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“Not so Grand at all”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Not so Grand at all”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

We split out two weeks in Tobago with one week at Magadalena and our second week at Coco Reef Resort & Spa. Thank goodness we never booked the two weeks at Magdalena. NEVER before have we stayed at such a disorganised resort with such appalling service. The rooms were lovely, the food was lovely but the level of service was ludicrous. We often had to wait for our table at breakfast and dinner time. They appeared to have no order of doing things. Table service was erratic to say the least with us having to ask the waiting staff to remove empty plates which had sat on the table for fifteen minutes. We ordered drinks at the table which never arrived. There never seemed to be anyone in charge and organising staff. The staff had a very obvious couldn't care less attitude and seemed to sense tha place was in complete uproar. On our last night, it was complete chaos with guests complaining about waiting so long for tables, and just sitting down at any tables which appeared to be available. We ended up walking out after just eating a main course. The whole place is a complete shambles. There appeared to be someone who looked to be the manager and his sidekick going about from time to time, but they may as well have been wearing blindfolds for all the difference their presence made. Meals were always buffet style in the evening. We did get a "complimentary" voucher to use in their fine dining restaurant, but when we booked we were told that even though we were on all inclusive basis, the dinner voucher never included drinks, and they would have to be paid for! We also found that the majority of guests appeared to be on half board. Never before have we encountered such greed, as guests were piling high on buffet breakfasts. We couldn't believe, that some tables were piled with plates full of fruit, pastries and muffins, and this was all after a full cooked breakfast! It really did beggar belief. We also witnessed one couple go up to the evening buffet three times each and come back with three different main meals. It really was disgusting. Rooms were lovely. Very clean, but sometimes housekeeping werent in until almost 5'o clock. The entire hotel appeared to be very understaffed & VERY badly managed.
Think very carefully before booking your holiday and parting with your hard earned cash for this place. As I mentioned before, we spent our second week at Coco Reef, and thank goodness. Coco Reef might be in need of refurbishment and may be a bit rough round the edges, but the service is EXCELLENT. The staff are friendly, and it's such a well organised establishment. The management team of Magadalena should go along there and find out the proper way to run a hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mrsreid100
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, November 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post a response related to your visit to our Resort. Please feel assured that we endeavor to provide our guests with the service and efficiency expected at our Resort, and when efforts fall short we do not take the matter lightly. Thank you for the comments related to your positive experiences and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to address the shortcomings. I will review and address your comments with respect to slow service matters in Housekeeping and the restaurant along with staff attitude and management organization, that you felt were not up to par. Thanking you again for your posting and we hope you will give the Magdalena Grand another chance in the future should you return to Tobago.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (507)
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Chard
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed at The Magdalena in September for a couple of weeks on a half board basis, this hotel is definitely the best on the island and would certainly recommend it. We had a suite which was very spacious, stayed in room 207/208 had a lovely view but did have to notify reception 4 separate times due to the air-conditioning unit leaking in the living room but they rectified it and offered to move us on a couple of occasions.
The food was very good for a 4* hotel all the pools were very clean but the beach needed attention. One point of concern we had were the serving staff in the buffet restaurant not as attentive as they should be, often we had to ask for cutlery & coffee at breakfast & was often kept waiting for a long time then they had forgot so had to remind them again, maybe some extra customer service training in that area might be advisable. The A la carte restaurant was excellent.
Hired a car through Spence car hire for 3 days would recommend them & hiring a car to view the island at your leisure. We dived with R & Sea Divers who were pretty laid back as most of the dive centres are in Tobago.
Take a trip on the Sugar Lips boat at the beach next to Coco Reef Hotel, good fun & not over full. We found the island very safe & the people friendly & came home very relaxed a lovely holiday.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jenny P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellin, Colombia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Located on the wind-swept Atlantic side of Tobago, this resort goes out of its way to try to be all things to all people. There is even a kids' day-camp so parents can escape if they want a break. And you can just go from one section of the swimming pool to the next. Easy on the breakfast buffet, though.

Highly recommended is that you find Sledge down at the dive shop and get him to help you strap on the tanks. Other memorable staff are Vandra, the wedding planner who does it all, and Miss Fun -- really it is her title -- who coordinates activities.

Enjoy.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jody H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chaguanas, Trinidad
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We stayed a week at this hotel. The family loved it. Excellent breakfast with a lot of variety. The beach is not great for swimming because of the strong Atlantic currents, but there is a complimentary shuttle service to Pigeon Pt. beach which is calm, scenic and beautiful. Food at the grill bar near the pool was good and reasonably priced. Large portions were served. We also enjoyed the food at Kalina restaurant. It was tasty and worth the price. Dinner at the main buffet restaurant was definitely too expensive. I made use of the gym everyday, while my husband preferred jogging outdoors. We even rode bicycles along the pathway on the golf course. Our children loved the pools, especially the infinity pool. Overall, we enjoyed our week at this hotel and will definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sba46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

we are at the Magdalena as I write this, and cannot understand some of the negative reports. The drinks are a little expensive but the prices shown on the drinks menu is inclusive of all taxes and service charge the break down is shown on the bill.

our only moan was the slow service in the Kali'na restaurant, more staff in there would maybe help, the food is very good ( except for desert )and we will be returning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ozzyozz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trinidad
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

I recently stayed one night at the Magdalena Grand at Tobago for a meeting there. Since my stay was short and I was not on vacation my experience may not be typical. First the good things, the hotel was beautifully decorated (recently refurbished). Staff were eager to help. Breakfast was good with a lot of variety. The rooms were a good size. The bathroom has a large vanity and a separate tub and shower (although the shower was very small). Nice balcony and there seemed to be many pools around the property.

What was not good was the extremely long walk to the room. Nothing scenic along the way, just corridors outside other rooms. You feel like there should be a shorter way to get to your room, but there is not. In my first room the television did not work. They could not replace it and offered me a new room. Since it was the night of the presidential debate, I took a new room. In the new room the a/c did not work- it was pretty stuffy. At that time exhausted from the long walk to my room and moving I decided to stay in the non a/c room. I just opened the sliding door to get some fresh air.

The staff although eager seemed inexperienced and in need of training. I had to speak at the meeting soon after arrival. The front desk did not know the title of the meeting (only the name of the sponsor)- and even then I was led to the wrong meeting. Overall my experience was not that great, and I was happy to leave the next day.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the main building.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Caribwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

The hotel is in a wonderful location on the Atlantic coast providing a cooling breeze, the sea is great for swimming if you enjoy some waves. The beach was quiet and good for a run or walk before breakfast. The hotel rooms are spacious and well maintained and the balcony view from the first floor was splendid. We only booked for bed and breakfast, which suited us, the breakfast was very good. On a couple of occasions the staff at breakfast seemed to struggle to clear tables efficiently and kept guests waiting for tables. This needs to be addressed before the hotel is full in the winter season. We did try the evening buffet on one evening but we were not impressed with the quality of the food when you consider the price was £30 each.We enjoyed eating at local restaurants. The grill bar near the pool was good for a light snack.
We were shown to our room by Antony who was very welcoming, staff generally were polite and friendly.The buffet restaurant staff at times looked over stretched and did not seem to be very well organised.
The beach is a hawksbill turtle nesting site and while we were on our stay a member of the local turtle charity found and released 168 turtles. Unfortunately we arrived too late to see the turtles make their way to the sea . I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the hotel to provide turtle friendly lighting during the nesting season. The baby turtles are attracted to the lights instead of the light at dawn on the horizon, this wastes their energy when they need to get to sea as quickly as possible in order to survive.

Room Tip: First floor south wing
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fincham56
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

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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