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“Castara & Cottage - two excellent choices”
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Review of Castara Cottage

Castara Cottage, Trinidad and Tobago
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Castara Cottage, Trinidad and Tobago
Tamarind master bedroom
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Very good
43 reviews
Castara Cottage, Trinidad and Tobago
Tamarind master bedroom
Tamarind lounge
Tamarind kitchen
Tamarind patio
Cinnamon lounge
View of Castara resized
Sunset at Big Bay
Castara Bay beach
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 4
Castara, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

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Very good - based on 43 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
toucanbob
San Francisco Bay, CA and Southern Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Castara & Cottage - two excellent choices”
Reviewed March 18, 2013 for a stay in February 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We like to travel on a somewhat flexible schedule. That usually means securing a place to stay for the first few days in a location and then using that time to scope out the local scene and decide where to stay next. And such was our plan for our visit to Tobago. We thought we would stay the first week in Castara and then move to another location on the island, or perhaps even head over to Trinidad for a few days.

But a week in Castara spoils one. Yes, we drove around Tobago looking for another nice spot, but in the end decided that more by luck than design we had already selected one of the most delightful locations on Tobago. So we elected to spend the remainder of our time in Castara.

The downside of traveling on a flexible schedule is that it sometimes happens the place you would like to stay is already booked. And such was the case with the Tamarind Apt. in Castara Cottage. We LOVED the Tamarind Apt. But so did the sweet British family who had reservations to move in the minute we left. Fortunately the Saffron Apt. in the Cottage, a bit smaller but delightful in its own right, was available for a few days, ALMOST up until the time we could move back into Tamarind.

This is where getting to know a small village over an extended period pays off. Adam, the fascinatingly quirky manager of Castara Cottage, hustled around for us and came up with an overnight solution for the one night we were booted out of Castara Cottage. He helped us make arrangements with his friends up at Carpe Diem just a few steps up the hillside from Castara Cottage, to spend the night with them. He even helped us store most of our baggage in the laundry room of the Cottage for the night.

Castara Cottage is NOT a fancy resort rental. It is a rustic, wooden, 3-apartment house with open-air architecture and absolutely no soundproofing. Living in the cottage is living IN the village, not living in an air-conditioned cell looking out at the village. Yes, the voices of late-night revelers walking up from the beach may awaken you briefly at midnight, and the crowing of the infamous Castara roosters may awaken you briefly at 3 a.m. But sipping coffee on the outside (covered) deck in the early morning while lazily watching the world wake up is worth a few minutes of sleep.

Castara Cottage is a plus, Adam, the quirky manager is a plus, and the wonderful bars and restaurants of Castara (including Eula's at Englishman's Bay) are all a plus. And don't even get me started on the beaches, coral reefs, boat trips, rum punch, steel bands, drum circles, clay oven baked bread, home made ice cream ... the list is long!

Just go. Enjoy. And smile - you'll receive it back with interest.

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Liked best: The ambiance of both the Cottage and the village of Castara.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Older travelers Families with young children
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  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Gale77...
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Ideal resort for independent travellers.”
Reviewed January 11, 2013 for a stay in December 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Castara is an escapist location, as mentioned in numerous locations. Although it can occasionally be invaded by a tourist bus for a few hours, these visitors do not stay long - there is simply not enough to keep them occupied. Primarily Castara is a location for independent travellers, and everyone seems happy to keep it that way. As independent tourists, you should expect the same level of minimalism you would encounter in other escapist locations. If this is not your thing, do yourself a favour and chose a different resort.

We stayed in Tamarind over Christmas and New Year 2012-2013. It is a fabulous, open-air apartment which can best be described as 'rustic'. Whilst it has all of the items and utensils you could possibly need, it is a wooden structure, which creaks slightly - noise travels! It's like staying in a giant tree house, but without any swaying. We found it a pure thrill.

The decking at Tamarind deserves a special mention. Large, spacious, almost constantly in the sun, and regularly visited by a host of beautiful birds, it also has a sea view. You can hear the waves from the nearby beaches as you soak up the sun or relax after a day of strolling along the sand.

