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“Gamble Paid Off!”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Gamble Paid Off!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2012

We have just returned from two weeks all inclusive at this resort, having takien advantage of what appeared to be a very reasonable offer, due to the "soft opening" of this resort, formally the Hilton, as other reviews have stated.

It was something of a gamble, as we couldn't find any information/reviews before booking, and we knew that this was a resort very much work in progress.

I am very happy to say that we have had a very relaxing holiday, the staff were very friendly, and the service was excellent, although, again as mentioned in other reviews, somewhat forgetfull at times, but staff are learning their trade, and it caused us more of a giggle than any inconvenience really, having said that, and with more staff arriving and rooms opening in the time we were there, I can foresee problems in future when trying to cope with a full hotel, I think that we may have picked the opportune time to go.

The room was very well furnished, and in good working order, although upgraded in our deal, I think all rooms would be of good quality, with a sea view. Certainly from previous carribean trips, this hotel and room were up there with any we have had previously, and probably the best.

We didn't really want to do anything other than relax, and we certainly did that, if you wanted trips, bars restaurants etc, then you won't find much here, it is a twenty minute walk just to reach the entrance/exit of the hotel, and we didnt notice anything much around the there?

There is a twice dailly shuttle to Pidgeon Point, we are told an excellent beach, were you can also take a boat/snorkel trip if you want.

The entertainment mostly consisted of either a DJ, or just a laptop, with what seemed to be the same music going around on a loop nightly, we knew each one off by heart after a few days! There was live singing a couple of times, but to be honest, the entertainment is very low priority for us.

The beach was a mixed affair, for the first week, it was one of the best we have visited, either side is a reasonable size private beach, to the left, after a while, it joins a public beach, although the sea is indeed rough, it was warm, and good fun, but if not a strong swimmer, you should take care, we saw only a handful of people in the sea during our stay, and very few locals, we did see a dead dog on the beach, that must have got into trouble in the sea, such a shame, and not a good sight for a few days! The second week saw a full Moon, and this had an effect on the sea, along the Plantation along the public beach, there is a lot of fly tipping left on the edge, this was washed into the sea, and along with lots of wood from the plantation, a lot of human debris was washed along the beach, incuding some jagged glass, you had to watch very carefully where you walked, such a shame, as this could be such a lovely beach, not sure if it is the public who do this, it seems a long way for anyone to go to do this, the Government should really stop this. There are no looky looky Men on the beach, a bonus!

The pool is a very good size, and I took a dailly swim, not many used it, partly because there were not many there during our stay, and also, it was a tad chilly, but seemed to warm up during our stay, the swim up bar is in the shade and therefore as there is a constant strong breeze (Trade Winds) we didn't use it, in fact, nobody did.

We have noticed that the price for the same holiday has increased by £1000 each for the same time next year, I am not sure that we would pay this, and feel that perhaps we were fortunate to go when we did, having said that, I would have no problen at all in returning.

If you are going soon, as long as you like to relax, you will have a very good holiday, I will be interested to see the future reviews of this hotel over the next year or so.

Room Tip: Choose a higher floor room for view.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (502)
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English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2012

