Wahoo..Turtle Beach here we come :)

125 room budget all-inclusive hotel at Great Courland Bay (listing)
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Rob S

Wahoo..Turtle Beach here we come :)

Post by Rob S »

GF and myself have been searching for a nice holiday for a few weeks now. Been to Florida and Colorado in the last 12months, and wanted a beach holiday this time around, but realistically we needed to be sensible financially with whatever we found.
Decided to go in September for cheaper rates, and looked at the Maldives (down to £650 for a week all inc), Dominican Republic (£490 all inc) and then on to the Caribbean.
Loved the look of the Maldives, but its maybe a bit TOO quiet, and also a little away from my initial budget.

Anyway, after looking around I managed to find a week all inclusive at The Tropikist for £456, but the big review on here made me believe that I was better off splashing a little more and going to Turtle Beach for £522.

Seems a real bargain to me I have to admit, and looks to be a better holiday than I could have hoped for at that price range.

This forum is excellent, and I wish I had stumbled across it sooner.

We now have to decide whether its worth doing extra stuff whilst in Tobago, or just taking it easy. So at the moment we are looking at the rainforest, waterfalls etc.

The only thing we are sure of wanting to do is Horse Riding on the beach, as we missed the chance due to bad weather on our allocated day in Florida. From looking at the map etc it appears that it may only cost us around $30 plus tip to get there and back from the hotel.

Just hoping that the few negative comments are now a thing of the past at this place :D
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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Rob

Welcome aboard. :lol:

I'm sure you can look forward to a brilliant holiday.
Rob S

Post by Rob S »

Cheers Steve.
Thanks for your great review :)
Being mid 20's I am sure I can put up with a few riff raff if they arrive. I just wanted somewhere a lot more relaxed than the usual Ayia Napa, Ibiza, Tenerife style holidays that I usually found myself on.

Will do some more research and then ask the pertinent questions in the correct subforums 8)

Actually..1quick question. Would you go for Turtle Beach over Tropikist for the sake of £70? I know its a very subjective question...
Matt Jenkins

Wahoo...Turtle Beach here we come :)

Post by Matt Jenkins »

Hi Rob,

I'm sure you'll have a great time! If you look back through the accommodation reviews for RTB you'll find mine from last summer. I'm 23 so don't know if that'll help you at all. I can't comment on other hotels but steve knows them better than anyone!

:? I'm trying to think of tips. If you like snorkelling turn left as you go onto the beach and head along until you see line of exposed rocks with a rock pool behind them. Swim on the seaward side of the rocks and you'll see loads of fish. If you like rum then try and get to a local shop and pick up a bottle of 8yr angostura 1919 rum...very nice straight or if that's too much it mixes well! Ummm :idea: if you're going on any trips then shop around because so many people offer the same thing. I can recommend Keith (you'll recognise him if i say he's a bodybuilder as he's massive!) and also Woody is very friendly.

BBQ night is good food wise and the soup of the day is always worth trying from the buffet (but food in general wasn't bad any days). The bar closes at about 11 which might seem early but is about normal. The white wine is better than the red if you like wine. Draught Carib available at the pool bar but in the evenings the bar by the dining room serves bottles of Carib and they just seem to taste better!

Sorry kinda running out of ideas. If you have any questions just ask and i'll do my best or i'm sure someone else will chip in,

Matt
Rob S

Post by Rob S »

Thanks Matt :)

You certainly havent run out of ideas. Any info from real people always helps to give you an image and stop you from worrying that you cant be going somewhere nice at £500

Its also nice to find another friendly forum.
Looking forward to going to somewhere that appears a little less commercialised than other caribbean places.
I am definitely planning on a snorkel since I used to swim 35miles a week for years. My workmate does some diving, but is telling me that September may result in poor visibility due to hurricane season (even if Tobago is outside the belt). I am hoping that he is wrong tho ;)
May have to try the diving though, I am sure it said $80 somewhere for 2 dives.
Rum... have NEVER tried it tbh. Have spent too much time drinking more usual spirits, but I am sure I can give the basic rum a try via my all inclusive deal :) If its to my taste then I will go for some 1919.

No doubt the girlfriend will drag me shopping, tho I tend to window shop and buy very little myself. I even struggled to buy anything in the Orlando Outlets..whoops.

Glad the white wine is nicer, I dont like red too much and neither does the girlfriend.
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Paul Williams
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Post by Paul Williams »

Hello Rob
I do not live far from you so if I can give you any help or info the please contact me by e-mail.
Although we are of different age groups its suprising how we probably want a lot of the same from a holiday, I have not been on the island in September but did go in October 2005 just after some awful weather and we still found the snorkelling to be ok on the Caribbean side of the island.
During that holiday we made friends with a couple from our area (Bishops Waltham) and they stayed at the Turtle Beach and said that it was good value for money and is set on a superb beach.
My only warning would be about the rum, treat it with great respect as if you dont you will get into trouble.
Its a wonderful island you will enjoy it.
Regards
Paul
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Steve Pitts
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Re: Wahoo..Turtle Beach here we come :)

Post by Steve Pitts »

Rob S wrote: The only thing we are sure of wanting to do is Horse Riding on the beach, as we missed the chance due to bad weather on our allocated day in Florida. From looking at the map etc it appears that it may only cost us around $30 plus tip to get there and back from the hotel. :D
Rob

There are two horse riding stables - see here - http://www.mytobago.info/horseback.php

and I think that they will both do a pick-up service if you stay at either hotel.

