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“Things went wrong from the start - very disappointing”

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Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dover
Certificate of Excellence
West Yorkshire
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Things went wrong from the start - very disappointing”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We have just returned from 14 nights at Turtle Beach.

Things went wrong for us right from the start. We booked at the beginning of May for Tobago only to be informed six weeks after that our flights had been cancelled. To cut a long story short we had to change islands and ended up with Turtle Beach and an extra 2500 Pounds to pay too. In hindsight and given time to research fully, we would not have chosen this resort.

My elderly and partially disabled mother was accompanying us and along with airport assistance we had requested a step in shower. Just two weeks before arrival we received a call from the tour operator saying that the hotel does not have any step in showers. This meant that my mother would be unable to bathe for two weeks. We were offered an alternative hotel on Barbados for an extra 3000 pounds, a downgrade to a 3 star or St Lucia. None of which were really acceptable. Had this been highlighted earlier then we would have had much better choice available.

On arrival at the airport, despite filling in all the tour operators special assistance forms, my mother was expected to board a mini bus, which was totally out of the question. Eventually they agreed to send us in a taxi to the hotel and our luggage followed in another.

At the hotel we were informed that we had been upgraded to two one bed suites on the ground floor. Our one special request was not ground floor. We viewed the rooms – 120 & 121. The interiors were nice, but the noise was not. These rooms are situated on a very busy service corridor and trolleys, staff and guests rattling along the tiled floor corridors almost 24 hours a day. Add in the noise of the air conditioning units located behind and the whistling frogs which start singing around 4pm and continue to around 5am.

By this time my Mother was livid. There was no way she was going to stay. We eventually managed to have her relocated to the 4th floor over looking the courtyard in 426, although it was a bit of a trek for her with her disability and she had to endure the evening entertainment full on. We were unable to move for the next 2 days and so had to suffer the noise. Eventually we were relocated to 416 – a non refurbished room on the 4th floor, but in the opposite wing to mother – not really ideal at all.

Room sizes are good and cleanliness is good. Our non refurbished room had dated, & well used furniture the drawers were a little annoying as they slid out easily, a 1970’s hairdryer and rather antiquated bath/shower, rather uncomfortable bed – but other than that it was fine & being fair they do appear to be in the process of refurbishing rooms on that corridor.

Public areas are rather lacking. There is one indoor bar with a few high bar stools and a couple of well used uncomfortable club settees and no where else to really sit. The other bar is located at Waterfront and there is only seating for three groups.
The swimming pools are well looked after and we never had a problem finding a sunbed.

There are three restaurants – the main one is buffet service with theme menus each day, Waterfront with limited a la carte and the Italian Fine Dining restaurant. We ate mostly in the main, three times at Waterfront and once at the Italian. Food was another problem for us. We are well travelled and never before have we had such a problem. We (my mother & I) suffer from an allergy to sweet peppers. Most days every dish from meat, to fish, to veg & potatoes included peppers! Although we really did not want to make any more fuss after several days we had to do something as there were times where we could not eat anything. After a few days the message was understood and every day we had to place a special order for our food. The Italian restaurant was the worst experience of all – the food did not even resemble Italian and we all left our meals.

The staff on the whole are fabulous (just the odd exception) The locals are really friendly and they really try to help and do their best. A new restaurant manager started on our first week. Marva was superb and always immaculate. Other Staff who should have a special mention are LeeAndrew, Richelle, Jacqueline (assistant Rest Manager), Jason (concierge) Calvert (Chef) Jillian (reception).

As far as all inclusives go we felt that turtle beach was well below par. Lacking entertainment throughout the day and each evening we were treated to different, but similar singing groups who coincidentally played all the same songs. There is no entertaintment team to co-ordinate and get things rolling. The other thing we did not like was there was music of some sort from breakfast through till at least 10pm everyday. It was difficult to get away from the noise within the resort. Football matches on sky also constantly were screened at high volume in Waterfront.

