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“Lovely complex, shame about food and service.....”

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Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lowlands
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely complex, shame about food and service.....”
Reviewed February 20, 2014

We have just returned from a one week all-inclusive stay from 12th to 19th February. Upon arrival our first impressions of the hotel and grounds were impressive and we were welcomed with a drink and our check-in was reasonably quick.
Our room was a good size and had all the facilities that we were expecting. All pool areas were clean with plenty of sunbeds and our first meal in the Pembois buffet restaurant on our evening of arrival was very nice with a good choice of food. The complex also has two tennis courts which we took advantage of and were in good condition. We dined in the Kalina fine dining restaurant on two occasions and the food and service were excellent both times.

Now the not so good......like many other reviews there is a distinct problem with service at this hotel. Face towels were not replaced consistently in our room and on one occasion we had to contact reception twice to get this resolved. As all-inclusive guests we were issued with wristbands but this was not the same for other guests on the same package and many staff had no idea what they were intended for. We also had to sign a receipt for all meals/drinks (except breakfast) and despite indicating to staff that we were all-inclusive still got a chargeable bill on many occasions - most annoying when you have to wait for staff to correct this.

After our first evening meal the food and service (apart from in the Kalina) was exceptionally disappointing. Some staff appeared disinterested in taking food orders and generally looked glum. On one occasion in the Salaka Grill (our last meal before our departure) another group were served before us despite arriving after us - I then had to wait 45 minutes for a bowl of soup and was told this was because they serve food in line with when the order was taken!! The food in the Pembois buffet was average at best, in particular the breakfast choices hardly changed from one day to the next.

We have holidayed in the Caribbean previously and not experienced such poor service and regrettably it appears that despite previous reviews your staff training is not adequate. The hotel can be immaculate but all of this stands for nothing if service is poor.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maureen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

We appreciate you taking the time to share your reviews with us.

We wish to advise that all our all-inclusive guests are issued with wrist bands, however all of the guests at the resort are not on all-inclusive, and therefore were not provided with these bands. The bills that you were presented with were simply for accounting purposes and while you are required to sign them, they would not be posted to your account.

We do value your comments regarding the service and are pleased to advise that we have embarked on a new training program for our team members. We understand the importance of service and are committed to ensuring our guests receive nothing short of exceptional service.

We do hope that you would allow us another opportunity to be of service and to provide you with a truly memorable experience.

Thank you again.

Best wishes from Tobago,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Reasonable hotel with lovely pool area but major problems with the water supply. During our week stay the water was cut off four times....totally unacceptable. Hotel beginning to look rather in need of revamp, tiled walkways quite grubby. Staff helpful but beach towel lady was rather officious. Food ok but expensive for standard provided

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank March151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your reviews with us.

We wish to advise that the water problems experienced recently were through no fault of the resort, as this was an island wide issue. The government has since rectified this problem and we have not experiences any problems since.

Your comments have been reviewed by our management team and you would be happy to know that we have embarked on a new training program for our team members, additional staff have been hired, and new proceedures have been set to ensure all spaces are cleaned to the standard that is Magdalena Grand.

We do hope that you would allow us another opportunity to be of service to you and to provide you with a memorable experience.

Best regards,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Just got back after a week at the Magdalana Grand with my family staying all inclusive, wife and 2 kids (5 and 7 years). To say disappointed is an understatement! We have holidayed in the Caribbean in the past, Barbados, Jamaica and St Lucia and always stayed in 4+ star hotels all inclusive so my experience and review is honest and based on facts.

The hotel is on the Atlantic Ocean which means you spend your time being blasted by the trade winds, yes the wind is warm but is a constant drone in the background and blow anything not fastened down around. This also makes the sea very dangerous and you cannot think of going anywhere near it! Kind of defeats the point of a Caribbean Beach holiday. The hotel pictures show plenty of the sea and surroundings but fail to mention that you cannot go into the sea.

The service from the staff varied from friendly and helpful to dam right ignorant and rude, there was no consistency at all. Its obvious there is no training for the staff. During the week we were never once asked on our well being or general service questions as you would expect. During busy periods in the morning and midday getting served or any attention was almost non existent, we gave up on several occasions and had to help ourselves!

It's the only hotel we have stayed at in the Caribbean where whilst sitting around the pool we were never once asked if you would like a drink, in fact nobody ever even cleared used glasses away. There was also no life guards on duty on the main pool.

The food in general was pretty good particularly in the buffet restaurant, it was understaffed during the busy periods which spoilt the atmosphere.

The hotel boast being child friendly, it really really isn't in any way. The sea is dangerous, therefore going onto the beach is a no go as your terrified to take your eyes off them, there's no life guards on the pool and in general there's not much for them to do.

We were happy with our room, it was clean and tidy, everything worked and the beds were comfortable. The maid/cleaner was a lovely lady who was happy to help, shame 70% of the other staff weren't like her!

A lot of the communal areas needed a good clean, it seemed clear to me that the management had poor attention to detail here.

