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“Better than I was expecting”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
Bedford, England
Level 6 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Better than I was expecting”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for one week 3rd - 10th April, we only stayed at the Magdalena Grand as my cousin was getting married there.

The moment we arrived the bellboy took all our bags and bought us a refreshing fruit punch (don't think it was rum punch as none of us could taste any rum in it), we checked in and as I had previously read on TA that the staff were rude this is what I was expecting but I found all the front desk staff lovely and helpful and gave you service with a smile.

We stayed on a B&B basis (breakfast was very good) as we expected to be out most of the time anyway, we did try the buffet for Dinner once, it was ok nothing exceptional but it was VERY expensive, we also ate in the Robinson Crusoe Pub, this was a disaster, we did wonder why another person had left all their food and we soon found out, we ordered a chicken burger and fries, my aunt and uncle ordered fish with fries, both the chicken inside the burger was very dry and overcooked and the french fries were actually steak chips, we did leave our meals and were offered something else from the menu, we declined but my aunt and uncle did end up being offered something from the buffet which they were more pleased with. The Salaka Grill was a much better option for food but only stayed open until 5pm except on Sundays where it stayed open for longer.

We used the free shuttle to get to the caribbean side the first time to Pigeon Point and again on another day we were dropped off the driver and directed us where we needed to walk to get to Store Bay, he even said he would pick us up on the way back from Pigeon Point to the hotel, we found store bay much nicer and cleaner than Pigeon point, the sea here was calmer and no stones/coral to have to walk through to get into the sea, the glass bottom boat tours start from Store Bay.

The room was perfect but the shower door needed a clean, we have no other gripes about the room, all the rooms have a sea view as previously mentioned by others, we were in room 333 which is on the North side in between the pool bar and the satelite pool.

Service in the bars and restaurants was generally slow but you get used to it, I have to send a big shout out to Meka and Lennox and some of the buffet staff, the majority of the staff were helpful, never had a rude member of staff whilst there.

The wedding was a gorgeous affair but take note the hair salon is closed on Monday (which was the day of the wedding), we had the ballroom for the reception and all the staff were fab, the ceremony took place by the gazebo (it is rather a small one) but it did look gorgeous when decorated with flowers.

We did an island tour which lasted from 9am - 5pm with food and drink included, the bigger the group the better as you can get discounts, there were 7 of us so got a good deal, we booked this tour at Pigeon Point through a government registered tour op. Tito was our driver for the day, what can I say he was absolutely brilliant!

We would come back if we could afford it, it was rather expensive for 2 of us. We did see Coco Reef (next door to Store Bay) and said we would also like to try there as its nearer bars and restaurants. The Magdelana was really far from anything else which let it down, also entertainment is badly needed in the evenings, it was way too boring in the evening. The hotel is on the Atlantic side but we still loved it as you get the breeze and no mozzie bites! You do have to be careful as we did burn one morning whilst out for a long walk and we didn't realise how hot the sun was due to the breeze.

Thank you all.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank bbeauty27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thank you for your review which I am a little late in acknowledging. Firstly I am grateful for your generous compliments and indeed glad that we were "better than expected"! However the Magdalena team does not settle for less than "everything you expected"!

Your letter has already been reviewed by our own in house "trip advisor team" and measures adopted to look at some of the items you mention. We never ignore a guest comment.

Only by objective comments such as yours can we reach that 100% goal.

Best wishes,
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Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We are currently staying at the Magdalena Grand for another 3 days so these are some first impressions and I will update at the end of the trip. The island is very beautiful and the hotel nice(more 4 star than 5 star) but the biggest issue is food value for money.

Rooms - Rooms are nice but nothing special (we are in 258). Clean and all have a view of the Atlantic Ocean which is nice. On the upside, there is decent satellite TV (although we were unable to change the channels), the balconies are large. The downside, fairly basic beds and tiny shower.

Beach - The actual beach at the hotel is OK, there is a beautiful large beach right next door which is great to walk on. The water is fairly rough being on the Atlantic side so not great for swimming.

Pools - the pools are large and clean and the bar service is attentive but not fast. It's nice to relax and I have enjoyed the brisk breeze off the ocean to keep you cool.

Food - The food is very good for an island resort. Lots of variety, fresh and well prepared. Our only complaint, and it is a big one, is the price. The bar grill closes at 5PM leaving the buffet dinner or fine dining as the only options. The buffet dinner is good, but priced at $50US+ makes it the most expensive buffet I've ever eaten at - and I have eaten at some amazing places. I regularly stay at the Shagri-La in Asia and their buffet rivals a 4* restaurant and is priced at $30US. We asked for all inclusive pricing for meals when we checked in but it was never provided.

All, in all this is a beautiful place and we are enjoying ourselves, but the dining options are severely limited and severely over-priced.

More to come....

