Arnos Vale Hotel under New Management

29 room 3* hotel located on the Arnos Vale plantation
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Steve Wooler
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Arnos Vale Hotel under New Management

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Apr 14, 2003 7:12 am

During the past week, I have received exciting news about the Arnos Vale Hotel.

Until recently, the Arnos Vale Hotel was managed by an Italian business, Sporting Vacanze, on behalf of local owners. I have now been informed that the management contract has been taken over by Carlo Cravanzola and Rolf Berthold and negotiations are well under way for them to acquire the property as well.


The previous manager of the Arnos Vale – whose attitude must be held largely responsible for the decline in popularity of the hotel over recent years – has left and Carlo Cravanzola has taken up residence as General Manager. Immediate changes are being made at service level. Other changes will obviously take a little longer. I suspect that visitors will find an immediate improvement in staff and management attitudes at the hotel.


It is Carlo and Rolf’s stated intention to restore the Arnos Vale Hotel to its former glory. I’m sure that every reader will join me in wishing them well and offering our very best wishes in their endeavour. Set in one of the most beautiful locations in Tobago, the Arnos Vale Hotel deserves to do well.

Good luck!
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

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Post by Steve Wooler » Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:54 pm

It was with sad regret that I learnt recently that negotiations between Carlo Cravanzola/Rolf Berthold and the owners of the Arnos Vale Hotel had failed and the management contract terminated. Carlo has left the hotel and my understanding is that the hotel is being run by the owner and his family. I have emailed the hotel, trying to establish the position, but my emails have been ignored. This is very bad news because the hotel obviously has a wonderful location, but is in need of serious investment, both financially and in management terms.

Given the changes and uncertainty, any feedback from guests who have recently visited the hotel – either as residents, or just ‘day trippers’ – would be much appreciated and be a help to those thinking of staying at this hotel.
Steve Wooler
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John Hill

Post by John Hill » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:23 pm

Steve Hi

We visited the hotel twice during our stay in early May mainly to see the bird feeding @4.00pm there was lots of painting going on to the rooms near the swimming pool.
It’s a super location as you say and needs money spending on it.

I met the wife when I was there and she was very charming and helpful.

Let’s keep fingers crossed.

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Post by Steve Wooler » Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:17 am

Further to my post above, I am delighted to tell readers that Rolf Berthold has contacted me and updated me with regard to the latest position at the Arnos Vale Hotel.

It appears that the owners of the hotel are now in litigation with Sporting Vacance, the previous management company and leaseholder. The owner’s have taken over management of the property themselves, at least for the moment, and intend to upgrade and re-position the Arnos Vale following the neglect and bad management of the Italian management company.

Rolf Berthold is acting as consultant, assisting the owners in the refurbishment, upgrading and management of the hotel and still hopes to take over the hotel one day. The current low season is being used productively to undertake some of the basic refurbishing and upgrading work.

May we offer Rolf and the owners of the Arnos Vale our support and wish them luck in returning this lovely old hotel to its “former glory”.
Steve Wooler
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Sue Taylor

Post by Sue Taylor » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:18 am

:D We have just returned from 2 weeks staying at the Arnos Vale Hotel and can honestly say that we had a most wonderful holiday. The owners were very much in evidence, charming, hospitable and did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable. They are indeed making significant improvements to the hotel, upgrading the bedrooms, restaurant and other areas as well as giving their staff extensive training. We found all the staff very friendly indeed, courteous, helpful and hard working. Our room was one of the beach rooms, which had been recently re-decorated, with new curtains and bedcovers and, although the bathroom needs refurbishing, it was clean and functional. (this is planned in the near future we were told). Although we were visiting in the low season, the hotel was fully open and all facilities available, which was not the case in another hotel we stayed at. The position of our room could not be bettered, with its glorious view over the bay and the supreme peacefulness of gently lapping waves. The grounds are magnificent, being home to a huge variety of plants, trees and wildlife and we became quite used to the enormous number of beautiful birds that reside there. The long climb from our room to the restaurant and bar was good exercise and made pleasurable because of the surroundings and served to enhance our appetite! (this hotel would not be suitable for people with mobility difficulties). Breakfast is very good, with a wide and plentiful choice, served buffet style, buffet lunches were simple but with a good choice of salads and grilled meat or fish but they need to address the dinner menu. It tends to be repetitive, especially with the starter(usually pumpkin soup when we dined!) and desserts (ice cream or fruit). Whilst the food is wholesome, it is unimaginative and rather bland and this is an area the owners need to consider to enhance its reputation.
We were assured by Mrs Bronte, the owner, that she intends to restore the hotel to its former glory, whilst retaining the very unique and important atmosphere and beauty of the estate.
We will certainly make a return visit to this little bit of paradise.

Carmel M

Arnos Vale August 25th 2003

Post by Carmel M » Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:10 pm

Hi
Interesting to read the background... My son and I were at Arnos Vale on Monday August 25th and a very eery impression we got of it. There were lots of maintainance staff around and we chatted with the woman on bar duty - only 2 guests in the place for that week. They were expecting more to arrive the following weekend. So it was empty barr four or five people swimming in the sea. The location is great but I would concur with previous comments that the whole place needs a re-vamp and upgrade.

We returned with friends on Saturday 30th for 4 p.m. tea and birdfeeding and were somewhat let down with the food/plate presented for T&T$60 - one bland sandwich and two pieces of what appeared to be store bought cake.

