Arnos Vale Vacation Apartments - Review Page 1
Review by Steve & Jill Wooler in February 2010
Arnos Vale is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of Tobago. This former sugar and cocoa plantation offers an unrivalled habitat for birds and Arnos Vale Bay some of the best snorkelling in Tobago. It has remained my personal favourite location throughout the 50+ years that I have been visiting the island.
So, it is hardly surprising that I know the road to Arnos Vale well. In fact I can claim intimate knowledge of every pothole along its length. There is, however, one small section between Plymouth and Arnos Vale where I always lose interest in the potholes; this is where the road passes the Arnos Vale Vacation Apartments.
I almost defy passing visitors not to comment on this lovely two-storey property. The beautifully-kept gardens and immaculate paintwork invite appreciation. I always wondered who the house belonged to and cursed the English reserve that prevented me from stopping and asking.
The property is the home, and pride and joy, of a local couple: retired fire officer Victor Forde and his school teacher wife, Ursline. The property offers three self-contained holiday accommodation apartments – one with a single bedroom and two with two bedrooms. Furnished and equipped in very traditional West Indian style, these very affordable apartments offer visitors the opportunity to experience genuine Tobagonian hospitality and comfortable accommodation in a peaceful and inviting village-outskirt setting.
Plymouth and Arnos Vale are a 25-30 minute drive from the airport. The area lies on the extremities of Tobago’s most populated area: the Crown Point-Plymouth-Scarborough triangle.The downside to the location is that it is further from the main shopping and restaurant areas. The upside is that it is located in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of Tobago and just a 10-minute walk from lovely Arnos Vale beach! This is where the ‘real’ Tobago starts.
Although Victor can provide transfer to and from the airport, a self-drive rental vehicle is essential if you are to get the best out of this property. Local shopping facilities are limited and there are few real facilities within walking distance. Taxis are available, but given the distance to the main shopping/restaurant areas, this option is likely to prove more expensive and less convenient than a self-drive rental in the long run. In fairness, we make these same comments in most reviews because exceptionally few holiday accommodation properties on Tobago are within walking distance of a good range of beaches, shops, restaurants or other facilities. In this regard, the Arnos Vale Vacation Apartments are no worse than most other properties and, unless you want to be crammed into a noisy urban environment, no more than to be expected. At least Victor makes things easier for his guests: he has vehicles available for rental.
The accommodation at the Arnos Vale Vacation Apartments consists of a one-bedroom apartment (Apartment 3) on the first (upper) level of the building, and two two-bedroom apartmentson the ground floor. Between them, the apartments can accommodate a total of up to 13 adults.
Due to the amount of luggage and equipment needed for our 8-week review tour, we opted for the smaller of the 2-bedroom apartments on the basis that we could use the second bedroom to store the equipment flight cases, rather than falling over them. It had been over two years since we had inspected the Arnos Vale Vacation Apartments and I had forgotten how spacious all the apartments were. Having stayed there, I can truthfully stay that we could, and gladly would, have stayed in any of the three. However, as we chose Apartment 2, we will start the description with details of that apartment:
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