13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I would go back tomorrow. Lovely approa...
"I would go back tomorrow. Lovely approach to the hotel and great just being a 15-20 min drive from airport. Staff very friendly.
Food and drinks wonderful. Rooms were just perfect, right on the beach front. Would often go back to room early and drag sun lounger down onto the beach with a drink and MP3 â Heaven!
Went out of season in November, and rained nearly every day but not for long still hot though.
Went on Island Girl boat trip, absolutely great, all inclusive trip with drinks and barbecue. Swam with sting rays etc.
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
The Hilton Tobago is a fantastic hotel....
"The Hilton Tobago is a fantastic hotel. My husband and I got married there last year and everything about it was perfect.
The staff were brilliant, we were made to feel extremely welcome and we didn't have to worry about a thing. The hotel is lovely the food was gorgeous. And well worth every penny we spent!
Tobago is a beautiful island and the locals are very friendly. Anyone visiting must go to Sunday School a great night out, lots of dancing, street food and good beer."
- Travel date: Sun 24th of September 2006
Wouldn't go again
"We stayed in the Hilton in April 2005 and found our room, which was a suite was very good and the service with housekeeping was excellent. As was the service from the bar staff. However, although the hotel wasn't very busy the reception staff were very un-helpful and down right rude. Also many birds were present and would land and eat the food from the table while you sat there and the landed on the food on the breakfast. The food in the restaurant was average and very over-priced, although we found many good restaurants in Shirvan Road which was about a 5 min drive (2km). The hotel ammenties were good and clean, however the public beach which the Hlton beach leads on to was very dirty, we saw lots of broken glass, old bathroom facilities, plastic containers and a dead headless dog. The beach was such that you would walk along it and it spoilt it for us. The beaches on the caribbean side were great clean, blue and like the picture of pardise, the best beaches were englishman's bay and pigeon bay. Tobago as a place was great but I wouldn't go back as it was very clean."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of April 2005
Our first taste of Tobago
"My partner and I had our first taste of Tobago this February and stayed at the Hilton Tobago for 2 weeks.
One must firstly remember that Tobago is a small West Indian island and NOT New York. Therefore, do not go expecting to be pampered in the way one might in other cities around the world. The pace of life in Tobago is slower and the service may at times reflect this. However, when all is said and done we found the staff to be more than helpful, utterly courteous and a joy to be with. Nothing was too much trouble and if you can forgive the occasional forgetfullness of teaspoons etc. then I guarantee you will have a wonderful time.
Drinks don't take long to serve and I never waited more than 2-3 minutes. Mind you, the taste of them is so fantastic, I would have waited an hour!
The beach is fine and uncrowded. It slopes very gently, so children can bathe very safely.
We loved the place and are returning next year.... I can't wait!"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of April 2005
We had a great time!
"My husband (British) and I (American) just returned from a wonderful 7 day trip to Tobago. The Hilton is a very nice hotel which I would happily recommend to anyone. The hotel and rooms are kept clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, the pool is great and the restaurants are up to a good tourist standard.
The hotel is attractive and modern. I had a really good feeling about it as soon as I walked into the spacious lobby and saw the pool and ocean through the back windows. I noticed throughout my stay how well the employees took care of the communal areas. There was always someone clearing glasses or wiping down tables. We usually went down for breakfast and some morning pool time at about 730 returning to our room by 10 am and our room was always immaculate when we returned. After nights out, our bed was always neatly turned down.
I found the hotel staff to be some of the friendliest people on the island (which is saying a lot considering how nice the locals are). As in most places in the world - saying "please" and "thank you" will take you (the tourist) a long way. Having worked in a hotel in the past, I can appreciate the difficulties of working with tourists. I didn't feel like service was any worse than in London and is certainly better than mainland Europe. The service in the fine dining restaurant was superb if a tad quick.
We tended to eat out of the hotel for lunch and dinner as much as possible as we wanted to experience a bit of the island's local cuisine, but the few times we ate in-hotel our experience was pretty good - if a bit over-priced (it is a hotel). Totally acceptable for hotel food. I really enjoyed the breakfast buffet - a nice selection of eggs, meat, pastries, hash browns, cereals. The bars were good - especially Robinson Crusoe pub where they had live entertainment most nights and the bar staff are very friendly.
