If you are looking for somewhere to go in Tobago where you'll be guaranteed the usual 4 star European hotel experience...stop reading now! Whatever most people may consider to be its faults, the Speyside Inn delivers a true Tobago experience. The inn isn't luxurious, its actually very basic; it doesn't offer elegant cuisine, it offers simple local food; it isn't in the slightest way contrived; its almost like being part of the local community. And this is its real strength as you can't help but feel as though you are melting into the surroundings and becoming part of life in Speyside.
We went to Tobago to enjoy the diving. There is an on-site dive centre in the grounds of the inn and we made full use of it. The reefs in Tyrells Bay are full of a variety of life and the local dive master - Leon - knows them like the back of his hand; he should do, he's been diving them since he was a small child! Some of the swells and currents are not for the novice, but Leon knows how to help amateur divers along the way - trust me, he helped me!
The inn has a laid back atmosphere. It does take a few minutes for staff to come to you and take your order - but that is the way it is; and so what? Breakfast is included and comprises of fresh fruit and juice and then a hot choice or cereal with tea or coffee. The evening meal changes according to what is caught in the surrounding seas, but was always delicious and stays true to Tobagon cuisine. If you prefer, you can always dine at the local restaurants which are a short walk towards the centre of Speyside. We enjoyed local dishes, but they tend to produce very similar meals.
My advice would be to book a room fitted with air conditioning. We didn't and found it difficult to circulate air into the room at night even with the doors and windows open. The mosquito net was a must! Otherwise, the rooms are basic but functional. You have a bathroom with a sink, WC and shower; the main rooms are fitted with a wardrobe with a safe, a couple of bedside tables and a bed - and most important of all, a fridge! We enjoyed a balcony view out into the bay and the magnificent sunrises.
Overall, the inn is basic and functional. The staff are friendly and helpful, and Lenore pours a mean gin & tonic! It isn't luxury, but it is a feel of true Tobago. We loved it, we would definitely go back - but we'll be taking advantage of the air conditioning next time!
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- Also Known As:
- The Speyside Hotel Speyside