Arnos Vale, Footprints + Reservations Question

29 room 3* hotel located on the Arnos Vale plantation
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Steph

Arnos Vale, Footprints + Reservations Question

Post by Steph » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:40 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Hi - great site - great forum! We're headed to Tobago in early February. We plan on doing some diving while staying in Charlotteville (beginners learning to dive.) After that I wanted to just wing it cause I'm not really sure what we want to do. Do we need reservations that time of year to stay places like the beach house in castara or footprints or arnos vale? Also, I've read mixed reviews of Arnos Vale Hotel. Any recent experiences at the hotel? How about Footprints Eco Resort? For some reason I can never get to their website. I'm looking for a comfortable place with character and good food for under $150/night. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:41 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Hi Steph February is one of the very busiest months, so the only good advice would be to book early. Having said that, available beds far outnumber airlift, so you will always be able to find somewhere, if you wing it, but it may not necessarily be your first choice. It’s some years since I last stayed at The Arnos Vale, so it would be unfair to pass comment. Forget the Footprints Eco Resort – we had to remove the website and email links from our listings some months ago because emails were bouncing back and the web appears to have died. We know there have been problems there – pity, because it was a noble effort. Have a great trip and let us know how you get on.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Steph

Post by Steph » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:41 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Hi Steve - You really do a great job here - I will be sure to post a trip report when we get back. I got an immediate email response from Arnos Vale which is always a good sign. Too bad about Footprints, the architecture reminds me of a place in Belize where we had our wedding. FLIGHTS - it was a nightmare finding a flight - hours of finding workable dates for the specials on travelocity. But I am very happy with the results - got an inexpensive flight from Boston to DC to Tobago, all in one day's travel. Counting down 'till February... Thanks, Steve!

Tim W

Post by Tim W » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:51 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Hi Steph, we are staying at the Arnos Vale in February. I read a number of reviews9after we had booked!) most along the lines that the place is a bit ragged decoratively but the swimming, the food, the staff, the beeach etc were great- one from an American lady raved about the food. However, I picked up on a review which was dated only about 5 weeks ago that whilst beeing positive about the grounds , the beach even the food(except the portion control was too small{must be an American!}) mentioned missing hand rails(steep site) live wiring!, bars closed, water sports closed really concerned me. Emailed the hotel. Got an excellent response covering every point I raised- without knocking the reviewer- and frankly has left me totally reassured. Just for added security I have given the travel agent a copy of the review and the response! Don't envisage any problems, yes the rooms may be a bit shabby but who goes to Tobago to spend more hours than they have to in a hotel room? The only real problem may be for alcoholics, as the bar prices are supposed to be very much on the steep side. I'll do a review when we return. Hope you enjoy your trip

Steph

Post by Steph » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:52 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Tim - thank you! I must have read the same review. I'm not concerned about the room, just the service. Now I'm reassured too. We'll be there from 2/10 - 2/13. If you're there I'll buy you a drink ;)

Tim W

Post by Tim W » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:54 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

We arrive 13/2 so we will just miss. Hope you have an excellent stay-if you intend to eat out of the hotel, try the Indigo Tobago and the Seahorse- both have web sites, the latter publishes it's whole menu!

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Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:55 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 09 December 2002

Tim, you seem to be inundated with info.

Based on a brief walk around of the Arnos Vale last January, I can confirm that it needs investment. The new rooms by the beach are supposed to be the nicest, but the cottages on the hillside (where I stayed in 1980) are very tired looking.

Unless you’re used to the Caribbean, you’ll probably find service slow (very slow), but hey … you’re there to chill aren’t you? Wherever you are, the wonderful smiling faces and warmth of the local staff will make you instantly forgive any tardiness and soon settle into the rhythm of the island.

Incidentally – Steph and Tim - I’m staying at Being, a villa literally next door to the Arnos Vale Hotel from 8th to 15th February. We’ll be visiting the Arnos Vale beach regularly. Have a look at the pictures on http://www.myTobago.info/about.php (add 15 years and glasses to my photo and 5 years and a beard to Jill’s) and give us a yell if you spot us – I might even be humble enough to let you buy me a beer.

