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Castara Retreats
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Reviews (472)
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Reviewed September 11, 2013

We were last here in February and we loved it so much that my wife and I decided to come again! We really feel at home at Castara Retreats and in Castara. Kenny, Porridge, Jeanell and the rest of the team are incredibly friendly and they really look after you, should you need it, although if you want a quiet holiday were you have independence then Castara Retreats is ideal! The accommodation is beautiful and a real pleasure to be in when relaxing in the hammock, feet up, good book, and a fantastic view of Castara, the beach and the Caribbean ocean. Hummingbird's frequent the feeders and flowers in the garden while frigate birds patrol the bay. Snorkelling was even better this August as the seas were flat and still for most of our visit (I saw three turtles!). There is also a small bar and restaurant here so if you want to have fantastically fresh fish (or meat, or vegetarian) then you won't be disappointed - I didn't eat one dish which wasn't delicious. Make sure you try the cocktails and rums too! We are very pleased to have discovered Tobago and Castara Retreats, we will definitely be back again (again!).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank george_g_f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Recently pent a few days in Castara with my wife and children after travelling to Tobago for a wedding. We were able to reserve Rainforest for 3 nights in between other bookings. . The lodge is more geared to Europeans who stay for extended periods. Wasn't sure what to expect, but decided to stay based on all the positive reviews. This turned out to be one of the most unique, tranquil places I've experienced. Castara retreats is definitely not one of your sanitized, interchangeable beach resorts and is not your place if you need structured, organized activities. But really did get a feel for the village and the rhythm of daily life there Castara bay is fairly remote, but it such a beautiful place.

The rooms at the lodge are open, up on a cliff from the beach, with great views and lots of wildlife. The kid's called it the "treehouse," and it almost felt like camping, but with all the amenities of a condo. We were never really that hot in the lodge even though it was open to outdoors with no AC. We didn't have a huge problem with mosquitoes and used lots of spray and netting on beds worked. But here were quite a few June bugs at night if using lights instead of candles. It was really just a short walk to the beach, but you have to cross the main road into town. We were often the only ones on the beach
Porridge and the staff were great and really helpful. Nice having the restaurant available, but also bought fish on the beach from the fisherman. There is a decent kitchen in the rooms. There isn't much going on in the town and the place really shuts down after dark. It's a good idea to bring groceries from Scarborough, as the few stores in town don't have much and seem to randomly close. But, that's the nice thing about Castara; really just a different way of life without stress. My only regret is that we weren't able to stay longer and we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank nkrpctl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We just returned from a week at Castara Retreats and absolutely loved it. The accommodations are simple and lovely: our unit had a spectacular view of the bay, a terrace for morning coffee, a hammock for lounging and a bird feeder for enjoying the local wildlife. The trip to the beach was steep but worth every step; every evening we came back to pink and blue sunsets in the open-air bar and delicious cocktails to enjoy them by. Most nights we stayed to eat at the restaurant which we loved.

But the real reason to stay at Castara Retreats is the people. Kenny and Porridge and Jeannelle and Patricia and Claudio are warm welcoming and friendly. Porridge helped us book trips and brought us natural aloe for sunburns. (When a tree fell and blocked the road on our way back to the airport he quickly jumped out and helped chop and remove it.) Kenny is the heart of the bar and restaurant. He is engaging and funny and no request is unheeded; he also makes a mean drink. The food was consistently fresh and delicious. We ate sometimes alone and at others in impromptu groups with other guests.

We have traveled to numerous destinations in the Caribbean over the years and agree that this was the best vacation ever. This is a very special place.

Room Tip: Hummingbird I and II are on the quiet side and have beautiful views.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Judith S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We visited Castara Retreats as part of my friend's wedding party and were absolutely stunned by both the accommodation and the beauty of Casta.

Everything was to a high standard, very clean and beautifully laid out. The retreat was in local proximity to the beach and it was a complete dream to be so close to nature. The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating.

As a Vegetarian, I have often found it difficult to find food options when travelling to new places but Kenny's kitchen at Castara Retreats had some special dishes prepared.

