speyside

38 room 3* beachside hotel in Batteaux Bay at Speyside (listing)
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V Fabry

speyside

Post by V Fabry »

I would like to hear from people who have been to Speyside recently. How is the snorkeling at the moment? Did anybody see these great manta rays lately? Is it possible to see them at all without diving?
We love to snorkel and would welcome any tips about good spots of the coast and also with what snorkeling trips or boats are good.

Are there good maps of that area? What is the average price for a trip to the rainforest or to little Tobago? Wich guide do you recommend?
Any information about this area (Charlotteville to) is very welkom, I did read already everything on the net I could find...

We are going in July and staying in the Blue Waters Inn. :D
Tips about where in speyside to eat (at what your favorite is ) must be useful, reviews of the restaurant at the BWI are mostly not so great...

Last question, is is possible to walk or hike in the Northeast witout a guide? Is it very hot and muddy?Will we get terribly lost in the jungle?
I'm so looking forward to it...

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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi V

Welcome aboard! :lol: My, what a lot of questions. I'll try my best in the couple of minutes I've got spare.
  1. The waters have cleared a lot since the heavy rains last wet season and continue to improve month by month. If you haven't been there before, you'll never even know the difference.
  2. Manta rays are now only infrequent visitors and you will never see them close to shore. You might see other members of the ray family though.
  3. The only shore-based snorkelling in that area is in the bay directly in front of the Blue Waters. However, take a trip over to Charlotteville and go sea kayaking/snorkelling with Clark Weissinger of Tobago Sea-Kayaking Experience (see our review under 'Reviews' above).
  4. See our article under Tobago/Road Maps
  5. Two tour operators are based at the BWI and operate two tours a day to Little Tobago. I think they charge about US$17 per person.
  6. The best guy for rain forest tours is Newton George. He is the best birding guide on the island, but is brilliant at any form of nature tour. He was a forest ranger for over 30 years, so nobody knows Tobago's forest better. See our Review section for details.
  7. The Speyside Inn is now the best alternative to the BWI on dining. The Birdwatchers cafe is good for lunchtime Creole meals. A lot of people love Jemma's but others, like me, will gladly give it a miss.
  8. There are a number of walks up the coast from the BWI. However, you should not wander into the rainforest without a guide. The forest is pretty inpenetrable off the main trail, but it's not do-it-yourself country.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

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Kevin Hampson
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Post by Kevin Hampson »

Hi V,
Couple of additions to Steve's post,
They get mantas in the bay at Bluewaters but not very often so don't bank on seeing any.
The snorkelling trips across to Little Tobago are good fun and if you just want to go snorkelling Franks do a reduction in the cost Of the LTI tour and snorkelling trip. If you want to see a bit more get Aquamarine to sort out a PADI course and get a good look at the local reefs.

Can't comment on the Speyside Inn its always been shut when I have been there, but you can add Redmans for a good Creole lunch, Jemma's is OK the lobster is good but a bit pricy. Try Sharon’s in Charlottville too it's really good.

Newton George is a great choice for an organised rain forest walk he really knows his stuff, but if you just want to go for a walk round the trails around BWI they will sort you a local guide out.


Regards
Kevin

Duane Kenny

Blue Waters Inn

Post by Duane Kenny »

Steve as usual has done a great job of explaining all the info. Here is a little more to help along. First of the visibility for snorkeling varys on the day but that really is no change from how it was before the land slides. I would say about 5 times a year a Manta swims into Batteaux Bay and plays with the guests only a few feet off of the beach but it's really luck of the draw. Outside of Manta's though are quite a few marine creatures that can be regularly seen from lobsters, eels, angel fish, etc. The list is really a long one.
Rainforest trips with top guides will run you around $55US with the cheapest ones around $35US. These prices are per person. I would highly recommend taking a guide because unless you are an expert you will not know what you are seeing or where to look. There is one good coastal walk by BWI that you can easliy do on your own and I would be more than willing to point out a few more.
If you need anything else please feel free to contact me.
Duane

V Fabry

Post by V Fabry »

thank you all for the information, and Duane, sorry for my unfound critics on the Fish Pot, :oops: we will certainly try it but I like to explore local cuisine too.

Does anybody know how long it would to walk to charlotteville from the BWI. Are there taxi's which do it and how much would they charge?

I would also like to hear from people who went kayaking and snorkeling at charlotteville.