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Off-the-beaten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
I enjoyed the chance to meet with you both the other evening at our Manager's Cocktail party. I look forward to your next review and trust our meal plan was acceptable and helpful. Thank you for your generous comments of our hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

It's the best hotel in Tobago... in the plantation, beautiful, clean and renovated, super friendly staff, the food was wonderful, we hired a car to see another beaches and know the island, and took a tour with Dexter and Anton to the Nylon Pool that was an unforgettable, amazing trip.
highly recommended for families.
Sadly no much people in this incredible gem.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mirka R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Thank you for your generous comments, hurry back!

Best wishes from the Magdalena team!
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Norfolk, UK
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We recently spent a week in Tobago at the Magdalena Grand, it was really lovely. It was our first experience of the West Indies,although we have visited many other places. We found the people of Tobago very friendly and we would happily visit again. We stayed on a half board basis and I think that this, or all inclusive, would be best if you didn't have a rental car.

From the moment we arrive we felt relaxed. The booking in at reception was quite quick and the bell boy who took us to our room was very friendly and helpful. We had a one bed suite, which is actually two adjoining rooms, one a bedrrom and the other used as a living area. Consequently we also had two bathrooms and two patio areas. One of these had a jacuzzi installed too. Both our patio doors looked out onto the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful. The whole space was just huge! It was very clean and regularly tended each day. My only, minor, grumble was that the air conditioning in the living room couldn't be adjusted and was rather too cold for us. It was good to have it though, it was a very consistent 30 degrees Celsius every day.

There is plenty to do and see around the island. We went on a couple of tours. The hotel also have a free minibus to and from Pigeon Point, on the Caribbean side of the island, which we used a couple of times. There is plenty of nature to see in the grounds too, including caiman, iguanas, egrets and snakebirds, to name just a few. The pelicans diving for fish were very entertaining.

Before we went, we weren't too sure about being on the Atlantic side as we had heard it could be quite windy. Indeed, there is a fairly constant wind, but it is refreshing due to the heat. Just being on the leeward side of the building made a big difference, but felt much hotter. There is a very soft, sandy beach to the southern side of the hotel. On the north eastern side there is a very long, open stretch of beach. Good for a walk or paddle, but not for a swim, as the sea is too strong. The hotel pool is lovely though, with the same beautiful view.

For our breakfast and dinner we preferred to stay ouside, having just had a long, cold British winter. There is an air conditioned dining room too. There is a huge choice of food, on a 7 day rota. There is something for everyone, the food is good quality and fresh - especially the lovely fruits. There is some local food reflected in the choice, though it is probably more international than Tobagonian. The staff were all very friendly and wanting to please, I would have loved to have been there for longer!

One thing that is mentioned by the hotel, but not made very much of, is the boardwalk through the mangroves. It is about 15 minutes from the hotel, best done early morning or late afternoon, it is actually several boardwalks which go through the mangroves to the lagoon. It is quite unique as a habitat, with some interesting wildlife to observe and well worth a visit.

We like to explore and find out about a place we are visiting. We could do this with the Magdalena as a base. The hotel is further out, but this is quite easily overcome, even without a hire car. It is a beautiful place to stay and we thoroughly enjoyed out holiday there. The staff were a large part of this and we are very grateful to them for that.

Room Tip: All rooms face the sea, the only thing that might block your view could be one of the two satellite...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tiddlypom309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
We are delighted to hear you chose Magdalena Grand for your first experience of the Caribbean and we are glad to hear we met your expectations. Please hurry back..................
Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We moved here after checking out of a hotel in Crown Point, having been there for all of 12 hours. What a difference - both hotels carry the same 4 star rating, but this is a real cut above others in Tobago. The Magdalena Grand is the best available international style hotel in Tobago, though there isn't exactly an competition. It has only limited atmosphere, but we didn't go there for atmosphere as we went out and about most days we were there, and we never particularly like the 'faux atmosphere' that hotels try to cook up to reflect the place you're visiting. It does however have enough activity without feeling busy - a good balance. It is more American in style, and I would compare it to the sort of hotels you might find in the Cayman Islands, some of the more developed Caribbean islands, or in Mauritius. It worked for us, as we were doing a twin-centre break, visiting the north side of the island where you get 'atmosphere' in spades.