We hired a car for a full week and we were really pleased to get out and about. The biggest advantage of staying here was that we could use all the other hotels in the group and during this time we also visited all of them. Crystal Cove is the other all inclusive and we ate here a couple of times too. ColonyClub is quite nice, but there were renovations taking place on the beach next door, so the digger kind of spoilt our experience here. Our favourite was Tamarind and if we chose to return to Barbados we would have no hesitation in staying here. Infact we liked it so much we spent four days there. The location is superb. There is a reef just off the beach and if you walk along a bit then you can swim out to where the day trippers on the boats go swimming with the turtles. We toured the whole island and other favourite places are Bathsheba and in the very north – the Animal Flower Cave.

In terms of Turtle Beach we felt it was well below par with other all inclusive resorts throughout the world and without the superb staff it would just be a creaking mediocre and very much overpriced hotel. Two weeks for three cost just under 10,000 pounds with Kuoni with flights from Manchester to Gatwick then Bridgetown.

Room Tip: If you want to stay here ask for a high floor quiet room or take earplugs and make sure you love pep...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank Maxine10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Port of Spain, Trinidad
Level 6 Contributor
219 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

My husband and I arrived early at the resort so we had to wait a little to check in but was able to check in after lunch.

The room was very comfortable and clean. The AC gave trouble the first night but that was because the patio door wasn't aligned properly when we closed it so we were given another room to sleep in that night which was a couple doors down from our room. In the morning we figured out the problem and stayed in our original room. The AC will shut off if the doors aren't closed properly, in our case though the patio doors wasn't aligned to the center.

There wasnt much variety in the breakfast items (too repetitive) and we eventually asked for some more local items which they accommodated on the last morning... Lunch was buffet and was good. Only 1 restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch. For dinner 2 restaurants are open with A la carte options. The italian restaurant was a bit dissapointing the both times we ate there. The lamb was not flavoured well and the desserts were not that great... The restaurant that served breakfast serves a la carte in the night, the food there was okay. The dinner at the restaurant closer to the ocean was the nicest of all 3 dinner options. The alcoholic drinks were okay.

The gym was good. The watersports were good as well. We used the jacuzzi alot which was nice and hot! The pools had too much kids even the 'quieter' one. The nightly entertainment was exceptional, lively local music! It was alot of fun! We used the internet in the business center alot, there was always 1 available. We appreciated the free shuttle to Holetown and to Bridgetown.

The Bellman was very friendly and gave us lots of advice while we were there which added to our experience. Some of the waitresses were not friendly but we didn't let that bother us. We were also accommodated with a late check out which we appreciated.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ADM12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falmouth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

