Top River Pearl - Reader Reports & Opinion
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.
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.
Keith & Sharon from U.S.A. visited in February 2009 and awarded
We stayed a week at Top River Pearl and could not have been happier with our experience! Rainer was extremely friendly and helpful: he arranged a special dinner for us late on a Sunday night, mediated taxi service between Crown Point and Charlotteville, and rescued us from a potential disaster when we left one of our bags behind. This is the kind of service I expect from a concierge at a 5-star hotel!!
The rooms at Top River Pearl are exceptionally clean and very comfortable. Each has a balcony with a lovely view of the bay, and the kitchenette is well equipped if you want to cook for yourself. The cafe and communal porch at TRP are nice, quiet places to read, relax, or use the wireless internet service. Mary makes an excellent cappuccino and her ice-cream coffee is not to be missed. Other reviewers have complained of loud noises, but we did not notice any loud music or street noise beyond the daily rooster serenade (which one quickly gets used to).
Yes, Charlotteville is rustic and unspoiled-you either like that or you don't. We loved it, and we certainly recommend a stay at Top River Pearl.
Preben Holmboe from Denmark visited in February 2009 and awarded
I stayed 3 weeks at Top River Pearl in February 2009.
I enjoyed it very much. The room was very comfortable and with a nice balcony with view to the bay.
The staff was very friendly and service oriented. Good cleaning service.
The restaurant was exellent with a qualified chef.
The wireless internet at Top River Pearl was important to me, as I have my own business in Denmark, and had to follow up on projects, meeting dates etc.
Charlotteville was the right basis for me during my stay on Tobago. A quiet place, reflecting much of the original culture of the population.
I am therefore going back to Denmark filled up with good impressions and experiances from the vacation on Tobago and with my best recommendation for Top River Pearl.
Guest Report 25 May 2009
Louise I from Brighton UK visited in February 2009 and awarded
Stayed for the second time in February. Stayed in the cottage despite only being two of us - it was fab!
Yes there are cockerels nearby - but that is part of the charm.
There was early morning music only once - and it didn't bother us. I think you have to embrace other cultures when you visit and when most people get up at 5 to go to work, their playing music at 6 doesn't seem so unreasonable. If it is going to bother you take earplugs.