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Birdie's Nest - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation
 

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Birdie's Nest, Tobago

Birdie's Nest

3 Self-Catering Apartments

Located immediately adjacent to the beach in Black Rock, Birdie's Nest is a comfortably furnished beach house. The upper floor is home to a single spacious... two-bedroom self-contained apartment, with a private deck overlooking the swimming pool, beach and sea. The lower floor is divided into two smaller one-bedroom apartments.

Whilst offering relatively simple accommodation, this property has achieved and maintained Reader Satisfaction Ratings that must be the envy of every competitor. The reason is clear from the reports: the friendliness, hospitality and genuine warmth of the owners. This property will provide a 'true' Caribbean experience like no other.
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Birdie's Nest

3 1-bedroom Self-Catering Apartments in Black Rock, Tobago

Located immediately adjacent to the beach in Black Rock, Birdie's Nest is a comfortably furnished beach house. The upper floor is home to a single spacious two-bedroom self-contained apartment, with a private deck overlooking the swimming pool, beach and sea. The lower floor is divided into two smaller one-bedroom apartments.

Whilst offering relatively simple accommodation, this property has achieved and maintained Reader Satisfaction Ratings that must be the envy of every competitor. The reason is clear from the reports: the friendliness, hospitality and genuine warmth of the owners. This property will provide a 'true' Caribbean experience like no other.

click/tap the photo to view a gallery of 37 photos

Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

You'll have the Caribbean Sea, a mile long sweep of sandy beach with coconut palms and magnificent sunsets and Giant leatherback turtles .... and a quiet beach house in the West Indies for yourself and your family.

Birdie's Nest holiday apartments are a little gem tucked away on the beach at Great Courland Bay, at the end of a country lane.

It is quiet and secluded but not remote, far away enough that you hear just the sound of the birds and the ocean, yet near enough to enjoy the village steelband or a Carib beer at the local "rum shop" - or go to Church on Sunday!

It is the real West Indies, this is Tobago - and you are at Birdie's Nest in Black Rock.

Here you have an unmatched opportunity to see Giant Leatherback Turtles which virtually come to your doorstep during the annual turtle nesting and hatching season (April - September). Great Courland Bay, Tobago, is one of a handful of beaches in the world where these endangered creatures return every year to lay their eggs. It is an unforgettable, prehistoric ritual, to see the turtle emerge from the sea, lay her cache of over 50 eggs then camouflage the spot before returning to the sea.

Even if you do not witness this incredible event, there will always be the pleasure of a golden sandy beach and sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean Sea lapping at your feet - this is the beautiful Great Courland Bay home of the Rex Turtle Beach Resort hotel and two of Tobago's popular little tourist villages - Black Rock and Plymouth with their local Creole restaurants and 'rum shops' where you can hear the sweet sounds of Katzenjammers steelband, calypso and reggae rhythms or meet some of the village folk and join in with fishermen who still cast their nets daily in the picturesque ritual called 'pulling the seine'.

Birdie's Nest beach house sits on the shoreline, facing the sea. It is perched on a small slope which provides a clear, cool, elevated view of the beach and the Caribbean sea.

It is a typical 2 storey West Indian house, now divided into three beach holiday apartments, at very AFFORDABLE RATES

Apartment 1 occupies the entire top floor. It is very roomy and comfortable and has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, ideal for couples or families with older children. The Apartment sleeps 5 persons.

Apartments 2 and 3 occupy the ground floor. There are two separate fully self-contained 1xbedroom apartments with connecting doors, suitable for families and friends. Each of these apartments sleeps up to 3 persons.

In the evening when the sun sets, it seems to set for you alone - creating magnificent memories of skies the colour of fire. Or other sights to rival the sunsets - the stunning brilliance of the tropical full moon in a starry Caribbean night and the sounds of nighttime... subdued chirps and whistles and myriad other calls while in the background waves break and recede on the shoreline. By day of course there are humming birds and other species feeding amidst mango, coconut and banana plants.

myTobago Review

Self-Catering Apartment, Black Rock, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at Birdie's Nest in February 2014.

