Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf, Tobago

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf

178-room Holiday Resort

With 178 rooms, the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort is Tobago's largest hotel. After opening in 2000, it operated until 2008 as part of the Hilton... chain. The hotel was then fully refurbished and re-opened in 2012 under new management.

The Magdalena Grand is located on the beautifully landscaped Tobago Plantations development on Tobago's Atlantic coast, just a short hop from the airport. It has all the bells and whistles one would associate with a resort of this size. We have stayed at the hotel twice since it re-opened and on both occasions have been highly impressed by the friendliness of the staff and the excellence of the catering.
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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf

178-room Holiday Resort

With 178 rooms, the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort is Tobago's largest hotel. After opening in 2000, it operated until 2008 as part of the Hilton chain. The hotel was then fully refurbished and re-opened in 2012 under new management.

The Magdalena Grand is located on the beautifully landscaped Tobago Plantations development on Tobago's Atlantic coast, just a short hop from the airport. It has all the bells and whistles one would associate with a resort of this size. We have stayed at the hotel twice since it re-opened and on both occasions have been highly impressed by the friendliness of the staff and the excellence of the catering.

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Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort is nestled in the tropical Tobago Plantations Estate, a 750-acre gated community of luxury villas, condos and bungalows around the Tobago Plantations PGA designed Championship (18 holes) golf course. Situated along two and one-half miles of beach and coastline the grounds offer nature trails and canopy walks through a virgin mangrove forest.

"Magdalena" was the original name of Tobago, derived from the name of one of Christopher Columbus' ships, and the name pays homage to the island's rich history, tradition, and people. It signifies the majestic beauty of Tobago in its natural and purest form.

Experience Tobago's rich culture and rejuvenate your body and spirit with exceptional comforts and service at the majestic Magdalena Grand Beach Resort.

The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort offers 178 deluxe ocean front king and double-double rooms, including 22 one and two bedroom suites with private Jacuzzis, all with breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean from large terraces or balconies.  All of the resort's beautifully appointed rooms feature spacious marble bathrooms with both shower and tub, luxury toiletries, pure cotton deluxe linens, central air conditioning, refrigerator/mini-bars, high definition flat screen I.P. TVs with satellite programming, wireless Internet access, safes, and I.P. telephones. Room service is available from 6 am to midnight.

myTobago Review

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf, Lowlands, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in March 2017.


Offering 178 deluxe ocean-front rooms and suites, the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort is Tobago's largest hotel resort. It boasts a range of facilities unrivalled by any other resort on the island.

The hotel is a state-owned development enterprise. It had previously operated for eight years under the Hilton brand Unfortunately, the original buildings were unsuited to the corrosive sea blast encountered at the location. The defects could not be corrected while the hotel was open. The Hilton duly closed. After a multi-million dollar refurbishment, the hotel was re-launched as the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, under new management.


The Magdalena Grand is a state-owned development enterprise. For eight years it operated as the Hilton Tobago Golf and Spa resort.  The original building was totally unsuited to the punishing corrosive sea blast associated with the location. With the passing years, the immaculate externalpaintwork became increasingly defaced by stains from corroding metalwork. There was no way that the issue could be resolved with the hotel open and the Hilton group rescinded their management contract at the first opportunity.

Four years and US$25 million later, the property is better than new. The structural defects have been corrected and the property refurbished. To celebrate this new beginning, the hotel has been re-named and operates under the management of Florida-based EFM Hospitality Solutions, who have extensive experience in the field. 


The Magdalena Grandis located in an area of Tobago known as Lowlands, on the island's Atlantic coast. Lowlands is halfway between the airport and the capital, Scarborough; a straightforward 15-minute drive from either.

The hotel lies on a 750-acre development known as the Tobago Plantations Estate which comprises of a beautiful and challenging PGA-designed championship 18-hole golf course and more than a hundred villas and condominium units. Tobago's nearest shopping mall is just a five-minute drive from the hotel, but shopaholics can kerb any excitement.

