Mary's Hill Lodge - Review Page 4
Utilities & Services
A general utility area on the lower floor of the lodge is equipped with a large washing machine, tumble dryer, electric iron and an ironing board, plus a linen cupboard. A cot and highchair are available for infants.
The lodge is serviced prior to the arrival of new guests and then only intermittently, depending upon the length of stay. The manager, Louise, is a cheery soul and she made us feel very welcome, like Curtis, who looks after the exterior.
Although we did not actually see it, we understand that a baby cot is available.
Two well-hidden security safes provide storage for smallish cameras, documents, cash and other valuables. The grounds of the property are secured by a high retaining wall and fence. The main gates can be controlled from the living area and the electric gates proved reliable in operation. A small side gate is protected by a 4-tumbler combination lock. The property seems to have found a nice balance of common-sense security whilst not leaving the occupants feeling imprisoned within their own accommodation. In fact, from within the grounds or house, you are hardly aware of the perimeter security.
Pool & Gardens
Although Mary’s Hill Lodge is less than a 10-minute drive from Turtle Beach in Courland Bay, there are times when it is nice just to stay at home and lounge around the pool – particularly when it is as private as this lodge. We were therefore delighted when told that a 20x10ft swimming pool had been installed at the house.
The pool is charming, secluded and private. Topless or nude sunbathing is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago, and even in these enlightened times public nudity can cause serious offence, particularly with older members of the community. Tobagonians are deeply religious and tend to subscribe to the “hell and damnation” sects. Mary’s Hill Lodge is somewhere that ladies (and gentlemen) could easily get an all-over tan without upsetting anyone.
The pool deck is furnished with a large sun umbrella, half a dozen light all-weather chairs and three sun loungers. It is something of a suntrap and high-factor sunblock is an essential. Fortunately, there is always shade and a place to cool off on the deep veranda around the house.
The property sits in half an acre of garden and grounds. Being located on quite a steep hillside, much of the garden is inaccessible but they provide a lovely backdrop to the main areas. The garden vegetation has matured nicely since our last visit and will undoubtedly continue to improve with age.
An ingenious small coal-fired barbeque has been created on the edge of the garden, just outside the kitchen, ideal for the pool deck: a superb location for al fresco dining.
We invariably say that the best judgement on a property is whether we are sorry to be leaving and whether we would wish to return.
There is no doubt that we can say yes to both these questions.
Mary’s Hill Lodge has its own unique charm. You simply need to read the visitor reports on myTobago to appreciate that we are far from alone in this opinion. The inland location and more rustic nature of the accommodation mean it will not suit everyone. It undoubtedly provides an ideal base for those wanting to get away from the touristy parts of Tobago and experience something resembling the ‘real’ Tobago.
During our week there, we only left the property twice; to have dinner with friends one evening, and then once to stock up our groceries before moving to our next review. The house never got too hot for me to work and Jill never felt inclined to take the car and pop down to one of the beaches. That says an awful lot for the place. It really is a wonderful place to chill out and relax.
We truly look forward to our return.
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