Where to stay in Tobago
Where you stay in Tobago depends on what you’re looking for in your Tobago escape. Luxury or budget? Ocean or mountain view? Beach or infinity pool? Villa or hotel room? Room service or self-catering? Retreat or resort…?
The hub: Crown Point & the southwest
This is where you’ll find easy access to restaurants, bars, nightlife, shopping, snorkelling, reef and bioluminescence tours, and a range of accommodation, some in walking distance of the airport. Two of the most popular beaches on the island — Store Bay and Pigeon Point — are nearby.
In this area you’ll find everything from award-winning beach resorts to humble B&Bs. Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort, the Crown Point Beach Hotel, Surfside Hotel, Coco Reef Resort & Spa, and self-catering Belleviste Apartments are popular choices.
Closer to the capital, Scarborough, is the recently opened Magdalena Grand Resort — which shares the lush grounds and golf courses of the Tobago Plantations development — and in Bacolet, the intimate and stylish Bacolet Beach Club boutique hotel and its sister property up the hill, Half Moon Blue Hotel.
The Leeward coast
Not far from Crown Point and the airport, several villa developments and beach resorts open onto the beaches of the popular west coast. Nesting leatherbacks frequent these shores between March and September.
Popular spots line Stonehaven Bay, including Plantation Beach Villas, Seahorse Inn, Grand Courland Resort & Spa (adults only), and Grafton Beach Resort. The elegant Stonehaven Villas are perched on the hillside above the bay.
Themed retreats & holidays
Both the birds and the beaches are never far away in Tobago, but if you want to be in the thick of the best hiking, diving, biking, birding and close encounters with nature, further north and inland might be the ideal locations.
Look out for popular spots like Blue Waters Inn or Top Rankin Guesthouse in the north near the diving mecca, Speyside (from which you can also get boats to Little Tobago island, a haven for birders); and for eco retreats like the popular Footprints Eco Resort (Culloden, on the west coast), the Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Runnemede, near the Main Ridge Forest Reserve), and Top o’ Tobago Villa (in the hills above Arnos Vale).
If you want to disconnect and regroup while close to Crown Point and all its attractions, however, Kariwak Village might be just what you’re looking for.
A Tobago wedding
With a variety of stunning backdrops to choose from, Tobago has become a popular wedding destination. Several resorts and wedding service providers offer custom packages, including honeymoon packages, to make your special day absolutely perfect. Here’s the process:
- Non-residents must establish temporary residency in Tobago by scheduling any wedding activities no less than three full days after arrival
- They must have a valid return ticket
- They must obtain a special marriage license (US$55) at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in Scarborough, with proof of identity (valid passport), and evidence of their single status, including any relevant divorce decrees and death certificates. Non-English documents must be accompanied by notarised English translations. Those who wish to marry under the age of 18 must obtain the written consent of their parent or guardian. The IRD is open Monday–Friday, 8am–4pm. The cashier closes for lunch 12–1pm and at 3pm for the day
- The wedding ceremony will require two witnesses identified by passport, and must be performed between 6am and 6pm
- The couple will receive two marriage certificates that are accepted in most countries. It is advisable to check your nation of origin for any additional requirements.
For more information, visit the Tobago Association of Wedding Professionals: tobagowedpros.com.
Price & availability
Peak season is November–April, including Carnival, Easter, the week of Tobago Jazz Experience — plus virtually any long weekend in T&T! During the July/August or “summer” vacation, visiting Trinidadians also flock to Tobago, especially around Great Fete and Great Race weekends.
Single-family homes begin at TT$1 million (US$160,000), while the grandest and most luxurious can cross TT$20 million (US$3–4 million). The median price is around TT$2–3 million (US$400–500,000). Foreign buyers are required to obtain a licence before investing in property. Property taxes are being reintroduced from 2016, and there is a 5–10% stamp duty payable on most property purchases, plus applicable legal fees. Agencies like the well-established Abraham Tobago Realty; Caribbean Estates, Lands & Villas; and Island Investments can help you buy your piece of paradise.
Properties which are part of the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Industry Certification (TTTIC) programme have been audited by the Trinidad & Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) to ensure that they offer high quality services that meet global standards. The most up-to-date list can be found on the islands’ official tourism portals at gotrinidadandtobago.com and visittobago.gov.tt.
