Turtle Beach - Reader Reports & Opinion
Dave White from U.K. visited in October 2006 and awarded
I returned on Friday from a week long stay at rtb.There were 16 of us in our party,ranging from 6 to 71 years of age and all had a great time.
On the staff attitude issue all i can say is we found only one member slightly offish but we all have bad days ?
Dave the assistant manager was a real help when one of our party was taken ill and required a doctor ( also a stay in hospital later ).The doctor arrived within half an hour and was excellent.
The pool was kept very clean,the wait at the bar was of varying lengths,more dependant on how polite the customers were than the amount waiting.
Overall I couldnt fault either the hotel or the staff,ok the bathrooms are a tad shabby but who sits in their bathroom in such a fantastic location ?
This was our second time there and wont be our last.
Robert O'Dowd from Ireland visited in September 2006 and awarded
I have just returned from 2 weeks in Tobago having stayed in the Turtle beach. Having read many articles since my return (I do things in reverse) I decided I should add my own comments from the experience I had.
The Rex Turtle beach hotel is a 3 star hotel with 5 star staff, they couldn't have been better from the reception people to the Management, Chefs & restaurant staff, maids and gardeners. Every single one helped make our stay one we will never forget and find hard to beat. Most people staying were repeaters and were very nice. The rooms are basic and clean, the towels were replaced every day with clean towels and always with a smile. With regards the all incl. there are no limits on the amount of booze you can get per visit to the bar and believe me I tested this, the food was great, even after 14 nights and the evening entertainment was relaxing. I take my hat off to the excellent mgt and staff of the rex turtle beach. Anyone who complained about this resort may have had reason but I can not find one. The only problem I had was when the bus came to take us to the airport, the two weeks flew!
Matt Jenkins from U.K. visited in August 2006 and awarded
Having just returned from RTB i feel after all my questions it is only fair that i post my review. Before i start i should say that this is as unbiased a review as i can offer!
We flew out there on the thursday virgin flight and arrived at the hotel at about 2:30. We were greeted at reception with a choice of either rum punch or fruit punch for the children. Beware..that rum punch is lethal stuff after a long flight! We waited for our room for 1 1/2 hours which, while frustrating, allowed us to have a wander around the hotel and find out where everything was. Before we were given our room we were given our wrist band...white for adult AI, yellow for children and gold for repeaters. There is a red band but i think its for children repeaters! Yes, these are annoying but there is little that can be done and i kept mine on but saw a few people who cut theirs of and carried it everywhere with them...not recommended if you lose things easily!
The hotel has one of the best locations on the island and the beach is fantastic. The sea is variable but on the whole i would say safe. There are a few freak waves every now and again but if you watch carefully you can see these coming. At various stages of the tides there are sometimes rip currents about 50-100m offshore but these should only be of trouble to strong swimmers...i was caught in one once but they are not very strong and you should swim sideways along the bay not against them!
We were shown to our rooms by one of the security guards who carried our cases. We were in room 220. Our first impressions were very favourable as the room was clean and neat, with the A/C delightfully cold after our travels! This room is in the old block but far enough from the pool to be quiet in the daytime but not such a long walk for meals and for the bar in the evening! this room had a separate room with a single bed in and a larger room with 2 singles in. The A/C was quiet and powerful.
After relaxing a while we went to dinner and were very surprised. Having read reports on here i was prepared for the worst but the food on the whole was superb. Throughout the whole stay we had the buffet and yes, whilst i agree it isn't gormet food for a buffet it is very good. There is a mix of local dishes every night from goat curry with roti to roast beef and yorkies. There is a fish option every night and always a mix of fresh veg and salads to choose from. There is also a soup option which is usually good at both lunch and dinner. Breakfast is also good with a choice of a continental breakfast, toast, cereal, yogurt, fruit juice and cooked breakfast. There is also fresh fruit being sliced every morning but the chefs as you watch. The cooked is usually good and you can have an omlette or fried egg (or boiled) cooked as you wait by the chef. There is a lady who does this who has appauling manners and is very rude (but she has been commented on before) she doesn't cook on the breakfast all the time (thank god) and comments have been made to the manager. In all our time this is the only poor member of staff we met.
