Tropikist Beach Hotel - Reader Reports & Opinion
Steve Trafford from U.K. visited in May 2007 and awarded
My Family returned on 8th June 2007 from 2 weeks staying at the Tropikist Beach Hotel.
I will start off by saying we very much enjoyed our time on the very beautiful island of Tobago and had a great holiday. We went all over the Island by car and enjoyed seeing the Giant Leatherback Turtles laying eggs, Pigeon Point where we saw a Bollywood movie being filmed, and Englishmans Bay was really nice. We had a couple of trips into Scarborough and mingled with the people etc. We hired a car from just round the corner ‘James’ Mini –Market’ the car was ok but he did try and rip us off on the exchange rate.
There was some concern with the mixed reviews we had read about the Tropikist before we went.
We have been on all inclusive holidays before in the Caribbean and knew that places and opinions can vary.
We had two issues with the Tropikist which I will go into detail about later but I will start by saying we had a comfortable and clean room with an excellent sea view. The room had a ceiling fan and good air conditioning.The swimming pools and Jacuzzi were great and the location was very good. Although just a few hundred yards from the airport the noise was not intrusive. On this point we did speak to one couple who had been charged £53 by the tour operator for taxi transfers!! We were charged 35TT!! Its only a few hundred yards.
The two issues we had with the Tropikist were the food and the bar.
Firstly the food. On previous all inclusives we had become accustomed to buffet style meals with a large and varied selection. Regrettably this was not the case at the Tropikist. The evening meals were a la carte 80% of the time. Even when it was ‘buffet style’ you were still served by the staff. Usually it consisted of 3 choices. One of chicken, one of fish and either another meat or occasionally a vegetarian option.
The descriptions on the menu appeared to have been taken out of a gourmet cookbook, something along the lines of “boneless chicken marinated in a mouthwatering xyz sauce” which could be sweet n sour or jerk or similar, depending on which jar they opened that day. Or ‘tender pieces of lamb marinated in a rich mint gravy’.
What we actually got was 2 chicken drumsticks with a couple of tea spoons of xyz sauce and a piece of lamb bone with few flakes of meat attatched that had been put in the oven in a tray, cooked and had a bright green tasteless jelly put on the top of it.
One day we saw from the menu on display in the morning that for that evenings’ meal it would be a choice of a fish dish, T bone steak or Fillet steak. When we came to sit down it had turned into Chicken quarters (again), a fish dish and Goat curry !!!!
All this was served with the same thing night after night after night. Rice (savoury type), ‘creamed potatoes’ which I am convinced was Smash served in a baking case you would bake a muffin in at home only not as big, or some other variant of potato. ( note the lack of the use of plurals here) and vegetables that were so far ‘al dente’ as to risk breaking your teeth on them.
Dessert was always either 2 small scoops of Ice cream or a slice of cake bought from the local supermarket!!.
On one occasion when the Restaurant manager was away we waited over an hour to be served. The description bore no resemblance to the actual food that was eventually presented to us so we complained to reception and asked for them to send for a takeaway pizza.
After saying she would do that I had a call from her saying she couldn’t get hold of the Hotel manager and she didn’t have the authority to do it. So that evening my wife and I ate nothing .
Breakfast was the same every day, buffet style but woe betide you if you think you can help yourself to the bacon!!( the fattiest, streakiest bacon you ever saw) We had to make sure we got in early as very often items would run out (“Eggs all gone”). The fruit was either a choice of any 2 from watermelon, banana, mango or pineapple, which we thought for a tropical island was a very meagre selection. There was never enough glasses, mugs or cups, plates or cutlery and you could wait a lifetime for them to collect a few and go and wash them up. The fruit juice was so far watered down as to be basically a squash.
Then it was the running battle with the birds trying to steal food from your table. You always have to have someone at the table to keep them away from your plates!!
Lunch we were told on arrival would consist of burgers and chips or sandwiches. This was fine for us. However for the first few days lunches were ‘a la carte’ with the menu being a variation of the Chicken, Fish or something else menu.
When I queried it with reception I was told you can have the burgers and chips or sandwiches option if you ordered it in advance and took it back to your room wrapped in foil!! When I asked why they said its because if anyone else saw it they would all want it!!!!!!!!!
Eventually the ‘a la carte’ lunches disappeared and the burger and chips menu was available in the restaurant.
Having said all this we did have a couple of really nice meals, notably the ‘Norwegian’ Beef Goulash. We think that the food is done like this because they have guests who stay room only or b&b. They then charge anywhere between U.S.$18 – 23 as well as providing meals on the all inclusive basis.
I was also told by reception that no one else had complained. This was not the case judging by the people we talked to at the bar. One lady who had complained told us that that evening there would be a guest chef. Well if there was he/she cooked up similar food to a similar standard.
Ok so now my other issue with Tropikist – The Bar.
There is usually only one person serving which would be ok if they weren’t so slow. You know slow as in the slowest thing you can think of and then a lot, lot slower.
