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“Hidden gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Half Moon Blue Hotel

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Half Moon Blue Hotel
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   at The Donkey Cart House, Bacolet Bay, Tobago   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Bacolet Bay B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Hidden gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

This hotel is the sister hotel of Bacolet Beach Hotel and sits on top of a little hill. Each room overlooks the sea and boasts old French plantation architecture. There is a 24 hour infinity pool - not massive but a decent size for chilling out with a glass of wine. A short 1 minute walk from the pool takes you to the hotel restaurant which serves decent sized, tasty and well presented local fare. The hotel is two minutes drive from the capital and also has its own beach. I'm a local living in London and never in my 19 years have I come across such a hotel that provides good value for money.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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103 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

I booked this hotel online for the "Tobago Jazz experience" in Tobago which was a blast!
The hotel itself however was extremely disappointing.
Far from what the online photos depict, the hotel seems to be run by people who have no idea how to run a hotel.
Check in time is 1 pm and I arrived at the hotel at around 9:30 am on the 25th April 2013. The woman at the reception desk was quite polite and informed us that we were upgraded to the "Junior Penthouse" which is actually the highest room in the resort which is made up of 2 "houses". We returned at around 5 and were greeted with a canopy bed decorated with bouganvilla petals. When we explored the room however we soon realized that this was far from what we expected.
There was a 30" flatscreen tv, next to a sort of makeshift table with a small bottle of instant coffee, some cups, tea bags and a small electric kettle. No cream nor sugar. No coffee machine. I observed a note next to the bed informing us we have to call reception about ironing and coffee making facilities. I called reception and was informed I can get an iron at the reception desk and that there was a kettle and instant coffee in the room, as if I was blind and could not see this for myself.
The towels in the bath were old and dinged. The shower curtain hung from an electric conduit rug and there was apparently was once a towel rack on the wall over the towel storage thingee.
The shower head was rusted and the valve was grey and dirty. There were 2 safes in the closet which was made with cheap plyboard.
The verandah offered a fantastic view of Bacolet bay and nearby Scarborough. There was a rattan lounge chair that I was afraid to sit on for fear that my arm would be shredded since it was badly damaged (My pics will prove).
My wife and I left that night to return later to a closed gate. I blew the horn thinking that someone was attending the gate but there was no one around. I had to get out in the rain to open the gate and did so every night of my stay (4 nights).
In the morning I was awoken by a knock on the door by the room cleaning attendant. I informed her that we would be leaving in a while. She asked when since they left at 3 pm. I said it would be long before that. there was no "do not disturb" notice in the room and I had to contend with this disturbance every morning of my stay delivering the same message each time.
On the Friday evening, I stopped at the reception desk on my way to the room, to ask for an Electric Iron. The woman at reception was helpful enough to get us a new iron, and brought out an old board but it needed a new cover which she could not locate. She called to the sister hotel to have one sent across (Bacolet beach club is on the other side of the road closer to the beach). Someone brought up the board and I put it in the back of my jeep and drove up to the room. We had to run through the rain and up several flights of stairs with the board and iron.
The board was falling apart while I used it that night. It remained in the room for the rest of our stay, which confused me as to why they never had one permanently stationed in the room in the first place.
On the last day of our stay we awoke to discover that there was no water in the hotel. I called reception and a man brought a half filled 5 gallon water bottle to the room apologizing for the water company's inefficiency. As far as I know, most homes in Tobago have their own reserve water supply due to the inconsistent water supply so how the hotel had no water is inexcusable to me. The woman who greeted us at check in was present when we checked out and she never asked how our stay was but also blamed the water company in Tobago for the lack of water.
I almost forgot the rickety bed. It creaked noisily and sank to one side. I looked below the mattress to fix one of the boards which was misplaced. The pool is very small and built with a shallow slope and a sudden drop. I did not use it for fear of infection, based on the standard of cleanliness we witnessed in the room itself.
The best part of my stay was the breakfast at the restaurant across the road which is part of the 2 resorts. It was not fantastic, but compared to the rest of our experience, it was probably the best thing.
It is sad that this hotel is even in operation. It has a lot of potential but is not worth the time. We have no intention to return and both wished we had stayed at the "Kariwak Village" as we had done twice before. The water is "ozonated" throughout that hotel (even the pool and jacuzzi) so I am sure they wont run out of water. Imagine we had to fly back to Europe or the US that morning? Try bathing with a 5 gallon water bottle.

