24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Better than average
"Here's a list of pros and cons, because I'm not going to bore you with paragraph after paragraph of babble.
- Biggest pool on the island. Very clean, warm and fresh.
- Swim-up bar was a personal highlight.
- Lots of wildlife around; something which I found fascinating but it's not for everyone. Tropical birds, foot-long lizards, cows on the beach, puppies, massive locusts
- Rooms were large and clean (well, ours was clean - others will tell you otherwise)
- The food was more like 4 or 5 star. Excellent for a 3 star hotel. Vast variety of tastes for different people
- Waiters and waitresses we wonderful people. Service with a smile, and always quick.
- If you've been before you will know that the place used to be packed but there were only four families there when we went so you WILL make friends. Everyone is very close
- The lobby was comfortable and somewhere for people to gather before/after tea
- Free WiFi everywhere in the hotel including the beach (somehow)
- The bar man Mark is the nicest man you will ever meet. However he is only working there as a part time job as he is travelling
- Lots of excursions - we would recommend going on a full day catamoran cruise. Blissful.
- The rep, whose name could be Kwesi... Kwazi... Something like that. He was lovely, had a really cheeky personality, really helpful and best of all, reminded me of will.i.am.
- You can sign at reception for 'turtle watch' and then men guarding the beach at night will tell you when a turtle comes to lay her eggs at night, or if the eggs are hatching
- We were lucky, and a large leatherback turtle came to lay her eggs on the beach in broad daylight rather than at night. It was beautiful and bought a tear to our eyes
- DO NOT STEP FOOT IN SCARBOROUGH
- The sunbeds that weren't broken were very dirty, so put a towel on it before sitting on the bird poo
- One of the men that guard the beach asked me to come with him, and when I declined, he asked me for my number, and it took time to shake him off which I found really disturbing and uncomfortable
- There was a group of men killing a pig on the beach
- Lots of cockroaches
- A crab the width of my chest strolled into the restaurant while we were eating
- One woman at reception in particular was really rude
- Ok so this is the main thing I found unpleasant: there is a long alleyway leading to each of the hotel rooms. Our hotel room was the last one so I had a long distance to walk at night. I was separated from the locals by only a wall with loads of square holes. At one point I found myself sprinting down it because I could see the locals only a few yards away, blasting awful music in their cars which were parked. They were shouting and the place stank of cannibis. I found this extremely threatening to the point when I barely wanted to go back to the room"
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of June 2012
"stayed here Oct.2011. very tired hotel. Our room had big hole in wall and broken door.
dirty and broken sunbeds,barking dogs on beach,
shower water runs hot and cold,
beach dirty and unkept, not enough sunshades,
no options on menu i.e. on chinese night if you don't like chinese food there is no other option, fruit- same every day, water melon, pineapple, bananas.
Bar ran out of ice, and bar not open when it should be.
Hotel caters for a lot of local conferences and they seem to take preference over the holiday guests.
Stayed here 14years ago and definately gone down hill. Only thing they have done to it in 14years is put in a swimming pool.
I would rate this no more than a 2 star."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of October 2011
A Caribbean Jewel
"Reading the reviews, I do wonder why some people bother to go to the Caribbean. Tobago is not Miami. Rex Turtle Beach is not on Park Lane.
However, if you want a gentle and relaxed place - not too many tourists, no big tourist centre and some fabulous wildlife, both underwater and in the rainforest - go to Tobago. We've stayed at this hotel fourteen times over the last eighteen years, largely not as our main annual holiday....but somehow we just keep going back.
The staff are universally wonderful - I do wonder what sort of attitude was adopted towards them those making the negative comments below. The staff are Caribbean - so they are chilled; respectful but slow...all part of the charm. If you want to snap your fingers and expect a cocktail in seconds, go somewhere else, you poor old things...ther must be somewhere where you will be happy!
