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Kapinjala - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation
 

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Kapinjala, Tobago

Kapinjala

4-bedroom Holiday Rental Villa

Kapinjala is an immensely striking 4-bedroom luxury villa situated on a hillside in beautiful Arnos Vale. The villa offers the most stunning views over the... surrounding hills and out to sea. This is one of the most tranquil properties that we have ever stayed at in Tobago and the villa offers the very highest standards of accommodation. The views from the house, deck and infinity pool are almost impossible to describe. We can only summarise our feelings by saying that we think it will be some time before any other property impresses us quite as much as Kapinjala. [read more]

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Kapinjala

4-bedroom Holiday Rental Villa in Arnos Vale, Tobago

Kapinjala is an immensely striking 4-bedroom luxury villa situated on a hillside in beautiful Arnos Vale. The villa offers the most stunning views over the surrounding hills and out to sea. This is one of the most tranquil properties that we have ever stayed at in Tobago and the villa offers the very highest standards of accommodation. The views from the house, deck and infinity pool are almost impossible to describe. We can only summarise our feelings by saying that we think it will be some time before any other property impresses us quite as much as Kapinjala.

click/tap the photo to view a gallery of 34 photos

Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

Kapinjala is a luxury four bedroom villa situated on a hillside within the old Arnos Vale Sugar Plantation Estate overlooking the beautiful Arnos Vale Bay, the Caribbean Sea and Buccoo Reef.

Passing through the property’s electric gates you will enter a large driveway and car port area where you will encounter, during your stay, our resident hummingbirds feeding on the nectar of the flora.

Entering through the front door you will be taken aback by the spacious fan-shaped living area which opens out onto a vast covered veranda offering seating, dining and BBQ areas. The beautiful sunshine, supplemented with the cooling effects of a near-constant rain forest breeze that passes across the veranda and pool deck, allows for both sunbathing and chilling out in equal measures.

On either side there are steps down to the lovely pool deck, 8-person jacuzzi and 40ft infinity swimming pool – complete with “liming” step. All aspects of the villa offer breathtaking views of the sea or the rainforest – the world’s oldest nature reserve.

Relax in the living area and watch the TV which offers many satellite channel options or view a film on the DVD player. Alternatively, chill-out and listen to some music on the CD/MP3 sound system which will also allow for USB connection to play and charge your iPod or other MP3 player. A selection of books and board games can also be found on the bookshelves.

Peckish? Thirsty? Jump up and head for the large kitchen with solid wood cabinets and granite worktops. Grab a snack from the fridge/freezer and a cold Carib beer from the drinks fridge. Two ice makers ensure that there is always plenty of ice available for those rum cocktails. The kitchen is fully equipped with top of the range cooker, microwave, dishwasher and coffee maker.

All four bedrooms are fitted with air conditioning and also ceiling fans. High quality mattresses and luxury cotton bed linen ensure a good night’s sleep. In the morning, throw open the balcony doors, in the three bedrooms situated in the main villa, and enjoy the bright sunshine and wonderful views. Take a few minutes to look out over the estate and you will see green parrots and paarakeets, blue and grey tanagers, bananaquits, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and frigate birds to name but a few.

All four bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms with ceiling fans and are equipped with built-in wardrobes, walk-in showers, WC, basin and hairdryer.

There are two upstairs terraces. The sea view terrace offers a serene area to escape from other guests for a catnap or a quiet read on the hammock or one of the day beds, or simply an opportunity to take in the fantastic views and ponder life.

Downstairs, there is a powder room and other amenities include a guest safe, an intercom entry system and a house alarm system.

The grounds of approximately one acre are quickly maturing. The automatically irrigated flower beds offer wonderful bursts of colour which are attracting many birds including several species of hummingbirds and the mixture of established plantation trees along with our freshly planted palms and fruit trees blend well together to ensure seclusion and a feeling of being at one with nature..

Your Kapinjala Experience starts when you are met at the airport and taken to the villa where there will be a Caribbean rum punch waiting for you. Your welcome pack will include provisions for the night and the following morning and a welcome meal will be in the fridge. There will be some ice-cold Carib beers in the drinks fridge and a bottle of Caribbean rum to help you relax on your first night.

Your housekeeper will visit six times a week, but not on Sundays or public holidays, to carry out cleaning duties and ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay for you and your friends.

