Le Grand Getaway
Have you ever been so burnt out, you were just surviving on autopilot until you could crash? This was me before my last Tobago getaway. I’m a planner, like a crazy detailed planner who needs to make lists of everything. So when I planned for my list to look like the below, you know the break was needed.
- Go with the flow.
This trip was also a short notice trip. It was confirmed maybe a week and a half before we left. This was okay for me because Tobago is home. It’s the same country. It’s a trip I try to make a couple times a year, and if it was up to me, would definitely be more often. Tobago is just a beautiful, relaxing place that is good for the soul. I had a perfect weekend, and it was in a big part due to the accommodation. I generally believe that when I am travelling, the time should be spent adventuring, and not in the hotel room beyond sufficient hours sleeping to maintain your strength for further escapades. For this reason, I like to have nice accommodations, but definitely don’t need fancy.
For this trip I stayed at Le Grand Courlan Resort and Spa in Black Rock. It was my first time here, but I had stayed at Grafton before, which is an affiliated hotel (next door), and had a good experience, so in the name of new experiences and Expedia deals, this was the choice. I booked on Expedia for three nights, at a good rate and because they noted a bonus of a two hour late checkout. However, upon check-in they had no record of that from Expedia and neither did I, which I only thought to check at that point. So…my bad there, and Expedia a little bit too. However, the very pleasant receptionist noted that on the day of checkout, if we enquired and the room was not booked for that day, a late checkout to 2pm would be allowed. This was also two hours later than standard checkout, and it was available on the day of checkout so bonus received! Did I mention that we also got an early check-in? YAY! Check in is officially at 3pm, but we got there at 1.45pm, and were immediately checked in, and directed to our room with two complimentary bottles of water for the trek. By directed I mean given pointed directions, not actually taken to our room by a member of staff. The compound is huge, and me with my complete lack of any directional sense would have probably gotten lost the first couple times if I were alone. Thank goodness for the boyfriend to literally steer me in the right direction.
It was actually nice finding the room on our own because it gave us the opportunity to get our bearings, and look around at our own pace. We found our room with no difficulty, and upon entering it was gorgeous. It was so welcoming. I mean it literally said welcome (See picture evidence below). Now I tend to get excited about cute things and so when I entered the room to see the Welcome sign in bamboo leaves on the bed, with the two swan towels, I just felt so mushy and happy. It felt like I had permission to relax, and officially started the vacation. It might be a small thing, but it makes a big difference. There were swan towels in the bathroom as well…DOUBLE YAY! Now for the bed, which I think deserves its own blog post, because it was that comfortable. Let’s just say we checked in mid-afternoon with the plan to just relax for a half hour, and then go check out the pool and maybe the restaurant for dinner. Yes, there’s a restaurant on the compound. Convenience! Anyways, the next time I woke up was around 9.30pm when my tummy started protesting its emptiness. With the options being to leave that comfortable room or starve, I chose to wait it out until the morning. I did have some snacks on hand, and the room came equipped with a kettle and some teabags, and coffee, so I was able to make do, and dive back into that bed to continue the sleep coma. ***Sigh…I miss that bed***
I took the garden view option because it was much cheaper than the ocean view, and I would be spending enough time at the ocean that it wasn’t a necessity. However, the garden view room also provided a view of the ocean from the balcony and it was lovely to just sit there on a morning, and listen to the waves, and write or just be still. It was just a rejuvenating spot, and when I’m stressed I just wish to be back there surrounded by that calm, happy energy. It’s also a great spot to have breakfast, drinks, and just hang out alone, or with your companion. There were also several other nooks in the room that were perfect to curl up with a book, or get some work done. There was a pretty large desk, as well as a round table perfect for a cozy meal for two with two super chairs. I also wish I had those chairs in my apartment. The people at Le Grand definitely get an A+ for comfortable furnishings. It was just lovely options to relax and bask in the beauty of the ocean, and be grateful for life and the opportunity to enjoy these bits of heaven on earth.
