Sandy Coves and clear blue waters in Tobago
Palm trees swaying in the breeze, the sound of the sea gently lapping on the sandy beach, lying in an open air hot tub, glass of champagne in your hand, these are the moments we only dream about – but for us this dream has now become a reality at The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort.
We are on the Caribbean Island of Tobago and staying in the island’s premier hotel. Many people say once you’ve experienced Tobago and Caribbean hospitality you’ll keep coming back and I can see why.
Each room at The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort has a panoramic sea view, with suites (which we were lucky enough to find ourselves in) all having hot tubs overlooking the ocean. Once you’ve worn yourself out relaxing in the hot tub, why not use the little energy you have left to make your way down to the beach and catch some of the suns rays whilst loungeing on one of the daybeds, sipping, of course, a rum punch (no visit to Tobago is complete without a rum punch or two) – speak to a Tobagon and they will tell you their rum punch is the best in the Caribbean!!!!
If the beach isn’t your thing there are 3 pools to choose from all overlooking the ocean. One is an infinity pool, hidden from view and only for adults which is just what honeymoons are made for! Breakfast at The Magdalena is a real treat as you sit on the pool terrace, enjoying a variety of fresh produce including made to order omelettes, French toast, pancakes, pastries, fresh fruit, and so much more, and if the sunshine on the terrace is too much first thing in the morning then you can venture inside to the large air conditioned restaurant.
Restaurants on the island certainly tantalise your tastebuds, offering a variety of dishes from local to Caribbean, European to American and, of course always include fresh fish – there are menus to suit every craving, palette and budget.
The Fish Pot, a lovely little fish restaurant with a menu of whichever fish has been caught that day, is not to be missed, as is a visit to Kariwak village. especially if you want to sample some truly authentic Caribbean food with dishes including savoury pumpkin and Mahi Mahi in a coconut herb sauce , the food is fresh, home grown and tasty.
For a real Tobaggon experience you need to visit The Blue Crab Restaurant which is run by Alison and her husband Kenneth (chef), this is no ordinary husband and wife team as from the moment you arrive, Alison will have you become a member of her family regailling stories from her life, the restaurant and so much more – if you walk out of here not in love with the place and Alison then maybe you’re not human – and the food, well Kenneth does as he’s told and stays in the kitchen and produces some of the most delicious cuisine, including Fried Flying Fish in a mild curry flavour batter one of his specialities. As for their Rum Punch it certainly packs a PUNCH!
Tobago is an island of two personalities – the calm Caribbean side and the slightly more agitated Atlantic coastline. The Magdalena is on the Atlantic side but venture to Pigeon Point Heritage Park and you’ll experience the clear calm waters of the Caribbean side – Pigeon Point is an idyllic setting and one of the main places people come to get married. With the sun kissed turquoise waters, and soft white sand surrounded by palm trees, this really is paradise – Come and spend a day here lying on the beach, sipping cocktails, mixing with the locals, enjoy a little shopping and for the more adventurous how about some diving, jet skiing or kite surfing, and to finish the day just sit with a cool drink and watch the world drift by until its time to watch a magnificent sunset with the one you love.
The Magdalena is not just a hotel it also boasts 4 resturatants that non residents can use including the fine dining Kalina Restaurant, a Caribbean fusion restaurant with its soft romantic music and welcoming staff this is the ideal restaurant to visit whilst with the one you love – this is Caribbean cuisine at its very best, a real treat, including a vast selection of cocktails and an extensive wine list to choose from. The whole dining experience starts with a tasty appetiser and dishes that are just delightful, such as warmed baked tomato and mozzarella cheese – a dish that I have to say is so simple yet so utterly divine, and the roasted double lamb chop that not only looked like a piece of art but tasted like a masterpiece too.
There are two things not to be missed if you visit Tobago, the first is a trip to the Rainforest, and the other a Catamaran island Cruise. The rainforest spans 14,000 acres and is at the highest point on the island – What our lovely guide Darlington didn’t know about the flora, fauna, insects and animals that make the rain forest their home isn’t worth knowing – as we trekked through the forest I half expected to see Tarzan swinging towards us through the trees – Humming birds, the national bird Cocorico beautiful vibrant butterflies and dare I say it – spiders – were only a few of the delights we encountered. The greenery is greener than green, and the silence, apart from birds tweeting and Darlington talking is so serene.
It’s time to sail away with “The Island Girl” a 43ft Catamaran that will have you sailing Tobago’s scenic coastline, whilst basking in the sun either on the decks, or if you prefer relaxing in the shaded cockpit – it is in here that you can watch Danny, the skipper and his team sail the boat, play excellent hosts everyone on board and observe them catching fresh fish for lunch. We sail to Cotton Bay Cove, a cove that is serene and unspoilt and is only accessible by boat. It is here you can try your hand at snorkeling or swimming in the clear blue seas, or if you prefer you can take a stroll hand in hand on the beach (you do have to swim to the beach first though!)
Any drink you fancy is flowing all day and the choice is vast. everything from bottled water to scotch, wine and, of course, a Tobagan cruise wouldn’t be authentic without some Rum Punch. Lunch is a selection of the fresh fish the guys have caught, chicken, salads and garlic bread – all freshly prepared by Danny and his team, (these guys are brilliant). Leaving Cotton Bay we sail to our next stop Emerald Cove – the name speaks for itself with Emerald waters and even more marine life to enjoy. Caribbean music plays in the background as we sail back to Mt Irvine. As we lounge on the deck enjoying the lapping of the water and the slight rocking of the boat, a pod of dolphins decide to swim alongside the boat – it truly is a magical experience.
Back at The Magdalena a cocktail or two in the Tavaco lounge is a must before heading to dinner – this time in The Pembois Restaurant, buffet style dining with a menu that changes every night with a selection of both Caribbean and International specialties.
If you are in Tobago on a Sunday evening then you need to go to Sunday School!!! Not the church hymn singing variety but a weekly street party where locals want to dance with you, food stalls make your mouth water, and steel bands and live singers will have you at least tapping your feet before the night ends.
Tobago is an untouched paradise where you can do as much or as little as you want. White sandy coves, swimming in crystal clear waters, and sunsets on the beach, all go towards making it the ultimate honeymoon destination.
British Airways Holidays offers 7 nights at the 4.5* Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort from £783 pp based on 2 people sharing a Deluxe Oceanfront Room on a B&B basis, including 2 complimentary rounds of golf per person (including buggy hire). Inclusive of direct return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways on selected dates. Guests can upgrade to an All Inclusive package from £1,334 pp per week.