If you decide to hire a car, we can organise this for you at discounted rates and arrange for the car to be delivered to the villa at your convenience. We are also happy to assist you in arranging island, rain forest and bird watching tours and also boat trips, snorkelling and diving excursions. Other activities include fishing, sailing, windsurfing and surfing, horse riding, mountain biking and off road safaris. For those golf enthusiasts, there are two 18-hole Championship golf courses within 15 minutes of the villa.

We want your Kapinjala Experience to be relaxing, memorable and special.

We are sure it will be.

myTobago Review

Holiday Rental Villa, Arnos Vale, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at Kapinjala in March 2015.

Introduction

Kapinjala is a fascinating 4-bedroom luxury rental villa located on the clifftop beside Arnos Vale bay. The villa offers the most breath-taking views of Tobago's hilly interior and dramatic coastline that we have ever seen. It is furnished and equipped to the highest possible standards and in the most elegant and tasteful of styles. Kapinjala represent a wonderful holiday home for parties of up to eight adults.

Location

This beautiful villa is located on the magnificent Arnos Vale estate. Originally a sugar and cocoa plantation, the estate was destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963. Boasting a picture-postcard beach, exceptional snorkelling and the finest bird habitat on the island, the plantation eventually became home to one of Tobago's first hotels. Afternoon tea at the Arnos Vale Hotel, watching hummingbirds and other tropical species feed, became a visitor 'must'. Sadly, lack of investment and bad management outweighed the attributes and the hotel eventually closed.

Kapinjala is located on the northern side of the hotel grounds. It is situated on a high bluff adjacent to the bay. However, trees and foliage conceal all but teasing glimpses of the beach. Only the keenest-eyed visitor will notice any of the old hotel buildings.

In our opinion, Arnos Vale marks the start of the 'real Tobago'. The terrain is unique and markedly different from that of the coral-based flatlands to the south, or the lush rainforest to the north. The Arnos Vale plantation lies in the lush shallow valleys created between a series of highly distinctive scrub-covered humpback hills that run from Plymouth to the island's mountainous rainforest-covered main ridge.

We have stayed at well over 80 hotels, guesthouses, holiday apartments and rental houses on Tobago. We have inspected countless others. Many have offered spectacular views. Not one has bettered the views at Kapinjala, both in terms of the width of panorama and the range of land and seascape seen. Guests benefit from a vista extending more than 180°. The sea views stretch from Arnos Vale Bay down to Pigeon Point and Buccoo Reef. The interior views range from the low hills of southern Tobago to the start of the Main Ridge rainforest reserve in the north. The scale and width of the panorama is so vast that neither photographs nor video can do it full justice. It is something that has to be seen to be appreciated.

Arnos Vale is a 30-minute drive from the airport. The location is relatively isolated, total rural and further from the main shopping and restaurant areas than most villas. Against that, you are in the most beautiful part of Tobago. Nature abounds. This is what Tobago is really about.

Guests staying at Kapinjala receive a full meet and greet service at the airport from the property's friendly and efficient manager, Helen. A self-drive rental vehicle is essential. Local shopping is limited and there are no facilities within walking distance.

Architecture

The Trinidadian architects of Kapinjala did a magnificent job. They took full advantage of the spectacular location, whilst creating a practical and yet aesthetically pleasing two storey four-bedroom house.

The house is of modern concrete block construction, but rendered and painted to give an intentionally 'aged' appearance. The frontage of the house extends out from the hillside and features one of the largest and most attractive infinity edge pools on Tobago. A fourth bedroom, with independent access, is situated beneath the pool.

Kapinjala sits in an acre of hillside garden. The gardens have matured since our first review, five years ago, and are a riot of colour. They are also a haven for the wonderful birdlife that is so much a mark of Arnos Vale. In fact, the house is so encompassed by lush mature tropical trees and shrubs that it was impossible to capture all the external photographs that I would have liked.

The lower reaches of the old Motmot Trail that provides access to Kapinjala, and half dozen other villas in the area, has now been surfaced. Guests no longer suffer the bumpy ride of previous years. Another change is the remotely controlled security gates that now protect the narrow steep concrete road leading to the top of the hill, supplementing the original electric security gates that lead into the villa itself.

There is a six-inch step from the drive to the house. The main terrace and pool deck are on different levels with a few short steps between each. There are no wheelchair ramps. Although one bedroom is located at ground level, the villa is unlikely to be suitable for wheelchair users and may also prove a challenge to those with serious mobility issues.

