Tosca - Reader Reports & Opinion
T. Johnson from U.S.A. visited in December 2008 and awarded
What a beautiful place to stay for the new year. Stay was Dec 27-08 - Jan 3-09 We were a 4 minute drive down to the beach and there was a store, pizza and bar at the bottom of the hill. You could also rent surf boards.
The Villa is a perfect layout. Each bedroom is a nice size and has a good sized bathroom. The beds are already covered with nets for bugs but we didn't have an issue with them in the Villa as the windows were covered with screens.
There were items to take to the beach provided which was also great.
We plan to stay there again in 2010 when we go back. :-)
Jean Spencer from U.K. visited in August 2008 and awarded
Never having visited Tobago before and having rejected a package holiday in favour of booking our own choice of flight & villa was always going to be a risk however we were pleasantly surprised at just how easy it all was. May I first highlight the excellent communication received from Tosca's owners. Any queries were handled speedily and the financial transaction for payment was clearly outlined. The accompanying information booklet(known as The Bible)sent once the deposit was paid, was invaluable and previous guests were encouraged to add their own comments. The added bonus of a car for our use during our 2 week stay was excellent and gave us the independence we were looking for in order to have a good look around the island. Tosca itself benefits not only from a superb location overlooking a beautiful sea view but also from a well organised team to look after the villa and its surroundings. The housekeeper (Katherine) was friendly and efficient. All in all the Villa was the perfect base from which to explore and the plunge pool a welcoming extra at the end of a long hot day.
Richie Anderson from U.K. visited in February 2008 and awarded
We've visited for a week every February since 2004 and have already booked for 2009, but for 2 weeks this time. We'll be accompanied by various friends and relations who've been with us there over the years and want to go back.
There's not a lot else to say that hasn't been said on other reports. To us it's a home-from-home and although we probably should try something else we love it so much we're as likely to just keep on coming back.
Coombs & Hirst from U.K. visited in February 2008 and awarded
We arrived at the airport and our personal taxi driver was there with our name card to take us to the villa.
On arrival at Tosca we were not disappointed. We entered the property through the lovely lounge and kitchen area. We looked around the whole house and it just got better and better, the upstairs is charming and I was very happy to occupy the Master Suite with the Super King bed, which was very comfortable, sleeping with the ceiling fan on helped to keep cool overnight.
The kitchen is perhaps in need of a ’spruce up’ but this is mostly associated with the humidity levels of the island. We visited a neighbouring property by invitation and discovered they had the same problem and it was symptomatic of the climate.
It did not cause us any problems.
The outside terrace with its most welcome splash pool and little decorative canopy lights that added ambience in the evenings was a lovely spot to watch, photograph and feed the local lizards, birds, bats and frogs and a very pleasant place to sit, read and watch the sunsets with a cool drink and some good healthy menus prepared by our resident chef (Dad a.k.a Frank) from a variety of fish available every day from the nearby Mount Irvine Beach fishermen AND some fish we’d even caught ourselves on our own fishing charter trips embarked upon from the Manta Dive Centre at Pigeon Point. We also sampled some good meat from the local organic farm.
The Hyundai Matrix that came with the villa was most advantageous to our holiday.
A very comfortable car in which we traveled round the island and saw so much more of the beautiful flora and fauna of Tobago that we might have otherwise missed.
Good thinking by Malcolm and Annie to provide personal transport! It gave us so much more freedom,
Catherine, our smartly presented housekeeper was such a pleasant and friendly lady. She would have cleaned every day if we’d wanted her to however we requested her services every other day, she did a great job all round and we only had to ask and she was happy to be of assistance with anything we required or any questions we had.
The villa is equipped with plenty towels and beach towels, there’s a great hammock to put across the splash pool which we took in every night to protect from any overnight rainfall, lots of reading books and plenty reference books on the fish and birds of Tobago. There is a nice little selection of CD’s for the player. The next time I hear that Beatles album my mind will be whisked straight back to the sun terrace at Tosca!
Malcolm and Annie have put some very nice personal touches into the villa creating a homely feel with pictures, their own personal stories and cartoons in frames, there’s books, music, bird feeders, wind chimes and decorative terrace lights.
