The tourist landscape on the quaint island of Tobago has changed with the recent opening of Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, the largest hotel on the island. Completely rebuilt on the site of the former Tobago Hilton Hotel, Magdalena Grand sits on 20 acres of tropical surroundings and is now hailed as Tobago’s premier leisure and business resort. The brand new property boasts 250 guest rooms all facing the ocean, an 18-hole golf course, three swimming pools including a free-form pool with cabana beds, two lighted tennis courts and a well equip fitness center. The Magdalena Grand has 5000 square feet of meeting and event space that include two meeting rooms and the largest ballroom on the island. A state-of-the-art business center and Wi- Fi connected guest rooms are some of the added attractions that make this new resort a special entre’ on the Caribbean hospitality plateau.
The hotel’s brand identity is of great significance. The name Magdalena is drenched in both historical and cultural significance. La Magdalena is one of the earliest recorded names for Tobago, documented on a map dated 1508. It is said that Christopher Columbus named Tobago `Magdalena’ upon sight. “We are delighted to have this fine hotel carry a name with such historical magnitude,” said Kelvin Mahabir, president of eTeck, the development company of the resort. “With the opening of this resort, Tobago will increase its leisure, meetings and group travel opportunities. This will definitely revitalize all aspects of travel to Tobago and expand the island’s overall awareness, not only throughout the Caribbean, but in North America and Europe as well.”
Magdalena Grand has already employed over 225 employees locally and has built a solid team of hospitality leaders. “At a time when many hotels and resorts are cutting back or even being forced to close, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to provide jobs to the local community and beyond. We are delighted to have a management team who bring an excellent blend of both local and global experience and skills, which will enable Magdalena Grand to distinguish itself as a leading resort in the Caribbean.” noted John Murphy of EMF- Hospitality Solutions, the company in charge of operations and management.
Chatting with Nikolas Eastwick-Field, president EMF-Hospitality Solutions, he said that over $25million was spent to refurbish and upgrade the resort; “The Magdalena Grand offers something for just about everyone, from leisure and meetings and incentive travel to destination weddings and honeymoons. From our inclusive dining program to our amenities and offerings, our goal is to provide our guests with superior service, convenience and added value,” said Nikolas. The resort’s location is perfect; it is a short 15-minute drive from the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport in Tobago’s capital city of Scarborough.
AWARD WINNING EXECUTIVE CHEF
Guests at the Magdalena’s idyllic seaside location will have the pleasure of choosing from five restaurants. Various cuisines can be sampled from a range of options, from a casual poolside fare to three fine dining restaurants, all under the expert hands of executive Chef Ithmiaz Kader, formerly of the Hilton Curacao and more recently, the Park Westminster in London. Chef Kader has won numerous awards throughout his career including a Gold Medal at the 8th Culinary Contest of the US Meat Export Federation in 2008. He was a semi finalist for the UK National Chef of the Year in 2002 and 2006. Additionally, Chef Kader was the personal chef for the Dutch Airlines Football Club in 2008.
Tobago, sister island to the Carnival infused Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean island featuring secluded beaches, small villages and award winning eco-attractions including the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere. In addition to offering sun, sand, sea and diving, Tobago also provides many cultural, historical and ecological points of interest that appeal to a wide variety of visitors.
By Walter Greene | Published in Profiles98 Spring Issue 10 2012 | Photos Courtesy Of Magdalena Grand Resort