Top River Pearl - Reader Reports & Opinion
Diana from Lithuania visited in May 2009 and awarded
We have stayed here already for four days and are staying for longer! The village is very cosey, the appartment is all you really ever need. But the top of our stay at Top River Pearl has been the dinners that Maria has cooked for us. Exellent! Best in Tobago and probably far beyond. We have now discovered who the real pearl is at Top River Pearl - it's Maria and her homely, deliciuous meals. Most recommended!!!! Don't look anywhere else to have your dinners in Charloteville ... Thanks Maria!
Diana and Tomas
Anne Fischer from Denmark visited in April 2009 and awarded
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Top River Pearl for two weeks. We actually only booked the first week in advance, and figured that we wanted to check it out, and also see if there were any other places that looked nice before deciding about the second week. We ended up staying at Top River for the entire vacantion. I must say, that Charlotteville is by far the loveliest, friendliest and most beautiful place ti stay in the entire Island, we are so happy that we didnt choose Castara (though nice to), cause this was heaven!
Top River was nice. Clean, good spacious rooms, and felt very new. The highlights were the very nice and friendly staff, the balcony, and the capuccino bar. We had breakfast there a couple of times, and the coffée was great (just regular coffee, from a trinidadian coffeefarmer) and the girls were so nice. Oh yes, I must not forget to mention the man cleaning the place everymorning; he brought us bananas once a week, and they were so lovely. Small onces, so sweet. The only thing that was a bit disopointing was that becides the first morning, for almost a week there was no one else at Top River except the two of us, and the man cleaning in the morning. The cappucino bar was closed, with a phone number on the door if we needed to contact the staff for anything. It would have been nice to be able to have a coffée, or at least know when to expect them to open again. We felt a bit lonely the first couple of days before figuring out where to go for this and that, 'cause there was no one to ask. And one last thing: I dont think of myself as someone very sencitive to sounds when sleeping, but I had a hard time sleeping most of the nights. There are many houses in the area around Top River, with many roosters and dogs. They make sound...all night long!So, bring earplugs!
All in all a very nice place, with very nice staff.
Christine Dum from Austria visited in April 2009 and awarded
We stayed at Top River Pearl for 1 night in the course of our Tobago vacation in April 2009.
First of all Charlotteville is a lovely place with quiet people – definitely worth seeing. The bay is wonderful but even nicer is the adjacent Pirates' bay which can be reached by a 15min walk.
At Top River Pearl we got a warm welcome by a girl named Mary taking care of the guests. The house is beautiful and the rooms a very nice and comfortable. It's very good value for money. Mary offered to prepare dinner for us. She prepared a wonderfully soft filet of Mahi-Mahi with vegi und beans in coconut milk. It was delicious and knowing that it was especially made for us it felt a bit like home. Top River doesn't serve alcohol (they told us that they would get a license soon), but they did not bother for us to bring our own beer. Everything was really uncomplicated and we had a very relaxed stay there.
If you are not the biggest fan of country life than probably you should not go there. The house is built in a way that during the night it attracts bats. Also in Charlotteville obviously every family has a rooster and they are collectivly in concert the whole night long. Ad some barking dogs and the perfect soundscape is ready. We were surprised in the beginning but got used to it very quickly and in the end it contributed to make our stay in Charlotteville special.
Breakfast at Top River is good, lovingly made again by the "Chef" Mary and some other helping hands.
We would definitely go to Charlotteville and Top River Pearl again!
Marla Beth B. from U.S.A. visited in March 2009 and awarded
If I were to stay in Charlotteville, there is nowhere I would rather have stayed than Top River Pearl. If I had a larger party, perhaps the second floor apartments at Charlottevilla, which is lovely, and Rose's or Rosa's on the water, which looked very beautiful too, but otherwise this seems to me to be the best place in town. It is on a hill, so you get cooler breezes than down right on the water, and has a wonderful view of the bay.
I also could not have asked for friendlier or kinder people. They bent over backwards to help make my stay wonderful. Mary, Marta, Aunt Maudeline, and Rainer were so helpful and friendly and kind. Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the water was just the best.
Regarding noise, I must say that it was not quiet while I was there, though I was told that the problem just started the day after I arrived. And perhaps the problem has been resolved since I left - I was there March 4-12 2009. I don't know if it is still going on - one would have to inquire.
But, though apparently the neighbor who was reported to have played the religious music at 6am has stopped, another neighbor (across the street, at the corner, three houses up the road) played incredibly loud music that the whole neighborhood can hear, starting at 6am and going for a minimum of 2 hours, but normally not stopping until between 1 and 3 pm every day including Sunday.
They played it very loud, and it was a rather unpleasant kind of music (I found it so anyway) apparently called "Raga Soca" which is more like rap than regular Soca. When I went over to talk to them at 7 one morning, in hopes of asking them to turn it down just until 9 am or so, I never got the chance to ask because the woman (hilariously) could not hear me even say "hello" over her music, and would not turn it down even so we could have a conversation. She never did find out why I had come! I just left. Later, the same neighbors confronted the owner of Top River from the street with cursing, screaming, and threats, because one of his guests had dared to come to their porch. (I never entered their house or even had to knock, because the woman was on the porch stoop.) I hated to be the cause of that, but the noise was fairly unbearable to me.
I can't say you could stay anywhere in Trinidad or Tobago and be assured that you could have peace and quiet though - it seems loud music playing is a fairly frequent occurrence. I was told by numerous people I spoke with that there seems to be a burgeoning problem with this all over the place, with lawsuits and "noise pollution" statutes being enacted, etc. One side seems to believe that they are "just enjoying life" and that anyone who asks them to turn it down is ruining their enjoyment of life, and the other side believes that they should have their own choice in music and the hours during which they listen. I was told when I was in Trinidad that it is only in very rich neighborhoods where any kind of noise restrictions are enforced, and that it is considered to be a symptom of wealth, privilege, and a bad attitude to want peace and quiet or be disturbed by someone who is "only enjoying life." I have no idea if this is true of course, only that when discussing my experiences this is what I was told. I guess the people who want to "enjoy life" have never heard of headphones.
So, I would not avoid Top River Pearl because of the noise, because you can't be assured that anywhere you stay in Charlotteville, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, will be quiet. Most accommodations in Charlotteville are either on the main road, which is a business road with restaurants and shops and car horns beeping and cars going by with radios playing, and certainly can get noisy. Or else they are in residential neighborhoods, where you can wind up with a neighbor who is a believer in treating the neighborhood to concert level loudness music at 6am.
There seems to be no assuring yourself that you will be able to stay in a quiet place, and given that, Top River Pearl is lovely and the best place to stay in Charlotteville in my opinion. And I did visit other places while there just to see.
So, have yourself a cappuccino on the terrace, enjoy Iris and Mary's wonderful cooking, enjoy the friendliness of the staff and the beautiful view, and expect that you may be serenaded at 6am wherever you go, so enjoy Top River Pearl and go with the flow.
Paul Franckowiak from U.S.A. visited in March 2009 and awarded
You could not do better in Tobago than by staying at the Top River Pearl. TRP is a quiet comfortable place with a commanding view of the town. No other place in Charloteville offers such a nice location. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Really worth the money and your time. I do not usually take the time to recommend places to stay but since TRP stands out as such a good value and downright nice comfortable place I decided I should.