During our stay there were other people who felt the same as us, I may sound like I'm being pretty critical and damming but I feel that I needed to let other people know our experience. I would have rather commented on having had a lovely time especially after spending so much hard earnt cash!!

Overall the hotel need to take on some extra staff, sort out some customer service training, adopt a cleaning policy and be honest on their website about having a beach but not being able to use the sea unless you have cross channel swimming experience!

Room Tip: I think all the rooms are good, the wind is noisy on the sea side.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

We appreciate you taking the time to share your reviews with us. It is very unfortunate that this is the experience you had at our resort, and we do apologize for any inconveniences caused during your stay. Our experience is not the typical one at Magdalena Grand and all your comments have been reviewed by our management team.
You would be happy to know that we have embarked on a training program for our team members, earlier this month a new cleaning crew was hired, and we have also hired new team members.

While we are located on the Atlantic side of the island, which means there is always a cooling breeze coming in, along with slight waves on the ocean, the resort also offers a complimentary shuttle service to Pigeon Point Beach to ensure our guests still experience the Caribbean sea. Please note that the waters change depending on the season you visit. December - March is a bit rougher than other times.

One of the advantages of being on the Atlantic coast is that we are a turtle nesting beach. If you visit between March - September you are certain to experience nature at its best as these amazing sea creatures visit our shores to lay their eggs.

We thank you again for your comments and do hope that we would have the opportunity to welcome you soon again and to provide you with a truly memorable expereince.

Best regards,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
1 review
Reviewed February 19, 2014

It was truly a pleasure hosting the 10th Scarborough Cup at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, last weekend, we had a great time the food was excellent and the golf course was enjoyable: thanks to Magdalena for the wonderful job in upgrading and repositioning the course and club house A special mention to three persons in particular who made our experience a memorable one, Malika Blair, Neil Fergie and Rachael Nathaniel. The entire staff did an excellent job: I look forward to many other golf tournaments in Tobago

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Haroon j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. It was our pleasure to be of service and to host the 10th Annual Scarborough Cup Golf Tournament. As our first golf tournament since the golf course's re-opening we were incredibly pleased with the event and look forward to working with you soon again.

Best wishes,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diego Martin, Trinidad
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

An average to nice hotel, with friendly reception. Unfortunately, the food was horrible and very overpriced. Ended up renting a car (1 dinner for 2 was equivalent to 3 day car rental) and really enjoyed the trip once we could eat elsewhere. The staff in the various service areas seemed more interested in arguing amongst themselves then customer service. Enjoyed the world of water sports on the premises though.

Room Tip: Chose a room on the ground floor,
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1735emily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. It is unfortunate that we were not able to meet your expectations of the resort.

The Magdalena Grand is pleased to provide our guests with 4 dining options - Robinson Crusoe Pub, Pembois Restaurant and Terrace, Kali'na, and Salaka Grill. Each of these restaurants offer an al carte menu with prices starting from TT $45 / TT $50 (US $7.00). Based on your review you may have only experienced the buffet restaurant, which will be a bit more pricey than the a la carte restaurants. Our buffet dinner is priced at TT $250 per person, however the cost to rent a car per day is TT $300.

It is nice to hear that you had the opportunity to visit our dive centre, Tobago Reef Masters, formerly World of Watersports. They are the only PADI certified dive center on the island!

We do hope that we would have another opportunity to be of service to you and to provide you with the quality of service that is customary at the Magdalena Grand.

Best wishes,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We stayed for two nights in October 2013. We had one perfect weather day so decided to make the most of that day by staying at the hotel and dividing our time between the beach and the pool. My overall impression...I'm glad to have checked it out, but would not choose to stay there again.

First the good:

-The main pool was awesome! Clean, spacious, fun little passages, good water temp. I really, really liked that pool! The photos do not do it justice. Ample lounge chairs and shade. No music blasting.
-Zsa Zsa in the Robinson Crusoe bar was charming and friendly
-Lovely setting on a beautiful beach. Nice clear, warm water and the waves were minimal while we were there.
-Good breakfast buffet! Everything was well prepared and there was lots of variety. Really good home-made pepper sauce.

The disappointing:
-The service is every bit as spotty as the others have said. From truly kind and professional (Zsa Zsa and Robyn) to just plain awful. We got room service the first night - the manager (nice lady who seemed genuinely interested in making sure things were done properly) came with the server and asked us to call when we were finished in order to get the tray removed. We called promptly as requested. That tray was still sitting outside our door when we checked out 2 days later.
-Checking in was a ridiculously long ordeal that took 45 minutes (no, there was no problem with our reservation and we did not arrive before check-in time began). The young man checking us in seemed confused and not quite there. Mumbling and giggling to himself...The other clerk checked two parties in during the time we spent trying to get checked in. When he did give us a room, we were on our way to it when he called us back, said the room wasn't ready, then spent another 10 minutes trying to find a room. The room he gave us was on the ground floor and had the view blocked by a pool. Keep in mind we paid for an ocean-view room. Anyway, we got that changed.
-Generally speaking, tourists visiting Tobago arrive and depart by air. So, it stands to reason those individuals who have not rented a car would need a cab to get from this remotely-located hotel to the airport. You know, so they can go home. The same stellar individual who checked us in, alas, was the only one available to check us out. That went okay until we asked for a cab. I'm just too flabbergasted, even after a few months, to go into details about this, so let's just leave it that we managed, after about 20 minutes, to impress upon him that "no cabs are available" wasn't accurate.
-The Robinson Crusoe bar - we tried to order drinks from their specialty menu but the first three we ordered couldn't be made because they didn't have the ingredients. Wow. ZsaZsa, who is a nice person, looked embarrassed and I felt really bad for her.
-The sour-faced young woman who allegedly was working the swim-up bar who tried to hide and scowled into her phone whenever an unsuspecting customer approached. Managers - there is a reason that bar sits empty while the grill bar is hopping.
-There is so much more...

