24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We returned to the Rex Turtle Beach in M...
"We returned to the Rex Turtle Beach in May 2005 - this was our second visit. The first time was in June 2003. This is the only place in the world that I have been to when I cried as the bus picked us up to take us back to the airport. I didnât want to leave!!!
There are many, many mixed reviews about this hotel and most of them are negative. The first time we went, we knew nothing about the place, and while it was shabby, we thought we were in paradise. Tobago is such a beautiful and safe island to visit. The people are wonderful and very friendly. The hotel was still basic the second the time, but they have invested a lot of money in a new pool and replaced a number of the old noisy air con units and out lots of new comfy sunbeds round the pool. The management team are keen to talk to the guests and if you have a problem, itâs sorted straight away. On our second night, the tap broke off in my hand in the bathroom as I was getting ready for dinner. I reported it on the way into dinner, and when we went back to the room that night, the tap had been replaced, the beds had been turned down with a poesy of flowers between the pillows, we had clean towels and ice in the ice-bucket!!! This service continued every day throughout our stay.
The food is buffet style - breakfast consists of anything you want from fresh fruits and juices to eggs, bacon, cold meats, cheeses, bread, cereals etc. Lunch and dinner are also buffet and a couple of times a week there is a BBQ. Sunday night they do a carvery of roast meat, veg and Yorkshire puddings!! At 4pm you can take afternoon tea by the pool with sandwiches and cakes and pastries. They also do an A la Carte menu which is included in the AI tariff. Some people did complain that food became repetitive, but after two weeks there is only so much a chef can do!! We found the food to be tasty and well presented.
The maids come in and clean the room every day and were always friendly.
The island is so beautiful, so it is worth getting out and about. Hiring a car is a must to get to places like Castara (heaven), Englishmanâs Bay (breathtaking) and the Rain Forest and it is really worth taking the time out to visit these wonderful places.
A good trip out is Buccoo Reef/Nylon Pool for snorkelling and swimming and No Mans Land for a BBQ. A daylong trip well worth doing. No need to book with Virgin, you can get a better deal from the tour guides that visit the hotel on a regular basis. Woodies and Frankies Tours and both good and we used both of them during our stay.
You will find Stumpy (Tuna Man) and his fishing boat on the beach. He will take you fishing and is open to bargaining. My husband went twice with him, the second time he swapped a fishing reel for a trip so it cost him nothing!!! Stumpy is quite a character, his boat maybe basic and he may be large, but and will look after you.
If you are going to this hotel just chill and relax. Everything is in Tobago Time, and if you are pleasant to the staff (say good morning/afternoon - not hi or hello), they really will look after you. Tobago is not famous for luxury but remember - you only sleep in room!!"
- Travel date: Sat 30th of April 2005
"Myself and a friend have just returned from Tobago, we're both 19, female and went alone, which seems to be quite unusual as most people visting were couples or families. However we had a fantastic time, the hotel was basic yet clean and right on the beach. The staff were all very helpful and friendly. We found turtle beach the be the best on the island, though this was mainly due to the lovely locals and staff on the beach. We would definately return and have some brilliant memories."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of October 2004
"We arrived at the hotel with mixed feelings after reading some of the reviews. We were pleasently susprised as our room was OK and the food was lovely. We always go out of our way to be very friendly to the locals and staff, after all we are visiting their country, but we did notice that some of the staff were very surly (NOT ALL). We did have to wait 20 mins for a pre diner drink most evenings but we did not complain, BUT think we may have been the lucky ones as some of the quests had toilets that flooded and the rooms were not up to standard, when they complained they were told by the rep "what do you expect for a 2.5* hotel". We got friendly with some staff the general feeling was that they were overworked and underpaid. Things did come to a head the second week and the Regional Director had to come to sort things out. We did have to ask for our bed linen to be changed after 7 days..... but then basically you get what you pay for and if you want a cheap holiday in Tobago with no frills then this is the place to be. We found Paul the security guard very helpful and went out with Stumpy (a Local) on his boat and had a great time, so as I 've stated you must make the best of what you've got.
Worth a visit but I would not return."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of October 2004
insult to the island and people of tobago
"we stayed at this hotel on a room only basis, the staff were friendly but unhappy. To obtain beach towels was a joke!!, the maid would remove room towels from the room and 50% of the time would leave you with no towels until you telephoned housekeeping in the evening,even then you could wait an hour or more to get your fresh towels.
The rooms were generally a good size but poorly cleaned and needed a refurb especially the mattress which was very grubby. Despite the fact they advertise TV in every room it was pot luck if you had one (we were lucky).
