Man-O-War Bay Cottages - Reader Reports & Opinion

These reports are a combination of questions and comment posted in our Man-O-War Bay Cottages forum and visitor reports added via the 'Add Report' tab above. The votes awarded are weighted by volume and date to give a truer representation of reader satisfaction [more details].

Reader Satisfaction Ranking:  Weighted ranking based on 11 votes = 2.7  (max 5)

Guest Report   

Adam Renwick from U.K. visited in December 2017 and awarded  One out of Five

We spent Christmas 2017 in Charlotteville and stayed at Number 10 Man O War Bay Cottages. All things considered we had a fantastic time staying in this wonderful, picturesque fishing village where we were warmly welcomed by all the residents who made us feel safe and went out of their way so as to ensure that we had the best Christmas. I am afraid that the same cannot be said about Man o Way Bay Cottages.

At the time of their construction these typical Caribbean style Cottages (watch the BBC drama “Death in Paradise” for as better idea) were well appointed, well equipped and surrounded by landscaped gardens. Twenty years of neglect and non-management means that these cottages are now unworthy of their “Budget Accommodation” title and must, in my opinion, be described as not fit for purpose.

We read a number of reviews of the accommodation and so arrived well-prepared to “make do and mend” but what we found left us disappointed, frustrated and saddened. Many of the reviews made mention of “rustic” and “authentic” accommodation but, in my opinion, these cottages are not indicative of the way locals live – they have much higher standards of cleanliness and ensure that their houses are well presented and maintained. What follows is a factual account of what we found and at 500TT per night I expected more.

Prior to booking I asked for photographs of the cottage in which we would be staying. Images were emailed showing a cottage on the beach and mention was made of Cottage Number 2 being available – research showed that Cottage Number 2 was close to the beach and has a veranda which overhangs the sand of the beach. On arrival we were shown to Cottage Number 10 which is not on the beach, has a limited sea view and lead to us having a very different holiday to the one we planned.

Later on during our holiday I found out that Cottage Number 2 had been let to a gentleman for three months which I quite understand takes priority but management should have informed us of the change in arrangements. This would have allowed us to find other beach front accommodation – something that is extremely important to us.

We arrived late at night and were unceremoniously “dumped” at the cottage and were not made aware of how to find management or shown where the switch for the electric heater was – consequently we spent the first 24 hours with no hot water. The following day a passing cleaner kindly contacted management who eventually sent someone to turn things on.

The morning revealed the following:

Front door does not close properly meaning that it is difficult to secure the cottage.

The initial sheets were (fresh) blood stained, fortunately we had a spare bed but replacement sheets were stained, old and threadbare.

All the pillows were revolting and should have been condemned several years ago. The inner covers are yellow, grease stained and smell.

One of the beds is homemade (presumably the original divan was broken), it rocks and is not robust. The mattress was designed for divan bed and so is not suitable for a bed with wooden slats – it is also too small for the makeshift bed frame.

Towels are old and threadbare - one has been left behind by a guest and is from a European conference in 2005.

Bath mats are threadbare.

The Shower room tiles are chipped, broken and stained. The grout is black in places. The drain to the shower is revolting.

The plastic loo seat has been burnt and is deformed and stained.

Various light fittings are burnt and melted. Several light bulbs are missing leading to having to move light bulbs to light different areas.

Windows to the bedrooms are broken/warped so almost impossible to close. When this is achieved there are no catches to secure them.

There are no plugs to any sinks.

Filth on top of the bedroom cupboard shows that it has not been cleaned for several years.

The fridge/freezer constantly leaks water on to the kitchen floor.

The cooker/stove is filthy and does not work correctly. The top has corroded allowing gas to escape and poses a real and constant danger to users. It became clear that 2 of the 4 gas rings did not work correctly and were prone to blow themselves out with a loud pop. In my opinion this appliance should be removed immediately.

On arrival the saucepans required scrubbing clean. The frying pan is beyond redemption and is so bent out of shape that it does not sit on the hob correctly, this is a safety issue.

The kettle (originally black) is now yellow with years of grime.

There is sand/termite dust in the kitchen cupboards which are damp and smell.

The work surfaces are so old that the laminate is de-laminating. They are difficult to keep clean.

The taps to the kitchen sink are loose and leak.

I was particular in establishing the cleaning rota. The cottages advertise as being cleaned at 3 day intervals, management stated 4 but this rota was not kept to. We were forced into complaining, whereupon the cottage was cleaned.

The mosquito netting to the windows is torn allowing several of the 96 different species of Mosquito native to Trinidad and Tobago easy access.

In the living room there is a pile of books and magazines dating back to 2004. They are damp, smell and beginning to rot.