My partner and I have just returned from a very relaxing week at the Magdalena. The hotel is still being refurbished in areas and there are just 2 restaurants open, an al a carte for evening meals and a buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunches, dinner and afternoon tea!
We had chosen the all inclusive option as this was such a good deal and due to the hotel not being fully opened we were offered all premium drinks/cocktails/champagne and all foods which I understood may carry supplements when fully opened. This was all very good value for money. The "egg" station for fresh omelettes at breakfast and the "pasta" station at evening buffet were excellent touches.
Due to the minimum amount of guests we had plenty of staff to help us, a choice of tables at the restaurants and plenty of room for sunbeds anywhere around the pool area.
I have marked the overall service as good as staff could not do enough to help, I feel that when the hotel gets busier they may struggle with service, only due to the fact that the staff would take orders then come back 2 or 3 times to check what we wanted as they had "forgotten", mainly due to not writing anything down and chatting to other guests on the way back to the kitchen. There was a lack of knowledge around food and drink. One particular cocktail was made differently on 3 occasions, waiters/waitresses did not know what was in stock and would say something had run out then another would appear with the same item for another table. The main pool bar ran out of bottles of still water, no offer to go and get any, they seemed amazed that we were not happy with a strong alcoholic cocktail at 10am!
Inconsistency in many areas, one day there were individual pots of ketchup, mayo, mustard etc then next day open dishes with scoops in. Al a Carte could have been better, "catch of the day "was "seabass" not very local! We were looking forward to Mahi Mahi or some sort of sharkfish. all 3 bars had different cocktail menus, this caused confusion when you had one you liked at the poolside then it wasn't available in the cocktail lounge... very odd.
There were probably a maximum of 20 rooms occupied when we were there but room service just to add to the minibar took over a day. In a good quality all inclusive hotel I would expect at least water and soft drinks already stocked on arrival but the fridge was empty and we were told to call and order.
As the hotel is pretty remote, which was a good thing for a lovely deserted beach stroll, they laid on a courtesy minibus to Pigeon point, twice morning and evening, this was a nice touch to get away from the breeze for a day.
Overall a good hotel but the service needs to speed up for when the hotel starts taking more guests. It would be hard to guess when the hotel will be fully open as there were still a lot of workmen around but we never saw them doing any work?

Room Tip: We were told we were being upgraded to a sea view free of charge but it looked like all rooms were f...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Vanessa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromham, Wiltshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2012

We have recently returned from Tobago having spent an amazing two weeks all-inclusive at the Magdalena. You really don't expect to be treated like royalty on what is essentially a package tour! Having taken advantage of the reduced prices due to the 'soft' opening of this brand new reincarnation of an ex-Hilton, we were a little apprehensive as to the level of service and standard of accommodation we were going into but need not have worried. From the wonderful welcome on the steps of the hotel when we arrived to the sad farewells when we left it was great.

When we arrived on 18th January only 50 rooms were ready for occupation but all the major building works and decorations were done. Any cosmetic work being carried out around the central area was carried out with a minimum of fuss and noise, and on the odd occasion when something that might be instrusive was carried out we were informed by letter. A lot of work was carried out at times when guests were in their rooms getting ready for the evening so never caused any problem.

All the rooms are of a generous size, with brand-new furniture and fixtures and fittings, and all have a full or partial sea view of the spectacular Atlantic coastline. Sandy beaches stretch in both directions but are for walking on or paddling rather than for swimming as the currents are strong on this side of the island. However, the main hotel pool is of a very decent size and two more smaller pools were being refurbished and were nearly ready for use. Also the hotel runs a courtesy bus twice a day to take guests over to the Caribbean coast (15 minutes away) where you can swim and laze around to your heart's content. A further 30 rooms came on stream as we left and it won't be long before the whole hotel is open once more if the rate of progress we saw in two weeks is anything to go by.

When we arrived there were only about 24 guests so only what is really the fine-dining restaurant was open for all meals. We had a buffet breakfast and then an a la carte lunch and dinner of a very high standard with a good local flavour. The menu for the evening meal was changed about three times during our two weeks, but it is true that the lunch-time menu did not. However, after our first week they were able to open the buffet restaurant for breakfast, and as we left it was opening for all meals. There is also a brand new open-air pizza and grill restaurant and bar by the side of the pool area which looked virtually ready to open when we left on 1st February.

We played golf while we were there on the course that winds around the old plantation area behind the hotel. We gather it had become rather neglected after the Hilton closed down but was being rejuvenated as part of the new development. It has some way to go but is in reasonable condition even now and provided some challenging golf - if you plan to play take plenty of balls as many a ditch and lagoon awaits! Great fun and fabulous views as you wind around the estate between mangrove forests, lagoons and come to holes on the edge of the wild Atlantic coast. It is a long course and you need a buggy but there are no caddies. The hotel is putting together packages for guests who want to play golf and they run you down to the Club House in the courtesy bus.