The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort sits at the southern end of nearly a mile of uninterrupted natural beach. How we would love to exercise our dog there! Behind the hotel are the immaculate greens of the golf course and a 60-acre protected mangrove swamp that has become an increasingly important habitat for birds.

The location benefits from the full effects of the dominant north-east trade winds. The Atlantic coast is noticeable cooler than the Caribbean side and mosquitoes less common. Most of the population of Tobago live along the Atlantic coast for these very reasons.

The golf course is the only feature within easy walking distance of the hotel. Taxis are available and a regular shuttle service provided to popular Pigeon Point beach. However, as in all our reviews, we do recommend that visitors consider renting a self-drive car. It is by far the best way to make the most of your time while on vacation in Tobago.


Visitors are sure to be impressed by the quiet charm of the hotel's 3,400ft2 foyer, with its vaulted ceiling and views over the freeform pool that is backed by the white-capped breakers of the sea.

Attractive accommodation blocks extend from either side of the main building. They are arranged in an interesting zigzag pattern that affords each room a sea view whilst retaining privacy. Most of the interconnected accommodation block are two storeys high, but the blocks immediately adjacent to the main building are of three storeys, with lifts (elevators). Access for those with disabilities is adequate and two rooms have been specifically equipped for those with restricted mobility.   

The hotel's grounds were cut from an area of tropical mangrove. Many of the original trees and bushes have been retained and considerable additional landscaping undertaken. In the five years since our last visit, the grounds have matured nicely.


The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort offers178 Deluxe rooms and 22 one-bedroom and two-bedroom Jacuzzi Suites. Regardless of grade, the rooms are all of similar size, style, décor and furnishings.

Deluxe Rooms

The Deluxe rooms offer an adequately spacious 32m2/350ft2 of internal floor space, plus an 8m2/ 85ft2 private balcony. The pale yellow and green décor is pleasing, but disappointingly gives little sense of being in Trinidad and Tobago, or even the Caribbean.

Rooms are available with either a king-size bed, or with two double beds. Furnishings include a comfortable wickerwork armchair with footstool, a small table and two chairs, a 40-inch flat screen TV with 21 channels (including BBC World and CNN) and digital IP telephone. Complimentary wireless and LAN Internet access is theoretically available in every room, but we found performance to be weak and erratic.

The 1.5 metre wardrobe in each room is reasonable and the storage space split 30/70 between shelves and full-length hanging. An iron and board is stored in each wardrobe, plus a digital safe large enough for documents, jewellery and small valuables.

Adjacent to the wardrobe, a neat utility area offers a coffee filter machine with small stock of tea, sugar and creamer sachets. Trying to make a decent mug of tea with a coffee machine is an interesting exercise. Below, a small refrigerator/minibar means that bottles of water can be kept chilled. The minibar can be stocked as required.  

Measuring just 2.2x2.6 metres, the bathrooms are not overly-generous in size; certainly, not large enough for two people to use simultaneously. They are, however, beautifully furnished. Inset into a lovely granite-effect vanity unit, the washbasins are backed by a large mirror with good lighting. There is lots of space for toiletries – both your own and the complimentary range provided by the hotel. Furnishings include a full-size bath tub, shower cubicle, hair dryer, shaver socket, tissue dispenser, washing line and soft towelling bath robes with slippers. Water pressure was good and there never seemed to be a shortage of hot water. The shower were all-encompassing and gentle on tender (sunburnt) skin.

Every room has a small private patio or balcony furnished with a pair of high-quality fabric-covered chairs and an attractive circular table. All rooms face the sea, but the trees and foliage along the shorefront do restrict the beach views of some rooms.

As might be expected, the rooms are fully air-conditioned. As in most large hotels, a centralised ducted system is utilised. It worked reasonably well and was not overly intrusive.  Spending extended periods in the room writing this review, my preference was to switch off the air-con and open the balcony doors so that I could hear the surf breaking on the beach.