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Post by Kevin Hampson »

Hi V,
I seem to remember the Speyside - Charlottville taxi was about 40$TT so its not going to break the bank.

Duane Kenny

Charlottesville and stuff to do

Post by Duane Kenny »

Charlottesville is about 5 to 10 minutes by car. The local taxi rate has just gone up to 50TT. It would take about an hour and a half to walk, less to run. It's straight up hill and down hill.
The kayaking in charlottesville is awesome, check out tobago sea kayaking. Clark does a great tour, and the place is just full of fantastic scenery. I haven't snorkelled in Charlottesvill for quite some time. I know people snorkel off Pirates bay, and just off Lovers Bay (only accessible by kayak or boat) was really good. Lovers bay is a small, pink sand beach.
As for the comments no worry's man, we will keep working on it. Sharon and Phoebes is also a great dinner in charlottesville. It's where I go when I want to get away.
Duane

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Post by Julia C. »

We've just returned and during our stay went up to Charlotteville and went sea kayaking with Clark. It was fantastic, great fun and suitable for complete novices as well as people with kayaking experience. We kayaked to Lovers Bay and snorkled there. Loads to see, coral, fish, squid etc. I would highly recommend it.

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Post by Paul Tallet »

This thread seems to have lost it's way because the Sea Kayaking Experience can be found in Charlottesville and not Speyside.

See this for my review of the Sea Kayaking Experience ...


http://www.mytobago.info/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2387

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Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

Jean Kitson

Post by Jean Kitson »

Hi V

About grub at the BWI - I think it's easy to take negative comments too seriously sometimes. The Fishpot Restaurant is OK, their buffet night was great and the bar food is brilliant and really well priced (I'm missing the grilled kingfish, sigh) - we ate that most of the time.

Have a great time!

Jean

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Kevin Hampson
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Post by Kevin Hampson »

Hi Jean,
Don't forget the flying fish sandwich and hot sauce, just the thing to set you up for an afternoon dive.

One thing about the king fish you know its going to be fresh when you see the fisherman bring it up the beach in the morning.

Wonderful memories can't wait till October.

Regards
Kevin.

Just off to turn the central heating up and have a rum punch

Dona.D.

Post by Dona.D. »

Sorry for asking a (possibly) really silly question. Is it possible for non residents to the Blue Water Inn to use their beach and snorkel there?

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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler »

Hi Dona

All beaches on Tobago are public - although you can't cross private land to get to a beach. Therefore, you can use the Blue Water's Inn beach to your heart's content - as long as you swim to the beack or come in by boat. :cry:

I'm only teasing, of course. I'm sure the Blue Waters will be more than happy for you to use 'their' beach, but clearly you will not be entitled to use their beach loungers or other facilities. Mind you, on the assumption that you play fair and use the hotel's restaurant and/or bar, I am sure they will be perfectly happy and give you a warm welcome. They are well-used to visits from non-residents. The hotel is a popular luncheon and watering hole for people touring the island, diving with Aquamarine and/or taking trips over to Little Tobago with the two boat operators who are based in the grounds of the hotel.
Steve Wooler
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Post by Jane H »

Hi Dona,

We drove to Blue Waters Inn specially to go across to Little Tobago, having been recommended to use either of the boat companies which go across from their jetty. There was absolutely no problem with us using the beach, loungers etc - although I must admit we did have a snack lunch from the bar before our trip. All the staff were very welcoming.

It's a nice place to visit - and the Little Tobago trips are really worth doing.

Jane

Dona.D.

Post by Dona.D. »

Thanks again for the info, I am just used to the sanatised world of the Maldives and Egypt when it comes to snorkeling! We would be more than happy to get lunch or drinks at the Blue Water Inn and use their facilities.

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Post by Kevin Hampson »

Hi Dona,
I've never seen any issues with non residents at BWI. There are always a few coming up for diving, bird watching or the boat trips across to Little Tobago. The Bar lunches are great but the service is not always as fast as some people expect, but your on holiday so chill mon.

Snorkeling of the beach at BWI is ok but the boat trips are much better I have done it a couple of times now with Frank's and the reefs in front of Little Tobago and behind Goat Island are in great condition with lots of life.

Have a great time

Kevin

No Tobago this year and still suffering withdrawal symptoms

Dona.D.

Post by Dona.D. »

Thanks for the tips Kevin. We will get the boat and inspect the reefs and believe you me we WILL chill out! That is one thing I am good at!

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