Accommodation

Kapinjala offers an internal accommodation area of around 4,000ft2/375m2. This includes covered terrace and balconies, but not the pool terrace. The villa interior is clean and bright and features white-painted walls, high ceilings and wide window and doors to enhance the feeling of light and space.

The four bedrooms are air-conditioned, but not the main living area. Nor does it need to be. It would be almost criminal to keep the doors and windows of this gorgeous villa shut, as would be necessary for air-conditioning to work. The hilltop location benefits from the northeast trade winds that blow from the Atlantic coast. It is difficult to describe the sheer sensuous pleasure of a typical Tobagonian evening at Kapinjala, luxuriating in the pleasantly cool breezes that gently caress the skin. Even on the hottest days, we found temperatures equitable throughout the house.

The house is serviced six days a week by friendly housekeeper, Alicia. She was a cheery girl and proved very helpful.

Living Areas

Arriving at Kapinjala, guests have no concept of the panoramic view that will face them as they step across the threshold. Even those familiar with the view cannot help but stop and exclaim. We have visited a huge number of Tobago holiday properties. Many have wonderful views. None has come close to those at Kapinjala.

The houseis triangular. The main entrance is via a covered portico to the rear, at the apex of the two shorter sides. The layout is entirely focussed on the curved longer third side of the triangle. Broad exposed ceiling beams lead the eye from the front door, across the lounge area, through the three wide patio doors and out over the huge covered terrace to the spectacular panorama beyond. Facing almost due south, every room benefits from similar views. Sitting on the main terrace is like being in the front row of a wide-screen cinema.

With the exception of a downstairs bedroom and cloakroom, the ground floor is fully open-plan. The kitchen is separated from the living area by a breakfast bar.

Comfortable living in tropical climates is reliant on space. Lack of clutter helps to create a sense of space and coolness. In our view, Kapinjalahas achieved the ideal balance between practicality, comfort and aesthetics.

It is difficult to imagine that anyone would choose to relax anywhere but on the main terrace. However, for those who wish to avail themselves of the 30-inch flat-screen TV or a DVD, the internal living area offers a cosy refuge – even though 'cosy' is hardly a description that one would normally associate with such a large room. The two sofas and armchair are just so damned comfortable that I became frustrated by my inability to watch a film without falling asleep within a few minutes. Additional entertainment is available in the form of a compact hi-fi system with a small and eclectic collection of CDs, a few board games and playing cards, plus a small library of novels and local-interest books.

The kitchen is spacious and superbly equipped. There is no doubt that it is well up to the task of catering for the villa's maximum occupancy of eight adults. In addition to a large electric oven with grill (broiler), the kitchen is equipped with a microwave oven, dishwasher, large fridge and freezer, plus an additional 'drinks' fridge (both with icemakers), toaster, electric kettle and coffee filter machine. There was enough crockery, cutlery and glassware to accommodate a full complement of guests. A washer and dryer were available, discretely concealed in a kitchen cupboard. Everything was in good condition. The only exception was the dishwasher, which was clearly on its last legs. However, we were advised that this was due for renewal.

A lovely meal of callaloo soup, baked chicken and rice, plus melon for desert awaited our arrival. The fridges were stocked with a comprehensive welcome pack. It totally astounds me how many rental property owners ignore the positive impression created by providing a welcome meal and pack to overseas guests.

Bedrooms

Three bedrooms are located within the main house; two on the upper level and one on the ground floor. The fourth bedroom is a separate unit, located on the lower basement level, beneath the pool deck.

The three main bedrooms are of almost identical size, measuring around 6.3x4m (25sq.m.) including the bathroom. In addition, each bedroom has a 4x1.6m private covered balcony or terrace. They are almost identically furnished. The only material difference is that the master bedroom has a California King (72-inch) bed with four-poster surround, whilst one of the other rooms has a more conventional queen-sized bed and the third two single beds.

The beds are fitted with high quality firm mattresses and high quality linen. Each bedroom is furnished with bedside tables, a small table and a pair of rattan chairs with padded cushions. Attractive rattan roller blinds can be lowered over the windows.

All the bedrooms have modern split-unit air-conditioning units plus overhead fans. The heavyweight cotton sheets were great, but it can get surprisingly chilly in the early hours of the morning. So it was a slight disappointment not to find something like the light cellular blankets found at most properties.

