By George Wayne
By now you ought to have realized that right about now is the moment to begin planning the perfect spring sojourn and as you would expect yours truly has the perfect Caribbean getaway for you. It’s one of the last undiscovered gems of the Eastern Caribbean - the pristine, gorgeous and very much under the radar island called Tobago. Of course, you most know it as the baby sister of the eastern Caribbean republic of Trinidad. Tobago is the tiny flawless dot of exotica that sits basically as the miniature crown atop the vast continent of Latin America; it being a few kilometers and Longitude 61.5W of the northeast coast of Venezuela. It may have been declared Island Of The Year by Caribbean Travel Trade organization in 2102 but come 2014 I do believe is the year Tobago will tantalize the imagination of the truly astute world traveller.
I could not imagine a more perfect setting for an A-List Hollywood celebrity. For the most perfect, setting for the chicly secluded and unforgettable movie star wedding, you can’t beat The Villas At Stonehaven in Black Rock, Tobago. On a hillside with the most spectacular vista of the Caribbean Sea are scattered fourteen fabulous villas --The Villas at Stonehaven www.stonehavenvillas.com - each more beautiful than the next - all ready and waiting to be rented all at once by some erstwhile A-List celebrity and guests and her quest for that perfect uber-private wedding.
The famous Swedish architect, Arne Hasselqvist, designed the fourteen gorgeous colonial style villas on this pastoral hillside. They all have vast, lush landscaped lawns of flamboyant trees of deep red blooms and assorted bourganvillea, palm trees and bamboo. Each villa has their own infinity pool and the property is set on 150 acres surrounded by one of the most protected and famous rain forests and natural bird sanctuaries in the entire West Indies. So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that every morning you will be roused by the braying of the horny miniature ‘cockrico’ peacocks and their mating calls. And it only costs $50,000 to take over the entire property of fourteen villas for an entire week. If you ask GW that is one incredible bargain!
I discovered ‘’the next Kate Moss’’ I like to tell my fashionista friends on the island of Tobago last year when GW’s presence was requested to take in one of the most talked about social events of the Caribbean - Tobago Fashion Week. The exotic Trinidad gazelle, Soowan Bramble is the stunning splitting image of a gamine Kate Moss, albeit with cocoa brown skin but with the same flawless cheekbone structure a-la-Kate Moss.
Tobago Fashion Week held every May is certainly one great reasons to spring a long weekend visit to beautiful Tobago. After the taxi ride from the surprisingly posh and modern local airport ANR Robinson International Airport to your fabulous villa at Stonehaven - the first thing to do is ask the villa butler - there is one with every cottage - to put in an order of the seafood crepe, the signature dish at, then have the radio set to Radio CJJ – Caribbean Super Station, dash to the beach, sea, sun up and relax before heading to the fashion shows held every night on the island’s finest beach, Pigeon Point.
It is the most divine fashion cavalcade imaginable. Fashion designers from all over the Caribbean - local superstars like Meiling, Ria Ria Ramkussen, and Chandra Maharaj and Rachel Ross, Rochelle Paris and Claudia Pegus, my favorite fashion designer out of Trinidad & Tobago, along with other designers from Puerto Rico, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, New York and London show their work.
A three night extravaganza of local fashion talent is usually followed by a mahi mahi or blue marlin fish bake right there on the beautiful moonlit beach. There is no other Fashion Week anywhere in the world quite like this one in Tobago every May - kudos to Dave Elliott and his team. May is also the same month when the Tobago Culinary Festival is also held and if fashion or food are not enough reason for you to jump on an airplane and go, how about the Tobago International Game & Fishing Tournament (www.tgft.com-868-678-7171) and the Tobago Cycling Classic are sportier, athletic endeavors that draw international visitors each year to this beautiful island. The Tobago Jazz Festival every April has drawn the likes of Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah and Dionne Warwick - who all of course take up residence at the Villas at Stonehaven when in Tobago.
If you wanted to, one could traverse the entire island of Tobago in one day, and if you have ever visited any other neighbor islands to this one, you realize that Tobago too boasts that wonderful traditional local old time architecture of clipped eaves and closed gables with thick stone walls in that signature Victorian style - quite charming and romantic. The islands 32 miles per hour speed limit affords enchanting stops along the way such as one of the many ancient forts such as Ft. James which dot the island, which was built circa 1778. And with over 60 established dive sites especially the shallow reefs along its northern tip that lends itself to perfect scuba diving. Above sea, the fact that this tiny island has more than 220 local to the island only species of birds is one main reason Tobago has long been recognized as a bird watcher’s paradise.
And I could not forget to tell those field naturalists outthere that a visit to Tobago requires a visit to the amazing Argyle Falls - the three-tiered waterfalls near the town of Roxborough. That said - the dry season from January to June are the best times to visit Tobago and do not hesitate to reach out -- www.visittobago.gov.tt or telephone 1-868-639-2125. And I will be in touch. •