The hotel has a well equipped fitness room if that is your thing (we just peered through the door) and there is a sauna. Just outside the hotel is a Spa and Hairdressers which was also being re-equipped, and both of us had excellent massages there.

This is all set to be a gem of a hotel, and the major factor in that statement is the staff. We have never been in a hotel where the staff have been so friendly, and so committed to giving all their guests the best of times. We had a certain advantage that, guests being so few in number, they were able to know us all by name, and had the time to chat to us. However, we are sure they are able to maintain this standard as the hotel expands to full capacity. Their enthusiasm for this project, and commitment to be the best that they can be shone through and they deserve to succeed in these uncertain times. Some of the names we remember in particular are Cathy, Bernard, Anthony, Robyn, Natalie, Rachel, Sue, Wanda - the list goes on and on. It was my birthday while we were out there and they really went out of their way to make it special - from the fabulous lobster dinner to the chocolate cake with 'Happy Birthday' wishes to the card from all the staff. Magic.

If you want extravagant entertainment, shops, bars and other restaurants in walking distance then this hotel is probably not for you, but if you want to be well looked after in peace and comfort then it deserves to be considered. If the finances are willing we shall certainly be back next year.

Room Tip: Better sea views from upper floors. Low hedges can block view from ground floor rooms
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bromhamites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcestershire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2012

We have had the most fabulous two weeks at The Magdalena. The position of the hotel is so beautiful, between two gorgeous, quiet beaches on the Atlantic Coast. I could sit for hours watching the sea roll in and out and pelicans diving, all the time being cooled by a soft breeze. The staff at the hotel are happy and could not do enough to make our stay as perfect as possible and we have made friends for life with a couple of Tobagonians- George and Wanda. We had the best cocktails ever, particularly the cucumber Tom Collins made by Hans mmmmm. The rooms are spotlessly clean and roomy with amazing views of the ocean and the bed…..oooooh so comfortable. My husband fished and the chef cooked his catch, we had it for lunch sitting beside the swimming pool. At night there is a choice of venues and I even learned how to wine (dance) taught by Abigail in Robinson Crusoe Bar. This is a large hotel but we always felt the personal touch. I will be forty nine years old next week and my stay in Tobago has made me feel nineteen!! Thank you Magdalena!

Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank vicstaworcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vince A, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
Thank you very much for the kind words and for giving us the opportunity to have you as our Guest. From all of us here at the Magdalena, we are looking forward to seeing you again in the future and please bring some family and friends with you to enjoy the Resort as well...all the best
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London
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2012

I spent 2 weeks at the Magdalena Grand during their opening period and the staff could not have been more helpful or friendly. The hotel is beautiful with its own private beaches on the Atlantic side of Tobago and with a pool just feet away from the sea the only draw back being it was only 1 metre deep . The restaurant staff were all new at the job but what they lacked in experience they made up for it in enthusiasm and friendliness, special mention to Marilyn(?) the Supervisor and Rachael in the restaurant . There was still building work going on but it was fairly unobtrusive and did not spoil a wonderful holiday on a beautiful island. Well worth a visit !!

Room Tip: They all have a sea view but the corner rooms are delux with Jaccuzis on the balcony
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank se1johnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vince A, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
It was great to have you as our guest and thank you for the positive and consructive feedback..We apprecite the opportunity to have served you and will let our staff members mentioned in your comments, know of your positive feedback....warm regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2012

We've just returned from a weeks holiday at the Magdalena Grand in Tobago. I would have given this hotel a 3.5 but that wasn't an option it is above average but i don't feel it is as good as 'Very Good'.

The hotel is being advertised as brand new luxury hotel in Dec 2011 by Thompson Holidays. This is not quite true. It is a refurbed hotel previously owned by the Hilton.

The location of the Magdalena is on the Atlantic Ocean side of Tobago. Lovely breeze sweeps over you as you lay in your lounger by the pool so no mosquitos as they don't like the breeze. Only problem with the hotel is it is located on the outskirts of Scarborough the captial of the island. It is set in a 750 acre plantation estate. With this location you cannot walk to anywhere as it is so far from anything. Literally about 15 minutes to walk out of the plantations before you hit the road. Taxi's are 70TT to get to Crown point where most of the restaurants are and then after 10 o'clock the price goes up by 50%. (the price going up by 50% after 10 pm is for any journey anywhere on the island after ten not just from this resort.

