We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lovely Beach front EcoLodge suited for Scuba Divers”
Review of Manta Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Manta Lodge
Ranked #3 of 5 Speyside B&B and Inns
Denver
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lovely Beach front EcoLodge suited for Scuba Divers”
Reviewed June 15, 2010

If you Scuba dive then this lodge and dive shop is for you. Great location to access the best dive spots in Tobago. Small lodge so it's comfortable. Rooms are good size. No pillow top mattresses but still slept soundly with the ocean right outside. The owner, Sean, makes sure that you have everything you need. Food was great. Love the Roti. The dive shop was exceptional.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DenverMermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

154 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    79
    50
    10
    8
    7
See reviews for
21
42
38
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Port of Spain, Trinidad
1 review
Reviewed June 10, 2010

Everyone's different,opinions taste etc but 4 me & i always say this when talkin about Manta Lodge,4 me i may go 2 other places but i'll always come back 2 Manta.First impressions do count.On goin on my first ever real vacation away from hme,wishin,hopin & prayin 2 get wat i really wanted out of my vacation,i got that & more at Manta Lodge.Inna nutshell,i'll always talk about u guys & recommend ppl visit if they're lookin 4 wat i was at d time of my visit.U all r truely something worth cherishing in one's mem & heart.For this i truely thank u all.All who kno me from my pics & even d new staff,thanks 2u all 4 makin Manta wat it is,bless.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xcaliburgrant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
121 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 400 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2010

I stayed at the Manta Lodge during a week of diving in early July. I used this hotel as a base for diving the local reefs and exploring northern Tobago. Given the exchange rate when I was there, the hotel and diving were quite affordable, especially in light of the exotic nature experience available.

My perspective is that of an independent, budget-minded traveller. I have about 60 dives. I was travelling on my own and without a car.

The hotel picked me up at the airport and dropped me off, a must appreciated service that is perhaps essential in the circumstances.It is fully possible to do this trip without a car, and you may want to avoid the hassle of having to drive along the difficult road leading to the NE part of the island.

Northern Tobago is mostly undeveloped. It was wonderful. It is an exotic and remote corner of the Caribbean, suitable for those who love the deep Caribbean and everything that this entails. The two local towns are the sister villages of Speyside and Charlotteville.

Manta Lodge is located in a sort of tourist zone north of the village of Speyside. There are three hotels (each with a scuba centre) and a handful of restaurants strung along Windward Rd at the north end of Tyrell’s Bay. The backdrop to this coastal strip is a rain forest hillside.

Speyside Inn and Manta Lodge (located beside each other) are the first two hotels you come to. North of town, but still within walking distance of restaurants and the town. The third hotel (Blue Waters Inn) is situated in Batteaux Bay a little further to the north. This hotel is perhaps the most upscale of the three, although it is also the most isolated (being situated in its own bay and requiring a hill to get to town). This hotel does not come up on the same page in TripAdvisor, but it should.

Manta Lodge is located across the road from the north end of Speyside Beach. The view of Tyrell’s Bay, Little Tobago and Goat Island (with Ian Fleming’s abandoned house) is beautiful. The virtually undeveloped beach has brown, granular sand. It is clean, lovely and mostly unused. This is decidedly not a developed Caribbean beach with deckchairs, bars and jet-skis.

A stream called Doctor’s River comes down out of the hills and empties into the ocean right in front of the hotel. Most of the time the water collects behind a dune in a pond. This is irresistible to local birds, so at this hotel you have the unusual combination of rain forest, bird pond and tropical beach right in front of the hotel.

There are lots of local animals (lizards, bats, goats, chickens, stray dogs) and of course there is a rain forest chorus every evening.

There are mysterious ruins nearby. The ruins of a water wheel, old sugar mill and hotel buildings are about 100 metres up the road. This charming area is not exploited for tourists. It’s just there. The buildings on shore, which were burnt down 30-40 years ago, used to be part of the Bird of Paradise Inn and before that the Speyside-on-Sea hotel.

Adding to the incredible Caribbean character of all this are the local people. They speak a colourful, lilting variety of English and are as friendly as can be. Tourists still seem to be a bit of a rarety in the area so first you have to break down the barriers and talk to them.

Manta Lodge itself is a comfortable, attractive building. The restaurant, bar and pool are located in the centre of the hotel in a large open verandah overlooking the bay. The hotel seems to be mainly about diving, specifically diving with the associated and co-located outfit, Tobago Dive Experience. Indeed, when I was there, I saw no international guests at the hotel who were not diving with them.

