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“Stay Away From Turtle Beach!”

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Turtle Beach by Rex Resorts
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Plymouth
Reviewed 7 February 2007

I booked a holiday for myself and my family with Virgin Holidays, bound for Tobago (21st Dec 2006), for 14 nights all inclusive at Rex Turtle Beach (described on your web page as a “Very Hot Deal”, cited as a 3* establishment, ideal for children etc.). It turns out that the Rex Hotel Turtle Beach struggled to reach 2* in terms of quality and service. I requested a quiet room with a view and two double beds minimum and was told by Virgin and by Rex that we were to be located on the top floor of the hotel away from the swimming pool area. These details were confirmed by Virgin and by Rex Group prior to our departure. My partner underwent major surgery in November 2006 therefore this holiday was also designed to help her recuperate and relax. I have listed below the problems/issues that arose for your attention:

01.Virgin Flight VS059 delayed by 1.45 hours on 21st Dec 2006 (left at 11:45am as opposed to 8:55am)
02.Two of the three in-flight entertainment systems allocated to our seating arrangements were not working for the duration of the flight (9.5 hours)
03.Upon arriving at Tobago airport, we had to wait 2 hours to retrieve our luggage and were then met in a very unfriendly manner by two female Virgin representatives at the airport. We were told that our luggage was to travel separately to us on our transfer, when we asked how long the luggage would take to arrive at the hotel (concerned as we had just spent 2 hours trying to retrieve it and it contained vital bathroom freshen up accessories) the reply given was: “how would we know, can you board the last coach outside the airport as the driver has been waiting a long time to take you and others to their hotels”.
04.When we arrived at the hotel, 8pm Tobago time (12 midnight GMT) we were shown to a room that had one double bed, one single, was on the ground floor, next to the swimming pool and absolutely reeked of dampness and bleach and was frankly uninhabitable.
05.We showed the hotel manager, a Mr Amedee, our booking confirmation slip which clearly indicated Two Double Beds. Mr Amedee went on to show us another 3 rooms, none of them with two double beds and all way below 3* quality. We finally had to settle for a room (number 244) with a Queen Size bed (which all three of us had to sleep in) under the promise that we would have a large family room (such as room 127) for the final week of our holiday.
06.The hotel backs onto a main road meaning that we could hear cars zooming past at all hours
07.We had to wait a further 1.5 hours for our cases to arrive therefore could not change into night clothes/access bathroom utilities until 10:30pm (2:30am GMT) – baring in mind that we were travelling with a small boy (7 years old) this made things extremely stressful.

08.The room we were allocated suffered with the following unacceptable problems:

A.Noisy air condition unit unable to use at night therefore we slept in a boiling hot room. Some of the other rooms had brand new air conditioning units that were quiet and could thus be kept on throughout the night.
B.Bathroom faucets that leaked over the basin work top when turned on – constantly moping up excess water
C.Shower fittings that were out of date and hard to co-ordinate correct temperature
D.Damp & rust around the bath tub (picture enclosed)
E.Wardrobes/chest of drawers that were dust ridden
F.From 24th December to 27 December 2006 we had no hot water from 5pm onwards which meant that when we returned from a day at the pool/beach we could not shower down. I reported this countless times to the Hotel Manager, Kwesi (Virgin Rep) and Mark Steel (Virgin Area Rep Tobago) who said they would sort out the issues, but, sadly they never did, in fact they were not helpful at all!
G.We were promised, by Mr Amedee, that our fridge would be stocked with soft drinks and water everyday by way of compensating for the room situation, this did not happen and on the times the fridge was stocked up the hotel staff put alcohol in the fridge as opposed to soft drinks which then meant we had to call reception yet again and ask for replacement drinks.
H.The soft drinks that were put in the fridge exploded, with broken glass in the fridge, I had to make 3 phone calls, 48 hours later they finally cleaned out the fridge
I.We could hear other residents flushing loo’s/taking showers at all hours
J.We also had to listen to other inappropriate noises that were particularly disturbing for a 7 year old to hear.

09.The restaurant where we ate breakfast, lunch and supper would, without fail, every breakfast time and lunchtime had birds flying around the space, landing on one’s table, eating food on display Etc. This would justify a health and safety issue, one lady was forced to have her food taken to her room due to her phobia around birds. Again we complained to the hotel who did nothing.

