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“Wonderful haven of tranquility”

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Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
59 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Wonderful haven of tranquility”
Reviewed 4 June 2012

This is a real gem in an area which is not otherwise renowned for a high standard of accommodation. Although very close to the airport do not let that worry you, as the flights are few and far between, and the overriding impression is one of utter tranquility and relaxation. The rustic, spacious rooms are set around a delightful swimming pool and there is a superb restaurant, which unusually caters well for vegetarians. The staff is exceptionally friendly and happy to cater to one's needs and is also very attentive. There are various activities of a therapeutic nature on offer, including various forms of massage and yoga classes. It is very tempting to linger on the premises all day, but if you do venture forth, the famous beaches of Tobago are very close by.

Room Tip: Try and get one near the pool.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alanicus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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332 reviews from our community

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Philadelphia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

In “the Wizard of Oz”, when Dorothy and her companions enter Oz, the movie that up to that point was filmed in black and white, suddenly becomes brilliant color. My wife and I had spent six days in Trinidad in Port of Spain and at the Asa Wright Nature Center then five days at a beachfront resort in Speyside on Tobago’s northeast coast. We had decided while planning our trip to spend the last three days in Crown Point, both for variety and to be near the airport for our return flight.

We had arranged for Peter Cox, a naturalist and guide, to take us on a tour of Tobago as he drove us from Speyside to Crown Point. The trip, with stops for bird watching and lunch, took about six hours. Peter gave us an excellent tour. We had read that Crown Point was the “touristy” part of Tobago. That was not the impression that we got as we approached. It looked busy, but in a work-a-day, commercial rather than a “touristy” way. A simple sign for Kariwak Village pointed to a narrow, nondescript street. Peter drove to a parking area at the end of the street. We rolled our suitcases through the attractive wooden entrance to Kariwak and had our own “Wizard of Oz” experience. We were no longer in Crown Point but in Kariwak’s own beautiful little tropical garden world.

We checked in and went to our room, which was actually a separate little building. The patio had Adirondack type chairs facing a stand of bamboo and palm trees. The room was large with a nicely firm king-sized bed, quiet air conditioning, and a ceiling fan. The bathroom was divided into two tiled areas, one with a stall shower and sink and the other with a toilet and sink.

We walked back through the gardens to dinner in the thatch roofed dining area. There we found music that was a quiet mix of steel pan, jazz, and Latin. (Billy Joel and Antonio Carlos Jobin sound quite pleasant on steel pans.) The food was excellent and fairly priced. My wife had a multi-course meal of soup, a garden salad, and swordfish. We shared her dessert of pineapple tart with homemade vanilla iced cream. We had eaten a big lunch on the way, so I ordered just a sandwich from the bar’s salad and sandwich menu. It was considerably more than “just” – a very large sandwich on thick slices of excellent homemade whole wheat bread. Could the food in Oz have been this good? Other dinners were equally excellent, and the chef went out of her way to accommodate a low sodium requirement for my wife. I am an enthusiastic breakfast eater, and the breakfasts at Kariwak were quite a treat. We started each one with a very generous fresh fruit plate that included perfectly ripe bananas, papaya, pineapple, and watermelon. After that we chose from homemade (of course) yogurt, granola, any style of eggs, homemade bread, and a special of fried flying fish. Actually, I did not so much choose as have some of each. Coffee was strong and excellent. All meals were made especially pleasant by the friendly, smiling staff.

We had read that Kariwak offered free morning yoga classes. We had never tried yoga, but when, shortly after arriving, we met the charming yoga instructor, I decided that we really should. We started our next two mornings with some gentle yoga practices in a very attractive thatched roof ajoupa in the garden and found that Tanya was a very patient and capable instructor. It is worth noting that when my wife first saw on Kariwak’s Web site that it billed itself as a “holistic haven” she wondered if it was going to be something odd and new-agey. That was definitely not the case. It is a very normal place enhanced by touches such as the fresh, homemade food, the yoga, and a Bonsai-sized waterfall and Jacuzzi in a secluded end of the gardens.

Kariwak’s pool is purified by some process that minimizes the use of chlorine and is very refreshing. It was just big enough for us to swim shortened laps for exercise. We had already spent time at a beach resort, but if we had wanted a beach experience, we could either have walked the few blocks to Store Bay or been given a ride to Pigeon Point. We explored both and would have chosen the latter. (It is possible to walk, but we did it, and it was a pretty long walk.) Pigeon Point is an extensive, park-like area with manicured lawns. The large, wide beach on one side of the point is on the Caribbean with gentle breezes and clear, calm water. Around the point, the Atlantic side beach provides stiffer winds and a slightly choppy sea – great for wind surfing. There are two restaurants and several watersports concessions on the property. Pigeon Point charges a very nominal entrance fee that they use to keep the entire area very neatly maintained. It is a lovely, comfortable place to relax. It would be our choice, but I can see why some people might prefer the closer and more bustling Store Bay.

