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Gloucester Place - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation
 

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Gloucester Place, Tobago

Gloucester Place

4-room Guest House

Gloucester Place is a small guest house, on the outskirts of Parlatuvier, on Tobago's northern Caribbean coast. The property is perched on a beautiful... clifftop and enjoys amazing rainforest and sea views. They offer 4 luxurious bedroom suites on bed and breakfast terms. All rooms are air-conditioned and fully ensuite. The American owners are noted for their hospitality. The guesthouse is open from November to April.

In addition to the guest house rooms, the property also has a small wooden cottage that is rented on self-catering terms. Please see our separate listing for details of Essex Cottage.
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Gloucester Place

4-bedroom Guest House in Parlatuvier, Tobago

Gloucester Place is a small guest house, on the outskirts of Parlatuvier, on Tobago's northern Caribbean coast. The property is perched on a beautiful clifftop and enjoys amazing rainforest and sea views. They offer 4 luxurious bedroom suites on bed and breakfast terms. All rooms are air-conditioned and fully ensuite. The American owners are noted for their hospitality. The guesthouse is open from November to April.

In addition to the guest house rooms, the property also has a small wooden cottage that is rented on self-catering terms. Please see our separate listing for details of Essex Cottage.

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Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

High on a cliff overlooking the sea, Gloucester Place commands one of Tobago's finest views of the Caribbean in one direction and the Rain Forrest Reserve in the other. Just a short walk from the picturesque fishing village of Parlatuvier, this area is considered one of the loveliest on the island. From the veranda, guests can enjoy the mesmerizing crashing of waves against the rocks, daily migrations of frigate birds as they cruise along the coast, or listen to the cries of the cocricos, chatter of the parrots, and songs of other island birds.

The Property:

The property consists of two houses and a swimming pool, bounded by a river on one side and the sea on the other. Surrounding the houses are gardens, mature coconut palms, mango and other fruit trees, and lots of banana plants. Paths lead along the hillside past the fruit trees, down to Creighton River and our own water fall and swimming hole. Always in the shade, this is a favorite spot for children to play and adults to relax.

The infinity edge pool is a center piece of the property. Guests can relax in the water while gazing across the horizon ready to spot passing sail boats and fishing prorogues as they head out to sea. There are special steps that create a shallow area for children as well as seating to enjoy the view. Just below the pool is a platform that can be used for sunbathing and, on special occasions, for pitching a tent that provides the best accommodation on site according to our grandchildren.

Accommodations:

The newly completed main house has 4 guest rooms, each with en suite bath and access to either a balcony or terrace. Upstairs are two bedrooms with queens sized beds, and one with twin beds which can be converted into a king sized bed. The larger Master Suite is on the first floor and has an en suite dressing room and bath. All are air conditioned to ensure a comfortable night's sleep. The house has verandas on two sides which overlook the sea and a second floor sea-side terrace. The downstairs living areas are open and inviting.

Operating as a bed and breakfast from November through April, guests can wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee or tea and enjoy a home made meal to start their day. Other meals are available at restaurants nearby, or can be provided on site by prior arrangement. Rooms in the main house can be rented individually or all together by larger groups. It is an ideal spot for family reunions!

There is also a separate smaller house on the property, Essex Cottage, which has two bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath. This cottage is situated against the side of the hill. Our idea was to create a tree house, open to the view of sea and birds. There is a full sized bed upstairs and two twin beds downstairs. (A third bed is also available.) The cottage has large porch and fully equipped kitchen. It can be rented on as self-catering basis. Guests are welcome to use the pool.

myTobago Review

Guest House, Parlatuvier, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at Gloucester Place in February 2015.

Introduction

Tobago has a shortage of quality vacation accommodation, particularly as you travel away from the more urban and flat south-western end of the island and up Tobago's beautiful Caribbean coast. When Gloucester Placeopened in mid-2006, it offered a new and unique option to travellers. We welcomed the chance to return in 2015 to see how the property had withstood the test of time.  