10.The general mood of 80% of the hotel staff was one of grumpiness, arrogance and unfriendliness. This completely contradicted Virgin’s description of Tobago peoples as warm and friendly.

11.70% of the sun-lounges were broken (picture attached)

12.The Kids Club room was a disgrace…it was dismal, deserted and had only a broken table tennis table and giant TV. This was not a Virgin Kids club and under no circumstances would my partner or I consider leaving out child there. *NOTE: part of the reason we booked this particular resort was to use the Kids Club as my partner was recovering from major surgery however she was too distressed to leave our son there and we also noted that none of the other parents left their children there either!

13.Myself and my partner wanted to play tennis…until we saw the tennis courts, which were worn out and had not been tendered to for years! (please check out [-] for example of tennis courts)

14.The swimming pool was not cleaned out properly on a daily basis leaving a thin layer of greasy slime on the surface (picture attached). On one occasion they had to close the pool down for one day as someone had gone to the toilet in the pool.

*We all came out in rashes after using the pool and often had to stop our son from swimming in the pool because of the condition of the pool in terms of cleanliness.

15.The area around the pool was not cleaned from the day before (empty bottles/glasses/ashtrays etc.) and on several occasions we found broken glass on the floor (health and safety)

16.28th Dec 2006: we approached Mr Amedee to ask if he had a family room to move us into as he had previously promised us, the response was, “No!” He said he had one room that he was going to offer us but had now decided that due to the state of the bathroom he was going to make the room off limits! So we were lied to yet again. We asked Mr Amedee to remove the sofa in our room and replace with a double bed….an hour later a single bed (not a double as promised) had been put in our room with the sofa bed (no space at all now); my partner, at this point, had had enough of this gross incompetence and called the reception asking them to come an remove the single bed. – We experienced a power cut for 5 hours meaning no bar etc. When we returned to our room at 6pm we had no towels to shower with (the towel problem occurred 7 out of the 14 days we were onsite). – A vomit smell started to appear in our bathroom…we could only assume it was coming from the sewer/drainage…we complained but nothing was done to address the issue.

19.Beach Towels: this was chaotic. There were only a limited number or towels available each day at 9:30-10:00am. Given out on a first come first served basis which meant that you had to make sure you were in a queue. On at least 4 days there were no beach towels available at all!

20.Plane delayed for another 2 hours on departing. This time all in-flight entertainment was not working at all. VS 060 4th January 2007. Within hours of landing all three of us became violently ill with gastric flu/stomach problems, we had to take out son to A&E at St. Mary’s hospital London on the following day as he was vomiting every hour.

The positives were: great island, lovely beaches/sun, food OK-ish in hotel and we made some excellent friends.

Unfortunately I am astonished at the way this package has been oversold to us folk in the UK and that Virgin can put their name/brand to such a product. Virgin Holidays boast a British Travel Awards 2005 accreditation on your website which does not live up to its value where this resort is concerned or the state of the Virgin Plane going out and returning home.

I am personally sending an email to Richard Branson at his Nekker Island email address asking him to spend a week there then tell me in all honesty if this hotel justifies a relaxing 3* break or indeed, as described on the Virgin Holidays website “A Very Hot Deal”.

SUNDAY TIMES 4th Feb 2007 (Travel Supplement):

Sunday Times Travel Supplement, 4th February 2007, (page 3 NEWS, 4th article down on right hand side of page) that details more issues at the Turtle Beach Rex Resorts hotel whereyby 60 British Tourists have gone down with Gastroenteritis (what my family and I suffered with on the day of departure) and that the Tobago Health authorities are now considering closing down the kitchens. This is the 4th outbreak of the disease at this hotel in recent years.