We obviously enjoyed our stay at Kariwak. When it ended, we flew back to Trinidad then to Miami on our way home. The three hour lunchtime-spanning layover at Trinidad's Piarco airport that we had built into our schedule resulted in yet another Oz-like experience. This time, the yellow brick road led out a side door at the end of a long corridor. The food options in the attractive, modern airport were limited to all too familiar U.S. fast food chains. And there were few places to sit and eat. We were about to opt for a Subway sandwich when an inquiry to the Tourist Information office drew the question, “Have you tried the local food court?” That unadvertised area turned out to be a pleasant courtyard surrounded by stalls where local vendors offered delights like “doubles” (a delicious gyro-like construction with a filling of spicy Indian chickpeas) and “stewed fish.” This is where people who work at the airport eat and where anyone who cares about food should as well.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank caribmike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
trinidad
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2012

My daughter and I have been staying at Kariwak for the past 10 years now. Each time we go to Tobago we always stay there. The friendliness of the staff, their willingness to make their guests comfortable is lovely.
The hotel is very quiet and nestled in so much natural greenery that you won't ever miss being on the beach. The rooms are comfortable and each room opens onto a garden.
The food is so delicious, prepared fresh each day with a lot of attention to local cuisine infused with herbs from their on site garden is simply irresistible.
So all in all the package is complete at Kariwak, its like coming home to a little slice of heaven.

Room Tip: For the quieter rooms ask for the garden, or you can get a room very close to their pool.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank mang0es
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2012

What more can be said of Kariwak Village? We were looking for something non-traditional and not typical or seclusive like so many other hotels in the area. Thankfully we decided to book with Kariwak Village and we're so glad we did. What stood out for both of us was the fact that there are no TVs in the room. We were looking for complete relaxation and though it took time getting used to, our vacation was much more enjoyable because there was no TV to keep us in our cabana. More time was spent enjoying Tobago and the surroundings of Kariwak Village.

We did not utilize the daily yoga offered by the hotel, but we did get massages (lovely and thoroughly relaxing), and spent most of our time in the jacuzzi, pool and hammocks, just lazing around. Dinner at Kariwak is a MUST. It is often fully booked, especially on the weekends. Reservations are highly recommended.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and will be back.

Room Tip: They have the best cocktails on the island!!! All of their drinks are SO good and very affordable.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TobagoTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lot et Garonne
Level Contributor
119 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2012

I think that I am actually at a loss for words for how to describe this beautiful place. Great thought, attention and work goes into making this peaceful place. Other reviewers have described the benefits in detail, so I will just say, the food is delicious and healthy, cooked with lots of fresh herbs grown in the garden. The staff are delightful and friendly, we left with hugs all around. The garden is beautiful, peaceful and full of birds and lizards. You can cool off in the pool or the jacuzzi/waterfall, laze in a hammock, take a yoga class or have a massage, I did all those. There is also a TV room and a well stocked library. Copious breakfast, dinner is a set menu with a choice of meat or fish for the main course. Convenient for the airport or the beach, both within walking distance. If you are a light sleeper - take ear plugs because this is a rural setting with nature all around and nature can be noisy at times. The national bird has the most harsh call at 4 am in the morning which wakes the rooster, who wakes the dogs, who wakes the goats/sheep . . . Having said that, I slept like a log. If you have a chance to chat to Cynthia, the owner, she will tell you the fascinating story of how she realised her dream.

Room Tip: There are two types of rooms. 1 - 9 a & b are semi-detached hexagons, set near the pool, 10 - 1...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laraine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hereford
Level Contributor
129 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2012

The food is imaginative and delicious at this small hotel. It has a swimming pool, though we didn't have time to use it, lots of visiting birds, attractive gardens and lovely staff. I lost a cardigan there; when it was found (after we returned home), they posted it back to me. The location is very convenient for the airport ( five minutes walk) and most of the planes are quite small, so it isn't over-noisy.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saratoga, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

My husband, son and I stayed at the Kariwak Village over a weekend recently and had a most amazing and memorable trip. As others have said, we didn't even need a taxi but walked with our rolling luggage to the hotel in less than 10 minutes. The room was very comfortable and the air conditioning was top notch.

We ate many of our meals at the hotel and truly enjoyed them especially when accompanied by one of the many delicious frozen drinks offered. Our favorite was the Kariwak Cooler but we enjoyed everything we tried. The food was very fresh and well prepared and generally reflected the local cuisine. On Friday and Saturday night, a terrific live band performed so we enjoyed sitting outside listening to the music.

The pool was so warm and inviting that we luxuriated in it for hours. We also very much enjoyed Store Bay beach which was also a very short walk away from the hotel. For a small fee, we rented lounge chairs under an umbrella and enjoyed the warm waters and gentle waves. One day, we walked to the beach and for $20 US, went on a 3 hour excursion in a glass bottom boat which included viewing a coral reef, snorkeling and playing on a sandbar far from shore.

We had a flight back to Trinidad at 9:45pm and the staff was so accommodating that they allowed us to keep our room until we left so that we were able to shower and change before dinner, which we ate at the hotel restaurant, of course.

I can't wait to have a reason to visit again and highly recommend the Kariwak Village.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank saelewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel

Property: Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel
Address: Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Crown Point
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Crown Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kariwak is an intimate 24 room Tobago hotel with unmistakable Caribbean ambiance. It features wholesome cuisine using its own home-grown herbs in the restaurant, and holistic holiday activities - yoga, massage, Tai Chi. There is an award-winning tropical garden with abundant plants and bird life in addition to the garden jacuzzi, pool, weekend live entertainment. Kariwak enjoys a high percentage of repeat clientele. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kariwak Village Holistic Haven Hotel Crown Point
Kariwak Village Holistic Haven And Hotel Tobago/Crown Point

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