Imagine a warm breeze on the skin, a symphony of bird songs and
a setting of swaying palm trees and brilliant bougainvillea, as the
bride and groom say “I do” on a tropical island. Tobago’s lush
surroundings make the island a romantic place for a wedding, and
packages offered by local hotels make weddings and honeymoons easy
on the couple-to-be.
Couples planning on getting married in the summer shouldn’t fret
about the weather either. During the rainy season (June through
November), there are sudden downpours, more often at night, but
rarely do they last, and the sun typically breaks through again
during the day.
At the Palms Villa Resort, a collection of five deluxe
three-bedroom/three-bath villas, with wrap-around verandas and
private swimming pools, set on a 10-acre garden estate, clients can
book the Wedded Bliss package. Couples can virtually hand over
their wedding planning to the villa staff, who take care of
obtaining the license, ordering the wedding cake, booking the
photographer and arranging flowers in the villa and around the
wedding gazebo. Staff can even provide witnesses, if needed.
Thoughtful touches include a photo album with 24 wedding images,
welcome cocktails and a wedding breakfast for the couple the next
day. And there’s none of the stress that traditionally accompanies
the lead-up to the big day.
“We had a lovely wedding out by the garden just last week,” said
manager David Byrne during our recent visit in May.
Indeed, The Palms is a good choice for a small wedding party of
30 (six to a villa) to share a few days together.
Then there’s the charming 150-room Coco Reef Resort ideal for a
honeymoon. Romanesque in design, its lobby features terra-cotta
tile floors, fountains and statues in wall grottos. Rooms are
soothing, offering a pastel peach-and-green decor and cane
furniture. Best of all, Coco Reef fronts a private cove with a
white-sand beach and the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea.
Tobago itself is the quintessential Caribbean island,
small and quaint, with secluded beaches and lush rainforest. The
island’s colorful reefs are some of the best in the Caribbean, and
couples will want to go snorkeling or scuba diving no doubt
hand-in-hand to see manta rays gliding over the sea floor, the
world’s largest brain coral, rainbow-striped parrot fish and cheeky
eels poking out from their rocky homes.
On land, Tobago’s jungle-topped spine, which has been a protected
reserve since 1776, offers beautiful rainforest walks. Waterfalls
set in towering bamboo forests splash down in cool pools where
lovers can float in each other’s arms. In the forest, they’ll spot
iridescent butterflies, the blooms of hibiscus and fragrant
orchids, and hummingbirds, brown boobies and other winged
Between March and June, couples can arrange to see the ancient
egg-laying ritual of the endangered giant leatherback turtle.
Weighing as much as 1,000 pounds each, these female turtles heave
themselves out of the water to dig a hole in the sand in which to
deposit their precious eggs. They secrete tears to keep their eyes
moist when out of the water, and few forget the sight of a
leatherback “crying” as she lays her eggs.
Eating for Two
Tobago is also blessed with many romantic restaurants. A
favorite for fine dining is the Seahorse Inn Restaurant & Bar
in the Grafton Beach area. Diners sit outside on a stone patio with
the sound of the surf crashing on the beach as background music.
Little lights on palm trees add to the romance of alfresco
candlelight dining. The restaurant is also the site for intimate
For local cuisine and some down-home lovin’ the Blue Crab in
Scarborough Town is the place to go. Delicious callaloo (like
creamed spinach, only milder tasting), grilled kingfish with fruit
salsa and homemade coconut ice cream are featured on the set menu.
Owner Allison Sardinha greets all her customers with an infectious
smile and kisses everybody goodbye on the cheek.
Tobago’s cozy restaurants, lush scenery and fairy-tale
atmosphere have inspired many couples to visit the island on a
honeymoon, for a wedding or to simply share a romantic getaway.
The Palms Villa Resort: The Wedded Bliss package
costs $1,175. A deluxe package adds additional treats like a bottle
of champagne, massage for two and deluxe photo album and costs
$1,650. Rates per villa start at $450 a night.
Coco Reef Resort: Honeymoon packages include an
oceanview room, daily breakfast, jeep for one day, private
candlelight dinner on the couple’s patio and transportation to and
from the airport. The cost is $1,110 per person for four nights
(available through Dec. 20).