The pool is superb but not suitable for any proper swimming. It is always very welcome on the very hot days though! And now for my grumble..before i go on: i'm 22, patient and easy going! The main annoyance of my stay was children. Not all children i should say but those whos parents thought it acceptable to let their children do what they wanted without any discipline. The various parents of about 6-8 children found it acceptable to start drinking at 10am, leaving their children unsupervised in the pool (clearly against the hotel's pool rules). The children then jumped from the jacuzzi into the main pool despite the security repeatedly telling them not to. The pleas of Brent (the fantastic barman) fell on deaf ears. For those who have not been yet the main pool is 1m deep and running around the jacuzzi is a shelf 0.5m deep. Luckily no child was seriously hurt but please, have some repect for the hotel and the staff who are concerned for your safety! These same children were allowed to run around during dinner and also through the entertainment, distracting the performers. Enough said but i really do think that whilst it was a holiday their behaviour was unacceptable and showed disrespect for staff and fellow guests!
Onto nicer things: on our very first night a huge leatherback turtle came up and laid its eggs in front of the bar on the beach. It was amazing to see and nice to see that people refrained from using flash. Near the end our stay we helped release some baby leatherbacks and this was the highlight of our trip.
The weather was good and most days you can expect a mixture of cloud and very hot sun. We only had one day of heavy rain, although showers can be expected most days, especially in the afternoon.
The bar is good and all drinks are cold. Brent is a fantastic barman and always willing to chat. Vernon may seem very grumpy but is often fed up with the rudeness of guests...it was amazing to see how few said please or thank you. In response to previous posts...no the drinks are not watered down and yes they do put in a lot of ice...but that's because it melts so fast in the heat!
The rooms were cleaned every day and the staff were very friendly. The other person who deserves a mention is the general manager who was friendly an hlepful. He mingles with the guest and i was amazed one morning at breakfast to see him clearing tables because they were short staffed!
An experience not to be missed is to help (or watch) the locals hauling seine. It is very hard work and i helped a few times. It takes about 2 hours for the net to come in and it may look easy but the net is lead weighted and weighs a ton! I lost all the skin from my hands but was good fun. The guys will appreciate your help and on the last day they asked if i wanted a fish from the net and i went away with a red snapper, which the executive chef cooked for us that night.
One word of warning: there is a guy on the beach who is trouble. He has a speech impediment and i think learning dificulties. He will try to give you mangoes and then demand money for them. On one day he stole money from a family walking the beach and has been reported to the police and security. He is hated by both security and locals alike, who believe he is giving them a bad name. He has probably ben dealt with by now, either officially or unofficially. It is not something to be concerned about but to be aware of. I should stress that every local i met was as friendly as possible and are far friendlier than anywhere other island i have been too.
Another person who deserves a special mention is WOODY but for very good reasons. Often to be found around the hotel offering tours, his boat is also used for watersports and my brother (a very keen waterskiier who had taken his own monoski) went out with him on a number of occasions and had a great time. On the last day Woody said he could have a free ski for his repeated custom. This was very kindhearted and a nice gesture. So thank you again Woody.
All in all it was a fantastic holiday and we would definately return. I hope you have enjoyed this review, both the good and the bad but i honestly think the RTB to be the best i have stayed in. My brother prefers it to Coco Reef because it is smaller and in a better location.
I wish anyone who is going a great holiday!
Joanne Hughes from U.K. visited in July 2006 and awarded
I have just returned with my family from my third stay at the rex during the last 2 years. I want to give an honest veiw of the hotel.
The location of the rex has to be one of the best on the island, I think the only hotel directly on the beach where the rooms open right onto the beach. Compared to other categories of hotels in the 3 star bracket, I would say the Rex could struggle to retain its position if it doesnt address certain issues and standards. Dont get me wrong, I love the hotel probably due to its position, the food which is very good, and value for money.... But I can see standards not being improved.
