Page 1 of 1

A la carte option when staying All inclusive

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:21 pm
by Caragh M

Am planning a trip in May or June this year and am somewhat confused by the various things that I have read about the A la carte option. We are likely to stay all inclusive and know that the meals are buffet style, but we are also aware that you can order from an A la carte menu. This would be our preferred option in the evenings. Some brochures state that you get a 'credit' towards A la carte if staying all inclusive, whilst others don't mention anything. Also I have seen different amounts quoted. Can someone tell me, does it cost extra if you are all inclusive and if so how much do you have to pay. Also if there are credits towards meals, how many meals would they cover. I am aware that some hotels place restrictions on how many times you can eat A la carte. Is that the case here or not? Any info or experiences would be welcomed on the subject of the food at Turtle Beach! Thanks.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:47 pm
by Jill M
You can order off the a la carte menu anytime. I cannot remember the actual amount you are allowed towards the meal, but the only time we had to pay extra was when my husband had a steak and a sweet. Had he just had a main course there would have been no extra charge and when we had less expensive main courses, we could have either a starter or sweet free of charge.

I'm not sure if the staff attitude has changed much at the hotel as we went in May last year, but they didn't like the extra work involved in you having a la carte and it takes a long time to come, but we thought it was worth it sometimes.

Also get there early in the evening if you want a la carte as the chef goes home early !! I would suggest definately before 8pm.


Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:13 pm
by Caragh M

Thanks for the good advice.

Was the food on the buffet ok, good choice etc when you were there? I have read mixed reviews.

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:33 pm
by Jill M

The buffet food was good in my opinion (and my husband's). Different every evening and plenty of choices. But I'm a bit of a fussy eater and I don't like fish. Although one evening on the BBQ (bufffet), I picked up some chicken, ate it and then went back for more - it was delicious. When I was just getting some more, there was a chef helping to serve it and I told him how lovely this chicken was - he explained that it wasn't chicken it was Mahi Mahi (dolphin) !!

As you walk into the restaurant, there is a stand with the buffet menu on - you can check this out before you enter and then go and have a look what's on offer - if you don't fancy what you see, you can just ask for the A La Carte menu.

We also treated ourselves to breakfast in our room some mornings - it cost an extra £2 for someone to bring it - carry it up to the top floor and we sat on our balcony and ate it - heaven !!!! But I always gave the waitress a good tip for carrying it up all those stairs !!! Room service breakfast contains both hot and cold breakfast - just tell them what you want and they'll bring it.


Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:28 pm
by CaroleW
sorry to butt in here, but I thought I ought to point out that Mahi Mahi is Dolphin FISH NOT Dolphin, also called Dorado :)

Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:33 pm
by Caragh M

Thanks Jill for all your helpful advice. We have booked it now so no going back!!

Just one more husband wondered that as both menus/options are available in the same dining area, are you able to mix and match or is that frowned upon? I.e can you have a main course from the A la carte menu and then have a sweet from the buffet.

Just wondered because the places we have been to before in the Carribean on an All Inclusive basis have either been all A la carte table service or buffet in one restaurant and then A la carte in other seperate restaurants, which you book in to. Have never come across a hotel which has both options in one restaurant.


x :D

Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:42 pm
by Jill M

I suppose it would be possible to mix and match, but I think it would be best if you asked on the day - a lot would depend on who you asked and who was on duty that mealtime.


Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:48 am
by Julia C.
I don't want to depress anyone but it may be wise to check out the situation with the Turtle Beach. I read this in the Guardian today. :(

"Sixty European tourists, mainly Britons, fell ill with gastroenteritis at a hotel in Tobago and authorities are considering closing its kitchen, a medical official said yesterday. The tourists at the Turtle Beach Hotel on the Caribbean island began to fall ill on Sunday and as of Wednesday several more suffered diarrhoea and vomiting. No one was taken to hospital. "We're still awaiting the lab results on what caused the outbreak," said the medical officer of health, Mentor Melville. The hotel kitchen had been blamed for at least three other outbreaks of gastroenteritis in recent years, he added." ... dandtobago

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:18 am
by Clyde Alleyne
Here's the latest report on the outbreak - from the T&T Newsday newapaper today:
"Management at the Rex Turtle Beach Resort in Black Rock has been advised to close the hotel’s kitchen with immediate effect yesterday after a report from the Trinidad Public Health Laboratory revealed that traces of the Norwalk Virus was isolated from the stool samples which had been collected from the affected guests.

According to reports, approximately 60 guests at the establishment fell ill between Sunday and Wednesday with vomiting and diarrhoea from what Tobago Public Health officials had described as an “outbreak of food-borne illness”.

County Medical Officer of Health, Dr Mentor Melville, yesterday told Newsday that the Norwalk Virus is a highly contagious virus which can be spread through contaminated food and water or by contact with objects touched by infected people and contact with infected people.

As a result, the decision was taken to close the hotel’s kitchen until it has been properly sanitised and to implement precautionary measures to prevent future outbreaks.

Dr Melville said that samples would also be extracted from hotel staff for testing to determine the exact source of the virus.

He said that officials opted not to shut down the entire establishment and were trying to work with hotel management in “hopes that they would co-operate,” failing which, he said, they would have to answer to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Melville said that they were awaiting word from the hotel management as to when the shut down would actually take effect and then the santisation process may last for approximately one week.

It was noted that this was not the first incident of food poisoning at the establishment. There have been similar outbreaks on at least two occasions a few years ago.

Repeated efforts to contact the hotel’s manager, Leslie Amadee, proved futile, however, a senior staff member on duty told Newsday that all was well at the establishment and that the kitchen was still in operation. The employee said that none of the guests had checked out prematurely thus far.

In a brief interview with Newsday yesterday, President of the Tobago Hotel Association, Rene Seepersadsingh said that he was not aware of all the details relating to the issue and therefore could not suitably comment.

He said, however, that it was the responsibility of the Public Health Divison to ensure that these institutions maintained sanitary conditions. "

I understand that the plan for the RTB is to close their kitchen for up to a week to disinfect and sanitise the kitchen. So people who are booked into the RTB over the next week should check with the hotel or their travel agent for advice.

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:07 pm
by Caragh M
Hello all :cry:

Thanks for the info on the outbreak situation. I had read a short report on this in the Times today and was worrried. We are not going until May, but will have to see what happens. Only booked it last week and had no idea something like this might occur.

Anyone getting any extra news, esp if the hotel is closed, let me know please as we may be able to change our booking to another hotel or something.



Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:18 pm
by David Watkins
According to yesterdays local Daily Express,many of the guests have left for other places and the hotel is to be evacuated.The Norwalk Virus is very virulent and spreads through farces contaminated food and water.It causes vomitting diahrea dehydration and mild fever.It's incubation is 1-2 days and the symptoms persist for up to 4 days.Only in extreme cases is hospitalisation necessary.It usually only affects adults and older children.
In the report it also mentions that they had an outbreak just 2 years ago!