The rooms are simple, but it's difficult to see that you need the nth degree of luxury when you are literally right on the beach...and Courland Bay is to die for...a pure, unspoilt, curve of white coral sand about six km long. I've spent much of my working life in five star hotels around the world - basically, give me character any time...I'm not interested in marble palaces. This place is oozing with character, right down to the gardening team who will happily take you on a tour of the ample grounds and describe the evolution of each plant.
The food is excellent and plentiful - served in a restaurant cooled by the open sides....no nasty air conditioning here! The servers couldn't be nicer. And you really get a flavour of Caribbean food - isn't that why you visit the Caribbean?
The hotel has changed a little over the years, but essentially it remains a jewel - a wonderful, timeless, piece of Caribbean treasure. We don't need it turned into an Identikit hotel that you might find anywhere else - this place oozes character, and if you treat the staff with respect they will look after you better than practically anywhere else.
We're back there on 11 October for three weeks and I truly can't wait.
- Travel date: Sat 10th of July 2010
Arrived in Tobaggo following a 3 night s...
"Arrived in Tobaggo following a 3 night stay in Trinidad. Went in the catermaran (would recommend flying as it was a very rough crossing). Arrived at the reort and was greeted by friendly, helpful staff. Rooms were bight, clean and spacious with beautiful beach views and balcony. Linen changed most days. I don't believe in having fresh sheets every day as I don't have them at home however had to chase up fresh towels once!
The food was of a good standard with a mixture of international and local dishes. My advice would be to eat early before the most of the other residents came down. Breakfast was particularly good and would set you up for the day. I liked the made to order omlettes, well worth the wait.
We went early in December so there was an unusual Christmas athmosphere but it was nice. The nightly entertainment was a little hit and miss. Vast majority of other residents were very friendly and we often stayed up chatting and having fun although all bars closed by 23.30 which was a little disappointing for night owls like my wife and I. You will be inundated with 'tour guides'. Ask at reception which ones are the best. We chose a number of day trips around the island and were not diappointed, its beautiful. Be careful on the beach as you may get visited by people trying to sell you things and offer serives such as a massage and don't go on the beach alone after dark. If you're looking for night life, look elsewhere however we fancied a relaxing break. "
- Travel date: Sun 10th of August 2008
My husband surprised me with a week all...
"My husband surprised me with a week all inclusive here, it was lovely, we where really unsure after reading these reviews, but when we got there is was fine! OK it needs up-dating in areas, but for 3 star and the price (we got a good deal) we couldn't complain. The staff where really friendly, except for one woman, but she didn't ruin the holiday! When we arrived we just relaxed, we had to wait for our room, but we didn't care too much as we were on holiday and there to relax, and the staff attitude seemed too be that.... relaxed, in a good way!!
The beach was lovely, a few people ask you to go on tours, but once they have asked you the once they didn't bother you again! We got a car hire for 2 days and it was great, we got to see the island as and when we wanted to!
Other people who were holidaying there were really friendly too and not snobby, nice to have normal people to chat to and not stuck up. Recommend to go Pigeon Point beach for a day, it was beautiful!
We found a smile went a long way at this place, if you where miserable you would get a negative response, but if you smiled (like you should on holiday) then the staff couldn't do more for you!!!
The food was nice for a week, but any longer I would say it probably repeats its self! "
- Travel date: Fri 29th of February 2008
Although I went a few years ago I wanted...
"Although I went a few years ago I wanted to put a bit of info down.
Yes, the hotel is tired and worn (it was when I went there!), but it is good for just a room.
For those who like to experience local flavour and see different countries, there are some fantastic trips that can be done and some beautiful snorkelling and diving spots!
The island itself is beautiful and in season, you can experience all the giant turtles coming to beach to lay their eggs-the hotel will call your room on request to get you up so you can see this-what an amazing experience!
Not many places to eat or shop near the hotel but if you do get to eat outside the accommodation; the local fish is fantastic when cooked in little local restaurants and extremely cheap!
If you want to get to Tobago to experience what the island has to offer, the hotel is fine to stay at. If you want to go for an all inclusive holiday where you donât leave the hotel and eat there all the time and expect to be entertained, this one probably isnât for you. Not much entertainment if you donât do trips!
