Turtle Beach - Reader Reports & Opinion
Rita Wilcox from U.K. visited in April 2008 and awarded
After booking, I read some very negative comments on various review webpages, but this was not our experience.
We(party of 4 adults 45-55) enjoyed our stay. The staff were without exception, pleasant and co-operative/helpful. The hotel was as you would expect for this star rating, in fact above in some aspects, i.e.the pool/beach.
Whilst we were there, the hotel was slowly (and subsequently unobtrusively) being refurbished. There were new bathroom suites being delivered, and the dining room had new furniture during our stay.
The rooms were large and well furnished, with comfortable beds/pillows.
The entertainment was varied, not "west-end" but not bad either.
Not sure what was available for children, (clubs etc) so this could have been an issue for families perhaps.
The food, was great, wonderful cooked brekkies if you wanted, cereal/fruit muffins etc if not.
We stayed all-inc, for first time, no ice-creams/snacks that i could see, outside of meal times, although drinks were served, so again maybe an issue for some families, but not us.
Tobago itself is a mixture. We visited Scarborough, (capital, but not as we know it JIm!)nothing to recommend it, and would n't bother again.
Well worth hiring a car for a day(or two)to explore the beautiful beaches, and central rainforest area. The trip to Argylle Falls is good, wear trainers or flats, it can get muddy and you do a bit of clambering over rocks, but worth it, your guide points out wild-life, we saw a humming bird amongst other things.
Pigeon point is spectacular, and the boat trips are interesting. Taxi's to and from the hotel are reasonable if you dont want to drive.
Would strongly recommend going A/I as Tobago is n't a holiday where there are wide choices of restuarants on your doorstep. We did eat out for one lunch, and found it expensive and very basic, so think carefully when booking. The hotel do European and local dishes, (goat curry was good there)and if you work out what you would spend on food and drink in Europe the A/I is good value.
The only supermarket, that resembles anything like your local one is Penny..something or other, in the pigeon point area. There is an ATM there too.
Tobago is very chilled and laid back, not much to do outside of beaches, and I probably would have been bored with two weeks. A typical caribbean island.
We were fortunate to see a leather-back turtle laying her eggs, also of interest was watching the local fishermen pull their catch in from the beach, it was fascinating, go and watch, you will prob be helping as it's impossible not to, there's a sense of ancient history, no machinery, just men pulling together for the greater good.
I would recommend Turtle Beach Hotel, and Tobago, but only if you want a relaxing holiday, if you want bright lights/loud music/nightclubs etc, stick to Aya Napa! Tobago won't be for you.
PS watch out for the rum punch, particularly when you just arrive, dont know if it was having just flown for hours, but boy were they lethal! Picture an alcoholic slush puppie, and you've got it! Beware the Pina Colada's! Wonderful concoctions, but definately make your clothes shrink!
Kevin Brooks from U.K. visited in March 2008 and awarded
I stayed for two weeks in the all-inclusive hovel during March 2008.
There are few positive and many negative elements to this holiday. The best way to allow me to identify these is to give a chronological detail of the holiday.
On arrival the holiday felt idyllic; being immersed in the Caribbean atmosphere once we had opened the door onto the balcony.
This was lost by the following morning. My wife woke up covered in ants! (100's of tiny ants). The reception desk advised that something would be done to eradicate these, although they were there all of the time. We even purchased our own can of insect spray from the main town; the ants were not effected.
The coffee machine, in the bedroom, was filled with bleach.
I went fishing on the beach the first morning before breakfast. As soon as I took my first steps on the beach I was approached by one of the many vendors trying to sell excursions. The travel guides say to be friendly but state 'No thankyou' to any of these requests. Every day I was approached. Eventually I was told by one of these vendors that I had 'attitude' and was racially descriminatory. I was advised, after, that this same vendor waited outside an older vulnerable couple's room until they purchased a trip just to get rid of this person. Although signs say 'No Vendors'; these people move through the hotel without being ejected by the security (a joke to consider them as security). I personally believe money passes hand between these people and the management to turn a blind eye; it is all about fleecing you of your money.
The restaurant was often opened late and the food cold (especially at Breakfast). There was a good variety with many local dishes included. The service in the restaurant was generally poor; the local staff appearing to be lazy and unfriendly. The all-inclusive vaiety of drinks was excellent. The Phillipino and Korean staff were pro-active and extremely polite. Within 20 metres of the restaurant there was always a smell of sewage!
