I spent a full week at Manta Lodge, and went diving with their dive shop every day I was there.
Note that anyone looking for a luxurious resort, or an active nightlife or obsequious staff won't find it here. Manta Lodge is a small, informal, family-run hotel. Speyside is quiet and relaxing. Trinis/Tobagians don't need to be ingratiating to tourists, as most of TT's revenue comes from Liquefied Natural Gas and Oil, not tourism.
However, if you are looking for genuinely friendly people, rest and relaxation and an undeveloped natural environment, Speyside and Manta Lodge are wonderful.
Rooms have AC; they don't have mini-bars or TVs. There is a TV, with Dish Satellite in the dining area. There is also wireless internet (us$5 per day) in the dining area which worked well.
I didn't rent a car for my trip. The staff handled airport transport for me, and there are some good restaurants available within walking distance. Other guests might want to rent a car to visit other local towns, or other natural sites.
In regards to the beach: Manta Lodge is across the road from a stony beach. The water there is clean and pleasant, and one could swim there with water shoes. One can walk or take a short drive to other, sandy beaches.
My room was spacious and clean, with a view and with sounds of the ocean. There were no electrical or plumbing problems during my visit, and the staff were attentive to my needs. The meals were local fare, filling and tasty. I am not a huge drinker, and found the selection of local beers to be adequate.
In regards to the diving: I am a new diver, and conveyed this to the dive shop staff. They were attentive and careful, and provided lots of guidance. The boat was adequate for us, and drinks/snacks were provided. The equipment I rented worked well. The area does have some currents, so that took a bit of getting used to. Dive sites are close to the dock and so a short boat ride away. The dives were spectacularly beautiful.
Not only am I recommending this to others, but I myself am trying to figure out how and when I can go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The cozy 22 room property may be small, but it still features a number of 'big' amenities - the Green Moray Bar & Restaurant, soft sand beach, full service dive shop, freshwater swimming pool, reading nook with a multi-lingual lending library, endless hiking trails and plenty of room to relax! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Manta Hotel Speyside