Dr. Auliana Poon – the brains behind Being
Being is the creation of Trinidadian Dr. Auliana Poon – a strong believer that there needs to be a ‘cure’ to common holiday. Dr. Poon wanted Being to be more than a mere product or a philosophy. She wanted to develop a truly exceptional holiday experience created by a truly exceptional team. Her idea is to put the guest in charge of the experience and to deliver a perfectly tailor-made experience in an exceptional Tobago environment, taking full advantage of nature, the climate, the sea, the natural ambiance and the local people. This is why Being combines exceptional architecture, nature, scenery and complete privacy.
The land on which Being sits was bought by Auliana and her mother in 1989 and it took a full 10 years before Being was created. First came the yellow gate-house – recently rebuilt – where great holidays were made, planting the land and getting to know the local community. Auliana’s father (fondly known a Pappi in the neighbourhood) also spent some years in Tobago after his retirement in 1990. He planted many of the trees that are on the estate. He is especially proud of the two imortelle trees in the valley that were brought from Belize as seeds.
Auliana worked very closely with her sister Roseline in developing Being and was also inspired by her husband, Christian. Auliana wanted to demonstrate, most of all, that tourism in the Caribbean can be done differently – and it can be indeed sustainable. Consider that the acreage on which Being is located would normally accommodate a 500-room hotel!
Sustainability is at the heart of Being. This is why we do not kill or remove the natural inhabitants – this is their planet too! We allow birds to build their nests whereever they want. We even have a small colony of friendly and playful bats living under one of our structures. They are all welcome.
Brent McLetchey… our man of business!
When you arrive at Villa Being you’d be greeted by our very own Brent McLetchie. He is the main man of business. Brent will bend over backwards to ensure that your every needs are met.
Brent has every practical skill you can think of to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for guests. He is the feet on the ground needed to make Villa Being a real experience. Not only does he maintain the villa to a very high standard, he also knows where and how to get what you need in Tobago – from those special fruits, vegetables and ground provisions to fresh fish or Lobster, Brent will always find a way to get them.
If you ask him kindly, he might even cook for you. Brent does a mean fish broth and his curried crab and dumplings are legendary. All done Tobago style, of course. And perhaps, he does the best goat on the island, but we’re probably just biased.
Don’t let his name fool you. Although the name McLetchie has its origins in Scotland, Brent is as Tobagonian as they come. Need to know a little bit about the island? How to get around? Where to go to have a great time? What are the best beaches or attractions? Just ask Brent.
So consider Brent your connection between the paradise you enjoy and the ground in Tobago. And waht is even better is that he’s just a stone’s throw away. Brent lives on the estate at the Gatehouse with his wife, Shermaine. So consider them your family away from home. Contact him anytime at +1 868 358-8610 or +1 868 639-1819.
Our Chef Elvin
Our chef Elvin brings a unique Tobago flavor and flair to all of his culinary creations. From cross-eyed fish to Tobago dumplings, curried crab, callaloo, stewed pork or smoked bonito, Elvin can whip up anything you want. His specialty is local cuisine so be sure to try his hand. Just talk with him and he will work his magic.
Cooking is not just a job for Elvin, it is his passion; this is his secret ingredient. Elvin, a budding entrepreneur, takes pride in what he does. And Villa Being takes joy in supporting small, local entrepreneurs like Elvin. One hundred percent of what you pay for chef services goes directly in Elvin’s pocket. We simply want to ensure that our guests leave with a memorable experience.
Our Team Leader – Camille
Our team leader is Camille Lum Young. She is a quiet, focused and dedicated person, who has a considered and caring approach to humanity. She lives with her husband and four children at our Stargazing Pavilion on the South Side of our 11-acre organic fruit estate.
Camile is passionate about nature, gardening and things natural. She home-schools her kids and can be found regularly attending to the gardens, birds, bees, flowers and trees.