Gloucester Place is owned and run by retired American teachers, Win and Bea Sargent. They offer two levels of accommodation in adjacent, but very different, properties. Gloucester Placeitself offers guest room accommodation on a bed-and-breakfast basis and is open from around the end of October until the end of April each year. The adjacent Essex Cottage offers un-serviced self-catering accommodation. It can be rented throughout the year.

Location

Parlatuvier is a small and very peaceful fishing village. Visitors on island tours invariably stop at the lookout, just 50 metres after Gloucester Place. Here, guests can view and photograph the stunning picture-postcard panorama of Parlatuvier Bay, with its classical horseshoe shape and distinctive fishing jetty.

Those seeking the 'real Tobago' will love Parlatuvier. This is probably as near to the 'old' Tobago as you can get today. There is not a hint of commercialisation. This is a fishing village; nothing less, nothing more.

Having transport is essential when staying at Gloucester Place. There are no local taxi services, but cars and SUVs can be rented in nearby Castara. There are several ladies in the village who prepare meals, by arrangement, but just one small bar within easy walking distance of the guesthouse. The local mini-mart sells basic supplies – but basics by the standards of Tobagonian fisher-folk. With your own transport, the 10-minute drive into Castara is a pleasurable experience and you are well placed for tours of the entire island.

Architecture

Gloucester Place sits on the slopes of a small, deep, gorge beside the Caribbean Sea, immediately south of Parlatuvier Bay. The grounds of the property, backed by the hills of the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, tumble down a steep hillside to the tiny Creighton River that wends its way through a shady gorge before discharging into the turbulent seashore below.

Having purchased the land, Win and Bea first built Essex Cottage. Their concept was a tree house floating in the canopy, open to the environment and taking full advantage of the stunning views and birdlife, the mature trees deep within the gorge and the sunlit glittering waters of the Caribbean beyond.

Although not at first apparent, Essex Cottage is actually a two-storey structure. The upper floor is built entirely of wood. The lower floor is of concrete block construction and built into the hillside. From the road, you see a wooden cottage with two small windows and a door. It looks cute, but not extraordinary. What you don't see, or appreciate, is that almost the entire length of the back of the property is made up of wooden shuttered windows. When fully opened, occupants enjoy an incredible sense of space and light and the most stunning panoramic view over the valley and out to sea.

The two-storey main house, just 50m away, is much larger, more sophisticated and of modern concrete block construction. It is located on a bluff of land that offers panoramic views over the north-western coast. The distinctive and upscale appearance of the villa is down to the combined efforts of Win and Bea and their local builder. The property certainly creates the right impression as guests arrive down the short, but beautifully landscaped, driveway.

Due to the hilly terrain and the fact that all three bedrooms are on the upper level, the main guest house at Gloucester Place would not be suitable for those confined to a wheelchair, or to anyone with serious mobility problems. Essex Cottage lies on a single level and has no steps to negotiate.  It is one of the very few properties in this hilly part of Tobago that might prove satisfactory for those with less serious mobility issues.

Guest House Accommodation

The main house has three double guest bedrooms. These are provided on bed and breakfast terms. The house is comfortable and spacious and decorated throughout with wonderful mementos of the owner's travels, including magnificent carvings, rugs and wall hangings from places as diverse as Venezuela, India and Sri Lanka.

Staying at Gloucester Place is a fairly unique affair and equally suited to first-timers or regular Tobago visitors. The experience is more akin to staying with distant relative; very much more personal and intimate than the typical antiseptic hotel experience.

Concord Suite

The guest rooms are located on the upper floor of the property. Concord Suite will arguably prove the most popular, if only because it is situated on the sea-facing side of the house and offers the best views. The room is adequately spacious, with an overall floor area of 21m2 (225ft2). The feeling of spaciousness is enhanced by the high cathedral ceilings common to all three guest rooms. The room opens onto a large private terrace furnished with all-weather table and chairs. Steps lead down to the gardens and the terrace offers stunning views over the garden and coastline.

