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“not up to scratch”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
lincolnshire UK
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“not up to scratch”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This is supposedly the best hotel on the island and is rated 4 star plus but I'm afraid I have to disagree. Some things about this stay were very pleasant but others let it down and whilst they didn't spoil the holiday they were enough to put us off the island in future. This hotel could quite easily regain its grade if improvements were made to the general attitude of staff from management down. A few of them shone (particularly Valerie, Hans,Saniccia and Robyn) but the majority don't seem to realise that the guests are paying their wages and they should at least appear to be interested in providing a service. I tried to get a meeting with the manager, Vince (--), but after a week of waiting it didn't materialise and I presumed he was no better than the rest .Beware - they tell you very little - you are supposed to find things out for yourself. One of the females on the concierge guest shouldn't be in that job she is so poor. Beware - on Wednesdays the only options for dining are room service or a "grand buffet" which was inferior to the normal buffet and not worth the money. On this evening both the other restaurants are closed. I have to say that breakfasts were very good but the Salaka restaurant in the evening is no better than a cafe and expensive and the gourmet restaurant Kalina is very pleasant but not worth paying extra for.Fortunately we were on B&B so could escape on several evenings to eat out and even after a £20 return taxi fare it was still cheaper and better. Take a tip - go B&B. Each day there was a leaflet describing activities the following day but usually no one knew even late the previous evening what was on nor at what time - often they didn't take place anyway due to lack of support. Caribbean hotels are quite expensive at this time of year, which we expect, but we would like to come away feeling it was money well spent.

Room Tip: Must be top floor for a good seaview.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank henhome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joerg W, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, March 30, 2013
Dear Guests,

thank you for taking the time to post comments on your vacation experience. I have passed on your kind comments to Valerie, Hans, Saniccia and Robyn and I am pleased to see that they were able to make a difference to your overall time at the resort.

It is most unfortunate that you felt an unfriendly attitude from our managers and employees. I take this very seriously and have taken immediate action to address this matter by incorporating it in our current training & coaching programs. I am happy to say that some improvement has already been noticed.

I take specific note of your comments regarding the selection of restaurants and their price level as well as the Daily Activities.

We are proud to offer a positive vacation experience and high levels of service for value. Obviously, this was not the case during your visit.
I do hope that you give us another chance to prove to you that we can deliver much better.
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Poole, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We only went for a week (thank goodness) because we experienced the worst service ever experienced in any hotel we have stayed in. On the positive side the bedrooms were well appointed and the food was generally ok. Most staff are lazy and we experienced problems on every meal except 2. Getting cutlery and tea at breakfast proved problematic every day in most cases we had to go to the counter to be handed it. In the evenings service was slow with a less than 50% chance of getting what you ask for without chasing. If you are a wine drinker there is no choice in the buffet restaurant (1 white and 1 red). The swimming pool has enough beds but very few umbrellas so you find yourself moving with the sun. The towel staff are only at their post some of the time so towels only get booked in sometimes and when you return them you get into trouble for not doing it yourself. I had arguments with staff on 3 occassions and could not get through to them that the system doesnt work. Management are very illusive probably worried that someone is going to complain. I could carry on with other problems. All in all a terrible time was had by us and we definately will not be returning.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
8 Thank Poolejacko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joerg W, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

thank you very much for your time to write on your recent experience at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort. We are pleased to learn that you found your accommodation satisfactory.

It is disappointing to learn, that we did not live up to your service expectations in many ways. We take note of your comments in detail and have included them in our Training & Coaching programs.

We hope that you will give us a second chance to prove to you that we can do much better.
Generally speaking, we strive to provide the highest standard of service to all our guests; obviously we missed the mark with you on this occasion.

Once again, thanks for your valuable time.
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london
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We stayed for 2 weeks from the second week in Feb 2013, the hotel was impressive and although situated on a beach the area surrouning the complex was a series of roads but no local shops.
The rooms were tastefully decorated and had all you needed but the cleanliness of the toilets needed some attention. You could actually see where they had placed a weak bleach and not scrubbed them which was a bit off putting. My bed was not cleaned under for the whole 2 weeks and on two ocassions the maid did not attend at all.
Food was fabulous at all the restaurants especially the Kalina which you are supplied with two vouchers a week to attend. Please note they close on a Sunday as we were booked in and not informed.
Negatives were the pool bar which was run by a girl called Eileen who was miserable, rude and very unhelpfull to anybody who happended to approach the bar. At 1030am people were told to come back in 10 mins as she was not ready, when you did return you were made to feel a nuisance. On one ocassion when she appeared to be serving locals first before tourists and was challenged she replied " well they are paying" she was reminded that so had we in advance on an all inclusive. I had the total of 6 coctails in my first week as we tried to avoid the bar and as we paid just under £3000 for our holiday is not value for money.
Several complaints were made to management about a number of discourteous staff and to their credit on our second week they placed a man called Lennox on the bar whereby the service greatly improved. For the first time people actually congregated around the area to socialise.
There is no outside space apart from the eating area to have a relaxing adult drink without children present, the only 2 bars are in the hotel with air conditioning! they both have some table and chairs on a veranda but becase they were high you were blown about by the high winds as its on the Atlantic side of the Island.
I did make a suggestion to the general manager about this issue that people don't travel 9 hrs to a hot country to sit in a cold air conditioned bar! he said he would take the suggestion on board.
I think the issue is that they are trying run B&B, half board and all inclusive. This results in having to sign a bit of paper every time you order a drink which after waiting up to 10 mins sometimes adds another 10 mins. This is not why people go all inclusive, you want to be able to order what you want without the hassle.We spoke to people at the CoCo reef who were happy with their service and had none of these issues.
All in all the hotel was impressive but ultimately the staff let them down, there were a handfull of pleasant breakfast staff but unfortunatelly you tend to remember the rude ones.
I could not recommend this hotel as after visiting the CoCo reef although on the other side of the Island without the breeze it seemed more intimate and friendly and well situated amoungst a town with shops. .