We would definitely recommend Castara Retreats as an incredibly romantic getaway and also great for families wanting some time out.

Thanks again to the Castara Retreats,

Room Tip: We stayed in The Studio room on the ground floor- the only one so far with the much-needed air conditioning unit! Beautiful open kitchen with beautiful sea views and local birds visiting the balcony.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Natasha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

This lodge is build on a slope, overlooking the castara beach, the view is marvelous .two thumbs up.walk down to castara beach only 5 minutes away.this lodge has only few rooms.thats why it's very quiet.it has a small restaurant, only 7-8 tables.
A tiny parking lots good for 3 cars only.There are no reception area, hardly see any staffs around.once you settled down, if you have problem you need to call the manager to come back from outside and solve your problem ,it's really inconvenience.however their attitude is very nice,
Now come to the interior, this lodges are a wooden lodge, some with living room , some with patio,
All equipped with kitchen ,mosquito net, everything is very simple and basic, in my opinion it is not a comfortable place to stay,the worst part is that we are suffering serious mosquitos bite everyday,no air conditioning inside the lodge, so it is hot hot hot to sleep ( despite they provide a electrical fan)because you couldnt open the wndow,there will be lots of inserts flying in.i saw a very large gecko hidden inside the wardrobe .absolutely terrified me.
Overall , this lodge is not suitable for me,

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank edwinHongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jean W, Director of Sales at Castara Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2013

It’s taken me a few days to reflect on the review posted by our guest who stayed in Birdsong. We are always concerned on the rare occasions when someone is not happy, and we look closely into what has been said, and at any responsibility we have for the problems. Many of our clients tell us that Castara Retreats exceeds their expectations and so on occasions such as this we try to understand what occurred in order to see whether there are things we can learn and improve. On re-reading their report I find that I agree most with their final words “this lodge is not suitable for me”. My concern with their report is simply that our website is very clear that all of the things that they were unhappy about are the very things that we tell people that we do not provide, and are not part of our ethos. I’m truly sorry that they were not happy, and can only believe that they did not read our website before making their reservation. We are really proud of the open style of our accommodations that are designed to optimise our enjoyment of the surrounding natural environment. The following lines feature prominently on our website and represent only a small proportion of the information we provide to enable our guests to make good choices for themselves.

Home page –
• The basic principle at Castara Retreats is for guests to look after themselves in well-resourced self-catering accommodation with good local support that is free from the constraints and protocols of Caribbean hotels.
Notes for Visitors:
• the basic principle is looking after yourselves in well-resourced self-catering accommodation with good back up and support from our manager, Porridge, who whilst not in residence, is available during his daily morning and evening visits.
• We have designed our seven accommodations to be open to the wonderful landscape of Castara with its beach and rainforest whilst also being furbished with quality furniture and fittings. Birds and bats fly past, sting rays can be spotted in the sea from your lodge, and rain showers can be seen approaching, obliterating the hill for a short time, and departing again. You are likely to spot fireflies above your mosquito net at night, and wake to the light of the sun and the dawn chorus. In this way the house resonates with its setting - there are no cappuccino bars in Castara, and you are much more likely to encounter crab n' dumpling or calaloo soup than Spaghetti Bolognese in the village restaurants. This is a stunningly beautiful and unsophisticated place.
• It is important for clients to be aware that Castara Retreats is not a hotel and we do not offer some of the services of a hotel, such as 24 hour staffing or daily maid service. It also means that we are free of some of the constraints and protocols of such establishments.
• We made the conscious decision to create a small car park that sits into the landscape and does not impact negatively. Our main objective was to ease things during arrival and departure and the need to carry heavy bags. With care, there is room to park 3 cars in front of the utility building.
Independent review prominently featured on our website:
• This kind of environment will not suit everyone. Anyone with phobias about bats, birds, lizards or spiders would be wiser to consider one of the large air-conditioned hotels at the more populated end of the island. Like all tropical destinations, Tobago has insects of every type and description.
• Air-conditioning would be contrary to the ethos of the resort and impossible to operate given the architectural style of the building. Equally importantly, it is totally unnecessary. Truly!

Poppy Talbot on behalf of the Castara Retreats team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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