Blue Haven - our thoughts

55-room luxury boutique hotel in Bacolet (listing)
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Chrisc

Blue Haven - our thoughts

Post by Chrisc » Tue May 31, 2005 12:52 pm

Hi all

We were in Tobago from 9 May - 23 May, and had a fantastic time. We stayed at the Blue Haven for the first week, and also for one night at the end of the second week.

On the whole, we really liked the Blue Haven, and I've given it a 'very good' in the poll. Things we liked were:

The beach, it's beautiful! It's a really lovely, enclosed little bay. The sea was quite rough the first week, and the waves quite strong, although they had calmed down by the end of the second (although of course the hotel can't control them!).

The pool - there's never anyone in it! (possibly due to the previous point)

The beach bar - nice food for lunch

The rooms - we also stayed in room 20 (someone else on here had too), very nice view, great room. Not only that, but from looking in the brochures, it's the same room as in the photos. That has NEVER happened to me before :D

The staff - great, friendly bunch. Especially the head waiter, the staff on reception, and the barman (thanks for the nightlife tips!)

The wind - what a fantastic breeze! It was 31 / 32 degrees when we were there, and quite humid on the Carribbean side - lucky we had our balcony to go back to, with a nice refreshing breeze.

Flexibility / helpfullness - all the staff were extremely helpful. One particular point of note was on our return visit, which was our last night. On the day of departure we asked if it was OK to keep the room during the day, so we could have a shower, etc. before going to catch our Virgin flight, which left at 9:00pm. "No problem" was the answer, and we checked out of the hotel at around 6.30pm. Great stuff - I'm sure they wouldn't be able to do this for everyone if the hotel was full, but they weren't, so they did :)

I'd also say there are a few things that could be improved, most of them aren't really complaints or bad experiences, just things that we thought would help Blue Haven. Again, just our opinion. We thought that the hotel lacked a bit of atmosphere, and was extremely quiet at times. I have no problem with quiet, but when you're the only people in the bar most nights, you start to think the hotel could be losing out a little on potential business. Maybe this is a conscious decision, to keep it quiet, and maybe that suits a lot of people, but we just found it a little stale. Suggestions:

Use of balcony space - Make more of the great space outside the reception / bar - do it up a little bit, put some more lights out there, organise music, events, etc. and open it up to the general public. This is begging to have something done with it.

Bar - Liven the bar up a bit, install a proper music system, and generally make it more appealing. Maybe a happy hour?

Restaurant - food was good quality most of the time, although one meal we didn't think much of at all. It really is a 'hotel' restaurant, not a 'restaurant' restaurant if you see what I mean. With only a choice of 3 main courses (which change daily), meat, fish, vegetarian, it doesn't really compete with the 'pure' restaurants on the island (or, in my opinion, with the restaurant at Blue Waters, which offered greater variety and more authentic local style food). If you're staying at the Blue Haven, unless you're prepared to drive or get a taxi in the evening to go out, there's very little other choice of places to eat (one other hotel just behind it). If it were me, I'd try to expand the restaurant offering, and encourage non-residents to come along. But maybe that's not the hotel's direction.

Anyhow, just my 2ps worth!

Jem

Blue Haven

Post by Jem » Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:39 am

Hi,
Ive just returned from Tobago after a week in the Grand Courlan and then a week in the Blue Haven on my honeymoon.
I would just like to say that i agree with the last "postee" and the comments he made about the Blue Haven but that our overall impression of the hotel was slightly disappointing with how we were lead to believe it would be like in the various brochures and reviews.
Firstly we thought it could do with a damn good lick of paint which to be fair was being done as we were there (We actually had to move room mid week due to indiscriminate overpainting of our balcony area which left an overpowering smell and painty mess behind)
Other small points we considered to be a negative considering the Blue Haven`s 5* status were as follows;
1 Only 4 hangers in our wardrobe
2 Rooms were definitely on the small side although nice.
3 Restaurant was vastly overpriced for the fare offered and the service was very amateurish. Being in the location that it is makes it somewhat difficult and tiresome to go out to a different restaurant every night along with the extra expense involved in taxi journeys.
4 New safe in the wardrobe but given the wrong key and unable to find the right one.
5 Picture window between bathroom and bedroom a nice touch but not when it leaks, we had a soaking wet bedroom floor after our first shower.
6 Room service left a finished plate of food scraps in our room for 2 days.