My wife and daughter did a hack down to the beach at the Rex with Looking Out Stables a few years ago and thought it was fantastic. Being an equi-phobe I sat it out and just took some pics and video, but even I'll admit that it looked like fun.

Over on the Atlantic side, Friendship stables hack out through the old Friendship estate and often go out onto the flats at Peacock Mill. At low water the sand is exposed and makes for a good alternative to riding the each at RTB.

Hope this helps

Cheers
Steve
Take only photos - leave only footprints. I like that concept.
Matt Jenkins

Wahoo..Turtle Beach here we come :)

Post by Matt Jenkins »

Paul Williams wrote: My only warning would be about the rum, treat it with great respect as if you dont you will get into trouble.
Good advice! Take it slow because the humidity combined with the heat makes alcohol affect you much quicker than normal. To be honest i just stuck with water all day until the sun was going down...as for the rum the darker rum tends to be smoother (in my opinion) but i'm sure the regular rum expert from Bude will offer his advice :lol:

As you're wanting somewhere less commercialised and a bit quiter than previous holidays you're going to love Tobago. It's really laid back and you'll just be able to chill. Careful on the cloudy days...it's still easy to catch the sun badly!

Matt
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Post by Steve Pitts »

Hi Rob

I just found this piece of film in the vaults and popped it onto YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSN87CjQ4G8

Hope the link works and you get the feel for a Tobago beach ride.

Cheers
Steve
Take only photos - leave only footprints. I like that concept.
Rob S

Post by Rob S »

Paul, Thanks for the info about snorkelling. I would hope it to be fine, but my
colleague dives all over the world and he had me worrying for a bit. Turtle
Beach has to be good value for money for what I have paid. I am assuming that
the people who complain are those who expect 5 star service at 2star prices.
Unless they got roped into paying over the odds of course. My girlfriend comes
from very near Bishops Waltham coincidentally. Thankfully I dont tend to drink
during the day on holiday, so Im not expecting to do anything too silly, even if
I do rum it up a bit :) But I will definitely take it easy 1st time around.I
very nuch appreciate the offer of personal advice, and will be sure to contact
you if anything specific comes up.

Steve, I read the really useful horse riding pages , which is how I found about
them in the 1st place. Was totally unaware that they may do a pickup service
tho, so I will drop them an email and enquire. Has to be worth it, even if its a
little extra. The video is excellent, and has managed to make my gf even more
excited about going to Tobago :) Did hope to go to Friendship Stables out of the
2, but I havent really looked at Looking Out Yet so perhaps I am being hasty.
The gf will probably want to do both. I have ridden a horse once, in Florida
last year. Its quite easy to just walk along with a trained horse thankfully.

Matt, you definitely seem to like your Rum. If you are that keen I can always
bring you a bottle back if you miss it that much :)

No doubt more questions will arise as I browse around over the weekend. Thanks again
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Post by David Watkins »

Rob,Mat does prefer the darker rums whilst I prefer the white rum as I believe it is hangover free!You should try White Oak and fruit punch(it really is that smooth!).Beware of the white rum called Forres Rum Puncheon---it is at least 75%abv!!!!!!!
David %*} :D
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Post by Paul Makin »

re the diving in sept. - dont expect crystal clear water (we never really get that anyway if we're honest) but the vis will be good enough to provide some good days in the water. onshire sites will be more affected by rain/outflow etc but diving is year round with no big problems. expect 50 feet plus on all but the worst day on the shallowest site with the sandiest seabed !!

as you mention, we are below the normal hurricane belt so usually unaffected but strong winds will curtail diving.

pricewise - you'll be wanting to shop around and maybe call or email a few operators but you certainly will be able to buy a 2 tank dive for 80 $US. remember though that there will be additional costs if renting equipment and of course, the tax!. given that you'll be up at RTB, mention to the operator that you'll possibly need collection - most will include pick up and drop off at your hotel in the dive price but check first as not all do!

paul
Matt Jenkins

Wahoo..Turtle Beach here we come :)

Post by Matt Jenkins »

Paul honestly i'm not that bad! If you fancy some other good snorkelling go to the other end of the bay where the jetty is and swim out following the coastline to the headland...theres a little reef that joins the little island to the headland and usually there were a few things to see out there. If the river's in flood (and it probably will be) the visibility will be awful antil you get near the headland. Oh and be careful of the boats!

And David, you say you BELIEVE you get less of a hangover...If you can't remember whether you do or not then maybe the effects are far worse!

Matt
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