The grounds of the Magdalena hotel is beautifu. The view, the openness of the pools, the locations of the pools, the resounding echoes of the beach as its waves lap at the shores, the Magdalenan's decor is indeed beautiful. The rooms are outlined simplistically, with its very impressive French Reflection mirrors. The scenery is beautiful. What can detract from it? The people.
Management at the Magdalena ought to get more involved in the people; the way they themselves treat their staff. It is almost evident that the Grand Resort needs some assistance here. Reward and recognition seems almost non-existent and the people-centric feel is amiss. Some staff clearly require a reintroduction to the Customer Service class. While the Magdalena's rooms are outfitted beautifully, there are major disparity with communication between the front desk and other branches of service departments. It also seems to be lacking in staff. A hotel of its magnitude should have extra staff: contingency staff even.
However, their employee turnover is regrettably high. My team and I, spent two weeks at the Magdalena. Week one, I was housed in room 238. I was disturbed each day with something awry in the room. Either robes weren't placed, the towels not changed, the floor not swept... little things that miffed me just a tad. The second week I was housed in room 222. It was in room 222, I learned that I was now placed on the North's territory, where Martha would be responsible for my comfort.
My housekeeper, Martha made the Magdalena to me, a 5-star hotel. There was nothing to do when I got back from the office but stare at the room's cleanliness each day, awash with thoughtfulness. I requested only peppermint tea to be placed and there they were... packets of Twinnings peppermint tea. I'd been using the coffee-maker to brew my tea, Martha noticed this and on my second day at the North territory in room 222, my dear Martha left a kettle for me. I could not pretend not to be touched by this. I left Martha a thank you note, which vanished the next day, I surmised with a smile no doubt. Martha never let me down that last week in which she took care of me. One day, she came to my door, her face aglow, eager to meet "her guest", as she called me. Imagine that touch of personal interest, "her guest"!.
The buffet team was our next treat. Neil and Monifa made the biggest impression on me. Neil's slight smile and pleasant dispositon was refreshing. Monifa's engaging personality drew me, her telling smiles and patient eyes didn't betray a single thought that she didn't wish to express. There was a small window of opportunity for her to do so, where I saw guests taking the plates from the cooking station that were not meant for the buffet area. Monifa advised the guests quite pleasantly that the larger plates were ideally for the buffet section. The guests returned the plates and Monifa took those aside to be washed. Less that 4 mins later the same guests took up more plates from the cooking station and then put them back. Monifa removed those again, setting it aside to be washed and smiled pleasantly.
I am probably a "picky" eater. I must have given Monifa so many tiny requests for my one little plate, and by the end of her cooking it, she had the brightest smile I saw that night. It did not feel to me that she was bothered, but quite pleased rather that I'd put in those million requests. By the 2nd night, I looked forward to seeing Monifa, even asking the buffet team to add a new mix of foods to the Asian Night Menu.
The buffet team remembered my preferences, no large onions, no chunky anything, no pepper, no mustard, not too much food... each time they saw me they smiled. I am grateful to Monifa, Neil, Kacey (who served me as I would have served her - I am also in the service industry), Wendy, Suzette and Wendy-Ann who asked to see me to thank me for my suggestions. The seemingly new chef, Demetri. While it is purely evident to me that the larger management team are in need of a Dale Carniege course, I commend those who thankfully provided my team and I with reasons to smile.
Our cabby-drivers - Wendel, Kareem and Jaleel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The new, 4 Star, Magdalena Grand Beach Resort is located on Tobago Plantations Estate, a 750 acre gated community, and offers 178 Deluxe OceanFront Rooms and 22 One and Two Bedroom Suites. All accommodations are Ocean Front with private balconies. This beachfront resort offers an 18-hole PGA Golf Course, its own Dive Center, Spa, and the largest amount of banquet & meeting space on Tobago. Complimentary wireless internet is available throughout the resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vhl Tobago Golf And Spa Resort
- Vhl Tobago Golf Hotel Lowlands
- Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort Tobago/Lowlands