Turtle Beach - Reader Reports & Opinion
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.
Lorraine Irving from U.K. visited in June 2006 and awarded
Went back again in June 2007. Just love the place, no 5 star its not, but then I dont live a 5 star life style. The staff are all freindly, and they reconised us from our last visit, treat them the way you wish to be treated and they will treat you the same. Dont expect to ask for something and it be done straight away, remember you are in the Carribean and things are done at a much slower pace, remembe your on holiday, away from rushing about. If you want night life then this is not the place for you. The locals on the beach are friendly and they are there to earn a living. Treat yourslef to a massage from Mary, get some sandals made by Henry, then go and see rubens and get him to carve you a trutle. Will we be going back for a third visit, YES we will, hopefully in the next 5 years.
Sue Kirby from U.K. visited in May 2006 and awarded
REVIEW OF THE REX TURTLE BEACH TOBAGO
Last year I arrived at the Rex Turtle beach hotel worried as to what I might find after reading very negative reviews but we found the hotel staff friendly and helpful, rooms clean etc. and we had such a great time we rebooked again for this year taking with us my daughter, son and his partner, this is my review for this year
We arrived at the hotel at about 3pm where we were greeted with drinks, a young lady asked our names and then informed us our rooms were not ready yet and to take a seat and wait no explanation was given, after we had sat there for an hour I asked if we could check in and get our bands so that we could get a drink from the bar, the reply to this was no you must wait and that we could not use the bar. We finally got our room at 4.30pm my daughters was ready at 5.00 pm and my son got his room at 6pm! even after the cleaners had told us the room was ready at 5.30pm, but this was to be the standard of reception apart from Soyini and Ester, most of the other members of staff were offhand to say the least, especially one of the young men on duty in the evenings of our first week I do not know his name as like a lot of other staff members he did not wear a name badge.
When we did get in to our room the bedside light was missing, the door lock was broken, you had to lock it with a key, and the fridge had not been stocked. We reported the lock and asked if we could have a small side light for reading we are still waiting even after reporting that the door had been left unlocked by the cleaning staff on 4 occasions. When we attended the repeaters cocktail party the housekeeping manager asked if everything was ok we explained about the lock etc. and were assured it would be sorted and that we would get our fruit and rum which was not there on our arrival! The next day nothing was done, and we had to ask twice about the fridge being restocked on our 2nd week as housekeeping said it had been done, and the reason we did not receive our fruit and rum again because housekeeping said we had had it! You could also go a couple of days without hand towels and the cleaner we had the first weekend banged so hard on the door at 8.30am it must have shook the foundations, not just our room but 3 along from us had still not been cleaned by 2.30pm I was also rang at 4.30 by housekeeping wanting to clean the room and they were surprised when I said it had been already done.
The dining room staff apart from a couple were very down in the mouth one of the supervisors would totally ignore you when you said good morning or thank you, the drinks waiter arrived as you were finishing your main course. One evening my son was sent out of the dinning room because he had a ¾ length pair of linen trousers on very smart but not to the dress code, I have no problem with this he should have worn his long trousers, what I do object to is they did not send out the 3 middle-aged men in the dinning room wearing ¾ length shorts! Rule for one rule for all, age should not come in to it, or who is on duty at the time.
To be honest it got that we did not want to go into the dinning room so we went out a couple of times, room service is another joke, on your welcome letter it say that room service is between 7.30am -10.00pm but when we tried to order at 4pm as we had been out all day we were told we could not order until 6.30pm, the same with the charges, the menu in the information book says one price 40tt I think, but the letter says 20tt per tray.
Trying to get drinks at the bar in the evening was like pulling teeth with only one bar man on duty and the bar was always running out of ingredients, all the bar staff made the same drinks in different way this leads to a lot of waste (and could also account for the long wait in the dining room.) also when ordering frozen drinks do not expect to get one as for some reason the ice is always half melted.
Also be careful of the coconut trees just starting our 2nd week we were down on the beach my son had just moved his chair when a coconut landed where he had been sat! we took it to be a one off thing, but reported it to reception who said they would get some one to over to take a look, 3 hours later the second coconut just missed my daughter, smashing straight through the Sun shade on the beach!! we were then informed by one of the locals that quite a few of the coconuts in the tree were ripe and there was a good chance they would also come down along with a dead branch needless to say we moved! And again reported it to reception it took 4 days for someone to sort it out, but they carried on letting people sit there with no warning.
Morale of most of the staff is very low we were told due to poor wages, but I am sure if they smiled and made you feel welcome instead of an inconvienace they would get a lot more tips.
Staff around the world are guided by supervisors and managers no matter where you work
Paul Holland from U.K. visited in April 2006 and awarded
Having read numerous conflicting reports of the RTB,we were becoming increasingly concerned with what we may find, having already booked a 2 week stay during April.
Apartments - whilst basic, were extremely comfortable & incredibly well appointed being only a few yard walk over pleasant gardens to a fantastic beach location. This was invariably uninhabited save the occasional fishermen pulling in nets & the odd resident of the RTB out for a stroll.
Restaurant - have obviously done something to breath life into the all-inclusive offer. I work within the restaurant industry & have to say that the offer was varied & of superb quality throughout the 2 week stay.
Staff - were incredibly freindly & very helpful throughout the stay. I can only assume that comments regarding 'surly' staff were as a result of the guest`s attitude. The staff seemed genuinely eager to please & take pride in their work & their island.
Only one think to watch out for is the odd aloe vera salesman. Do not encourage these guys. The rest of the people you will meet, whether selling tours, calabash or whatever are extremely polite & a pleasure to meet.Again very proud of their island.
I would not hestate to return to the Rex Turtle beach & did indeed meet a number of repeat visitors. Whilst a little old & certainly not what would be considered a 4-5star hotel in the UK, the place has a certain character & relaxed feel & level of service that fits in perfectly with the island. This must also be the best location of any hotel on the island.
Paul - UK
Donna Baylis from U.K. visited in April 2006 and awarded
We spent 2 weeks at Turtle Beach in April & had a fantastic time. The rooms are a little tired but were always kept very clean with a good supply of clean towels & bedlinen. The food was much better than we had expected, we were able to try lots of local dishes & chips were only part of the buffet twice in 2 weeks! We found the staff to be very friendly & although some people might class the service as slow, to us it was just typically caribbean & that, we have no problem with!
We hired a jeep through Sheppys & found that to be excellent service , we went out & about quite alot & still feel there is so much more of this beautiful island we would like to see. As well as hiring a jeep we also took a taxi several times which was reasonably priced & our taxi driver was very friendly & very informative.
We spent a day on the ISLAND GIRL catamarran trip which was a brilliant day , so chilled out & we were so priviledged to see dolphins, turtles & lots of beautiful fish.
We have been to several caribbean islands & to be very honest when we were reading reports saying how special Tobago was we were thinking 'aren't all the islands?'. How wrong we were, Tobago & its people have something so appealing about them that we will definitely be returning to Tobago & Turtle Beach. Has anybody been in late October as we are saving our pennies & hoping to return then to cross a few more places off of our Tobago wish list!