Soleil - Reader Reports & Opinion
Kevin Durham from U.S.A. visited in February 2013 and awarded
We were truly amazed by Villa Soleil and its staff. From the moment we walked in the door to standing on the lower pool deck hanging on to that last sunset I can honestly say it was by far the best vacation I have ever been on, and that sentiment was shared by our whole group. It really made getting back to work an almost impossible task. We had 5 couples in the house, with a group that large there were many areas the trip could have fallen apart. But with the layout of the house and the privacy it offers we never once stepped on each others toes. The other area that made it easy was the staff, they were a wealth of knowledge and help both prior to and once we arrived. Helen was very helpful getting us settled into the house and helping out with our "what to do" planning. Judith was absolutely amazing, the food spectacular and her company was a joy. Her laugh was infectious to us all there were many discussion on how we could fit her into our suitcase. I am pretty sure if we bottled her rum punch there is a viable business there. Mr. Joefield provided transportation for us, he is very professional and a welcome source of information about Tobago and its history.
It is a shame what has happened to the Arnos Vale hotel, it would be nice to see it returned to its original state. We did use the beach a couple times, it is still quite nice. We also took the owners recommendation, making our way to Grafton Beach and loved it, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. While on the island we were able to partake in a number of outings, including fishing, the rain forest, Argyle Falls, Sunday School and a day on the Island Girl catamaran. I would recommend all of them.
But most importantly we were all able to just truly relax and unwind, the main reason for that was the villa. It is such a beautiful, inviting home and the sounds of the water just lull you into a better place.
Ian Bennett from U.K. visited in August 2012 and awarded
A rating of 3 based on the site criteria perhaps does not give this fabulous property due credit. It was everything expected but based on their own excellent website I had high expectations and was not disappointed.
The property is well equipped and affords immense space on site to lose yourself. Fabulous views beautiful garden, pool and terraces, a wonderful place for an extended family to enjoy each others company, without feeling cramped. I stayed for 5 nights and rather surprisingly not once did I use my own beautiful private balcony, and so spacious and relaxing was the overall accomodation did not realise until the last day.
One small criticism was the lack of maid service provided during our stay with just one visit. In a place of this size daily or at least every 2 days is needed to at least service the vast communal space afforded.
A most enjoyable visit, and I plan to return when I next visit Tobago.
John Matthes from U.S.A. visited in July 2012 and awarded
Plastic Plants in Paradise
We arrived after dark, late because of a few missed connections. Excitement was mixed with exhaustion. The welcome meal set the tone for the coming week. Numerous hot and cold local dishes were presented by our host. As she described the ingredients we knew we were in for a treat. Full stomached, off to bed we went.
When the sun arose in the morning we were engulfed in the beauty of the streaming sunlight across the ocean. The morning revealed that Villa Soleil is a special place.
The villa itself has a certain mystique about it. A fantastic siting, rich color palette and superb views. The truly open-air main living area serves as the activity center of the villa. It's screenless design lets in the tropical ocean breezes (and the mosquitos).
Each of the thoughtfully placed bedrooms are truly private with en suite baths and their own sitting areas looking out to the sea. Individual a/c units provide perfect sleeping conditions (when functioning properly).
Inside, the decor was a mash-up of vintage West Indies and WallMart. Comfortable and numerous, the seating areas provided ample options for our group. Whomever put this space together missed the day in design school when they talked about "less is more". Plastic plants and tourist trap object d'art were everywhere trying to compete with the view. But everything was functional.
We used the dock for fishing, pool for swimming, sun for tanning, and the three refrigerators to chill wine, beer, and rum punch fixings. Mt Irvine fish market provided the freshest fish ever.
What an undertaking. To own a large property in such a remote area has got be difficult. When something goes wrong you have to rely on the locals to dig you out. And in this case they performed with a smile; again and again. We had constant a/c problems that were never fixed, broken pipes outside, a flood inside, a day without water and local plumbers in-and-out the whole week. And on top of that, we were able to pull-off a good time, enjoy the setting and relax.
In the end I would recommend the place to friends but think that a property this size would benefit from a full time staff. It is starting to show its age and needs a deep cleaning and power wash. But the setting and design are nearly perfect. Enjoy at your own risk, and try to keep one step in front of the insects!
Karen Storthz from U.S.A. visited in April 2012 and awarded
We visited Villa Soleil with 3 other couples for a week. This home is unique in every way, from the open roof with rain falling into the atrium to the two- tiered pool to the private porches off each bedroom. The grounds are spectacular. The attention to detail in all finishes of the house is amazing. The kitchen is very large and well-equipped. We had a cook recommended by the house manager come in and prepare a fabulous dinner for us. The house manager was very helpful with restaurant recommendations and called every day to see if we needed anything. We did explore the island, but mostly enjoyed lounging around this beautiful home. All eight of us are singular in our desire to return.
Arlene Snyder from U.S.A. visited in March 2012 and awarded
This villa is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in. When arriving my first instinct was how open and relaxing the villa was. It's beauty and how it's set in the side of the land overlooking the Caribbean Sea is breathtaking. I loved the lower deck that looked out over the sea. It was a great place to watch sunsets and read.
The villa offered everything you would need. It was clean, and in excellent condition. The views from the back were spectacular. I loved the courtyard and the glassless windows. The bedrooms with their water views and sitting rooms were comfortable and very relaxing. The open kitchen had everything we needed for cooking.
I was in Tobago for a week, which was definitely not enough time to enjoy all the beauty there was there. I hope to be able to get back to Tobago and stay at Villa Soleil. Villa Soleil was the perfect place!