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“The perfect rain forest hideaway......”
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Carpe Diem-seize the day! A glass of Pinot Grigio !
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Carpe Diem-seize the day! A glass of Pinot Grigio !
First view of Carpe Diem villa Sunset 1 & 2 share the 45ft balcony
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Very good
23 reviews
Carpe Diem-seize the day! A glass of Pinot Grigio !
First view of Carpe Diem villa
Sunset 1 & 2 share the 45ft balcony
View of Castara main bay from the house
The balcony is perfect for Al fresco dining, sunsets & bird watching
View along the 45ft balcony
Main beach Castara. 2 minute stroll?
Little or Heavenly Bay as it is know locally. Great for snorkeling
View of house in between the palms from the sea
Swimming in the pool at Castara waterfall
Picking & eating mangoes on Castara main beach
View from Little bay towards the main beach
Castara bay first view
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 3
Castara, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 23 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Chris J
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“The perfect rain forest hideaway......”
Reviewed April 3, 2012 for a stay in March 2012
1
person found this review helpful

We spent two weeks at Carpe Diem in March 2012 - our first time in the Carribbean. It's five minutes from either the beach or the centre of the village and was exactly what we hoped for when we booked.

We were fortunate in that the owners, Chris and Yvonne, were staying at the time as they were the perfect hosts - friendly, informative, never intrusive, and good fun! Their apartments are ideal for this type of holiday, where you'll be spending minimal time inside. They're clean and well-equipped with a big fridge-freezer, really comfortable bed with mosquito netting, fans to keep you cool and ample kitchen space and utensils if you're mad enough to want to cook all of your meals yourself.

The balcony outside gives the impression that you're in a tree-house, and you'll be visited by an impressive array of birds from dawn till dusk. The view over the bay has to be one of the best in Castara, and yes, you can lie in bed and gaze out over the Carribbean.

Castara itself is not your usual tourist resort and has few facilities. It's a fishing village, and this is its big appeal. The locals are generally friendly and pleasant and you'll find pretty much everything you need by way of provisions in the many small stalls and shops which are dotted around the village. The fruit and vegetables are especially good. The women of the village bake fantastic bread at an outdoor clay oven twice a week - you can order before 10am and it's ready for collection the same afternoon.

If you want to explore, then there's a car hire facility down at Little Bay, with small 4x4's or saloon cars for rent from around $40US / £24 a day, plus fuel. Don't worry about the fuel cost as at the time of writing, petrol is $27TT (£0.27) per litre.... The roads however are not for the faint-hearted, and you'd be well-advised to hire a local driver to take you round the island (which won't cost much more than the cost of hiring a car). Whatever you do, do not attempt to hire a car at the airport and drive to Castara, hoping to find Carpe Diem. Just don't do it - ask Yvonne to arrange for Denzel to collect you, he's a good driver.

There are two beaches at Castara, the main beach, and Little Bay (or Heavenly Bay as it's sometimes referred to). We used them both, but Little Bay became out favorite. Never crowded, and backed by the Boat House (serving amazing rum punch) it's the perfect place to soak up some sun and enjoy the surroundings. Wednesday nights are 'drum nights' and some of the local guys get together to entertain, while Sharron serves up local dishes. For the young, athletic or crazy, you can try your limbo skills, but I prefer this as a spectator sport!

Snorkling off the beach at Little Bay is some of the best I've seen, with both variety and quantity of marine life available within 20metres of the shore. There's a small reef a little further out where I spent some quality time with a small turtle one morning.

Eating out is the only way in Castara. the food is all freshly prepared and tasty. There's not a big variety of food and if you only eat at McDonalds, then Castara is probably not for you. Breakfast for two at Cheno's (bacon, eggs, coconut bake, fresh fruit juice and coffee) costs less than $100TT (£10). This will pretty much set you up for the day. In the evening, a meal for two costs around $200TT (£20). Not all of the restaurants serve alcohol, but you're welcome to take your own.

