Guest Report

3-bedroom wooden cottage at Mary's Hill (listing)
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John Strain

Guest Report

Post by John Strain » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:47 pm

We spent a week at Mary’s Hill Lodge with our 2 children, Ben aged 9 and Rebecca aged 6. The house was perfect for a family and a real adventure for the children. The open ‘tree-house’ style of the property meant that we were all continually aware of being somewhere new and quite special.

The children loved the hammock, and seeing the birds from the balcony/lounge. We routinely had Blue-grey Tanagers feeding on the ripening bananas below, plus the occasional hummingbird and many more besides. One bird was nesting in a tree only about a foot from the edge of the balcony by the main bedroom, and a Mot Mot would sit on a branch and watch me washing up in the outdoor sink. The noisy Chacalacas or ‘Coricos’ - the national bird of T&T - never seemed to be far away, and sometimes didn’t know the difference between day and night when calling to each other! When combined with the local cockerels crowing pre-dawn, it meant the day started early for children who are used to double-glazed silence! Occasionally evangelical singing drifted up from the church below, and live music from a house further down the hill on some evenings, meant we were never isolated from the real Tobago.

The children loved the geckos wandering around the roof space, and we had a bat share our bedroom one night (we’d forgotten to leave outside lights on which keeps them away) - it hung above us crunching on a very crunchy insect! The children loved sleeping under mossie nets - they felt like they were camping!

Practically the house is well equipped and the washing machine and tumble drier were useful. There were lots of games, plus some beach things like a bucket and spade. The bedrooms had fans, although because of the open nature of the house it was never too hot.

We found the location great for exploring the southern end of the island in particular, and combined our week here with a week in Castara at Castara Retreats which was fabulous and made a great combination with Mary’s Hill. The house was close to Mount Irvine beach where we found what we considered to be the best snorkelling directly from the beach. Arnos Vale hotel and beach are also similarly close with good snorkelling from the beach as well. In the opposite direction, Scarborough is only 10 minutes away, and the Saturday morning market was great to look round and stock up early in the morning.

I would really recommend Mary’s Hill - somewhere quite different and a real adventure for children in particular - and good value for a 3 bedroom house that was well equipped and obviously built with real love and attention to detail to create a very special home. We all loved it and the children will never forget their stay there.

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