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Grafton Beach Resort

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Has anyone stayed at the Grafton Beach resort in Tobago, I am a bit concerned about the recent food poisoning scare and lack of service. I am seriously thinking of upgrading to the Hilton or Coco Reef. As this is going to be my honeymoon I want it to be special, so any comments on the other hotels please let me know.

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    Grafton has very mixed reviews; it used to be the Grande Dame of Hotels in Tobago until Coco Reef and now the Tobago Hilton has surpassed it.

    It's sister resort Grand Courlan,which is right next door, linked by a small gate actually, is much nicer.I have toured both properties and while they are well mainatined with nice rooms (better rooms at GC), pools and views I do not care for the beach at all!

    The beach is just across from the hotel, all you need to do is walk two steps across a very narrow road. It is long and sweeping, great beach for walking but with more waves than you would expect and the sand is a dark golden colour streaked with black. The last time I was there the hotel's beach chairs needed repairing and the palapas were not in good condition. It is a public beach and non hotel guests use the facilites as well. The beach bar/ restaurant is on the beach and just ok, very rustic.

    Coco Reef would be first choice for location IF you want to be close to restuarants, beaches, banks, bars and the airport. The grounds are very nice and you feel as if you are secluded from the busy main road that it is on, please note "busy" by Tobago standards means you will have people walking by and a few cars passing ever so often.

    The area of Crown Point where Coco Reef is located is the only "tourist area" of the island which means you get quite a few hotels scattered about in that area in addition to the services listed above. I think it's great if you are not doing the all inclusive at Coco Reef and what to explore a bit of the local restaurants, which are quite good,in that area.

    The only thing I can fault Coco Reef with is it's beach ,which is not man made as some say, but they have used boulders to block of part of the Store Bay Beach next door so you have a "beach" at the hotel that is very placid and stangnant. However the very popular and beautiful Store Bay is just next door and Pigeon Point is about five minutes away driving. Of course you can also rent a car and explore other deserted beaches such as Englishman's Bay, on your own.

    The Tobago Hilton is impressive, new and with many facilites you would expect of a Hilton. The lay out is nice, not your generic hotel with all rooms having an ocean view. The rooms are great as well, and so is the pool which overlooks the beach. Ok, so the real issue for some IS the beach..it is on the Atlantic side, windy and imposing for swimming. That said, it is a nice beach to walk on and splash in the water near the shore if you like but the hotel has a return shuttle that takes you to Pigeon Point daily.

    The other issue that I have with Hilton is the fact that it is SUCH a long walk in from the main road that unless you want to spend all your time at the resort you may need to rent a car as taxi rates are not cheap at the Hilton. Please note that the hotel does offer tours to the waterfall etc and you may wish to email them and ask which ones are included or scheduled when you will be visiting.

    They also offer a honeymoon package that includes one day car rental with picnic basket, so you can enquire about this as also.

    If you wish to have another choice, you can also look into the small botique hotel called Blue Haven which is very nice as well:

    http://www.bluehavenhotel.com/

    Tobago is a very romantic island, you will enjoy it no matter where you stay.

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    I have stayed at GBR and would not stay there again.
    When we were there, most of the (loud, obnoxious) guests were on AI, and the food was not very good, so we ate almost all meals off-property.
    I'd recommend the Hilton (which was not there when we went to Tobago.)
    The people of Tobago are extremely friendly, and you will have a great time wherever you choose to stay.

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    I've stayed at Le Grand Courlan twice -- but before it went all-inclusive and before all the condos and villas were built on the hill behind it. We enjoyed it back then, when it was quiet and only the Courlan and Grafton guests used the beach primarily. However, the food was not outstanding then, and I'm sure it hasn't improved under the AI arrangement.
    For our past two trips, we've stayed at the Hilton. On our trip this February, we split our stay between the Hilton and the basic and isolated Blue Waters Inn (4 night) at the undeveloped north end of the island.
    Even though we're not honeymooners, we took the honeymoon package at the Hilton for six nights. Our particular package included a suite (two marble bathrooms, sitting room, two TVs, two minibars, etc.) that had two oceanview balconies -- one with a largish Jacuzzi (very enjoyable and romantic). Our rate included good champagne in the room, flowers, and one free dinner for two. We got a very good rate; the Hilton website doesn't now seem to be offering the same rate we got. However, if this interests you, invest in calling the hotel directly to see if they're offering special rates. Tourism is in a slump right now there, so there are bargains to be had.
    We ususally rent a car for about half our stay. From the Hilton, most restaurants are a $10 taxi ride each way. The car is good for exploring the island.
    The Coco Reef doesn't appeal to me, mainly because the small beach, with its trucked-in sand and its manmade reef of big rocks, seems artificial and lacks much shade. It is very popular with tour groups who take charter flights from England. The Hilton rooms are much nicer.
    It is always windy at the Hilton, but the breezes keep you cool when the temperature hits 90. Someday, the Hilton will be crowded, once all the condos in the adjacent development are occupied. But that hasn't happened yet. Let me know if you need more details.
    ddupin@aol.com

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