Guest Report

A 3-bedroom villa on the Sanctuary Villa Resort (listing)
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Coombs & Hirst

Guest Report

Post by Coombs & Hirst » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:51 pm

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

Julia C.
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Re: Shore Was a Beach of a Holiday!!!

Post by Julia C. » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:50 pm

Lovely report - a really good read. :D

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