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Blue Haven Hotel - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation
 

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Blue Haven Hotel, Tobago

Blue Haven Hotel

55-room Holiday Resort

The Blue Haven Hotel is Tobago's premier boutique hotel. It is located just outside capital, Scarborough, immediately adjacent to stunning Bacolet Bay and beach.... The hotel was one of Tobago’s very first hotels. It reopened in 2001 following a 25-year closure. Fully restored and modernised, the hotel retains a traditional colonial style and ambiance.

We have stayed at the Blue Haven Hotel several times and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for high standards of comfort and to those who prefer the ambience of a smaller upscale hotel.
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Blue Haven Hotel

55-bedroom Holiday Resort in Bacolet, Tobago

The Blue Haven Hotel is Tobago's premier boutique hotel. It is located just outside capital, Scarborough, immediately adjacent to stunning Bacolet Bay and beach. The hotel was one of Tobago’s very first hotels. It reopened in 2001 following a 25-year closure. Fully restored and modernised, the hotel retains a traditional colonial style and ambiance.

We have stayed at the Blue Haven Hotel several times and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for high standards of comfort and to those who prefer the ambience of a smaller upscale hotel.

click/tap the photo to view a gallery of 19 photos

Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

Royals and film stars have been drawn to the historic Blue Haven Hotel since the 1940's. It is said to be the site where Robinson Crusoe was stranded in 1659, according to Defoe's celebrated novel.

Extensively renovated this glamorous and romantic property combines the restored tradition of the old days with modern facilities. All 55 rooms offer breathtaking ocean views as the hotel is surrounded on three sides by the sea.

"Elegant rooms overlook the sea and are so awash in the sunlight that they positively glow. The view from every room is a study in blue." Conde Nast Traveller, July 2001, US-Edition

At Blue Haven Hotel, we boast of 55 superior and deluxe rooms including 10 suites designed with elegance for your maximum comfort.

All accommodations offer private balconies with a breathtaking ocean view.

Other features at Blue Haven include:

  • A main restaurant at our colonial style villa
  • Lounge/terrace bar
  • Beach facilities with a beach bar
  • A pool overlooking the ocean
  • Our fitness area
  • Massages
  • Children's playground
  • Tennis court
  • Golf courses nearby

Approximate size including bathroom and balcony:

  • Superior: 370 square feet
  • Deluxe: 410 square feet
  • Suite: 520 square feet
  • Meeting / Conference room for 60 to 80 people

Special Arrangements:

  • Unforgettable weddings
  • Romantic honeymoon programs
  • Golf and tennis packages
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Boat charters
  • Rainforest hikes and bird watching tours
  • Carnival fetes
  • Family programs

Seasonal entertainment:

  • Folklore shows
  • Calypso soca
  • Steelbands

myTobago Review

Holiday Resort, Bacolet, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at the Blue Haven Hotel in March 2017.

Introduction

The Blue Haven Hotel is located on a ruined outpost of Fort King George, once the guardian of Tobago's capital, Scarborough. From the 1940's through the '60s it was a popular retreat for celebrities and has been visited by the Queen and senior members of the British royal family. A number of movies have been filmed on the hotel's beach, including Swiss Family Robinson.

These halcyon days passed and the hotel closed. It stood shuttered and decaying for 25 years until Austrian entrepreneur, Karl Pilstl, and his Trinidadian wife, Marilyn, spotted the tumbledown building. Wandering around the shuttered hotel, they were fascinated by the possibilities and became increasingly determined to restore the hotel to its former glory.

The fully restored, renovated and expanded Blue Haven Hotel opened its doors in December 2000. With just 55 rooms, including 8 suites, it has become Tobago's premier boutique hotel.

Location

The Blue Haven Hotel is located on a 15-acre peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean in Bacolet, a quiet up-market residential suburb of Scarborough. All rooms, particularly those on the upper levels, have wonderful views of Tobago's southern coastline.

The drive from the airport is a short but uninspiring 20/25-minute journey. Upper Scarborough, the commercial district of the capital, is a 10-minute walk from the Blue Haven. It is disappointing that Scarborough has so little to commend itself. The market has a certain Caribbean vibrancy and the Botanical Gardens and Museum can be a pleasant way to pass an hour, but retail therapy is not an option. However, all roads emanate from Scarborough, so it an ideal location from which to tour this stunningly beautiful island.

We highly recommend that visitors budget for the rental of a self-drive car or jeep for all, or part, of their holiday. An island tour with a good guide is a great introduction to the island and a perfect way to get your bearings, but by far the best way to get the most out of Tobago is to drive yourself.

Architecture

The original historic Blue Haven building has been retained, but fully modernised. The hotel retains something of a colonial feel, without appearing old-fashioned. Full credit must be given to Karl and Marilyn for remaining true to the original, whilst incorporating major ecological and environmental benefits, including a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant and solar water heating systems.

