Guest Report

3-bedroom villa at Englishman's Bay (OFF-MARKET)
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Chris West

Guest Report

Post by Chris West » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:12 pm

In May 2007, three friends and I stayed at the Lookout for two weeks. We are all in our late twenties, old friends from school, and wanted a relaxing place to relax, get away from London and top up the tan! The Lookout proved to be an ideal place to do this.

LOCATION
The Lookout is quite remote, about 5-10 minutes off the main road along a dirt track. The beautiful beach at Englishman's Bay is about 10-15 minutes away, and the small village of Castara, with its bars, restaurants and beach takes slightly longer to reach. We travelled to Scarborough frequently and also to the other end of the island to visit Roxborough, Charlottesville and Speyside - the Lookout is roughly in the middle of everything, so provides a good base for seeing the whole island.

THE VILLA
The villa itself is gorgeous. It has been built with great attention to detail and sympathy to the surrounding environment, constructed mostly from wood. Inside, the decoration is complete, cohesive and tasteful, with a fully equipped kitchen (I like to cook, and found nothing lacking here in terms of utensils, pots and pans etc.) and comfortable lounge and dining space. Once you sink into the sofas, it is very difficult to get out again! There is a TV and DVD player (which we used only once) and a CD player. One tip for future travellers - bring your own CDs, unless you're content to listen to George Michael, Sting and Backstreet Boys on repeat for a few days!! Each of the bedrooms is en suite, with comfortable (if a little short) beds and mosquito nets. There is a large and comfortable veranda on which you can sip tea in the mornings or beer in the evenings and watch the sun rise and fall (you can see the full sunrise and sun set as the villa faces roughly North into the Caribbean Sea). I can only say that after a few days, this villa felt like home.

STUFF TO DO
We found our holiday revolved mostly around the beach (always Englishman's Bay), the village of Castara (food, bars) and Scarborough (cash, supplies, shopping). In between, we also took a rainforest tour, had a barbeque, did a turtle watching tour and explored the island. The remoteness of the villa means that you HAVE to drive everywhere - if you want a party holiday walking to bars, meeting people, dancing and then stumbling home, you won't find it here. Most nights we spent in, cooking food, drinking cocktails or Caribs, talking, listening to music and playing games.

LOCAL GUIDES AND FRIENDS
Our point of contact whilst staying at the Lookout was a local businessman called King David. As well as supporting the villa, he also runs a successful tour company and construction business. We found King David to be honest, helpful and friendly who is also respected in the local community. Whenever we wanted anything, a quick call to King David was all we needed. The rainforest tour was especially good. However, one thing we should mention to future travellers - the Tobagans seem to be quite 'laid back' about money, to the point of ambivalence. For example, most places we ate or drank wouldn't keep a tab of what you had - you just tell them at the end of the night. Often there are no price lists in restaurants or bars also. If you are planning on doing a few tours or activities on your holiday, don't feel embarrassed about asking up front how much things will cost, even if it means asking a couple of times.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
The villa is a great place to stay, beautiful, homely, well situated and well equipped. We had no problems whilst we stayed there and the owners were friendly, honest and helpful. This villa would be ideal for families perhaps with older children, but may not suit younger adults looking for a party holiday and easy access to bars and clubs.

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