Caribbean elegance meets colonial legacy at Tobago’s historic Mount Irvine Bay Resort...
The Mount Irvine Bay Resort on the island of Tobago is one of the most iconic properties in the Caribbean and is renowned for its award-winning golf course and 4-star hotel. The boutique 80-room hotel and golf course is spread over 154 acres carved from a former coconut plantation. The hotel retains much of its old-world charm with wide-open spaces, beautifully landscaped gardens, charming decor, and breath-taking sea views. This historic property has a colonial legacy dating back over 250 years to 1763 when the land was first purchased by Scotsman Charles Irvine to establish a sugar plantation.
Charles Irvine was a member of King George III’s House of Assembly in Tobago. He christened his 400-acre estate Mt Irvine and built it into a prosperous sugar cane plantation with over 100 African slaves, making it one of the island’s major sugar producers. The ruins of the sugar factory form part of the building that today houses the resort’s spa, where guests can relax in the sauna or experience an invigorating full body massage surrounded by ancient sugar boilers, hoppers and cannons.
The elegant statue of a belé dancer, surrounded by sugar cane stalks, greets guests upon entrance to the hotel, paying homage to the resort’s plantation history. The beautiful lobby encompasses a shop, bar, indoor and outdoor lounge, and a cafe. The open-air portion of the Lobby Bar is a frequent venue for the general manager’s weekly rum punch party, to which all resort guests are invited.
Mount Irvine Bay Resort offers a superb range of accommodation – from standard and superior rooms, to suites and garden cottages. All accommodation offers excellent views of the pool, sea, or garden, and bedrooms open onto a private balcony or porch. With an average size of 56-sqm, the standard and superior guestrooms are larger than most on the island and well-appointed with thoughtful touches to ease the hassle of travelling, such as USB charging ports.
For added comfort, the garden cottages are perfect for an extended stay or travelling with children. Each cottage has a spacious double bedroom, which opens onto a living room with sofa bed and wet bar. Step through the cottage sliding doors and onto paths leading to the gardens and main resort buildings. Walk through the gently sloping gardens to the resort’s beach facility where more history awaits – the facility was built off the foundations of the storage depot where sugar was warehoused for transportation to England by ship.
Relax and rejuvenate
Mount Irvine Beach is home to one of the best and most accessible snorkelling spots in Tobago. Water sport equipment, such as paddleboards and canoes are available for rent from the shop on the beach. Nearby Grange Bay is a popular surfing beach and also good for fishing off the rocks.
Mount Irvine Beach Bar and Restaurant offers casual dining as well as complimentary beach-loungers and cold towels to guests seven days a week. Sunday lunch includes local delicacies, such as crab and dumplings, or bake and shark.
Follow the garden path to the main buildings and you’ll arrive at another feature of Mount Irvine’s industrial legacy. Sugar was Tobago’s prime crop from the 1700s to 1900, with peak exports in 1799. The high profits generated in the 1790s coined the phrase “rich as a Tobago Planter” in London. Today, the resort’s main restaurant is built around a large sugar mill dating back to the 1800s. Guests at the Sugar Mill Restaurant dine on local specialities such as curried goat and callaloo soup while enjoying views of the Caribbean Sea and beautiful resort pool. Colourful tropical birds are frequent visitors during meal times, particularly breakfast. Bright green iguanas are occasionally spotted taking a languid stroll across the grass to the outdoor shower.
The serenity of Mount Irvine Bay Resort makes it the perfect location to practice Kundalini yoga. Early morning classes are held twice a week on the pool deck with a qualified instructor. At Mount Irvine the focus is on relaxation rather than expertise. All levels are welcome, from beginners to seasoned practitioners.
For those who prefer to take their exercise on the links, the award-winning Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course is rated one of the most scenic in the world with sea views from several holes. The World Golf Awards has named Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course the best golf course in Trinidad and Tobago every year since 2015. Mount Irvine Bay Golf Course has also won the “Caribbean’s Best Golf Course” award for the past two years.
Whether visiting for a few days or a few weeks, the Mount Irvine Bay Resort is the perfect location to relax and rejuvenate. Θ