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“Friendly and welcoming”
Review of Manta Lodge

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Manta Lodge
Ranked #3 of 5 Speyside B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 June 2009

My wife and I stayed two nights at the Manta in June 2009. The most impressive part was the help we received from Vidya in actually getting to and from the Manta (transport, accommodation), and the comfort of our stay once there. The Manta is not a place for people who want 5 star everything, but if you want comfortable accommodation, reasonable prices and want to experience well organised diving then this is the place for you. The surrounds are lovely, fresh air, and very relaxing. I have a non-diving spouse and she really enjoyed the relaxation with a wonderful view over the bay from our room on the first floor. The diving staff were very helpful and while some of the equipment was well used, it was also well maintained and worked flawlessly. My only recommendation for divers is to take your own computer as some of the dives are quite deep (>100ft). Overall, I would have no hesitation at staying at the Manta again and going to the places I missed last time. The worst part of the trip: I had to leave after only two days.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank DrDavidMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 112 of 153 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2009

This review is of the hotel only. The diving operation associated with the hotel deserves its own tome. Clyde - proprietor of the hotel, head of the family and most gracious and generous host - really makes the atmosphere of this hotel. He is cool, laid back and extremely approachable. The hotel rooms are basic but functional and quite roomy, and all have an ocean view and a balcony on which you can sit and review the day's experiences with a lovely breeze blowing through. The bar and pool areas are comfortable and relaxing. There is always someone on hand to see to your needs and the staff are extremely accommodating and friendly. Thanks go to Clyde for our very memorable stay here - don't ever change!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank LEF40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2009

I spent 7 days at the Manta Lodge with friends and my 3 sons. The hotel was truly a "dive lodge" with clean, comfortable rooms, clean pool, plenty of food, and a cozy bar. When meeting the owner, Sean, on day one, he said this is not a hotel, but a home with 20 something rooms for guests. The week proved his words true. My sons (14,16 and 20) and I felt very welcome and relaxed. We left feeling we had made some very nice friends that we won't forget.
Although we missed the Mantas, the diving was beautiful. Diving London Bridge and riding the currents was like diving on a roller coaster. Don't miss this dive!
The dive staff was fantastic! Sean, Swiss, Andre, Marvin & Cactus make sure you have fun, are safe, and are just good people. Andre...thanks for taking care of me through my "blonde dive"!
The island is stunning! From rock formation, green mountains and waterfalls, it is worth renting a car and visiting everything.
I had read some former reviews and did not know what to expect. I can only assume that those prior guests are more at home in a Holiday Inn where no one knows your name or cares. Overall, Manta Lodge and Tobago exceeded my expectations and I hope to return soon.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank kmitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2009

I loved the Manta Lodge. I'd give it ten stars if i could. The staff were very friendly, and helpful. We never wanted for anything. The diving was fantastic. The only reason i gave the room 4 of 5 was because it didn't have a fridge, and if that is my only complaint, than that is saying something very positive about the resort. The food was excellent, a nice mix of local cuisine plus general foods people would like.
I will be back in the future, that i can promise.

  • Stayed: April 2009
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Thank nauimatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My stay at the Manta Lodge was wondeful. My finance and I stayed for 5 nights and did six dives with the resident dive shop, Tobago Dive Experience, and we enjoyed every minute of it . Firstly the hotel is located just opposite the beach, all the rooms have a wonderful seaview, and off course some of the most beautiful dive sites are just a stones throw away (5-10mins by boat) . The hotel staff was courteous and dive staff of Tobago Dive Experience were just a joy to be around. Sean, Kester, Swiss, Arthur and off course Lappi, made everything from putting together the equipment to rolling off the boat fun, but dont let that fool you, they are also very professional and serious about safety. Sean is great especially for the less experienced diver or those wanting to get certified as he is an excellent teacher and can help guide you to mastering scuba. He has a wealth of knowledge (over 20 years diving experience in Tobago) and can identify everything that can swim, crawl or sway past him, and he also has a knack for pointing out things that you would have missed on a dive .

Speyside is a rather sleepy village, a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle. Although food choices are limited to just a few resturants, most within walking distance (Jemma's, Birdwatcher's, Speyside Inn Restaurant, Manta Lodge Restaurant and Blue Waters Inn Restaurant), the Manta Lodge Resturant is adequate, and pleasing after a long day of diving.

Despite the long winding drive from the airport ( about 1 1/2 hours ) Speyside is definitely the best place for diving in Tobago, with a lovely hotel and top class dive shop, a dive vacation there is definitely worth it.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rishorisho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2009

I have to start out by saying two things. One, I am not related to the owners - I don't even know them - I have nothing to do with the hotel or dive operation. Two, I did not stay there - I only dove with the dive shop on site. However, due to the diving, I was there day after day, and I met the owner multiple times. I dealt with both the staff from the dive shop and the hotel, given that the hotel desk is on the same level just a few doors down, and I routinely left my valuables in their safe while diving. The restaurant is also on that level, along with the pool, so I dealt with the staff in those places as well.

