Tosca - Reader Reports & Opinion
Christopher Barran from Trinidad visited in August 2007 and awarded
A wonderful experience.
Sorry for the delay in putting up this report. I had planned on doing it as soon as I got back to "real life" in order to spread the good news about Villa Tosca as soon as possible. Not sure where to begin really. First of our stay at Tosca was excellent.
Location, Tosca is located in Sanctuary Villa Estate which is about 10 minutes drive from the airport.
The location in my view is excellent. You are away from the bustle that is Store Bay but still within easy access if need be. I really think the location to be ideal, the best of both worlds. Tosca serves as a good base to explore the other parts of the island.
Located at the bottom of the hill from Tosca are an ATM (godsend), and a small supermarket which will save you a longer run to say Pennysavers if you need anything.
We got to the villa on a Saturday morning after a good stint in traffic (caused by the throngs of people in and store bay due to the Great Race weekend) and we were very pleased when we stepped inside. The description of the Villa from the website pretty much matched what we found.
The villa is laid out in a very pleasing fashion. The kitchen was nice, the dining and living room likewise and the bedrooms were fantastic. While the dining and living room area may seem a bit cramped at times the rest of the villa is very spacious.
We especially enjoyed the verandah, and think that’s it really an added bonus that there are birds and lizards of all shapes and sizes that one can see without stepping out of the villa.
The plunge pool was enjoyed by all, nice when you want to relax after a “hard day” relaxing at the beach or if you prefer to turn turtle and never leave the villa at all during the day. This in itself is quite possible because the villa is so comfortable.
We arrived on a Saturday and thus if memory served correctly didn’t see Katherine until Monday morning. She is very sweet and pleasant and the kids loved her. I didn’t meet Curtis myself as I was running after two toddlers near constantly. Which brings up another point, I was worried that the villa would not be kid safe/friendly but alas we had no such problems. The gate at the bottom of the steps leading up to the second floor was something we appreciated as it served to stop our little adventurous one.
We also appreciated that the owners called us on Saturday night (the first night of our stay) to enquire as to if everything was ok.
One of the best things about Villa Tosca is the use of the car. It does save a lot of hassle, and you get an “all in one” holiday. We got the car with petrol in the tank and it was quite clean. We made good use of it, and while not 4x4 we had no problems on the drives we took.
The one fault that we can think of after our stay would be the finicky shower controls in the bathroom of the bedroom located on the ground floor. And that wasn’t really a major problem at all.
Just a little bit on what we think would be worth your while:
Drive to the upper Caribbean coast, all the way to Charlotteville if you can. If not, Englishman’s Bay is quite worthy a destination. Then the return drive through the rain forest
A day spent at Arnos Vale, excellent snorkeling and the added convenience of use of the hotel’s facilities.
Canoe Bay, quite underrated but excellent especially for children.
So to sum it up in one word: Excellent.
The only problem now, is that having stayed at Villa Tosca can’t think of visiting Tobago and staying anyplace else!
P.s. we were a party of six, three adults, and three children ranging from one up to eight.
Mark Gabbay from U.K. visited in August 2007 and awarded
I hesitate to day how nice this was in case it becomes soo popular we won't be able to return!
Great location, well away from the overseas tourists who hog the airport perimeter, next to a bird sanctuary- well worth the sunrise tour. House is very comfortable, well stocked- the honesty kitchen is a great bonus. Everything works and all is confortable and tastefully decorated. The location is very peaceful and convenient.
The local beaches are quiet and borrowing the car enables one to fully explore the beauty of the island. Snorkelling is fantastic all around the island, and magnificent birdwatching, even if that's not what you would normally do, I defy you not to be enthralled by the tropical paradise that is tobago. Outside the 2m airport tourist zonem the real tobago awaits- Scarborough, the charming villages, tropical rainforest, magnificent trees, flowers and bush, reptiles, birds, fish- to watch and eat. The people are welcoming, honest, charming, and the culture informal and vibrant.
We had a great time, and will return!
Paige Santucci from U.S.A. visited in March 2007 and awarded
I cannot say enough @ Tosca, you have to go to believe it.
First of all, I want to commend Malcolm & Annie for their thoroughness in their website information. It felt spot-on to what was actual, which is not always the case. The place is kept very clean, which is important to me for the sake of "debugging". I have always got bit on island trips, besides all precautions I take. On this one, I was not really bothered at all. Heaven. The pillows and beds were very comfortable, and Catherine (housekeeper) was great at doing whatever towels and laundry we wanted and how much we wanted it done. The A/C's were a bonus, and plenty of fans. I picked the place also because of the private splash pool, and we made the most of it!!! Kept very clean and refreshing!
