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Cuffie River Nature Retreat and Eco-Lodge
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All reviewstail endasa wrightnature loversthe owner managerbird watchinghumming birdshour walkalarm clockthree nightshummingbird feedersthe salt water poolfelt securebird lifecallaloo soupfrench doorsvery special placecommon areas
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Reviewed May 2, 2014

As a longtime nature tour leader, I've chosen Cuffie River Nature Retreat exclusively for the past decade as my base of operations in Tobago. The site is remote yet accessible, the participants always rate the food as the best on any T&T trip, the accommodations are clean and extremely spacious, and the staff strives in every way to make everyone feel like part of a large, loving family. Regina Dumas, the owner/manager, built the lodge primarily with native Tobago materials and is very ecologically aware. Feeders bring many species of birds to close proximity, including the very rare White-tailed Sabrewing hummingbird. My next visit will be in July, with my daughter, who has never been to Cuffie River -- and to me it will be like giving her a mid-year Christmas present to have her experience Cuffie River. It is true that in this quiet, secluded part of Tobago there is no partying style of nightlife, but for those seeking a peaceful vacation, this should be your Tobago destination.

Room Tip: If you book the honeymoon suite, you'll almost need a map to find your way around -- it's one of the largest rooms in any lodge in which I've ever stayed.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

My girlfriend and i stayed april 23-25 and was very sad to leave this extraordinary place. after touring around Tabago for a week we stumbled upon this hidden gem and decided we should of stayed the whole week here. hidden away in the hills of Tabago it was a little tricky finding the lodge in the twisted roads of Tabago. Being far from the road cars and other city noise could not be heard.. only the squawks and sounds of local birds. upon arrival we were politely greeted and shown around this tranquil beauty. our room was the cheapest in the lodge but yet was perfect. we woke to the sounds of tropical birds and a 5 star breakfast served with the best class.. the juice was fresh squeezed from the tree out back.. very personal and excellent service. thank you. can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: there is no AC or Tvs in rooms but the fresh breeze and lack of bugs makes this open aired hotel a time stopper.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank kgalassi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We came to Cuffie River after 5 days of intense birding in Trinidad. Perfect timing and location! We needed a break from guided tours and this was exactly it. Regina has an enchanting nature hideaway-REALLY NICE PLACE! Everything about the decor was just right, balanced, upscale yet natural and in harmony with the surroundings. We had the honeymoom suite which was huge and amazing and more than anyone could need for at least a months stay. The property is just big enough to give you a trail to wander in the mornings and at dusk, and the rest of the day you can relax by the pool, watching the swallows dip their feet and beaks in the water, reading a book just watching to see what flys by. The meals were very good, wine available if you ask. The owner was available just enough and never too much-we felt like we were guests in someone's home more than at a resort. I wish I would have had 4 or 5 days here to explore the library and take time to check the view from all her different vantage points. A guide is available if you haven't had enough birding and make sure to go to Gilpin Trace with a guide as well to see some birds you can't see in Trinidad. Thank you Regina for sharing this special place! It was worth the trip! Of all the places I stayed during our T&T trip, this was by far the best and probably only one I would go back to. A slice of heaven in the peaceful (and deadly snake-free!) rainforest of Tobago.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank winstonteaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2014

A ten bedroom hotel in beautiful natural surroundings, rain forest on all sides with the gently flowing Cuffie River 100m down the slope. One is given the space to unwind and relax. In fact we were on our own for two nights – and the most full it got was 8. The hotel has a gorgeous wooden interior with wooden and orangey-red brick exterior, which gives a glowing warmth when the sun is on it helping to induce a mood of relaxation.

Room: try to get the triple aspect Room 7 with its beautiful soft furnishings in Jacamar colours. The room is only let down by its lack of drawer space (has a few shelves) and ‘worktop’ space but Regina has said she will look at that aspect. The only other niggle is that there is a floor level small window next to the bed - I hung a towel over it at night.
There are however, lots of places to sit and an enormous bed! Basically its two doubles with one mattress – amazing. It does feel expensive but then one is 20 minutes away from the nearest main road and it is the best room in a unique hotel.

Noise: from the Cane Toads at night is spectacular! Never heard anything like it. Take ear plugs! (its not every night and may just be in January I've no idea to be honest!).

Mosquitos: They exist so take precautions. We closed up our shutters and curtains every night.

Birding: there are trails around the property – you’ll have to ask Regina, and she will explain. She won’t put them up on the website. Regina basically leaves you in peace so if you need to speak to her you have to hunt her out. Desmond will take you on a guided walk to see birds – if you have any target species let him know. He also has vast plant knowledge and will point out for example, the sugar bush, which when soaked in water and the water drunk will lower blood sugar. A very interesting man who has been associated with Cuffie River for nearly 20 years (if my memory serves correctly!). Humming birds will try to fly through your room (if you’ve got 7 anyway) and they certainly fly through the hotel from side to side to get to the feeders. You will get wonderful pics of them on the bird feeders – I didn’t even take a tripod – but use 4000 of a second shutter speed if you have it. You will undoubtedly see the Common Potoo and the White-tailed Nightjar, and the Red-Crowned Woodpecker as they all feed around either the lights, or the bamboo sticks when fruit is put out on them.

Massage: Highly recommend it. I had a fantastic one – can’t remember her name but she is the masseur who visits.

Pool: it has a reasonable size pool. The poolside furniture has seen better days to be honest and I thought this let the hotel down really. There was only one sunbed (may there were more somewhere hidden away), however, it is sublime to be able to swim and watch a Black-faced Grassquit giving me a piece of its mind as I was invading his territory! Not to mention being able to get pretty close up pics of two romantic Smooth-billed Anis on a branch nearby.

Room Tip: Room 7 has triple aspect.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Getawaying
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We stayed 22-25 Jan as part of a three-week tour of T&T. It is a remote and delightful place, with large airy rooms and superb local food. We spent the mornings walking the local trails (the one uphill directly opposite the hotel is blocked by fallen trees after a few hundred yards, but there is an interesting circular route just off the road out) and the afternoons swimming in the pool. This is large for a hotel, so you can get decent lengths in, and is raised up in in its own area, so the views of the jungle are magnificent. It is a very quiet and restful place - no air-conditioning or inroom TVs! (It does not need a fitness centre - the score below is for the swimming pool.)

Room Tip: We had the end one downstairs, which was lovely - I forget the number.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank tony l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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