Introduction

Many years ago, a reader posted a question in our forum asking for information about a small Tobago guesthouse called Birdie's Nest.  I knew nothing about the property other than the few lines of general description in our listings. By coincidence, we happened to be reviewing a villa just a few minutes away from Birdie's Nest at that time. So, I called and arranged to view the property.

Less than an hour after the reader posed their question, I was being shown around the house by Prince Robinson, who manages the property on behalf of his shy and retiring mother, Princess. I was under the impression that I was there to inspect the guesthouse and report to our reader. Prince clearly considered this only part of the deal. He countered every question I asked with half a dozen of his own. He was like a huge sponge, soaking up information; clearly determined to learn and understand what visitors want in their holiday accommodation.

Prince was still at school at that time. He turned 18 just two weeks before my visit. Although in full-time education, he had been managing the guesthouse for his mother for over two years. I would have been impressed by anyone who demonstrated such a commitment to good service; who was so determined to learn what visitors want and expect and so eager to provide a comfortable and memorable vacation. The knowledge that Birdie's manager was little more than a boy made the experience even more memorable, and Prince himself more deserving of support.

Following that visit, I followed Prince's progress very closely. He had a steep learning curve to face. Too much publicity, too early, could undo all his efforts. So, much to his chagrin and despite our desire to support him, we didn't actually stay, review and formally recommend Birdie's Nestuntil 2007, when Prince was a mature young man with more than six years of hospitality management experience under his belt.

Our 2007 review commented, "He still shows the same burning desire to offer his guests the best of Tobago". Seven years later, I am delighted to report that this has not changed.

Location

Although Tobago boasts many miles of beach, there are surprisingly few holiday accommodation properties with genuine beach frontage. Our listings reveal just 35 beachfront properties currently. We define "beachfront" as those properties that have direct access, or are within 30 seconds walking, of a sandy beach that offers safe swimming to reasonably experienced swimmers.

Birdie's Nest undoubtedly passes this test. In fact, if the house were any nearer to the sea, you would have permanently wet feet. In fact it is at the southern end of one of the longest and nicest beaches on Tobago; the mile-long Turtle Beach, where endangered Leatherback Turtles come to breed during the nesting season.

Black Rock is a relatively large village by Tobagonian standards. However, facilities are limited. A single small mini-mart is supplemented by two or three small local shops and bars; the sum total of which is outnumbered by the number of churches. The pace of life is simple, and slow.

Birdie's Nest is located on a large plot, adjacent to the guesthouses and homes of other members of the extended Robinson family. Visitors rapidly feel part of the local community. Bid everyone a "Good Day" as you pass and you are likely to experience nothing but smiles and cheery waves.

Black Rock is located on Tobago's Caribbean coast, just 20-minutes from the airport. Virtually all the island's main shops, restaurants and facilities are within a similar 15-minute drive of the house. The nearest supermarket, Moorshead's Gourmet Foods, is 10-minutes away and the larger and cheaper Penny Savers supermarkets at Carnbee and Canaan, just five minutes more.

Having your own transport is advisable if you are to experience the best of Tobago. In fact, you are likely to have a more rewarding holiday by trimming your accommodation budget and hiring a car, as opposed to staying in more expensive accommodation without a car. This advice applies as much at Birdie's as at most other properties. There are no restaurants within comfortable walking distance. The village mini-mart is the best part of a 10-minute walk away. Carrying bags of groceries down dusty roads during the heat of the day is not exactly a rewarding way to spend precious holiday time.

Architecture

Birdie's Nest is a two-storey house of rendered concrete block and wood construction. Built around 1997, it is of typical Caribbean style. The upper floor offers a spacious fully air-conditioned self-contained apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The ground floor offers two self-contained one-bedroom apartments with connecting door that enables the two studios to be converted into a spacious two or three bedroom unit.

When I first visited Birdie's, there was no clear distinction between the front garden and the beach. However, in recent years the government has built a brace wall to prevent beach erosion. By backfilling the wall, Prince has created a more formalised front garden with swimming pool. A little over two metres above beach level, the garden offers stunning views over the beach and bay. 

The sides and back of the property are now enclosed by a high security fence. The main public-facing aspects of the fence are largely hidden by thorny multi-coloured bougainvillea and other tropical flowering shrubs and plants. Your senses are assailed by the display of striking vibrant colours. 