We had the opportunity to inspect several rooms of different grade during our stay and would have been happy to stay in any of them. Everything was in excellent maintenance and decorative order and worked as intended. The rooms are serviced daily and each of the housekeepers we met were friendly and efficient.

Jacuzzi Suites

The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort also has 22 one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites.

The suites consist of a pair of Deluxe rooms with an interconnecting door. The bedroom half is furnished identically to the standard rooms, described above, whilst the second room is furnished as a lounge, with sofas and chairs plus a desk. These 'parlours' also have a bathroom, equipped as a powder room, with shower. The suites also have a large Jacuzzi on the balcony.

The two-bedroom suites are fundamentally the same, but consist of three standard rooms with a bedroom on each side of a central parlour.


When it first opened in 2012, the Magdalena Grand rapidly gained a good reputation for the quality of its catering. We were highly impressed during our first visit, but in truth, were not over-confident that the high standards exhibited during those opening weeks could be maintained. How wrong we were! The restaurants are now more focussed on local flavours and offer a wonderful fusion of Caribbean, Asian (reflecting Trinidad's large Indian community) and international cuisine. I can confidently say that the Magdalena Grandsets new standards for dining on Tobago. 

The hotel has two main restaurants and an open-air poolside grill. Bar meals are available in the Robinson Crusoe Pub. During the day, drinks are available at a swim-up pool bar. Room service is also available. 

Pembois Buffet

The hotel's main restaurant is called Pembois, the patois word for breadfruit. It is normally open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The catering is buffet-style, with a different local or international theme to the cuisine each day.

Breakfasts were particularly notable. Even the most picky and fussy eater is bound to find something to take their fancy. The luncheons always featured a nice mixture of hot and cold dishes, both local and international. The evening buffets were relatively expansive and varied. Nicely presented, there was always a choice of hot and cold appetisers, salads and main dishes with reasonable vegetarian options.

The dining room itself is pleasant and fully air-conditioned. However, given Tobago's wonderful climate, it seems such a shame to eat indoors. Our preferred dining spot was the wide covered terrace just outside the restaurant. Always in shade, it offers lovely views over the pool deck and out to sea.

Kalina Restaurant

The Kalina Restaurant could easily establish itself as the best dining experience on Tobago. It would certainly get our vote.

The restaurant exudes an air of quiet calm and sophistication; exactly as a fine dining restaurant should. The quality of service was as good as we've experienced on Tobago.

Salaka Grill

The Salaka Grill is located in an attractive open pagoda at the end of the pool deck, on a small headland jutting into the ocean. Since our last visit, glazed panels have been installed, overcoming our original complaint that the restaurant was too windy. In fairness, we do tend to only visit Tobago in the winter months, when the trade winds are at their strongest.

The Salaka Grill serves drinks from 10am and is open for lunch from 11am. Subject to weather and the season/occupancy, the grill is also open for dinner most evenings.

Lounges & Bars

The Tavaco Lounge is a popular venue for guests to meet and enjoy pre-dinner cocktails. The dark heavy furnishings give the bar a traditional clubhouse feel. Entertainment, in the form of a piano player, is provided a couple of evenings per week. Local jazz bands often feature on Sunday evenings, although all entertainment at the resort does vary depending upon the season.

On the other side of the foyer, Robinson Crusoe's Pub is open from 3pm until 1am daily. Equipped with a pool table and darts board, this English-style pub has a dark and moody nautical theme designed to reflect the famous novel of the same name. The bar serves casual meals and features live entertainment most evenings, from 10pm until midnight.

Our visit was in late March, when the high-season was tailing off. One of the only complaints we heard from other overseas visitors was the fact that the bars, restaurants and entertainment were not always open as advertised. As in any seasonal destination, full service and all features are only possible when the resort has high occupancy.