The restaurant was expensive for the quality of food served(i.e. breakfast buffet 95tt$ (Toucan hotel freshly cooked and waitress served 35tt$ a meeting place for rex room only guests !!) the restaurant also totally lacked atmosphere,the bars were expensive and very slow. Beware if you want to eat indoors for dinner it is not air conditioned,and you must wear trousers,but if you eat outside you can wear shorts but still collect your buffet from the indoor restaurant!!!
This was our first and last visit to a Rex Resort"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of October 2004
As good as ever
"Well what can we say, the Rex Turtle Beach is as lovely as ever. The same warm welcome and the same friendly staff. Lovely clean and comfortable rooms, clean towels every day, every bit as good as last year.
They now have a much larger pool and outside bar area, which is fantastic only 3' 6" deep all the way round, which is great for people like my wife who is not a good or strong swimmer. Its as warm as bath water and you don't want to get out. They do try to keep the pool clean but you cannot help getting the odd dead fly or leaves in it as sometimes it can be breezy. If people did as they were asked there would be no sand in it but some people take no notice and come straight from the beach and into the pool. It makes me so mad as there are showers around the pool and they all work, there is no excuse for this. But I would like to say that the hotel staff clean round the pool every morning.
All the locals are still there and remembered us from last year which was lovely. There is Jackie who will give you the best full body massage for Â£20, lovely lady. Then there is Rubin who does rather unique carvings and he works just in front of the hotel on the beach, go and see him and find out what we mean. Last but not least you must visit Engin Bobb, his hut is at the end of the complex on the beach. He makes lovely bird feeders and wind chimes and can carve anything you like, a very clever man. He is over 6' tall and is a rastafarian (cannot miss him) with very long dreadlocks and is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. He now has an apprentice, Darren who can carve quite well and makes lovely wall plaques.
The island has a lot to offer in the way of culture and places to see and visit. One of them being Sunday School, it starts around 9pm and goes on till the early hours of the morning. When ever you are ready to go back to the hotel your guide will get you a taxi.
All in all the Rex Turtle Beach in Tobago is a fantastic place to stay, if anyone says otherwise I don't know were they are looking. This is not a 5 star hotel but it has eveything you will ever need or want for your stay, if you want 5 star treatment then go and pay 5 star prices elsewhere. Tobago is not too spoiled or too commercial yet, please lets keep it that way, its a beautiful island with beautiful people, my wife and I will certainly be visiting again next year."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of September 2004
The best Holiday experience
"Do not listen to reviews on this site that bad mouth this hotel. It is one of the best all inclusive deals my family and I have ever been on. The food was excellent and there was no limit on the kinds of drinks included. The rooms may be quite basic but they are immaculatly clean and come on you dont go to the caribbean to stay in your room all day! The newly built pool area is loverly and the beach couldnt be any closer, it so nice to open up your curtains and look out on to the sea first thing in the morning. As for watersports there is virtually everything but motorised equipment available. The staff were very friendly and I would definitly recommend this hotel to families and couples alike. One small tip that I would suggest is that if you plan to go on day trips around the island then shop around for a good deal because they do range in price and its easy to get ripped off."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of September 2004
Excellent location and hotel
"Im not sure exactly what everyone is expecting when they visit Tobago but i think that some people are being a little shallow. Although the caribbean is re-known for being a luxury place to visit, some of the islands such as Tobago are not just designed to be a tourist attraction. Tobago in general is a very poor island and so exceptional facilities can not be expected. We found the hotel very nice, although we did prepare ourselves for the worst having read all these reviews before leaving which had put doubt in our minds. It isnt in amazing condition but is still very nice, if you wanted amazing accomodation maybe you should be going to the Hilton but if you would rather have a great location then turtle beach is better for you.
The staff were generally very friendly apart from one member of staff from reception, but can you really expect every member of staff to be happy all the time, especially knowing that we are all enjoying the sun when they are stuck working, as many of them have no choice. No where in the world has staff who are always friendly. We found that if you were polite to them then they were the same back to you, you cant blame them considering the way they were treated by some of the guests. We did find that we had to wait a little while at the bar to get drinks but that was simply because it was always surrounded by people, that cant really be blamed on the hotel.
The pool is very nice, an excellent size, although was only open from 9-6, would have been nice to have an evening swim. The pool was generally very clean but did get quite sandy, simply because people can straight from the beach but was cleaned every morning.
The room we stayed in was quite basic but was always clean, we didnt go for to stay just in the room so it didnt really matter as long as it had water and beds. But was generally nice, especially the balcony view of the bay.The air conditioning was quite loud but very good, it was always very cool in our room, sometimes a little too cold. The cleaners were very good.
