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“Highly recommended”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
Reviewed April 22, 2012

We have just spent 2 weeks at the Magdalena Grand during its 'soft opening' period during April 2012. I'll try and restrict this review to the hotel rather than the island in general (which is incredible!) but this was our first trip to the Caribbean having lived in the Far East for a number of years. I had received advice not to expect 'Indian Ocean service' in the Caribbean but in the case of the Magdalena I would utterly refute that sweeping statement. In my opinion, what turns a good hotel into a great hotel is simply the staff (they can also make a good hotel a dreadful hotel!) The staff at the Magdalena, guided under the experienced eye of American and Swiss managers were simply outstanding in all areas. From the housekeeping staff through to the chefs, reception to Kids Club - everyone we came into contact with couldn't do enough to try and improve our stay. How much of this is simply the hospitable nature of the TT people I don't know but despite this being a soft opening (and hence a bit of a learning curve) it was the response to requests, the ability to anticipate your needs and, above all, going that little bit further that left such an overwhelming impression with us. I realise this review sounds a bit gushing but I assure you that in our experience it was fully deserved.
By way of example, we arrived off our long flight somewhat tired with frazzled children. My 4 year old son had been taken ill and administered (by his UK doctor) some excessively strong antibiotics before he travelled that caused his condition to worsen in the tropical climate. He became quite ill. At this point, I now know, we became the subject of the morning staff meeting where everyone was urged to do anything they could to help our stay as comfortable as possible. Our fridge was suddenly stocked with Gatorade to help him re-hydrate (never charged for), a doctor was summoned over the Easter Weekend (never charged for), the room cleaning schedule was adjusted to have the beds remade earlier to enable him to rest again after breakfast, the chef would make him a fresh chicken consome each evening and everyone we met enquired after our boy. It felt like even after he recovered about 4 days later as if he had acquired some sort of celebrity status. And it all felt as if that was just the way they like to do things at the Magdalena - they have a real passion to provide the very best service possible.

Beyond service, we stayed in a family room facing the sea on the ground floor. Personally I think the ground floor is an excellent choice as it enables you to access your room via the patio facing the garden and the sea. Others may prefer the slightly more elevated view from the first floor rooms but even on the ground floor I was able to see the sea and the sunrise from my bed!

There are a number of pools although, with young children, we never ventured beyond the large family pool around which is the central focus of the hotel. The water is 1m deep throughout with a shallow incline at one end where small children can play. The pool was always in excellent condition and clean. It was closed for one day for cleaning which seemed to be an oversight (should normally be done overnight) but I don't think this is likely to be repeated.

The food at the main dining restaurant was extensive and excellent. I've had significantly worse breakfasts in other 5 star resorts. The staff on the egg station execute eggs quickly and according to preference to the extent that by the end of the stay my 5 year old daughter was simply marching up and asking for her 'usual' from the ever obliging Kerwin. Seating is either inside in air-con or outside on the terrace facing the pool and the ocean. While we were there the Atlantic breeze made this a very attractive option. Evening meals (half board package) were also very good and there is a fine dining option (at extra cost) offering a fusion of Caribbean and European dishes. Lamb chops are sensational!

We were on a half board package and so were careful not to let the extras (poolside drinks, lunches etc) rack up too much but I was fairly amazed at how reasonable our final tally was. Prices were very fair considering you are in a hotel. For example, a beer on the beach will cost about TT$15 (£1.50) while the same in the hotel was TT$22 (£2.20) - not an unreasonable mark up compared with other hotels I think.

I should also comment on the beaches and the watersports. I have read reviews here that you'd be 'suicidal to risk swimming in the Atlantic ocean fronting this hotel' - I find that remark very surprising. There are two beaches at the hotel either side of a small headland by the family pool. The (much larger/ longer) beach on your left as you face out to sea has a very gentle incline and a sandy beach. The waves here (during our stay at least) are not in the least bit threatening and I had no issues padling among these with my 4 year old and 5 year old children. The water is warm and it's an excellent beach. The only issues with it are firstly, from time to time they have a sea weed problem which can float in on the tide and cover the beach before being floated off again some days later. I'm not sure that it's a regular thing or even seasonal but when the weed is in, swimming from the beach is not really an option. The second issue is simply that at high tide the sea comes right up to the top of the beach so that there is no room to play in the sand etc. It's not deep enough to ever cut you off but I would say this beach is a more attractive option between mid and low tide for swimming etc. There are no life guards on duty and for less confident swimmers I would caution against going more than waist deep as, on any large beach, there will be rip currents where the water being washed in has to work a way back out to sea. The second beach (on your right as you stand by the pool) is a little more steeply sloping but is never fully covered at high tide. Again, compared with some of the beaches on the Caribbean side (Englishmans Bay etc) this is a very easy swimming beach at the time of year we were there with relatively gentle waves.
With respect to watersports, there is a watersports centre incorporated into the hotel but it felt as though it wasn't really fully intergrated while we were there but it is worth making the effort to track them down. They were able to arrange boat trips, snorkelling for my children, fishing trips and dive trips all around the island. These were some of the highlights of our holiday and I'm very grateful to David from the watersports centre for approaching us at the hotel to inform us about these.