I had a long chat with the 'new' manager who has been there 12 months and when he arrived last year during our stay we had dinner with the owner of the Rex chain of hotels(repeaters dinner) there were the usual promises of all the plans for improvment with the appointment of the new manager. Sad to say things are the same as they were 2 years ago.The promised improvements to the rooms dont appear to have been carried out, we always stay in the same rooms, and they are tired and dowdy. Some of the staff had a very bad attitude, especially some of the waitresses and reception girls, and also one of the barmen. the 'old timers' - Jayson, Paulette on reception, the house keeping manager, Glenys and Natalie are still thankfully employed there and make up for the bad attitude of some of the other staff.
The food is excellent, something for every taste, and plenty of it. The chef who has been at the Rex for some time is talking of leaving, so hopefully he will change his mind. He is most obliging. Despite everything, I shall be staying there in 2007
Andrew Maiden from U.K. visited in July 2006 and awarded
In July 2006 we booked a holiday to Tobago as a last minute "Virgin Holidays" deal! having used the internet to research the Turtle Beach Resort we were a liitle dubious to say the least about our eventual choice of hotel, But we could only really afford to go if we took this hotel as our option on an all inclusive basis.
We went as a party of five [ mother, father, daughter and boyfriend and 10 year old .
When we first arrived we were met with a welcome drink and allocated rooms that were basic, clean, comfortable, equipped with quiet air conditioning and had good sea views. The bathrooms were clean presentable and well stocked with towels. The character of This hotel is actually in its time warp presentation of the buildings and its services.
After the usual hour or so of un packing we ventured down to the central focus point of the lovely large pool and its pool side bar where we entered into the holiday spirit with rum cocktails from the very friendly bar staff and knew immediately we were going to have a wonderful holiday.
Over the following two weeks we received attentive service, had no problems with housekeeping,Rooms were cleaned daily and towells changed on a daily basis. We participated in many localy organised tours and enjoyed all inclusive meals morning, noon and night.
The meals were varied and most nights offered a fish, chicken, vegetarian, pork all with loads of rice, fruit and vegetable side dishes. Desserts were [according to my wife, as I don't do lovely.
On the nights we fancied a change we opted for the al a carte menu, which whilst being limited in choices delivered good well cooked food, in fact the steaks I had on two occassions were probably as good as I have had anywhere in the world, if not better.
The hotel is so lucky to be located on Turtle Beach and the staff contacted us when the Letherback Turtles came on the beach at night to lay their eggs and so were able to watch and show our son these magnificent animals coming home to lay their eggs. An experience not to be missed during the June/July Season.
Contray to some reports we read we found guests did mix and talk, infact if you think about this; its the guests who are at fault if they don't mix not the hotels, They couldn't do more to encourage guests mixing. We had good entertainment providee every night we were there.
Lunch boxes are provided if you want to go out for the day and the hotel does offer childrens menu's for the child who likes hi/her nuggets, bologneise etc. A criticism here is that the hotel don't tell you its available; but now you know!
Generaly its a great place, its certainly got more right than wrong. I suspect that the hotels previous criticisms have come from people who go to the carribean and expect everything to be done at the drop of a hat and done in a 5 star U/K or European manner; if thats the case you will be disapointed whether you go to the Hilton or Coco Beach which cost considerably more.We visited both whilst out and about in a hire car and yes they look grand and no doubt tick a few boxes on snob appeal; but the Hilton couldn't deliver us a round of standard drinks in less than 30 mins!
We have travelled extensively and have had holidays in some pretty exotic locations and top notch hotels in the past, alas through circunstances we cannot do this as often these days but this holiday compared very favourably with a carribean holiday in Jamaica a few years ago which cost us an arm and a leg!
Go, enjoy, take it at the pace we all would like in the UK, if things go wrong don't shout! ask what's happening and go with the flow.
Were going back Feb 07 all being well, why? The Tobago people are friendly enchanting people; Tobago is unspoilt, relaxing and very very captivating, you have to get out and mix with the people, be friendly show them respect and be polite and they will repay you with warmth and a welcome that is un beatable.
My family have never ever been so determined to re visit a place.