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Information on Villa Mirage

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:10 pm
by Jon Binnie
Hi there

I am trying to find some information about the Mirage hotel, and can't seem to find anything apart from one review on Trip Advisor which rates it very highly.

Does anyone have any information about this place?

I am in Trinidad for work, and intend to extend my stay for some total relaxation and peace and quiet, and the Mirage looked good, but I am concerned that there are so few reviews online.

May I congratulate Steve on what is an EXCELLENT reference site for people planning to visit Tobago!

Thanks for any help.


Re: Review

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:16 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hello Jon

Welcome aboard and thanks for the kind words! :)

There is no hotel called Mirage in Tobago - and never has been in my 50 years experience of the island. I can only think that the reports/adverts you have read are referring to Villa Mirage - the subject of this forum thread.

You will find information on Villa Mirage in our Accommodation section - or by entering the name in the search bar on the right-hand side of the main menu bar above.

Re: Review

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:19 pm
by Jon Binnie
Hi Steve

Thanks so much for your reply. The hotel I am referring to is the same as the one that you have reviewed - it is at

I think that you've reviewed part of the complex - but not the rooms in the main building. Does that make sense? Or am I just being thick. :) I was thinking of going to this hotel for 4 days in February.

It looks fantastic, but there don't seem to have been any reviews of it for some time, and I was wondering whether the beach would be suitable for swimming from. I am just looking for somewhere peaceful and quiet to rest!

Best regards


Re: Review

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:09 am
by David Watkins
Jon,the Mirage is NOT an hotel it is a large villa where you can book just a room and not the whole structure.
David :D

Re: Review

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:55 pm
by Jon Binnie
Hi David

Regarding the hotel/villa at

Just to let you know... I tried to book the villa that I found at this web site - it still allows booking on-line - and I got an email back with the following content:

(Back to the drawing board for finding a place - thank goodness for your site!)

Thank you so much for your interest at the Mirage Tobago. I am sorry to
inform you that the hotel has been closed down. We would love to offer you
relocation to the Blue Haven Hotel.

There is a superior Room for 238/night + taxes, for the total of 1145.40

Please let me what you would like to do regarding this reservation.

Feel free to have a look at their website before making any decisions.

Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience.


International, Inc.(Hotel Rooms LLC.)
433 E. Las Colinas Blvd. Suite 1200,,Irving, TX 75039.
1-888-790-5264 Toll Free: 1-888-279-9161 Fax: 972-444-9113

Reservation Made on : Jan-30-2009 03:57

International Booking No. : IV025077

Hotel Information
Hotel Name
: Mirage Tobago

: Black Rock

Fax #

: 1-972-444-9113

Re: Information on Villa Mirage

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:35 pm
by Steve Wooler
Thanks for posting that, Jon.

Advertising this property as a "boutique hotel" might be considered criminally misleading. With just six bedrooms, it would even have difficulty substantiating the title of guest house.

I thought this didn't seem to tie in with what little I knew about the owners of the property - a reputable UK firm, Heritage Leisure. So, following Jon's post this week I contacted Heritage to ask if they had sold the property. It is clear from their reply that they were unaware of the matter and are deeply concerned by the facts. They confirm that they do still own the villa.

It would appear that Heritage Leisure have been one of a number of hotels and businesses on Tobago to have suffered the "Schwendt" effect.

Contrary to the impression he apparently liked to give, Christian Schwendt (of Latitude 11 'fame') and his claimed wife, Utisha, never owned this villa. They were, however, employed as managers of the villa in 2007. Heritage Leisure subsequently leased Villa Mirage to Christian and Utisha so that they could manage and rent it themselves. At no time were they given permission to run it as a hotel - the idea being somewhat preposterous.

In April 2008, Heritage Leisure terminated the lease due to non payment of rent and other bills and for failing to forward moneys paid to them by rental clients. Heritage Leisure are/were totally unaware of the website or that anyone was passing the villa off as a 'hotel'.

My investigations indicate that the domain is owned by an online hotel reservation service. I imagine that Schwendt told them that Mirage was a hotel and got them to produce the website in exchange for an exclusive deal allowing them to sell online bookings.

Heritage Leisure confirm that the villa is now back fully under their control - and is only available as a rental villa - NOT A HOTEL in any form or shape. They will be contacting the owners of the website and I think you will find that that the web is taken down within a few days.

If anyone knows where Schwendt is, can they PLEASE let me know. There are an awful lot of people looking for this man so that they can try to recover outstanding debts.

Re: Information on Villa Mirage

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:32 am
by Rachel Crew
Christian Schwendt (of xxxxxxx 'fame') and his claimed wife, Utisha
Think you maybe mean "of Latitude 11 fame" ?

Re: Information on Villa Mirage

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:54 am
by Steve Wooler
Hi Rachel

OUCH!!!!! Put it down to age and call it a CFR moment. I've corrected my posting and hope you don't me editing yours, Rachel, as I think it would be totally unforgiveable to have the other very respectable restaurant mentioned in this thread.

As a matter of interest, I only came across the expression "CFR moment" after moving to our current home. A friend rather unkindly said our postcode was "waiting to die" because our neighbours seemed to get increasingly olders as you progressed up the street and closer to the church at the top.

Anyway, I digress. I was talking to a very correct and proper lady neighbour, who we initially thought was very snooty. I don't think that now. She said she'd forgotten to do something and blamed it on a "CFR moment". I said I was familiar, and suffered from, "senior moments" but had never heard the expression CFR. She straighened her back (no mean task - she's nearer 90 than 60) and said in her plummiest voice: "Can't effing remember". Only she didn't say it quite so politely. You could have knocked me down with a feather and I break into a smile every time I see her or hear mention of her name.