Turtle Beach - Reader Reports & Opinion
Pauline Marshall from U.K. visited in January 2006 and awarded
I enjoyed my stay at this hotel. Maybe I'm not fussy but the accommodation had everything I needed and was comfortable. The food was great with good choice and plenty of it! You could return for 'seconds' as many times as you wanted and there was a great supply of fresh fruit at all meal times. (Fresh as in cut up and prepared in front of you.)
The great thing about this hotel is that it really is right on the beach, and you can be there in minutes. Geographically it is very well situated. Being on the Caribbean coast, the water is warm and generally calm, a marked contrast to the rocky Atlantic coast with its cold rollers. The prevailing wind brings rain in from the Atlantic which it then drops on the rainforest high in the middle of the island. By the time the clouds get to Turtle Beach they have more or less disappeared. However, I seem to have been lucky as I did hear from another guest that the week before I arrived it was colder and wet and after I left there were great storms. During one storm a dead turtle was washed up on the beach where it then lay rotting for days. Evidently the stench was shocking but I think this situation was unusual.
Although too early in the season really to see turtles we did have one young female come up the beach one night. We were told to watch silently and to not use flash photography but unfortunately some people couldn't resist using their cameras. Whether it was this that put her off or, as someone suggested she was too young to be laying eggs and was just on a practice run we don't know but she went back to sea sooner than expected.
I was travelling on my own but met other people on trips and at meal times. I was also able to take the sailing dinghy and kayak out, although the staff did seem to take a bit of persuasion to actually let me do that, and wouldn't let them out at the slightest sign of a swell. Quite understandable when they know local conditions so much better than the visitors. The boats were built for safety rather than excitement but still fulfilled the purpose of providing an enjoyable leisure activity.
The pool was very much a recreational pool but very pleasant - and clean.
I have only two reservations. Firstly, I bought the holiday on a BA offer which included flights and accommodation only. Although the starting price was very reasonable, by the time the single person supplement was added and then the meals as well, it all added up.
Secondly, we were told it was a safe island but I had a couple of experiences that, although no harm was done, warned me to be careful and I would advise caution. The hotel and beach are guarded full time by security men so while you're in the area of the hotel you are in danger of no more than locals trying to sell you a range of crafts and services.
There was a good number and range of organised trips including round the island tours, including a walk in the rainforest, a trip to Trinidad and boat trips to wonderful coral reefs.
Yes, I would go again!
Nick Horne from U.K. visited in December 2005 and awarded
Hi there. After having read some of the reviews on this site we (=2 adults + two big kids) were concerned what we might find we we got to the hotel. No need. The hotel is in a really beautiful spot and well located for trips in all directions (top tip - hire a car - it saves you loads of money compared with the tours).
The hotel staff are really friendly and the rooms (ours were at ground floor so straight onto beach from patio)were big and mostly fine. Sure the bathrooms all need a good refurb and will win no prizes, but that was no big deal. Some things could have been improved. We had to politely complain about a couple of bathroom problems in our two weeks. But the maintenance guys were quick to sort things out - and like nearly everyone else we met on the island - they were a pleasure to chat with. My only other concern would be that my son got a sickness bug from the swimming pool - so don't swallow the water. If fact you're better off in the sea which is fantastic. But these were not big issues in an otherwise brilliant holiday. Although we were not all-inclusive, we ate in the hotel quite a few times. And the food was very good - better than I was expecting, and plenty of it.
If you're the fussy type then you probably will find plenty to put you off. But if you know how to smile, have a good time and chill with the locals then you can't really go wrong. And Tobago is completely fab.
Paul E from U.K. visited in November 2005 and awarded
Having just returned from Turtle beach i can say that it was a pleasure to be home.
The staff have a HUGE morale problem, they seem unhappy, surly, unfriendly and disrespectful.
Tobago itself was incredible. Wild, picturesque, unspoilt, peaceful.... other than the attention paid to my girlfriend which was quite unexpectedly aggressive.
Turtle beach however...
