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Turtle Beach by rex resorts - Kitchen Update

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:53 am
by Ms M J Smith
There have been various posts about the kitchens at Turtle Beach in which people make all sorts of claims about them being closed - often repeating rumours they have read elsewhere.

Some posts claim that the kitchens have been closed for an extended period and imply that this has been done for health reasons.

The facts are that as part of the sanitisation measures taken by the hotel, the kitchen was closed for one day on Wednesday 7th February to allow a specalist cleaning company access to all areas.

An independent health and safety consultant from the UK had already inspected the kitchens last week and his tests proved that it was not the source of the gastric upsets suffered by guests.

As I post this, the resturant is OPEN, serving breakfast to guests.

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:41 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi Everyone

I have avoided comment on this subject for several reasons. Firstly, I only became aware of it late last week while in a mad panic, trying to tidy business affairs before my six-week stint here in Tobago. I had little in the way of facts on the story and no time to check them.

Since arrival, others have kindly posted the ‘official’ media reports, saving me the job. Having checked with expert sources, I find that the reporting in the Tobago News, reproduced in part in this forum, has been factual and undistorted.

By coincidence, I am currently staying just down the beach from the Turtle Beach. The hotel is probably one of the largest sources of employment to the villagers of Black Rock, where I am staying. Needless to say, everyone is talking about it. Most are worried. The Turtle Beach is not a popular employer, but the locals are nevertheless concerned.

Each morning I have walked the length of the beach as part of my morning ‘constitutional’. I can tell you that I have been dismayed to see how empty the beach outside the hotel has been. It is now 10am and I have just returned. Normally, by 8:30am all the sun loungers and roundels on the beach are long gone. Less than 25-30% were occupied or marked with towels, etc. this morning.

I have twice tried to telephone the manager, hoping to call by and have a chat. He is relatively new to the job and I have never met him, which doesn’t help. However, I am deeply saddened to say that my calls were rebuffed quite sharply – even rudely. Sadly, because I am travelling I do not have access to my historical emails and contact addresses. The Rex Group has never been exactly forthcoming and each time I need to contact them I find that the personnel I previously dealt with have moved on – as with the hotel itself. So, I have been unable to contact them direct.

May I please ask Miss M.J.Smith in what capacity she made her post? Is this just another rumour read elsewhere? Her message reads as if posted on behalf of the Rex Group. If so, GREAT! It’s time your company took notice and responded to public opinion. But, why not mention the fact? At the moment we can take less notice of your comments than any other posts on this subject - after all, you don't say that you are connected with the health authorities, or are a guest at the hotel, or connected with the hotel.

In the absence of direct lines of communication with the hotel, I am forced to judge the situation by information from other sources. Guests at the hotel throughout this week - including within the past hour - tell me that the kitchens ARE currently closed and that limited catering is being done by outside caterers (or hotel staff at another kitchen?). Most/many guests have checked out, or been transferred to other hotels, like the Grafton Beach Resort. Those remaining are clearly very subdued and very unhappy. The atmosphere outside the Turtle Beach more resembles a funeral parlour than a holiday resort. Everyone that I have spoken to feels that the situation has been very badly handled and that the hotel is digging itself (and Tobago) into a massive hotel.

Sad times!
:cry: :cry: :cry:

Hi Steve

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:21 pm
by Ms M J Smith
No, I am not an employee of either the rex resorts, or any other hotel.
Just a big fan of Tobago.

To keep things short as possible, I have been given updated information and kept my post simple, factual and not passed my own views nor have I dramatised the situation (to quote your 'funeral parlour' comment).

The reason I posted was I get fed up with everybody bad mouthing things in Tobago, when they repeat rumours or out of date new items / inaccurate half truths and stories. Sorry to see you are joining in.

If you had your holiday booked to go in 2 weeks time, how do you see your comments are helping?

Ms M J Smith

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:41 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi M J

Thanks for clarifying that. However, with all due respect, giving out information that the kitchens are not closed when the patently are isn't helping anybody. I am regularly accused, both in direct emails and in the forum, of not allowing criticism of anything 'Tobago' - so I can't win. After all my hard work I'm the last person who wants anything bad said about Tobago, but this site is dedicated to bringing the FACTS. The fact is that I am here, on the spot, speaking to guests and employees of the hotel. I have no reason to believe that they are lying to me or distorting the truth. I wish the Turtle Beach well and hope they overcome the problems. I feel sorry for those who have booked holidays and worried, but the only way to help them decide how to handle the situation is by telling them the truth - not saying there's no problem when there clearly is.

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:24 pm
by Clyde Alleyne
I have to add my own perspective, since I appear to have been lumped into those distorting facts and repeating rumours about RTB. Each time I posted anything about RTB, I pasted verbatim what had been published in the media, so there could be no confusion about whether I distorted any rumours etc. I have nothing against RTB, in fact I stayed there personally with my wife a few weeks ago, and we were satisfied with our stay. In my posts I have tried to be positive in making positive and common-sense suggestions (eg check with the hotel for updates if you were booked over the next couple of weeks), and tried to put the Norwalk Virus in perspective. It is something that unfortunately can happen to any hotel or cruise ship - no matter how well run and hygienic the kitchen might be. All it takes is one person to pick it up elsewhere to transport it into the hotel. Frankly, considering the ease with which it spreads, I'm surprised that it doesn't happen more often.

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:56 pm
by David Watkins
My post was published within half an hour of hearing it on Radio Tambrin(THE Tobago station--whish is hardly going run the Island down)and then confirming the facts in that days Newsday(the main newspaper of TnT).I have been coming to Tobago for many years and would definitely not denigrate the land.As for everybody running Tobago down---rarely on this site!!!!
A real Tobagophile,