An electric bug-matt mosquito deterrent is provided in each bedroom. We found the island remarkably bug-free this year and would be surprised, given the villa's location, if Kapinjalaever had a problem in this regard.

The en-suite bathrooms are of comfortable size, rather than spacious. They are, however, well furnished, decorated and equipped. Attractive porcelain sinks are inset into sturdy vanity units, with lots of storage space, cupboards, drawers and shelves. Electric shaver sockets are provided, together with wall-mounted hairdryers. Each bathroom has a fully tiled walk-in shower enclosure with a 5-inch raindrop showerhead.

All three bedrooms feature built-in open wardrobes with one metre of three-quarter-length hanging space with lots of hangers, plus half a dozen deep storage shelves and four large drawers.

The fourth bedroom is a little different to the others, but furnished and equipped to the same high standard and in similar style. It is housed beneath the pool deck and accessed via a short flight of stairs from the main terrace. There is no direct access between this bedroom and the main body of the house. It would therefore be unsuitable for young children, but teenagers would probably welcome the separation from parents and older generations.

The fourth bedroom measures approximately 3.3x3.4m (11.2m2), excluding the small bathroom. Because of the nature of the room, it is of somewhat unusual shape and layout. Nevertheless, it is large enough for a double bed, side tables with lamps and a fully furnished bathroom. There is no hanging space, but there is lots of shelf space for clothing and other items. Both the bedroom and bathroom have south-facing windows looking over Arnos Vale bay and beach. Like the other bedrooms, the air-conditioner is supplemented by a large ceiling fan.

Main Terrace

One of Kapinjala's most interesting architectural features is that the house is built in tiered levels. No level interrupts the view of the level above. It resembles a theatre or auditorium, with the wide-screen panorama of hills and seascape representing the stage.

Three steps lead down from the living area to the 4-metre wide covered terrace. In fact, this should probably be called the living area because this is where most guests are likely to spend most of their time while in the villa.

A small breakfast bar separates the kitchen from the lounge. This is the only dining area within the house itself. Instead, a chunky large farmhouse table with bench seating takes pride of place in the centre of the covered terrace. There are also two circular all-weather tables and chairs, ideal for supplementary dining, playing cards or board games, or for just sitting around having a natter. There is direct access from the kitchen onto the terrace and an excellent three-burner bottled gas barbeque.

Aided by the high roof, dining on the terrace is as near al fresco as you can achieve without physically moving to the garden. In fact, the view from the dining table and terrace is just so stunning, both day and night, that frankly we were loath to leave it. We would normally have dined out a few nights during our stay, but in practise dined in every evening so as not to miss the view. 

The terrace is furnished with the most comfortable seating area I have come across. Two seagrass settees and an armchair defy you to move, or stay awake, once you have settled into their superbly comfortable deep upholstery and mass of cushions. In total shade for all but the last few hours of the day, this spot is sure to become a favourite of every guest at Kapinjala.   

Pool Deck

Situated 28 in/0.7m below the terrace, the pool deck is the lowest level of the 'amphitheatre'. It is accessed via stairs at each end of the terrace. To avoid blocking the view and to enhance the effect of the widescreen panorama, there is no balustrade on the six-metre central section of the terrace. Parents will need to keep a very close eye on toddlers and small children.

The pool deck is dominated by a gorgeous 12x4.4m swimming pool with in-built Jacuzzi. The curved infinity-edge of the pool lead the eye seamlessly across the water to the dense green foliage of the hills opposite, or out to sea. The pool features two distinct areas of different depths, ranging from 53-inches (1.35m) to 7 foot (2.1m), plus a shallow (2ft) 'ledge' along the front edge. This makes it ideal for both confident swimmers as well as those who simply want to relax and cool off. One of my favourite pastimes was watching the birds bathing along the infinity edge of the pool.

The heated Jacuzzi was a spectacular place to chill-out under the balmy Caribbean skies. Nude or topless sunbathing is illegal in Tobago and generally considered highly offensive by older Tobagonians, in particular. Kapinjala is so private that guests who wish to get an all-over tan can do so without concern.

The pool deck is furnished with eight sun loungers, although these sadly have no cushions. An external shower is provided for rinsing before and after swimming.

Security

Every door and window in the villa boasts the protection of strong wrought-iron grills or bars. The mottled brown and black paintwork of the grills matches the intentionally aged exterior of the house. Many guests may even consider them something of an aesthetic feature. The house benefits from a remotely controlled security system connected to a local security service. There is also a small built-in security safe.