The staff, including Security were always touting the guests for taxi business, they obviously take a cut! Misinformation was always given out about the regular bus service from outside the entrance of the hotel. An accurate bus timetable should be posted on the notice board. Compare the bus fare (about 18p) compared to the taxi fare (£20 - £30).
The main problem with the hotel must lay in the hands of the Manager. I have noticed the same staff being there daily from 630am to 10pm. Many of them advised me that they were unhappy with being overworked and being underpaid; each day awakeing to the same experience with no incentive.
I went out on the pedallo on the second day on a calm sea. I waited for 10 minutes for someone to come and pull me in safely, but nobody was watching (that is negligence on the part of the watersport staff and management in my opinion); so I made my own way in, and was overturned on reaching the steeply sloped beach. I felt I was lucky not to be pinned under and drowned. I lost my glasses whilst pinned under the pedallo; which meant that the holiday was ruined, as I am short sighted, and could not see properly for the rest of the hoilday. Compensation, to cover the excess with the insurance, was refused by the Management. Trying to get a problem sorted with the hotel seems to be absolutely impossible! It was noted that for the rest of the holiday that there was someone always watching from the Watersports hut. I am sure that the old ways will soon be returned to; and I hope that no-one will lose their life!
On taking a bath you scratch you knees where the enamel has come away from the bath. To try to hide this the bath has been painted! The wood fittings in the bathroom are rotting and the plug for the sink does not exist.
The evening entertainment is good; although it does not always happen.
The sheets were not changed until the 12th day. We were advised by the woman cleaning the room that she had changed them. This, to me, was a ploy to get a tip on leaving.
Overall, I would suggest that, if going to Tobago; you should seek another hotel. We were unfortunately doubled booked with a much smaller hotel, and had to accept this hotel; otherwise we would have lost our holiday. The hotel will not get better under the existing management. I suggest that the hotel is shut for a season, the whole place being gutted and to undergo a complete refit, the local staff to be replaced by Asian staff that are willing to work, and a total replacement of management that are able to manage properly.
Sylvia Dannreuther from U.K. visited in March 2008 and awarded
We've just returned from our first trip to Tobago, and having read some of the less favourable comments about Turtle Beach Hotel I was pleasantly surprised - all the staff were welcoming, helpful and there was always a cheerful greeting. All the rooms are within feet of the beach with stunning views, and although they're not of the highest standard, everything was clean and there was an endless supply of hot water. When we had a problem with our shower it was fixed within hours. The pool was great. The locals were always polite and friendly, even when we said we didn't want their boat tours. The only disappointment was that the advertised all-inclusive watersports facilities were very limited - there was only one Hobie and one windsurfer plus a few kayaks - having said that, we still sailed every day, but mainly because there wasn't much demand from the other guests.
All in all we had a great holiday - oh, and the turtles laying their eggs were awesome.
Angela Adams from U.K. visited in March 2008 and awarded
The 3* Turtle Beach Hotel, Tobago is in an excellent beachside position with two and three-storey accommodation and pretty gardens around the outside pool. The jacuzzi in the centre of the pool never works despite several requests. We had a completely recently refurbished room but it was filthy. There was building work going on in the rooms either side and cement bags on the ground floor and dust everywhere so all floors were always dirty. The chairs were badly stained and the brand new bathroom leaked from the ceiling and from our shower tap. The sheets and towels were always clean and changed regularly. I spoke to the charming General Manager a few times and the main reason is lack of staff. One morning half the restaurant was closed due to no staff.
Frank Henry from U.S.A. visited in February 2008 and awarded
Outstanding location, pool and beach. Loved the tree with the sign "Caution - dangerous tree". Figured it must be posted for all those on the all inclusive plan that need to get their moneys worth on alcohol and might walk into it if not marked.
Room was good size. Could use a little more lighting. Bath sadly in need of updating. Food was fine for breakfasts and the few other meals we took there. So many other nice places to dine, why confine one's self to just the hotel ?
For the life of me, do not understand why all the security guards around the hotel. Did not meet anyone in the least threatening in a week of bouncing around the island.
Would go back if airlines puts a better schedule on from the U.S. Not sure this is worth 2 days of traveling.