Hibiscus Heights - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in March 2006
Hibiscus Heights is a two-storey colonial-style house situated on a steep hillside in the aptly-named hamlet of Pleasant Prospect. The upper floor of the building offers a spacious three-bedroom self-contained apartment with private swimming pool. The first floor is divided into two apartments; a cosy studio suitable for a single traveller or couple and an apartment for the resident owners. Finally, a quaint one-bedroom cottage lies to the front of the main house, just inside the entrance gates and discrete security fence.
The property will provide highly comfortable accommodation for a total of up to ten guests. As such, it is could be an ideal choice for wedding parties and other groups.
Pleasant Prospect is located between Mount Irvine and Black Rock. Travellers along the Caribbean north coast (Shirvan Road) are sure to be familiar with it, even if they are not familiar with the name. The hamlet is home to The Fish Pot restaurant (run by the previous owners of Indigo), Pizza Boys, Marie’s Place and the only ATM cash machine on the Caribbean coast – a group of establishments that will be appreciated by every visitor staying along this stretch of coast. Hibiscus Heights is located less than a minute’s walk from these essential facilities, on the lower reaches of the hill leading up towards the Sanctuary Villa Resort.
The Crown Point beaches of Store Bay and Pigeon Point are attractive and popular, but have become over-commercialised and can often be crowded – excessively so if a cruise ship has docked in Scarborough. The beaches along the Caribbean coast are much quieter and more natural. Other than a few beach traders, these beaches are largely free from any sort of commercialisation (by world standards). Hibiscus Heights is less than a 5-minute walk from the golden sands of popular Grafton beach.
The Shirvan Road, which runs along the lower part of the Caribbean north coast road from its intersection with the Crown Point-Scarborough highway, has become Tobago’s dominant restaurant strip. More than half dozen of the island’s most popular restaurants are housed along, or adjacent to, this mile-or-so of coast road – all within a 5-minute drive of Pleasant Prospect.
When one combines these factors, Hibiscus Heights has an excellent location. It is within a 15-20 minute drive of every notable business or feature in the popular Crown Point-Plymouth-Scarborough triangle and is ideally situated for tours and excursions to Tobago’s beautiful northern rainforest.
To get the best from a holiday on Tobago it is recommended that visitors have self-drive transport. The island is small, but few properties are within walking distance of more than one or two shops, restaurants, beaches or other facilities. Hibiscus Heights is one of the very few properties where it is genuinely possible to stay without transport, particularly as owners Paul and Gillian offer complimentary airport transfers and local transport (i.e. within a 10-minute radius of the property). However, not having transport will limit one’s appreciation of the island.
As mentioned, Hibiscus Heights offers a choice of three different apartments – a 3-bedroom unit (Warm Breezes) and studio apartment (The Artist’s Studio) in the main house and a studio cottage (Sweet Nest) in the grounds.
We would have been happy to stay in any of the apartments. As we had family joining us, we chose the larger Warm Breezes apartment. All three units are decorated, furnished and equipped to the same high standard as detailed in our main description of Warm Breezes.
Like almost every property outside the flat Crown Point/Lowlands area of Tobago, Hibiscus Heights is built on a hillside. Flights of stairs need to be negotiated for access to and from The Artist’s Studio and, even more so, Warm Breezes. In this sense the property might not be ideal for those with mobility problems. However, Sweet Nest is built on a single floor at ground level with direct access from a small flat parking area immediately in front of the cottage.
The property is surrounded by a high security fence discretely covered with bougainvillea and other colourful (and very thorny) tropical shrubs. The tall entrance gates are locked during the early evening and guests provided with access keys. Each accommodation unit has a small electronic safe for guest valuables.
Travellers who need (or want) to keep in touch with work, family or friends will be delighted to hear that Hibiscus Heights offers complimentary wireless access to a reasonably fast (by Tobago standards) Internet connection. This is available in all three accommodation units.
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