Room Tip: Try "none"
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Wight
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

A quiet, old fashioned retreat which would particularly appeal to the romantically inclined and those seeking peace and tranquillity. It has a charm all of its own and much to offer besides. It shares facilities with the Bacolet Beach Club, a more modern development on the seaward side of the quiet coastal road, and so Half Moon Blue is set back some way from the sea, being the other side of this road; furthermore the accommodation blocks are even further back, behind the reception block. But being sited on rising ground, even the least expensive lower rooms offer partial sea views from the balcony, augmented by the beauty of the nearby trees. We came to expect our daily alarm call around 6am, courtesy of the pheasant-like Cocricos – the Tobago National Bird - who often pay a visit at about that time; and various other birds caught our interest in the trees adjacent to the block too. It was so delightful and relaxing, we spent several hours during our stay just sitting on the shady balcony enjoying the setting.
Our lower room, classified as a Blue Room, was quite spacious, as were the bathroom and balcony, and it was comfortably furnished too, featuring the four poster bed which had a firm but comfy mattress and two armchairs. Both air conditioning and a large safe were free to use, and room service was reliable, indeed unnecessarily good we thought. However, for those expecting everything to be in pristine condition, the plumbing is dated, resulting in minor maintenance issues, the electric wiring is old and there are a few signs of shabbiness. Additionally the wardrobe hanging space was a little restrictive for two and we found the WiFi connection very borderline even from the balcony, though reliable from the reception area. However, these minor niggles would not stop us returning there. In our opinion the bigger Bacolet Beach Club, although more modern and nearer the beach, lacked the quaintness and privacy afforded by Half Moon Blue, and the dated nature of the accommodation somehow only adds to its charm.
The small pool located behind the two blocks is adequate for a quick dip. The Bacolet Beach Club Pool is a little larger. Both pool areas were very quiet, as indeed was the general ambience of both sites at all times. From the latter pool, stairs lead down to a lovely small, private bay. There is plenty of shade available, a real asset thanks to the palms and rubber trees. However, the Atlantic was usually quite rough, with sizeable waves constantly crashing onto the shore. This suited wave jumping and attempts at body surfing without a board, but certainly not a gentle swim. Nor is the sea suitable for young children. There is no life guard.
Their Havanna restaurant is situated adjacent to Bacolet Beach Club and provides a good buffet breakfast with a choice of two cereals, about eight cooked items, small muffins or French bread, toast, fruit juice, tea and coffee. There is some variety from day to day regarding the cooked items, and the food was always cooked and presented well. We concur with others that the evening meals were expensive, and preferred to walk into town to eat. Save for fast food outlets, there is surprisingly very little choice in Scarborough regarding eateries, but the Italian run Ciao Café offers a good choice of food at affordable prices, has friendly staff and is conveniently situated not far the taxi rank. We also recommend a visit to Salsa Kitchen for excellent tappas, but it is not quite so centrally located, and booking is essential. By the way, Eddies – another popular restaurant – closed some time ago.
There is a very small shop about 150 yards up the road on the left that sells bottled water. The walk down to Scarborough in the opposite direction we found manageable avoiding the heat of the day, but the lack of street lighting and dodgy pavements seemed rather dangerous after dark, and it is also quite a long climb back from town. In any case, the current going rate for taxis from the taxi rank is only 20 TT$, that is about £2. The H – reg taxis are the licensed ones.
We must also mention Wayne Kennedy of Tobago Island Tours. He gave us two wonderful day trips, going out of his way to please. He is very friendly, very knowledgeable, totally dependable and therefore very highly recommended.
Finally we must pay tribute to all the staff of Half Moon Blue. We found them very courteous at all times, keen to please, friendly and very reliable. They go about their business in a quiet unassuming way, and nothing is ever too much trouble. So we thank them for a wonderful fortnight.
If you are looking for quiet and charming quality accommodation on Tobago, Half Moon Blue is, in our opinion, a lovely place to stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I stayed here with my wife in January 2013. We chose this hotel because of the low price, however we learned quickly that you get what you pay for. Based on the other reviews its true that this hotel is very far from any of the attractions such as Pigeon point and Star bay. We had to take cabs everywhere so renting a car would be your best bet if you were to stay here.
We booked a room for 2 nights but were so disgusted with the service and experience that we had there, that we checked out early and flew back home. The pictures listed on most sites are a mixture of their sister hotel across the street along with the older look of Half Moon Blue.
There are a ton of places you can stay at for a little bit more per night but it will be worth it.
The hotels restaurant was over priced and the food was bland and uninspired. It was definitely not worth the money we paid for a two person dinner.
The staff of the hotel itself were very difficult to find and were not very helpful. This trip was a nightmare mostly because of our lodging arrangements with this "hotel".
I hope that readers of this review take notice of our bad experience at this hotel and steer clear of it. I would definitely NOT recommend this hotel to anyone. Spend a few extra bucks and stay closer to the airport or Scarbrough.