The property has unhindered views over Great Courland Bay to the front and a spacious car park to the rear. There are a number of small self-catering apartments in the immediate area, but none materially intrudes on the privacy of Birdie's Nest; in fact, the presence of a few other visitors might help first-timers feel more at home during their first few days in the village. Overall, we were largely unaware of neighbours, either in the downstairs apartments or at adjacent properties.

Upper Floor Apartment

We would have been happy to stay in any of the apartments, but were fortunate enough to enjoy the spacious two-bedroom apartment on the upper floor (Apartment 1). Although ground-floor accommodation can be easier for us old fogies, the truth is that higher floors generally catch more cooling breezes and provide better views, so are normally our first choice.

The upstairs apartment is spacious, with overall dimensions of 8.4m by 7.5m, excluding the balconies and deck. The front of the apartment is entirely given over to a large open-plan living room with fabulous views over the beach and across Great Courland Bay. The two bedrooms lie to the rear of the apartment. Both have large windows and technically provide sea views, but why look at the sea down the side of a building when there is a gorgeous balcony with uninterrupted sea views just a few feet away?

The property is decorated and furnished in simple local style. Everything was spotlessly clean and in good maintenance order at the time of our stay. The accommodation is highly comfortable and all basics, such as linen and towels, are provided. The apartment floors are tiled and polished to such a high gloss that we almost felt guilty to walk on them.

Living Area

The living room is dominated by a large wooden display unit that separates the lounge and kitchen areas. Furnished with three wooden stools, it also makes a useful breakfast bar. This display unit is also home to a collection of tourist brochures and a small library of books and magazines. Guests are encouraged to add to the library by leaving books they have finished reading.

The lounge area is furnished with a three-seat sofa and two armchairs, arranged around a wooden coffee table. The suite is presentable, although not particularly comfortable. During our visit, the coffee table was replaced by a hand-carved table of Prince's own design. The top of the table represented a map of Tobago. No matter how busy he is, Prince constantly tries to come up with new ideas and features that will inform and entertain his guests and make their stay even more rewarding.

Entertainment is provided in the form of a 40-inch Samsung HD smart television with DVD player, plus digital cable unit. In addition to the countless American TV channels, guests staying in Apartment 1 (not the other apartments) have access to the full Netflix library of movies. There is also a small powered speaker unit for guests with iPods.

The living room is equipped with a large split-unit air-conditioner. If you are out during the day and leave the house locked up, the heat naturally builds up inside. It was rewarding to find how quickly the air-conditioner cooled the house on return. We enjoyed some very hot days during our stay. However, we were never too hot in the house. We simply followed our normal practice: open every door and window as early as possible in the morning to prevent heat build-up; keep bedroom curtains drawn; keep floor and ceiling fans running on medium setting (if particularly hot, run air-conditioners on the 'fan' setting).  

Kitchen

The kitchen is simply, but adequately, fitted out. The large full-size fridge-freezer is large enough to store everything you are likely to want to lug from the supermarket. A four-burner bottled gas oven with grill takes care of the cooking and is supplemented by a medium-sized microwave oven (although setting instructions would have been helpful). Additional utilities included a filter coffee maker, four-slice toaster, kettle plus a reasonable selection of cooking utensils, cutlery, crockery and glassware. All these items were in decent condition and clean. Birdie's is certainly not one of those places where you feel it advisable to wash everything before first use.

Nothing can ruin your day more than trying to prepare meals in a hot stuffy kitchen. Whilst many people, myself included, prefer kitchens to be in a separate room, there is no doubt that the open-plan layout is considerably superior from a ventilation aspect. At no stage did kitchen heat prove more of a problem than can be expected.

Master Bedroom

An arched opening to the rear of the living room provides access to the 'family' bathroom and two bedrooms.

The master bedroom is comfortably spacious, offering some 3.6x4.3m (15.5m2) of floor space, not counting the en suite bathroom. We were honoured to be the first guests to sleep in a brand new king-size bed. Designed by Prince, the wooden bed frame was hand-made from attractive cypress wood by a local joiner and has built-in nightstand shelves, lamps and flexible LED reading lights. With a high-quality firm new mattress, we have never slept better on Tobago.

