Cuffie River Nature Retreat - Reader Reports & Opinion
Cuffie River Nature Retreat
B G Adams
I recently returned from a fabulous birding trip to Trinidad and Tobago. For the Tobago leg of the trip our group opted to stay at the Cuffie River Nature Retreat in lieu of the traditional Blue Waters Inn. We all agree that it was and inspired decision. What a perfect place for birders. Birds were up close and personal, and a few even zipped through the lobby. The quiet and serenity of this jungle location is attractive to the birds, the birders, and those who just want to relax. Unfortunately, due to the days we were there, we were unable to experience a walk with Desmond, the resident guide and this was a major disappointment. However the grounds were a joy to explore on our own. As someone mentioned in one of their reviews it perhaps is not the cheapest place on the island, but it is far from the most expensive. And it is certainly comfortable and quiet. We were a group of 12 and were the only guests for the 3 nights we were there. The beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean and the staff friendly and accommodating. We found the lack of air conditioning was not a problem with a fan and our open windows. Being there just on the edge of the green season, there was certainly heat and humidity during the day, but the inn was comfortable even during the heat of the day. Bugs were, surprisingly, not a problem either here or in Trinidad. The food was supurb. Fish was served as the main dish more frequently than I, a non fish eater, would have liked, but the soups and vegetables were delicious and certainly sufficient. I can not blame the inn for my tastes in food, but now know to make note of my preferances on a future visit, and I'm sure Regina will accommodate the preferance. Others in the group who like fish, were thrilled. The soups and vegetables prepared in traditional island fashion were tasty and we appreciated the fact that we were able to sample the local flavor and were not served up french fries or overcooked broccoli. Regina has shared her Callaloo recipe with me so I can enjoy a taste of the islands here at home and savor the memories of Cuffie River meals.
We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Regina when she could take a break from her duties seeing that the inn runs smootly. She is a lovely, spunky lady with a vision. Treat yourself to a visit to this very special lodge which tucks itself as unobtursively as possible into the surrounding rainforest.
I do hope to return to Tobago some day and I hope the the Cuffie River Nature Retreat is still there to welcome me.
Cuffie River Nature Resort- Ok
My Husband and I stayed at Cuffie River for one night in August. The rooms were ok, the bathrooms need some work, the grout and toilet seat were stained. I suspect the seat was stained with urine. The rest of the room was fine. Breakfast and dinner was delicious but lunch was not very substantial, we brought crackers with us, so we had them in our room to make up for the hunger. The difference in price between half board (Breakfast and dinner) and whole board (3 meals) was pretty high, so you could guess my anger at having shelled out money and resorting to crackers! Lunch was soup, coleslaw and wantons, not worth the price at all.
The environment was great, especially the birds.
Just a note, hotel managers dont dish out the same treatment to locals as foreigners, I guess they see $$$.
Guest Report 18 Jan 2015
Kurt.Halfyard from Toronto
We didn't stay here overnight, but drove up to the Cuffie River Retreat on December 23rd for a late LUNCH. Regina had sent all of her staff home for Christmas, so her and her husband cooked a meal for our family. Note, we didn't pop in unexpected: I had arranged this meal in September 2014 after a previous visit (Jan. 2013) to the Retreat where we did a hike on the property (with the wonderfully social Desmond as a guide), and were lulled by the smells coming from the kitchen afterwards, even though we couldn't stay long enough to partake!
I echo Steve's sentiments in his review that Regina might just be the best cook on the island (and the Island has some of the best food in the Caribbean!), the meal was one of the ages, something I'm sure she does on a regular basis, but to us, each new bite was like heaven. Calaloo Soup, Lentil Fritters, Dolphin Fish (Maui Maui), Baked Sweet Potato Pie, Seasoned Chicken, served in wonderful flavours and portions alongside juice squeezed from fruit grown on the property.
Hospitality plus. Worth every penny.