We spent the last two weeks of July at the Magdalena with our two boys (aged 11 and 12). Before going, we'd read a lot of reviews on tripadviser and admit that some had us a little concerned. However, have to say that, overall, we had a fantastic holiday and have recommended it to family and friends since our return to the UK. Staff were courteous and willing to help, the buildings and facilities very well maintained (with the exception of a light falling out into the pool, which seemed to take a full day to fix) and, as we were looking for a quiet base from which to organise our own sightseeing round the island, the isolation created by the golf course didn't worry us. We added it to our 'adventures', taking bikes out and spotting the wildlife surrounding the hotel (including the caiman sitting out at the golf clubhouse!). The boys loved it all.
That said, we did experience most of the issues raised by previous reviewers. Our room wasn't ready on our arrival - difficult to understand why having booked and paid three months prior, and arriving early evening (particularly unappealing after a long-haul flight). We weren't warned about the 4200 TT deposit required, although when we checked out, it appeared we'd only signed a pre-approval on our credit card, and nothing was debited from our card until check-out. Service in the Kalina was EXTREMELY slow, despite only four tables of custom, and although we'd been given credits to eat there four nights we only used one, preferring to stick to the Pembois (and we'd certainly agree the food is the Pembois fabulous). Yes, the bikes need an overhaul but, from Mr Angelo's comments, it seems they're getting one.
Other issues we experienced were the LOUD music from a wedding which lasted until 11:45pm (we were on the north side of the main building and our room was directly opposite the function suite). This was followed the next morning by a very LOUD church group, starting at 10am. When we finally began to crack around 5pm, I spoke to reception and was a bit dismayed to find it was scheduled to go on until 10pm. The wedding we could just about accept (and I wish the couple every happiness) but the fact the noise lasted the whole weekend was bad. Given the design of the hotel, I'm not sure what the solution is but, come on guys, we didn't come on holiday to a 4* hotel to be kept awake by someone else's party!
Noise was an issue for us in the first week, when we found the ever-present housekeeping. One night I eventually stuck my head out the door to ask when they were finishing - I thought 10:15pm was probably a bit antisocial to be slamming doors, rustling bags, pushing the large and clunky trolley along a tiled floor....? I was told they were supposed to finish at 9pm (still a bit late for a family hotel I thought) but had extra rooms to finish. To their credit, they were polite and apologetic.......but maybe another side effect of trying to meet demands for late check-out rooms (although, like others, we found the hotel relatively quiet on custom). It didn't seem to be such an issue the second week so maybe changes had been made.
Other small issues were that we exchanged money and travellers cheques at reception but were given the wrong amount of TT currency. Apparently the girl on reception had realised but no-one had come to tell us. It was only resolved because we went back to say the numbers didn't add up. Apologies all round but left us wondering whether anyone would ever have told us unprompted? Also, as our boys don't like kids clubs, we found the Wii and table football above the Robinson Crusoe bar 2 hours before we checked out. No-one had mentioned it to them. The billing in the Pembois is strange - we were on a HB deal but every night we had to sign a bill which included 750TT for meals. These were extracted on check-out, and we only paid for drinks, but we were confused! Also, the bill includes service charge and a line for gratuities but it's not clear whether the service staff get the service charge? My understanding is that this is a standard charge by management in all Tobago Hotels and they don't so, if you want to reward them, make sure you add a gratuity.
Despite all this, we still wouldn't hesitate to recommend the hotel. It's clearly still a bit of a work in progress in some ways but management do seem to be actively responding to comments (although we left some in the suggestion box which haven't been acknowledged). The location and facilities are good, everyone is friendly, the kids felt welcomed, overall it's peaceful and transportation to other parts of a beautiful island are easy (although if you hire a car, don't expect road signs on the west side!). Despite the hitches, we had a thoroughly relaxing time and the Magdalena would certainly be our first choice hotel if went back to Tobago.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Booking.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort 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:
- Vhl Tobago Golf Hotel Lowlands
- Vhl Tobago Golf And Spa Resort
- Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort Tobago/Lowlands