Our overall impression therefore was that whilst the Blue Haven is indeed a quiet retreat (Which is what we were after!) it could do with a great deal of attention and an atmosphere injection.
The staff were lovely and friendly in line with all the other Tobagan people we met and we would like to give a special thanks and mention to Jef the Barman and Washy the taxi driver who were just fantastic and who will live long in our memories.

Ken Dimdore

Blue Haven - not 5*

Post by Ken Dimdore » Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:38 pm

We stayed at Blue Haven for a week earlier this year - mainly becuase of the review on this website.

We had a very laid back relaxing week, but forget the idea that this is a 5* hotel. Also the publicity about his once being the retreat of Hollywood film stars is balony. It was once used as a set for some scenes in a Rita Hayworth film, no more than that.

From the outside the hotel looks like rows of double decker portacabins. To get to the bedrooms on the upper floor you have to use external staircases and then walk along open walkways.

Our room was generously proportioned with a balcony giving a spectacular ocean view. Unfortunately it was only large enough for two upright chairs and a small table. you certainly couldn't use it as a space to chill out. The oddity was the bathroom, which had very cheap fittings,
a small bath, which you had to climb into if you wanted to take a shower, and a large picture window from the top of the bath to the ceiling. Useless if sitting in the bath, but you could admire the view whilst sitting on the WC, provided you and your partner aren't squeamish about such things.

Everything about the property seemed tired and in need of some tlc. The loungers on the beach were for the most part in poor nick, and as for the changing rooms and toilets on the beach - the least said the better.

One of the main problems we had was with the food. Relying on some hyperbolic statements about the food from other members of this forum, we decided to go full board. Big mistake!!!. Breakfasts served buffet style were OK. Lunch at the beach bar was what you expect from an average beach bar. Again adequate. But the dinners were pure disasters, so that after three days we decided to bite the bullet and go out. I was convinced that the chef was probably a graduate of a British catering college particularly as a sprig of parsley garnished every dish including spaghetti! Everything was truly vile, and to my utter amazement I was told the chef was Austrian. On the third night one of the dessert options was apple strudel. I reasoned that an Austrian ought to be able make a decent strudel, if nothing else. How wrong I was. This strudel was so heavy it could have sunk a battleship.

While the location of Blue Haven is very pretty, getting to reasonable restaurants elsewhere meant having to take taxis, so this is an expense you need to budget for wwhen eating out.

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Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:43 am

Ken

I get the impression that you didn't enjoy your stay at the Blue Haven. Mind you, it seems from your other post ( http://www.mytobago.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13843 ) that you have very low regard for Tobago generally. You are naturally entitled to your opinions but when you describe Tobago as a "tinpot country" you do rather lose our sympathy and ruin any credibility that might have been attached to your reports.

I'm just glad that I wasn't there with you. I bet you're a delightful holiday companion.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

John W

Blue Haven Our thoughts

Post by John W » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:13 pm

We were in Tobago from May 31st to June 8th for our honeymoon and have a great time. The Blue Haven while close to Scarborough is set back that you don't even know that a town is close. Very quiet and romantic. We would give a 2 thumbs up.

The beach was awesome and secluded and we even ennjoyed the Sunday soccer (futbol) that was being played. The beach bar was nice never to crowded. While the beach is public there was never more than a handful of people out there and Richie always made sure we had a fresh towel.

The rooms - was nice and the AC and fan provided much needed relief.

The staff - great, friendly bunch.

The restaurant was a little pricey but the food was excellent. The buffett breakfast could have used a wider selection.

Flexibility / helpfullness - all the staff were extremely helpful.

If you are looking for a Ritz and Hyatt type hotel, I would say that you probably won't find one on Tobago however, in my mind this is a 4/5 star hotel.

Edwin J.

Re: Blue Haven

Post by Edwin J. » Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:17 pm

Jem wrote:1 Only 4 hangers in our wardrobe
If you start your list of other negative things with this one, I can't take you serious. Then you really are a snob.

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