The suite features an impressive queen-sized wooden bed flanked by matching nightstands with reading lamps. Throughout the property, the tiled floors and plain walls are relieved by wonderful rugs and wall hangings collected by Win and Bea during their years in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. A single padded armchair completes the furnishing of Concorde Suite, apart from a large built-in wooden wardrobe unit with dressing table, storage drawers and mirror. The wardrobe has only half-length hanging space, but with no 'formal' restaurants within an hour's drive, this is unlikely to be an issue.

The en-suite bathroom is discreetly located behind the wardrobe and comprises a large washbasin inset into a wooden vanity unit, lots of storage space for toiletries, a low-level flush toilet and a walk-in shower. As you would expect from this level of accommodation, both hot and cold water are provided in all rooms. Water pressure was good and we did not experience any shortage of hot water. Shaver sockets and an electric hairdryer are provided in each room.

All three guest rooms are fitted with good split-unit air-conditioning units. During our previous review, when we spent a few days in the main house, we commented that the air-conditioners were virtually noiseless and amongst the finest we had come across. We see no reason to alter that comment.

Carlisle Suite

Comparable in overall size to Concord, the Carlisle Suite is located on the western side of the house and overlooks the pool, valley and sea. It is furnished with a queen-sized bed and matching bedside tables in the same dark-wood style of furniture used throughout. The silk wall hangings in Carlisle are particularly attractive.

A 5-drawer wardrobe with carved wall-mounted mirror supplements the wardrobe, which offers 1.2m of half-length hanging space. The adjacent bathroom provides the usual trio of facilities, similar to that described for the Concord Suite.

Carlisle has a small 2.75 x 1.75m private balcony which offers simply superb views over the valley garden and pool, with the sea on one side and the mountains of the Main Ridge Rainforest Reserve on the other.

Lexington Suite

Marginally larger than the other rooms, Lexington is furnished with two single beds, which can be optionally configured as a king-size double. All other accoutrements and furnishings are identical to the other rooms.

Being on the eastern side of the house, the Lexington only benefits from sea views from the window in the shower stall. The room does, however, have a veranda that runs the length of the suite. This also provides direct access to the large veranda outside Concord, with steps down to the rear garden.

Catering

Dining in such a small property is an intimate affair. This is not meant as a criticism; just the opposite. The cooking is excellent and you can be assured that you'll get your eggs exactly the way you like them.

Given the absence of restaurants in the region, Win and Bea try to be as flexible as possible. The rooms have no self-catering facilities, but fridge space is made available to guests in the main kitchen. In addition to the provided cooked breakfast, other meals can often be provided by prior arrangement.

General Facilities

Guests staying in the main house are sure to spend some time in the seating area on the ground floor balcony. Fully shaded from all but the late afternoon sun, the views from the balcony are stunning.

Although the first floor library is technically a private area, guests are allowed to use the room to watch TV or access the huge collection of books and novels available to guests. Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access is available to guests and available throughout the main house and immediate grounds.

The rooms in the main house are serviced weekly and mid-weekly; more often when requested. We found all linen and towels to be in good condition of very high quality.

Essex Cottage

Situated just 50m from the main house, Essex Cottage is a charming wooden detached cottage available for rental throughout the year on non-serviced self-catering terms. The cottage can be rented as either a one or two bedroom unit. The second bedroom is located beneath the cottage and has independent access.

The cottage is comfortably spacious (54m2/ 580ft2). Even when rented as a two-bedroom unit, it should prove adequate for parties or families of up to four adults. The cottage consists of a single large room with a half-height wall forming two distinct areas. The larger of these two areas is the main living area and leads off onto a stunning covered porch. The other area contains the bedroom and bathroom.

The most striking feature of this charming cottage is that two adjacent walls are almost entirely made up of unglazed windows. Each window is fitted with a pair of tall wooden shutters. These can be folded back, concertina style. Fully opened up, the cottage offers the most amazing feeling of light, space and openness. Because of the way that the cottage is built into the side of a steep gorge, you truly feel that you are in a treehouse. Not only do you benefit from the cooling breezes, but whether lying in bed or preparing a meal in the kitchen you can enjoy a wonderful 180° panoramic view of the valley and out to sea. And, what stunning views they are!