Scarborough centre is not very built up and you probably would not even find a restaurant to eat in there (rather shabby to say the least compared to other carribean islands) if you do not take the all inclusive option. It is not geared up for the tourists at all. Head to Crown point for the better restuarants, that is what your holiday rep will say.

The hotel refurb has been done to a high standard. Rooms are to a very high standard. Very comfy, very clean and very good size. All items in the room are not cheap pieces of furniture and the bathroom is of a great quality. The chamber maids do a great job everyday.

Restaurant - at the time of our vist the hotel was still in the process of being refurbed so we could only eat at the one resturant. It is an 'a la carte' resturant. There were about 5 choices for starters and 5 main courses. Not a great deal at all and not the most amazing choices either. Hen with fragant rice, one fish meal, one steak meal and can't remember the others. Not the most amazing menu with very limited choice so if you are there for two weeks you would probably be eating the same thing twice as there are not more than 7 items on the a la carte menu. Unfortunately, just as we we're leaving to come back to the UK the pizza resturant was nearly being completed. Stone baked pizza's. So that should be nice as they are cooked there as you are seated in the outside restuarant. Breakfast bar is good with the choice of fried breakfast, waffles, pancakes fruit,or continental breakfast. Lots of choices very good and very fresh. So much to choose from. We personally found the a la carte resturant very expensive compared to a meal in Crown Point. In town a four course meal (authenticTobago meal with drinks costs 400 TT Dollars, in the restuarant at the hotel, 3 courses and and one of us only had a ceasar salad and nothing else costs us 580 TT Dollars. Bit pricey to say the least. (please bear in mind if 500 TT dollars sounds a lot. At the time of our visit the exchange rate was £1 = 9 TT dollars. Last comment on restuarants are the staff are amazing and helpful and will get you anything you ask of.

I would recommend this hotel if you are not planning on doing much but lazing by the pool and have plenty of cash to splash as the drinks are about 20% more expensive than in town too.

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view or a partial view so bear this in mind when upgrading.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank becca3978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vince A, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
Thank you very much for the details regarding your visit and our services. It was great to hear of your positive experiences and impressions of our Resort and also your feedback on items of consideration. As you enjoyed Tobago and the Magdalena Grand, all of us here wish to say thanks and hope to see you again...wam regards.
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Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2012

Just returned from a 10 day holiday at the Magdalena and we had a great time, the rooms are of a very high standard, the food also, the staff are willing and always ready to help. I played golf at the resorts 18 hole championship course which was well designed and in good condition. Pool area is very clean and well serviced by the bars and restaurants. Due to the excellent location of the hotel the pool area has the benefit of the Atlantic Trade Winds which cool and refresh you while sunbathing next to the pool. We would definitely recommend a visit to this hotel and I am sure that this hotel will very shortly become the first 5 star hotel in Tobago.

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view so you only have to decide between a room or a suite.(Rooms are spaciou...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vince A, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 7, 2012
Fantastic to hear your positive comments and we enjoyed having you as our guest...thank you for taking the time to let other potential travelers of your positive experience. All of us here in Tobago at the Magdalena Grand say hi and we hope to see you again soon!
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Additional Information about Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort

Property: Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Address: Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Lowlands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The new, 4 Star, Magdalena Grand Beach Resort is located on Tobago Plantations Estate, a 750 acre gated community, and offers 178 Deluxe OceanFront Rooms and 22 One and Two Bedroom Suites. All accommodations are Ocean Front with private balconies. This beachfront resort offers an 18-hole PGA Golf Course, its own Dive Center, Spa, and the largest amount of banquet & meeting space on Tobago. Complimentary wireless internet is available throughout the resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vhl Tobago Golf Hotel Lowlands
Vhl Tobago Golf And Spa Resort
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort Tobago/Lowlands

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