Guest Report

125 room budget all-inclusive hotel at Great Courland Bay (listing)
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Kevin Brooks

Guest Report

Post by Kevin Brooks »

I stayed for two weeks in the all-inclusive hovel during March 2008.
There are few positive and many negative elements to this holiday. The best way to allow me to identify these is to give a chronological detail of the holiday.
On arrival the holiday felt idyllic; being immersed in the Caribbean atmosphere once we had opened the door onto the balcony.
This was lost by the following morning. My wife woke up covered in ants! (100's of tiny ants). The reception desk advised that something would be done to eradicate these, although they were there all of the time. We even purchased our own can of insect spray from the main town; the ants were not effected.
The coffee machine, in the bedroom, was filled with bleach.
I went fishing on the beach the first morning before breakfast. As soon as I took my first steps on the beach I was approached by one of the many vendors trying to sell excursions. The travel guides say to be friendly but state 'No thankyou' to any of these requests. Every day I was approached. Eventually I was told by one of these vendors that I had 'attitude' and was racially descriminatory. I was advised, after, that this same vendor waited outside an older vulnerable couple's room until they purchased a trip just to get rid of this person. Although signs say 'No Vendors'; these people move through the hotel without being ejected by the security (a joke to consider them as security). I personally believe money passes hand between these people and the management to turn a blind eye; it is all about fleecing you of your money.
The restaurant was often opened late and the food cold (especially at Breakfast). There was a good variety with many local dishes included. The service in the restaurant was generally poor; the local staff appearing to be lazy and unfriendly. The all-inclusive vaiety of drinks was excellent. The Phillipino and Korean staff were pro-active and extremely polite. Within 20 metres of the restaurant there was always a smell of sewage!
The staff, including Security were always touting the guests for taxi business, they obviously take a cut! Misinformation was always given out about the regular bus service from outside the entrance of the hotel. An accurate bus timetable should be posted on the notice board. Compare the bus fare (about 18p) compared to the taxi fare (£20 - £30).
The main problem with the hotel must lay in the hands of the Manager. I have noticed the same staff being there daily from 630am to 10pm. Many of them advised me that they were unhappy with being overworked and being underpaid; each day awakeing to the same experience with no incentive.
I went out on the pedallo on the second day on a calm sea. I waited for 10 minutes for someone to come and pull me in safely, but nobody was watching (that is negligence on the part of the watersport staff and management in my opinion); so I made my own way in, and was overturned on reaching the steeply sloped beach. I felt I was lucky not to be pinned under and drowned. I lost my glasses whilst pinned under the pedallo; which meant that the holiday was ruined, as I am short sighted, and could not see properly for the rest of the hoilday. Compensation, to cover the excess with the insurance, was refused by the Management. Trying to get a problem sorted with the hotel seems to be absolutely impossible! It was noted that for the rest of the holiday that there was someone always watching from the Watersports hut. I am sure that the old ways will soon be returned to; and I hope that no-one will lose their life!
On taking a bath you scratch you knees where the enamel has come away from the bath. To try to hide this the bath has been painted! The wood fittings in the bathroom are rotting and the plug for the sink does not exist.
The evening entertainment is good; although it does not always happen.
The sheets were not changed until the 12th day. We were advised by the woman cleaning the room that she had changed them. This, to me, was a ploy to get a tip on leaving.

Overall, I would suggest that, if going to Tobago; you should seek another hotel. We were unfortunately doubled booked with a much smaller hotel, and had to accept this hotel; otherwise we would have lost our holiday. The hotel will not get better under the existing management. I suggest that the hotel is shut for a season, the whole place being gutted and to undergo a complete refit, the local staff to be replaced by Asian staff that are willing to work, and a total replacement of management that are able to manage properly.


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