The best part of the hotel for me was definitely the pool area. It is a really good size and has a great infinity pool with a swim up bar. Yes, the Atlantic side is definitely windier than the Caribbean side - but we really liked the breeziness as it kept us cool while we were sitting out - it gets very hot without the breeze. Although the water on the Caribbean side is beautiful I thought the setting at the Hilton was also stunning. We did not rent a car but utilized the hotel shuttle bus that runs a twice in the morning and returns twice in the afternoon . We did have a car on one day as my brother had rented one. This was perfect as we were able to drive to Castara and Englishman's Bay and then through the rainforest. We used cabs to go out at night and it was about 5 pounds (approx 9 US dollars) to get to Crown Point or the Mt Irvine Area. The hotel cab drivers were very dependable and will give you their business card. After you have finished dinner you can give the card to your waitress and she will give him a call to pick you up. I can see us renting a car if we were to go for a longer period but we mostly wanted to relax rather than tour.
I hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about staying in the hotel. We are not particularly picky people but do appreciate nice places and have stayed in a wide variety of hotel classes. The hotel is not 5 stars, but is comparable to many 4 star hotels I have stayed in the US and around Europe. We were very happy we chose the Hilton for our first trip to Tobago."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of April 2005
Good value family holiday
"Before going we had read mixed reviews and were a bit nervous. We have just returned from an all-round good holiday at the Tobago Hilton.
This was good; but not the very best hotel on the planet, which some seem to expect. Nor was it priced as such. If you want to be pampered like God, go to Touessrok in Mauritius for twice the money or more.
In summary this place is good value, has nice staff, good facilities and is laid back. None of the food was stunning, but there was a lot of choice so you always found something nice enough. The Coral Reef `fine-dining` restaurant was not worth missing the ordinary food for. Hey, if you want fine-dining, stay in London, Paris or New York.
This is not a real beach holiday, as the sea is rough due to a life-saving breeze on this coast. A free daily trip up the road to Pigeon point for a calm beach is available. However the hotel pool is big and interesting if you stay, as we did mostly. Sunbeds never a problem.
So why the bad reviews on this site? My theory follows:
It think it will be useful if I try and put some of the comments in context with what we found:
The worst reviews seem to be from the USA guests. I visit America a fair bit and love you Americans and your country- really. My sister in-law and my sister both live there on different coasts! However, I observe that Americans are used to a zappy service culture back home that stops at USA borders. The swift actions of waitresses with flashing white teeth smiles, full of `yes sir` and `have a nice day`- desperately trying to earn tips- is an American thing. Having taken many Carribean holidays (and having a wife who has lived there) I have learnt that an instant response and a flashing smile is just not the Caribbean way; but this should not be confused with rudeness. It is a superficial cultural difference. (Notice that I did not say which service culture was the superficial one...).
The service WAS a bit slow at times. I would rather call it `culturally laid back` and they did always care if you chased them up. We learned to allow a bit more time. What's the rush?
GET THIS: One waitress at the lunch bar looked decidedly surly at first contact. Eye contact was rare, conversation was sparse. Even I started to feel a bit miffed. Then my four year old asked for a doughnut for desert, which was simply not on the menu. She burst in to a smile and said she would speak to the chef for tomorrow. The next day, she said he could not help, but produced a BOX of doughnuts, which she had sent a driver to the shop 4 miles away to get. No charge!!!! BEWARE FIRST IMPRESSIONS.
Go, relax, enjoy. Maybe the weak US Dollar makes this better from the UK too..."
