Turtles Retreat - Reader Reports & Opinion
These reports are a combination of questions and comment posted in our Turtles Retreat forum and visitor reports added via the 'Add Report' tab above. The votes awarded are weighted by volume and date to give a truer representation of reader satisfaction [more details].
Reader Satisfaction Ranking: Weighted ranking based on 5 votes = 3.4 (max 5)
Wendy Thorley from U.K. visited in April 2014 and awarded
Stayed at Turtle Retreat for two weeks with family and friends. This included two nine years old boys. The villa was beautiful and we were very well satisfied. The location was rural and just what we wanted. The villa was very spacious and the pool was very large and cleaned regularly. Although the pool was supposed to have an infinity edge, this was not working. Other than that it was good. The gardens were well kept and there was plenty of wild life to see. Blacks, the caretaker, was very nice, friendly and very helpful.
Although advertised as having a maid service on daily basis. This was not the case. In fact it was once a week. But that suited us as we had the use of washing machine and tumble dryer. Can't wait to visit again.
Michelle Coliins from U.K. visited in April 2014 and awarded
The villa was beautiful, wonderfully large pool which we all enjoyed there were 8 of us, air conditioning in all rooms usual kitchen equipment, all worked, en suit to all bedrooms, and the location in Courland near Plymouth was perfect for us ,the housekeeper Blacks was a character, very helpful, housekeeping though is not daily, it was cleaned twice whilst there, we did not mind so much, but others might, we would love to stay there again.
Charlie Killick from U.K. visited in July 2009 and awarded
I dont know what that Ali Johnson, Ali Gee is going on about, it was perfectly priced and I found Barry upton very helpful,
So what if he has not been to the Iseland, he is managing it for the owners, does it matter when there is a really nice chap called Marlon there on call for when ever we needed any help with any small problems we had.
Tobago is laid back and every one knows it is Tobago time so just chill out and enjoy a villa that is well worth the visit.
Ali Johnson from U.K. visited in March 2009 and awarded
We stayed a week at turtle retreat villa in March 2009. We were a party of four adults and a small child. Unfortunately, we didn't have the best time with the villa.
We have stayed in Tobago every year for the last 8 years and have stayed at a number of vilas and hotels. Its a wonderful island and it did not disappointment again. Unfortunately, the place we usually stay at was full so I found Turtle Retreat and it looks great from the website. Its got it all - good rooms sizes, pool, jacuzzi etc. However, the property is in very poor condition and in parts its falling apart. The pictures must be over 10 years old.
On arrival, things starting going wrong. The property had not been cleaned on arrival so after a 10 hour flight, we had to clean the place. However, the meal was ready. It was very tasty. The TV cable broke down so we had to wait til the next day to get that fixed. There was no hot water so no shower. This was just the first night.
Subsequently, we had more problems. The pool was covered in leaves and dirt, the jacuzzi does not work, the maid turned up once so the place got very dirty and smelly. We had to clean the villa ourselves in the end. The pool was cleaned once and no gardener turned up. Eventually, the boiler died as it was a rusty old thing. The cot was broken and covered in mould, the BBQ fell apart and some of the furniture was broken. We later found out that the place is being sold. Therefore, I don't think anyone is going to spend any money on it in the near future.
The Uk contact is a guy called Barry Upton. Seems nice on the phone but he has NEVER been to the villa. So, he does not know what the place looks like. He never provides details of the owners, so we could not complain to them. Once back in the Uk I sent Barry an email and got a very abrupt reply. He provided no apology and blamed me for expecting too much. I think it is reasonable to expect hot water, a clean villa, and to be proivded what it states on the website.
Marlon (local rep) was great and did his best but the place is too old and needs serious investment.
Go to Tobago but don't stay here. There are better villas all over the island.
Guest Report - August 2008
Just returned from a two week stay at Turtle's Retreat, a nice four bedroomed detached property situated on a small quiet development round the corner from Courland Bay (Turtle Beach).
