Coconut Heights is a one-bedroom apartment occupying the entire upper floor of the property. The lower floor is divided into two, almost identical, self-contained studio apartments called Breadfruit Grove and Palm Corner. Each apartment has a maximum occupancy of two people, so the entire house would be suitable for a party of up to six adults. Coconut Heights has relatively low balconies, so is not recommended for families with young children.
The pathways around the gardens are constructed of small boulders, levelled and in-filled with sand. As with all cobblestone-type paths, the uneven footing means that the property is unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with severe mobility issues.
All three apartments are serviced before arrival. The bed linen and towels are changed every three days. There are no self-use laundry facilities, but washing can often be arranged with the housekeeper or local manager. Guest will need to bring their own beach towels. Each apartment has an outside shower and foot tap/faucet, so guests can rinse sandy feet when returning from the beach.
None of the apartments are equipped with televisions or telephones. We were delighted to find that complimentary basic Internet access has been installed since our last visit.
Coconut Heights (One-Bedroom Apartment)
The Beach House was built as a private holiday home. The lower apartments were added later, to enable family gatherings. The private nature of the property is particularly self-evident in the intimate décor of Coconut Heights, with its vibrant Caribbean paintings, wall hangings, seashells and coral fragment decorations.
This unique apartment offers 565ft2 of comfortable but rustic living accommodation. The bedroom and kitchen areas occupy the rear half of the building. The living area extends across the full 26-foot frontage of the building and is open to the elements, protected only by the roof overhang. The side returns have closable wooden shutters for weather protection, privacy and security. There is no separate balcony: the frontage of the apartment is effectively a covered balcony.
The 13x10ft bedroom is separated from the living area by a narrow wall and glazed double doors. Cooling sea breezes fan the bed when the doors are left open. There would be little point in closing the door. You would only be protecting your privacy from passing dolphins and fisherman and I doubt that either carry binoculars.
The bedroom is dominated by a 5-foot queen-sized bed with full mosquito net mounted on a four-poster frame. Curtains across the foot of the bed limit the light levels after sunrise. The bed is quite high, offering occupants a wonderful view out to sea whilst providing a great space to store suitcases. There is nothing more relaxing than lying there with a cup of coffee and a good book, enjoying those magnificent views out over Castara Bay.
Leading directly off the bedroom is a small bathroom, equipped with toilet and washbasin. A half-tiled shower is located alongside. All bathroom (and kitchen) fittings at the Beach House were clean, presentable and in decent working order. The apartments are plumbed for both hot and cold water. Showers were a particular pleasure. With lots of hot water, and good pressure, the large traditional-style 'raindrop' showerhead guarantees total immersion while being gentle on sunburned shoulders.
A small walk-in wardrobe offers 30-inches of full-length hanging space and lots of open shelf storage. An ironing board, electric iron and hairdryer are stored there, together with a safe large enough for a small camera, wallets, travel documents and jewellery, etc.
The bedroom is furnished with several mirrors (behave yourself), wall-mounted 'reading' lights and a flexible LED light mounted on the headboard. There is also a small library of novels, plus playing cards, dominoes and compendium of board games.
The 11x7ft kitchen is light, breezy, and well equipped. Glazed double doors can be closed to separate the kitchen from the living area, but like the bedroom, there seems little point. With doors open, the kitchen remains cool and bright and allows you to enjoy the stunning sea views.
The kitchen is equipped with a standard set of fittings. A bottled gas oven with grill and four gas rings are supplemented by an effective toaster, French press coffee maker and a large fridge with freezer compartment. There is a generous stock of kitchenware. Everything was clean and in excellent condition.
Immediately adjacent to the kitchen, just inside the L-shaped living area, a wooden farmhouse table with bench seating offers a pleasant dining area for up to six people.
As mentioned, the living area extends across the entire frontage of the property. The views over the beach and bay are simply stunning. The living area is furnished with comfortable armchairs and small tables and beautifully and artistically decorated with shells, pots, family photographs, shells and wind chimes. A wonderfully comfortable hammock can be slung across one corner of the living area.
Access to the apartment is via a wide wooden staircase at the side of the building. There is an attractive partially-covered deck at the top of the stairs, furnished with plastic chairs and a good gas barbeque unit. Backing onto a cliff rock face, the deck is decorated with coloured fairy lights and painted wooden fish carvings, making it a lovely place for al fresco dining.
None of the Beach House apartments are air-conditioned, nor need to be. The cool sea breezes are supplemented by electric floor fans in both the living area and bedroom. The apartments face due west, so occupants get the full benefit of the views across the bay and the stunning sunsets. Wide hessian roller blinds can be lowered on the balcony to prevent glare from the setting sun.
The house is surrounded by lush vegetation and located near a small stream. It is inevitable that gnats, mosquitoes and other no-see-ums will be present, particularly during the rainy season (April to November). We had absolutely no problem with this and did not even need to use the mosquito net. However, anyone visiting the tropics is strongly recommended to make regular use of a good repellent, regardless of where they are staying.