Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
We arrived on the 20th of September for 2 weeks. The Virgin flight out was on time and very pleasant because there were 100 empty seats on the flight. This was due to the Grenada leg of the flight being cancelled as Hurricane Ivan had just hit Grenada a week before. The transfer from the airport is by minibus (15minutes) with your luggage following later in a van. The hotel was a very welcome relief after the heat and stress of the airport.
Steve’s review for the hotel is very comprehensive and accurate. While we were there the hotel was full and the clientele ranged in age from 20 to 60. It was 90% couples with a few singles, family groups and groups of friends throw in for good measure. Due to the medium size of the hotel you quickly get on nodding terms with many of your fellow guests and we got to know about 8 other couples very well even attending one couples wedding. I had an advantage in breaking the ice by getting to meet people through the diving with Adventure Eco Divers based at the Hotel (see my report in the Sports forum). My wife thoroughly enjoyed the spa treatments and only missed 1 of her 12. The Spa staff even rescheduled one treatment to the day of our departure to facilitate her.
The staff were most helpful at all times with my many queries. The only problem I found is they will not issue 2 room keys, which was a bit awkward, as I never knew exactly when I would return from scuba diving. This meant I had to search the hotel to find my wife to get access to my room.
One other point was on checking in they asked what date our wedding anniversary was as we had requested a bottle of champagne. We told them the 22nd but the big night came and went with no champagne. I took this up with one of the manageress a few days later and she was horrified and promised to rectify their mistake. True to her word the next evening a bottle of champagne and basket of fruit arrived to our room at the perfect moment.
It was great, especially the seafood night (Saturday) in the Bistro. I had been looking at so many lobsters during my scuba diving that it was great to actually get to eat one. The lamb (New Zealand) and the steaks were also excellent. The wine was fine as well and I even managed to get an after dinner "Hennessy" no problem.
My only moan was that the breakfast became a bit repetitive but only after 2 weeks.
We did our own by hiring a jeep at the hotel for 2 days (70$US a day + petrol) with another couple. We really enjoyed getting lost and finding our way around.
DAY 1: We did the argyle waterfall; lunch at Jemma’s in Speyside (Lobsters 200$TT a head not to be missed), Charlottesville and returned down the Caribbean side visiting Englishman’s Bay for a snorkel.
DAY 2: We visited Pigeon point and Scarborough and returned to ArnosVale hotel to snorkel and see the bird feeding at 4pm on the terrace with afternoon tea $60TT. You can buy a bird ID card for 7$TT at the Arnos Vale hotel.
All in all a really great holiday and worth every penny.
Gran Courlan Luxury? Far From It.
We have just returned from a week's stay at the Gran Courlan and to use the words "4*" or "luxury" in the same sentence would be inappropriate!
This place has no, and I mean ZERO concept of customer service. The majority of waiting staff (there are a couple of exceptions, but not many), were surly, slow, moody, and acting as though they were doing you a favour by being there. Orders are taken whilst staring off into middle distance, food and drink delivered without eye-contact, let alone a smile.
Whilst on the subject of food, it is distinctly substandard. The menu in the formal restaurant (very appealing looking) bore no resemblance to what was actually served. (eg. chinese vegetables turned out to be carrot and potato and such like!). I did not eat one thing this week that I would offer to a guest in my house, and I've eaten better burgers at McDs. At breakfast, they saw fit to make one single cook with one single hob available to cook the eggs to order, which resulted in long queues and long waits for everyone.
The early evening "canapees" were essentially deep fried dough and fried plantein, with virtually no variation on a day to day basis.
With buffet meals, no one seemed to be checking the trays, so that often, especially during the later meal shifts, there was nothing left, and no one seemed to be in any hurry to supply re-fills.
If you didn't like the house wine (which is fairly grim), the cost of actually purchasing halfway decent wine was exorbitant. They charge $39 for a bottle of wine which would cost $9 max in a UK supermarket!
The tennis courts are in ropey condition and on 3 consecutive nights it took 3 different people to figure out how to turn the floodlights on.
There aren't enough umbrellas to go round in the sunlounging area, and half the ones that are there are in tatters.
The rooms are clean, spacious and what I would call "standard Caribbean" in style, nothing special, but fine. The plumbing however, has it's problems and if you turn on the shower, the pipes emmitt a sound similar to someone's bowel reaction to a bad Vindaloo! The sliding doors of the wardrobe were so old that they barely shifted.