If you've made it this far (sorry for the length) you'll realise we don't have anything negative to say about the Magdalena. Anything which at another location might have evolved into an issue was swiftly dealt with and with such charm that it never had a chance to register on your conciousness as a negative. To Vince (Hotel Manager) and all his staff, I wish you every success with the hotel because it is thoroughly deserved thanks to the excellent team of staff you have on board.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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19  Thank jayess8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 21, 2012

We just returned from a weeks all inclusive stay at the Magdalena. The hotel is definitely what a 4 star hotel should be. We have stayed in 4 star hotels in other parts of the world and they have been below average.
The rooms at the magdalena are spacious, beds comfy but high for a toddler. My little one fell off the bed a few times. Separate bath and shower which comes in handy with a family.
There are plenty of choice in swimming pools too although all a little shallow for my liking but perfect for kids.
Food was lovely and loads of it. The breakfast and dinner buffets had a range of delicious local foods. The hotel has a fine dining restaurant on site too. The food here is so good however I would not class the restaurant as fine dining in terms of its service, ambience. Photo copied paper menus, lack of quality music and waiting staff not knowing about the menu and wine choices proves this point.
Overall the staff at the hotel deliver an excellent level of service. Everyone is very polite and extremely helpful indeed however my husband and i felt that the bar staff at both bars out by the pools were a little stand offish and not very helpful.

They have a kids club on site too which opens at 10am. It would be better if this could open earlier as those who have toddlers, they do like to get up at the crack of dawn and eager to start their day by 7am!

Key staff highlights for us were Anna, Monifa, Neikeisha, Wanda, Bernard and most of the breakfast and chef staff, I forget their names.

I would highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: all rooms are lovely. all have sea views.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank Nafisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2012

My family and I stayed there for a week in April. On entering the hotel one can feel the warm reception from the staff. Exactly what we expected was given to us....On reaching our room we were more so delighted and the kids did enjoy the pool. I cannot end without complimenting the food....it was indeed awesome.

I have recommended Magdelena to my friends and family back home and they are definitely considering a trip soon. For me I will be returning next year.

Room Tip: When you are visiting request a room on the 1st or second floor!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank NATALIE C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We had a two week break in February and it was fabulous. The hotel was remodelling at the south end but we stayed north end, first floor room with fab views of that wonderful bay with white horses rolling in - they never stopped (and probably never do). The ocean view was so energizing; the three pools were great as I love to swim; food was varied, plentiful and high quality; the bed too (well it's so important) couldn't have been more comfy. If you want a sea view ask for first or second floor as I doubt you could see the ocean from the ground floor rooms as they may be too far back (there are lifts). Such friendly people, free bikes - we cycled in to Scarborough - very safe to be out and about. There was a warm wind blowing all of our visit but it made being in the sunshine much more tolerable. Highly recommend it.

Room Tip: If remodelling still going on choose a north room (faces the rising sun). If you want to enjoy the s...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SusanSowerbyBridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

My eight year old son and I went to Magdelena Grand during spring break after a horrible stay at Coco Reef and must say we loved it. My son had a ball in the pool and loved the food. The service and rooms were very nice. Also, the kids club was great. My son flew a kite for the first time!

Our room was located on the 2nd floor facing the ocean and it was tremendous. The sound of the ocean was tranquil. One reviewer called it a "drawback" because of the winds from the ocean. However, I guess that can be true, but we did not face any of that. I guess it determines what time of year you visit. We went April 2012. The weather was great!

We got the all inclusive plan which work wonders with children and loved every minute of it. Although the Magdelena is somewhat secluded, we welcomed the quietness. It comes from living in NYC with so much noise.

I highly recommend Magdelena; it's and excellent stay especially those with children.

Room Tip: Request room facing the ocean!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Tina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We have just arrived back after an all inclusive two week stay at the Magdalena. The hotel is excellent, food excellent and the rooms are excellent. The earlier reviews comment on such things as lack of cutlery etc, we never found this to be a problem at all, I think the hotel has taken on board the early niggles and sorted them out. The wifi problem for smart phones isnt an issue either, you go to reception and they give you a password we had wifi fully for the 2 week stay.
And as for people complaining, about having to walk to reception that is ridiculous, you can walk round the whole hotel in about 10 minutes. The hotel, is situated on the Atlantic coast, so therefore the sea will be rough, I cant understand why people are going on about this, surely thats not hard to figure out? The hotel understand this, thats why they put on a complementary shuttle bus to pigeon point twice daily for the white sand etc. But the crash of the sea, a nice breeze, no mosquito's has to be a big plus.
The hotel is miles from anywhere, so if you're content to sit round the pool or go to the beach on the shuttle, this hotel is really nice. All inclusive is a must unless you hire a car as walking out for a bit to eat is not an option. The food is fantastic but £25 per head for a buffet is a little steep.
The staff at the hotel are fantastic, very accommodating. I would recommend this hotel, definitely a 4*.
Tobago is a beautiful island and you need to explore it.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Tobago redone and remodeled hotel is excellent service and food yummy .best holiday I had in years.recommended highly.

Room Tip: Call and ask. Room on left facing hotel. Beautiful views..
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Fuad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $210 - $414 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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