Light sleepers, like Jill, can often find Tobago something of a challenge. When staying in rural locations, the raucous sound of Tobago's ugly national bird, the cocrico (Rufous-vented Chachalaca) can keep you awake at all hours. When staying in more urban location, loud music, cockerels (roosters) and barking dogs are often a problem. Sometimes the only recourse is to close the window, bang on the air-conditioner and put the fan on a high noise setting. Fortunately, none of these issues applied at Birdie's.  In fairness, the sound of the surf breaking on the beach masks a huge amount of extraneous sound.

The master bedroom has a large built-in cupboard with 1.2m of full-length hanging space, plus a two-drawer vanity unit with three-quarter length mirror. A medium-sized digital security safe is available for valuables.

The master bedroom has its own spacious, but simple, en suite bathroom, with washbasin, toilet and a large fully tiled walk-in shower. One complaint in our original review was that neither of the two bathrooms has shaver sockets. I am delighted to report that both bathrooms now have 110v sockets next to the washbasins; ideal for electric shavers or electric toothbrushes.

We had no shortages of hot water or other water problems during our stay and water pressure was excellent. The condition of the taps and tiling were open to criticism, but the bottom line is that I thoroughly enjoyed every shower, whether a quick freshen up, or a longer morning soak.

Both bedrooms have large ceiling fans and discrete split-unit remote-controlled air-conditioning units. They were highly effective and virtually silent.

Second Bedroom

The second bedroom is actually marginally wider than the master bedroom, with a generous 3.9x4.3m (16.7m2) of floor space. Since our last visit, the beds have been upgraded to a comfortable 5ft queen-size bed plus a standard 4ft 6in double bed. The double bed is flanked by small nightstands with touch-controlled reading lamps. A wardrobe provides 1.3m of full-length hanging space (a few hangers provided), overhead storage cupboards and a vanity unit/dressing table with two deep drawers and three-quarter length mirror.

Although the room is furnished with two large beds, it appears far from crowded.

Immediately adjacent to the bedroom, so virtually en suite, is an attractive 3.4x2.2m tiled bathroom. This bathroom is furnished with a huge bathtub (1800x760mm internal) with a wall-mounted shower unit at one end. The bath is more like a small plunge pool and will undoubtedly be really appreciated by those who like a good soak. The only downside is the 21-inch step in and out of the bath. As with the master bathroom, the shower was excellent. There was never any shortage of hot water and the shower stream was powerful, yet gentle and all encompassing.

A smart new modern countertop washbasin with monobloc mixer tap had been fitted on the day of our arrival.

Finally, the bathroom provides a further meter of wardrobe and shelf storage space. Between the two bedrooms and the 'family' bathroom, Birdie's Nest undoubtedly provides more clothing storage space than any family are likely to require for even and extended Tobago beach holiday.

Balcony & Deck

Wide six-foot double doors lead from the living area onto a 4.2 x 2m covered balcony. This provides a shaded seating area until mid-afternoon and made a particularly pleasant dining and 'liming' spot, both day and evening. The balcony is furnished with a simple all-weather plastic table and four chairs. It became our prime dining spot.

The balcony runs around two sides of the building and provides access to the wonderful open deck. Made of rock-hard Guyanese greenheart, the 2.8 x 3.6m deck is fabulous for sunbathing and liming. It is furnished with two very high-quality cushioned all-weather armchairs, a pair of similarly-cushioned recliners, plus a table and a large sun-umbrella. Almost suspended over the pool, the deck is a truly wonderful and romantic spot to watch the sun setting over Fort Bennet, two hundred metres down the beach.

Lower Floor Apartments

The lower floor of the house is separated into two one-bedroom apartments. Prince can unlock a connecting door between the adjacent living rooms, transforming the ground floor into a spacious two or three bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. Both apartments are of similar size, identically equipped and essentially offer the same high level of clean, spacious, comfortable accommodation.

