Turtle Beach - Reader Reports & Opinion
Krystle from U.K. visited in August 2011 and awarded
The experience was amazing, the sun sand and pool facilities above and beyond and the food was fabulous....My resort destination in Tobago forever....The staff were quick efficient and friendly and the ambience was peaceful met a lot of great people. When you are there you do not feel like to leave
Richard Baldwin from Canada visited in June 2011 and awarded
Turtle Beach Hotel, the Cuban refugee camp:
We arrived early in the morning (7am) due to the time of our flight. We had no choice in this time, it was the only flight from Toronto, then on to Tobago. When we were arrived we were given a Chilly greeting by Crystal at the desk, who was obviously unimpressed that we had arrived before the 3pm checkin time and made us immediately aware of it. She informed us we will have to wait as the rooms were not ready. Sleep deprived, overdressed in travelling gear, long pants and heavy shirts, we were forced to wait on the pool deck in weather well in excess of 80 degrees for 5 hours. We were not offered a drink, or a temporary room, or anything. After the first hour the restaraunt opened and we asked if we would be able to get some eggs and coffee. They begrudgingly agreed, then made us sign a charge of $188 TT for this simple breakfast. Also during the five hour wait in the scorching heat we asked if we could have something to drink. We were told we would not get any free drinks and were charged an additional $200TT for the three drinks we had during our five hour wait. I need to add that we had paid for an all-inclusive package.
Finally at 12pm we were given the privilege of having a room to get some sleep. Crystal begrudgingly allowed us to leave the pool deck and take our room, only because I asked every hour if the room was ready. We were told we would be charged for any food or drink until 3pm when we would receive our "Armbands". I found it embarrassing to wear armbands for an entire week around Tobago.
Then things got worse. The staff and bartenders seemed to have an air of "resentfulness" of our presence. Even after several sincere attempts to make friendly conversation. We finally gave up trying. Never was there a smile or a friendly word. They would accommodate whatever you asked, but almost begrudgingly.
The restaurant was stifling hot, so hot you could barely breath. At least 2-3 times each meal, I needed to go for a short walk just to stop from sweating in there. There were no fans were we were forced to sit. We were not allowed to take our food to the patio. We were not allowed any glassware outside of the restaurant. We were sent back to our room for wearing short pants to dinner, yet we noticed other guests were allowed tank tops, miniskirts, and even bare feet. When we returned with long pants, we elected to sit at a table that had a ceiling fan over it in order to find a way to bear the stifling heat in the restaraunt, only to be scolded like a schoolchild and told to sit elsewhere because that table was "set for breakfast".
The food was mediocre at best, and the menu and breakfast selection never changed for the entire week. Eggs, hash browns, bacon, fruit. Luke warm coffee. If you sat at a table set for four with only two people they would give you a dirty look and remove the excess two settings from the table. The dinner selection was bland and boring. I dont consider roast beef and ham to be authentic creole cuisine.
By Thursday there was no more buffet and they went "a la Carte" and the food was not very good, crunchy bits in improperly cooked pasta, chicken in a basic sweet/sour sauce on top of it. By this point, even though we had paid for the meals, we decided we would no longer be eating at the Turtle Beach hotel.
Security guards everywhere who would scold you for trying to hop the wall to the beach, but did nothing while peddlers pestered you to the point where you had to go running back to the shelter of your room. The resort was situated on one of the finest beaches but if you dared set foot on it they were all over you forcing mangos and crafted goods on your chest and demanding money. Offering to sell narcotics and tours no matter how many times you said "no thank you". They didn't stop at waiting for you to go on the beach, they would call out to you over the wall, and one of them even boldly marched into the resort pestering guests while the guards made very little attempt to send him back behind the wall.
Good points: Located on one of the finest beaches in Tobago where we DID get to observe a turtle nesting. Also the rooms were clean and well air conditioned with security boxes. For these points I gave two points to the rating, but the resort deserves no more points after that.
We spent the last two nights dining at other establishments which were fabulous, the Pavillion and the Seahorse which are both a little pricey, but well worth the experience. We were just glad to get away from the poor treatment at Turtle Beach Hotel.
On a final note, a strange occurence happened on the last night. Someone showed up with a clipboard in hand, who was observing the hotel and guests and spending a lot of time talking to the manager. All of a sudden, there was entertainment, people were allowed to eat on the patio, and the Pool lights were actually on! First time all week! (Pool all week is promptly closed at 6:30pm with no lights on) This was obviously some attempt to fool this "important" person who showed up and disguise what was really going on there.
We cannot say we enjoyed drinking out of chipped 8oz plastic cups all week and denied any glassware. I would have to give my overall rating of the Turtle Beach Hotel as what we fondly call the "slob tourist" resort.
Steffanie from U.K. visited in June 2011 and awarded
We stayed all inclusive between 2nd and 9th June 2011, we had read very mixed reviews about the hotel so werent sure what to expect. Our room was an upstairs one with a balcony, overlooking the garden and sea (just standard sea view), it was really nice! It had a lovely big double bed, a big flatscreen tv, nice furniture and lovely beamed roof (it looked newly decorated). The rooms are cleaned every day. The hotel is next to a road but we never noticed any noise unless in the toilet and its quiet anyway.