We found that there were actually more supplies available in the shops than we had expected. At no point did we have to go to the bigger towns just to get anything we required (though our tastes are fairly simple). Cereal, milk, pasta, rice, meat (frozen), beer, rum, bottled water (if you don't want to drink the safe tap water) - all can be easily obtained from the several shops. Cheno in the coffee shop usually has ice cream (though the choice may be limited), and Sharon at the Boathouse can do you pizza and/or iced coffee.

We were very glad we chose Castara, and Tamarind in particular. Adam takes care of guests staying at all three of the Castara Cottages, and will regularly swing by to check you have everything you need. It's not a holiday suitable for everyone - that simply doesn't exist anyway. It's for quiet tourists with few requirements. If this is you, I can utterly recommend that you give this a go! Five stars for us!

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Liked best: Lack of package-holiday tourists
Liked least: Having to leave!
Traveling group: Young Children
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
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Michele K
Cambridge
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Relaxing and authentic holiday in a wonderful place.”
Reviewed December 29, 2012 for a stay in December 2012
1
person found this review helpful

I stayed in 'Saffron' which is apartment for one or two. If you are looking for a spacious, relaxing and authentic holiday experience, this is it. The welcome was warm and friendly, despite my being some 2 hours late due to a car rental problem. Straight away I was made welcome with offer of a drink and introductions at the local bar/ restaurant- 'The Boathouse'. Owners Ann & Yvonne couldn't do enough to make me welcome and make sure I knew where to find any info I needed.
The apartment was beautiful, secure and airy. There is a burglar alarm and good locks on the doors- important to me as a single traveller.
Bed was comfortable and eqipped with effective net. Balcony is relaxing and it's no problem to move the furniture about if you wish (I had my little sofa on the balcony for a couple of days- very chilled evenings reading whilst reclining!)
Bathroom has a shower with hot water and a tap which is useful for rinsing hair and feet.
Sheets and towels were changed as planned. Make sure you ask for cotton sheets/covers. The polyester mix ones are not so comfy in the heat.
The kitchen is well equipped, and the CD/radio with CDs supplied is a nice touch!
What I loved: putting fruit on the balcony to attract birds, then looking them up in the helpfully supplied bird manual.
What I didn't like so much: no grill pan- easily remedied I guess! And polyster mix sheet cover on 2nd half of week (I used the sofa cover instead..was cotton). Again, easily remedied-just ask for cotton only. I didn't have such a big problem with mosquitoes in the apartment- I burned some of the useful 'coils' supplied, and applied 'Off' spray.
For value and location you can't beat these apartments- convenient for both the Castara beaches. Plus, the owner is very helpful and will patiently answer any questions you have prior to booking or after booking. However make sure you ask for her phone number before you go- as delays en route can happen, and then you are able to make contact.

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Liked best: Interior ambience of property and position.
Liked least: Polyester mix upper sheet and pillowcases on changeover. Wished I'd kept first lot.
Traveling group: Solo Traveler
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Reviewed August 27, 2012 for a stay in August 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
ACshols
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Everything we needed for a week's holiday, in a relaxed village.”
Reviewed January 24, 2012 for a stay in January 2012
1
person found this review helpful

We stayed in the Saffron studio for 1 week, and enjoyed a relaxed holiday in a natural less touristy environment. The apartment is really well equiped with everything you need for self-catering. We've stayed in quite a few holiday rentals now and this was deffinately much better than most - Anne and Yvonne have thought of everything, with useful extras like coffee filters, decent knives, cheese grater and even a new juicer.
There was surprisingly few creepy crawlies for such an open place, and the net over the bed helps with the mozzies. The local village is great if you want a relaxed holiday just enjoying the beach and a few cafes and bars. The grocery shops sell the basics including fresh fruit and veg, bread is baked in a clay oven twice a week, and you can buy fresh fish on the seafront each day. Beer is about £1, a meal about £8 tops. We didn't hire a car but the bus to Scarborough was very comfy and worth an afternoon. The walk to Englishman's bay is about 45 mins and well worth it for a the beautiful beach. There's loads more you could do, but it's very easy to not do much at in Castara. Other reviewers have commented on the cockrels and dogs, but we didn't have any problems. Anne was really helpful during our stay, showing us around and sharing local knowledge. If you prefer to be away from big hotels and like accomodation with a bit of rustic charm, then Castara Cottage is a great option.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Liked best: natural style
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jovkili
Vancouver
1 review
“this was something different...”
Reviewed January 14, 2012 for a stay in July 2011

