Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge Reviews
An amazing place, whether or not you're into birdwatching Jun 13, 2011
A group of about 13 people traveled here for the wedding of two of our friends - the bride was born in Trinidad. Asa Wright is a 1,500 acre bird sanctuary nestled in the Trinidadian rain forest in the mountains above Arima. It is an internationally-renowned mecca for bird lovers to visit; in the four days we stayed there we met a couple from New Zealand and a mother and son from Sweden, not to mention a group of English travel agents. I’ve never cared a bit about birdwatching – no one in my party did, but we were all spellbound when hummingbirds fed not two feet from us, and we all pointed out the brightly colored birds zooming around the forest.
The staff members have a pride you rarely see nowadays; it comes from doing meaningful work in a respectable, well-managed organization. They were very competent and friendly and did everything well. That said, this is not a five-star hotel where people exist to wait upon you hand and foot and put up with your delusions of self-importance. If you act like an Ugly American the staff just might ask you to leave. I can’t say for sure, but Asa Wright seems to be that sort of place, and that makes me like it all the more.
The rooms were clean and spacious, and had a simple charm and elegance that suited the setting perfectly. I could have lain in bed all morning listening to the birds and the patter of rain on the forest canopy, but I was too eager to get to breakfast. Asa Wright served three great buffet meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as 4 pm afternoon tea. If you like British-style architecture and ambiance then you’ll love taking tea in the main house and porch.
Do keep in mind that you are in the middle of a rainforest. Lizards of varying sizes abound, as does the fer-de-lance, one of the world’s deadliest snakes. Did I mention that the fer-de-lance is aggressive, and that its camouflage is so good you can see it lying on the ground, turn away for a moment and have a difficult time finding it again, through you know exactly where it is? Fer-de-lances were spotted on two separate occasions during our stay; the Swedish kid was a wildlife photographer and his mum told me he got great shots of the one she looked down and happened to notice lying about 1.5 meters from her foot.
Overall Asa Wright was much better than I expected. I have rarely found a place where I feel I can relax, but Asa Wright is one of them. Though the price was steep it was well worth it. I highly recommend it to everyone.
A few notes:
Asa Wright is a great place for couples, in my opinion. Also, as of this writing Asa Wright has three rooms with air conditioning. You can request them at no extra charge. Needless to say we would have done so if we had known!
Part of the A Wedding in Trinidad and Tobago, June 9-16, 2011 travel blog
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