Guest Report

22 room hotel located at Speyside
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Marla Beth B.

Guest Report

Post by Marla Beth B. » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:48 pm

I have to start with two points. One, I am not related to or know the owners - I have nothing to do with the hotel or dive operation. Two, I did not stay there - I only dove with the dive shop on site. However, due to the diving, I was there day after day, and I met the owner multiple times. I dealt with the staff from the dive shop, the hotel, (given that I routinely left my valuables in their safe while diving) the pool, and restaurant.

It was so nice, I was sort of disappointed I had not stayed there due to the reviews I read here and on Trip Advisor, so I asked for a tour of a room. I also became friendly with some divers who were staying there, and I asked them about their rooms, and they had similar accommodations, so it was not as if they showed me the best room in the house.

I decided to write a review even though I did not stay there (Against the rules, I know, Steve, so if you must remove it, so be it) to counter some of the reviews I read before I left, in case it could help anyone not have the same experience I did, which is to stay away from a place that is one of the nicer ones in the area due to reading the negative reviews. I had figured that one or two negative reviews might be the work of a crabby person, but several, as there were here, must mean something. I later found out most of the bad ones were written mostly by people who all came in the same group at the same time.

I should note: this is not a "resort" of the type found in the south of the island. There is no hotel beach, though you are right across a very small road from on the ocean and there is plenty of beach there. The beaches are not white sugar sand in the north. This is not a 15 story building that is entirely air conditioned with a marble lobby and uniformed staff with a concierge and doorman. It thankfully is not an American chain hotel. It is a lovely, charming little hotel on the ocean, for those who want to be in Speyside for a reason such as birding or diving. However, I did meet a family in which part of the family was not diving, and they had a perfectly nice time by the pool the whole time the others were diving. If you are looking for sugar sand beaches and a large resort, you should go to the south of the island where those things exist.

Anyway, the place is clean as a whistle. The bathroom in the room I saw was clean, as were the ones of the divers I talked to. The pool is well maintained and also very clean - I swam in it multiple times myself, germaphobe though I am.

The staff is, on the whole, friendly, as is the owner. I only ran into one person who had the typical unpleasant Speyside attitude, and that was in the restaurant.

On the other hand, I ran into many people who went above and beyond the call of duty to be helpful, and were very friendly and kind. I am pretty absent-minded, and I often gave them my valuables and my purse to put in the safe, and then forgot I needed an item I left by mistake in my purse. Never did I get anything other than a happy retrieval of my items for me to sort through until I found what I needed and then they were happily put back.

At the dive shop the staff was very helpful and friendly. I wanted to pay partly with travelers checks so I could get change in TT dollars, because the ATM machine in Charlotteville was out of money. No problem. They stayed late to help me one evening, and even invited me to a birthday BBQ for one of the staff. I left my clothes there overnight by mistake, because I went home with my sarong over my bathing suit. I realized it the next morning, and I called the dive shop in a panic. They went out of their way to look for my things and found them. They are a busy dive shop and could easily have told me I would have to look myself when I returned, or that they would have to get back to me, but they did not.

When it was my last day, and I had not yet been able to take a boat to Little Tobago, even though going there was one of my main goals, the owner arranged for me to get a boat just for me, driven by one of his dive boat captains, who was getting off of work and supposed to go home, to go there so I could take my pictures. And he did not charge me an arm and a leg for it either.

All in all, my experience with this hotel was great. The building is nice and clean, the facilities are well run, the view is lovely - better than even their own website shows. Sean, Swiss, Kester, and Vidya in the dive shop were fabulous, and the rest of the staff was fine except one. I would stay there if I ever return to the north of Tobago.

The only thing missing is a hammock on every balcony. But that is just a personal thing with me - I like nothing better after a day of diving to to relax in a hammock and look at the sea.

I have no idea what happened when the people who wrote the negative reviews were there. But I did not find a dirty, falling apart spot in my search for one, and I could not have had a better experience with the people.


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