Guest Report

1 or 2-bedroom wooden cottage at Parlatuvier (listing)
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Alan Purintun

Guest Report

Post by Alan Purintun » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:58 am

I spent three nights at Gloucester Place at the end of January 2013 and can recommend it highly. In stayed in the 'Concord' room, which has gorgeous views over the Caribbean through its two large screened windows and from the adjacent, large and mostly private terrace.  The room and bath are spacious and more than adequately functional, though not luxurious. I didn't need the air conditioning during my stay, but its presence was reassuring and would likely make a return visit in April or May more enjoyable.  I spent many hours contemplating the sea view over morning coffee, midday Caribs and sunset rum-tonics on the mostly-shaded terrace.  The pool is lovely, though in late January did not receive sufficient direct sun to be truly warm; it felt great after a forest trek or the ascent from the beach, however.

Bea and Win are extremely gracious and welcoming hosts; I felt very much at home sharing their kitchen and viewful, covered verandah (a welcome shelter during rain showers that occasionally chased me from the uncovered terrace and poolside). Breakfast (included) was delicious; one evening I was also invited to share dinner of fresh mahi mahi and local vegetables ($20 US) with Bea, Win and two other guests.

The location of Gloucester Place is probably near ideal for a first visit to Tobago: sufficiently removed (around 40-50 minutes' drive) from the bustle and not terribly attractive development around the airport and SW end of the island, but not too far into the beautiful and much less built up NE.  Exploring by car around the NE is easy as the roads are both good and, at least during my stay, nearly deserted. There are several worthwhile excursions, taking in breathtakingly beautiful forest and sea views and interesting, relatively untouristed small towns, within a 20-40 minute drive.  This part of Tobago is some of the most lushly forested terrain I have seen anywhere in the Caribbean; Bea and Win know several guides who can be hired for more adventurous hikes and birding expeditions.

A number of good, inexpensive restaurants and not terribly well stocked food/beverage shops are within 10-15 minutes' drive. (I stopped near the airport on my way in for beer, rum, tonic water and other essentials.)  Good, casual meals are served at the Boat House in Castara, Eula's on the beach at Englishman's Bay and Sunshine in Bloody Bay.  It is possible to walk to one of the nicer beaches (at Parlatuvier; deserted both times I went), two nearby waterfalls, two or three restaurants and at least one minimal shop.

I was slightly disappointed with the beaches in this part of Tobago, which tend to be a bit steep and somewhat rocky.  However, they are attractive enough for walking, lounging, and at least minimal swimming; moreover, I suspect their imperfection helps keep the throngs away, which is a great positive. When I return to Gloucester Place, I will do so anticipating more forests, birds and waterfalls than  sugar-white sand and gin-clear water - a different but equally compelling Caribbean experience. 

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