We definitely loved our stay at Castara. It was very interesting, beautiful, unusual...
Firstly and most importantly to mention is that this is not all you can eat, non-stop entertainment, resort style vacation. This is about spending time on a beautiful tropical island, among villagers whose life is not revolving only around tourists but around... fishing, mostly, I guess.

Secondly, we were there at summer time (July 2011) which has two significant implications:
1. It is the time for the rains - beautiful quick warm tremendous downpours; the only problem is that bugs love them too and thrive in those rainy days.
2. As there are more bugs, there are fewer visitors so you get more of the island beauty and attention from the locals for yourself.

Long pants are highly recommended: mosquitoes (or sand flies, or both, or whatever) bite, usually under knees. Not having exposed legs and feet helps a lot.

Apart from the beautiful scenery, beaches, water, what truly made our trip special and memorable were the people; they were all sincerely friendly, helpful, spontaneous, relaxed, generous. We made many good friends there.

We loved our Castara Cottage Tamarind apartment - it felt like a home: cosy, colourful, spacious. The deck was everyone's favourite spot. The living room could be turned into balcony as well – two walls are actually boards that open for even more breeze to come in; there are no glass windows anywhere and you definitely do not need them. We also enjoyed it's location very much. The bathroom had only very basic functionality; a hose outside was helpful. The kitchen was modest but offered everything we needed to make meals.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: people... neighbours, villigaers, toboganians....
Liked least: mosquitos
Traveling group: Family with Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
agentmagn...
Clarksville, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Incredible!”
Reviewed November 15, 2011 for a stay in July 2011

WOW - what a remarkable and most incredible time my husband and I had in Castara and staying at your Tamarind apt. Based on the description, I had a hunch we'd enjoy ourselves, but it was really just magnificent and simply perfect for us. An overall eventful, yet relaxing time and we would certainly love to return. The vibe in Castara is so peaceful and raw - we absolutely fell in love with the people and the place.

Kitchen was well stocked, loved the openness of the place, PLENTY of space for a small family or less. Very charming. Pretty awesome design in our opinion. Glorious natural environment :)

Ann went above and beyond with customer service. I was very last minute with reservations and questions, but Ann made it so easy and was so helpful to assist me with questions, advice, and making sure we got the most value out of our trip.

We had a joyous vacation, with plenty of fresh food including fresh fish and fresh veggies for making mango salsa - mmm. The locals were so genuine and made us feel right at home.

Our captain, "Loady" was excellent and made sure we knew what was poppin' with the locals every day/night. We went scuba diving with Ritchie (wonderful), and on a boat ride with Loady on our last day to check out Bucco Reef, the Nylon Pool, and some other sites on the coast. GREAT suggestion by Ann to go that route vs. road!! Amazing Time. I caught a King Fish! Joshua was super friendly and checked in on us a few times to make sure we were comfortable and all was good with our stay.

Fantastic food at local restaurants - especially at restaurant near Little Bay. Holy cow, biggest freshly caught lobster of our lives and was exquisitely prepared. A lot of variety in veggies, and place became a chill spot for us.

*Not located ON the beach, but we could see both bays from our deck which was a stunning view, and the walk down to the beaches was 1-2 minutes...you're tucked away and fairly private, but you are not secluded. You do have some neighbors, but they were cool.

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Liked best: Vibe and Open/Spacious natural Apt.
Liked least: Walk to and from beach can be rough without proper shoes
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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