- Travel date: Wed 13th of April 2005
"Just saw a negative review of the Hilton Tobago and had to respond.My husband and I stayed there the week before Easter-our second trip to Tobago and second stay at the Hilton- we had a great time despite the airline (Caribbean Star) having lost his golf clubs for a day and a half. We had a one bedroom suite, with two bathrooms and two decks, and a jacuzzi. It faced the ocean, a small pool was nearby. Breakfast was okay, lunch was good, the food at the Coral reef was mediocre. The food in Tobago is not all that great, anyway. The best meal was at Shirvan Watermill. We ate at Tamara's at the Coco Reef, and the meal was horrible. We had wanted to eat at Taratuga again (ate there in 2003), but it was closed for a month because the owner was in Italy. The beach at Hilton was wonderful. I was able to bodysurf everyday. If you don't like waves, the hotel provides a shuttle to Pigeon Point on the Caribbean side. The only downside to going to Tobago is the long transit time from the East Coast. It took four take-offs and landings, twice going through customs and three times retreiving luggage. At the Hilton the staff was courteous, the rooms were very clean and the bathrooms were great. The mediocre food is the only reason I would not give it five stars. I would recommend the hotel to anyone, and check your AAA book- it's the only four star hotel in Tobago."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of April 2005
What A Disgrace!!!
"This is the poorest excuse for a Hilton Hotel I have ever seen...The staff was totally disporganized and incompetent (check-in took over 1/2 hour)...We requested a double room and never in my life did I expect there would be 2 twin beds and not even comfortable ones...Even cheap motels at least have full size beds...How pathetic...Somehow the tile floors maintained an odd slimey state our entire stay...The food at the "nice" Coral Reef restaurant sounded good on the menu but was less than mediocre in taste, not to mention they didn't have 5 or 6 of the bottled wines we requested form their wine list...You should know that the breakfast buffet costs a whopping $20 and was only ok...The location is terrible, on the Atlantic side of the island with darker blue waters so rough you had to really be careful if you dared to swim in them...I would never stay here again and DO NOT reccomend it...What a true diappointment!!!"
- Travel date: Mon 4th of April 2005
solid golf facilities
"Recently stayed on Tobago for 10 days in a private villa located on Mt. Irvine Golf Course. Home was excellent, course was in tough shape. Fantastic design, but unfortunately, in dire need of care. Greens were very shaggy, and overall maintenance was lacking. Lots of kids playing, unorganized. Went to Hilton after one round at Mt. Irvine and never left. Played 7 straight days and twice played 36. Excellent overall condition, superb staff and barkeeps. Panoramic vistas on many seaside holes. Wife played as well, and in 7 days we never we're even paired up. Highly recommend for golfer/pool dwellers. Beaches are okay, Englishman's Bay was a long pretty drive (Road to Hana....) for little reward. had much more of a Pacific feel than Caribbean. Dining was fine (ate at the clubhouse mostly) service was solid, gym was small, pool area adequate. Recommend it for golfing couple or foursome."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of March 2005
"A truly top class location, not 5 star but nice, good sevice, well trained staff and good evening entertainment, i fell in love at first sight with Tobago."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of March 2005
"We stayed at the Tobago Hilton in January 2005 and loved it. On arrival we were greeted by the sounds of a steel band playing while being given a welcome cocktail and cool towel while checking in.
The checkin process was long winded as we travelled on a package tour. Our room wasn't ready until late as the previous occupents had not checked out. We mentioned this to our rep and the hotel let us keep the room on our last day. We also received an e-mail from the hotel manager a couple weeks later to apploigise for the delay - excellent customer care!
The rooms were very large and comfortable. Every room overlooks the ocean and is designed to give you maximum privacy, so you have your own bit of the Caribbean.
As far as the staff goes, most are very friendly and welcoming; although there are a few that seemed to have an attitude.
The hotel grounds are absolutely outstanding. The main pool area was great, with both an outside bar and dining area and also a swim up bar. You could sip cocktails in the pool while overlooking the beach and Atlantic waves.
The food in the main restaurant was ok, and in the Coral Reef was excellent.
We enjoyed our stay so much that we have already booked to return later this year."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of March 2005
Great place to stay
"We stayed at the Hilton tobago hotel for 7 nights and had a great time. The rooms were excellent. The beach was so beautiful. You could walk about a mile on the beach. The swim up bar at the pool was very nice. The place was so big there was 2 satellite pools also. We were very pleased with the food. Something they don't advertise is the free breakfast buffet which was good. They had some great entertainment at night also. You can't go wrong by staying at the Hilton. Great place."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of February 2005