You drive through a golf course / villa development to get there which is a bit souless, but the whole estate and the hotel has a feeling of space (which you won't find in Crown Point). I wouldn't stay here without a car because otherwise I would feel stuck. The hotel is built in a plantation style, albeit quite cliche. The hotel is strung out along a couple of beaches, one small, one that goes on and on into the distance, both of the golden/dark sand variety. The design of all the buildings housing the rooms meaning that noise from adjoining rooms in very limited - a clever thought. All rooms face the sea. We had one of the rooms furthest from the lobby, and if you don't mind walking back and forth when you need to, this works well if you want a bit of P&Q. The place is so large - or rather strung along the beach - that there is a central pool area (in front of the main building) and two satellite pools, with golf buggy transfers if you need them. Note that you will unlikely be able to swim in the sea here, with currents and waves it isn't safe for more than a dip. I wouldn't let kids in there, unless they were seated on the sand, in the surf. The main pool area is great for families - lots of different areas/terraces, and a kids area of the pool. Because of the location, on the Atlantic coast, you get wonderful breezes. While these may mean that the plants can look a bit weather beaten, the breeze was wonderful for those who like to be comfortably warm without baking in the sun. The rooms were well fitted out - a good balance between comfort and size, without being over the top luxury, and with fun flashes of colour. Everything in the room was in good nick, and worked well. Behind the rooms is parking, which worked for us as it meant we could use the room, walk to the beach in front, and use the satelite pool, and only dip into the other hotel facilities as and when we needed them, and then drive in and out when we wanted to make trips out. The service throughout was friendly, good and pretty seamless - this is clearly testament to the fact that the hotel offers a proper training to the staff, who all seem to be proud to be working there. Tobago isn't known for high levels of service - this is an island that is much more relaxed than others in the Caribbean, and this can be reflected in service on the island (though not at the Magdalena).

The hotel is now owned by the T&T government following Hilton pulling out, and this means it is marketing itself to Trinny holidaymakers, conferences, people in Tobago on business, European holidaymakers and a wider audience. Any 'event' that is happening in Tobago is now done at the Magdalena Grand, government or entertainment, creating a bit of a buzz. Personally we prefer hotels that have this sort of mix of guests coming and going, and this sort of activity - I'd rather this than dodging overly friendly people who flew in on the same flight as us and believe this alone means we have somehow bonded.

The breakfast buffet had everything anyone could want. Service during breakfast was always good. We took out bikes (free from reception) one day for a quick ride around the estate/golf course. Not really our scene, but enjoyable. There's also a free gym, and free 24 hour tennis courts, and a spa. For kids - a playground, and a kids club, though I have no idea what this entailed. We were told there was some sort of evening entertainment, but thank God this was kept to wherever they were doing it, and didn't impinge on our stay as we preferred to spend the evenings out at dinner then sitting on our room's terrace listening to the waves and the palm trees rustling, or having an evening dip in the pool. A note on terraces - because of the breeze, a lot of the dining/bar facilities are inside. They have decks too - at breakfast most people sat inside, but there was stacks of space to sit at tables outside too.

This hotel should be able to provide most people with the sort of holiday they're looking for and for that reason we can pretty much recommend it to anyone. For anyone who needs to go to Pigeon Point, they run a shuttle twice each day, free I think. I repeat that I wouldn't stay at this hotel without hiring a car, but others might be happy just to fly-and-flop and use the hotel's facilities for a week and rely on taxis if needed.

Thanks are due to everyone at the MG for a relaxing stay.

Room Tip: Rooms are strung along two beaches - 3 stories high closest to the main building, 2 further out. Fa...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank R P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Our team here all study the Trip Advisor comments and I know yours will encourage them even more. Vacations are about relaxation and we hope we send you on your way refreshed and reinvigorated......until we see you again.
Best wishes,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wymondham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Magdalena Grand Beach is a big hotel but, luckily for us, it wasn't too full. We asked for a quiet room and got 232 on the second floor with no-one above us. All rooms look out to the Atlantic and the view is stunning. There was a lot of choice for breakfast in the Pembois and lunch at the Salaka Beach Grill - overlooking the ocean - was freshly cooked (which is why we had to wait for it!!) and very tasty.

We had a brilliant tour of the island with Jaime Ramsay, including lunch at Jemma's Tree House, which was organised by a member of staff. We also took the complementary bus to Pigeon Point beach on the Caribbean side to snorkel on Bucco's reef and swim in Nylon Pool.

We didn't have any problems with staff. If you think some are slow, try waiting for lunch at Jemma's. Franklyn and Sophie in the Tavaco Lounge were lovely, as was Lennox. If you had to wait for something, where else would you want to be but in Tobago, soaking up the sun and listening to the crashing waves of the ocean?!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank D J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, General Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thank you for your kind comments shall be sure to pass on your comments to the staff at Tavaco Lounge, hope we can host you again very soon.
Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Having spent a wonderful first week in the North of Tobago we moved to The Magdalena Grand when the hotel we originally booked did not work for us.
The ground floor room arranged for us and the lay out of the hotel made my disability much less of a problem. The room itself was lovely
We found pleasant helpful staff and enjoyed the ambience of the hotel.Members of the management team were often visible and only too happy to talk and get feedback
The pool area was immaculate and the satelite pool perfect for a pre- breakfast swim.
Breakfast was excellent. Other meals also high quality.
Kevin, Lennox ,Carolyn,Hans and Valerie all deserve a special mention.
We loved the jazz night- AMAZING. We like to have a drink after our evening meal and it would have perhaps been nice to see the Piano put to more use.
Overall loved Tobago and would certainly return to this hotel again-hopefully soon!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howard S, Manager at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
We are so happy to hear you had an enjoyable time here with us in Tobago and look forward to seeing you here again real soon.
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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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