Blue Haven Hotel - Review Page 4
Legend has it that Robinson Crusoe was stranded on Bacolet Bay beach in 1659. The Blue Haven Hotel claims to have the anchor of the original ship and there are even people on Tobago who claim descent from Daniel Defoe’s fictitious character.
It may not be the largest beach on the island, but Bacolet Bay is certainly one of the loveliest. It is the epitome of a natural Caribbean beach and therefore it is hardly surprising that several films have used it as a backdrop. Some people find the silver-grey volcanic sand found on much of the Atlantic coast less attractive than the yellow/white coral sand of some Caribbean beaches, but it’s certainly a lot easier on the eye than the reflected glare of brighter sand, and far softer in texture.
The beach is around 120 metres in width. It shelves very gradually and is surprisingly shallow. There is ample shade under the palms and trees bordering the beach and the hotel has a good number of padded sun loungers for guests. There are changing rooms and toilets – but no shower - plus a children’s playground area at the back of the beach, well away from the water.
Technically, there are no private beaches on Tobago. Bacolet Bay is no exception. Although the hotel has private steps/walkway down the cliff to the beach, the public can access the beach from another set of steps leading from the road that passes behind the hotel. Guests from adjacent hotels use the beach and also local residents, particularly at weekends. Despite this, we have never seen the beach over-crowded.
The Atlantic Coast is normally the rougher coast on Tobago and the more exposed parts can be particularly so. Bacolet Bay faces due south and is protected from the prevailing winds by Bacolet Point. The bay is therefore well protected and conditions tend to be much calmer than many, or even most, other beaches.
Our resident beach and water tester, Jill, gave the swimming an ‘excellent’ rating. However, she also made the proviso that whilst safe, the surf could sometimes be off-putting to the elderly, the very young or to inexperienced swimmers. We have seen this bay in many different guises. As with every other beach and bay on the island, conditions can vary enormously. The seas tend to be rougher during the early months of the year, when we visit. They are typically calmer in the summer months. I know people who have seen Bacolet Bay as flat as a millpond.
Swimming Pool & Other Facilities
The hotel has a relatively small, but attractive, swimming pool. It is quite amusing to learn that it was once the largest swimming pool on the island. The pool is in excellent condition. Immediately adjacent to the pool is a large covered deck area, located beneath the hotel’s main terrace. There is a similar area of open deck. Between the two, guests have a great choice of locations, in shade or full sun, from which to relax on the provided padded sun recliners.
Leading off the pool deck, a steep wooden set of steps lead to a lovely sundeck situated just a few feet above the rocks. This is a truly lovely romantic spot and a wonderful and popular venue for wedding ceremonies. In fact the Blue Haven Hotel is one of the most suitable venues for weddings on Tobago, offering a wide variety of possible ceremony locations.
A small tennis court is located in the grounds - but a charge is made for use of the court.
Live entertainment is provided in the hotel on a seasonal basis. During our week stay, live music was provided on two evenings, during dinner. The quality of the entertainment was excellent.
“The Blue Haven is undoubtedly the most romantic luxury hotel on the island, if only because of its lovely location and its air of restrained calm and sophistication. Those seeking high levels of service and accommodation and the quiet atmosphere that only a relatively small hotel can provide should give the Blue Haven Hotel very, very serious consideration indeed. We look forward to a return visit.”
So, how has it fared since? Well, my only criticism was that our seven day stay was not long enough.
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