Arnos Vale

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

Post by J.C. » Mon Mar 24, 2003 3:07 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 04 March 2003

Steve, I've read all your many reports of your recent visit and noted that you dropped in at Arnos Vale at some point,but didn't report on it in any detail.Had everything about it already been said?I'm taking the family there at the end of the month and would appreciate any comments you have to add to the general perception of it being "tired".Forewarned is forearmed!! Having been to Antigua,Grenada and St.Lucia I must say that this is by far the best site I've come across for getting an in-depth feel for an island before setting off.The detail is fantastic(making formal guide books redundant)and the discussion forum is a mine of useful and unbiased comment!!!! I'm happy to add a report on the hotel and island when we get back,which would include the views of a teenage boy and a girl of eleven going on eighteen!! Keep up the good work! J.C.

Tim W

Arnos Vale

Post by Tim W » Mon Mar 24, 2003 3:11 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 04 March 2003

Hi J. C.

We stayed at The Arnos Vale from 13/2 -16/2 and from 20/2 -27/2-why does it seem so long ago? I have promised Steve i would do a review but that won't be until the weekend. In outline, although it is Italian owned and managed- without doubt one of the worst hotel managers i have come across- rude to the point of offensive to his staff(thank God he leaves this month) and ignores guests unless you say Hi first[ got that out of the way] - it is a great base to explore the island from (car essential) and to chill(superb beach and snorkelling).

Rooms. Most guests stay down by the pool- if you can request a first level room- the air con units are quiet remote control units unlike there older noisy cousins downstairs(they are all being replaced). The rooms are a good size ,basic with a balcony or terrace. Bathrooms are from the 50's but work fine. We stayed in both upstairs and downstairs rooms(2 visits) and all mattresses were a)new and b) comfortable!

Grounds. Superb. as you will be aware the site is on a hill- no real problem, my father in law had a hip replacement in September and found it great excercise! Bird life is great as is the flora.

Beach Great. Although it is public, we had no hassle from vendors etc. Very good snorkelling-most people take their own kit). Sea was about 78 -82 F

Pool. very small, built around the bar. Ideal for a cleansing dip after the sea.

Bar(s) Poor. Very expensive. We paid TT$17 for Carib- it was only 7-9 in bars, and I only paid TT$12 at the Hilton on Trinidad. Other prices pro rata. A number of comments about basic items not being in stock- tequilla was one item.

Food. Depends on what you expect from a 3*.Breakfast is fruit, juices, yogourt, toast, jelly buns(danish Pastries) other local bread and probably the best crossaint i have hain a hotel. Bacon, eggs, Tea & Coffee. All Buffet. Quite acceptable.Lunch Very good selection of salad type dishes- both European and Caribbean with some variety from day to day. Alongside this would be 3-4 hot rice, pilau, curry-Chef(lady at lunchtime-wonderful person) made us goat curry last week after much persuasion!) and a cook to order Bar-B-Q with Fish, chicken, steak, lamp ,pork -probably a choice of 3 or 4 of the above on any day. All excellent "basic" Tobagan food. Dinner. The weak link. Could be very,very good either buffet or restaurant service. Could be indifferent. never bad, never exciting with the odd exception- had excellent lobster, coconut fried chichen and fried grouper. Meals include a drink either a beer or a soft fizzy drink. Water, wine, juice you pay for. Wine.DO NOT DRINK THE WHITE.It is all Italian, none of the limited selection of whites travelled at all well. Reds were fine particularly the Merlot.

Almost forgot afternoon tea. Bit of an institution, lots of bird watchers, lots of birds-still went every day. On the whole, for what we wanted it was superb- my in laws lived on trinidad for 16 years and used to go to Arnos Vale for weekend breaks.It is the closest you will come to a proper Tobagan hotel. It is not a resort hotel a la Coco Reef.

I almost forgot the staff-- once you get to know them they are great, friendly and welcoming and in general do things for you far quiker than I have had done in European hotels.

Eat out a couple of times. The Seahorse is still very good notwithstanding a comment Mr. newton- I think he had a bad night- good food(almost always!) and live music on a Saturday and as he says Indigo Tobago is excellent.

Hope this helps. If you would like a couple of photos my emailaddress is i can mail you a couple of the hotel

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Steve Wooler
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Arnos Vale

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 3:12 pm

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 04 March 2003

Hi J.C. - Tim's post says it all I can endorse everything he says other than comments regarding rooms and meals as I haven't stayed there for 20-odd years. However, we visited the hotel several times during the week we were staying in Arnos Vale. Yes, my own impressions of management were highly negative. However, it is all relative and too easy with sites like this to get bogged down in comparative comment. Take Tim's report at face value and you will have a brilliant holiday.
Steve Wooler - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

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