Looking for a honeymoon with a difference? Tobago’s boutique eco-lodges and nature-surrounded villas are a perfect base for adventurous couples looking to combine romance and luxury with wildlife and nature exploration. Situated in the heart of untouched nature, these five places allow you to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and textures of the rainforest from the moment you get up to the moment you drift off to sleep. Here’s what to expect…
Found among some 46 acres of verdant grounds in Speyside, this secluded hotel offers all the privacy and peace you’ll want from your honeymoon. The hotel is big on romance, and you’ll arrive at your beachfront room to find your bed adorned with fresh rose petals. The rooms also have their own private balconies or patios where you can enjoy the view of the sun setting over the Caribbean Sea and raise a toast to your recent nupitals. Be sure to tell the staff that you are on your honeymoon, and they will go out of their way to spoil you, offering advice on romantic excursions such as champagne picnics and sunset cruises.
In the morning, wake to the sounds of the birds singing in the trees. and head out to explore the untouched nature that’s all around you. Spend the first day of your honeymoon on a hike to Pirate’s Bay where you can snorkel hand in hand alongside the turtles, morays and squid. From the jetty, take a boat out to the secluded Lover’s Bay for the ultimate romantic private picnic experience. Alternatively, have lunch at Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen in Speyside. With tables built into the branches of a huge almond tree and panoramic views of the beach below, the restaurant makes for a special spot for the first day of your honeymoon.
When evening comes, head to Bird Watcher’s restaurant, also in Speyside, to enjoy the fresh catch of the day from a seat with views of the ocean.
Over in Parlatuvier, Essex Cottage also makes for an ideal bolthole for nature-loving couples. Blending in with the surrounding nature and nestled in a cliff above Palatuvier, the cottage is decked out with natural wooden furnishings including a four-poster bed in the spacious bedroom and comfortable chairs on the veranda. From here, you can enjoy the romantic view of the craggy cliffs disappearing into the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea below. Inside, there is a fully furnished kitchen, meaning you can enjoy some evenings of your honeymoon in complete privacy, dining at home on fresh, local produce with only the night sky – fading from blue to pink to navy – for company.
From the moment you wake up, to the moment you fall asleep, you will be surrounded by nature. Look out for bright parrots as you swim in the infinity pool, breathe in the sweet scent of mango as you relax in the garden, and listen to the trickle of water slowly becoming louder as you walk closer to the private waterfall and swimming hole.
Outside of the property, you will find Parlatuvier Bay. Just a ten-minute walk away, this is an unspoilt slice of nature where you can float in the water to see rays, colourful fish and even turtles. Back on dry land, have a go at fishing from the jetty and even join the local fishermen to help them pull in the day’s catch.
Also just a short walk from Essex Cottage is the vast Main Ridge Forest Reserve – the only protected forest in the western hemisphere – which brims with biodiverse species. Its main trail is the two-hour Gilpin Trace which cuts right through the reserve’s thick rainforest. Spend some quality time together on the trail, surrounded by greenery and looking out for the many bird species including the elusive white-tailed sabrewing. At the end of the walk, jump into the refreshing spray of the Argyle Waterfall together to cool off.
Nestled in the rainforest above the village of Castara are 17 treehouses that look as though they have been plucked straight from a fairytale, making for an enchanting honeymoon stay. Built in harmony with nature, the treehouses offer a relaxing and peaceful stay where you can enjoy quality time with each other. The inside of the rooms are just as beautiful as the outside with elegant four-poster beds that lead out to a veranda overlooking the beach. During your stay, you’ll be well-looked after by the friendly, local team led by Porridge and his wife Jeanell, and will experience the charm of real Tobagonian hospitality.
Castara Retreats makes for a great base for adventure, with ample wildlife experiences right on your doorstep. Start your day with a sunrise stroll along the nearby beach, before joining the locals for breakfast at The Coffee Shop, a local cafe in the village.
After breakfast, take a 30-minute drive to Corbin Local Wildlife Park for an insightful tour to learn about and see the island’s many species such as armadillos, opossums and lizards.
Finish your nature-filled day with a romantic flourish by waiting for sundown and heading out on a paddleboard to watch the water glow an electric blue from the phosphorescence. Pure magic.
If you’re after the perfect combination of romance, adventure and tropical accommodation then look no further than Cuffie River Nature Retreat. Located on the edge of the Main Ridge Rainforest, and with ten spacious and well-furnished rooms and a saltwater pool, the retreat ensures you enjoy an intimate experience with nature alongside a luxurious stay. What’s more, the retreat does its utmost to protect the surrounding environment with its green initiative ensuring that everything – from the design of the buildings (built from clay to keep them naturally cool) to water-saving mechanisms and on-site composting system – is as environmentally friendly as possible. Make your honeymoon extra special by booking the Executive Suite, a large room with high ceilings and a huge nine foot bed which looks out over the rainforest.
Cuffie River Nature Reserve is a birder’s dream and you can head out with an expert guide to spot some of the 100 species that call this reserve home including hummingbirds, motmots, manakin and more. Those willing to venture further will be rewarded with snorkelling tours where you could see dolphins, and insightful cultural tours that will reveal the island’s history as you explore the many forts and museums across the island.
Back at the lodge, you can relax after a day of exploring and refuel at the on-site restaurant which offers up fresh and flavourful meals inspired by Tobago’s traditional dishes.
Located on the southwest of the island, Kariwak Village Hotel offers true tranquility. Choose one of the 18 poolside cabanas or retreat to one of the six garden rooms. Take time to stroll Kariwak’s award-winning gardens and why not relax further by joining the morning yoga classes?
Enjoy a fresh salad lunch at the hotel before visiting the nearby white sands of Pigeon Point Beach to snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat tour to float over the marine life.
Go back to the hotel to enjoy the organic garden, where much of the produce used at the on-site restaurant is grown. The open-air restaurant is renowned for its Caribbean food and having dinner here will provide an authentic ending to what is bound to be a memorable holiday in Tobago.