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Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

Kent, England
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Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

I stayed for two weeks in the all-inclusive hotel during March 2008.

There are few positive and many negative elements to this holiday. The best way to allow me to identify these is to give a chronological detail of the holiday.

On arrival the holiday felt idyllic; being immersed in the Caribbean atmosphere once we had opened the door onto the balcony.

This was lost by the following morning. My wife woke up covered in ants! (100's of tiny ants). The reception desk advised that something would be done to eradicate these, although they were there all of the time. We even purchased our own can of insect spray from the main town; the ants were not effected.

The coffee machine, in the bedroom, was filled with bleach.

I went fishing on the beach the first morning before breakfast. As soon as I took my first steps on the beach I was approached by one of the many vendors trying to sell excursions. The travel guides say to be friendly but state 'No thankyou' to any of these requests. Every day I was approached. Eventually I was told by one of these vendors that I had 'attitude' and was racially descriminatory. I was advised, after, that this same vendor waited outside an older vulnerable couple's room until they purchased a trip just to get rid of this person. Although signs say 'No Vendors'; these people move through the hotel without being ejected by the security (a joke to consider them as security). I personally believe money passes hand between these people and the management to turn a blind eye; it is all about fleecing you of your money.

The restaurant was often opened late and the food cold (especially at Breakfast). There was a good variety with many local dishes included. The service in the restaurant was generally poor; the local staff appearing to be lazy and unfriendly. The all-inclusive vaiety of drinks was excellent. The Phillipino and Korean staff were pro-active and extremely polite. Within 20 metres of the restaurant there was always a smell of sewage!

The staff, including Security were always touting the guests for taxi business, they obviously take a cut! Misinformation was always given out about the regular bus service from outside the entrance of the hotel. An accurate bus timetable should be posted on the notice board. Compare the bus fare (about 18p) compared to the taxi fare (£20 - £30).

The main problem with the hotel must lay in the hands of the Manager. I have noticed the same staff being there daily from 630am to 10pm. Many of them advised me that they were unhappy with being overworked and being underpaid; each day awakeing to the same experience with no incentive.

I went out on the pedallo on the second day on a calm sea. I waited for 10 minutes for someone to come and pull me in safely, but nobody was watching (that is negligence on the part of the watersport staff and management in my opinion); so I made my own way in, and was overturned on reaching the steeply sloped beach. I felt I was lucky not to be pinned under and drowned. I lost my glasses whilst pinned under the pedallo; which meant that the holiday was ruined, as I am short sighted, and could not see properly for the rest of the hoilday. Compensation, to cover the excess with the insurance, was refused by the Management. Trying to get a problem sorted with the hotel seems to be absolutely impossible! It was noted that for the rest of the holiday that there was someone always watching from the Watersports hut. I am sure that the old ways will soon be returned to; and I hope that no-one will lose their life!

On taking a bath you scratch you knees where the enamel has come away from the bath. To try to hide this the bath has been painted! The wood fittings in the bathroom are rotting and the plug for the sink does not exist.

The evening entertainment is good; although it does not always happen.

The sheets were not changed until the 12th day. We were advised by the woman cleaning the room that she had changed them. This, to me, was a ploy to get a tip on leaving.

Overall, I would suggest that, if going to Tobago; you should seek another hotel. We were unfortunately doubled booked with a much smaller hotel, and had to accept this hotel; otherwise we would have lost our holiday. The hotel will not get better under the existing management. The independant vendors selling excursions must be banned from the hotel grounds. I suggest that the hotel is shut for a season, the whole place being gutted and to undergo a complete refit, the local staff to be replaced by Asian staff that are willing to work, and a total replacement of management that are able to manage properly.

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1. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

Romneyite. I'm distressed to hear of your unhappy experiences at the Rex Turtle Beach and your grievances seem very valid. The hotel and the island as a whole seem to have deteriorated dramatically since my visit to the same hotel in the early nineties. Whilst the Turtle Beach was never even close to a 5 star hotel, the staff were then courteous and friendly. The island was an idyllic paradise. You could visit Englishman's Bay and be the only people on it, could drive round safely at all hours of the day and spend a night at Sunday School without any hassle whatsoever. Then the restaurants at Store Bay were but wooden shacks and Back Bay (where the Grafton now sits) was a beautiful deserted beach. But such is progress. The very nature of the relatively cheap holidays enjoyed by so many have changed Tobago irrevocably. I base these observations not just on your report, but on the comments of 2 couples of friends of mine who have visited The Rex Turtle Beach in the last 2 years.

But I must take issue with your last statement. All Inclusive hotels are killing local business throughout the world, not just the Caribbean. Pretty much all the money goes to the owners who, in many cases, are European or North American. If you sack the local staff and employ foreigners, then nothing goes into the local economy. Which in turn increases the sense of "them and us" and the desperation of local people to make money any way they can, forcibly pushing their wares/trips onto tourists.

I'm really sorry about your problems, but believe better training of staff is the answer not replacing them. Let's hope Tobago and islands like it can once again become the safe, unthreatening places with good service that they once were.


Toronto, Canada
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830 posts
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2. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

I'm so sorry you had such a horrible holiday. Perhaps you're accustomed to a different type of holiday? Tobago is a unique holiday...the people making it unique...not the hotel attentiveness.Perhaps as just a suggestion you should have/could have read the following as a prerequisite to your holiday....not saying that it makes your holiday hell better. Tobago is definately not a five star by anymeans...and if anyone should find it so....has missed the beauty of the island. Perhaps reading the following might help with some insight...or not.




the latter two being from a local and fan respectively

Best wishes on your next holiday.

Toronto, Canada
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830 posts
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3. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

...and Drinkdrink drink...I concur on most of your statements. Back Bay is not where Grafton now sits. It's south of that beach. Otherwise...sad but true. THe new generation of Tobago has been 'ruined' by tourism.....another paradise gone.

Crawley, United...
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1,349 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

On my 3rd and last visit in june 07 i found the staff to be fantastic .

The downside was the beach vendors who just didnt leave you alone.They were allowed to wander freely through the complex and the security was a joke.

I was even told to get off the wall i was sitting on whilst chatting to another guest.

I was lucky in the fact that a few of the vendors remembered me and left me alone but others were constantly pestered.

The Rex group need to invest in the property and also i think they should employ internationals for security.

Drugs were freely offered to guests and on the day we left aa young couple had their room broken into and hand luggage stolen.The only thing left on the bed were their passports, as if to say go ! your planes leaving so no time to report to the police !!!

Saying this, i have made many local friends on Tobago but i would not return again !!


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5. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

Nobody has mentioned that about 3 months ago the REX Turtle Beach was actually raided by armed bandits (Trinidad style). They attacked in the early hours of the morning, tied up security and staff and demanded keys to the safe. You knew it was an Local job at this point because........the staff pointed out it was an "ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT", which mean't everything was prepaid and therefore their was very little cash held on the resort compound!!!

Oh sweet Tobago. Who says it lacks an innocent charm! But after I2 years here I am leaving, because there is a new generation of government sponsored CEPEP youths that get a full days pay for working two hours in the morning only. They have no respect for anyone. Their aspire to represent the values of black America that is portrayed on constant American cable tv, but then that a common thread throughout the whole caribbean. T&T has a huge oil revenue based budget that can afford to sustain these "youth programmes".

6. Re: Rex Turtle Beach - negative feedback

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