I think we had luckily been given a nice room however as they offered us a complimentary room to freshen up in before going to the airport (as we were there between 12 and 4)and the room (which hadnt even been cleaned after the last people had left meaning we never got a shower) was not as nice as ours. It was pretty basic, but thats what I expected paying just for a standard room.
I would recommend staying all inclusive. We were going to get a room only, but the all innclusive package is well worth it as you would end up paying a fortune for drinks and food otherwise and I dont think theres any other places close to the hotel to eat. The buffet breakfast, lunch, dinner is excellent, the food was always nice and they always had a good selection. Usually a mix between carribean (like fish and chicken in sauce) and british type food.
The drinks werent great tho, the juice used is like diluting juice (not fresh) so the cocktails were not very nice.
Another thing was during some meals and on the day we left there was a constant drilling and hammering(sounded like a construction site) as I think they are doing up the bar and the rooms.
They had entertainment every night which was usually quite good (like limbo dancing, steel drums, singer). It was ok for a week relaxing and doing absolutely nothing by the pool (which is what we wanted) but the age group that was there while we were there was over 40s and those with families, so for a young group (we are under 25) that want to socialise, have a range of activities and bars etc, prob not the best place. There was free kayaking on the all inclusive package tho which was fun, and a good way to get away from the pool.
And a last thing, the hotel is right on the Turtle Beach. While we were there it was the nesting season so it was amazing to see these huge animals. But it was also distressing, as many of the tourists and locals had no respect for the animal at all. They were standing right beside it, trying to touch it, take flash photos of it, just generally harrassing it; and the SOS people who are there to protect the animals, most of the time did very little to stop this. Many times (I think it was them but could have been locals) they were shouting, had radios on, were smoking (and dropping fag ends), and whistling while the poor animal was trying to drag itself up the beach to lay its eggs (obviously looking distressed). One night, a turtle came up by the bar and the staff continued to make loud drilling noises. It spoils the moment and is very distressing to see (this was agreed by many people I spoke to). There doesnt seem to be any boundaries inforced at all, which you would think there would be seeing as this is the most endangered turtle in the world. The hotel should definitely try to do more to help the turtles, as should the government (especially the government).
Otherwise we had a great time chilling out by the pool, we also stayed in self accomodation the week before in Castara, and much preferred it at turtle beach because it was more of a holiday and more touristy.
Barry Morgan from U.K. visited in May 2011 and awarded
We returned to the resort for our second visit and were not dissapointed. Very little had changed (i'm pleased to say) since our last visit 4 years previously. We knew just what we were getting for our money. The rooms had all been updated although - more attention should have been made to the electrics in the room. One wall socket was hanging off the wall and one had rusted up and could not be used.
The rooms were cleaned and the bed linen changed daily along with all the bathroom towels, soap and shampoos etc.
The poolside washrooms along with the 'public' area wash rooms were spotless.
The food was good and plenty of choice - never a time when there was nothing that 'took your fancy'.
The desserts could do with a change of type and style though.
The evening entertainment had not changed - still the steel band, fire / limbo dancer, girl singer ( she was very good)
You know what - this resort does not claim to be 5 * but it will give you a great holiday at a reasonable price.
Excusions - go with Woody or Frankie - from the beach side - they will give you a great time - well worth going with them. Other beach vendors, Henry for all leather
Please see Henry for leather goods, Dora for all sorths of things and Lorna for tee shirts and serongs - support the local business..
have a great time.
J. Balderson from U.K. visited in May 2011 and awarded
We found the Turtle Beach Hotel to be well run and comfortable - we even met the Manager and Assistant Manager and were able to give our views. The food was good and served quickly - the waiters and waitresses were very attentive and filled our glasses with water, gave us extra rolls on request etc. Our room was quite well furnished with a lovely big bed, air conditioning and a balcony overlooking the garden and beach. It was rather dark at night as there were no ceiling lights in our room - just bedside lights. On the positive side you could make all the coffee and tea you wanted as we had a coffee maker in our room. Ask for one if it is not there and they will get you one. The reception staff were good and always responded well to our requests.
We saw a Leatherback turtle laying its eggs one night (they phoned us as we requested at !p.m.) and then we saw baby turtles hatching out and going down to the sea another night. We also went on a most fantastic bird tour to the rainforest with Peter Cox who is a wonderful and serious bird guide - no waffle from him but real concern for the birds. Although we are retired nobodies he took great care that we saw every possible bird and spent time calling them for us if they didn't appear. Just wish we could go with him again on an island tour. He was exceptional.
The only things we found to say on the downside were that the pool although very large is also very shallow and really only suitable for children. Also the sea is quite rough and you really need to swim with an inflatable ring or something if you are a nervous swimmer.
This is quite a big hotel so there are a lot of people there but luckily most are out on tours during the day so it doesn't feel crowded. The beach sellers never gave us much trouble - we just said "No thanks" and they left us alone.
We saw the local fisherman catching fish in Seine nets in the mornings just to the right of the hotel and we went down the road to Grafton Bird Sanctuary (free) and saw Mot Mot and Cocrico birds being fed at 4 p.m.