Essex Cottage - Reader Reports & Opinion
Nina Allerton from U.K. visited in April 2015 and awarded
We travelled April 2015 with our 3 year old son. We couldn't have asked for more on arriving in Tobago and staying at Win & Bea's beautiful home, Gloucester Place. From the first greeting they made us all feel at home and relaxed. We settled into our room - the Lexington Suite which was a little more spacious than the other rooms, perfect for the 3 of us and the bed was huge so plenty big enough for our son to sleep in it too!
We were then welcomed with a beer on the terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea with views of a spectacular blow hole, then headed to the pool for a refreshing swim.
Parlatuvier is beautiful and we enjoyed watching the fishermen bring in and gut their catch in the afternoons on the jetty while huge sting rays circled in the water. We swam in the deliciously cool waterfalls which are a small hike from the village. And we visited many stunningly untouched beaches.
Win & Bea are natural hosts.They are open, friendly, interesting, fun and kind people who made our stay all the better. They spoiled our 3 year old rotten and dedicated his own cup to him, gave him biscuits and anything else he hankered for.
The property is gorgeous, cleverly designed to make the most of the extraordinarily stunning surroundings and our only regret is that we didn't stay longer. It's a real slice of paradise and Win & Bea are exceptional hosts!
Dale Heinen from U.S.A. visited in March 2015 and awarded
We had a wonderful stay in this well situated, comfortable cottage. Our hosts were so accommodating and generous - they gave us great advice on where to go and where to dine. They are truly warm and kind people. The views from the cottage are sublime: endless blue sea and lush greenery. We enjoyed the lovely birds that came to the feeder on the terrace, too.
There is no A/C or wifi in the cottage (there is in the nearby house), but we were very comfortable and enjoyed being able to cook our own meals. It's spacious, well-equipped and private. Breakfast on the terrace gazing at the sea was very special.
This part of the island is perfect for exploring Tobago because it's gorgeous, near the best beaches, and far away from the more dispiritingly developed parts of the island.
Jan And Mike Jones from U.K. visited in February 2015 and awarded
We stayed for two weeks in Essex Cottage, the self contained annex of Gloucester Place.
The holiday was made for us by the kind and friendly assistance of owners Wyn and Bea starting from our welcome supper on arrival. We also sampled Bea's wonderful breakfast (including yummy banana pancakes) and on one occasion fresh fish barbecued by Wyn.
We were given lots of tips on what to do and where to go, such as buying fish on the jetty and dining out at Joanna's in the village. The rum punches at Glasgows Bar round the corner were great, as was the view from the bar terrace.
The location of Essex Cottage was fairly remote (great for us) and we enjoyed shopping at the local shops and stalls and meeting some of the locals.
The pool at the property was welcome, although not as warm as the sea!
All in all a wonderful holiday in a beautiful location with perfect hosts.
John Weight from U.K. visited in February 2015 and awarded
In my estimation the north coast of Tobago is the most scenic and peaceful part of the island and Gloucester Place is ideally located to enjoy it being high up on the hillside very close to the picturesque fishing village of Parlatuvier with Englishman’s Bay and Castara nearby.
We stayed 8 nights in the Concord Room, similarly named after Bea & Win’s home town in Massachusetts. This room is located on the first floor along with the other two in-house guest rooms. It is the largest of the three and has shared access to a large terrace overlooking the bay below. It is simply furnished with a toilet and shower area hidden on the other side of a partition wall. The room has air conditioning, although we found that it was unnecessary to use it at night as the sea breezes high on the hillside kept the environment pleasantly cool.
Bea & Win were great hosts, making us very welcome in their tree-top home and freely offered advice and guidance when requested. On the first night they cooked dinner for us as we didn’t arrive until after dark – this was very much appreciated after such a long journey for the UK. Later, during our stay, they took us out with a party to dine at Joanna’s in Parlatuvier. The other nights we usually ate in Castara – the Almond Tree being our favourite. However, with its views from on high, the Castara Retreat is a great place for lunch but at twice the price!
Breakfast, served at around 8:30 downstairs in the attractive open plan living area, was usually communal affair shared with the other international guests – Bea & Win varying the menu according. I might add that guests are able share refrigerator storage space for personal food items – great if you want a drink or a snack at other times of the day. There were always cold beers to hand – the house rule was to replace what took at your convenience.
The garden setting is beautiful with humming birds and other exotic wildlife coming and going. The raucous calls of the Chachalaca birds will wake you early in the morning, while agoutis will come in search for vegetable scraps at the bottom of the bank.
Other tips at this end of the island: a car hire is a must – Taylor’s is recommended (they’ll take you from the airport to Gloucester Place and leave the hire car there for you). There are two gas stations in Roxboro, try the little one on the Speyside road – she’ll fill the tank for you without you having to set (guess) the price first! At 20TTD a litre, petrol is unbelievably cheap. Jemma’s at Speyside was in our opinion the best restaurant for lunch - get there early as it’s very popular. For calmer swimming waters try Pirates Bay near Charlotteville – a short hike but worth it. For entertainment try Rochester House guided tour; otherwise it’s Castara for nightlife, a 24 hour bank (ATM) and a few small stores - Parlatuvier also has two.
Thanks Bea & Win for a fabulously memorable stay!
Michel Desjardins from Canada visited in February 2015 and awarded
My wife and I spent a glorious week at Gloucester Place in February. Leaving Canada that time of year for the warmth of Tobago shortened our winter, to be sure, but this was no ordinary B&B, and Tobago is no ordinary tourist island.
It was our first trip to this island, and we loved it. The population is small, much of the island is undeveloped (great walks, extensive bird population), and the villages are mainly local people.
We sought out a location on Tobago that took us away from the main centres, and that turned out to be an excellent decision. It took us about 90 minutes, driving slowly, to make our way to Bea and Winn’s place with a rental car, and that drive gave us an excellent opportunity to start appreciating the island. I wouldn’t want to make the trip at night, since the roads are narrow and driving is on the left, but during the day the drive was lovely.
Staying next to Parluvier, the tiny (actual) fishing village, allowed us to walk over (10 minutes) or drive (3 minutes) to swim, or walk, or talk with the fishermen. We also ate a few meals there, including two at a terrific private home, on the veranda a few steps from the beach. Ask Bea to call for reservations.
Gloucester Place itself was as stunning as the pictures and website suggest. We stayed in the Carlisle room, with a balcony overlooking the tree tops, the surf below, and the birds nudging us out of our sleep every morning. Breakfasts were delicious (thank you Bea, and Wyn), and we spent countless hours simply sitting by the pool outside the house, reading, drinking, reading, listening to the birds, dipping into the pool, reading.... We returned home calmer, happier, with great memories. We’d return in a heartbeat.