Tobago is not known for high levels of service. Tobagonians have difficulty differentiating between service and servitude. They have huge hearts, but the colonial past hangs heavy. Unlocking the magical smiles and experiencing the warmth of character that makes so many of us return year after year can take a little effort. However, it is easier than you might think: it often simply takes manners and respect.

The management of the Magdalena have clearly recognised the problems and put considerable effort into overcoming it. Training is one thing, but changing attitudes is more difficult. I am delighted to report that they appear to have succeeded. We were impressed by the staff during our first visit, but even more knocked out during this visit.

We were particularly impressed by the way that the hotel's Director of Food and Beverage, Vinod Bajaj, was every-present and clearly leading by example. From gardeners and ground staff to housekeepers and waiting staff, we found nothing but welcoming smiles, good humour and a desire to provide good service.

Swimming Pool

You are almost spoiled for choice with the hotel's three swimming pools.

A large 130,000 gallon freeform freshwater pool dominates the terrace between the main building and the sea. With a maximum depth of 1.2m, it is probably best referred to as a leisure pool: ideal for relaxing and splashing about, but not for serious swimming.

Each of the two accommodation wings also has a small (15,000 gallon) satellite pool. They are lovely quiet places to relax, being away from the busier atmosphere of the central pool. One of the pools is designated as "adults only" – a wise and sensible decision.

Tiered wooden decks rise from the main pool deck to the upper levels on either side of the main building and are furnished with sun loungers and umbrellas. With an artificial turf floor, they offer wonderful views over the sea and main pool deck. Herein, a word of warning…

Due to the cooling trade winds, Tobago can often feel cooler than it really is. This is particularly true of the Atlantic Coast, which often 'feels' a degree or two cooler than the Caribbean side. The net result is that without high-factor sun block, even a walk along the hotel beach can be enough to cause sunburn. Believe me – I speak from experience.

The main pool deck and satellite pools have an adequate number of comfortable fabric-covered sun loungers and umbrellas. Fresh beach towels are available daily.


The main section of Little Rockley Bay beach is around 1,500 yards long and made up of highly compacted golden coral sand and black volcanic sand. It is undoubtedly the best 'walking' beach on Tobago. If you are to fully appreciate the delights of the Magdalena Grand's catering, I heartily recommend a brisk walk along this beach at least twice a day.

The only problem with the beach is the exposed nature of Little Rockley Bay. Like most of the Atlantic coast, it bears the full brunt of the north-east trade winds as they blow in across the Atlantic Ocean. The sea is naturally affected by these winds, so, in general, the seas are choppier than on the more sheltered Caribbean coast. However, these conditions do make the beach popular with the local kite surfing school.

The waters here are very shallow. As a result, the surf breaks in a continuous cascade of waves. Strong swimmers may love the conditions, but it is not for the fainthearted. There are no lifeguards and the bay is subject to currents, so bathers must exercise caution. The main beach shelves very gradually, but getting through to the deeper water can be challenging.

There is also a smaller beach to the south of the hotel. This is a little more sheltered than the main beach, but the sandy bottom shelves more steeply. This can be somewhat disconcerting for those less experienced swimmers who may already have apprehensions about the breaking surf. This little beach is furnished with sun loungers and umbrellas and is a much quieter, more natural, retreat than the main pool deck.  

The hotel offers a daily shuttle service to Pigeon Point for those visitors who want calm swimming conditions with a white sand beach. Pigeon Point can be exceptionally busy when cruise liners dock in Scarborough port. Fortunately, you can see whether a liner is in port from the hotel before committing yourself to the trip.


Surrounded by the best golf course on the island, the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort will be of serious interest to golfers. Full details are given in our golfing article, but the 18-hole PGA-designed par 72 championship Tobago Plantations course offers a challenging game in a wonderful setting. The alternative Mount Irvine Golf Club is just a short 10-minute drive away.