Need I say anymore....if you go to Courland Bay stay at the next bay down, Grafton Bay, or stay in anywhere other than Turtle Beach...it is a shambles and apparently has been on the decline for years......David Power, London.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank DMBP1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,122 - 1,126 of 1,278 reviews

Reviewed 6 February 2007

This hotel has such a superb location, but it definitely needs upgrading. Where do I begin...
I guess if the hotel staff's attitude was a little warmer and more accomodating, I could have overlook the badly needed upgrades and renovations for the hotel rooms. It looked like I took a time travel back to the 60's, and no maintence were done since then. Don't bother about the All Inclusive plans. You are better off going to the town to get some "fresh" food with flavor. And the drinks were all watered down. Not to mention the snares you got when you order more than 1 drink at the bars. My husband and I ordered some drinks for my parents while waiting in the lobby area one evening for some of my family members (who were also guest of the hotel). After getting the drinks, my husband was approached by the manager on duty that evening with a reciept requesting us to pay for the drinks we had order at the bar. He stated that the drinks were only for all guest staying at the hotel. My husband had to explain himself to the "manager' stating that he and all our family members (15 total) were "all inclusive" guest staying at the hotel. The manager then smiled and walked away. Not only was the staff unfriendly, they were downrite RUDE!. I am returning to Tobago in April 2007, however I will not be staying at this hotel.

Stayed: April 2006
5  Thank smorenozzm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2007

Looking at some of the views posted on this hotel I find it hard to believe I went to the same hotel, perhaps I am just unlucky, or perhaps it wasn't Tobago I went to after all !!

On arrival at the hotel we faced our first problem, they didn't have any record of my daughter. Therefore our 'upgraded room' had to be changed due to the fact that 5 year olds and balconies do not go well together. We therefore lost our larger room and inherited a smaller one with damp, a bath that looked like it hadn't been changed since the 60's, furniture out of a car boot sale and an army of ants that seemed to take particular pleasure in sharing the bath at the same time as my daughter. Hot water on only two days throughout the two week holiday. On the plus side the beachfront view was fantastic and as many other reviewers have said, listening to the sound of the sea when you go to bed and wake up in the morning was fantastic.

TIP: Don't pay in the UK for an upgrade, we paid £44 per night for a fridge and a TV that only had five channels from Alabama on it. Insult was added to injury when we found out that most of the non-superior rooms were equipped with this stuff anyway.

The food is adequate bordering on the nice if you like hot and curried food. There are however alternative menus, not including the a La Carte, which we were kept in the dark about until two days before we were due to go home. The first is a children's menu, so if your child doesn't like the Goat Tikka Masalla with added Phal they can have chicken nuggets and chips, pasta, fish fingers etc. The second menu is an alternative adults menu.
Neither of these menus are advertised and the waitresses get very up tight when you ask to see the menus. I'm not sure whether it's the fact that they will get verbal from the chefs for asking for something 'off-menu' or whether it's the additional walk to the kitchen that is too much like hard work. You can hav food from both of these menus without additional charge.

Probably the worst aspect about the whole holiday was the attitudes of the vast majority of the staff members. There are a few exceptions that I would like to make, Joel at reception, the lady guest relations manager, the guy at the pool bar with the moustache and the Hotel Manager.

We had heard that the problem had been on-going for sometime but was surprised at the extent. There seemed to be two areas where the problems were worse, reception and the restaurant. If you got more than a 'grunt' from staff at either of these locations you were lucky. In most cases they were downright rude. We complained to the Hotel Manager but all he could say is that it was a recognised problem and he was doing all he could.

We had heard that the staff were the lowest paid on the island and as such were overworked and had an attitude problem. THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MY PROBLEM HOWEVER HAVING SHELLED OUT NEARLY 4000 POUNDS FOR A HOLIDAY.

Did all this spoil my holiday overall?

Believe it or not No, the location was stunning, the pool and surrounding areas were clean and the guys in the beach hut very funny. Helping the fisherman bring in the nets was a highlight and the arrival of a nesting turtle on my wife's 40th birthday capped off a good day for her. The Tobagans outside the hotel were very friendly and Sunday School is worth a visit if you want to get into the swing of things with the locals. Added to that we met some fantastic people whom I hope we will keep in touch with.

Would I go back?

To the island yes, to this hotel probably not, unless of course the rooms are demolished and rebuilt and the there is a complete change of staff (with exception of those noted above) and/or attitudes to customer service. Could do better for the money charged

Stayed: January 2007
4  Thank KentAllstars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2007

Myself (Jon) & Alli had a terrific time on the paradise island of Tobago for 2 weeks in July 2006, Turtle Beach was excellent, the rooms were basic but clean and is all you need unless you want red carpet treatment.....if you do then go to a 5 star hotel!!
Breakfast, Lunch and dinner in the restaurant was in my opinion of a very high standard and I did put a few pounds on during our stay.......The pool is huge and great for kids as it is not too deep. of course the bar is right next to the pool which is even better for the grown ups!!
The staff are friendly throughout the hotel and are very helpful.