These apartments face the garden, with side views out to sea from their balconies. Apartment 2 is located to the left, with its side aspect adjacent to the swimming pool and beach. Apartment 3 is next to the car park and has a marginally more restricted view of the sea. However, it is fractionally larger than Apartment 2.  A solid wall separates the front balconies of both apartments, offering privacy to residents.

Both of the lower apartments were occupied during our stay. It was therefore not appropriate to carry out a detailed examination of the accommodation, and we certainly couldn't expect guests to clear personal possessions from view to allow us to take photographs. Therefore, whilst the information below is accurate, the photographs were actually taken during our 2007 visit. The apartments are now appreciably more attractive than shown in these photographs.

Apartment 2

Offering a total floor area of 41m2, excluding the front balcony, the apartment is spacious by most standards – and exceptionally so by the standards of this level of accommodation.

A 5.2 x 4.8m living room dominates the front of the building. Light grey floor tiles help to generate a feeling of space and light and a lovely cool touch to the foot. Both the living room and bedroom have their own air-conditioners.

The living room is furnished with a dining table and four chairs, a fridge-freezer, bottled gas 4-ring oven, kettle, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and a reasonable selection of crockery and cooking utensils, etc. A small kitchen island separates the kitchen area from the seating area.

Two settees grouped around a TV set provide a spacious lounge area, but I cannot imagine that many guests would use this in preference to sitting on the balcony. iPod docking stations are now provided in all three apartments.

The 4.2 x 2.75m bedroom is fitted with a queen-size bed, bedside tables and touch-sensitive lamps. A new cypress wood wardrobe has been created since our last visit and clothing storage is adequate for a beach holiday. The bedroom is fully air-conditioned with another quiet and efficient modern split-level unit.

A relatively small, but adequate, bathroom leads off the bedroom. The bathroom is simply furnished with a washbasin set into a wooden vanity unit, a toilet and a fully tiled walk-in shower. A shaver socket is provided in the bathroom. Hot and cold water is provided throughout (not always to be expected with lower-priced Tobago accommodation).

Apartment 3

This apartment is so similar to Apartment 2 that it would be pointless to describe it in detail. It is marginally larger than Apartment 2 and this extra space is to be found in the bedroom – which has a double bed plus a large (42-inch) single bed. Once again, both the living area and the bedroom are air-conditioned.

Guests can optionally reserve Apartments 2 and 3 as a three-bedroom unit that can sleep seven people. To achieve this, the living room in Apartment 3 is converted into the third bedroom.

Swimming Pool & Deck

One of the most interesting additions to Birdie's Nest since our last visit is the infinity-edge freshwater swimming pool. Measuring 24x16ft and with depths ranging from 4ft to 10ft, the pool is a great way to cool off in the heat of the day, particularly for non-swimmers or those who do not feel up to the often boisterous sea conditions. The pool is chemical and salt free and uses ionisation to sanitise the water.

The attractive paved pool surround is furnished with sun loungers, chairs, tables and sun umbrellas. It is truly a lovely place to sunbathe or relax, looking out across the pool and green lawn to the turquoise waters of Courland Bay.  

Two barbeque units are provided for shared use by the three apartments. One barbeque unit is gas fired, the other uses charcoal.

The Beach

Great Courland Bay is over a mile in length. The eastern (Plymouth) end is largely made up of golden coral sand; the western end has a higher content of black volcanic sand. The beach is one of the longest in Tobago and consists of almost uninterrupted sand – with the exception of one rocky and rather untidy-looking stretch a few hundred metres from Birdie's where visitors need to be careful, as there are one or two rusty old steel reinforcing rods from old beach defence systems partially hidden beneath the sand.

The swimming conditions along this beach vary enormously. The western end, in front of Birdie's, is the most exposed. However, when seas are running high and the surf a little too rough, visitors can walk up to the more sheltered north-eastern end of the bay, where they will invariably find more settled waters suitable for inexperienced swimmers and young children.

The beach in Courland Bay is better known as Turtle Beach and this is the most popular nesting spot on Tobago for the beautiful, but endangered, Leatherback Turtles. During the nesting season (typically March to August), these beautiful creatures can regularly be seen coming ashore during the night, digging a nest and laying their eggs before returning to the ocean. Even more spectacular is the sight of the tiny hatchlings scurrying back down the beach from the nest to the sea, a few weeks later.

