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“A truly hidden gem with a fantastic location”
Review of Blue Haven Hotel

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Blue Haven Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bacolet Bay
Reviewed May 10, 2010

I stayed at the Blue Haven hotel over the Easter weekend with my wife and her brother and his wife. I was initially skeptical since I read many of the reviews online but there was no accommodation elsewhere on the island. We were all pleasantly surprised at the excellent condition of the rooms. The view was also stunning since the hotel is located on a cliff.

The beach is somewhat of a mini version of Trinidad's Maracas beach with some small waves near to the shore but you can actually go out to a depth of about 5ft where the water becomes calmer. You may encounter sea weed when the tide is high. This is a normal ocurrence on the beaches in Trinidad's north coast as well but it does not detract from the overall enjoyment.

The breakfast was decent - eggs (a variety of scrambled, sunny side up etc.), sausages, bacon, fruits, yogurt, juices, coffee, tea, pancakes. We ate out at dinner and at lunch since we are familiar with Tobago. Once you have access to a vehicle or a taxi, there are fast food franchises - Subway, KFC, Church's Chicken, Pizza Boys. The Crown Point area (about 15 minutes drive away) also has many eating places and roadside caravans selling grilled and bar-b-que specialties. Try to grab dinner early beacuse most places in Tobago are closed by 8:30 to 9:00 pm.

The hotel's pool is comfortable and you actually have a nice view of the coast all the way down to Crown Point from the pool area. The walk down to the beach is paved and there are decent facilities at the beach with a bar as well.

The hotel is very quiet and relaxing. One can deduce that it was a really sophisticated hotel back in the day based on the type of achitecture and designs especially near the restaurant area.

One word of caution about crime in T&T and the Caribbean in general. Travellers should really try to not wear any flashy jewellery, nor leave any cameras and phones unattended in public areas such as beaches, restaurants, and pools. Also try to avoid vulnerable situations. I went to Argyle Falls once and noticed a female couple wandering off away from the tour guides into the nearby bushes. This sort of behaviour is risky and people should be more careful. Tobago is a paradise and once you exercise precaution (locking cars, room doors and windows etc.) you will be on the road to a crime free vacation.

Based on the price, location, lovely rooms, and general activities (beach and pool), I would definitely recommend this hotel. My brother-in-law even remarked that he was so pleased with the facilities that he would stay only at Blue Haven whenever he returns to Tobago.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank hTownwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 - 150 of 254 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2010

It's quite interesting reading some of the comments, because if I hadn't been there 4 times, I'd run a mile! But our experience has always been excellent, but I believe this is purely due to the island and service meeting our expectations. I agree this might not be a 4 star experience, yet I question what do you expect from an island where things are done at a slow and relaxed pace. I agree also there are some minor issues, but again none of these spoilt our holiday at all. Your holiday is after all what you make it. If your looking for an holiday with a commercial slate, geared towards tourists then Blue Haven might not be your number one choice.. On the other hand if your looking for a location where you will see breathtaking views, hear the sea, fantastic weather, mingle with local people and culture, then Blue Haven is the base to be.

I will be going again next year with my partner. Bear in mind that I on numerous occasions in the UK have been used to the HIlton, Marriott standards of hotels, which is great. But when we go on holiday we go to totally relax, we don't go for frills and pampering.

We have always found the staff very helpful. What we would recommend is to hire a car to get out of the hotel to sample other restaurants. We always have B & B, as breakfast is good. We eat out at either the Havana, next door where the food is nice, the Sea Horse, and you must sample the Salsa Kitchen in Scarborough, the food is SO tasty, we ate there 2-3 times.

We cannot wait to go back again!!!
Audrey

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank AudreybDerby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2010

I think anyone going to Tobago has to accept first that there is no such thing as first class accomodation anywhere on the island, with the exception of the amazing Villas at Stonehaven. Everywhere else is characterised by a slight shabbiness and a local attitude to customer service which is best compared with the Gum department store in Moscow in the 1970's.

Blue Haven attracts very mixed reviews which may be puzzling to the reader but which as a very recent guest, I shall do my best to explain.

First, the upside. The location is fabulous. Close enough to the airport (20 minutes) and to the island's capital Scarborough (five minutes) it lies on a promontory with fabulous views out towards the breakers coming in from the Atlantic. A stroll from the hotel down some steps is the public Bacolet beach, where stands the hotel's beach bar, a large wooden restaurant and bar where you can escape the heat at lunchtime. This is exclusively for guests as far as I know. The hotel staff are very largely friendly and helpful, some of them foreign, some Tobagoans. Breakfast is mostly buffet, with a lady preparing eggs any which way you like them. There is a fabulous deck for two overlooking the sea, which is sometimes rough enough to soak you. The room we stayed in was on the third floor of the original building, and was fine in every way, with a great view, balcony, bed and bathroom/shower.

Now the downside. The place needs several millions spent on its fabric, and is clearly not making enough at the moment to generate the necessary cash. We arrived on December 20th and the place was almost empty. It only filled up on Christmas Eve. Our welcome from reception was accompanied by a demand for our vouchers, despite my having emailed them to the hotel in advance. They are clearly desperate to get the money in, regardless of what the tired guest feels, having travelled all the way from London. The restaurant has pretensions weay above its station, offering what it calls "amuse guelles" followed by largely inedible starters, main courses and desserts. The restaurant room itself is tired and depressing, the furniture needs replacing, some of the shutters are broken and the walls need painting. We had bought an MAP plan, but after two nights, we got in our hire car and dined out. It was that bad. The swimming pool area is tired, with grit all over the lawn around, making walking with bare feet distinctly uncomfortable. The loo in the men's changing room by the pool had no seat, and the lights often didn't work. The main older building in the hotel, which is painted vivid salmon pink,is flanked by two quite bizarre and seriously ugly buildings apparently commissioned by the hotel proprietor's wife, which look like a 'Safestore' storage facility, with a strange flying separate roof overhead. The staff are friendly but not well trained. We had to ask for a spare loo roll more than once, and I gave up asking for our safe and a light to be fixed. Nothing happened.