My wife and I have just returned from a twelve day stay at the Turtle Beach. We had looked at many reviews for various hotels but picked this one for two reasons. It fitted our budget for the facilities that it offered and we had read about the excellent levels of customer service.
We were not disappointed.
Gillian on reception is superb and is a constant beam of sunshine. We had an ocean front room on the beach and it was perfect for sitting and watching the sea at sunrise and listening to the rolling waves.
Apart from one night, we ate a la carte in the Waterfront or Asiagos restaurants. The food was really good and surprised us due to our previous experinces. The seafood was particularly tasty and became oue staple diet due to the quality. There was always a wide choice although we would have liked to have seen the menu change for the second week at Asiagos.. but that is just getting picky.
The hotel had really comfy sunbeds with attached movable hoods/sunshades that you can put into various positions which is great when that sun gets too hot! Talking about the beach, you cannot continue without mentioning the watersports staff run by Captain Sam. They are all wonderful but we must mention Ricky who helped coax my wife back onto a boat after she experinced a nasty boating accident a few years ago and had lost all her confidence. He was so caring and relaxed but very professional. Thank you.
Also we must mention the new member of the team, Tennysha the beach towel lady who got her orange t shirt while we were there. She has the most wonderful smile and was happy all day long.
Talking about staff, we also have to mention Donnah in the Waterfront restaurant who would spot anything not going to plan and correct it straight away. She is a gem. Karen was also excellent and Jaqueline.
There were two great barmen Darius and Maradona. Smiles from ear to ear. ( PS I hope that Maradona is back to full health after he took a bit of a tumble).
At breakfast there was also a great chef preparing the eggs at the waterfront restaurant. Shaun. He needs a special mention for going the extra mile with customer service.
So as you can see the great thing about this hotel is the quality of it's staff. Many go the extra mile. Infact just after we checked in we noticed that the hairdryer wasn't working and the TV would come on at full volume rather than normal which would have been a nuisance to neighbouring rooms. We didn't get the maintenance mans name which was a pity, but both of these things were fixed promptly and properly. The other thing you notice is the maintenace staff costantly touching up scuffed paintwork or repacing damaged tiles. This really shows that this hotel group care about the appearance of their property and the imapact it has on the customer.
What could have been done to improve the hotel.
For two guests in their late 50's it would have been nice to have one of the swimming pools as 'adults only' but hey, there was a very large ocean to swim in.
The other concern was that some guests allowed their very young children to play with the equipment in the gym. Not only was this a distraction to other guests but they would have been the first to complain if their child was hurt. There was a sign outside the gym which clearly stated no children under a certain age to enter the gym but these parents chose to ignore it. They also chose to ignore the sign about under twelves using the computer room. On several occassions young children monopolised this area.
On the beach due to the fact that the sunbeds are so comfy guests from neighbouring hotels wander up the beach and use the beds as theirs are basic causing a shortage at times. Sam and the team try to keep on top of it but a sign might help.
Lastly on a couple of nights the entertainment was so loud we couldn't hold a conversation with other guests that we had met. So we left and went for a walk on the beach. Heaven. (The entertainment stops at 10 oclock so sleep is never disturbed).
In the bedroom my wife would have loved a mirror above the dressing table so that she could use it when she had plugged in her hair sraightening irons as the full length mirror in the hallway did not have a power socket near to it. .All these are small things and in no way did any of them spoil our hoiday, but are just suggestions to help improve things for all age groups.
So would we return. Yes.
Did we have a great holiday: Yes
Did we receive great service from the staff: Yes
Did we enjoy the food and drink: Yes
Well done and thank you to the Elegant Hotel Chain and the Turtle Beach.
Did we love our return to Barbados and meeting all the wonderful people both working at the hotel and on our drives out exploring: Definately.

Room Tip: ocean front deluxe upper levels.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank happilyretired_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Just spent 7 days on occasion of wife's 50th birthday. Huge thanks to the Reception team, the restaurant and bar staff and the fantastic crew on the beach led by Captain Sam. Made our stay a pleasure from the minute we arrived to the moment we left.Could not enough for us. Surprise cake at breakfast on the day itself was lovely touch. Food, beach and room all higher standard than previous trips to the island. Very likely to return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ade010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2012

From the time we arrived we were treated amazingly. When we were greeted by Tara upon arrival....we were checked in while sipping on a rum punch.....they sure are yummy. My friend went to get the luggage to take to our room....Tara (who checked us in) said in a laughing manner....no no no...you are on holidays....we will get that for you....and please do not make that same mistake again.......all while laughing. And that set the tone for the week. As I had read before, the staff can't do enough for you.....that is sooo true.
So...
Food - above average for all inclusives. We did the buffet a couple of nights....the Waterfront Restaurant....our favorite, and Asiagos, once. Also a good choice. Buffets are not usually my favorite, but they were quite good.....but the restaurants.....I was very, very impressed. If youi wanted to try something..they just added it to your plate.

Room - nice but not outstanding. All services were as per usual. A couple of things...someone wrote they have really good hairdryer....and yes they do. No plug outlet in the bathroom for curlers or straightners....and there is no outlet in the room near a mirror. Not a big deal...just passing on info.

