Guest Report

125 room budget all-inclusive hotel at Great Courland Bay (listing)
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Paul Shoard

Guest Report

Post by Paul Shoard »

We have just returned from our second stay at Turtle Beach (the first was in 2003) and found thankfully that very little had changed. The new pool area was attractive and unobtrusive and left even more space on the beach which is our preferred location for relaxation.

The beach vendors were far more friendly, polite and less pushy than I remembered. We were happy to buy souvenirs from them and hopefully give something to the local economy. My daughter had a manicure and bought a handbag from the local craftsmen, Mary does an excellent massage, my son bought a hand painted T shirt from Kerri, and my wife a sarong from Lorna. The incomparable carvings by the charismatic Reuben are also an essential part of Turtle beach's character.

We thought the food was excellent on our previous stay and this time it was even better with a wide choice dishes at every meal.

Having stayed previously we sent an e mail ahead of our visit to request room style and location and received a prompt and helpful response from Paulette. There were a few pleasant 'surprises' too over the two weeks we stayed as we were repeat visitors.

We've read in various reviews that some people found the staff rude at times. Our take on this is that in the UK you get used to staff being trained to be polite at all times. In Tobago and frankly most other countries, people show their true feelings more. If you are friendly and polite to the hotel employees you usually get a genuine smile in return and friendly comments. Very occasionally staff are offhand but don't take it personally, they're just having a bad day. Overall we thought the hotel was very efficiently run with dedicated, cheerful and very helpful staff and management.

Regarding the local tour operators, it pays to shop around and seek the opinion of other guests who have been on trips. We were particularly keen to observe and learn about the local wildlife and found Peter Cox exceptional. Other tours take you to similar places but you literally won't know what you've missed until you go out with Peter.

We also took a trip with Kelton who was great fun, knowledgeable and includes his collection of captive birds of prey in some of his tours.

Turtle Beach may not be the most luxurious hotel on the island, but it provided us with all the requirements we needed for another wonderful holiday and we will certainly go back there again.

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