Guest Report

3-bedroom villa on secure compound at Mt.Irvine (listing)
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Guest Report

Post by Anne-Marie »

We must have been very unfortunate with the timing of our visit, as the reviews here do not represent the time we had in the villa petit careme.
I suspect the normal housekeeper was away, as our housekeeper only visited 5 times during our stay.On one occassion she arrived, and sat to eat her lunch in our kitchen before starting any cleaning.

We were provided with either beach/pool towels OR bath towels in each room- not both. The towels were only changed once during our stay.The beds/bedding was not changed at all during our weeks vacation. This was inconvenient, and below the standard anyone would normally expect in quality accommodation.

we were unlucky enough to have 3 short power cuts during our stay, and one prolonged power cut( lasting about four hours, one evening).Power cuts are unfortunate, and no-bodys fault, but the house plunged into complete darkness, apart from one emergency light on the stairway. (no lights at all in the lower level apartment).the emergency light also faded and died out before power was restored. The house came with candleholders,( but no candles), and battery powered lamps, but no batteries. It was rather scary for the children. Fortunately ,we phoned Wayne, who eventually came to our rescue, and sent out for some candles after a couple of hours.
The kitchen was reasonably well supplied with crockery etc, but I dont think i have ever encoutered a self catering kitchen with absolutely no food on arrival. not even salt and pepper! A few welsome basics of tea/coffee/milk/sugar would have made a real diference to the welcoming feel.

There was also a lack of cleaning products for washing up/ dishwashing, which we had to buy, we also had to buy bin bags for rubbishetc We did most of our own washing of dishes/utensils etc, but the housekeeper still saw fit to reprimand us for using the "wrong sort of pan" on the hob.She didnt look like the 'award winning' housekeeper from the 2004 photos in the villa either....(?)
On one occassion we had a visit from friends who lived locally, with their children. we then had a call from the owner checking how many people were staying in the villa- to'check up on us' . we also had to adjust our arrival and leaving plans,as there was no-one to let us in, and no keys left for our arrival.

Overal the villa is lovely, but the location is only accessible by car, as are any local shops/restaurants etc.
The upper house does sleeps 9- but the rooms sleep 2( in a double bed), 4( in 2 double beds) and 3( kings size plus single) , which wont suit some families/groups.
The downstairs apartment sleeps 2/4( one double bed, plus a double bedsetee). We booked the whole house so we could accomodate up to 11 people( 10 plus toddler) for a couple of the nights -only to find that the upper and lower parts were completely seperate( no interconnecting doors/ stairs)- so we had to go outside, and up and down the driveway to get from basement to ground level of the house. The main dining area only had enough seats for those in the main house, so it was a problem to eat together too. fortunately my sister was only with us for a couple of nights, so it wasnt too much of a problem, but bear it in mind if you want to have the whole house for a single group. it doesnt work that well.

would we stay again? very unlikely.
I think we didnt get the real experience, but maybe we were just unlucky.

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Steve Wooler
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Re: Guest Report

Post by Steve Wooler »

The owner of Petit Careme Villa has forwarded the following rebuttal to this post. From my own perspective, having stayed at this lovely villa twice in the past 10 years, I have to confess at very considerable surprise at the post. I would simply advise readers to consider the fact that we list 71 reports on Petit Careme below and only two reports have awarded a Reader Satisfaction Rating award of less than 4.

I would also mention that Petit Careme Villa is the sixth most highly rated holiday accommodation property in our Reader Satisfaction Rating (RSR) polls - and that is across all grades and types of accommodation on Tobago (400+ properties). I think that speaks for itself.
I am the owner of Petit Careme Villa and am responding to the review posted by Anne-Marie.

Firstly I had no person renting the villa or apartment by the name of Anne Marie.

One of the pillars of our villa rental is that guests have taken their vacation time and money to stay at Petit Careme Villa and apartment. As such we aim to make that experience as pleasant as possible. This can be seen by the many reviews we have received over the years. Plus the repeat guests which book year to year. I see from the review that the above guest was very unhappy and for that I apologize.

Charmaine is our normal housekeeper who has worked for us for 15 years. She does not work on a Sunday and on one day during the rental period the rain was torrential and she didn’t come out to work. So out of a 6 night period she didn’t come to work in the rain. She should have called me or the person who rented the villa to let them know. I have spoken to her regarding the above and arriving late and then eating before she starts to work. This is not good. Also if she cannot make it to work she will call. In the 15 years she has never taken a sick day,, and has been there for all my guests.

I have many towels, both bath and beach, so the towels were changed. The beach towels are a darker color and much bigger than the bath towels. The beach towels are placed in the bedrooms and the bath towels are in the bathrooms. I have never had this complaint in 15 years. Beds are changed every 3rd. night. It could have happened that the towels and beds were changed and put back on the beds etc. while the guests were out of the villa/apt.

The emergency lighting is designed for a 4 hour duration. The battery powered lamps were without batteries which was definitely our error. We had serviced them and the batteries were at the villa but not put into the lamps. For this I apologize. The candle holders were from an era when candles were allowed. I am a registered property with the Tobago Tourism Department, and was advised not to allow candles, as they are a fire hazard, thus no candles. If we have guests who enjoy candle light I don’t prohibit the candles.

The booking, if I am correct to guess who this guest was, came from Trinidad. When we have foreign guests arriving I do ask if they would like a meal cooked or some groceries provided, at their cost. But July/August is holiday time in Trinidad and our bookings are with Trinis who bring the food with them.

We provide housekeeping services where upon Charmaine changes the bins and puts out dish soap etc. If a large crowd is in the villa of course the cleaning products are not adequate. Remember we rented to 10 adults as far as I was told.

As a service to some of our Trinidadians we supply an outside cracker with large aluminum pots which can cater for 20-30 persons. These pots are not in the kitchen. I have large pots to cater for 10-15 persons in the kitchen area. I have a ceramic (glass) top stove and these large aluminum pots scratch the stove top. Charmaine was only following our instructions. We now have the pots for the crackers put away so our guests will not use them on the kitchen stove. The crackers are put out upon request from the guests.

As far as “Checking up on us”, there was a problem with payment and I called to say it was settled. My groundsman did call to say there were many persons who appeared to be staying at the villa. I politely asked how many were staying at the villa, nothing more.

The arrival time was brought forward to allow an early access to the villa. But on the email of May 18th. , 2012I mentioned that once I had a booking arriving on the day of their departure they check-out time is 10.30 am. This I asked them to do as I had another group coming into the villa.

Anyone looking at the web site can see that there is no inside connection between the villa and apartment. There is seating for 8 persons in the dining room and another 4 in the outside table, plus an additional 4 folding chairs to accommodate large groups. As well as a small freezer for the added freezer capacity for the convenience of our guests

My husband and I take pride in the villa and make an effort to ensure the guests are happy. I had spoken to the person who paid for the villa on several occasions. If the service provided was inferior a phone call could have settled matters quickly. But we have not received a call to this date. Thus I am very disappointed that this review was posted without even the slightest hint of dissatisfaction.

I hope this puts matters to rest and we can get on with our lives. I don’t expect another rental from the person I suspect sent in this review. There is enough blame to go around on all sides.

Merilee Barrow
Petit Careme Villa,
Steve Wooler - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

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