Back to Carpe Diem: having said that Castara is not 'touristy', there are quite a lot of places to stay in the village. We just happen to think that we got the best one. Why? Well, it can get a bit noisy down by the beach (especially on drum night), and we felt that some in some places you could feel a little crowded. Carpe Diem is just far enough away from the beach to remove you from all that, but not so far that you need oxygen when you drag yourself home in the evenings - it's as if you can 'step back' at the end of the day (or at any other time) and just switch off. Perfect.

A few tips that might help fellow visitors - not complaints, just advice: be aware that there are a lot of hills in Tobago, and Castara has its fair share; take a small torch with you - it's very, very dark at night; don't forget the insect repellant - if you do, then the store next to the fisherman's co-op sells petroleum jelly containing citronella and eucalyptus. It may sound disgusting but believe me, it works a treat.

Date of stay: March 2012
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: Evening on the balcony
Liked least: Having to come home
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • 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.
Sue F
Hereford
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Studio with very helpful hosts and a lovely view over the Caribbean.”
Reviewed March 18, 2012 for a stay in February 2012

Christopher and Yvonne were extremely helpful and accommodating. The studio is conveniently situated in Castara close to the beach and away from the more touristy end of the island (still not very touristy)! The accommodation was just what we needed, clean and simple, (we ate out - it might be more difficult if you wanted to do alot of cooking.) We saw lots of birds which visited the feeders on the balcony and appreciated the beautiful sunsets. The sandflies are bad on the beach but not at the villa.

Date of stay: February 2012
How easy was it to book 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: The birds and the views.
Liked least: Sandflies and cockerel.
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • 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.
dano_in_o...
Steubenville, OH
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great location with kind, helpful, and knowledgeable hosts.”
Reviewed February 22, 2012 for a stay in February 2012

While considering a trip to TT, I randomly contacted Chris (one of the owners) to inquire about the country and travel there. As I reviewed lodging, I later learned that he and his wife, Yvonne, owned and operated Villa Carpe Diem. (He never mentioned it!) They had availability, so I booked. That was one of my best decisions about this trip!

The accommodations are great. It's clean, safe, and comfortable. The view is truly amazing and its location makes you forget that you are still inside the little village of Castara. There were other wonderful guests at the house, and we all got to interact and enjoy a nice meal together on the main balcony one evening.

I enjoyed being secluded from the traffic and sight of the village people, while only being a 30 second walk down to the main road to access the village. Again, the privacy and safety of this lodging are paramount.

The hosts, Chris and Yvonne, were so helpful and accommodating to us and all their guests. They are well accepted and established in the community and advised us well as to what to do, where to go, what to see, and what to avoid. They helped in arranging some excursions. I never hesitated to mention to the locals that we were guests of Chris and Yvonne, as it mattered in getting a fair shake with some people.

Also, the owners are very supportive of the locals and of the well-being of the village and the whole island. I appreciated their investment of not only money, but interest and time in helping the people of Castara while maintaining a home for themselves and for guests.

Date of stay: February 2012
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: Location and the kindness of the hosts.
Liked least: Castara is just a small village. Make plans to do other tours from there.
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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.
Management Response
Feb 21, 2012
There should be a section to enable owners to review guests as well! Dan O & his buddy James were really great guests and we would not hesitate in giving them 5* 's either!We do seem to attract some of the nicest people out there.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armelle L
Rennes, France
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The perfect holiday home”
Reviewed February 21, 2012 for a stay in February 2012