I hope they upgrade and improve - but as it is I wouldn't be too keen to return at all.

Carmel

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Arnos Vale October 2003

Post by Craig C » Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:02 pm

We have recently returned from a one week stay at the Arnos Vale Hotel. Having read previous reviews about the hotel on this site our expectations were not too high. However we were pleasantly surprised by what we experienced.
The location is the best we have experienced in Tobago so far (our third visit) The gardens are very lush and a planting program around the pool area is nearly completed. The beach although steep feels very private and it was very quiet. The snokelling in the bay was quite good with numerous types of fish to be seen in reasonable visibility.
As mentioned before the rooms are quite basic, but all were clean and tidy with evidence of fresh paintwork.
We feel the biggest area of concern are the meals, lunch in particular. We find it unacceptable that lunch comprised of a sandwich and chips for all but one day of our stay. There was also no dessert at lunch. At dinner there is no choice of starter, choice of two main meals and the same dessert everyday, ice cream or fruit.
Despite the dissapointing food choice we very much enjoyed our stay at Arnos Vale.
It was a very quiet time for the hotel with only ten people staying there. But in the next few weeks this will change due to Rex Turtle Beach Hotel closing for a month-Some of their guests will be transfered to Arnos Vale and apparently it will be full.

Wanda

Arnos Vale Hotel

Post by Wanda » Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:59 am

:D
We have just returned from a 2 week holiday staying at the Arnos Vale Hotel over Xmas and New Year. This is our third visit to the hotel and we love it there. We have not been for 2 years and were sad that many of the staff that we knew had left to be replaced by quite young and experienced people.
Having said that we had a wonderful time, the evening meals were prepared and cooked by a Venezuelan chef and were excellent. There were 2 choices for starter, a salad and 3 choices for the main meal. There was also a choice of dessert. On some evenings there were buffets (my preference as this gives the guests a chance to try a variety of Tobagan dishes) and there was a wonderful gala dinner for New Years Eve. Lunches were disappointing, no more wonderful buffets prepared by Cheryl, she is now consigned to making hamburgers, sandwiches and salads...although one day she did present us with a wonderful lunch of chicken, rice and peas and macaroni pie.....leftovers from the staff lunch and soooo much better than the norm. The overpriced wine list, comprising soley of Italian wine, is a thing of the past, there is a good selection of new world wines, french and italian all at reasonable prices. The new bar man was very knowledgeable about his 'cellar' and we enjoyed our nightly chats with him.
We ate lunch out most days and can highly recommend the Polo Bar for a good mix of creole cooking and comfort stodge for those who need a regular top up. It was great value and the service was very friendly. We also loved the Riverview Restaurant in Parlutvier, excellent food, far better than Jemma's at Speyside and not crowded at all.

Our room was basic, the shower was excellent and the bed very comfortable. The owners are managing the hotel at the moment but word is that they are going to re - lease it to another Italian holiday company!!
That does not sound too promosing but it is only a rumour!

The Arnos Vale is in a wonderful location, so peaceful and, in our opinion, by far the nicest hotel to stay in on Tobago. it is not for those people who need mini bars, TVs and luxury bathrooms in their rooms but it more than compensates for this with its location, friendly staff and proximity to nature. Would we go back? yes, next Christmas in fact.
Happy New year to all fellow Tobagophiles!
Wanda

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Post by Craig C » Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:49 pm

We went back to the Arnos Vale during the February carnival week for afternoon tea just so we could see how the improvements were going on. We are pleased to say that things are still improving with signs of fresh paint, flooring and furniture in the main restaurant area. The beach is still one of the prettiest with very good snorkelling close to shore.
Rather surprised to meet Steve Wooler walking around camera in hand!
Hopefully a full review is to follow?

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Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Mar 07, 2004 7:55 pm

Hi Craig

You might at least have said "it was a pleasure to meet Steve" or "We were delighted to meet Steve", rather than "surprised". Ah well, I'm sure my therapist will help me to overcome the burden. :roll:

Kidding apart, I had a full tour of the Arnos Vale Hotel and was very pleased to see substantial improvements in the past year. It can no longer be said to be "tired" or in desperate need of TLC. The rooms were pleasant and things are obviously moving forward at last.

I'm afraid that a quick walk around is not sufficient to write a full review. To do that, we need to stay at least five days so that we really get to know the place and have the opportunity to establish the views of more than a handful of other visitors. However, the improvements at the Arnos Vale do at least mean than they are now on the list of "possibles" for our next visit in 2005.
Steve Wooler
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Judith Brandt

Arnos Vale

Post by Judith Brandt » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:47 pm

We had the pleasure of staying at Arnos Vale during the week of April 19, 2004. Service and cleanliness were good, although not perfect. The buffet breakfasts were fresh and filling, although with little variation. Lunches down by the pool were so so, as were the dinners. We mostly ate our dinners out, but did eat there twice for dinner during our stay. We stayed in the Crow's Nest, a great little cottage high above the sea. Definitely not the place for anyone with mobility issues, but very quiet, private, and romantic.
However, the place is about to undergo major renovations, including razing of this cottage with replacement with a more elaborate one. Mrs. Bronte was there most of the week. She informed us that paths with golf carts would be used to eliminate most of the steep walkways at the resort.

The beach and snorkeling right at the hotel was excellent. Overall, it was a very romantic and pleasant stay.

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