Turtle Beach Hotel is in a beautiful setting on the beach and boasts the most stunning sunsets.
We met some fab people staying at the hotel, everyone was so friendly and quite alot of us went on day trips together......the more the merrier!

Take an island tour with Barry or get him to take you on a boat trip and do a bit of Tuna fishing......then cook your catch on a beach barbecue up the coast.......excellent days out with Barry are guaranteed.
Ask scout for a go on the banana boat.........you may have to pump it up yourself though....I did!!!

Reuben will do some lovely carvings for you and you can get lots of other gifts from the other beach vendors who are mostly a friendly bunch.

I hope this review helps anyone going to Turtle Beach.........relax and have fun.
Going all inclusive is a very good deal.

Make sure you get a call from reception at night so you can go and watch the baby turtles heading for the ocean. (Quite a moving experience)

Stayed: July 2006
16  Thank Jonny.UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2007

My husband and I went with our best buddies to Turtle Beach and celebrated New Year 2006 there, staying through until 12th Jan 2007. What can I say - if you want a hotel right on the beach with a superb (if very shallow but good for kids!) clean pool with a swim-up bar, then this is the place for you. Our friends had visited in 1999 and were given a Superior room - ours was booked for a Standard, but after a little good-humoured haggling, we too were upgraded! As far as I could see, the difference between the rooms were a free TV, a larger room and a stocked-once-a-week-if-you-asked fridge containing beer, soft drinks and water. Let's face it, it wasn't essential when you were all-inclusive. I think all the rooms were sea-facing, and what a view that was. You could hear the sea and that was all......! During our stay we booked 2 trips - both customised to our own requests by our tour Rep. The first was an island tour,
incorporating a trip (negotiate with the guide-we paid 100 TTD p.p.) into the Rainforest - take socks because you have to wear wellies (and mozzie spray-my husband was bitten +++ ++ throughout our stay-bought some anti-histamine cream from the Drug Store in Scarborough,Tobago), we also visited the Argyle waterfall and swam in the pool at the bottom (30 TTD p.p.) - the hotel will provide you with a packed lunch in a coolbox if you request one the night before your trip. We also chartered a yacht which took us into the Caribbean sea (just the 4 of us) - snorkling, lunch, drinks etc - well worth the trip! Back to the hotel - most staff were lovely and more than helpful. You can have a safety deposit box which is free of charge and reception staff have a master key also so it is double-locked. The poolside bar can be a bit sparse with bar staff and the lower swim-up bar isn't staffed - but, hey, it is the Caribbean. The reception staff will give you cards for beach towels and you give them to the Singing Rasta at the Watersports hut on the beach in exchange for lovely thick beach towels daily - the chap never, I mean never stops singing - he's fab! The rooms have a hairdryer so you don't neeed one, but don't have tea/coffee making facilities in the room, so take a travel kettle and tea etc. if you want to make your own. Hot water every day for showers, clean towels daily and your beds made - what more do you want? Yes the rooms are a bit dated and it isn't the most up-market place I have ever been, but it is only 3 * . The food is lovely (if sometimes not as hot as I would have liked) and varied (apart from breakfast) and the chefs and waiting staff do a damn fine job. The beach is not the best beach on the Caribbean, but you can hire a taxi from just outside the hotel and they will take you to Pigeon Point (18 TTD admission) and you can go on a glass-bottomed boat for 100 TTD and see the beautiful Coral Gardens, snorkel on the Bucco reef (strong currents) and take off 10 years by swimming in theNylon Pool. All in all, we had a delightful stay for the money we paid - the only downside was the 3.5 hours delay after boarding the plane (on top of the 7.5 hr journey) due to slow checking-in and faulty runway lights! Don't be put off, it was great!

Stayed: December 2006
11  Thank Gerrymouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Beach by Rex Resorts

Address: Courland Bay, Plymouth, Tobago
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Plymouth
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Plymouth
Price Range: €98 - €207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Beach by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"best beach resort experience in Tobago" ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Beach By Rex Hotel Scarborough
Turtle Beach Tobago
Turtle Beach Rex Resorts
Turtle Beach Hotel Tobago

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