Manta Lodge - Reader Reports & Opinion
Nicola Bowen Rees from U.K. visited in May 2008 and awarded
Booked on a dive tour group with Oonas Divers to stay at Manta Lodge from 24 May to 7 June 2008. Concerns before we went after looking at reviews of Manta Lodge on Trip Advisor. Discussed these with a rep from Oonas at familiariation evening 7 May and was told Oonas aware of some of the issues and the owner was on a serious warning - i.e. if he didnt improve then Oonas would consider not using him again. - We had already booked and paid months earlier, so we 'hoped' the warning from Oonas would mean we got what we expected.
Had also learned in conversation with Oonas rep that 'noisy' rooms were directly above the bar, but told we wouldnt be allocated one of those.
There were c. 22 in the group, - all reasonable people, used to several holidays abroad each year - good customers to have you would think!
The night we arrived, my partner and I found ourselves allocated a room directly above the bar. The room was spacious but very dirty, - floors, walls, ceilings with damp patches peeling off. The bedding was stained and grubby and the balcony door locks broken. The bathroom was filthy - shower tiles mouldy and black, a rusty water tank above. Paint peeling off the wash hand basis surround. The room looked like it hadnt had a clean for ages. I asked if we could change. The owner's girlfriend was helpful and found another room, although it wasnt ready - but was better to a degree. She got the owner to move our luggage - he and another guy did, but didnt speak to us and appeared really annoyed. We moved in, and then half an hour later the owner came and told us we should move to another room as this one was near the compressor. They moved our stuff again. The 3rd room was better than the first and second, and as it was nearly 2am GMT and we had been up for 23 hours, we just took it. In the morning, we noted the dirt! The main thing was the bathroom - filthy, mouldy and slippery shower tiles, peeling wash basin, black mould and dirt ingrained around the corners of the floor - in short, disgusting. We found out that most people were unhappy with their rooms too. It was evident that nobody had a room that remotely resembled the 'superior' room shown in the brochure and website. All our rooms were supposed to be 'superior' but these were less than basic and filthy.
Most of the staff at Manta Lodge were quite rude. Breakfast was put on one plate and literally thrown on the table. Most of our group were diving in the mornings - I stayed around the pool. On the majority of mornings I did this there appeared to be many staff and 'friends' hanging around the bar swearing and shouting at each other; - they never seemed to do any work! Cleaning of bedrooms seemed to take less than 3-4 mins a day - I was around so saw this. - Even on changeover day. The only person who seemed to get staff moving was Marva, (head reception I think). - Couldnt fault her, she was great, courteous and so helpful, but one person cant do it all.
We moved on the Monday of the 2nd week to Speyside Inn next door. - What a difference - spotless bedroom and bathroom, courteous staff, food better and cheaper than Manta and lovely breakfasts.
The Dive centre at Manta Lodge is a shambles and totally disorganised. No briefings or assessments of diver abilities at the start, hence beginners or intermediates went on advanced dives without knowing this. When divers got in the overcrowded boats to go out to dive sites, they were told they'd know where they were going when they got there!!
Read Skippy and Nico 2008 reviews of Manta Lodge on Trip Advisor for the full detail and photos of the rooms!
The owners of this place dont seem to know anything about running a hotel or dive tourism business; its really dreadful.
Rob Blackburn from U.K. visited in March 2007 and awarded
Manta Lodge certianly invokes some reaction from people. I have read every review here, and in the Trip Adviser site - all 32. I have stayed at Manta Lodge many times, the first time I was booked into the Blue Waters round the corner but drifted to Manta Lodge.
So many times writers have noted that when "the owners" show up they and their friends get special treatment. Has no one wondered where these 'friends' came from?
The first time I visited back in 1997 Sean Robinson and his father Clyde were there, we had the best holiday of ourlives. I had never met the man before but it was clear that he liked to talk and share a beer with his guests and dive.
I have ecompleted over 300 dives of which some 200 have been with Tobago Dive Experience, I have known Sean ever since that first meeting and he, his family and his staff befriended not only me but everyone in the hotel at the time ... that is, those that wanted to be befriended. This is not the insincere friendship that Westerners are used to. Sean came to my wedding in 2000 and taught my wife to dive, no small feat as she had an aversion to water and could barely swim. No doubt when I roll in I am also observed as one of those 'friends' but I was and am a guest.
Tobago is a place where you get out what you put in, it is the holiday destination most equivalent to a mirror. If you want to be upset you will be upset, if you want a great holiday you will have one, be miserable and you will receive misery. This is not a place of platitudes and false smiles but real, very real, sincere welcome and friendship.
If you choose to visit this paradise let the Tobagonian spirit lead the way, do not expect to start teaching them how to do things. The english failed, the dutch failed the french failed and portugese failed, this is their land and when in tobago do as tobagoninas do. The rewards are great.
We have just returned from a 2 week trip to Manta Lodge. We had a great time. The staff are exceptionally friendly although that could just be because we had our 5 month old daughter with us and she was star of the show. The rooms are nice better than basic dive rooms. The pool is small but you have it to yourself. The waves crashing on the beach all night is lovely. The food good but expensive compared to the excellent restaurants in Speyside. We broke the 2 week stay with a 3 day trip round the Island which I would recommend. My Husband was diving but I wasnt due to Grace - our baby. There is not much to do but swim and sit and enjoy the weather but we enjoyed it. We booked through Scuba en Cuba in the UK. One word of advice - take mossi coils and net - we got bitten a lot.
Melt-away Without Air-condition?
Hi everybody. I´m about to visit to Tobago for the first time in May this year. A travel agency offers a great deal, including flight and b/b at the Manta Lodge. Information about the Lodge via the Internet sounds really promising. Only trouble is: the offered rooms only got a ceiling fan, no air-condition .
Now: Can an average middle-European survive without air-condition? Or will he just melt away?
I´d be happy to get some advice.