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of November 2007
I went for a week in January 2007. Made...
"I went for a week in January 2007. Made my own way to the transport (allegedly arranged by Virgin, although I had to ask all the way to the bus as they had no record of me, and no one "promoting" their service)
Upon entering the Hotel we were offered a glass of punch, and a cool towel, again we were told there would be a delay while our rooms were "readied". We were told that we could use all the facilities meanwhile - not very much help when all your luggage is sitting in the middle of reception!
Once our room was ready were were escorted to it, and asked if we would like a hand with our luggage, which we declined as we did not have more than we could handle ourselves. This was a mistake as we were towards the far end of the accommodation which is about 200metres away!
We did not upgrade, which meant we did not get a TV (didn't see the need for it we came here to get away from it all, after all!) or a fridge, however other guests often complained that their fridges weren't re-stocked.
Swim up bar was fantastic, pool was clean, poolside staff/bar staff were very friendly. Remainder of staff were in the main quite reserved in a servile manner.
Beach hawkers were a complete PITA, although most would leave you in peace once you told them you were not interested, several required quite extremes of rudeness to discourage.
Beach is nice, and water is lovely, Children had only just been allowed at the resort, although I would not recommend it for a family holiday as the sea is a bit too strong for most young children.
Saw a couple of Turtles (completely out of season as well which was rather good!) Did not go on any of the organised trips, as they seemed extremely poor value for money. Instead went with locally organised ones, and ended up spending a fantastic evening with the family of one of the Captains of the A1 tour had a geat Barbie and all were very friendly!
Local Taxis, whilst decrepit were very good value, friendly and good value, ate out quite a lot as the food was quite below par, some fantastic local restaurants!!
Would recommend Turtle Beach by Rex only as a base of operations, and not as an all inclusive dream."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of September 2007
We travelled with BA from Gatwick via An...
"We travelled with BA from Gatwick via Antigua with Kuoni. - We asked for to pay for an upgrade -but were advised by BA because we had booked a package with Kuoni we could not up grade ?
Now for Rex Turtle Beach hotel - may be three star but its an absolute disgrace, should not be listed as a hotel more a homeless persons hostel !! I heard guests ( or victims )
describing the facilities as "tired" there were being kind to this establishment.
We were initally offered a room on the third floor of the "new" block, wich we said was not satisfactory, we were then offerd a room on the second floor of the new block - ok - but we had to struggle along a long pathway to the second floor with our luggage - no assistance offered !! On arrival the sight and the smell that greeted us was beyond belief -the furniture was well worn and stained, toilet was well past its maintenace date, the whole room absolutely stank with "citronella" bug spray. The air condition unit was the window unit type with the front panel hanging off and making considerable noise.
The bed looked clean, my wife agreed to stay the night in the room on the understanding either we moved to a better room or we move to another hotel next morning. They moved us to a slightly better room with a newer air condition unit (which did not fully function but better than nothing !) toilet was in the same condition, on talking to other guests was standard for the hostel !!
I raised our concerns with Tobago Travel Rep. (Kuoni's Agents) she was not really interested, basically advising you get what you pay for ? no we did not !! ok we decided to tough it out, relax and make the best of it and deal with the situation when we go home but when you travel so far to relax the last thing you want is poor accomodation.
Now for the food !! ah! the so called food, we have been to the Carribean several times and we understand they want to use as much locally purchased ingredients as possible,
but fish, chicken, pasta, rice - then fish, chicken, pasta, rice, followed by fish, chicken, pasta and rice, get the picture - boiled vegatables (raw) every day including for breakfast. Forget the all inclusive food if you want to survive you have to go to the Al a Carte menu and pay.
The Staff - or lack off - the ones that are there generally don't give a toss, particularly in the bar you can sit there and they 'll just ignore you, when you get their attention they are doing you a favour giving you a drink ( which you have already paid for ) oh! and all your drinks at the pool bar come in those little plastic cups that you get at the office drinking fountain - so in the heat you have to continually run up and down for a drink. Possible the staff feel put on by the management who are definately not supporting them - so we have the domino effect - we guests suffer the backlash.
