Little House On The Hill - Review Page 3
Little House Two was built in 2007. Little more than a metre separates the two cottages. However, the staggered formation ensures reasonable levels of privacy.
This charming small cottage offers around 320ft2 of gross accommodation area. It effectively consists of an 18x18ft square sub-divided into three areas. The covered balcony to the front of the cottage forms the living and dining area. Leading off this, through wide double doors, is a large bedroom with en suite bathroom. A second set of double doors lead from the end of the balcony into a small, but perfectly functional, kitchen area.
The 12x7ft balcony is furnished with an all-weather table and three chairs, plus a comfortable armchair covered by a throw. In shade for virtually all of the day, the balcony looks down on the colourful gardens and out over the hillsides of the steep valley. It is like being in a treehouse.
With the wide (5ft 6ins) double doors of the bedroom and kitchen open, the cottage appears far more spacious and takes on a new dimension. Not only do you get superb views from the bed, but even the kitchen becomes just an extension of the balcony, making everything appear much more spacious.
The bedroom is fitted with a very comfortable 5ft queen-sized bed, flanked by twin nightstands, and a full-frame decorative mosquito net. There is a single chair and a 3-speed electric floor fan. Wardrobe space consists of around 4ft of open hanging space, plus a shelf for smaller garments and accessories. There is a small dressing shelf, with a reasonable amount of space for cosmetics, backed by a large mirror. Overall, it is a surprisingly romantic bedroom and ideally suited to the casual lifestyle of Castara, where formal attire simply means putting on some clothing.
The en-suite bathroom leads off the bedroom and comprises the usual trio of a pedestal toilet and washbasin, plus a fully-tiled shower. The water pressure is relatively low and the hot water heater delivers nothing but lukewarm water after 4-5 minutes, but it also heats up again remarkably quickly. I must confess that this did not spoil our experience in the slightest, even though I admit that I am a sucker for long, very hot, showers.
With the balcony doors closed, the kitchen might be considered oppressively small. However, with the doors fully open and latched back, the kitchen just becomes an extension to the balcony, as mentioned. The equipment and furnishings are much the same as described for the larger cottage. The only difference is that the smaller cottage does not have a microwave oven.
I cannot stress strongly enough how charming this quaint cottage is. When we arranged to return for a re-review, Maggi suggested that we stay in Little House Two rather than the larger original cottage. She kept both cottages vacant so that we would be able to take photographs and video without invading the privacy of other guests. We carry a large amount of luggage and equipment for our six-week review trips, so automatically moved into the larger cottage on arrival. The second bedroom was ideal for laying out the clothing we had brought for the more formal hotel reviews we had scheduled for the final two weeks of the trip.
Maggi was keen for us to try Little House Two, so to please her, we moved into the smaller cottage for our first night. Waking shortly after dawn and after an excellent night's sleep, we made a cup of tea, opened the wide bedroom doors, sat back in bed and savoured the beautiful views across the valley and the magical morning serenade of the birds. We were enraptured. Later that morning, we moved our supplies and daily clothing and took up 'permanent' residence in the smaller cottage.
The gardens extend to about half an acre and are a picture of colour and life. You can help yourself to any mangoes, bananas or other fruit in season. Although built on a steep hillside, there are pleasant flat areas beside each cottage where you can stretch out on the sun loungers to take the sun. The gardens are reasonably secluded, but guests need to know that local residents sometimes take advantage of the cottage's concrete pathway and steps as a shortcut to properties higher up the hill. Therefore, you should not be too surprised if someone suddenly appears from nowhere and passes by with a simple "cuttin 'tru".
Marguarite and Sherwin are excellent hosts. They live less than two hundred metres away but are never "in your face". Arrangements are all very relaxed and they are very keen to ensure that guests have a good time. If you want or need anything, or something is not quite satisfactory, talk to them. They can often also arrange airport transfers, baby-sitting, laundry, local tours and excursions, car hire, etc.
We had a lovely 10 days at the Little House OnThe Hill. It may be simple, but that is one of its attractions. You are staying deep within the local community, with your own space, surrounded by local people who have shown us nothing but friendliness and courtesy.
I can understand that many people dream of staying on a beach, but I think they will miss so much. Castara's best beaches are less than a two-minute drive from Little House, but no beachside property can offer the wonderfully colourful flora, fauna and animal life that surrounds us here. Whether it is the beautiful pair of colourful Trinidad Motmots that visited our balcony every morning, or the cheeky red squirrel that constantly made his way up and down the path, Little House is a place of wonderful contrasts and deep relaxation. We would gladly stay here for an extended holiday.
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