The food was also very good, we had the choice of buffet or the menu, we always choose buffet simply because there was always a great variety, including local fish and especially the puddings.
Turtle beach had an amazing location right on the beach, we simply walked straight out from our rooms to the beach. The water is a little rough where the waves break but once past that the water is lovely. The beach is massive.
There are lots of locals who walk up the beach trying to sell their products such as, wood carvings, aloe vera, trips around the island, necklaces etc. They can be a bit annoying especially when your trying to read a book, you just need to say no thank you and they get the message, they are all very friendly.
We found a very nice man just slightly up the beach called Engine Bobb, who makes all sorts of things out of wood, for very good prices. He made us some amazing items. He also knows alot about the island and can answer most questions.
The island has some great wildlife, we stayed mainly in the hotel area and still saw some great animals, including, Fire flies, a baby turtle, lizards, tiny colourful birds, bull frogs and fish.
We had an excellent holiday and would reccomend the hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of September 2004
"I agree with the person below that the hotel was a little tired. However bearing in mind that we got to the caribean for little more than we spent getting to spain (where we enjoyed crowded beaches, had to hire a car to reach a beach, and paid high prices for food and drink) I would say that this resort is excellent value for money. The air con in our room was pretty new with remote control. The room was cleaned daily to a very good standard. The staff were generally freindly, however those that say they are rude should bear in mind that they are working from 7.30 am to past 10.30 pm some 7 days a week. (you try smiling at everyone under those conditions) Beach was clean and tidy. The slating the other people gave this beach is rediculous. The statement about stagnant pools is mad. if you walk for about 10 min's either side of the resort you will find small freshwater rivers running down to the beach that enter the sea after heavy rain. They are full of tadpoles not mosqitoes. As for dogs mess i found none. Also the litter was there but confined to the extremes of the beach well past the resort itself. (This is a public beach) the area of beach that the resort took up was cleaned daily of rubbish leaves and fallen fruit etc.
Now if you want a perfect hotel and the entire beach cleaned and all smiling staff I suggest we all start paying an extra Â£2000 for our holiday there. For me with a small family and smaller budget this was a great holiday. Those who have slated this resort probably wanted something for nothing. The locals were great. I dont like pools as such but the pool was clean and very large and safe. If your keen on fishing and marine life go to the left (when facing the sea) for rock pools with juvenile parrot fish, damsels and the odd moray eel. Go to the right to the jetty where the locals fish, you wade through the water, here are tarpon touching 100 pounds. Reefs are great full of large fish. If you take your own fishing kit make sure you have strong line my 25 pound line ws snapped off on the beach twice.
If anybody wants pictures of the resort surounding beaches etc let me know and i will email them or post to you. Finally i have been back 1 day and i have the 2005 brochure to book next year. Well done Rex Turtle Beach see you next year. (ps no i don't work for any holiday company)"
- Travel date: Tue 7th of September 2004
OK but very tired and understaffed.
"My family and I stayed at the RTB during the last two weeks of August. I have stayed at three other Rex Hotels and I have always been more than delighted with the quality and service at all of them. This wasnât the case at the RTB. Our room (205) was extremely tired (especially the bathroom which was positively ancient) and just a little bit grubby, the air conditioning unit was very old and VERY noisy, so much so it kept me awake at night. The restaurants, lobby and reception were also extremely tired and generally the whole hotel needed a total refurbishment to bring it up to itâs 3+ star rating from what I would classify as only a 2 star. This hotel is now 38 years old (built in 1966) and by the look of it, not a lot has been done to improve the hotel, apart from the odd lick of paint here and there, and the addition of an absolutely outstanding swimming pool and swim up bar that was built in December 2003.
The hotel was desperately short of staff (due to management restrictions), which in turn affected the moral of the potentially friendly people that worked there and the smiles were few and far between. It was sometimes difficult to get a drink at the bar because there was only one bar person in an hotel that was 85% full, most of which were on an all inclusive basis. I had spoken to people who had returned to the RTB after visiting for the first time in 2003 and they were dismayed at how the numbers and attitude of staff had changed since their last visit.
Apart from all of this, I thought the food was excellent and plentiful if a little bit predictable sometimes, and the hotelâs excellent beachfront location (which is always the case at Rex hotels) made things a little more bearable.
