We’ve just returned from our two weeks vacation on Tobago, and we can safely recommend Top O’Tobago as the BEST place to stay on the island. In short, Top O’Tobago is simply unrivalled when it comes to the combination of comfort, safety, privacy, cleanliness, service, and the aesthetic and recreational qualities of its surroundings.
We spent 8 nights in the Villa, which is situated on the top of a hill overlooking lush tropical vegetation with the distant view of Arnos Vale Bay, and we enjoyed every bit of our stay there. We were four adults, but the villa can easily sleep up to six persons.
It is very spacious, functional and nicely furnished. Outside, there is a lovely swimming pool area, with a large patio in the middle of an impressive tropical garden with bougainvilleas, plumbago, hibiscus, yellow allamanda, coconut palms, and mango, papaya, avocado and flamboyant trees. What additionally enhances the quality of your stay there is the presence (and sounds) of a wide variety of tropical animals, such as parrots, geckos, frogs, lizards, and, most notably, the cute hummingbirds.
Within the pool area, there are sun beds, as well as small tables with chairs, enabling you to totally unwind while admiring the breathtaking views after the refreshing dip in the pool. On the rear side of the villa, there are also two stylish gazebos, surrounded by beautiful tropical flowers and trees. The entire swimming pool area in particular and the hotel’s grounds in general, are very well maintained and kept very clean - the pool itself is cleaned every day (early in the morning) and the only thing you are likely to find in the water is the occasional flowers, brought there by the ever present breeze. (During our stay on Tobago, we saw swimming pools in some other hotels, and they were all far from clean.)
The best thing inside the villa is undoubtedly the living room and the kitchen, which are connected with each other. The living room has a comfortable couch and two arm-chairs, a library (with many good books about T&T), a brand new widescreen “Sony” TV-set with DVD, and a stereo with quite a reasonable CD collection (including Putumayo CDs). Also, free internet connection is available there. The kitchen is really well-equipped (oven, micro oven, refrigerator + freezer, coffee maker, juicer, and all the required utensils - just to mention the most important things). There is also a huge kitchen table with solid and comfortable chairs in the section common to the kitchen and living room. Moreover, the Villa contains two bedrooms, one working room and three bathrooms (two with inside, and one with outside shower). Although there is no air-conditioning in the villa, this does not cause any inconvenience at all, as there is at least one ceiling fan present in every room.
In addition to providing a matchless opportunity for relaxation in the stunning and tranquil Caribbean scenery, Top O’Tobago also provides an excellent spot for exploring the island’s numerous attractions, the closest of which is Arnos Vale Beach. The beach is about 5 min. walking distance from the foot of the hotel’s hill, and you can get there using two parallel footpaths (the one passing through the grounds of Arnos Vale Hotel being more attractive). Although not as spectacular as, for example, Englishman Bay, Arnos Vale is truly a nice and quiet tropical beach, offering you much needed shade under the sea grape trees and, even more importantly, fantastic snorkeling. We thought that the best snorkeling was on the right-hand side of the beach. Among the species to be seen are brain corals, sponges, angelfish (both Queen and French), four eyed butterfly fish, yellow tail damselfish, spotlight parrotfish, trumpet fish, Caribbean squid, sea turtles and many others. We had snorkeled on several beaches on Tobago and only Castara Beach can offer you equally rich aquatic life so close to the shore.
Other attractions close to the hotel include the Mot Mot Trail and the Hidden Bay. Farther away, there is much more to be seen: Highland Fall (which we visited due to the courtesy of Hugh Baker, who runs the hotel), Buccoo Reef (if you are after snorkeling, try to hire a boat with a fisherman, instead of going on a trip with some crowded glass-bottom boat) and, finally, Castara Beach, Englishman Bay and Pirate Bay - all of which are truly lovely spots, lying within less than 1h driving distance from Top O’Tobago. (Good snorkeling on all these beaches, especially on Castara, where you can see stingrays and turtles.)
Our review of Top O’Tobago would not be quite fitting, though, if it did not contain a note concerning the man who put a great effort into making that place what it is now, Hugh Baker. Hugh was the perfect host for us from the very moment we stepped into his jeep in the airport car park area. He was taking care of us in an exemplary way – paying attention to our needs and expectations, but without invading our privacy. His great knowledge about the island and its people is admirable, and his respectful hospitality is invaluable.
In summary, then: if you want to spend a relaxing and luxurious time away from crowds and in tune with nature; if you want to enjoy the benefits of a private villa and, at the same time, get the service delivered by the best “standard” hotels; if you want to spend highly comfortable, relaxing, exhilarating, and yet affordable vacation on the island – then the choice is pretty obvious: Choose Top O’Tobago, one of those very few hotels that look as good as on the photograph and give you more than you’ve bargained for!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Top O Tobago is a villa which occupies the entire crest of a hill close to Caribbean Sea coast of SW Tobago. It takes 5 minutes to walk to the closest beach and there is a 360 degree view of the surrounding hills, valleys and coastline. The villa is comprised of a main 3 bedroom house, 3 studio apartments and 1 one bedroom apartment, each with its own patio and garden, and access to a common swimming pool. The villa offers the best of both rural and urban lifestyles. It is located on several acres of land with flower gardens, fruit trees, jungle vegetation and walking paths; but it is also within a 10 to 20 minute drive of numerous restaurants and shopping facilities. Top O Tobago is truly at the nexus of many worlds. ... more less