Le Grand Courlan Spa Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Lgc Visit Report 10-18 July 2005
This was our first visit to Tobago and the first time we have stayed at an AI hotel. We are very experienced travellers and we hope not to find things the same wherever we travel, it is all part of the enjoyment and experience of visiting foreign parts. LGC was around 30% occupied during our stay and this I am sure made it all the more enjoyable.
Hotel: The hotel was kept tidy and although in places was looking a little tired, for example the pool tiling, it was clean and functional. Our room was good, very comfortable bed, bathroom was fine, and the only problem being the bathroom extractor did not work. The hot water system worked well and there were copious quantities at any time of the day. The A/C worked but we turned that off and used the ceiling fan and opened the patio doors to acclimatise us to the outside temperature.
Staff: The experience of staying at a hotel can be made or marred by the attitude of the staff. I am very happy to report that the staff at LGC were very friendly, helpful, and courteous during our stay. Their attitude was one of helpful friendliness and I have nothing but thanks and praise for them.
Location. The hotel is located on Stonehaven Bay and access to the beach is from a hotel gate, which closes at 6pm. The beach was nearly deserted whenever we went down, and is ideal for a quiet stroll. Be aware however of the Aloe and mango sellers who pester you whenever you set foot on the beach. A useful hint is to immediately turn right on leaving the hotel gate, walk along the road 50m to the bar, and then go onto the beach (after stopping for a drink which is included as part of your hotel deal). The sellers seem to congregate at the beach entrance opposite the hotel gate. Someone who was staying at LGC made the mistake of giving the mango seller some money, and then they couldn't get rid of him whenever they went down to the beach. If you get pestered like that, report it to the hotel.
Drinks: LGC is an AI resort and that means all drinks, apart from champagne and bottles of wine are included. The wine they were serving was good at the start of our stay, and was served from the bottle, but deteriorated later in the week when it was being served from bags. The bagged wine was very poor in our opinion. Spirits are top quality branded and cocktails are made using the same. Beer is the local Carib, which is fine, especially on a hot day. The beach bar did serve up some odd tasting beer, and I never found out why as we only drank there once.
Meals: We both are veggie, which usually doesn't cause us any problems as we enjoy most vegetables and are happy simply by not having the meat or fish. However, the food at LGC was, in our opinion, quite poor and following our usual technique meant we were eating potatoes, pasta or rice plus cauliflower or broccoli and carrots or brussel sprouts and peas every day for lunch and dinner. These vegetables were tasteless and clearly from frozen as they were exactly the same size, colour and shape every meal. We made friends with the cook on our first night there and she kindly made us a sauce from cheese or tomato, to go on our veggies whenever she could, but after a week we really wanted better than that. One night they had a veggie pasta dish on the menu, but the soup, and all the starters, were non-veggie. The pasta dish was horrible. The pasta was boiled to death, and the sparse sauce was virtually tasteless. We really had expected hot, spicy Caribbean sauces, but unfortunately did not get served anything with any real flavour at all. What might have been the best meal for us, a variety of curry dishes was served for lunch one day when we were out on a trip, so we missed that.
Breakfast was probably the best meal for us highlighted by the delightful small birds coming down to drink unguarded orange juices left on tables while the guests were off getting more food. The easy way to stop the birds getting at the juice is to put your coffee cup on top of the glass. The fruit juices tasted like they were made from concentrate, were very sweet, and had little flavour. The cheese served was mostly processed and flavourless, though they sometimes served Camembert, which was better. The fresh fruit, something you might expect on a tropical island, was not however good quality and was mostly hard and tasteless.
So all in all we found the food at LGC disappointing, and clearly made from low cost ingredients. This was underlined after we had lunch one day at Castara Beach and were served a superb veggie dish with a host of spicy veggies.
The Caribbean Bistro always serves buffet style meals but be careful that the temperature of the food is kept high enough to prevent bacteria multiplication. I suffered the squits after eating rice there one day, probably not a good choice given the possibly poor temperature control. Other times the food there was quite hot.
So all in all we found this not a great dining experience. We did have contact with the meat and fish when we got some for the cats, however it looked a rather unappetising grey colour and smelt strongly after a few hours in our room fridge.
Spa: As there were a low number of guests we had no trouble rescheduling our treatments and enjoyed the experience. My toenails are still shining!!
In conclusion, and despite our disappointment with the food quality, we had a great time at LGC, and carnivores may view the menu differently.
2 Week All Inclusive Fast Approaching
Having planned our holiday for a good 10 months or so this website has been absolutely invaluable in aiding our planning and building our excitement for our impending holiday. We are staying at the Grand Courlan and will be visiting friends who live on Trinidad whilst we are there. We are staying the first two weeks in September and I was wondering if I could ask a few questions before we go:
1. Is this a busy time of the year for tourism?
2. I am unsure of how much money to take with us- we would like to go on some excursions to see as much of the island as possible, but as we are unsure of the cost- we don't know how much to take!
Any help would be much appreciated!
Lgc Visit Report
My Good lady friend and I have just returned from a 2 week stay at LGC and I can safely say that it was the best holiday we have ever had the good fortune to have.
We initially left the UK slightly apprehensive (to say the least) over some reviews written here and on other sites about the hotel, but once we had arrived I really do wonder what some people perceive when they see the world!
The hotel itself was great. no end of painting and sprucing up was being done whilst we were there, with no incovenience to ourselves. It is clear the hotel is cared for and valued by the staff. Not the run down place some of the posts made it sound. The staff themselves were something else, with "Dion" behind the bar being one massive character we will really miss.
Our room was great (garden view, although we had a clear view of the beach and sea), although the aircon was a little noisy some well placed wadding helped quieten a small vibration. That's pretty much it for gripes, our only other complaint was that the holiday lasted only 2 weeks and not 4!! I would not recommend the Jacuzzi room as their outlook is limited and the rooms seemed a bit dark and claustrophobic.
We made some fantastic friends and toured around the island. With one guide we met on our travels informing us that he thought the LGC was the best resort on the island, he was in the process of showing some guests of the Rex Turtle Hotel around who by all indications had been having a terrible time!
The tan is starting to fade but I hope the wonderful memories do not!
One thing that has been written on this site before and held so true in my mind, if you go expecting "Dubai style" subservient staff and polished marble you'll be dissapointed. Bear in mind this is the Caribbean where things are done at their own pace and marble is pretty hard to come by! Having said that you would be mad I think to find the holiday disspointing. Everyone we met there loved it and enjoyed every minute.
The hotel, beach, staff and whole holiday was great- don't worry you will not be disappointed. If anyone has contact with anyone in the hotel over in Tobago please pass on our message of thanks and regards- we will definitely be coming back!
I hope that this review is of use to somebody.
Impending Visit To Le Grand Courlan
My husband and myself are off to Tobago on November 10th to the Grand Courlan. This will be our first visit to Tobago and am getting very excited now but my husband won't let me get my suitcase out till the 5th
Just wanted to ask a quick question - I am never quite sure whether you should leave the maid a small tip every day or just one at the end of the stay - is there any particular etiquette on this. Also is it better to tip in TTD or USD?
Congratulations on this website - have been reading it every week for the last 6 weeks now.
Two whole new experiences, booked a holiday to Tobago and this is the first time i have used a forum!!
We have booked to stay at this hotel (Le Grand Courlan) and i read on the forums that it is worth booking the treatments, that are included in the holiday at least two weeks before we go - any help with how i go about this would be fab?!?!
Also if anyone has places that are a must see whilst we are there that would be a great help too?