Have great holidays both of you and share your views of the Arnos Vale and the everywhere else in Tobago with everyone in the forum here. By the way - Tim is right, don't miss Indigo and the Seahorse Inn.
Last edited by Steve Wooler on Sat May 27, 2006 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Tim W

Post by Tim W » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:56 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 10 December 2002

Hi Steve. I have just read your note properly! Very much hope we get the opportunity to meet and buy you a beer-even at Arnos Vale prices!!

Tim W

Post by Tim W » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:57 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 10 December 2002

Hi Steve, No, just being cautious. We had out last holiday in Tobago in 2000. We stayed at the Grafton and i have been horrified by some of the reports in the forum and at some of the review sites. We had an excellent holiday, yes the food was a bit "regular" but if you go to a mid range all inclusive resort and eat in all time..............The staff we found to be really friendly, service levels were if anything generally better than I had expected and did i read someone on the forum said the beach was small!? We are going to Arnos vale this time with my in laws. The lived in Trinidad from 53 -65(oil mam) and my wife was born in Port of Spain. When they took a local vacation they went to either the Arnos Vale or rented a bungalow (no longer there from photo's we showed them from our last visit) in Charlotteville. They insisted on Arnos Vale this trip. As per my reply to Steph they seem to have made all the right noises in explaining the problems encountered by a recent visitor, so i am really looking forward to it. We will find ouit in about 9 weeks! Just to be boring, can I also say what an excellent resource myTobago is

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Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:58 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 10 December 2002

Hi Tim The Grafton does come in for it, doesn’t it? I think it’s a case of being able to get so much more for the same or less money elsewhere. I’m not impressed by management at Le Grand Courlan/Grafton though – they actually asked to be removed from the myTobago listings. Make of that what you will. They have also totally ignored my requests for information or a statement on the recent troubles. To be frank, the only regular complaint I hear about the Grafton is of “mediocre” and erratic food quality and occasionally about the ‘binge’ problems often associated with medium/low price all-inclusive resorts. However, as everywhere on Tobago, the staff can still transform a mediocre establishment into one capable of providing brilliant holidays. It certainly isn’t a small beach at the Grafton – I don’t remember any post saying that it was, to be honest.

If you parents visited Tobago between ’53 and ‘65, they must have stayed in the small beach cottages owned by the Turpin family who own(ed) the Charlotteville Estate – a 1,000 acre cocoa plantation that basically encompasses Charlotteville. The cottages are still there today and are now called the Man-o-War Bay Cottages (http://www.man-o-warbaycottages.com). They have been completely upgraded since those days and the original four cottages built in the mid to late ‘50s have been joined by several newer cottages. The foliage and trees have grown considerably and the cottages now have hedges and fences around them, so look completely different – in the “old” days they were in the middle of the beach, set between the palm trees.

By another strange coincidence, my own parents and sister and partner are coming out to join us for the first two weeks of February. It’s a true tribute to Tobago that my parents both wish to celebrate their 80th birthdays there. They haven’t visited the island since 1961, so they’ll notice a few changes. You can bet that one of the very first places they will be visiting will be Charlotteville and the cottages. At least we can get up there in 90 minutes or so – it used to take three or four hours. Thanks for your kind words about the site.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Tim W

Post by Tim W » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:59 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 10 December 2002

Hi Steve- last message I promise. Many thanks for the information about Charlotteville- I will pass it on to the "olds"(ours are only 70 & 73!). The comment about the Graftons beach was in one of the reviews I picked up the thought being that it seemed a very strange comment. Just for information, maps of the island(rather than rough guide "bits) seemed to be a problem but I have come across INSIGHT FLEXIMAPS- Amazon among others do them and i am quite impressed. Once again first beer is on me if we cross paths in |February

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