My husband and I spent 6 days at the Chaconia Hotel from August 20 – 26, 2011. This was my second trip to the Chaconia. Our trip was primarily business related for the 6 days we were there. Once the business portion was completed, we spent 4 additional days at Coconut Cove Resort in Manzanilla. I’ve reviewed that resort separately. Just our luck, we arrived one day prior to the Government instituting a nightly curfew from 9 pm – 5 am.
Chaconia, like a good friend, looked the same as on a prior visit. I cannot say enough about staff like Natalie, who were so helpful. We’d requested a first floor king room, however, when we arrived we were shown to a king room on the upper level. The a/c had been off for some time so we were told to “give it some time”. We did, yet two hours later, we were still sweating it out. We could not adjust the temp below 18 degrees. That room was also ridiculously dark – I mean, I could barely see to read a book dark.
I finally called down to the front desk and asked that we be moved because of a health condition. Natalie and another staffer came up to move us. We were moved down to room 404 – a first floor king. This room was brighter and had some cosmetic issues (the ceiling had a leak that they had tried unsuccessfully to fix previously), but it was not a deal breaker. At least, the a/c in that room was working perfectly.
Our room had the usual – king bed, mini fridge, TV, table, chair, lounge chair, safe (need to pay a deposit to use), closet. We had a small patio with two chairs. The Internet worked perfectly. Our TV was fine. And of course, the a/c was kicking in this new room. A continuing concern was that with two adults in the room, each day we were left with one washcloth and on our last day, no washcloth at all. When toilet paper was out we received one roll with no backup. There was no facial tissue in the room during our stay.
Our rate included the daily breakfast. On the Sunday after we arrived the breakfast was ample and varied – fried bakes, sausage, eggs, smoked herring, buljol, pastry, fruit, juice, coffee, tea etc. However, on each subsequent day there were fewer items (because of lower occupancy I suspect). On our last 3 days we were told that breakfast was ala carte. Interestingly enough we had only a few choices – toast, bacon and sausage. They invariably arrived cold, so apparently no one took the time to twirl it around the microwave. Having learned the ropes, in the last two days of our stay my husband finally started requesting “hot food” and his food arrived hot.
Because of the limited breakfast choices I resorted to utilizing the services of the doubles man who had a tent across the road from Chaconia. Not the best doubles I ever had, but it was a hot meal.
On our second night we decided to order a meal from room service. I was told that the chef had an emergency and had left but would return. Apparently, he never returned that night. On subsequent nights (probably because of the prior night’s experience or because of the curfew), the front desk would call each night to inquire whether we planned to order dinner. After saying no each night, we decided to order on Wednesday. I placed an order for a burger and fries and got a call back, the restaurant had no burgers. Irony at its best, I guess.
The Internet in our room worked fine. Chaconia offers an Internet café with one computer and no printer downstairs off the lobby. I found out the hard way on our last day that in order to print an urgently needed document, I would have to email it to a staff member to have it printed. After a half hour delay, the document finally reached the Chaconia staffer and she was able to print it for me. Please keep this in mind if you would need to print boarding passes.
Chaconia is located on Saddle Road in Maraval. This time around we hired a driver for the entire trip. If you’re considering driving in Trinidad as a tourist, I’d say don’t do it. I was born there and we’ve driven there on prior trips, but there is no comparison to having a driver pick you up on your schedule and take you where you need to go. Chaconia is on a well-traveled road and there are taxis available, but having spent hours downtown waiting on a taxi to take me back to the hotel in 2007, lesson learned. For safety and convenience, I’d recommend strongly having a driver. Having done it successfully on this trip, I don’t believe we will go back to driving ourselves. Sure, it cost a bit more for a driver, but for peace of mind, it’s priceless.
The last time I stayed at Chaconia in 2007, I was awoken by the sounds of the cleaning people either congregating in the hallway chatting or kicking their mop buckets down the tile floor, this time around, the maid arrived not as early and we didn’t hear a peep from her.
Prior to deciding to stay at Chaconia again, we considered other hotel options but since I knew what I would get at Chaconia and the price was affordable, we stuck with it. Since this trip was primarily business-related we decided to spend a bit conservatively. For the convenient location, affordable cost, I believe we made the right choice. Sure, there were a couple issues but none were a deal-breaker for us.
Feel free to send me a PM if you have specific questions. We wish you safe and happy travels.
Try to get a lower level room. Building is warm and there's no elevator.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.