Featured accommodation (in alphabetical order)
Bacolet Beach Club (Bacolet)
639-3551/2357 • firstname.lastname@example.org, bacoletbeachclub.com
Bacolet Beach Club is an exclusive 40-room boutique hotel overlooking an idyllic crescent bay, with its own restaurant, bar, infinity pool, gardens, complimentary wifi, and direct access to the turquoise waters and golden sands of the secluded beach below. Developed by a former fashion model, Gloria Jones-Knapp, this stylish retreat is dedicated to luxury, tranquillity and personal service: its intimate size nurtures a particularly warm and friendly atmosphere. Scarborough and all Tobago’s famous attractions are within easy reach.
Blue Waters Inn (Speyside)
The primary jumping-off point for trips to Little Tobago, the Inn is popular with birders making pilgrimage to Tobago’s diminutive neighbour, as well as those who enjoy the quieter attractions of the island’s northern coast. www.bluewatersinn.com
Cuffie River Nature Retreat (Runnemede)
All the rooms here face the forest, with good reason: there is a great deal to see. Hummingbirds rare and common, birders experienced and novice, find this an ideal place to set up to photograph, record or simply indulge their passion for the tiny colourful whirlwind that is a hummingbird. The guesthouse is spacious, clean and unfussy. www.cuffie-river.com
Coco Reef Resort & Spa (Crown Point)
Even if you’re not staying there, do yourself a favour and visit this Crown Point hotel. A walk through the lobby takes you out onto the terrace, where broad steps lead you straight into the sea. The hotel’s sheltered lagoon is an almost too-good-to-be-true representation of Caribbean beach resort grandeur. www.cocoreef.com
Half Moon Blue Hotel (Bacolet)
(868) 639-2357/3551 (Tobago) • +44 7766746636 (UK mobile) • www.halfmoonblue.com
Nestled in gardens of palms, bamboo, and bougainvillea, Half Moon Blue hotel is set just below historic Fort George, overlooking the hotel’s own bay. The decor of the spacious rooms sets the scene for serene and lazy days, and romantic exotic nights.
Magdalena Grand Beach Resort (Tobago Plantations, Lowlands)
Explore the world in our Caribbean paradise! Tobago has many unique attractions: beautiful beaches, water-sports activities, snorkelling, diving, and a stunning natural environment. The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort is Tobago’s premier oceanfront resort, with 178 deluxe oceanfront rooms and 22 suites, all with breath-taking views. There are three pools, a PGA-designed 18-hole golf course, tennis, spa services, a PADI 5-star dive center, nature trails, and a wide range of dining options.
Tropikist Beach Hotel & Resort (Crown Point)
(868) 639-8512-3 • (868) 671-9143/0631 • email@example.com • www.tropikist.com
Tropikist offers a stunning panoramic view; an ideal location close to the airport; and easy access to beaches, local attractions, and activities. Bask in the sun, then enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets! Tropikist … your tropical destination.
Villas at Stonehaven (Black Rock)
639-0361 • www.stonehavenvillas.com
In the pristine natural beauty of Tobago’s west coast, on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea, are the Villas at Stonehaven — a benchmark villa resort, a tropical hideaway bordering a protected bird sanctuary. Unwind in one of the 14 spacious villas, carefully set out in lush tropical gardens designed to ensure privacy. From your balcony or private infinity pool, immerse yourself in the sounds of the distant ocean, birdsong, and the whispering palms… Or savour the views, scents and sounds of the tropics from the vantage point of the on-site Pavilion Restaurant.
Abraham Tobago Realty
(868) 639-3325 • firstname.lastname@example.org • abrahamrealty.com
A reputable licensed professional with over 30 years experience in North America and the Caribbean. Integrity and professionalism are the hallmarks of owner/broker Brian Abraham’s exceptional personal service, turning clients into life-long friends. Abraham Tobago Realty offers a large selection of properties for sale and for rent as well as a comprehensive property management service to find you your very own place in the sun!
Caribbean Estates, Lands & Villas
Opening its doors in August 2000, Caribbean Estates has a dedicated and energetic team and has quickly grown into an industry leader and one of Tobago’s biggest real estate companies. The organisation’s comprehensive service offers a one-stop shop to those looking for house and land sales, commercial properties, villa rentals and/or property management. Enjoying a reputation for integrity, efficiency and going that extra mile for their clients, Caribbean Estates prides itself on being able to steer its customers reliably through the property maze.
Island Investment Company Limited started off solely as a real estate company, but the numerous requests for property management services, from clients both local and foreign, encouraged the Managing Director Patricia Phillips to include this and other services in the company’s portfolio. Call them today to find out about the many services that they offer. For Island Investments, customer satisfaction is their business!