I had a superior room. It was a spacious, comfortable and clean room with a cathedral ceiling, a nice tile floor, a small balcony and to-die-for view. I wasn’t expecting this in rural Tobago.

There was no television in the room. (This is apparently the case at other hotels in the area as well.) No telephone either. The room’s air conditioning (crucial at this time of year) worked well except during a power outage. The room had a standard bathroom and a large shower suitable for rinsing off your equipment. For some reason, there was no shampoo.

The staff were efficient and friendly. For a small fee, they allowed me to use the internet in their wonderfully air-conditioned office. The internet connection was fine.

This hotel has a small restaurant. The American breakfasts (included in the room price) were perfect. The lunches were also good, costing around €6-8. It’s a small restaurant, not a large buffet-style set up. You get exactly what they bring you from the kitchen. You can buy bottled water to drink with your meals.

I had a great trip, but it was a rather problematic week for me. On the first day there was a serious storm, followed by an 18-hour power blackout. This meant no air conditioning for a bit. I then had to deal with a dental emergency in a remote corner of the Caribbean. To top it off, I had a car accident. None of these were the hotel’s fault of course.

The car accident ended up turning out OK. I feared the worst, but the friendliness of the local people who stopped to help me (including a mechanic and local politician) was fantastic. The car hire organised through the hotel handled it all expeditiously and with minimal paperwork. I was very grateful for it. Tobago is a wonderful little island.

No hotel is perfect, so I suppose I should point out a few of the downsides…

If you come to a remote area like this, you rely heavily on what’s available at your hotel or within easy walking distance. There wasn’t much to do in the evening.

The only place where I could get out of the heat was my own room. Indeed, there is no comfortable lounging area at the hotel at all. There’s the bar area and the pool area, but you can’t read there in the evenings. There are a few chairs in the reception area and two chairs set up near a dimly-lit bookshelf. None of these is air conditioned or a place to really lounge.

I was travelling on my own during a slow period. There were a few other divers there, but not many. The formal dining set-up was not amenable to socialising. The small bar was nice, but I'm not a drinker. It would have been nice to have affordable barbecues in the evening (after all, it is a diving hotel), but there was nothing like that.

For all these reasons, I felt confined to my room and was a little bored in the evenings. I keenly felt the absence of television. Of course this may say more about me than about the hotel. You may find this an ideal situation on a relaxing vacation.

As far as dining goes, all I personally needed was a simple, affordable meal every night; however, it was not available at or near the hotel. The hospitality sector in Tobago seems to operate on the presumption that all visitors want a formal, expensive dining experience every night. Not so.

At this hotel the main courses at dinner were around €18-30, which for me is a lot to spend on an ordinary dinner every night, especially when I'm on a holiday on my own at a rather expensive destination. The hotel restaurant (as nice as it was) was not air-conditioned. I didn’t want a formal dining experience every night.

There was no fridge or kettle in the room. These would have been very much appreciated. There was no kitchen facility in the room. There was a Melitta One One coffee maker (coffee pads purchasable from the hotel).

There was no cooking facility in the room, no snack set-up and no tuck shop at the hotel. The bar sold a few items, but nothing suitable for dinner. The cheaper lunch-time items were not on the evening menu, even though they easily could have been.

The other restaurants in the “tourist zone” were no different, although I found one place that went as low as €13 or so. All I wanted was a roti, slice of pizza, burger or something like that. No local entrepreneur has thought yet of setting up a cheap roti shop within easy walking distance of the three hotels. Or if they have, they don’t keep it going during the low season.

I ended up walking into town most nights to try out the local fast-food places (including an interesting roti place that was open once in a while). I bought picnic supplies from the grocery stores, but that's a very loose description. They had a very limited selection. I wasn’t the only one roaming around for a place to eat by the way. A few nights I couldn’t be bothered and I went without dinner. I had the car accident while driving around trying to find a place to eat.

This site is not about rating diving, so I’m not going to say too much about that here. When I was there, the dive operation was a laid-back, small-scale operation. When I think back on it, I suppose the young people working there, as relaxed as they were, were efficient and quite competent. I just want to say that in the end the diving was great, but not spectacular. It was the kind of thing you see all over the Caribbean. No sharks or rays at all. Of course, this is just part of the game.

Heavy rain, heavy currents and jellyfish marred about half my dives. (This not their fault, of course.)

For some reason, this dive centre didn’t do anything special or go out to the more famous spots during the week I was there. I was waiting for them to go somewhere special but it never happened. We dove mainly in Tyrell’s Bay.