The hotel does have free WiFi. Apparently each person has an individual WiFi password. Individual being the username is linked to your name and room number. I think that’s pretty cool, even if it sounds like lots of IT work, but non-tech savvy me wouldn’t actually know. However, the service was not that cool. Most times I had zero bars showing a poor connection, but it was present and worked for things like WhatsApp conversations, etc. However, it was difficult to impossible to watch videos, or receive or send pictures, etc. So, definitely inconvenient if you need a good working connection in your room. Maybe it was because my room was far away from the router? I’m sure you would probably be able to get better service in the lobby, etc. so not a total lost cause, but it would be good to ask to probably get a room that has better service if that’s something that’s critical to your stay. To me, I didn’t mind too much. It was a reminder that vacation is a time to disconnect. Also, Tobago is local, so if I really needed to view something and the connection was poor, I could simply use my phone data. (Ain’t no roaming charges from Trinidad to Tobago!)
There is a beach directly opposite the hotel. This is accessible through a gate from the hotel to the road to the beach between the hours of 6am – 7pm. The gate is closed outside of these times for the safety of the guests which is understandable. I am disappointed to say I did not visit the beach beyond in passing on this occasion but there were several persons who were in the water and the water looked lovely. I mean…how often do Tobago beaches really disappoint?
Also accessible through this gate is the Waves Restaurant, which is also affiliated with Le Grand. I’ve been here when I stayed at Grafton, plus I visited on this trip twice. It offers some nice lunch and dinner options, along with drinks and dessert, so you’re covered. The best part is that this restaurant is located on the beach, so you can grab a great seat and have a large side of unobstructed ocean view with your meal. I must mention that every waitress I’ve ever had the pleasure of serving me has been a delight. I’ve always received great customer service, a big reason I keep returning.
**Look out for an individual post about the entire Waves experience. (Subscribe so you don’t miss it!)**
There is a lovely pool at the hotel. See for yourself from the pictures. There’s also a swim up bar with a bartender. I’m not sure what hours there is a bartender available, but we went in the pool during the day, and he was available, so some beers or lovely cocktails, or even some food right there from the restaurant for your convenience is always a plus. It’s a great hang out spot. There’s lounge chairs right at the side of the pool, with and without umbrellas. Also, another great space is a lounge area next to the pool, but covered with very comfy lounge chairs (with cushions) so you can relax with a pool view, but without the direct sun. Great options for everyone, and who doesn’t love options. This fairytalekindagirl is definitely a fan of them.
As I mentioned above, the hotel also has its own on site restaurant, spa, gym, gift/resort wear boutique and tennis courts, all of which I was unable to enjoy at this visit. I really wanted to go to the restaurant to be able to properly advise on the experience, but we just ran out of time (or used it to sleep…blame it on the bed!). The gym, this visit, I just wanted to go check out the equipment, but hopefully I’ll be more of a fitness junkie the next time I visit (work in progress by the way!) so I’ll actually do some workouts. The sun was blazing hot, so while the thought of doing a cute fun sport was enticing, the reality of the temperature killed that tennis adventure, but again, I do want to do it, so it’ll stay on the list. So for all of the things I didn’t get to do, it’s just more incentive to return. There’s also a large indoor bar and lounge area, with pool tables (which we did utilise one night!). Again, beautiful and comfortable as shown in the images.
I love that you have the options to make this a stay in your hotel vacation because you have a gorgeous room, great facilities, and several restaurant options within walking distance. With the beach opposite, there’s no reason to venture anywhere distant while still getting the full Tobago experience. Also, if you want to go exploring, or just head to the popular spots like Store Bay, or Pigeon Point, they’re pretty close (about fifteen minutes away). Therefore, I really like the Black Rock location for all of these reasons.
All in all, I had a great experience, and the cost and value is definitely worth it. I would love to return in the near future, and as I mentioned, it was a much needed mental escape, and it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I have also noticed that there have been several local (Trinidad and Tobago) specials being advertised for both the Le Grand and Grafton hotels, so it’s always worth checking it out. Also, Expedia often has deals as well, so stay informed. You never know when you’re going to get a great deal and create some fantastic memories.
Have you ever visited Le Grand?
What has been your experience?
What is your favourite hotel in Tobago?
Let me know.
Hint – When you’re heading towards the hotel, in case you miss the sign on the hotel itself, there’s also a rock on the right hand side of the road with the name of the hotel. I wanted to take a picture but I was scared to run across the road. True story. Also, it’s right before Grafton Beach Resort, so if you reach Grafton, you’ve gone a little too far.
Light and love!
Le Grand Getaway
A Perfect Escape...