The BBQ is broken and unusable – this is an important factor particularly when the cooker/stove is so dangerous.

Wood to the outside shower floor is rotten and has been over painted to make it look good. At some point this will give way and the user will end up in the drain below.

The front gate is rotten and fell off during our stay.

.....More on TripAdvisor

Guest Report   

David Vince from U.K. visited in February 2017 and awarded  Two out of Five

Great location and on the face of it the simple rustic style that should be a winner for us. However the place was not well looked after and had a horrible acrid smell that actually made breathing difficult at night for asthmatics. It didn't go away either. It was hard to get air in through the windows and the bed linen was musty. The whole house wasn't clean with a rusty mouldy fridge. We're not clean freaks but by Tobagan (and European) standards it wasn't a cheap place to stay so I think we expected more. Sorry.

Guest Report   

Shahira from Trinidad visited in December 2014 and awarded  Five out of Five

I must say, my stay at man o war was amazing. It was exactly what my friends and i were looking for, a quiet, natural place within walking distance to everything we needed.

I expected a long tiring drive, but it was actually quite enjoyable - the scenery on the way is divine. The setup on the property is perfect, with cottages in close enough proximity so we felt safe, yet with enough distance so we had our privacy. The beach is just mere yards away from our porch so that was great. The cottage was equipped with everything we could have possibly needed, including a mosquito net and kitchen utensils, and the beds were very comfortable.

The village, with shops and groceries, was just a short distance away and accessible by simply walking along the beach itself. On the beach there are a few restaurants, but unfortunately we did not get try them in the brief time we spent. But Suckhole had a nice atmosphere and the food smelled delicious.

My only complaint would be that the water pressure in the shower was very low, i couldn't bathe inside comfortably so i used the outside shower and stand pipe to shower everyday. But even that was enjoyable. Also, the nearest restaurants did not open for breakfast, which was a little disappointing.

But generally, we loved the serenity at man o war. We wanted to get away from our busy lives and we loved having just the necessities to make a comfortable stay, without the unnecessary technology like television and ac. It was near perfect for us and we will definitely return.

Guest Report   

Nick Bointon from Netherlands visited in June 2013 and awarded  Four out of Five

Man’O‘Cottages. Charlotteville, Tobago.

Having just returned from a two week holiday I thought that in the absence of a review the following may be interesting. Firstly Charlotteville is our idea of heaven the place, the location of the cottages (right on a wonderful beach) was just what we wanted. The cottages, some 50 years old are exceptionally well constructed but I am sad to say they are really an amazing anachronism of how they were constructed then and have undergone no modernisation or upgrade since then! The kitchen, bathroom and equipment that was more than basic and could deter the feint hearted. The bed rooms were large enough and the beds were new and comfortable and the bedding good but the cupboards and furniture predated MFI let alone IKEA and the electric fittings/ lights etc. were interesting!

There are 6 cottages set in a lush mature garden, we picked avocados and mangos for our breakfast and the kids knocked down coconuts to order (we also had breadfruit – very interesting and versatile). The trees shaded the upper portion of the beach and the sea was really 12m in front of the house. There were 6 of us and our kids (19 to 23) did lots of diving at Shark Shack next door run by an English lady Caroline Hardy which was good, attentive and safe. They went out on the fishing boats, kayaked in the sea and were fully enthused with what we though could have been boring for them.

Charlotteville is charming and the locals friendly, shops poorly stocked but just buying tuna etc fresh from the fishermen made for a real desert island experience. Having run an award winning B&B in the UK for many years we know all about smart, twee and spotless, Man O War cottages are not that!

It may sound negative but we are booking again for next year and know exactly what we are getting. We may pack a chopping board, garlic press, some pans but that is almost the charm. We will upload some pictures; you could be like us and love it.

Guest Report   

Suzanne from Trinidad visited in August 2012 and awarded  Two out of Five

Well in just a few words about the SUGAR SHACK... the cottage was dirty, the kitchen was dirty (all cutlery could not be used due to rust), the fridge (if you can call it that) was too small and there was a massive chunk of ice at the entrance of the freezer so much so that it couldnot be used.

The shower was ok, the toilet wasn't.

There was no light in the livingroom or the deck and management couldnot care less when called.

NO ONE ever came!!!!!!

The yard was filthy with garbage strewn all over and the garbage bin at the bottom of the cottage steps had not been emptied for months!!!!!!!!!!!!

Furthermore beware for the manager thinks the guests are obligated to taxi her wherever she wants to go.

Apart from this ...

The beach is lovely and Pirate's Bay simply Divine!!

Will think twice about going back!!!!!

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