I don’t want to end on these negative points, which in the end were minor and didn’t spoil the week for me. The snorkelling at Pirates Bay and particularly Englishman’s Bay was awesome. There is also decent snorkeling within walking distance of the hotel (from the ruins) and I enjoy this every day. Charlotteville has to be one of the most authentic, untouristed little Caribbean towns you can imagine. I also spent an awesome morning at Argyle Waterfalls. I had the place practically to myself.

I recommend this place without hesitation. I feel privileged to have been able to go there. I’m giving it a rating of 3/5 because it's essentially a three-star hotel. The truth of the matter is that it is almost impossible to rate an experience like this.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zwerf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
1 review
Reviewed April 6, 2010

if you want a luxury all-inclusive, go to another island! This place really represents Tobago's charm: developed enough to provide sufficient comforts for tourists, but not tackily Americanized or sacrificing the local sense of relaxation. The rooms are large and clean and the A/C was powerful. Nice little pool. We loved sitting on the patio watching the hummingbirds or the moon rise over the ocean.

Good breakfasts - it's more fun to wander into town or to Marlene's for a roti, but the dinners we had were fine. The staff was really sweet and helpful - from the front of house to the dive shop. Great location too...easy to wander to the beach or up over a little hill to Bateaux Bay.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sos44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 28, 2010

We dropped in without reservations and the staff made us feel welcome. The staff is friendly and professional and still tolerated our playfulness. The ocean is right across the street and very accessible to swimming with a pebbly little beach. The hotel is nestled against a hill and a little way from Speyside so it is quiet and relaxed. We were lucky enough to enjoy the resident fruit bats that roost in the vault over a balcony. The staff was embarrassed about the bats but couldn't discourage them from roosting there. We appreciated their nature-friendly attitudes and felt fortunate to observe the little creatures. While we were there, the staff prepared a special Thanksgiving dinner that incorporated Western dishes with Tobagoan tastes. It was very nice. We would like to thank Jillianne, Korina, Marisa, Elain, Corisa, Whitney, Kerin, LInda, Patsy, Eddy, Raul and Lendon for making us feel like honored guests.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jthbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livermore, California
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2010

The first room had a water leak, and changing room was smooth. The second room was somewhat more spacious with mini-refrigerator. AC worked for the most part. The doors to the balcony had lots of gaps, so it is not eco-friendly to use it. I would have left the windows open if there were screened windows. Shower had the best pressure in Caribbean.
Local food was OK, but rather expensive in all Speyside even compared to the other part of the island. Locals do not eat beef so that steak was naturally not well prepared. We loved the local food at Sharon's in Charlotteville. It's worth going there.
We had rough ocean so the dive sites were limited. Dive Experience's main boat was custom built to dive there, but we were told it is normally not at Speyside. Dive masters were mostly very good, but the operation is not well organized. Since they have to transfer the divers and their equipment to the pier, they could have used it. There was no water in the rinse tank except the last day we were there. I assume they put the water for us. Gear was washed under the running water at the pier otherwise.
The owner Sean is a character and he did lot for us. He is the Manta Lodge and if you like him this is your place, otherwise you better have a perfect weather to dive. Bad water condition and holidays (some staff were off) did not help our vacation or rating here.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank benkyoko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Breizh
2 reviews
Reviewed January 16, 2010

To discover the underworld, a safe and nice place far from every where
cool staff and friendly people all around

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jaures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Speyside
7.8 mi away
Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort
0.8 mi away
Blue Haven Hotel
Blue Haven Hotel
#1 of 1 in Bacolet Bay
248 reviews
16.4 mi away
Blue Waters Inn
Blue Waters Inn
#1 of 5 in Speyside
613 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
7.4 mi away
Coco Reef Tobago
Coco Reef Tobago
#1 of 3 in Crown Point
1,510 reviews
3.6 mi away
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
0.7 mi away
Bacolet Beach Club
Bacolet Beach Club
#1 of 2 in Bacolet Bay
379 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Manta Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Manta Lodge

Property: Manta Lodge
Address: Windward Road, Speyside, Tobago
Location: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Speyside
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Speyside
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Manta Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The cozy 22 room property may be small, but it still features a number of 'big' amenities - the Green Moray Bar & Restaurant, soft sand beach, full service dive shop, freshwater swimming pool, reading nook with a multi-lingual lending library, endless hiking trails and plenty of room to relax! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Hotwire and Orbitz so you can book your Manta Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Manta Hotel Speyside
Manta Lodge Tobago/Speyside

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing