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kev Mar 6th, 2003 11:56 AM

Tobago - Blue Haven, Donkey Cart
Has anyone stayed at either the Blue Haven Hotel or Donkey Cart House recently. If so, can you tell me about them (style, atmosphere, conditions, pool, and any other interesting features) as well as what the beach (Bacelot Bay) and surrounding area is like.<BR><BR>I'm open to other suggestions too...but looking for luxury.<BR><BR>Thanks.

oonarose Mar 6th, 2003 12:11 PM

Hi,<BR>If you're looking for luxury, forget about the Donkey Cart House. It is a nice, friendly place, but on the basic side.<BR>I haven't stayed at the Blue Haven, but my husband and I had lunch there and got a tour of their pricier rooms. The hotel has much charm and is small and intimate. It's located in one of Scarborough's better residential neighborhoods, not too far from town but you'd probably want a car for at least a couple of days for exploring. It's on a low bluff, so there are stairs down to the beach, a perfect small crescent of golden sand with lots of palm trees for shade when you want it. The beach also has a bar and tables for informal lunch. The pool is small but probably adequate for the size of the hotel. The bluff location affords excellent views from the rooms. One section of the hotel faces the ocean at an angle; the other section faces it directly. The fancier rooms seem to be in the directly facing rooms. We saw a junior suite that looked very comfortable with a small sitting area. The showers have a glass wall so that you can look out at the view; because the bathrooms are at the back of the room, there's a curtain you can pull across the window for privacy. <BR>Because it's on the Atlantic, you get pretty constant breezes from the tradewinds. You will appreciate this when the temperatures reach 90, as the breezes keep you cool. (They also keep flying bugs away.)<BR>After five trips to Tobago with visits to many hotels there, I'd consider the Blue Haven one of the top 3 hotels for luxury on Tobago, which does not offer a lot of luxury hotels, as it's not yet overdeveloped.<BR>Let me know if you need more info.

kev Mar 7th, 2003 07:24 AM

Thanks for the info oonarose!<BR><BR>We'd like to get married at Blue Haven and we'll be there with 20 friends &amp; family for a week. Even though some will have cars, it would be nice to have a few things to do in the area. Can we walk to any restaurants? As well, since there are children, we want to make sure that the pool and beach would be appropriate for them.<BR><BR>We were thinking of Donkey Cart for our honeymoon week alone, but you think it's too basic. We don't need much in terms of amenities or things to do, but we'd like a romantic and intimate space. Of the other &quot;luxury&quot; hotels, we thought Coco Reef was not our style, and the Hilton didn't look very romantic. Unfortunately, I've never been to Tobago, so it's all based on web site research!<BR><BR>Thanks again.

MaryT Mar 8th, 2003 05:20 AM

We visited Coco Reef and liked it (we were staying nearby at Sandy Point Beach Club and stopped by for lunch and asked for a &quot;tour&quot; which was graciously given). You're welcome to post a question about it or email me, since you're looking for first hand information.

oonarose Mar 8th, 2003 07:46 AM

Hi, Kev,<BR>Unless you stay at the more developed Crown Point (near airport) area of the island, most hotels don't have lots of restaurants, etc., within walking distance. That's where the Coco Reef is, and it's very popular with visitors who take charter flights from England. The beach is small, and has a breakwater that makes the water still as a bathtub. Crown Point is not my favorite area, but others like it.<BR>We just got back from another trip to Tobago. We divided our time between the Blue Waters Inn (a small hotel directly on a small, secluded beach on the north end of the island) and the Hilton. The Blue Waters is basic. No phones, no TV, no room service, plain furnishings, etc., but its location is great and the rooms are literally yards from the water. You can walk to other restaurants in Speyside from there, if you don't mind hiking over a steep hill. The north end of the island is very undeveloped and mountainous, so you get great scenery and a feeling that you're in the Caribbean of many years ago. However, once again, it's a basic sort of place -- good food, however, and friendly. It takes about an hour and a half to drive there along challenging roads. We arranged for a taxi with the hotel -- $40 each way.<BR>The Hilton is a large 3-story hotel, with very excellent rooms and bathrooms. The beach directly in front of the hotel is eroded, but take a left turn at one of the 3 pools (one pool is very large with swimup bar), and there's a great mile-long walking beach lined with palms. The water there is shallow for a long way out and choppy. We took the honeymoon package (suite with two balconies (one with Jacuzzi) etc., and had a great time. The hotel offers free shuttles to Pigeon Point, a nearby private park with white sand and calm, aqua water for swimming. The Hilton does not have the local charm of the Blue Haven, but it's quite nice. (Because tourism has been down lately in Tobago, the rates are very good at the Hilton -- check their website for rates.) We rented a car for a few days, and on one night used a taxi ($10 each way) to get a restaurant we like.<BR>I'm not sure how many restaurants are in walking distance to the Donkey Cart house, but my guess is not many.<BR>You'll love Tobago.<BR>Diana<BR>[email protected]<BR>

Gin Mar 8th, 2003 11:28 AM

Oonarose-<BR>Thanks for all the great info. We are thinking of Tobago for our next trip, and the Blue Haven sounds like it is just right for us. I know you just stopped there for lunch, but did you check out the beach? Did it seem like a good swimming beach? Thanks in advance for any info.

oonarose Mar 8th, 2003 12:09 PM

Hi, Gin,<BR>The beach at the Blue Haven looked good for swimming, with just enough gentle wave action for interesting bobbing. We ate at the beach restaurant and watched people swimming. Even though the beach is on the Atlantic, I think it's somewhat protected from the larger waves by an outcropping of land. (And the Atlantic beach at the Blue Waters, too, is sheltered with good swimming.)<BR>The Atlantic side has a reputation for rougher water but we've enountered rough surf on the Caribbean side too , when we've stayed at Le Grand Courlan. It's amazing how the surf can vary day to day at the same beach; the surf may be mild one day, and rough the next. Tides and storms at sea, I guess. Pigeon Point, though, has been calm everytime I've been there.

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