THERE IS A DEFINATE LACK OF RESPECT TOWARD GUESTS. I know as I am in the customer service business.
Finally would I go back to the Turtle Beach Hotel Tobago - NO ! poor accomodation, poor food, staff who don't give a toss and a Kuoni Rep who had other things to do !!
I can spend my money and my time in better locations around the world.
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of September 2007
This is our experience of the Rex Resort...
"This is our experience of the Rex Resorts Turtle Beach Hotel in Tobago.
We were at the hotel for the first two weeks of June 2007 and had booked through Virgin. We should say that we are not the type of people who go looking for problems, we just wanted to tell it as we found it and hope it helps others make a choice thatâs right for them.
We arrived at the hotel at about 2pm tired and hot. We were met with a welcome drink and a towel to refresh ourselves. In the background was steel band music â very pleasant we thought a good first impression.
However we were told that our room was ânot quite readyâ yet and we would be contacted when it was. We were there on an all-inclusive package and were given a wrist band to indicate this.
We were eventually told the room was ready after a two hour plus wait but when we tried to check-in at reception we were told we should have contacted someone âin a white shirtâ who had the forms we needed first. Having found him, and I believe he should have found us; we could go to our room.
Our room was on the third, floor of the accommodation block at the extreme furthest end of the hotels property, some distance from reception. There are no lifts and no assistance to carry your cases was apparent.
The room is fairly typical of rooms in the Caribbean, a large double bed, wardrobe, settee, and a dressing table with a bathroom/toilet to one side. The room was air-conditioned but the unit was old and very, very noisy. We paid for a room upgrade to a âsuperior, sea facing roomâ at an extra cost of Â£14 per night.
This included a TV in the room and a fridge that would be stocked every week. We subsequently found out that every room had a TV and the fridge restocking consisted of 6 small beers and 6 soft drinks with water.
It should be noted that all the rooms are sea facing so this is very misleading. I really donât think the cost of the upgrade is worthwhile.
The accommodation block is very run down and in a poor state of repair with aertex hanging from the ceiling on the stairs by our room and many of the lights on the walkways outside the rooms are broken. Broken glasses were left balanced on the handrails of the stairs by the cleaners once or twice â very dangerous if they had fallen.
The rooms are however basically clean and are serviced every day.
There is a large pool which seemed clean and well maintained with a bar alongside. The pool it seems wasnât meant to be used for the first couple of days we were there, owing to an ear infection some children had picked up.
We werenât told anything by the hotel staff but saw a notice on the hotels board some distance from the pool and out of sight from it. Communication between staff and guests in general is poor.
There is a sandy beach which runs along the entire length of the bay with palm front style parasols in front of the hotel. The beach is pretty clean but in places shelves quite steeply once in the water. The waves are deceptively strong and can take your feet from under you.
There are however warning notices of this along the hotels front. You can expect to be hassled frequently by peddlers, especially on your first few days, selling everything from trips to drugs. Usually most take a firm ânoâ and leave you to it but one or two are much more of a nuisance.
The hotelâs restaurant is the only place to get food, there is no âout of hoursâ snack bar etc. The buffet food is ok but nothing exciting. If you donât like chicken or fish then your options are quite reduced.
There is an 'al la carte' option but if you are all-inclusive there is a limit to what you can order without paying. The single biggest problem we found during our stay was the attitude of some of the staff. Some, namely Jason in the pool bar were so happy and friendly, others were surly to the point of rudeness.
We found some of the trips organised by Virgin to be over twice the price available from locals with almost no âadded valueâ. In fact the âSunday Schoolâ trip was miss-sold by the rep, you are far better off going with a local taxi which all seem to be safe and cheap.
The beach is a fantastic place to see leatherback turtles coming ashore at night to lay their eggs at this time of year, something not to be missed. A peddler will try to get you to pay to see them, ignore this, itâs free. You just have to keep a distance, keep pretty quiet and donât use flashes to try to get pictures.
