Sherwood Park Apartments - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in 2004, 2011 and February 2017
Sherwood Park Apartments was the culmination of a dream. The story behind the project explains the fervent enthusiasm and dedication of Dutch owner Fred Abbink.
While still at school, Fred befriended a boy from Suriname (Dutch Guiana). After his friend returned to Suriname, Fred found a job, saved hard and flew to Suriname to share the summer holiday with his friend. What an adventure it must have been for a 15-year old boy, travelling alone to this far-off land. It was an adventure that became an annual event.
It was during an early visit with his friend that Fred first heard of Tobago. Although he cannot explain why, he simply knew that it was somewhere he had to visit.
Dreams of Tobago persisted. Many years later and determined to resolve the matter once and for all, Fred jumped on a plane and travelled to the island. He fell in love with Tobago as soon as he stepped off the plane. Returning to Holland, he pledged to return. So contagious was his enthusiasm that work colleagues became captivated by his plans and agreed to partner him in a project to build a small guesthouse. The 10-apartment Sherwood Park Apartments opened in 1997.
As the crow flies, the apartments are 1½ miles from the Atlantic coast and around 2½ miles from the Caribbean coast. Being in the centre of the Crown Point-Scarborough-Plymouth triangle, where over 90% of the population of Tobago live, every beach, restaurant, supermarket and shop within the most popular, and populace, part of the island is within an easy 20-minute drive of Sherwood Park. The ever-popular Caribbean beaches at Grange, Mount Irvine and Grafton are little more than 5-minutes away; The airport, Store Bay and Pigeon Point a mere 15-minute drive.
The location does mean that guests can't walk to the beach. However, I will now stress my leading Tobago Top Tip: to get the best from Tobago, you need your own transport. Even if your accommodation is within walking distance of a beach and/or restaurant, you are likely to want a change of scene within a few days. Believe me, it is FAR better to rent a car and stay in cheaper accommodation than be stuck in any accommodation without transport. Without the ability to get yourself about, you will miss most of the joy of Tobago.
Carnbee has little to offer the average tourist. This is of little consequence while ensconced at Sherwood Park Apartments as you are not even aware that you are near a village. Carnbee does have one significant advantage, however. It boasts a branch of the island's small supermarket chain, Penny Savers. You will be able to get all your basics here, but don't expect the choice you would take for granted in European or North American supermarkets. There is also a ATM cash machine and excellent pharmacy adjacent to the store. Tobago's main shopping centre, the Gulf City Mall in nearby Lowlands is just a 5-6-minute drive from the apartments.
The ten self-contained self-catering apartments are housed within an attractive two-storey building, cleverly designed to catch the cooling sea breezes whilst giving views across attractive gardens and the surrounding green hillsides. The six upper floor apartments have views of the Atlantic Ocean, glimpses of which can be seen from the ground floor apartments. Although there are several neighbouring houses, the overriding ambience is one of greenery and nature. You truly believe that you are in a far more remote situation. It has proven a hugely relaxing and peaceful environment on each of our stays.
The property makes optimum use of the natural contours of the land, curving around a central focal point – the swimming pool – with terraced gardens dropping to an attractive paved patio or terrace and then on down to the swimming pool itself.
The white stucco finish of the building acts as a lovely backdrop to the pale-yellow doors and shutters of each apartment. The predominant colour, however, is the Caribbean-blue of the roof and veranda balustrades that so perfectly match the colour of the swimming pool and contrast so beautifully with the vibrant colours of the surrounding landscape.
Although perfectly suited to families, Sherwood Park is not a place where you expect to find hordes of children charging around the pool, or loud music playing. Other than the occasional sound of a yapping dog at a distant property, the only sound tends to be that of birdsong. No traffic noise, no loud music from village rum shops, and only the occasional cocrico (Tobago's noisy national bird) or cockerel to disturb your sleep.
The property has no specific facilities for the disabled, but the ground floor rooms are accessible by wheelchair. Access to the terrace and pool would present problems to those with limited mobility, but I am told it has proved entirely possible with the assistance of the ever-willing staff.
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