We just came back from Tobago. We stayed there for 12 nights; couple + 7 months baby.
Overall the hotel is very grand and the rooms are spacious and beautiful. All rooms have outdoor terrace / balcony overlooking the see. Every room in a hotel has a see view. Ground floor rooms have terraces. The hotel has 3 main restaurant and a pub + a nice pool bar. The pool is very large. Pool furniture and sun lounges are all new and there are a lot of it all around pool, beach, terraces.
Free (patchy) wifi throughout the hotel and in all rooms.
The big drawback for us was the fact that you cant swim in the see. The beach of the hotel is nice but its always windy and the see is too rough for swimming. One could have a dip in the see but the waves and currents are very strong and if you are expecting a nice calm Caribbean beach with palm trees you will not have that here. However, best calm beaches are 10-15 minutes drive away and very easy to find (see my review of Tobago). Its also VERY windy ALWAYS at the hotel. its sort of nice to have a breeze but it can be very strong at times.
We generally enjoyed the food at the hotel. We tried all the restaurants for food. The grill is by far the best food and the only place that actually serves fresh fish but go there for lunch because the dinner menu does not have daily fish special. Average dinner for 2 about 100 USD with 1 glass of wine.
The buffet is extensive and i usually hate buffet food but its fine here. The quality of food is good and the options are extensive. The atmosphere is non existing, which is a shame as it could be nice with very little improvement; lower lighting, tablecloths. If you are paying for buffet separate it is approximately USD 50 per person, which i think is quite a lot considering its a buffet.
Kalina is a shambles - DO NOT GO there. The hostess at the front tells you that its full at 9 p.m. unless you have reservation even though the place is half empty and no one eats at 9p.m. The menu is set and cost 66 USD per person excluding wine; all food is imported (smoked salmon, duck, lamb etc..); the main course options are meat, chicken, one fish (mahi mahi) and pasta with lobster BUT there is never lobster at the last minute they come up and tell you that lobster finished and is it OK they substitute lobster for prawn! No its not OK. The policy of the hotel is that guests staying on full board can eat at any restaurant; so i imagine most go for the "fancy" option of Kalina and of course everyone will order lobster since its a set menu BUT there is never lobster and if i am paying 65 USD for dinner per person on a set menu i expect much much better food.
Seriously the food is better in the buffet.
The pub has lovely views and is a great place for sunset drinks.
There are better options for dinner outside of the hotel but generally speaking food in Tobago is not the strong point. For whatever reason they try to do "fancy" food when their see is full of fish and see food. Fresh fish simply grilled would be so much better. (we eat out most nights and we did not find any restaurants that did great fish and simple menu)
Service: a lot of people complain about the service. And yes it can be patchy at times but generally the people are lovely and they REALLY try to do their best. Service in restaurants can be slow at times but its the Caribbean time; housekeeping is so so. When they are busy sometimes rooms dont get cleaned till 6p.m but its OK generally. Front desk was always nice to us and we loved both Ricardo and Michelle for their help with anything we needed.
We used babysitting for our 7 months old baby and Stephanie was assigned to us. She is a treasure! We loved her and she is a professional baby nurse. We would leave our baby with her for the whole day and I felt really assured that baby was well cared for. Cost 8 USD per hour which is so reasonable. The hotel made special food for baby and they always were happy to give us extra napkins or anything we needed. Special thank you to Kiev, Author, Leon for making our stay easy.
I did have one major incident with Tony and although i made a formal complaint (he bumped (hard) into me what felt like on purpose and never even said sorry) i never heard from hotel management.
Generally this hotel is far above the rest on Tobago. But it is owned by the government so the motivation is on the personal level only. They dont even get tips or service charge. But the people are still super nice and really try to be helpful.
Only other viable alternative is Blue Water Inn which is gorgeous but a very different type of a hotel (boutique and intimate with wonderful beach but nothing else much).
Thank you Magdalena for a great stay we loved it and hope to be back.
- 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