Accommodation annexes have been added to two sides of the original coral-pink stuccoed three-storey building. These defy easy description and attract diverse opinion, so it is best that I let the photographs do the talking. The overall architectural style is unique. The combination of a pink main building with blue and white wooden wings is intriguing. The design is highly efficient and practical. The buildings are very eco-friendly and the flying roof protects the rooms from the heat of the sun.

The grounds of the hotel are nicely landscaped. The foliage around the property totally blocks any view of neighbouring properties and the hotel has a really pleasant ambience of quiet solitude.

The Blue Haven has no rooms specifically modified or equipped for the disabled and there are no lifts/elevators. The ground floor rooms would probably be practical for those with mobility issues, but the restaurant is located on the upper floor of an adjacent building. Access to the beach would also present difficulties.

Accommodation

The Blue Haven Hotel has 55 rooms in three different categories – Superior, Deluxe and Junior Suite.

Superior rooms are located in the original building. They vary marginally in size, but all offer around 30m2 of internal floor space. The Deluxe rooms are slightly larger and mainly located in the new wings. The primary difference between the two categories is the bathroom size. The Junior Suites are located in both the old and new buildings. They are about 25% larger than the Deluxe rooms and have a supplementary lounge seating area. All room types are decorated and furnished to the same high standard.

The dark mahogany furniture hints at 'Old Colonial' and might look dated were it not for the contemporary painting by a local artist. The way that the hotel combines its historic past with a more modern look is fascinating. Our room was equipped with a king-size four-poster bed, but twin double beds are available, if preferred. The bed was truly comfortable and we really loved the snug tropical-weight duvets that the hotel favours.

Junior Suite with King-Size Double BedStandard furnishings include nightstands with lamps; a side table with chair; an armoire with a small refrigerator and coffee and tea making equipment and supplies; and a comfortable wickerwork padded armchair and footstool.

Direct-dial telephone services are provided in each room, plus complimentary wireless Internet access. It has to be said that the wireless reception in the room was poor and the connection unreliable. However, this is more an issue with the local telecoms provider.

If the Blue Haven Hotel has a signature feature, it must be the large picture window that separate the bathroom from the bedroom in each room. We loved being able to see the sea while showering. An external curtain blind can be lowered to cover the window and the shower curtain provides privacy when required. The shower is combined with a full-size bathtub. A wall-mounted hairdryer and electric shaver socket are provided.

The two-metre wardrobe is split between full-length hanging and wide storage drawers. A decent-sized digital safe is provided.

Junior Suite sitting areaThe Junior Suites are about 2.8m longer than the Deluxe rooms and benefit from an additional small lounge area, attractively positioned a little lower level than the main bedroom area, and furnished with a three-seat settee and armchair arranged around a glass-topped coffee table.

Every room has a small private balcony or patio furnished with two chairs and table. In the newer annexes, the balconies are separated from neighbours by canvas awnings, so retain adequate levels of privacy. Rooms with interconnecting doors are available.

All bedrooms are fully air-conditioned. We far prefer fresh air and so seldom used the air-conditioning. It was so much nicer to throw open the balcony doors and hear the sound of breaking waves.

As expected, rooms are serviced daily. All the laundry and linen were of good quality, with towels being changed daily and bed linen every couple of day, or as needed. Beach towels are provided.

Restaurant

The Blue Haven's restaurant, Shutters on the Bay, is located in an attractive colonial-style villa slightly away from the main buildings. The restaurant is open to non-residents.

Breakfast is served buffet-style, as in most Caribbean hotels. There was always a reasonable buffet selection and eggs were cooked to order.

Shutters on the Bay offers a fusion of international cuisine with West Indian ingredients and spices. The menu varied daily. There was typically a choice of three dishes on offer each evening, plus a vegetarian option.

Guests at the hotel have a choice of various meal plans, including all-inclusive.

Main Bar & Beach Bar

The lounge and terrace bar has a traditional feel. It features attractive furniture made from water hyacinth. The adjacent terrace offers marvellous views over the pool and grounds.

Situated amongst the coconuts palms bordering the beach, the No Problem beach bar blends well with its environment and enhances, rather than diminishes, the rustic nature of the beautiful setting. No Problem serves light luncheons and snacks from a limited, but enticing, menu. We were pleased with everything we tried. The beach bar is open to non-residents.

Beach

Legend has it that Robinson Crusoe was stranded on Bacolet Bay beach in 1659. There are even families on Tobago that claim direct descent from Daniel Defoe's fictitious character. In truth, Defoe never even visited Tobago but if he had, Bacolet Bay would certainly have been the location to inspire his story.