If you want a holiday with no frills and an excellent beachfront location this might be the place for you, if on the other hand you are looking for a little more quality, the RTB may not be what you are looking for."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of September 2004
Fantastic time in Tobago
"The Rex Turtle Beach Hotel is friendly and unpretentious, it's on a long dark sandy beach. This hotel isn't a new stylish one you might find on the continent, we are in Tobago an unspoilt Carribean Island where life is relaxing and laid back. Hotel's here are small and few. Yes there are better class hotels but this one is relaxed, very comfortable, clean and welcoming. The rooms are spacious and cleaned every day, the air conditioning is a little noisy but you soon come a customed to that, however i think that new units were being installed in some rooms. The staff are superb and couldn't do enough for you. So if you want a nice relaxing hotel which really looks after its guests, then this is the one for you. We went all inclusive for 2 weeks and can honestly say we were really looked after. The food was always nice and hot and a varied selection. Plenty of drinks to keep you cool by the lagoon style swimming pool with Jacuzzi in the centre. The pool is about 3ft deep all round, it has plenty of wide steps for easy access, so it's great for small children or unsteady adults. There is Watersports on the beach with very friendly staff on hand to help you. The beach was very wide so plenty of room for everyone. You would walk along the beach to Plymouth which is worth a walk to see how the locals live. You never felt threatened at all because the locals were very friendly. The beach traders were very friendly too, but they were'nt bothered if you didn't buy their trips, they just liked a good chat!. Jacqui was great, she sold jewellry at the hotel. Jason sold excursions and the friendly wood carver Ruben carved items to order. We went on a boat trip with Stumpy the Tuna Man for 4 hours to snorkle etc, it was well worth the trip. He didn't rush us at all. Also the Speyside trip is great to see some of the island with a delicious lunch at Gemma's tree house restaurant. Scarborough is the capital, it is not what you might expect they cater for locals more than tourists, there are few shops to buy presents. This holiday was great and made even better by the local friendly people. Also Turtles do come and lay their eggs, about 12 came whilst we were there which is a great experience. To sum this hotel up, its friendly, comfortable, clean and had a good range of entertainment. We will gladly return to this hotel and will hopefully do so in the future."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of July 2004
We really found paradise!
"Having read some of the negative reviews of the Turtle Beach, we were a little concerned about the hotel as we set off for our holiday. We had booked Tobago for my husband's 40th birthday and were looking forward to spending time together somewhere really special. On arrival we were greeted with a fine rum punch and then had one of the best holidays ever.
The hotel is lovely, the rooms are basic but you are staying on a beautiful island - so why spend time in your room? We stayed on the all inclusive package and we were very impressed with the food. Each evening the buffet had a different theme, but if there was little that you fancied you could eat from the menu. However, we decided to eat out, just to experience the local food. We visited the Seahorse Restaurant and had fantastic meals there. Well worth the visit.
We booked Stumpy's boat for an afternoon and were taken by him and his son to the Nylon Pool. We were the only two people there. A truly fantastic experience. A huge thank you to Stumpy for agreat afternoon. We also did an island tour and went to the Argyle Waterfall.
We feel that we really found paradise - the island and the people are fabulous. We have many beautiful memories and hope to return sometime in the future."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of July 2004
This is hopefully going to be a useful r...
"This is hopefully going to be a useful review! The rooms were quite basic with slightly noisy air conditioning, but clean, comfortable with huge beds and the sound of the waves to sleep to. Perfectly adequate and good value for money. The beach was beautiful and empty. There are a few static traders (about 5) who have a real interest in you and are happy to talk - no pressure to buy at all. You could get hand made shoes, your nails painted, wood carvings or your hair braided.
I am a very fussy eater, so I wasnât overly impressed with the food - I donât like meat on the bone, or vegetables, so I guess thatâs my fault!. There was a good selection of desserts and salads and the other people we met thought it was great (as did my husband and son). The fish was fabulous.
The pool was very clean and a good size and it was never crowded. The staff were lovely and if you made the effort to talk to them they were happy to chat with you. We saw a huge turtle laying her eggs at 2.00am - the staff wake you if you ask - and we rescued loads of baby turtles. There were humming birds galore and the snorkelling was fantastic - we saw rays, eels, angelfish, star fish and many more. We went in rainy season, so had a bit of rain everyday for the first week - usually an hour at lunchtime when the heavens opened - but none the second week. It was quite hot and humid. Couldnât find out the temperature other than "real hot" as defined by the locals! There is no crime on the island and I felt very safe - enough to allow my 10 year old to wander off the mile long golden (not white) beach. The best of all .... the sunsets. Absolutely fabulous.
Would go back tomorrow - relaxing, calm, no lager louts and mostly polite English residents. The trips were great, the rain forest was a really great experience (you have to hire wellies, but not expensive). If I did this trip, again I would go on an early morning as you see more rather than later in the day. Got a great deal through Virgin too, but I suspect it would be cheaper if you booked direct. Despite being 15 minutes from the airport - we didnât hear a thing."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of June 2004