Room left uncleaned, although the bed was made, no clean towels despite 3 requests, tv didn't work, being laughed AT by the receptionist ( when asking if he had any further news on our already severly delayed flight), snotty maitre dit, dismissive table service, security who seemed to do absolutley nothing to deter beach vendors and hawkers.... the list goes on.
In my experience these problems are top down...so i guess we should be asking the manager (who is not even the licencee of the premises-the previous manager still holds the licence) why the problems...
Well.. i actually asked the manager for an appointment to tell him how unhappy we were.... and he failed to show.
In truth a few of the staff were cool, friendly, funny, talkative and made the holiday fun, but they really were the minority.
As context to this report i am a 31 year old music producer, have west indian friends and colleagues and understand the culture present here. It was pretty dire at turtle beach.
You know the food was actually pretty good...the one plus.....
although we ate at the Seahorse Inn loads..... it's awesome.
Jean Oneil from U.K. visited in October 2005 and awarded
Have just returned home after a 10 night stay at the turtle beach hotel,i don't want to get into a debate as to how good or not good this hotel is, my concern is how safe is this beach. on our first night the security guard warned my husband and myself about letting our two children go unsupervised as he said it was a very dangerous beach, with very strong undercurrants , a very steep shelve and large waves [i must add that our children are a strapping 6 foot 14 year old and my daughter 19 although she is small for her age and does look i asked the security guard as to why there were no danger signs if the waters were not good for bathing, his reply was that it was bad for tourism. we travelled with thomas cook holidays and at reps meeting the following morning another family brought up there concerns over the safety of the beach, our rep advised us that if we wanted a safe bathing beach we should take a taxi to pigeon point where the water is suitable for bathing.on wednesday 19th oct. we along with several others discovered just how dangerous this beach is, my husband, son and daughter were walking along the waters edge [the sea was calm at the when without warning a large wave came in it knocked my husband off his feet, my daughter was carried backwards into the sea and my son was carried upwards by the wave[this wave was approx.10-12 feet my son then came crashing down on top of his sister, they were both very traumatised and my daughter was treated in hospital for a dislocated shoulder. we also learned that three other hotel guests suffered injuries that day , a lady who twisted her knee, a man with cuts and briuses to his arm, and another male who sprained his wrist. locals told us that their had been nothing unusual about the sea conditions that day. allthough on sunday16th and monday17th we were told that the sea was rougher than usual. has anybody else who has stayed at this hotel any comments about the safety of this beach? many thanks the oneil family
Joanne Hughes from U.K. visited in June 2005 and awarded
I stayed at the Rex Turtle Beach for the second time in the last 2 years,first time for my honeymoon (complete with my 2 teenage kids from my previous) and again this year - third stay booked for next year - must be a glutton for punishment.
I have read all the reviews and agree with many of the comments, yes the Rex Turtle is in need of a refurb, BUT, having stayed at many hotels 4star plus hotels all in various corners of the globe, I cant help but keep returning. There are many reasons - excellent value for money especially the AI, good food, rooms opening direct onto an unspoilt beach and much more... You must go and hire a car and go around the island, driving is a sinch and there are some really beautiful spots to explore. I have never felt in any way unsafe in Tobago and neither have my children.
My kids, aged 15 and 13, boy and girl, cant get enough of Tobago. Both times we have visited have been quiet, just before the main school holidays in late June. Watched many turtles laying their eggs right in front of our bedroom.
I loved reading the comments about Engine Bobb, the local on the beach selling his calabash and Scoutie from the Dive shop - does he ever stop singing? They are 2 great characters,were fantastic with the kids who must mention him weekly ever since our return home, and weve spent many an hour putting the worlds to right with Engine. At first I was a bit dubious, but I neednt have worried, Engine and Scoutie took both of them off for the day to town and Sunday School - to return them both safely after having a great time. It was wonderful to see 2 different cultures and backgrounds getting on so well, it has taught my kids a lot. If you are reading this Engine - yes your 'little white English friend' Tom, will be back in July 2006.