There were six of us at the villa - four adults and two children (5 & 2). The villa is spacious and airconditioned and provided comfortable accommodation for all of us. Overall, we had a great holiday in Tobago and came away with memories of a wonderful island with friendly people and the most stunning scenery and beaches. I'm sure we will be back!
The location of the villa was a short walk (about 10 mins) to Turtle Beach and was in a quiet area with plenty of birdlife in the garden and surrounding trees. (Despite numerous sightings, I still failed to get a photo of a hummingbird!)
I will post our personal recommendations for beaches, tours, restaurants etc separately, in the appropriate place on the forum, so for the purposes of this review, I have concentrated on the property itself.
Whilst the villa and pool were fantastic and we had a lovely time there were a few little niggles, which slightly took the shine off the accommodation:
1. There is a missing section of banisters at the top of the stairs over the sheer drop - at the moment a plant pot is wedged in there but this is not child friendly and really very dangerous.
2. The jacuzzi wasn't so much a jacuzzi but more like a plunge pool - switching it on provided just the slightest trickle of air in - the pool pump was stronger!
3. The remote was missing from the air conditioning unit in the dining room therefore the air conditioning downstairs was inadequate.
4. The satellite tv receiver was not working upon arrival and after several visits by the owner's local representative, by about day 4 or 5 he had to replace it. (I appreciate this may not be an issue for some people but we had a fair bit of rain over the first few days and during the heat of the day it's a good place for the kids to chill out).
5. Again, not a major problem (more an irritation) but the DVD player did not work, despite it supposedly being "multi-region" and therefore we were unable to play any of the kids films which we brought with us. Can I just clarify I am not a fan of shoving kids in front of the TV at every opportunity, but it would have provided another option to get them out of the sun for a little while!
6. The advertised property details stated that there is a separate downstairs toilet - we have no idea where as we couldn't find it! (Unless they were referring to the one in the ensuite bathroom attached to the downstairs bedroom, but that would hardly have been separate!)
7. There were a number of small things that required some maintenance - missing plugs from baths, makeshift plugs that didn't fit, a hole in the side of the bath where the drain should be, many bathroom accessories broken, toilet handles broken - also a pair of scissors and tin opener in the kitchen utensils would have been helpful!
8. The details stated that the housekeeper would be there Monday-Saturday after 10.00am - in fact she arrived about 9.00am and not every day (it didn't bother us as our kids never adapted to the time difference so were up anyway but it may bother some).
9. Someone attended to the pool twice while we were there but it appeared to involve throwing a handful of "salt" in and that was pretty much it - due to the location of the plants around the pool it would require more attention than this or at least leave a net out to remove the leaves/insects/seeds that collected overnight in the pool.
10. During the two weeks which we were there, no maintenance was done in the grounds - the grass was very long by the time we left and much of the vegetation was overgrown.
11. Some of the promotional photos are misleading - they were obviously taken some time ago - looking from the front of the villa it shows grounds leading all the way round with quite an expanse of lawn - this was, in fact, completely overtaken by plants and almost impossible to walk all the way round - the bushes in front of the pool were of such a height to render the front lawn virtually impossible to use and the badminton net in the rear of the garden was on the verge of falling apart!
The local representative, Marlon, and the housekeeper, Sonia, were lovely and very helpful but we got the impression that Tobago is such a laid back country that they probably didn't appreciate some of the niggles.
Despite being only five years old, the villa gives the impression that little or no redecoration or maintainance has been carried out since it was built - maybe we were expecting too much? As I have said, we all had a fantastic holiday and these niggles did not adversley affect our overall enjoyment of the Tobago holiday experience. However, for many this is their one big holiday of the year which isn't cheap and may not live up to expectations.
We have contacted the owner to voice our concerns and would hope that these relatively minor issues can be rectified easily so please don't be too put off by my review!!!