As for the Spa treatments... they pre-book everything for you and there is no flexibility to change treatments, usually on the grounds that "the hotel is full". Strangely, if you want to pay for addition treatments, appointments are suddenly available. As for the treatments themselves, frankly, when I am paying for a treatment as part of a package, I expect these to be proper treatments of at least 1/2 hour. Sitting in a bubble bath with Lavender Oil in it, is NOT a treatment. The massage I received was ill administered and lasted a maximum of 20 minutes. The salt scrub was a complete waste of time, and again, sloppily adminstered, working on two people in tandem to save time. The result is that you have about 10 minutes therapists attention. We gave up on the treatments after day 2.
There is a dive shop by the beach, but there seem to be some "issues" between the hotel and the dive company, the reception was certainly not helpful in putting me in contact with the dive center, and were even vague in their description of how to get there. The dive center itself, Eco Divers, were largely friendly but not overly organised. It was not unusal for dives to set off over an hour late and most dive plans were completely abandoned as soon as we hit the water. But their rental equipment seemed in good condition (I brought my own so can't speak from personal use) and I saw no equipment malfunctions whilst I was there. They carry oxygen on the boat, which is a converted fishing boat, and which can get very crowded on occasion.
Back to the hotel though, there really isn't one single positive thing that I can say about this place. It is third rate, and I would strongly dissuade anyone from staying here until they go through a serious upgrade.
I'm sure some people would consider this to be a lovely place. But if you have ANY previous experience of 4* plus accomodation and treatment, then you will find the Gran Courlan sorely lacking.
First Visit To Tobago
My wife & I are making our first visit to Tobago leaving 4/11 and staying at LGC for two weeks. Really looking forward to it - some mixed reviews but the majority seem good. Will post a review on our return.
Wedding At Le Grand Courlan - October 2004
My husband and I just wanted to say how useful we have found the MyTobago website. Since planning our wedding to take place in October of this year at Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort we regularly checked your website for reviews and information on Le Grand Courlan. We had previously read some very negative reviews about the hotel on another website, which I am very glad to say we have found to be not the experience that we had.
From our arrival at the airport through to our time at Le Grand Courlan we found that the people of Tobago had such a friendly and relaxed manner which added to our enjoyment of this beautiful, unspoilt island. In our experience, Le Grand Courlan certainly lives up to its name. Our room had a lovely view of the pool and partially of the sea, one tiny tiny criticism was that the shower was perhaps a bit outdated. The air conditioning in the room was very effective and each day our room was cleaned and fresh towels left, in the evening our bed was turned down and ice added to our ice box, a very small but effective personal touch.
The food at Le Grand Courlan is out of this world. Our favourite place of the two available restaurants to eat was the buffet style Carribean Bistro, one member of staff in-particular (Sandra) was really helpful each night in helping us choose from such a delicious selection and she cooked to perfection! Our spa treatments which were included in our All Inclusive option, had been pre-organised by the Spa staff and we were issued with our treatment card appointments on arrival at the hotel, we did have to change some of these but this wasn't too much of a problem. For the most part we did enjoy the treatments but occasionally some of the Spa staff come across as being unfriendly.
During our visit, the pool was quite busy and it was rather annoying that some guests continually each day would reserve sun loungers but not use them until several hours later! The pool bar was excellent. There was also the option of the beach which is accessed by crossing over a very small road (which we couldn't believe in a previous review on another website, had been described as very busy!!!). We had read in previous reviews that the beach appeared a bit run down in some areas and would agree with this comment, particularly the Grafton Beach Bar, but none of this spoilt our enjoyment of swimming in the sea and relaxing on the sand and just being in the Caribbean!!
Our wedding day went perfectly with thanks to the Wedding Co-ordinators Victor and Elroy. We chose the gardens of the sister hotel Grafton Beach Resort for the ceremony and it was perfect, we didn't organise any music for during our ceremony which we are glad about as we could hear the crashing of the waves and the chirping of the birds instead - what more could we ask for?!
All in all we couldn't have chosen a better place to have our wedding. I hope that some of the visitors to this website may find our review useful.
Fiona & Kevin Buchan
if you enjoy the following then stay here-
1 a very tired hotel more in need of a facelift then your great gran
2 bone idle bar staff verging on the downright ignorant
3 filthy unkempt pool area
4 filthy unkempt rooms ( not sure if the cleaner actually did anything other than change towels and make the bed)
5 filthy beach
6 a spa resembling a dungeon (dank dark and dated). all the men i spoke to could not wait for their pedicure............
7 paper thin walls in the rooms
8 nightly entertainment for the over 85 s only.If i ever hear "feelin hot hot hot" again i will crack..
if you dont fancy any of this go elsewhere. the only plus points were the caribbean bistro food and majority of staff especially reception staff and pinnacle manager. all these problems were echoed by a large number of guests many of whom complained. also , ignore the dress code rules for the restaurant- it was not enforced and certainly the food and service did not merit it. however i would like to thank them for accommodating my wife and her dietary needs. it was no trouble for them
wont be back.gladly.