Kia's Across From The Beach - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in February 2011
Kia’s Across From The Beach is a small, friendly guest house situated in the heart of Tobago’s Crown Point area. It is located adjacent to the main Milford Road that runs between the airport and Scarborough and offers a range of no-frills accommodation units from modest guestrooms with shared facilities, to studio, one-bedroom and three-bedroom self-catering apartments.
For the past year, the property has also featured a small restaurant. The Garden Café is located in a semi-open gazebo-like building to the front of the property. It is open to resident guests and the public alike, all day every day during the busy months of the year, and for breakfast and evening dinner at other times.
The location of this worthy guest house will not be the first choice of those seeking the quiet solitude of the island’s lush interior and empty coastline. However, who wants a long drive over Tobago’s twisty roads after a long international flight? What about those early morning connections for travellers returning to North America? With this in mind, Kia’s undoubtedly represents an excellent stop-over for travellers seeking comfortable accommodation within easy access of the airport, as well as for regular travellers who simply want to be within walking distance of a choice of beaches, restaurants, bars and other features.
The urban sprawl of the Crown Point area may not be to everyone’s taste, but this is where the vast majority of Tobago’s small hotels and guest houses are located. And, there is very good reason for this: two of Tobago’s most popular beaches – Store Bay and Pigeon Point – are located here.
Kia’s is less than half a mile from the airport. In fact it is hardly even worth getting a taxi!!! With an average of less than one international flight per day and only a relatively small number of domestic and regional flights, aircraft noise is not an issue however.
After leaving the airport, the guest house can be found directly opposite the RBC Royal Bank compound, and next to the new Republic Bank branch, shortly after the Coco Reef Resort. The attractive two-storey property is separated from the road by a thick border of sound-absorbing breadfruit, papaya, mango and sapodilla trees and a hedge of bougainvillea and hibiscus. Very little of Kia’s can actually be seen from the main road and the Garden Café is more of a landmark.
Apart from its proximity to Store Bay and Pigeon Point, Kia’s is within easy walking distance of most restaurants, eateries and bars in the Crown Point area. For those who want to utilise the kitchenette facilities of the apartments, there is a useful small mini-mart just 130m up the road.
Having given the positive side of the location, it is only fair to mention the disadvantages. Whilst the Milford Road is just a two-lane road and traffic in Tobago is hardly that of New York or London, it is a busy road by Tobagonian standards. An average of one car every 5-6 seconds, in either direction, may not sound much, but the number of faulty exhausts, boom boxes and drivers who toot their horns at everyone they know means that roadside locations are invariably subject to a constant cacophony of sound that can extend well into the night. It is a matter of opinion whether this is better or worse than the screech of cocricos, barking of dogs or crowing of roosters in rural locations. However, the gentle whir of the air-conditioning units in the rooms at Kia’s does help to mask the sound quite effectively. We slept well and were not troubled by the noises at all; possibly largely due to the soporific effect that Tobago has on most visitors.
As mentioned, the property is a two storey building and access to even the ground floor guest rooms and studio apartments does involve one or two small steps. No mobility aids are fitted and so this property would not be suitable for wheelchair users, although it should cause no issues to those with lighter mobility problems.
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