Top River Pearl - Reader Reports & Opinion
Richard Banks from U.K. visited in October 2007 and awarded
Difficult to explain why we were dissapointed. Probably because we had just come from Essex cottage and this was a very hard act to follow!
Room was smaller than we expected and being off season everything had a rather shut down feeling. Manager did her best to make us welcome but in the end we moved on earlier than planned.
Ben Mann from U.S.A. visited in September 2007 and awarded
My girlfriend and I stayed at the TRP in mid-September '07 for five nights. The property is is located up in the residential 'music' neighborhood which is on the Pirates Bay end on town about a quarter the way up the hill. It's called the music neighborhood because its populated by many fisherman who blast reggae from 6am-6:30am and 5-7pmish. We loved this but some may not. Being in this area really connects one with the rhythm and pulse of C'ville which made the whole trip for us. Once you get to know a few locals you will be pretty much living in their 'hood, which we loved.
We stayed upstairs and loved the room. The property also has a common area with hammocks which we utilized frequently.(Watch for bat shit. Again, we loved this but some may not)
Rainer was not there during our visit and the cafe staff were among the most rude and unpleasant people we encountered in all of Tobago. Lisa, the manager, was helpful with anything we needed.
I will be staying here again and would recommend it to younger(50 and under) travelers or couples who travel to Tobago for the cultural experiance of Tobago and not for fancy all inclusive holiday Tobago. I'd say the same for C'ville in general. It's a very quite place but there is still much more going on here then Castara and I found it much easier to get to know the locals here then in any other place in T&T. We could regularly be found liming with the fisherman on the main street drinking Puncheon + Carib which got us in with everybody. I felt almost unwelcome in many other towns including Castara.
The TPR is by no means 5 star but has comfortable beds, bug nets, kitchenettes, and great balconies but the cafe and the cafe staff really bring down the general rating.
Claire Finka from U.K. visited in May 2007 and awarded
Charlotteville is one of those places that you want to keep quiet about in case too many others spoil it.
I was worried about staying there on my own, but on my arrival at my ground floor apartment at Top River Pearl a friendly voice called down from the upper communal deck and I was soon swinging in a hammock, making new friends, drink in hand.
My apartment was much smarter than I had expected, a spacious bedroom, well equipped - if small - kitchen area off and more than adequate bathroom. Although it was the end of the dry season the room was cool most of the time and the floor fan was more than adequate in the evening heat. I loved my balcony with excellent views over the village, but not too far from the centre or the beach. I know some people have mentioned the numerous chickens and attendant cockerels but they never bothered me in the slightest, I slept soundly through and did not need the provided mosquito net.
When booking Rainer answered all my queries promptly and on arrival everyone was very helpful and friendly.The one disappointment was that going out of season meant the coffee shop was not open a great deal and the menu was limited. In fact my one disappointment about Charlotteville was the lack of fresh food in the shops or variety in restaurants. I found out too late that Gails was not closed, only open in the evening and was well spoken off. Anyway I was able to feast on mangos picked from the ground, and lost some weight for the first time on holiday.
Local people were very friendly and although I had the odd offer, as a single woman I felt perfectly safe.
Top River Pearl is the right end of the village to walk to Pirates Bay, excellent in the early morning for a spot of bird watching en route and then I often had this stunning beach to myself. The snorkelling is good and the water totally calm. Others arrived later and a small shack opened offering cold drinks and loungers if you needed one.
Other beaches were explored with Nigel who will take you out in his boat, with a good chance of seeing the dolphins that were often in the bay, and with Peter Trotman the new manager of the kayak centre. Peter will also take you on tours of the local rain forest. Going off season meant I often had a guide to myself which felt a total luxury. It was also turtle laying time and I had the wonderful experience of watching a turtle laying eggs with local expert Heather on a quiet deserted nearby beach - but be prepared to stay up all night!
If you love nature and want to chill out this is the place to be.
Annie Reardon from U.S.A. visited in May 2007 and awarded
My daughter and I stayed here for a week. I must admit that shortly after we had been dropped off by the friendly taxi driver from Castara, we looked around and wanted to go back to Castara!! We were spoiled from living right on the beach at Ali Baba's Sea Breeze, and we had become comfortable with the little town and the people there.
But, here we were! As it turned out, we had a great week here, mostly thanks to Curtis who took us on a land adventure, to the rain forest; and a sea adventure, snorkeling around the island. And, the Top River Pearl was very beautiful.. We most loved the hammock in the outside area of our room. I LOVED the cappucinos. We shopped at the little stores in town, and hiked up (and then down many steps) to Pirates Cove.
I would recommend Top River Pearl- it was very clean, comfortable, and there were bats at night!
McCulloch Family from U.K. visited in April 2007 and awarded
We spent a week at the beginning of April at Top River Pearl. Everything lived up to our high expectations (having read the reviews on this website). Rainer dealt with all the booking details and queries very efficiently from Germany when we booked back in October. Five of us stayed in the large apartment on the 1st floor. It was light and airy. I had been slightly worried that the beds were double ones rather than single (bearing in mind the night-time temperatures) but the beds are massive and very comfortable - plenty of room to get away from kicking partners. The cooking facilites were adequate (gas cooker and large fridge). We ate out most of the time but anyone wanting full self-catering would have no problem. The decor (lots of teak) had a nice Caribbean, slightly colonial, feel. The balcony was the best bit - fantastic views over Man-o-War bay and wonderfully breezy in April (put on the bugspray, however, if you are sitting out after dark, or you will be sorry!) Mosquitoes in the apartment were not a problem (we brought a bugmat) and didn't need the mosquito nets provided. The staff were efficient and friendly. The cafe was only open intermittently, being Easter, plus the season was obviously winding down. Charlotteville was very quiet - except for the usual morning rooster cacophony and a few boom boxes from time to time (plus, of course, the pleasant singing from the nearby church).
All, in all, a great guesthouse. We would definitely return.
(Just an extra note: in addition to the large apartment in which we stayed, plus the three 2-person apartments, there is now a 3-person apartment on the ground floor.)