Room Tip: Don't book here.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We stayed only one night - it was 5 minutes cab from the ferry, we were worn out and we smiled the second we saw it, funky unexpected decor, fantastic staff. It is on a steep hill across the 12 foot road from the elegant sister hotel and at the bottom is a little cove beach. Our room was at the top (J2), kitchen, mammoth bathroom that was so fun, canopied bed with romantic mesh and flowers yet flat screen My favorite was the huge covered veranda that was bigger than my living room and the view was ocean. Infinitiy pool few feet away and can use 24/7. Many charming public areas, bar, ping pong,, the Havana Cafe is the restaurant which is okay. Breakfast is British. Open air, Fun beach and beach bar furniture. Can rent car and book trips. I was mentally quitting job and redoing kitchen as I was ready to retire to this room. Great residential area. Downsides....not on the white extended pristine north side beaches. I really fell so good here, this is an incredible gem. ! No spider webs but an lizard welcomed us on the front door, Room and bath were Immaculate

Room Tip: good base for people who want to explore the island, are in bed by 11. Really charming and like ba...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dalton-in-Furness, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

Tobago is a very beautiful small island with many beautiful highlights in the north, so to make the most of this very good hotel - hire a car / bring an umbrella for the tropical storms and strong sun!
Hotel rooms lovely with breeze kissed veranda, comfortable 4 poster with mosquito net (needed at times) wonderful large shower abundant hot water, modern yet possessing considerable traditional character. Rooms back on to lush vegetation so expect the Cocrico to act as a reliable alarm (once heard not easily forgotten). Kettle, tea n coffee topped up daily, electrics abundant plus hairdryer good. Setting romantic and idyllic with two small infinity pools and a beach. (Use of Bacolet Beach Club facilities a huge advantage).
Service/cleaning first rate.
Locality? Pleasant, but if you only visited Scarborough and Bacolet you might be slightly disappointed. Island's population 52k and capital has fews sites of interest.
Food? Hotel food at Club Havana is high quality but can be pricey once you add in govt tax, service charge AND tip. Best to eat out some of the time. Breakfast came with our deal and was pretty good - varied with lots of local specials.
Eating out? Tanty's Fish n Chips in Charlotteville are superb (chips made from breadfruit and spiced) Gemma's at Speyside is wonderful for lunch or dinner.
Beaches? Englishman's Bay, Pirate's Bay for secluded tropical paradise, Pigeon Point for the watersport scene.
Culture? Plymouth point is particularly impressive if you know some of the history, museum at Fort King George really worthwhile. Driving? Roads twisty but good once you get used to the rules. No need for 4wd, 2 wd with high clearance got us around very well. 4 star not 5 only if you don't get around the island / otherwise 5.
Nb The insects do bite...even paradise has a down side

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Personal is very nice, room with wood floor, BFast very good, Wonderful swiming pools, with an access to the beach.
Very close to Scarborough, but the location is very quiet.
A nice place to stay.
The restaurant is a bit expensive for dinner, but very good.
You can rent a car from the hotel, which is very convenient.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Half Moon Blue Hotel

Address: at The Donkey Cart House, Bacolet Bay, Tobago
Location: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Bacolet Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Bacolet Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Half Moon Blue Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Here's a little secret only a few people know about: if you're planning a trip to Tobago, one of the most charming hotels is Half Moon Blue Hotel at the Donkey Cart House. Nestled in gardens of palms, bamboo and bougainvillea, the hotel's suites lay beneath the hill of historical Fort George. Eight extra spacious suites and one spectacular Penthouse loft overlook the horizon, the half moon shaped Bacolet Bay and the overflow swimming pool where midnight swims are a must! The decor sets your mood for serene and lazy days and romantic exotic nights. These colonial styled suites with jalousied windows and doors open onto verandas with rattan chaise-lounges, creating the perfect spot for what ever your heart desires like that best seller you have been dying to read. On a clear day you can see the sister isle of Trinidad. These breathtaking panoramic views with their romantic surf washed coves can be seen from our balconies with the beach only a 2 minute trot away. ... more   less 
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