The background to all this is that the current German/Tobagoan owner bought Blue Haven in the mid-1990's, after it had been empty for 25 years. Tobago is really bad at marketing itself and Blue Haven is no better. The owner clearly doesn't have the funds to turn it into a first class hotel, so he's forced to market it on its past glories, rather than its current performance.

This a three star hotel max, trying to charge four and five star prices.

So there you have the conundrun. Great location. Lovely rooms. Friendly staff. Beautiful beach. But a feeling of being run down and neglected. A very poor kitchen. And pretensions to being more than it can justifiably claim to be. If you still want to go after reading all this, my suggestion is to buy a B&B plan only, and eat out.

If it was mine, I'd knock the restaurant down, demolish the ugly new wings, hire a good chef and focus on making this the most luxurious small hotel on an island which boasts no competition. I'd double the prices and make some money delivering a great experience in a fabulous location. And then I'd market it really aggressively, and try to build a year round business.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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13  Thank Hallyborange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2010

My wife and I along with her mother and sister spent Christmas and New Year here. If you are looking for an ultra modern state of the art hotel look elsewhere but if you want a peaceful quirky small hotel on the most wonderful location on Tobago this is the spot. We went all inclusive with Virgin and found it value for money. The staff could not do enough for us to make our stay memorable. The food and drinks were good again with great service. Hands on management and any small problems rectified promptly. Some of the guests were not happy as they expected a 4 star hotel (which it is not) but look at the photographs etc on their excellant website and that is what you get.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank SpainCampbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2009

We travelled to Tobago at the end of a 2 week holiday in Barbados and Trinidad. I have to say I was disappointed when we were shown to our room as although it was clean it looked a bit shabby with peeling paint, slightly grubby curtains etc. The bathroom facilities were also not great - a leaking shower with barely any water pressure and poor quality shampoo, shower gel and very few towels. The air conditioning was extremely noisy so it was a choice of either having to put up with the noise at night or sweating profusely, either option didnt result in a good nights sleep and I can honestly say I didnt sleep well for any of our 4 night stay.

We had a the full board plan so ate all our meals in the hotel. Unless you were there very early at breakfast, all the food was gone and not replaced, staff were rarely seen to ask them to refill and when you did ask you felt as if you were putting them out. The lunch menu offered at the beach bar was okay, however, the more interesting choices were never available so invariably we ended up with fish/burger and chips every day. Dinner was better with the staff much more friendly. However, service was painfully slow at times even when there were only a few tables in the restaurant.

The beach was lovely, definitely a highlight and perhaps the only saving grace of the hotel. However, the facilities offered for hotel guests on the beach were terrible. The shower base consisted of a wooden boards nailed together with rusty nails and the toilets weren't much better.

I booked a massage through the hotel and 10 mins after my appointment time I was informed by hotel reception the masseur would be unable to make the appointment. When we received the bill all our food had been added (despite being on full board) and it subsequently took another 3 attempts and 4 hours to get a correct bill. Luckily we had checked out that morning and weren't being picked up until late afternoon otherwise I dread to think what would have happened! We also noticed on the bill that we had been charged 20$ TT (£2) for printing out 2 boarding passes on very poor A4 quality paper!!! It was things like this that really left a bad taste in our mouth. We have been lucky enough to stay in some wonderful hotels all over the world and this was definitely not up to 4 star standard. I think in it's hey day, it probably was the place to go on the island but my feeling is that it has been living off its reputation for the last few years. The hotel was extremely quiet so also lacked any atmosphere and perhaps for this reason the staff had all got a little lazy and service suffered as a result. It was in stark contrast to the hotel we stayed in at Barbados ('The House') which I cannot recommend highly enough and perhaps this excellent service and quality experienced here made the short comings of the blue haven even more pronounced. The only good point was leaving to go home wasn't as painful as it could of been as I was quite glad to be leaving the hotel!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wenreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2009

This was an awesome experience. The service was outstanding and the staff was very nice and willing to help us ejoy our stay.

Keisha - Keep on smiling it will take you places :)

Much respect to the Masseuse Kello.

Shutters breaded Lamb is the best in the island.

The rooms were really nice with a panoramic view. This is a, cozy hotel nestled in a quiet area of Tobago with a beautiful small beach hidden away. I like the fact that it's away from the hustle and bustle of busier areas.

In all we had a great experience and enjoyed our stay. Hope to visit again soon.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank swhite589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2009

Had a very enjoyable stay at this hotel. It could have been better for a 4 star hotel, but our rooms were spacious and clean and the bathroom was big! We had balcony, beautiful patio doors that opened the room out to the sea view and breeze. The restaurant was a bit pricey, but we ate next door at Havana Club, where the pinacoladas were great and the food was very good. This hotel needs to clean up the beach area, I do understand it is a public beach as are all the beaches in Tobago, but used bottles etc on and around the beach spoiled an otherwise gorgeous beach. The staff were pleasant and even gave us mangoes and papayas for breakfast when we asked them to. the breakfasts were good, plenty to choose from and tasty.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Patchs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Haven Hotel

Address: Bacolet Bay, Tobago
Location: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Bacolet Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bacolet Bay
Price Range: $139 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blue Haven Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beachfront Hotel completely renovated & re-opened July 2000. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Haven Hotel Tobago

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