Our Housekeeper – Jason Guy
During your stay at Villa Being our main housekeeper Jason Guy will look after all of your cleaning needs. Jason is from the heart of Tobago, the capital of the island, Scarborough. He is a natural cook, as are most Tobagonian men. He also models on the side so don’t be surprised by his mystique and flair. Jason is also a lover of animals and is awed by nature. Hiking and mountain trekking are his pass times, so he is at home here at Villa Being that is surrounded by nature on all sides.
At first glance Jason seems shy, but once you get to know him you’d realize that he is a carefree, spontaneous and outspoken person with a touch of pizzzazz. His philosophy is hakuna matata – no worries. Jason believes that life is too short to be stressed. This attitude is a perfect fit with Villa Being, which allows guests to experience the slow part of life – no worries, no fuss, no stress all set amidst the backdrop of elegance, style and luxury.
Our Housekeeper – Akeisha
Born in Tobgao on Friday 13th January, 1978, our Housekeeper Akeisha is health conscious, determined and out-spoken. Akeisha was part of our Villa Being team between 2005 and 2007 returning full-time in 2012. Akeisha is a capable and talented housekeeper who will ensure that you are well taken care of. If you are in need of anything, or have a question, just ask.
Akeisha also contributes to the school and public life in Tobago. For the 4th year running she plans and executes a children thanks giving (every 2nd Saturday in January). She has been the Treasurer at Bethesda Government Primary School – Parent Teacher Association (PTA) from 2005 to present. She is also the Assistant Secretary at Tobago Certified Tour Guide Association.
Akeisha is also a social activist. In 2013 December Akeisha single-handedly coordinated and implemented the 1st Living Tribute to Maxine Eastman an Aids sufferer for the past 22 years to raise point to raise Aids awareness and the stigma attached.
Akeisha is a single mother and has 2 children: Kiayanna (daughter) 15 years old and Mario (son) 6 years old. She enjoys listening to music, meeting new people and socialising, cooking and house cleaning, reading, planning activities/ events for children outings and going to the beach. She loves Tobago culture and heritage, as well as Carnival, in which she is deeply involved, participating as a masquerader.
Our Office Manager – Kevon
Kevon Wilson is the man behind the scenes. He has a big heart. He is talented. He is a writer, analyst, singer and expert communicator. He’s cool, calm and collected. For Kevon, every problem has a solution.
From booking to check-out, Kevon will ensure that your experience at Being is well organised and most of all, memorable.
Whatever your needs just let him know before you arrive and he will ensure that our team puts everything in place to accommodate you as best as possible.
Our Landscaper – Davy
Davy is a dedicated father. He is married with three kids. Davy Sookraj works both in Trinidad and in Tobago. He ensures that the gardens at Being are in pristine order so that the birds, bees, lizards and frogs have a fantastic place too.
Expert Diver and Naturalist
Ray Hinds is a dedicated father. He is adventurous and fun-loving. He is also a passionate diver. He currently manages Tobago’s Hyperbaric chamber and administers Hyperbaric medicine there. He lives at the Stargazing Pavillion at Villa Being estate with his wife Camille and their four kids. Ray is a master story-teller. Don’t’ be afraid to engage him in conversation.
Our Resident Carpenter
Our resident carpenter Paul, is capable, considerate and pleasant to work with. He hand made all of our beds, update our wood treatments and recently completed our pool deck. He comes from the village of Plymouth. He is quiet and humble and adds passion and quality to everything he does.
Our Snorkeling Guide – Sydney Jefferson Grant
Sydney Jefferson Grant, fondly known as Sugars, is our snorkeling guide. Don’t let his sophisticated-sounding name fool you. Sydney is down to earth, easy going, fun and witty. And while he may not have made it to university, Sydney is one of the most intelligent persons you’d ever meet. He has an opinion about most issues and is not afraid to speak his mind. Sydney is as Tobagonian as it gets – fisherman, great cook, excellent with his hands and a lover of the sea.
Sydney’s strength of character is far more awe-inspiring than his physical strength. He is a living transformation story. We’ve known Sydney for over 25 years. When we first met him, he was a drug addict and struggling to get his life together. Today, Sydney is a stable, hardworking individual whose only addiction is his passion for life and nature. He is a true asset to our team at Villa Being.