Essex Cottage - Reader Reports & Opinion
Nikki Orsborn from U.S.A. visited in January 2012 and awarded
We couldn't have asked for a better stay at Gloucester Place. From the moment we arrived at their bed & breakfast, Bea and Win were unbelievable hosts! Their lovely home is set on a gorgeous landscape overlooking the ocean with several prime lookout points. The lush property with waterfall, infinitey pool, various fruit trees, and large wrap-around porch are maintained excellently and make for a very tranquil environment.
While staying at Gloucester Place, we enjoyed several amazing meals. Not only is the included breakfast a pleasure each morning, Bea and Win also offer specialty meals to their guests at nominal costs. It is highly recommended that guests partake in the opportunity to feast with their humble hosts!
Gloucester is conveniently located within a short drive or manageable walk to several beaches and delicious places to eat. If you are looking for a "non-touristy" taste of the local their guests Tobagonian flavor, this is the place for you!
Deborah Holt from U.S.A. visited in December 2011 and awarded
A friend and I rented both floors of the Essex Cottage for a week . The upstairs of the cottage features an open-design floor-plan with a balcony that overlooks the bay below, a well-equipped kitchen/dining area and a separate bedroom with a bathroom off of it. We enjoyed many hours relaxing on the balcony.
Downstairs is less charming because it doesn't have the view or lovely soaring ceiling of the upstairs space, but for our purposes it worked. The downstairs features a bedroom with bath and a patio on the side.
We had a rental car and used it every day to explore the island, stopping for lunch, a swim or groceries before returning by late afternoon. Two of our favorite beaches were Englishman's Bay (a short drive down the road) and Pirates Bay (~45 mins in the other direction plus a 15-minute walk or boat ride from Charlotteville). There's a good, moderately-priced restaurant at Englishman's Bay and you can get a refreshing coconut water (and maybe some grilled fish if you are there at the right time) from a good soul at Pirates Bay.
Two other highlights were Jason Nedd's art gallery in L'Anse Fourmi (on the left when headed for Charlotteville) and the grounds and history museum at Fort George in Scarborough.
Locals were friendly and helpful. I wanted to buy limes and couldn't find any; a fellow who runs a bar a 5-minute walk from the cottage offered to bring me some from a tree on his property and he did! A young fellow I asked driving directions of was very well-spoken and polite. A woman offered unsolicited advice about how to avoid bug bites (my legs were covered with them, they didn't itch, and I think I may have gotten them in Trinidad where we visited the Asa Wright Nature Center for five days) that I found very thoughtful.
While we didn't swim at the beach in Parlatuvier, we did buy fresh fish on the wharf and groceries there on several occasions. It is a small village with one grocery and a restaurant that we never ate at, but I read (or Bea told me) that there is a woman in Parlatuvier who will prepare dinner on request. Just the other side of Parlatuvier on the road to Bloody Bay, there's a restaurant that we also didn't eat at. Mostly we prepared our own food since I enjoy cooking and shopping for food.
I like driving and did all of it on this vacation since my companion is 80 years young. But I decided on about day two that I was not driving the hour+ from Parlatuvier to the airport the morning of our departure. If you have an early morning departure as we did, I recommend spending the last night in Crown Point where there are plenty of accommodation options.
I had read beforehand that Bea and Win have the right touch as hosts. I found that to be true. Win stopped by on several occasions and we exchanged information. Their local knowledge is helpful, and if we needed something or had a question, I knew where to find them. This winter they had an adopted dog named "Wonder Dog". He was a good guard dog with a sweet personality and a definite plus in the equation.
Finally, if you're planning a visit to Tobago, spend a few days at either end of your visit at the Asa Wright Nature Center in Trinidad! The wildlife is spectacular and the guests interesting. It makes a nice fit with some downtime on Tobago and the Nature Center makes it very easy by providing airport service and all meals!
R James from U.K. visited in November 2011 and awarded
Great location in Parlatuvier - the guesthouse is located on a hill overlooking the village. The room was very comfortable and we also enjoyed relaxing on the veranda and watching the birds in the garden. It is off the normal tourist trail and feels like you are in the "real" Tobago. The owners are very friendly - they gave us lots of help with suggestions of things to do and booking guides. Bea's cooking is fantastic and it is well worth having dinner at the guesthouse as well as breakfast.
Stefan Aigner from Germany visited in November 2011 and awarded
If you are looking for some place very close to paradise- choose this one:-)!
We (a german couple around the age of fourty) planned all our trip with mytobago.com and we expected this stop to be the highlight of our journey...and it was.
The house, the pool, the hosts, the surrounding, the rainforest, the close beaches...really everything seemed to be perfect here. This beautifull house is very quite, has a stunning seaview and a lot of tropical birds around. The hosts are trying to make your stay unforgettable and the dog (wonderdog) is very kind.
Overall these very some days we will remember with pleasure.
Boon Ooi from U.S.A. visited in November 2011 and awarded
My wife and I were looking for a quick long-weekend getaway from Fort Lauderdale and opted for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. I had done extensive research on hotels and resorts to stay in Tobago and really didn’t read anything that made me feel really good about any particular place until I came across reviews for Gloucester Place. We travel a fair amount and have stayed mostly at hotels and have only stayed at B&B’s about half a dozen times. We decided to give Gloucester place a try and we were definitely pleased to have made that choice. Bea and Win are wonderful hosts. We were made to feel very comfortable upon arrival, Bea offered us cold fresh made lemonade and bananas from their trees, showed us our room and later Win gave us a lay of the land, the path to the beach and to the river and mini falls down the hill alongside the house.
The location: It is located on the north end of the island, somewhat remote and away from the “urban” area. It is a great place to retreat to for quiet relaxation – expect no night life – you would need a car to drive to the nearest “town” Castara (more like a village settlement) for dinner. There are only a handful of eating places in Castara. The menu for the day depends on what fresh ingredients are available and frequently on what the cook/chef feels like cooking. Gloucester house above the Parlatuvier fishing village and a 10 minute walk down 200+ steps leads you to the beach and village. Unlike comments from a prior reviewer, we did not hear any road noise or traffic at all. If you like to run, there is a tough uphill run from the beach at Parlatuvier up the hill and also a path leading to bloody bay (that path can be muddy if there is rain.
The room: Our room has a balcony looking down to the ocean and the distant waves breaking over the rocks. The night sky was amazing. The bed was comfortable and the air-conditioning kept us comfortable. The only quirkiness was the bathroom which does not have a door although it was set around a corner. Also, as we were the first guests for the season, the water from the hot water heater, having sat unused for a few months, emitted a sulphur dioxide smell. It started dissipating after a while
The house: The house has a great verandah overlooking the ocean – breezy – with chirping birds, A great place to relax, read or basically do nothing.
The atmosphere: We were fortunate to meet another nice couple staying at Gloucester place at the same time. The nice part about staying at a B&B is the social interaction with the hosts and other guests. We enjoyed the company and conversations. Bea also offered to cook dinner for us one night and we enjoyed a meal of chicken curry. She was wonderful in also cooking a chicken dish to cater to my wife’s dietary needs. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Gloucester Place and would recommend a stay there without hesitation.