In keeping with the nature of the cottage, the furnishings are simple, but practical. A large and efficient fridge-freezer ensures that trips to the supermarkets are kept to the minimum. A four-ring bottled gas stove, microwave oven, electric kettle, toaster and coffee filter machine take care of the essentials and are supplemented by a reasonable selection of cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. The double-basin kitchen sink is plumbed for both hot and cold water – not a factor to be automatically assumed with self-catering units in Tobago.

Adjacent to the kitchen, the dining area is furnished with two small wooden tables and four matching chairs. Other furnishings include a pair of padded armchairs and a floor-standing electric fan. The fan was largely surplus to requirement during our stay.  

A delightful covered balcony, with open wooden balustrade, leads off the living area. The balcony is furnished with four wide and comfortable padded all-weather armchairs and a table. An overhead ceiling fan supplements the sea breezes. The table and chairs can be moved aside and a fabulous Amerindian hammock slung across the balcony. The balcony is undoubtedly where most visitors will spend much of their time when not out exploring the island. It is shaded from the sun for all but the last few hours of the day. As somewhere 'to chill out', it is a hard place to beat. Even the occasional noisy car or truck passing seldom attract attention for more than a second or two. Visitors unfamiliar with Tobago need have no concerns about the cottage being so close to the main north coast road. The peak daytime traffic flow is probably no more than one vehicle a minute.

The bedroom area is dominated by a high wooden double bed with a framed net. Each side of the bed benefits from a nightstand and lamp. I am not a great fan of mosquito nets and, in truth, seldom use them. However, framed nets like this are effective and easy to use and the large ceiling fan ideally located above the bed certainly avoided any stuffiness.

The dividing wall between the living and bedroom areas hides two wooden wardrobe units. These provide guests with some 1.25m of full-length hanging space, plus a similar amount of shelving.

The bathroom leads off the bedroom and offers a washbasin inset into a vanity unit, with lots of storage space for toiletries, plus a toilet and walk-in shower. The showerhead was slightly past its best, but I'm delighted to report that this was changed only a few weeks after our visit. Water pressure was good that there were no shortages of hot water.

There is also a tap and concrete shower tray on the exterior of the cottage – a very useful facility that avoids bringing sand into the cottage when returning from the beach.

When renting Essex Cottage as a two-bedroom unit, the lower floor is brought into action. Parents with young children should note that there is no internal access between the lower bedroom and the main cottage. Access is via external steps located at the side of the cottage.

The lower bedroom comprises of a single 7.6 x 2.9m room with two single beds and a spacious en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower. Although the lower room has large net-covered windows, it does not have quite the same open feel as the upper floor.

Needless to say, the cottage is not air-conditioned. Installing it would destroy the very nature of the property. We kept the window open throughout the day and never found the cottage too warm. In fact, during the nights we needed to avail ourselves of the extra blankets provided as a supplement to the normal top sheet.

In keeping with the ethos of Essex Cottage, there is no TV or telephone and the house does not benefit from Internet access. Some computer devices may be able to connect to the house Wi-Fi from the cottage porch, but all these services will be available to guests through the simple expedient of walking down to the main house.

Swimming Pool & Grounds

Immediately below the main house, and with direct access through the gardens from Essex Cottage, is a small (max 8.7 x 3.5m) but attractive infinity-edge swimming pool. The pool is set into a lovely flagstone surround with a few sun beds and chairs for those who wish to top up their tan. A word of warning, however: visitors often fail to appreciate how powerful the sun is this close to the equator. Liberal and frequent application of high-factor sun block is essential.   

The extensive hillside grounds of Gloucester Place are well maintained and truly a place of beauty. The gardens have matured since our first visit and whilst this has slightly impeded on the sea views, it is worth it because the valley is so stunning.

The grounds are full of fruit trees, including mango, banana and coconut. An easy grass path zigzags down the hillside from the house and cottage to the bottom of the gorge. Here, the tiny River Creighton splashes its way over the rocks and down to the sea. It is a place of serene quiet and peace; a place to sit and ponder and perhaps reassess your hectic life at home.