Beach - beautiful!!!!!. Water is rough if you have small children which we did not...so really enjoyed playing in the water. Temperature of the water is absolutely amazing. I have never just walked into the water like that. We loved it.

Water Sports - The hotel has a team that supports all the water sports. Captain Sam and his team are amazing. They took us out on the Hobbie Cat twice and Sadio took us out on the seadoo (you had to pay for that). When we came down in the morning Captain Sam already had one of the young lads setting up our lounges....and when we tole them we did not want a drink just then cause it wasn't even noon....they turned up at noon with two rum punches for us. Don't be lured by others on the beach that offer services...Captain Sam and his team really look out for you and provide an awesome service. They were number 1

Bars - Not a big dieal...but we were in off season so the hotel was only half full....there are only 3 bars in total and only 2 open at a time. The waterfront bar has only one blender...so line ups were a big long. I am only passing this on as info as a little wait on vacation is not a big deal. Mardonna comes around the pool and the beach to pass out drinks as well. Nice touch.

Night Life - We were not looking for night life so it was fine. There was entertainment every night...one night was a performance but most nights is music but not like nightclub type thing. If you are looking for nightlife...this is not where you want to be....but it was perfect for us.

Gym - adequate...a little old but had more stuff than a lot of place we have been.

Tours - went on two tours. One was a catamarin to swim with the sea turtles. There are several tours you can take, but just choose the one that offers you what you are looking for. We were not looking for the party boat so found a smaller more intimate one. We took a coast to coast tour with RCR Tours.... and do not recommend it. We were rushed through the stops we wanted to see the most and left in the places that held less interest. There was an option to hire a cab and customize what you want to see. In hind site.....we should have done that.

I think I have covered it all.

Was an amazing trip and looking forward to going back again next year!

Room Tip: We chose Ocean View....but I think cause it is a small resort all views are good.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank bb_YOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

I literally cannot fault this hotel. My partner and I just got back yesterday and I had to write a rewiew (I never write reviews!).

The staff cannot be anymore helpful. We arrived late back from the hotel one day and missed the lunch buffet. We told them it was ok, and we'd go out to buy some food. They insisted we not spend out money and got the chef to cook us up some fresh lunch. Food is lovely and they change it up daily. And the drinks!! Be sure to have the Daiqauris in all the flavours. The staff on the beach are also very helpful, helping you with your chairs etc. Staff come out on the beach to bring you drinks without you even asking.

The bedroom we had was lovely (a pool & beach view), very clean and the bed was lovely. Room was cleaned everyday.

I would reccommend this hotel to anyone and we will def return. Barbados is a beautiful country and Turtle Beach made our stay just that bit more special. Cannot wait to return :)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank KGreen84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Just returned from 7 days at the Turtle Beach & what can we say...... Hotel room was very clean & spacious with a great view of the pool & beach, food was fantastic and varied day to day. What made our stay was the friendly staff, they always had a smile & nothing was too much trouble. Captain Sam & his crew were great too, all the staff are a great asset to the hotel. Will definately be returning.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lynton26_03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels

Property: Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels
Address: Dover, Barbados
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Barbados > Christ Church Parish > Dover
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Dover
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"A vibrant blend of contemporary style and informal elegance." A truly magnificent all-inclusive property of 161 rooms situated on a glorious stretch of the south coast of Barbados. Turtle Beach Resort uniquely combines contemporary style, informal elegance, lively atmosphere and a superb range of facilities suitable for all ages, including a supervised kids Club (for children aged 4-12) setting new standards for all-inclusive holidays to the Caribbean. Complimentary WiFi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Beach By Elegant Hotel Dover
Turtle Beach Barbados
Turtle Beach Resort Barbados
Hotel Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach By Elegant Hotels Barbados/Dover

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