Villa de Lena - Reader Reports & Opinion
Richard Leftwich from U.K. visited in August 2007 and awarded
We loved Villa De Lena. A great house in well maintained gardens. Good quality fittings and equipment, even a PC. A bargain.
We loved Tobago as well, especially the less popular bays such as Pirate's Bay. Pigeon Point was a bit disappointing due to the litter, but frankly litter was a problem all over the island.
Mrs. Klotzer from U.S.A. visited in June 2007 and awarded
Even though this place looked like the phototgraphs, we found that the location was unacceptable! It took the cab driver over an hour and a half to find the house and it was only a couple of kilometers to get to from the airport. The house was located off a pot-holed, dirt road in a very secluded and unsafe location. Our cab driver refused to leave us at the house, claiming that he is a local and would never recommend anyone to stay in this location. We simply did not feel safe staying at the house. There were no neighbours or anyone around the house. If someone was to break in the house or attack us, no one would know.
It's nice to have peace and quiet but ones safety and security is more important. The beach would have been a very, very long walk down a loney path. We would have had to rent a car to get anywhere around the island and if you used cabs, they probably wouldn't have been able to find us. I inquired about getting our money refunded or at least a portion of it, but the owner was not understanding. If you cherrish your lives and your safety, then I really don't recommend staying at this villa.
Barry Lathuillerie from U.S.A. visited in March 2006 and awarded
The pictures really don't do a thing for this property, it's “QUITE SPECTULAR”...villa, grounds, staff, location quite peaceful, no heavy traffic, excellent for kids, but BRING MOZZY reliant (like any other Caribbean island) have not one negative thing to say about this property, I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT (but then it would be over booked and I'll not be able to get a booking when needed) how can you possibly go wrong at this price, EXCEPT for if you deal with "Miss Phillips" of "Island Investments" [Editor: Comments removed on legal ]....stay away from HER AND HER HENCH PEOPLE...you’ve been warned!!!....but do ENJOY the villa on any other site........this one for that matter is quite GOOD..”MYTOBAGO”.....
Guest Report (2009, 2012, 2014) 21 Sep 2014
Kurt.Halfyard from Toronto
We have stayed at Villa De Lena in January 2009, January 2013 and will be returning December 2014. Each visit has been of the highest quality, with the owner, Mervyn Sifontes and his staff always extending a wealth of hospitality to us for a typical 2 week stay: Bikes, BBQ, helpful tips on where to get the best hot doubles, even two mosquito zappers to make those evenings by the pool a little more pleasant. Easy going and upscale and pleasantly sophisticated is a tough blend of tones to pull off, but Villa De Lena does so effortlessly!
A pleasant walk to the Wine Shop, Patsy's Roti (if you are lucky enough to catch them open.) and local Fruit & Veg, as well as down to the lagoon to see whose boats are parked there for the evening.
We've typically rented two Suzuki Jimneys (from Sheppy, naturally) to get around the island, mainly to Speyside, Castara and Englishman's Bay, but also regular runs to Ciao Cafe for pizza and espresso, the mandatory brunch at Shore Things & Craft and to Quash Trace for the aforementioned daily breakfast of Hot Doubles (with extra peppa).
Our Stay At Villa De Lena 29 Mar 2013
DavidKram from Minneapolis, Minnesota
We stayed at a gorgeous, private home/villa in Bon Accord called Villa De Lena (www.villaintobago.com).
The home itself was just as advertised on the web site – a beautiful and comfortable place for a holiday.
The property was beautifully maintained by the gardeners, the housekeeping staff and the pool man. The owner even called on the first day to be sure we were settled in okay.
I would most certainly rent this unit again.
While the unit was superb in almost every way, the following items could be improved upon for an even better experience. We have been renting villas for over 10 years and have found the little things can make a big difference.
We let the owner know of these suggested improvements and he responded within 24 hours to us about how he plans to address each item (see the owner’s reply below each item). Not much more one can ask from such a conscientious owner as this.
I want to clarify that these were minor items, and that our stay overall was wonderful.
- The previous renters did not empty the trash cans and we were left with full receptacles with no room to place any other trash until it was picked up 4 days later. When the trash was finally picked up, one receptacle was full of maggots – yuck – a horrible thing to have to touch and bring back to the villa.
Guests are expected to haul their own trash out to the curb for pickup. I find this aspect particularly irritating when one is on vacation. There are various maintenance staff attending to the villa on a number of days – surely they could be responsible for handling the trash.
This is totally unacceptable; I will deal with the matter and see to it that this was the last time such things happen. No guest should have to tamper with garbage from others. The staff will improve their performance immediately.
- We were not able to make even local phone calls while on the island – the phone only accepted incoming calls. We do not have an international calling plan with our cell phone, and this made calling the housekeeper, the car rental agency or restaurants impossible.
Not having a phone to make local calls is a horrible inconvenience and I have never ran into that when renting a Caribbean villa.
This should not be the case; I have my personal pre-paid cellphone plus a special cellphone which can be used by guests. The latter is available for any/all guests. I imagine that Velma has not been asked regarding this for a long time so she did not inform you that the phones are available. Now-days most guest use their personal phone. I usually include information in my reply to the first booking letter letting guest have the cell number, the villa address etc. I will revise my procedure regarding this.
- The gas grill was dirty on our arrival. I had to scrape the grilling area using the remnants of a wire brush that was available.
You may have observed that I have a small sign requesting that guest clean the grill after use. It is the Housekeeper responsibility that the grill is clean on arrival for every new guest.
- It would have been nice if the wireless internet signal was stronger so it could be used outside by the pool and throughout all rooms in the villa.
Owner first reply:
I will contact TSTT; the national telephone company and discuss this issue... It is in my interest that the signals reaches any and everywhere on the property.
Owner second reply:
Latest response from owner – this has now been addressed with a new router in a new location. All rooms and the pool now have access to the wireless.
- The kitchen could have been better furnished. There was not a full set of measuring cups or spoons and the tongs for the grill were broken.
I took up this issue when I was there last Christmas. I will look into this again!
- While the maintenance staff was quite attentive to the property, it is a bit unnerving, and not as private, to have staff working in the yard when it is dark at night and while one is eating dinner. I would suggest that the property is only maintained in the mornings and/or early afternoons.
You are 100% right! This was and should be the case. There are "summer rules" restricting the use of water for irrigating garden and lawns, it is forbidden to water the lawn so the ambitious Caretaker chooses to come late to work under the cover of darkness to keep the garden up to standard. We agreed that he must first discuss this with the guests and get permission to work "after hours" so to speak. I will revise this procedure.