Our week at the Grafton Beach Resort far exceeded expectations, and I enjoyed it more than many much more expensive holidays. The hotel is a 3 star resort, and I don't see how anyone who goes in expecting this can be disappointed with it. The rooms were a decent size and clean, and we had a nice ocean view - there was a fence and a small road running behind the room, between the hotel and the beach, but again we hadn't paid 5 star prices so were happy with this.
The food in the buffet restaurant was good quality and tasty. There was a slightly limited choice, but this was understandable considering there were only around 50-60 people in the entire hotel during our stay. The beach bar was definitely a great bonus, and we found the menu there a nice option to break up the pattern of eating buffet meals. The main bar had a wide range of drinks. In particular, cocktails were not mentioned on the all-inclusive plan and there is no cocktail menu, but when asked the barman replied "Let me know what you want - if I have the ingredients, i'll make it for you", and indeed he did make us a wide variety of cocktails through the week. We were slightly concerned on arrival to see that bottled water was not included, but soon realised that there is a large cooler of iced water on the bar 24 hours a day, together with glasses; many people used this to fill bottles and kept them in the in-room fridges.
The hotel's setting is lovely, perched on the hillside running down to a quiet, unspoilt beach. We spent many hours sitting in the shade near the bar reading, talking or just enjoying the view over the pool, beach and sea. Around the hotel and beach, we saw huge numbers of birds (especially Bananaquits, Swallows, Pelicans and Frigate Birds) and even a Hummingbird. There were Leatherback Turtles nesting most nights on the beach below the hotel, as well as on nearby Turtle Beach (an amazing experience!). We also saw Bats roosting in the eaves of the hotel itself.
Throughout our stay, almost all of the staff were extremely helpful and friendly, and the service felt very personal. I'd especially highlight Niome, working in the restaurant and the pool bar. She always had a smile on her face, and went out of her way to ensure the guests were happy, including venturing from behind the bar to offer drinks poolside at quiet time. There were a couple of exceptions, but in general the service was fantastic.
Although certainly not the fault of the hotel, we did have some trouble with our rep, Maria from Tobago Travel (on behalf of Tropical Sky). She was unable to deliver the excursions we wanted to book (after offering them in the welcome meeting) and then acted quite unprofessionally towards us for the rest of the week after we booked elsewhere. We booked our excursions with Ellis Clarke of Ellis Tours, who met us on the beach on our arrival evening. I'd highly recommend him to anyone - he was friendly and knowledgeable as well as offering trips that better suited us. A particular highlight was the half day trip to Pigeon Point, Buccoo Reef (glass bottom boat), Coral Gardens Snorkelling and Nylon Pool - a fantastic trip, all for US$30 a person.
Overall, we had a great time at the Grafton, and i'd definitely go back again. It is an older resort and could do with a bit of care in places, but that never stopped us from enjoying our holiday.
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- Also Known As:
- Grafton Beach Hotel Black Rock
- Grafton Beach Resort All Inclusive
- Grafton Beach Resort Tobago, Trinidad And Tobago