Everything has to be recorded and signed for which can take an eternity. If you don’t go and stand in front of the person serving you can wait for 5 or 10 minutes to be served. The swim up bar which backs onto the bar can take 10 or more minutes to get served at even if no one is drinking in the bar on the ‘dry’ side, as you are behind where they like to sit and listen to the radio or play with the mountain of ‘chits’. We tried shouting but still got ignored.
One evening we went out and returned for a drink at 10.30pm to find the bar closed and in darkness even though its supposed to be open till 11pm. Apparently he had closed up at 10.15.
On another evening there were about 6 or 8 people at the bar and the Barman just disappeared for 20 minutes. The Barman got a round of applause when he returned. Also don’t even think about trying to get served when the barman is sat in the restaurant having his meal, even though he can see you standing and waiting at the bar.
The other incident you should be aware of was that one evening whilst I was in reception a woman guest came in asking me to go with her out onto the road as she had just witnessed 2 Brits being mugged. They were staying in a place just past the Tropikist and had been up to the local Fried Chicken / Pizza Parlour. One of the guys had a cut ear and the other one was ok. They said they think they had been followed until they got somewhere quiet and a guy jumped them.
There is apparently no truth in the rumour that it was a guest from the Tropikist trying to steal the food they had .
So overall the Tropkist varies from being acceptable to something akin to Fawlty Towers. If you are thinking of going be very wary about the food, particularly if you have young children, who would probably end up with a choice of Burger and Chips or Sandwiches, or if you are a Vegetarian then I could see that being a real problem for you. The ‘Regular’ entertainment was spasmodic, only on 4 or possibly 5 evenings during our stay and that had finished by about 9pm.The only regular entertainment was the radio.
But do go to Tobago. You will love it.
S.McDonald from U.S.A. visited in February 2007 and awarded
Hi! Went back to the Tropikist after Carnival 2007 since I had such a great stay in August 2006 with my other family members. Well it was just not the same. One reason may have been that Mr. Samaroo or Samansingh was not on site because of an illness. Well the place does not run well without him. When we checked in the maintenance man came by to ask about the mattress needing to be replaced. Well since the receptionist had not mentioned that there was a problem, I had no idea what he was talking about and told him it did not. She obviously knew there was was and we did not find out until later that evening what it was. The air conditioning unit was malfunctioning and practically "rained" on my sister forcing her to move. We took pictures mentioned it to the front desk, and received the too bad attitude. We cancelled our reservation for the next night and received a refund only after mentioning that Mr. Samaroo would not have treated us this way. She would not even budge on discounting the one night we spent with the malfunctioning air conditioner. The mattress was soaked the morning we left. I feel sorry for anyone who got that room after us. It should not be up to one person to make sure this establishment works properly. When we were there in August, Mr. Samaroo worked hard to make sure all the guests were treated appropriately to the point of working the breakfast buffet. It is a shame that he can't afford to get ill, and can't count on his fellow employees to keep up the good customer service.
Andre Hanief from Trinidad visited in September 2006 and awarded
We have just returned from a wonderful holiday at Tropikist Hotel. We stumbled across the listing for Tropikist by chance and was quite impressed. The accommodation at Trpoikist met our needs perfectly. Comfortable bed, lovely cool breeze at night through the room, hot shower, lovely pool, great location and friendly hosts!
It's a three minute drive to the nearest beach, but you will need to hire a car to get the most out of Tobago. I would thoroughly recommend staying here to anyone looking for reasonably priced, uncrowded and well situated accommodation. Hopefully we will be returning later this year!
Claire from U.K. visited in September 2006 and awarded
Ignore the bad reviews of the Tropikist! my boyfriend and i have just returned having spent a wonderful week there with no complaints at all!
The rooms are spacious, well kept and with beautiful views of the ocean (if you opt for a superior room, which we would definately recommend).
The staff were all friendly and always happy to help. We were made to feel very welcome and comfortable and couldnt fault the service.
The restaurant is a little pricey considering the food is fairly basic, however its a lovely spot to eat looking out over the bay, often with live music.
Definately go down to the shoreline beside the dive shop to watch the sunsetting.
The beginning of September must have been a good time of year to visit; their were few tourists both staying at the hotel and on the island in general, yet the weather was fantastic all week.
Only thing was, it was difficult to find the hotel spa shop open despite trying on numerous occasions, perhaps down to it being low season.
However on the whole, definately worth staying there, particulary if you can get a bargain deal!!
S. McDonald from U.S.A. visited in August 2006 and awarded
Just wanted to say that I read all the negative reports on several sites and was a bit hesitant, however, from the moment of booking to our departure, the staff at the Tropikist bent over backwards.
Mr. Samaransingh and his staff made our stay an enjoyable one. The staff allowed us to keep our bags in the back office due to our early arrival and so that we could go to Store Bay and come back at check in. He was also always available at any time of the day and could be found working the breakfast buffet if a staff member was ill. When we noticed that our sliding door was broken, he had it fixed immediately and always had a smile on his face in greeting. The staff were always working early in the A.M. cleaning the pool prior to opening or pruning the shrubbery ..etc. but always bustling. Our room was always tidy and cleaned each day. I have stayed elsewhere in Tobago and paid more and the Tropikist wins hands down...