Petit Careme - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in March 2005 and March 2008
Petit Careme Villa was awarded the title of Villa Of The Year by the Tobago House Of Assembly (THA) tourism department in both 2004 and 2005.
We first stayed at the villa in 2005 and our review concluded “We left Petit Careme Villa with more than a hint of sadness. We shall return!“. Return we did – for another week in 2008. So, had anything changed?
The Villas On The Green development is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Irvine and boasts 260 feet of frontage onto the Mount Irvine golf course, with direct access onto the 11th green. The five villas are built around a shared swimming pool. The villas are well-spaced over a two acre site, but Petit Careme Villa has arguably the most discrete and pleasant location, being slightly to one side of the others. It is at the bottom of a deep gully next to two wonderful 100-year old Samaan trees that are tastefully and beautifully floodlit at night. Although it would be inaccurate to describe the villa as having sea views, you do catch glimpses of the sea over the golf course.
The development is just a short 15-20 minute drive from the airport. Mount Irvine represents an excellent balance in location terms. The area is just a short hop from the shops, restaurants and facilities of the flat and unattractive built-up sprawl of Crown Point. It is often said that Tobago comprises of the Lowlands and the Nicelands. Mount Irvine is the start of the latter.
The Shirvan Road, which runs along this section of the Caribbean north coast road, is rapidly becoming Tobago’s dominant restaurant strip. More than half dozen of Tobago’s most popular restaurants are housed along, or adjacent to, this mile-or-so of coast road.
It is essential to have your own transport to get the best out of Tobago and this is particularly true at Petit Careme and other villas in this area. Nowhere is within easy walking distance of the villas and relying on taxis will be inconvenient and ultimately far more expensive than a self-drive rental.
Completed in 1997, Petit Careme is of virtually identical architectural style to the other five houses at Villas On The Green. They are essentially modern, two-storey semi-Colonial style villas with distinctive red pantile roofs. Eagle-eyed travellers will spot the red roofs from the Shirvan Road on the other side of the golf course. The rendered walls of the buildings are finished in a pleasant ivory colour, but the reflections from the roof tiles make the walls look pink in strong sunlight.
The two acres of land on which the villas are built are a lush riot of colour. You can see nothing of the development as you arrive down the bumpy lane. However, once through the electronic gates your first impression is of colour – the bougainvillea and then the properties themselves. From no single point do you have a clear view of the entire development. Even with the widest angle lens I was unable to take a photo showing more than any two villas, simply because they are all so well screened by the lush vegetation.
The two-storey villas are built into the hillside and some have a shallow lower ground floor, suitable for storage, etc. In the case of Petit Careme Villa, the lower-ground floor is high enough to have been converted into a spacious self-contained apartment. This can be rented independently, or with the main house, making it effectively a four-bedroom villa sleeping up to about ten people.
The house has a number of small steps and no direct wheelchair access, the lower apartment is at ground floor level and might be appropriate for wheelchair users or those with mobility problems.
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