The villa grounds are protected by two sets of electronic security gates. The first gate guards access to the hilltop on which Kapinjala stands. In theory, this gate is shared with all other properties on the hill. However, at this time there are no known plans for any other properties to be built on the hill.

Finally, the house and grounds are protected by a security guard during the hours of darkness.

All in all, Kapinjala is about as secure as a house can be. The door grills are a nuisance but safety is paramount and security is very much about peace of mind.

Conclusion

The English owners of Kapinjala clearly invested considerable thought and planning into the design and furnishing of this beautiful villa. There is nothing superficial about this house – the elegance and quality go all the way through. Kapinjala is undoubtedly one of the most stunning and comfortable holiday rental villas that we have stayed at or visited on Tobago.

It is hard to summarise our feelings for Kapinjala. We have loved many rental properties on Tobago, but Kapinjala has a special magic and always provides a unique experience.

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 100%   . Click below to read the 48 reader reports that this is rating is based on.

Gareth Thompson from U.K. visited in November 2014 and awarded   

I came to the villa with my lovely girlfriend and our family, and I couldn't have hoped for a better spot on the island. The view is absolutely beautiful, and the space provided here is exceptional. Even with a full house there is plenty of space to do your thing.

We stayed in the double room by the pool which was great fun, and just a short walk to amazing sunshine in the morning.

The beaches and waterfalls that you can get to from this location are without a doubt the best on the island, and there are some of the best local restaurants near by.

10 OUT OF 10! KAPINJALA = FREEDOM

Richard & Gemma James from U.K. visited in November 2014 and awarded   

We have recently returned from our third stay at Kapinjala; we never thought we were the types to return to the same place, let alone the same house, but that was before we went to Kapinjala.

What a fabulous villa in which to spend two weeks relaxing with family. Our highlight on every occasion has been the pool and deck area, where we spent our days reading and relaxing and the evenings drinking in the amazing sunsets with a rum punch in hand. This year was no exception and the recently refurbished terrace only enhanced the experience.

The house itself is excellently appointed, with all four bedrooms being extremely comfortable with spacious bathrooms and luxurious fittings. We stayed in one of the upstairs bedrooms and loved waking to the sounds of the birds and views of Arnos Vale Bay. The kitchen is a pleasure to cook in and is equipped to a standard far superior to any other holiday rentals we have stayed in, and we loved having the barbecue on the terrace; slow cooked BBQ ribs, surf and turf, shrimp, the menu was extensive!

The living area is comfortable, although we hardly spent any time inside, but there is a good range of games and books, and we used our iPods via the sound system to play music, though there was also a small selection of CDs for guests use.

Stacey, the housekeeper looked after us well during our stay and ensured that there was a plentiful supply of fresh towels for beach trips and afternoons by the pool as well as maintaining high standards of cleanliness throughout our stay.

There have been some changes with an extra set of gates installed along the drive to Kapinjala, and we felt safe throughout our stay, both when we were 'at home' and out and about on the island.

On the occasions that we were able to drag ourselves away from the villa we visited our favourite beach, Englishman's Bay, took a luxury powerboat trip on CocoMotion and sampled some great restaurants.

We cannot wait for our next dose of winter sun at Kapinjala and have booked already to return in November 2015 - praise indeed!

Location Map

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

Full Villa:$359
Minimum Nights:3 nights
Property Type:Holiday Rental Villa
Bedrooms:4
Maximum Guests:8
Bathrooms:4 (ensuite)
Air-Conditioned:Air conditioning in all bedrooms.Ceiling fans in all rooms and on the covered terrace.
Children:Children welcome
Hair Dryers:There is a hairdryer in each of the four en-suite bathrooms
Telephone:Landline for making local calls and receiving all calls. Local cell phone for guests use.
Internet Access:Yes
Television:TV, DVD player, CD/MP3/iPod sound system.
Safety Deposit:One safe is provided for use by guests.
Wheelchair Access:No
Swimming Pool:40'x 20' infinity pool. 4'6 liming ledge around pool.
Jacuzzi:8 Person
Catering Options:

Housekeeping:6 times per week
Baby-Sitting:at additional cost
Personal Laundry:No
Personal Cooking:By Arrangement
Location:Arnos Vale
Region:Lower Caribbean
Location Type:Village Outskirts
Airport:25 minutes
Beach:5 minute Drive