The hotel has two floodlit tennis courts with synthetic all-weather matting surface. It also has a well-equipped 24-hour fitness centre, with separate male and female saunas. The hotel's 'Activities' team prepare a daily activities program for both adults and children. Activities include pool volley ball, walks with the plantation, tennis and diving. Complimentary cycles are available for guests to use around the plantation, which offers ideal terrain, being flat and the roads virtually empty.

At the southern end of the hotel, an independent beauty salon and spa offers a range of face and body treatments.

Club Cee Cee is a complimentary club for children between 4 and 12 years of age. Various activities are arranged to amuse and entertain the little darlings. There is also an unsupervised children's playground adjacent to the north wing of the hotel. Babysitting services can be arranged through the Housekeeping supervisor. Complimentary cribs/cots are available for the rooms.


There is a small gift shop inside the main entrance foyer. It sells a useful range of postcards and beach essentials. There is also a small boutique, just outside the hotel entrance, offering local swimwear, beach wraps, garments and sandals, etc.

There are no other facilities within walking distance. Scarborough is a 15-minute (subject to traffic) drive away, although the Gulf City Mall, less than 1.5 miles away, will be most visitor's first choice for shopping.

Business Facilities

In keeping with its role as Tobago's premier business hotel, the Magdalena Grand offers unrivalled business and convention facilities. Chief amongst these is the 4,670ft2 Colibri Ballroom which can seat up to 400 people. The room can also be divided into three ballrooms catering for 100 people each. There is also the smaller Jacobin and Osprey Meeting Rooms,each of which can seat 60 persons or be converted into smaller rooms for 30 people. Audio-visual equipment is available for business meetings and seminars.

The hotel is an excellent venue for weddings – although not, perhaps, for beach weddings.


I confess that we had not expected the high standards set during our first visit, shortly after the Magdalena opened in 2012, to be maintained. So, we were delighted to find how wrong we were. The overall visitor response seemed to be far more favourable than previously. Everyone commented on how friendly the staff were. Obviously there are always a few who can't be bothered, but these were few and far between. Knowing how difficult it is to get good local staff on Tobago, I must admit that we were knocked out.

The only real criticism we heard was from guests who expected to walk out of their room and onto golden sand and gentle turquoise Caribbean waters. No, you can't do that, but such beaches are only a short drive away. You must also accept that hairstyles are going to look more country than town. However, against that, when humidity rises and the winds drop, you could be saying how lovely the weather is whilst visitors staying on the Caribbean side retreat to air-conditioned rooms.

Our week at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort came as an unexpected and most welcome finale to our 2017 trip to Tobago. This is a hotel that is going from strength to strength. We truly wish the Magdalena all the very best and genuinely look forward to our next visit.

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 85.4%   . Click below to read the 26 reader reports that this rating is based on.

Isaiah Michel from Trinidad visited in February 2021 and awarded   

it is a wonderfull hotel everything is clean the food taste wonder full 5 stars beast hotel i have evr been in

David Bajnath from Trinidad visited in March 2018 and awarded   

I had my wedding and honeymoon here. The place was nice and the accommodations were very pleasant. The staff were also pleasant and helpful. It was a soothing blend of sea breeze and relaxing environment.

Location Map

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

Standard Deluxe Room:US$183 - US$238
Oceanfront:US$212 - US$312
1-Bedroom Suites:US$375 - US$515
2-Bedroom Suites:US$540 - US$750
Minimum Nights:1 night + 1
Property Type:Holiday Resort
Air-Conditioning:Fully air-conditioned
Children:Children welcome
Hair Dryers:Available
Internet Access:Yes
Safety Deposit:Yes
Wheelchair Access:Yes
Swimming Pool:Full pool
Spa Facilities:Yes
Fitness Centre:Yes
Meal Plans:

Housekeeping:No housekeeping
Personal Laundry:Yes
Personal Cooking:No
Location Type:Open Countryside
Airport:15 minutes
Beach:Beachside Property