Room Tip: All are ocean view
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank chardonnaylilac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

This is one of the best hotels i have ever stayed in. Everything was perfect. Me and my friend came for the carnival and surprisingly the hotel was very quiet. Like 20%.. maybe less! But that made it better cos everything was so fast. The food was AWESOME! BBQ night was amazing. Their gourmet restaurant (which you get two free passes to if your all inclusive) was lovely. The drinks are SO strong (just how i like i) with really fresh ingredients. They blend fresh pineapple and coconut milk for the pinacoladas! The mai tai is LOVELY. Its a different kind of all inclusive as instead of getting a wrist band you sign for everything.. which is ideal for the hardcore tanner such as myself. Our room was a beautiful ocean front view (they all are) with a large veranda. Room was really big and the bathroom equally. Standing shower and separate bathtub! I love the decor of this hotel and bed rooms. The service there is unbeatable... they even come and get you on their golf buggy's if you don't wanna walk to the restaurant and pool area from your room! Special shout out to Irene and Meka who are the best bar lady's we could ask for. SO cool and were playing lots of soca for us to dance around the bar to haha. gave us loads of tips about what to do. If you want a really fun packed time you should try and go with the tour operator "ted sunshine". Their amazing, They work with Thomas cook the travel agents. They literally do everything for you... and ted will take you out and show you things he doesn't even have to. They are amazing. Make sure you do the rain forest tour REALLY early as that's when there is nobody there and you see the most birds and wildlife. So beautiful this country is i cannot fathom. I would recommend this hotel 200%!!!! Very close to airport (10 mins). Very safe hotel.. i mean the whole country is safe... very different to Trinidad(which isn't so much! Only downfall is yes you can swim in the see as the hotel is on the Atlantic ocean . your not banned... just not advised. however their is a free shuttle to the BEAUTIFUL pigeon point beach and they pick you bk up again :)

Room Tip: All of the rooms are ocean front. Even if you get a room that's further away you can dial "...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank louise w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

A high quality, not quite luxurious hotel, comfortable, clean, with friendly staff, stunning coastline and great food. Good value and well worth a visit. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, spacious with lovely ocean view. Enjoyed the jacuzzi after a day by the pool. No need to bring too many toiletries as these are replaced daily (shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner, soap & body lotion) so helps with the luggage allowance. We stayed all inclusive & thought it was worth it as drinks & food are comparable to UK prices.We ate in the Pembois buffet & could not fault it; good variety & high quality. Staff are all good, sociable & helpful but a fraction slower than you might expect - I'd say chill, this is Caribbean tempo.
We are scuba divers so took our kit along having read this was a PADI 5 star resort. I might not bother with the diving if I went back and stayed here again. The Caribbean & South of the island was largely un diveable due to high winds this time of year - can't be helped (though we managed to dive the Maverick & Dutchmans reef, both enjoyable dives.) Speyside diving is about a 90 minute drive away so makes for a long day for a couple of dives (average Caribbean type diving). Diving is organised through World of Watersports who weren't really great. At Speyside they were insistent everyone dived in a group due to strong currents & they wanted to limit dives to 40 mins only! The DM shot off like a rocket (no good for photographers) & the reality was on the sites we dived the currents weren't particularly strong compared to elsewhere in the world, The dive centre could not cater for a range of abilities, they marshalled the dive as if all were raw beginners & very few divers were properly equipped for drift diving with only the DM & us with DSMBs. No oxygen, first aid kit, GPS or radios on the boats either. There is a chamber on the island. We thought it was worth getting wet to have a look but not worth a daily 3 hour round trip in a car to do more.So we chose to chill around the hotel & really enjoyed that instead!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JLPCamberley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joerg W, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, March 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

thank you so much for taking the time to post comments on your vacation experience. We are thrilled that you enjoyed the hotel, services and amenities for the most part. We happily take note of your remarks on our food - I passed them on to our Culinary Team.

Regarding your comments of the Dive Shop and World of Watersports, which operates the shop.
I have taken your paragraph on the diving and personally delivered it to the Dive Shop and re-emphasized the valuable points you raised.
A sincere thanks for your time and we appreciate very much your confidence in the hotel and the destination.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amersham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

This hotel looked very good when we arrived and when we arrived we were greeted very nicely. We and our luggage were taken to our room. The room was very nice, clean, nice beds, good bathroom. We went to the pool and it took half and hour to get 2 drinks! The service at the bar was terrible. They had no idea what they were doing and were extremely rude. Other places around the hotel had very bad service as well. Breakfast was average, there was a buffet and the food wasn't great, it was okay but could be improved a lot. This could be one of the best hotels in the world but they need to improve their hotel. My advice would be to stay at the hotel but don't stay there during the day.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the main building on the west wing
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Max G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Stayed at the Magdalana in Nov 2012 ,, The ocupancy was only 20% the hotel was very quiet and there was no entertainment , Bar areas were also quiet with no atmosphere . However saying that had a very relaxing holiday . Pigeon point is a must but avoid weekends the beach is busy with locals , also a trip out to nylon pool worth a visit .

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Spurs61
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 And Spa Resort
Vhl Tobago Golf Hotel Lowlands
Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort Tobago/Lowlands

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