We chartered a boat from âWoodys Toursâ for our wedding anniversary and have to say we had the most wonderful day â I recommend it wholeheartedly.
In general then, the hotel is ok but only ok. It is a three star and reflects this in the price and the way it runs. We treated it as a base to explore the island, which helped.
Several others there at the same time as us had much worse experiences and tried to find other accommodation but without paying twice as much itâs not possible.
Would we go back to Tobago? â Possibly. Would we go back to Turtle Beach? â No way."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
We had a wonderful time at Turtle Beach...
"We had a wonderful time at Turtle Beach Tobago.
We had 2 rooms, one for my husband and I, and the one immediately next door for our 2 children, Son 15 and Daughter 12. We were worried the children may be bored as we'd never done a beach holiday before, but we needed have been. We all loved it.
The rooms had just been decorated, we could tell this due to the paint splashes on the TV & fridge! So they were quite fresh and bright, but the furniture was a bit tired and the bathrooms could do with a refit some time soon - but it didn't detract from the holiday one bit.
The staff were so friendly, from Brandy Girl (our nickname for her) in the restaurant to Jason a grounds man, to Brent and Jason (different one) in the bar. They took an interest in the children too, chatting to them.
The locals who are on the beach are just such wonderful characters, even though they are selling things there is no pressure, they're just as happy to chat to you if you don't buy anything.
Our son joined in football on the beach with the younger locals which are a memory he will treasure.
We dived with Johnny in the diving school on site which was fantastic. All very casual with their timings, I think this is a characteristic of the place! The boat picked us up and we went to an area called Back Bay which is just beautiful.
We even had time after our dive to spend an hour on the beach which was secluded and empty; we felt we were in paradise.
We also did 2 trips with a tour guide who does wildlife talks in the hotel (booked direct with him not via Virgin) call Peter Cox. He is a wonderful guide, so knowledgeable about the wildlife, fauna and flora.
We had a driver called Elvis, who had such a contagious laugh - as our daughter tends to get travel sick she sat up front with Elvis - who was continually honking his horn and making us all laugh.
We visited Little Tobago, transported on a glass bottom boat, and snorkelled on Angel Reef then had a fabulous lunch in Gemmas Treehouse. Before the eventful journey back to the hotel. We also visited the rainforest with Peter; it was an early morning up and meet at 6am! But it was worth it.
Our son was swinging on vines like Tarzan and catching fish with his hands in a fresh water river. We went Cayman spotting too. Finally, finishing with a swim in the Argyle Falls.
We can also recommend the Catamaran trips, we did both the ones offered by Virgin and enjoyed them both. We saw loads of dolphins on the first trip, swam out to Cotton Bay Beach and enjoyed a lovely bbq cooked by the crew. The second trip we swam with Rays and became 10 years younger by swimming in the Nylon Pool!! I wish!!
We did not, however, go to Sunday School. On talking to other people who went we're glad we didnât. We were worried about the children and decided it wasn't our thing.
I think the best way to do Sunday school would be to get a taxi there and one back when you'd had your fill - rather than the organised bus rides which you then have to wait until the bus is ready to come back.
After reading the other reviews on this resort, I won't talk about the food as it is pretty much covered. However, what we didn't know until about the second week is our daughter could order from the childrenâs menu and ask for ice cream and it was all still included in the AI.
We presumed if you ordered from the menu you would pay for it when you checked out. So that was a bonus as she is a fussy eater, just wish we had known at the beginning. All Inclusive is definitely value for money.
The entertainment in the evening is pretty good too, we really enjoyed the Pleasure Pirates, and they had us in stitches. But it is so beautiful just sitting on the beach, with a drink watching the sunset, anything extra is just an added bonus.
Overall, we had a fabulous time and will be going back."
- Travel date: Fri 19th of January 2007
Just got back from two weeks at the Turt...
