This is a very good hotel that frankly should be busier but would appear to suffer from poor advertising. I say this because what is on offer here is about as good as it gets in Tobago, the hotel itself is new (two years old!) and in a great location, it is only a 15 minute cab ride from the airport and is accessed via security gates through a wonderful golf course.
It is on the Atlantic side of the island so the waters are rougher than on the Caribbean side but the advantage is a constant breeze which is a welcomed benefit in the heat of the day plus you get the soothing sound of the rolling waves which we found very relaxing.
It is very clean, the rooms are spacious, ours had a lovely 40" flat screen TV, the beds are comfortable and whilst there is no mini-bar, there is a fridge for keeping your own drinks cool. Each room is also equipped with an iron and ironing board and a hairdryer. The hotel is right on the ocean so you get a wonderful sea view from the room and that soothing sound of the waves as you sit on the balcony.
The lay-out of the pool area is wonderful with ornate bridges leading to an area of decking. The pool bar can also be accessed from the pool itself and has wonderful views of a beautiful bay on either side.
On the whole we thought the food was of a very good standard particularly in the main buffet restaurant where it was fresh and very well presented and you have the option to sit outside if you wish though we found the air conditioning a welcome respite from the tropical heat during the day. As with any Caribbean restaurant if you do sit outside for breakfast or lunch you may be visited by a number of the local birds and a fun twist here is the provision of water pistols to deter the more persistent and daring of our feathered friends. In addition to the buffet the occasional barbeque was laid on with a chef on hand to ensure your specific needs were catered for.
We were on the “all-inclusive” package which proved to be very good value as this not only included all meals and the usual soft drinks but also some of the spirits and most of the cocktails, and whilst the wine was restricted to the "house" wine only this proved to be a very acceptable merlot and I was told by other guests that the house white was also very good. Another unexpected bonus was that the one week all inclusive package also included two vouchers for the non-buffet restaurants (of which there are two) but we used both of our vouchers at "Karina" which was excellent.
There have been many negative comments made on Trip Advisor about the need for more training of the staff at this hotel but this was not our experience so perhaps this was an issue early on that has since been rectified. Or perhaps it was because the hotel was far from busy during our stay. The fact is that we felt the friendliness and competence of the staff were one of the stand-out features of the holiday with certain members of staff who more than went that extra yard and could not have done more to make us feel welcome and look after our needs. In particular Jaleel on the Bellman's desk, Hans in the cocktail bar, Hazel on the front desk and Kervin the omelette chef who were all stars in our eyes to name but a few.
So what were the negatives? If you are not fans of lying in the sun and are not a golfer then perhaps you will find there is not enough to do at this particular resort unless you opt to go on some of the many excursions available as it is in a relatively isolated position. They have a few shops on the premises but whilst their stock is of good quality there are only three of them. (These mainly offer local crafts, jewellery, artworks, swimwear, wraps, polo shirts, tee shirts etc.). However the capital "Scarborough" is only a short cab ride away though don’t expect an array of designer shops here either. In terms of catering for the higher demands of the modern day holiday maker this Island is in its infancy. Part of it’s appeal we felt.
There is a well equipped modern fitness room and ample routes for joggers and you can also take advantage of cycles at the bell desk which are free for hotel residents to ride around the resort. If you are a higher handicapped golfer take plenty of golf balls as the pro shop only stock Pro V 1's sporting the hotel logo which are very expensive and it is a tough course which will test and penalise the more wayward golfer for sure. NB. There is a driving range and they do have left and right handed clubs for hire.
Some of the rooms are a long way from the hotel lobby so if walking any distance is a problem for you then you should specify this when booking.
We felt they could have had more in the way of entertainment in the evenings although we made some good friends during our stay and so we put the two hotel bars to good use and even went to the weekly jamboree at “Bucoo Bay” known as "Sunday School" held on most Sunday evenings throughout the year with lots of entertainment on offer including an excellent live steel band, dancing and barbeques which was great fun and is to be recommended.
All in all we had a wonderful week at this resort and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone contemplating Tobago as a holiday destination. We just hope it survives in the current recessionary climate and feel it certainly deserves to.
(We are a married couple in our early/mid 50's).
- 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