Servicing & Catering

The apartments are serviced every 4 days on average. Bed linen and towels are provided (although you must remember to bring your own beach towels). All linen was clean, in decent condition and of adequate tropical weight and quality.

Although Princess and Prince do not provide any meals themselves, they can often recommend and/or arrange cooked meals. They particularly recommend a new local service called Royal-T Mobile Café, which offers an excellent home delivery service for local breakfasts. We tried them and were very impressed, so have no hesitation in recommending them to visitors who would like to try an authentic Tobagonian breakfast. 

Conclusion

Birdie's Nest may not offer the glitz and glamour of some establishments, but neither will you be paying for fripperies. What you get at Birdie's is comfortable, affordable accommodation, the hospitality of two of the nicest, most honest, people on Tobago and an authentic Tobagonian experience.   

Prince and Princess Robinson represent the very best of Tobago; the sort of people to whom this website is dedicated. They represent the Tobago that I fell in love with more than 50 years ago. A Tobago that is sadly becoming increasingly difficult to find.

Our Reader Satisfaction Rating (RSR) polls are totally genuine. The votes are posted by real people who have stayed at the property as genuine paying guests. Only the very stupidest owner tries to manipulate the polls by posting bogus reports; particularly once they know of our sophisticated validation procedures and the fact that we publicly name and shame those that try to manipulate public opinion. With this in mind, readers should ask a simple question: why does Birdie's Nest have the second highest RSR rating of the 402 properties listed on myTobago.info?

We loved our stay at Birdie's. The hospitality was wonderful. The accommodation was simple but VERY comfortable. Would we return? YOU BET! Would we stay for extended period? Yes!

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 99%   . Click below to read the 125 reader reports that this is rating is based on.

Pomona Zupanc from Slovenia visited in May 2018 and awarded   

We stayed at Birdie's nest for 4 days. We found the place quite unexpectedly and were warmly welcomed by the host Prince. The place is just amazing. Very clean and tidy and fully furnished spacious apartment with your own terrace right next to the beach. We were lucky enough to have been the only guests staying there at that time. So we had the pleasure of enjoying our own private pool among lovely flowers and trees. Prince was daily checking that we had everything we needed, took care of the garden and the pool while being very considerate of our privacy. He even came to pick us up late in the evening to watch the turtles lay eggs on the beach. We wished we could have stayed there much longer. It was definitely the best place we had ever been to and most warmly recommend it to anyone who enjoys peace and quiet and the romantic setting. This stay will stay in our memories forever since we got engaged by the most spectacular sunset by the pool overlooking the secluded sandy beach. We thank Prince for the most welcoming and warm hospitality and wish him all the best.

Polona and Gasper from Slovenia

Angela B. from U.S.A. visited in November 2017 and awarded   

We were extremly satisfied with the property. The property was clean and the owners were very accomodating. We enjoyed the pool and the beach front. The owener would come daily to clean the pool and was very discrete. We are planning to stay there again. Thanks much for helping to make our vacation a very memorable one.

Location Map

To view a detailed interactive map showing the location of this property relative to restaurants, shops and sightseeing features, click this link  

Studio/1-Bed Apt:$95 - $155
2-Bedroom Apt:$200 - $225
Minimum Nights:0 nights
Property Type:Self-Catering Apartments
Apartments:3
Bedrooms:1
Maximum Guests:10
Air-Conditioned:Living Area +Bed Room (all Apartments)
Children:Children Welcome - Play pen for kids under 4yrs
Hair Dryers:On request
Telephone:Local calls free. Overseas call by card.
Internet Access:Unlimited wireless connection
Television:All apartments include digital cable television.
Safety Deposit:Yes
Wheelchair Access:Lower apartments
Swimming Pool:23 * 16 ft infinity pool, 4ft 3 - 9ft overlooking the sea.
Catering Options:

Housekeeping:No housekeeping
Baby-Sitting:Chargeable by the hour
Personal Laundry:on stays 7days or more, please reserve
Personal Cooking:By Arrangement
Location:Black Rock
Region:Lower Caribbean
Location Type:Village
Airport:20 minutes
Beach:Beachside Property