"Just got back from two weeks at the Turtle Beach resort. On the whole the holiday was very good. I travelled with two other adults and our room was perfect - Two bedrooms (one super king size bed and one single), air conditioning, bathroom and balcony. The room was clean and tidy, with enough space to put clothes and other items. The electricity supply in our bedroom was normal 3-pin plugs for the lights and 2 pin (the thin metal strips not round ones) for everything else. The view from the balcony was stunning.
Food at the resort was very good and the selection was varied. Each day they had an assortment of dishes for lunch and dinner with a variety of two or three meats (lamb, beef, pork, chicken, fish), rice, vegetables, pasta, salad etc etc. I'm a very fussy eater but I found plenty to eat every day. Breakfast was the usual choice of cereals, cheese & meat, full English, fruit, croissants and cakes. The girl that does the omelettes will also do fried and poached eggs if you prefer).
The drink service was better at the pool bar than the other one by reception. Our favourite barman was Brent, with Jason coming a close second. They were both excellent and worked hard.
Overall the staff were very good and helpful. We got on well with 99.9% of them. Part of our holiday is about chatting to staff and locals and they like to chat back, so be friendly.
Entertainment at night usually consists of steel band or people singing reggae songs. It was ok for the odd night or two but did get a little tedious. Watch out for Princess someone, the way she moves her bum I would swear she has no backbone!
There was one big down side to the holiday, and for us it was a really big problem. The dive centre on the resort left a lot to be desired. We had gone specifically to dive, and during the first week we were left waiting around for the boat every single day, on one occasion it was 3 hours. So instead of diving in the morning from 9.30 and getting back for lunch we would set off somewhere between 10.30/12.30 and get back about 2.30/4pm, wasting part of the morning and missing lunch. When the boat captain did turn up and we did go diving it was excellent, and the dive leaders Davey and Tiann were first class and very knowledgeable. Sadly, we were so fed up after the first week we contacted our rep who put us in touch with Undersea Tobago based at Coco Reef Resort. They were fantastic, very prompt, excellent service and back at our resort for 12.30, so we had the rest of the day to ourselves. I would therefore recommend that you contact your rep if you want to dive.
On the whole, this hotel is great value for money and well worth going to, and I would recommend going all inclusive. We got our money's worth on the drinks alone (which are NOT watered down, well I can guarantee the whisky and vodka wasn't!). If you want to buy a wood carving from Reuben on the beach buy a turtle, they look really good, don't buy a ray, it looks like a pizza shovel - I should know, I got drunk and bought one!! The belt man makes really good quality belts, he made two for us to our specification.
Whatever you do enjoy it, but remember the people in Tobago work in Tobago time.
One final point, not regarding the hotel. We travelled with Virgin. They were fantastic. Flight good, service good, rep good, transfer good. We left a Â£300 mobile phone in the room and the flight crew contacted the ground, who contacted the hotel who found our phone. Virgin are flying it back to us as I type this.... What fantastic service."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006
If you want a value for money trip to th...
"If you want a value for money trip to the Caribbean, the Rex Turtle Beach will be perfect for your requirements. We were on our honeymoon and must admit that we wish we had paid the extra money to stay at one of the 4* hotels on the island for something special.
The hotel is very basic. The rooms are spacious but decor is dated and bathrooms needing refurbishment. The restaurant and lounge are not air-conditioned so can be quite warm on an evening. The pool is great, never busy and no problem getting a sun bed. You can swim up to the pool bar and relax with a drink.
The major attraction of this hotel is its position on the beach, all rooms have a sea view which is stunning. Amazing sitting on your terrace watching the sunset. If you visit in the Turtle season, you will hopefully see a Turtle laying her eggs or help the baby turtles find their way to the sea. The hotel have a 'Turtlewatch' that you can put your name down and if the local Turtle patrol find a turtle, they will ring your room to allow you to go and watch. Beware this can be in the early hours of the morning, but a once in a lifetime experience!
There are loads of excursion to do on the island. The rainforest is a great day out. Highly recommend a visit to Pigeon Point- this is the Caribbean you picture, white sands and turquoise sea. We spent many days there and is only a short taxi drive away.
I would not recommend hiring a car, its pretty basic road surfaces and limited road signs."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of August 2006