Beach

Although it can't quite be seen from Gloucester Place, Parlatuvier Bay is immediately adjacent to the property. The walk to the beach should take no more than 5-6 minutes. Be warned, however – the walk back will take somewhat longer as it is up-hill.

Parlatuvier beach is sandy and invariably devoid of tourist. You may be lucky enough to see the fishermen pulling in the seine nets. This is always a wonderful sight. However, please do not take photographs without permission. When respect is shown, the fishermen will seldom refuse, but bad manners will cause offence.

The best swimming is to the right of the jetty, when facing the sea. The beach shelves quite steeply, but this should not be a problem to those who are expecting the sudden dip.

Conclusion

Gloucester Place offers two very different types of accommodation. The only thing they have in common is the stunning views and ambience of their location and the caring hosts who do so much to ensure that every stay is magical.

The guest house is quite unique. Without question of doubt, there is nothing to equal, or even compare, with Gloucester Place in northern Tobago. It offers the very highest standards of comfort in an environment as near to nature as you could wish.

Essex Cottage bears a strong resemblance to a number of more upscale self-catering cottages in Castara. The stunning Parlatuvier location, away from the hubbub of a village, gives this cottage a distinct and unique edge.

Make no mistake; the accommodation offered by this property will not be to everyone's taste. Thank heavens! This section of the Tobago coast is as near the 'real' Tobago as you can still get. No matter how comfortable the accommodation, you have to accept that you aren't going to stroll to a huge hypermarket and be able to take your choice from two dozen brands of coffee. This is raw, untouched, non-commercialised island life.

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 100%   . Click below to read the 106 reader reports that this is rating is based on.

Lucy Gilmour from U.S.A. visited in April 2018 and awarded   

Our family spent a wonderful few nights at Gloucester Place. We were looking for a peaceful and relaxing place to stay - and found it here. The view is incredible, overlooking the Caribbean Sea and the many trees and tropical shrubs on the property are host to the great variety of birds found in this northern part of the island, close to the rainforest. Our hosts Bea and Win could not have been more welcoming and were very generous in helping us to plan trips and giving us beach recommendations close to Parlatuvier. We loved everything about this part of the island, the people whom we met, Englishman's Bay, a trip up to Charlotteville and Pirate's Bay, a rainforest hike with Fitzroy and the village of Castara. Our teenagers were also very happy spending time in the infinity pool, eating the wonderful breakfasts and relaxing in our cool and airy rooms. It is definitely useful to have a car here. We hope to be back - and to spend time in Essex Cottage too. Thanks Bea and Win for a very memorable vacation!

Nicole Bojtos from Canada visited in March 2018 and awarded   

We spent our first week in the guest house and the second week in Essex cottage. Both weeks were fantastic. It was nice waking to a wonderful breakfast while staying in the guest house and was also nice having a kitchen at our disposal in the cottage. We loved both and would definitely recommend a stay with Win and Bea who are fabulous hosts. I miss our chats and our happy hours! We will absolutely be returning.

Location Map

To view a detailed interactive map showing the location of this property relative to restaurants, shops and sightseeing features, click this link  

Guest Rooms:$90 - $150
Essex Cottage:$100 - $160
Minimum Nights:3 nights
Property Type:Guest House
Bedrooms:4
Maximum Guests:8
Air-Conditioned:A/C in Bedrooms
Children:Children welcome
Hair Dryers:Available
Telephone:Central facility
Internet Access:Yes
Television:TV available in common room
Safety Deposit:Central safe via Managers
Wheelchair Access:No
Swimming Pool:Full pool
Restaurant:0
Meal Plans:

Housekeeping:Daily housekeeping
Baby-Sitting:Can generally be arranged locally
Personal Laundry:Yes
Personal Cooking:No information
Location:Parlatuvier
Region:Upper Caribbean
Location Type:Very Rural
Airport:70 minutes
Beach:6-10 minute Walk