I will add just a little to my lengthy review of Tranquility in May of 2013. We were so impressed with the place, and its appeal was such a good fit for us, that we returned a year later and extended a 4-day stay into two weeks. We were a bit earlier in the year this time so lobster was in season, and our ‘now-friend-and-almost-family-member’ Doro pampered us with many fantastic dishes made with it. Not a shred of delectable lobster went to waste. What didn’t get immediately eaten as a broiled or curried entrée, would end up in omelettes for breakfast or calaloo soup for lunch. Likewise, was her expertise with conch. Her conch fritters are in a league of their own. You will be spoiled for life.
Every day at mealtimes, when Doro would sing-song her “Two minnotttts!” announcement, you’d never see four upper-middle-aged people move so fast out of a near coma around the deck, to take up positions at the tiled dining table or the little lunch spot on the balcony. She had us trained well.
Desserts were as varied as coconut cream pie and orange soufflé. Orange. Souffle. From that little kitchen that looked like a pleasant garden shed, but with cooking pots. Doro kept a well-worn cookbook on the counter that I was half-tempted to steal, but I knew I’d never get the same results.
Lest this become just a review of Doro, I need to say that the rest of the house was the same as last year. The pool was just as nice, the breezes just as constant, the beds just as comfortable. It was rather drier than last year, so we saw a lot more iguanas on the prowl for moisture, and the resident geckos were all there keeping us company.
The experience here is still a one-of-a-kind, even though now we’ve done it twice.
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My husband & I stayed here for our honeymoon. It was so relaxing. We became fast friends with the caretaker, Doro. She was a fabulous cook, very polite and kind. The people of the island were friendly. We had a cab driver Baldwin who took us to all of our destinations. A wonderful deaf man caught some fish for us. He even came to say goodbye to us when we left. The owner of the property stopped in and invited us for dinner. They made us feel at home.
I can't wait to return to this island paradise.
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I don't know how many synonyms I can come up with for "unique"----singular.....one-of-a-kind....onliest----but Tranquility Villa would encompass them all. Our stay here was the first half of a two-part vacation of vastly differing and almost contradictory experiences (the second half was at Tropical Hideaway...see my separate review for it). I’m rating both properties as five stars, but they couldn’t be more different.
Our route of Baltimore-Miami-Barbados-Bequia took us all day, and daylight was starting to fade as we arrived at the taxi drop-off at Moonhole Beach (you don’t arrive so much as ‘bounce’ in through the potholes). We were greeted warmly there by Doro, our housekeeper/cook, and gathered up our carry-ons, leaving the heavier bags to be brought up. We started on foot up a winding stone path following Doro’s light and easy steps, and then while the rest of us began breathing hard and trying not to talk, she stopped and waited for us. After ten minutes we arrived at the entrance to the villa, giving each other a congratulatory “OK, yeah, we did it” look, and then caught sight of the four-story stone stairs up into the house. You don’t need to be a tri-athlete, or even a Senior Olympian to get here (our group of four was all fifty- or sixty-somethings) but you WILL be huffing when you finally get up into the villa. Then you see Doro’s son traipsing up the path carrying two heavy bags, barefoot.
The view makes the climb worthwhile. Tranquility is set on four levels, and the view gets better as it goes up. There’s one bedroom on the first level, two bedrooms on the second, the main living area is on the third, and the master suite is on the top floor. On each level, the line between inside and outside is blurred. In the dining room there is a thick mass of ivy growing, somewhat inside and seemingly far from any light source. There is an audible trickle of water from an interior fountain. On the ‘storm’ side of the house there is glass in some of the windows, which are closed by an ingenious pulley system, but the rest of them, and most of the doors, are completely open. The bathrooms are all open-air. This can lead to interesting encounters, as in the mornings when you may have a stray bat flying through your shower, in one window and out the other. Geckos love to hang out on the windowsills. But for all its openness, the house is surprisingly critter-free….although there are mosquitoes (more about this later).
On a long list of ‘best’ things about Tranquility, at the top has to be Doro. We had never had a villa with personal cook before, and didn’t quite know the protocol. We had to be a bit of a challenge for her, as we had two members with food allergies: one for finfish and one for shellfish. She took it all in stride. When we arrived, she had two loaves of freshly baked bread waiting for us, and an hour later served us a curried chicken dinner with rice and beans. When she asked our preferences for future meals, we told her to go crazy with local island cuisine….this hit the jackpot with conch, chicken stuffed with coconut, christophenes, pumpkin, plantains, polenta, sweet potatoes, and homemade coconut custard and key lime pies. Breakfast was banana pancakes or French Toast with guava jelly, or omelets made with the leftover meat or fish from the night before. The aromas wafting from that little kitchen were overwhelming. You will seriously be disappointed if you start going to island restaurants afterward, and leaving Doro’s cooking behind. She is a gem.
After Doro, on the list of favorite things, has to be the pool. Set half a story down from the living area on a red-tiled patio, it lazes among flowering tropical trees with a to-die-for view of Ile de Quartre, Petit Nevis, and Bequia’s rich sister Mustique on the horizon. It’s a good place to stalk the elusive bananaquit in the mornings, luring them in with leftover mango, since Jed the Parrot is no longer with us.
There is solar power throughout the house, but the castaway in you may cause you to never use it. There are two TVs in the house that were never turned on the entire time we were there. The villa owners, John and Lusan, have a wonderful and very eclectic music collection in an iPod for use by guests….nothing says ‘fun’ like singing and dancing to “Cecelia” in the dark when no one else is around to hear you. If your mood turns to classical, just flip the playlist. In addition, they have one of the best libraries of books of any place we’ve been….you wouldn’t be able to finish all the books in an entire year of reading. Also, for anyone with talent, there is a piano and a guitar on site.
The trail down to Moonhole Beach and/or the taxi gets easier every time you traverse it, and at the end of several days you wonder what on earth you were huffing about during your first stab at it. But, if you wish, there is no need to leave the villa at all….one of our members did just that and was quite content.
Re: the mosquitoes. They like it here. There’s enough of a breeze to keep them at bay during the day, and there is repellent provided. In the evenings before she leaves, Doro will set up the mosquito netting around each bed, which consists of tucking it up under the mattress, and then making an entrance hole in it for humans, closed up with a clothes-pin. When you’re ready, you crawl through and pin it shut on the inside. It’s a system that works.
Some of the bathrooms have no doors, just a curving stone wall that separates it from the room proper. You adapt. The bathroom sink overlooks trees that you can touch, because they are growing through the window. Very cool. There are flower blossoms on your floor in the morning, and maybe a gecko. Most of the furniture is built-in, made of stone covered in cushions. It hurts to stub a toe, but the uniqueness makes it worthwhile. The beds are four-posters, and very comfortable. Everything in the villa is clean and well-maintained.
Do not come to Tranquility expecting anything in the way of high excitement. Most of the stimuli comes from watching the frigate birds spin circles overhead, curtains of squalls blowing in from across the water, or strips of rainbows in the clouds. Perhaps the high point of the day (other than meals) is waving to the SVG flight that flies directly overhead, and lands at the tiny airstrip within view. If one’s idea of an ideal vacation is to just chill, with everything you need, this villa is close to achieving nirvana.
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This place not only totally lets one relax and unwind, it was beautiful, unique and wonderful! Six people were staying and it was an open, yet private area. The cook Dora, the housekeeper Lilly did an excellent job keeping us fed with delicious foods and fruits and cleaned our place daily! Jed the parrot entertained us! We hiked up and down the beautiful trail to our place which added to the breathtaking scenery surrounding us on every side! The pool was great!
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