This vacation cannot come any sooner. Where am I going you may ask? I’m headed to one of the least “touristy” islands in the Caribbean, Tobago. Known as the sister island of Trinidad, Tobago boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, best local hospitality, and probably the most important aspect, it’s the best place to get away from big city traffic and congestion. After all the craziness endured, I make it to JFK to catch my flight to Tobago. Excited, anxious and ready to spend my next 48 hours in paradise!
6pm: I touchdown at the ANR Robinson airport, greeted by a gentle breeze as I exit the plane and make my way to the terminal. Ahhh – tropical bliss – I can already feel my body starting to unwind. After getting my luggage, I am met by the very pleasant Marcia Arnold of Elshaddai’s Taxi Service and we head off to the hotel. Next stop – Bacolet Beach Club!
7pm: The hotel where I am staying, Bacolet Beach Club, is gorgeous! Developed by former model Gloria Jones-Knapp, it’s an exclusive boutique hotel that successfully mixes luxury elements with personal charm. A speedy check-in process and I am quickly absorbing the ocean view from my room – I later learn that all rooms at Bacolet have an ocean view.
8pm: I headed down to the hotel’s Café Havana Lounge & Bar which boasts ‘Latin style cuisine with Tobago soul’. It was the perfect end to the day as I unwound with a light appetizer and the delicious house special ‘Dragopolitan’ cocktail.
9am: I woke up bright and early and had room service bring my breakfast to the room and ate right on my balcony. I soaked up some sun and enjoyed the melody of Cuban-Asian-Creole delicacies sumptuously arrayed around my plate.
10am: I took a short walk along the private beach. Here I was able to truly appreciate my new surroundings and get some sand between my toes. Ahh…..adios Nueva York!
11:30am: Marcia picked me up right on time in her spiffy Audi taxi and we head off to Buccoo Reef! I had read much on the reef so I am quite excited when we set off in a glass bottom boat with George, our intrepid boat captain, across the calm emerald waters. Donning my snorkeling gear, I jumped into the world below and was immediately captured by the stunning beauty. The reef is home to stunning tropical fish, exotic marine wildlife and millions of coral polyps. The fish were majestic, in all variety of different colors, patterns, shapes and sizes, and seemed unfazed by the humans invading their home. The nylon pool was another natural wonder. A short 5 minute boat ride from the reef and there I was standing in the middle of the ocean in the bluest water which did not pass my waist. It was an amazing experience.
After the snorkeling trip, we headed back to the hotel but not before I picked up my lunch at Store Bay. On the menu was ‘Miss Trim’s’ famous crab n’ dumpling’ – a delicious dish of curried crab served with flat flour dumplings. Yum!
7pm: After a long nap and soothing bubble bath, I decided to have dinner at the highly rated La Tartaruga. Proprietor Chef Gabriele is extremely charismatic. He floats around the dining room as much a host as a friend to his various guests. The restaurant is relatively small (probably seating under forty) but has an impressive wine selection. Chef Gabriele is quite the conversationalist but in that infectious Italian manner, completely lovable (not to mention easy on the eyes). La Tartaruga lived up to its fine culinary reputation and the meal was quite memorable.
6am: The next morning I decided to watch the sunrise and enjoy my last day on the island in its entirety. I went out on the beach and took a long walk where I enjoyed the peace and serenity of stillness.
9am: Later on I headed to Kariwak Village, a holistic haven that allows its guests to “retreat, recharge and renew” sounded like just what I needed. I decided to grab breakfast at their restaurant which specializes in healthy food and uses fresh herbs and seasonings grown right on their grounds.
10am: After breakfast, it was time for yoga; perfect for recharging my batteries, mentally and physically. Long live the ‘downward facing dog’.
12pm: After yoga I had a massage after which my body felt fully relaxed. Do I really have to catch a flight back to the concrete jungle that is New York in a few short hours? Aargh!
2pm: Trusty Marcia was waiting after my massage took me back to the hotel where I packed up and enjoyed one last cocktail before it was time to head to the airport.
6pm: Sooner than I can remember even getting here, it was time to go. Back to life, back to reality. I thoroughly enjoyed my whirlwind trip to Tobago; it brought adventure, relaxation and a taste of what the beautiful island has to offer.