough of them to go round,there was also tiles missing in the pool itself,holes where the covers had broken from over the lights in the floor.now we will get to the food breakfast was the best as you cant do much to yogurt, cereal or toast.dinner and teatime food was much the same warm not hot and lots of spices,salads consisted of lettuce shreads of cucumber/toms, just given different names each day,if you like pumpkin soup you will be ok the food somtimes ran out before every one had eaten,food was never hot just warm.now we will move on to the steps you will certainly be fit after you have gone up and down them a few times,not only are they all over the hotel,, but going down to the beach is like going up and down a mountain.once you have got to said beach the beach buccanneer bar/restaurant is somthing to behold,broken decking area and in need of a good clean.there are stray dogs down there but we did not find these a problem all they wanted was a drink and a bit of food.entertainment was a bit hit and miss/more miss.went in the so called games room it consisted of a pool table,airhockey and table football when they worked.i dont think this room had been cleaned in a long time it certainly was not while we where there.the down stairs bar needed a new lease of life and the drinks menu needed a revamp i know we were in the carribean but not every one likes rum and all the cocktails were rum based all three of them,these were pre made and kept in used cranberry bottles/were theses came from i do not no as we never saw any cranberrys.the people and staff are very friendly and easy going.some of use went to watch the carnival but we were ready to come home after an hour as it was to hot loud and chaotic could not work out who was who but fair play the locals had a good time.if you are going out any where you will need a taxi or car just ask at reception.we were not told about any trips or places of interest by the rep only found out on way home that there was a bird sanctuary just across the road.we did have a couple of days out but only got to see what they wanted you to see,the men said the golf course was alright,must have been as some of them went three times.tobago is not a cheap island souveniers are very expensive.dont be fooled into beleaving sandals and shoes are hand made as they are not they are imported in.if you do go out for a meal at the seahorse restaurant go early and be prepared to tell them if your food is slow in coming or cold /ours was.the weather was very hot so be sure to cover up if you go out on the boats.just to let you know the wedding went well even if the cake did dissappear for three days after it had been cut,turned up eventually but a bit stale.would we go back noooo.
Sally Ellison from U.K. visited in February 2007 and awarded
Much of the hotel was in need or repair / renovation.
A number of the staff were quite unhelpful
The food was boring & not always sufficient for everyone to have a choice
There were insufficient umbrellas around the pool so it was difficult to stay out of the sun.
Generally we didn't have a very successful holiday and spent much of our time discussing our problems / issues with the Virgin rep (who was excellent and did try very hard to get things changed)
We then had problems with 'check in chill out' as we weren'r registered to fly out (!!) so had to 'do' all our paperwork at the airport
Tobago as an island could be really great if more effort was put into the tourist trade - and I don't mean make it bigger just look at how to 'sell' the excellent points of the island.
One of our highlights was a sailing trip which was really excellent - in fact we went a 2nd time because it was so good.
Overall we would not return in the near future although it might be interesting to see if the island has improved in
5+ years time or so