Also very handy is a ‘Bible’, which kept being referred to in various notes (which we searched high and low for until we finally realised it must be the ring binder we had in our hands that we’d picked up from the coffee table!!) We found this most interesting and helpful with previous visitors comments and experiences about restaurants, beaches, shops, supermarkets, trips and entertainments etc.
To summarise: We had a fantastic time in Tobago. The island is truly stunning. There were friendly and not so friendly locals (this means some just didn’t smile). The villa is literally a sanctuary. You will find the odd little lizard around the house but he will be more cautious of you than you are of him. The occasional bird will fly into the house if you have the doors wide open and so he will also fly out in his own time, it’s all part of ‘how it is’ in Tobago. Enjoy these visits from the creatures you can’t see when you’re back at home in our chillier climate.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS, HINTS & TIPS:
The loud noise in the mornings is the Cocricos – the larger brown birds that look a bit like a grouse. (I was woken by them on the first day and wondered what the heck was going on!!) They ‘call’ from tree to tree and the sound echoes all around the estate. You can’t see them in the trees very well however they will visit the sun terrace at some point and only make a gentle cluck noise in front of you.
Watch out when driving, the locals will just stop at the most inappropriate places to pick up, drop off or just have a conversation with another driver, oblivious of the hold up they are causing! You will get used to it and just laugh! You’re in Tobago! They pip the horn quite a lot too – it’s like a road language? Never sure what it was about? Just seemed to mean get out of my way or driving through, ready or not! The Tobagonians tend to drive at two speeds, slow or fast and rarely anything in between.
Don’t wait until you are hungry to go out and eat. You can wait a very long time in restaurants and cafes for your food to arrive! Things just happen MUCH more slowly!
Don’t photograph the locals without asking them first, they can get quite annoyed!
I found this a bit of a pity as I’d hoped to capture them naturally instead of them being aware of the camera. I learnt to take pictures with long zooms to remain surreptitious.
Always wear sunscreen. One day it was cloudy and thought I wouldn’t need it.
I was amazed at how closely I resembled a lobster by that evening!
Use a DEET insect repellent, I did not keep on top of it and we’d all accumulated a good few insect bites by departure
R Tarjani&a Mandykowska from U.K. visited in February 2008 and awarded
We just came back from Tobago this morning and decided to share our experience as soon as possible. First thing first, we would like to say a big-big thanks to our lovely hosts Malcolm & Annie Taylor for this unbelievably wonderful experience. As far as the report is concerned we truly don't know where to begin since there's a lot to say. Our stay kicked off with a prompt taxi transfer arranged by the Taylors which came extremely relieving as the last thing you want to do after an 11 hours flight is to fight for a taxi with hundreds of other holiday makers. Upon arrival at the Estate we could not do anything but to stare with open mouth. Tosca is located in such beautiful, peaceful surroundings that you simply couldn't wish for any better and is only a stone-throw away from the nearest beaches, eateries, local shops and a cash machine. The villa provides a relaxed , warm ambience soon as you enter and is equipped with everything you might need for a perfect holiday. Though we didn't use the fans and the A/C they might come handy for someone with a lower heat tolerance. You'll find a fully fitted kitchen, a spacious dining area and living room, three beautifully made-up bedrooms with own showers and toilets , a large, charming terrace with a splash pool and a barbecue corner. The view from the terrace is breathtaking.(You've got to see it to believe it) Thanks to Catherine the maid and Curtis the pool man the whole place is kept very clean . We found the open larder policy a great idea as we didn't have to go out to get some food after our long journey. And of course being greeted by a 6 pack of cold Caribs in heat of Tobago is such a kind gesture. One of the best things about Tosca is the use of the car which was waiting for us spotless with a full tank of petrol. We definitely made good use of the car, exploring almost every bit of this stunning island.
Even if you plan to take it easy and stay in you can watch the TV which has got many channels to entertain or simply sit on the terrace or cool off in the splash pool, enjoying the tranquility in the company of several species of lovely birds and lizards. There's also a good choice of books and all sorts of reading material and internet access upon request. We're grateful to our hosts for being so thorough in providing us with all useful information, maps and guides regarding eateries and activities and so on..
All in all you have everything in one amazing place, how can you beat that?
Finally a good advice: try not to miss those fabulous mornings on the terrace!!