Guest Report

70 room 4* All-Inclusive resort at Stonehaven Bay (listing)
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Naomi Manov

Guest Report

Post by Naomi Manov »

The Grand Coulan was a splendid getaway!

Arriving from our main vacation in Trinidad, we weren't sure what to expect at the Grand Courlan, but would agree that we were pleasently surprised. Scheduled as part of our "honey-half-moon", we were looking for some quiet time together to relax and enjoy the scenery. That we got! When we arrived, the hosts at the reception greeted us in a friendly mannor and were prepared with all our stay details. They brought us complementary welcome drinks and guided us to our suite.
Once in the suite, we found it to be large and comfortable and brightly furnished in caribbean style.
We ventured down to the beach, which was not too crowed (during the week), the beach chairs were stacked so we had to unstack a couple and dust them off. Once set up, we were visited by a local Tobagonian, selling his services and his wares (carved coconut shells and fresh coconut water). After a relaxing for a bit and enjoying the rolling waves, we were visited by another Tobagonian, this time from the resort offering various island trips and excursions. We continued to enjoy the sun, until we were visited again with the first seller checking in to see if we changed our minds.
The beach was fairly clean but could have been swept to remove debri and make the sands a bit more smoother to walk on.

We ventured on to the pool area, where we thought we'd continue our outdoor relaxation by the pool with less disturbances and this was the case. The deck chairs were needly laid out around the pool area which was very clean and well organized. I tried the swip up pool bar and orded a few drinks. There were 2 bar hostesses, one apparently the worker, the other the socializer. They took my order and the one proceeded to mix my drinks, but not smiling or acknowlodging me really, but rather continuing her local conversation about their days events and plans after work as if i was just an interuption. I sat for about 5 min listening, and looking for some eye contact or smile, but none, just had my drinks handed to me and then they carried on as if i never showed up.
Needless to say, we did not return to the swim-up bar after such a cold reception.

We moved on to the Caribbean Bistro for lunch. The food selection was wonderful! A host of local delights such as fish and plantain and stir fry of local veggies.
While the food was quite enjoyable, again the service was as if we were a bother. Our waitress, did not smile and asked for our drinks in an unfriendly tone. Everytime she visited us is was no better...we were beginning to wonder why the mood was so unpleasent among the staff we had encountered and if this was going to be the trend for our stay.

Later we visited the spa, alas the trend was broken--the spa hostess was very helpful, smiling and pleasent while attending to all our inquiries. The spa environment was a lovely suprise of serene lighting, calming background music and comfortable seating with pleasent decor. Our first impression was a good one. We booked massages and a few other treatments. All spa staff were friendly and very knowledgeable professionals in their trade. So much so, that after our sessions we booked more treatments for the following day.

Shopping on the resort was limited to 2 gift shops, with only one being open during our stay. The shopkeeper was lovely and very very helpful. We conversed and purchased our souvenirs and returned the next day as well to find the same pleasentry.

Dinner at the the Grand Coulan was an experience we were looking for, however we had packed only louge wear including shorts, t-shirts and swimwear. Unfortunately for us, there was a "elegantly casual" dress code for the top restaurant--and while we were anticipating tasting the fare and having a more elegant dynamic dining experience we were told there were not exeptions to the dress code. We resprected that, but would have appreciated some compromise as the resort was not full or close to. We ended up dining at the bistro on the lower level again and not looking forward to the sour wait staff.
We were completely surprised by the turn around in the attitudes of the evening staff versus the day staff. The evening staff were always smiling, making conversation, attentive and just made the whole dining experience a wonderful one. We consequently tipped all very well and left feeling very satisfied and looking forward to more enjoyable experiences at the resort.

The bed was comfortable and the room clean as mentioned before. The bathroom could do with some renovation, but for a short stay its fine. The views from the balcony make it all worth while and the complimentary fresh fruit is an added bonus.

Interet access and mailing post cards and such is very convenient as well as access to other tourist info.

We enjoyed meeting most of the staff and had some great conversations. We would return to the resort for the spa alone. That was definitely the highlight. Oh and the food was delicious for dinner and lunch, breakfast was nothing special and again the day staff not too interested.

Check-out was a breeze and the taxi ride back to airport pleasent. I would recommend the Grand Courlan for relaxation and spa visits. It would do better with more consistant staff customer service.

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