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Tobago feels much more African than its twin, Trinidad, though they both lie just off the coast of Venezuela. Most of Tobago's best beaches can be found at its western end, which is also where you'll find many of the best places to stay in Tobago, a collection of hotels, guesthouses and diving lodges occupying lovely, sandy coves.
And its coral reefs with shallow, shelving waters and mountainous, rainforested interior make this a great place for a low-key but adventurous Caribbean break. Tobago welcomes tourists without too much fuss - another big difference from its party twin, Trinidad - to a beautiful, but peaceful island with plenty of natural assets and not too much interest in overdeveloping them. There are some relatively plush hotels, but there are also tiny guesthouses, and shoes seem to be optional at both ends of the scale.
Scarborough is Tobago's largest town, but you're far more likely to end up either: beside one of the beach resorts on the southwest side if you're looking for a tropical beach break, or staying in a tiny fishing village, if you're here to explore Tobago's underwater world.
It's worth checking out both options, and at least visiting the lush interior with its impressive array of indigenous birds. Tobago also has a number of forts and plantation houses, if you're interested in getting to know the history of the place too.
The Hotel Guru's pick of the best places to stay in Tobago range from a great value three star option to a luxury villa resort with spectacular ocean views.
For a beach break
- Bacolet Beach Club is a whitewashed, 20 room hotel perched above a secluded beach. The contemporary rooms and balconies are focussed on either the azure waters of the ocean, or of the pool. The food is good and the atmosphere is relaxed.
For great value
- The Seahorse Inn is just back from a lovely beach and offers accommodation in rooms, suites or three bed villas - some with four poster bed and private balconies. And as well as a pool and restaurant there's a fitness centre. Prices here start from just £88 per night.
- Blue Waters Inn is another very family friendly option, also offering one, two and three bedroom apartments with kitchenettes and verandahs. You're just a short stroll from the beach, and there's a lovely pool and bar area, and even tennis courts. Not bad for under £100 per night.
- Half Moon Blue is a nine room hotel overlooking Bacelot Bay - and as far as Trinidad if it's a clear day. Rooms and facilities are much better than you'd expect from a three star property, and it's excellent value, with rooms starting from just £70 per night.
For a special occasion
- The Plantation Beach Villas are a collection of just six colonial villas, each sleeping up to six, surrounded by lush gardens. Each villa comes with direct beach access, and possibly its own chef, BBQ and babysitters. There are great watersports facilities on the beach, as well as tennis and golf close by.
- Another luxurious villa resort at Black Rock, The Villas at Stonehaven are a collection of larger villas, all with their own kitchenettes, living areas and patios. Classical and romantic, this hotel has stunning views and encourages every opportunity to enjoy them.
Best Hotels in Tobago
Half Moon Blue 9 rooms from $86Scarborough, Tobago
An excellent three star option overlooking Bacolet Bay. Charming rooms have four poster beds, balconies, and DVD players. Beautiful pool and bar area, restaurant, and easy access to the beach below. Family friendly and excellent value.Views - Amazing views as far as Trinidad on a clear day.Romantic BreakSwimming Pool - Outdoor infinity pool with great views.Sights nearby - Fort King George.
Seahorse Inn from $108Black Rock, Tobago
A laid back inn directly on the beach with stunning ocean views and cocooned by palm trees. Rooms, suites, and three-bed villas (ideal for families), some with four poster beds and private balconies. Creole/international restaurant and lots of relaxation areas. Excellent value.Families - Three bedroom suites with shared pools, gardens, and fitness centres are ideal for families.WellbeingBeach LifeValue chic
Bacolet Beach Club 20 rooms from $190Scarborough, Tobago
A very Caribbean hotel perched above a beach. A white washed building focused around its pool and azure ocean view. Contemporary rooms have balconies and all the mod cons. A secluded beach moments away, good food, and relaxed atmosphere. Family friendly, good value too.Views - Spectacular views from the property's hillside location.Value chicSwimming Pool - Outdoor infinity pool with wooden deck surroundOn the beach - Direct access to a secluded beach
Blue Waters Inn 38 rooms from $217Speyside, Tobago
A charming hotel just above Speyside beach with a collection of sea-facing bungalows. One, two, and three bedroom accommodations come with kitchenettes and verandahs, each in beach chic style. Lovely pool and bar area, tennis court, and a walk onto the beach. Family friendly, good value.Diving - Fantastic dive sites very close by.Views - Great views from hotelValue chicBirdwatching - Plenty to see in the hotel grounds, but a visit to Bird of Paradise Island can be arranged.
Plantation Beach Villas 6 rooms from $275Black Rock, Tobago
Just six beautiful colonial villas, each sleeping six, with luscious gardens, private chef, and fully equipped kitchens. Ideal for families or groups of friends. Excellent access to plenty of water sports, golf, tennis, and direct access to the beach. A special spot with an iconic atmosphere.Families - Six colonial style villas with kitchens, BBQS, babysitters, and a daily housekeeper (sleep 6).Beach LifeValue chicViews - Great views from hotel
The Villas at Stonehaven 14 rooms from $390Blackrock, Tobago
A luxury villa resort with sumptuous suites equipped with kitchenettes, living areas, and patios. Traditional chic in style with romantic linens, four poster beds, and classical furnishings. Lovely pool, restaurant, massages, BBQ grills, stunning ocean views. Sophisticated and romantic.Views - Spectacular ocean viewsRomantic BreakLuxurySwimming Pool - Outdoor half moon infinity pool beside the restaurant. Each villa has a private infinity pool & pool deck.