It was so nice, I was sort of disappointed I had not stayed there due to the reviews I read on this site, so I asked for a tour of a room as if I planned to stay there. I also became friendly with some divers who were staying there, and I asked them about their rooms, and they had similar accommodations, so it was not as if they showed me the best room in the house.

I decided to write a review even though I did not stay there to counter some of the reviews I read here before I left, in case it could help anyone not have the same experience I did, which is to stay away from a place that is one of the nicer ones in the area due to reading the negative reviews on here. I had figured that one or two negative reviews might be the work of a crabby person, but several, as there were here, must mean something. I later found out most of the bad ones here were written mostly by people who all came in the same group at the same time.

I should note: this is not a "resort" of the type found in the south of the island. There is no hotel beach, though you are right across a very small road from on the ocean and there is plenty of beach there. The beaches are not white sugar sand in the north. This is not a 15 story building that is entirely air conditioned with a marble lobby and uniformed staff with a concierge and doorman. It is a lovely, charming little hotel on the ocean, for those who want to be in Speyside for a reason such as birding or diving. However, I did meet a family in which the mother and 12 year old daughter were not diving, and the father and 14 year old son were diving, and the mother and daughter had a perfectly nice time by the pool the whole time the father and son were diving. It is a very nice place, but if you are looking for sugar sand beaches and a large resort, you should go to the south of the island where those things exist.

Anyway, the place is clean as a whistle. The pictures posted on here seem to have been of a main floor out-building bathroom that was usually used by staff only. The bathroom in the room I saw was clean, as were the ones of the divers I talked to. The pool is well maintained and also very clean - I swam in it multiple times myself, and I am a sort of germaphobe, though not enough of one to not swim in pools at all. But had it been at all dirty looking, I certainly would not have gotten near it. And others were also using it, including a family playing with a beachball.

The staff is, on the whole, friendly, as is the owner. I only ran into one person who had the typical Speyside attitude, which is basically obvious dislike of working in the tourist industry and a not very helpful attitude, and that was in the restaurant.

On the other hand, I ran into many people who went above and beyond the call of duty to be helpful, and were very friendly and kind. I am pretty absent-minded, and I often gave them my valuables and my purse to put in the safe, and then forgot I heeded an item I left by mistake in my purse. Never did I get anything other than a happy retrieval of my items for me to sort through until I found what I needed and then they were happily put back.

At the dive shop the staff was helpful and friendly. I wanted to pay partly with travelers checks so I could get change in TT dollars, because the ATM machine in Charlotteville was out of money and I needed TT dollars, and partly by Visa. No problem. They stayed late to help me one evening, and even invited me to a birthday BBQ for one of the staff. In my absent-mindedness, I even left my clothes there overnight one night, because I went home with my sarong over my bathing suit. I realized the next morning that my favorite pair of shorts and t-shirt were missing, and I called the dive shop because I was not diving that day so I would not be there to look for them myself. They went out of their way to look for my things and found them neatly packed away in my dive gear. They are a busy dive shop and could easily have told me I would have to look myself when I returned, or that they would have to get back to me, but they did not.

When it was my last day, and due to weather and my schedule, I had not yet been able to take a boat to Little Tobago, even though seeing the red-billed tropic birds on the nest was one of my goals while there, the owner arranged for me to get a boat just for me, driven by one of his dive boat captains, who was getting off of work and supposed to go home, to go there so I could take my pictures. And he did not charge me an arm and a leg for it either. And, we were supposed to meet at three pm to go, but I did not have a watch (island time) and I was just walking back from the restaurant to the hotel at 3:05, so he came with the driver to look for me so I would not miss my boat ride!

All in all, my experience with this hotel was great. The building is nice and clean, the facilities are well run, the view is lovely - better than even their own website shows. I would stay there if I ever return to the north of Tobago.

The only thing missing is a hammock on every balcony. But that is just a personal thing with me - I like nothing better after a day of diving to relax in a hammock and look at the sea.

I have no idea what happened when the people who wrote the negative reviews were there. But I did not find a dirty, falling apart spot in my search for one, and I could not have had a better experience with the people.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank DcMbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2009

If you are looking for people who are real Trini's polite, funny, and caring... Manta Lodge is the place. I have been living in Trinidad since August of this year, and when I arrived at the Manta, it was a breath of fresh air. My room (and my parents room who I brought for my second trip) was clean, towels and sheets changed daily. Fresh flowers cut from the garden, and the sea air from the windows was great. This is a great hotel for diving, Sean, Swiss, Aurthur, and Kes were all fun, and a laugh. There has been water, juice, and cookies or crackers on every dive I have been on (6 total over 2 seperate trips) and my dive instruction was excellent. In the afternoons, staff were available to set up tours if I wanted, or just for a drink at the bar. The pool was relaxing and the lounge chairs were a great place to read a book. This is quite place to get away from it all. I was treated like family, and will be back again in a month. Vidya was very concernd about our stay and made any extra arrangements I needed. It was fantastic. A special thanks to Sean, Swiss, Clyde, Vidya,Kes, and Aurthur who made me feel right at home.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank CDNdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manta Lodge

Address: Windward Road, Speyside, Tobago
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Speyside
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Speyside
Price Range: £45 - £130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Manta Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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

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