It may not be the largest beach on the island, but Bacolet Bay is certainly one of the loveliest. It is the epitome of a natural Caribbean beach and therefore hardly surprising that several films have used it as a backdrop. Some people find the silver-grey volcanic sand found on much of the Atlantic coast less attractive than the yellow/white coral sand of some of Tobago's Caribbean beaches, but it's certainly a lot easier on the eye than the reflected glare of brighter sand, and far softer in texture.

The beach is around 120 metres in width. It shelves very gradually and is surprisingly shallow. There is ample shade under the palms and trees bordering the beach and the hotel has a good stock of padded sun loungers for guests.

Technically, there are no private beaches on Tobago. Bacolet Bay is no exception. Although the hotel has private walkway down the cliff to the beach, there is also public access to the beach. Guests from adjacent hotels and residents make regular use of it, particularly at weekends. Despite that, we have never seen the beach over-crowded. Even the regular Sunday beach-football matches between small groups of local lads tends to be more a source of amusement than a nuisance.

The Atlantic Coast typically experiences rougher sea conditions than the calmer Caribbean side. However, Bacolet Bay faces due south and is largely protected from the prevailing northeast trade winds by Bacolet Point. Conditions vary enormously. The sea swell tends to be at its highest during the first half of the year and calmer in the summer months.

Other Facilities

The swimming poolThe hotel has a small, but attractive, swimming pool. It was once the largest swimming pool on the island. Immediately adjacent to the pool is a large covered deck area, beneath the hotel's main terrace. There is also a large area of open-air deck around the pool and a good supply of padded sun recliners.

The pool deck has a shower and changing rooms with toilets. This facility is nice and handy for guests who prefer the beach.

Leading off the pool deck, a steep wooden set of steps lead to a charming sundeck situated just a few feet above the foreshore rocks. This is a truly romantic spot and a wonderful and popular venue for wedding ceremonies. In fact the Blue Haven Hotel is one of the most suitable venues for weddings on Tobago, offering a wide variety of possible ceremony locations.

Live entertainment is provided in the hotel on a seasonal basis.

The hotel has a tennis court, just a short walk from the main buildings, and in decent playing condition.

Conclusion

In our previous review, we concluded...

The Blue Haven is undoubtedly the most romantic luxury hotel on the island, if only because of its lovely location and its air of restrained calm and sophistication. Those seeking high levels of service and accommodation and the quiet atmosphere that only a relatively small hotel can provide should give the Blue Haven Hotel very, very serious consideration indeed. We look forward to a return visit.

Do we still feel the same after our most recent visit? Well, my only criticism was that our seven-day stay was not long enough.

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 84%   . Click below to read the 28 reader reports that this is rating is based on.

Geoffrey Seabrook from U.K. visited in January 2018 and awarded   

Spent two nights here when we arrived on Tobago. We were a bit nervous because of the negative reviews. In fact we had a great stay.

Firstly the negative. The feel is a bit faded in places. It was also nearly empty in the peak January season.

Now the positives. The staff were exceptional. Their positive attitude certainly made up for a few cracked tiles. Our room was wonderful with a great view over Scarborough. The breakfast was good and dinner was fine.

When the hotel reopened it was have been brilliant. It's a bit tired now but perfect for a short stay.

Roger Grego from U.S.A. visited in February 2016 and awarded   

Needs a makeover,meaning the salt air has caused rusting to set in on many structures/ appurtenances . A good whitewashing of the outside is in order. The rooms themselves are decent,but some items need to be addressed,such as the furniture which probably dates back to the 1960's , the curtains which were somewhat dirty,and the bathroom fixtures.additionally,while not on vacation to watch tv,should replace old,boxy tv's with 32' flat screens.on a positive note, location in bacolet ,just outside of Scarborough is good and the staff is good. This was my third visit to the blue haven,I don't think they've upgraded anything since my first visit ,which was over ten years ago.

Location Map

To view a detailed interactive map showing the location of this property relative to restaurants, shops and sightseeing features, click this link  

Superior Room:$225 - $290
Deluxe Room:$270 - $335
Junior Suite:$335 - $430
Minimum Nights:3 nights
Property Type:Holiday Resort
Bedrooms:55
Air-Conditioned:Fully air-conditioned
Children:Children welcome
Hair Dryers:Available
Telephone:Yes
Internet Access:Yes
Television:Yes
Safety Deposit:Yes
Wheelchair Access:Yes
Swimming Pool:Full pool
Spa Facilities:No
Fitness Centre:Yes
Tennis:Yes
Restaurant:0
Meal Plans:


Housekeeping:Daily housekeeping
Baby-Sitting:Yes
Personal Laundry:Yes
Personal Cooking:No
Location:Bacolet
Region:Scarborough
Location Type:Low Density Urban
Airport:20 minutes
Beach:Beachside Property