You have compared websites, comfort, view, cost and made your booking: then you hold your breath. At Carpe Diem, we got more than we expected: the transfer from the airport worked as arranged with Denzill, we found a large studio, a very comfortable bed, full kitchen equipment, nothing missing. When at home we spent most of our time on the balcony, enjoying the view, the visiting birds, the garden, watching out for the return of the fishermen to go to the beach and buy fish.
What we got at Carpe Diem wasn’t just good accommodation: what made the difference was the owners ’role, supplying information or equipment when needed, making it possible to socialize with other guests if you are inclined to, and constantly working hard to maintain and improve the villa they have created.
In our experience (that includes St Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Domenica, Antiga, Curacao), Tobago is among the friendliest and most relaxed in the Caribbean, with pleasant climate and a mix of hills, rainforest, sandy bays for swimming, snorkeling, diving … or rest.And Castara is an authentic fishing village, with tiny shops offering all you need (once you’ve sorted out who sells what) , a wide range of restaurants, hikes inland and along the coast, car rentals and buses …

Date of stay: February 2012
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: comfort and atmosphere
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
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.
Jean F
Easingwold, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A great place to chill out”
Reviewed December 23, 2011 for a stay in November 2011

We spent a week at Carpe Diem after having a week in a hotel at Crown Point. It was a complete contrast. If you are looking for an authentic taste of the Carribean then you should try Castara and make Carpe Diem your base. The house is situated on a hill above the village, which means stunning views from the verandah but a bit of a climb up to it. We saw a huge variety of birds come to the bird feeder and some amazing sunsets.

The studios have everything you need to self-cater, but we found it was too hot inside to do much cooking. It was still low season when we were there so the local bars and restaurants were quiet. We enjoyed early morning coffee at the Coffee Shop and also their BBQ evening with live music. Be sure to try the bread and cakes baked by the village ladies in a clay oven.

Don't be afraid to go down to the village and interact with the local people. We found everyone friendly and helpful. Castara is a fishing village not a tourist resort, and therefore you do need to make more effort to get the most out of it. It is all about simple pleasures and enjoying the wonderful surroundings. If you really just want to unwind and do as little as possible then Carpe Diem definitely allows you to do that

Date of stay: November 2011
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
Liked best: the birds and the views
Liked least: it was very hot in the room and we got bitten quite a lot
Traveling group: With Spouse/Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • 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.
NIck B
neyland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Charming hosts,clean.comfortable rooms sunsets to die for”
Reviewed October 7, 2011 for a stay in September 2011
1
person found this review helpful

Our villa sat overlooking Castara a small fishing village,there is a lovely sandy beach with
safe swimming and snorkeling . Our hosts arranged a fantastic boat trip for the day , also
a day at Pirates Bay and one of the oldest rainforest in the world,
Our studio apartments were clean with cool tiled floors ,wet rooms and fans,co's it is hot!
The locals were very friendly and helpful ,they offered several cafe / bars , shops,and of
course an ATM.
The villa is surrounded by a garden banana, mangos, paw paw, and avocados as big as
your head,which we had every day for breakfast.
Every night we watched the most stunning sunsets,with cold beers and cocktails from a
40 ft veranda ---- PARADISE. NICK BELL

Date of stay: September 2011
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: The location and my hosts
Liked least: Mossies and sandflies!
Traveling group: With Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children 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.
Edna C
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect place to stay”
Reviewed September 30, 2011 for a stay in September 2011

Carpe Diem is a wonderful place to stay. The apartment was clean and spacious and very well equipped for all our catering requirements. The liquidizer for making mango smoothies was very much appreciated. The view from the balcony must be the best in Castara, whether in the early morning looking out over the bay or the evening watching the spectacular sunsets. An added bonus is watching the many species of birds from the rain forest behind the apartment, including parrots and humming birds. A short walk down the hill leads to a choice of Little Bay (great for snorkelling – we saw lots of different types of fish) or Big Bay which has the advantage of being able to call in at the D’Lime bar for a ‘beastly’ cold beer (as described by the owner Marvin) on the way back up or the Coffee Shop for breakfast depending on the time of day. Castara is a lovely village with really good beaches, enough little shops to meet our needs plus fresh fish daily from the fishermen – combined with Carpe Diem, the best place to stay in Tobago.

Date of stay: September 2011
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: The view from the balcony and watching the birds
Traveling group: With Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • 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.
Management Response
Sep 29, 2011
Thankyou Edna!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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