The location is great for snorkelers. Right at bottom of hill is Mt. Irvine wall, very shallow and great for novice and intermediate snorkelers when calm, which was alot while we were there for 3 weeks. Saw turtles, porcupine fish, parrot fish, a very small yellow tang which is rare, lots of schools of tangs, file fish, goat fish, lots of reef squid, lots of French Angelfish, and many more. Hardly ever anyone else there to snorkel. Also, Buccoo Reef is right there down the street and easy to jump on a local boat for a 5 minute ride out a bit to see lots more coral and more fish, we saw a stingray there as well.
One of our favorites was also Arnos Vale Beach at the Hotel of the same name. About 10 minutes to the right from bottom of hill of house. Private , very sheltered cove, but the water can get rough , always changes, just depends. Well worth it no matter what the tide was for me. Saw porcupine fish , huge and small, and one got scared and blew itself up like a balloon with its spikes out. Amazing. Also, wonderful coral there. Lots of French and Queen Angelfish, turtles, huge spiraling schools of little fish, and many more. Great Brain Coral there as well. We also saw double rainbows there. Lots of birds are there also.
The car at Tosca was a big bonus. Kept in great shape and well worth not having the extra hassle of another thing to keep track of. And paying Curtis to clean it at end is worth it. Driving is/can be a chore. One trip to Speyside was enough for us. We almost got killed 3 times on way back by drivers that constantly try to overtake others on very unsafe portions of road, which can get very narrow. There so much near Tosca, we did not feel we were missing out. The road up to Castara, etc. is long and windy. Once was enough and even then I could pass on it. I would have felt too isolated if we stayed up that way.
Having the place located in Sancturary Villa Estates is also a plus, because there is the security guard and gate 24 hours. I felt much better, not that it is dangerous, just more private and a good watch on things in general which I did not get the sense would be the case with other places I had looked into and then saw when we were there. Plus, it is a "third world country" aside from the "tourists hotels". There is a lot of poverty, darkness, sadness in people, and this causes temptations; which Tosca is out of range from. There was not any soliciting where Tosca is, so that is another bonus.
Having the space at Tosca was great for 2 pp. Four would be good as well. For me, six would be pushing it. I like space and different rooms and spaces to go to. The porch w/pool being another.
Thank you for the opportunity to review Tosca. Take care on your trip to Tobago.
Keely & Jerome McCann from U.K. visited in January 2007 and awarded
My husband and I have only just returned from Tobago and Tosca and we are pining. We have both had the best holiday ever. The
island is wonderful, the people so friendly but it's more due to the fantastic accomodation.
It rained for the bulk of our stay but it didn't matter as there was everything needed at Tosca. The house is fully equipped with everything needed and it's only a very short drive to beaches and restaurants. It's also within walking distance to a fantastic restaurant, some local bars, a great pizza place (warranted a second visit), sports bar, local food and mini mart.
The house even has a bookcase with an excellent choice of books, boogie boards and snorkelling gear, HUGE bed in the master bedroom and an amazing housekeeper who keeps the place spotless.
It is so peaceful there, truly a winding down holiday.
We had our honeymoon recently and it even topped that !
Amanda Hogg from U.K. visited in January 2007 and awarded
We were in Tobago 12/95 staying at Coco Reef which had just opened., so were interested to see changes on the Island.
We were met, eventually, by Taxi fixed by Malcolm. Only 10 mins late which by local standards is very prompt!
Found the Villa spacious and well equipped but were a little surprised to find only one bedroom made up; only 2 bath towels, hand towels etc; washing in the machine; beach towels in the dryer.
I had checked with Malcolm whether we had the run of the Villa and was assured of this: we like to spread out and in hot climates have twin beds. However, we got used to the super King and used the A/C to keep cool. Have to say it is rather noisy. I fear we confused Catherine, the Housekeeper, by asking for more towels, as she failed thereafter to change them. The quality of the bath towels is poor.
Wonderful to find cold beers and water in frig but I do wonder about the open larder concept as frig and freezer seemed to be full of rather dubious things of unknown age, including fruit and veg. Hot water tank is tiny but OK for 2. Suspect wouldn't do many more consecutively in showers. Why so small?
The Terrace area is a bit small - how do 6 people relax there?
We knew about the plunge pool and rather missed a larger one, as we are not beach people and the seas quite rough.
Some of the furnishings, partic on the sitting room chairs are getting a bit tired. Catherine cleaned floors and bathrooms well but fails to notice cobwebs in various rooms! She also chose to wash dishes we had put into the dishwasher which seemed a little bizarre. We only had her coming x3 per week as we didn't make much mess.
There was a power cut and we cld only find one torch with low battery. Suggest a rechargeable torch that is readily available.
The Estate round about is a bit scruffy and the constant strimming with tiny machines is intrusive and ineffective. Insects were a problem but DEET protected well enough. Security is worse than useless - anyone cld drive thro: Compared to other places we visited: where we were asked what we were doing, checked in and checked out.
Having the car as part of the rental was great.
I am aware that all other Reviews so far are 5* but I am afraid I disagree for the basic reasons listed above. I am happy to elaborate if the Taylors would like further comments.