Kapinjala offers an internal accommodation area of around 4,000ft2/375m2. This includes covered terrace and balconies, but not the pool terrace. The villa interior is clean and bright and features white-painted walls, high ceilings and wide window and doors to enhance the feeling of light and space.
The four bedrooms are air-conditioned, but not the main living area. Nor does it need to be. It would be almost criminal to keep the doors and windows of this gorgeous villa shut, as would be necessary for air-conditioning to work. The hilltop location benefits from the northeast trade winds that blow from the Atlantic coast. It is difficult to describe the sheer sensuous pleasure of a typical Tobagonian evening at Kapinjala, luxuriating in the pleasantly cool breezes that gently caress the skin. Even on the hottest days, we found temperatures equitable throughout the house.
The house is serviced six days a week by friendly housekeeper, Alicia. She was a cheery girl and proved very helpful.
Arriving at Kapinjala, guests have no concept of the panoramic view that will face them as they step across the threshold. Even those familiar with the view cannot help but stop and exclaim. We have visited a huge number of Tobago holiday properties. Many have wonderful views. None has come close to those at Kapinjala.
The houseis triangular. The main entrance is via a covered portico to the rear, at the apex of the two shorter sides. The layout is entirely focussed on the curved longer third side of the triangle. Broad exposed ceiling beams lead the eye from the front door, across the lounge area, through the three wide patio doors and out over the huge covered terrace to the spectacular panorama beyond. Facing almost due south, every room benefits from similar views. Sitting on the main terrace is like being in the front row of a wide-screen cinema.
Comfortable living in tropical climates is reliant on space. Lack of clutter helps to create a sense of space and coolness. In our view, Kapinjala has achieved the ideal balance between practicality, comfort and aesthetics.
It is difficult to imagine that anyone would choose to relax anywhere but on the main terrace. However, for those who wish to avail themselves of the 30-inch flat-screen TV or a DVD, the internal living area offers a cosy refuge – even though ‘cosy’ is hardly a description that one would normally associate with such a large room. The two sofas and armchair are just so damned comfortable that I became frustrated by my inability to watch a film without falling asleep within a few minutes. Additional entertainment is available in the form of a compact hi-fi system with a small and eclectic collection of CDs, a few board games and playing cards, plus a small library of novels and local-interest books.
The kitchen is spacious and superbly equipped. There is no doubt that it is well up to the task of catering for the villa’s maximum occupancy of eight adults. In addition to a large electric oven with grill (broiler), the kitchen is equipped with a microwave oven, dishwasher, large fridge and freezer, plus an additional ‘drinks’ fridge (both with icemakers), toaster, electric kettle and coffee filter machine. There was enough crockery, cutlery and glassware to accommodate a full complement of guests. A washer and dryer were available, discretely concealed in a kitchen cupboard. Everything was in good condition. The only exception was the dishwasher, which was clearly on its last legs. However, we were advised that this was due for renewal.
A lovely meal of callaloo soup, baked chicken and rice, plus melon for desert awaited our arrival. The fridges were stocked with a comprehensive welcome pack. It totally astounds me how many rental property owners ignore the positive impression created by providing a welcome meal and pack to overseas guests.
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