It is truly a shame that the negatives here cast a pall on a property that otherwise has a lot going for it. If the conditions we encountered persist, I'd say that this place is okay for a short stay (2-3 days) for those that can focus on the good and roll with the rest. For longer stays, though, the downsides would get very old very quickly.

Room Tip: We were on a second floor room at the very end, farthest from the pool/restaurants. It was quiet, bu...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RC20011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

We thank you for taking the time to share your reviews with us.

Please note that we did in fact experience a few challenges duirng your visit last October, however the issues mentioned have since been rectified and addressed accordingly. Our team has undergone a training program, operational procedures have been reviewed, new team members have since been hired, and others have been released.

We do hope that you would allow us another opportunity to provide you the level of service that is expected and deserved at our resort. Please feel free to advise us of your return and we would be ensure that your stay in a memorable one.

Best regards,
Magdalena Grand
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Our holiday did not get off to a good start as on arrival at the hotel at 5.30.pm there was no one on the front desk and when someone did arrive to check us in there was no greeting and we were told in a very sullen manner that our room was not ready ,this is not what you want after travelling for 12 hrs. But looking at previous reviews this seems to be a common problem and one which they are obviously not addressing. We were eventually shown to the wrong room and had to come all the way back to reception to be then shown to the correct room.There was not one smile or apology during the whole of this.
Our room was supposed to be 'deluxe' and we had paid extra for this but there was nothing deluxe about it. We had one handtowel and on 3 occassions had none and had to call reception about this even then we still only got one for the last week.
We were all inclusive but when we opened the fridge in our room it was completely empty and it took us until the Thursday of the second week to get it stocked (we were leaving on the Saturday ).
Breakfast is the best meal of the day at the Pembois buffet. This is supposed to be open at lunchtime but was not except for weekends so the only place for lunch was the Salaka Grill the food choice is limited and the menu was the same for the whole 2 weeks the soup and catch of the day the only thing that change (but still Mahi Mahi every other day ).The service is slow erractic and indifferent ,I walked out one day after waiting 45 mins for a cup of coffee at the end of our meal after I had asked for it twice.
The food in the a la carte restautant is good but again choice is limited . Only 2 desserts (yes I did say 2 !) and one of those was ice cream. The service though is much better but still a bit slow.
The beach area on the hotel property floods regularly and the beach to the north is public and full of debris-plastic,dead fish,tv set and even a dead goat.
There were some good pints -
The pool area outside the pembois restaurant is beautiful.
The weather was great if a little windy.
The bed was comfy.
Would we go back - NO
Would we recommend - NO unless you wanted a Golf holiday and were not bothered about the beach or service

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SueAndrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rachael N, Director of Sales at Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us.

We truly apologize for the inconveniences casued during your stay in Januanry. Unfortunately, the resort was operating at maximum capacity during your visit and as a result we were faced with a few challenges. We are happy to report that since then we have amended our procedures, begun a new staff training program, and recruited more team members.

Our Deluxe Rooms offer guests a private balcony over looking the ocean, and is equipped with a king sized bed or two double beds, central air conditioning, ceiling fan, iron and ironing board, salon hair dyer, mini refrigerator, in-room safe, spacious bathroom with independent shower and bath, HD flat screen tv, complimentary wireless internet access, in-room coffee / tea maker, to name a few. Please also note that items in the mini bars are not included as part of our all-inclusive offering. This would have been listed in the Grand Experience Brochure for your review.

We must also apologize for Pembois being closed during lunch during your stay, however this restaurant has since been re-opened during lunch, providing guests with an additional option.

We would also like to take this time to mentioned that while we are located on the Atlantic side of the island and the water is a bit choppy depending on the season you visit, the resort offers a complimentary shuttle service to Pigeon Point Beach where guests can enjoy the Caribbean side of the island, and visit areas such as the Buccoo Reef and the Nylon Pool. We do make the necessary efforts to maintain the beach front, however with the tide and the waves constantly bringing in various items on our shores, it remains a work in progess.

We truly hope that you would allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again and for you to experience the changes that have been made since your last visit. We are certain that we can meet and exceed your expectations and provide you with a truly memorable experience.

We remain at your service,
Magdalena Grand
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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