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“Magic in La Magdalena!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Carpe Diem Villa

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Carpe Diem Villa
GreenLeadersGold level
North of Here
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Magic in La Magdalena!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

There are a lot of reasons for taking a “trip of a lifetime”. In our case it was the end of a maternity leave period.

The decision to travel 4,500 miles with a thirteen year-old and a 10 month old baby might seem a strange one to some, but when you choose a place like Carpe Diem in Castara it becomes about the best decision you’ve ever made.

I don’t remember imagining that we’d feel sick on arrival and heart-broken on departure; but we did: Sick with jealousy and heart-broken to leave. The single best holiday we have ever had; and we’re not inexperienced travellers.

Carpe Diem was exactly as we’d imagined it, except more so. Our opening remarks to Chris were that we were already green with envy (nearly as green as the gardens) and that we already hated him! That bit wasn’t true (we’ll come back to that).

The view is stunning. The few minutes’ walk into the village and on to the beach is shorter than we expected. The balcony is right in the garden (there is a Papaya tree within yards – we ate some!) and within minutes we were seeing Tanagers, Mot Mots, Cocricro, Ant Shrikes, Humming Birds and more. We had visits from red squirrels, lizards, butterflies, and at one point one of Tobago’s non-venomous snakes.

The apartments are immaculately kept and everything you could want is available in them.
Castara is an absolute dream. A genuine Caribbean paradise of a village. Very few tourists - very few villagers! - and a working fishing village. You will want to do a supermarket shop on your way there though – the shops are a bit limited. But the fresh bread and cakes from the outdoor oven are a real treat.

We had the great big glorious beach to ourselves more or less for the week and a half we were there. We met so many great people but somehow they melt away when it comes to being on the sand. No bothersome chair vendors or anything vendors; just you, the (brilliant) sand and the waves.

We helped pull in the seine nets (and earned five greenback fish as a result which Splish Splosh came and cooked for us in a Caribbean style for a very small fee and his lunch). We snorkelled. We ate good food. We visited the rain forest. We went out on a boat trip with Chris and Yvonne, and some of their other guests and former guests and locals, and we had a BBQ on the beach, and rum punch in the Nylon Pond.

Chris and Yvonne are just brilliant. It’s not usual to leave having made good friends with the landlords, but I really believe we did. They are just great people. They give good advice on what to do; they lend you books and bus tickets, take you on boat trips, make you laugh, let you use the internet, and generally have about as fantastic a house and lifestyle as you could reasonably long for!

Within a few hours of arrival Chris had brought us a book about Tobago’s history; La Magdalena: The Story of Tobago. Magdalena is the island’s original name, and Chris had been delighted to find it to be the name of our daughter too. We hadn’t known that, but in that moment we knew everything was just right.

Leaving Castara was really hard, partly because it’s stupidly beautiful, partly because it’s gloriously sunny, partly because the food is pretty good and the pace of life is ideal, and partly because there is just enough of everything and just enough of nothing to do. But mainly because we made a lot of good friends; most of all Chris (the Prof!) and Yvonne.

You will not be disappointed to have chosen here; you will be heart-broken to leave.

Room Tip: The rooms are all stunning. Great value, great views, great people!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pseudograph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
D
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

Support and service:

I choosed the place because of the beautyful view and the recommendations here at tripadvisor.
And what else can I say, that I found it to be true. First of all Yvonne supported me from the very first contact with quick responses, a car to pick me up from the hotel and informations about what and where to do in the first days. And that is exactly how it continued with Dorris and Denzel the Housekeepers: When you needed something, they were friendly and helped you to get quickly what you need( for example a cellphone or gas). Again thank you Yvonne, Dorris and Denzel

Room:
The room looked exactly like it looks on the pictures! The view from the balcony is amazing and falling asleep with the sound of the waves as well as waking up with the singing of the birds was more than overwhelming for me.

Relaxing, eating and drinking in town:
The town offered more than I expected, because in fact you can reach every place that is importent for a tourist in max. 10 minutes.
The beaches are about five minutes walking from the Villa and the restaurants as well. I preferred the little bay, because the water is very calm there and the view made me feel like I was in paradise. Especially at night when the moon comes out it is wonderful.

My favorite breakfast was cocoabake at the Coffeshop. I loved their rumpunch, too, which they serve in the evening/night.
I ate at several places and would recomend each of it for it speacial dishes: I really liked the spicy and tasty fish (and the shrimps) at the beach restaurant near the suncist supermarket. Veras -also at the beach- offers roti, never ate it before and liked it. At Shirmas bar you can get good barbecue. At Marguerites I liked the crab and dumplin (?), the soße was delicous.
In the evening or night I went to the boathouse where they offer music,drinks and sometimes drumplaying and dancing .
When I needed groceries I usually found it in one of the small shops, one of them -you find it on the way to little bay-sold mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.

People:
Travelling alone as a young women, who just wanted to relax and read, I was worried at first. But I have to say, that the people did not bother me, when I wanted to be alone. The were friendly, helpful and I was treated in an respectful way, so that I really felt comfortable and safe all the time.
This was the best about my trip, so that I will come back to castara.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New London, Connecticut
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

My friend and I recently visited both Trinidad and Tobago over Carnival. We didn't have the best accomodations in Trinidad so we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived in Tobago and realized where we were staying! The house is set into the hillside- surrounded by lush green vegetation, beautiful birds and the most amazing view of Castara Bay. Chris and Yvonne are extremely hospitable and friendly and by the end of our stay we felt like family.
If you are looking for a place where you feel like time stands still, I highly recommend Carpe Diem. You won't want to leave! Or, like my friend and I, you will be planning your next visit to Castara as soon as you get home.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank misschrissylove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

I love it here and will be back if Chris and Yvonne will have me! They are such lovely people and have a lovely place to stay. We stayed in the Green Room which had a large bathroom and opened to a giant deck. The view is the best in the area and the sunsets are unreal. Wild birds sit near you and eat any birdfood left for them. Banana trees hang over the walk way. The people of the little villiage are friendly and welcoming. I am so glad my friend and I happened to stay in Castara as opposed to the more bustling areas. The beach is a five minute walk, if that.

Chris and Yvonne helped us arrange transportation and also entertainment during our stay. Their tips on where to eat and what to do were greatly appreciated. They really went out of their way to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. I recommend 100 percent.

Jenny Brooklyn, NY

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2012

Tucked away in the hillside overlooking the bays of castara, carpe diem provides fabulous views in a lush tropical setting. The studio we stayed in was tastefully and thoughtfully furnished and well equipped, especially if you like to cook during your stay. The owners,Chris and Yvonne were really friendly and helpful, as were the local staff, Denzil and Doris. If you are looking for a Tobagan experience that takes you away from the resorts and guest houses clustered around Crown Point, and you value your independence too, then you're unlikely to find anything better than this gem of a place Martin & Sigrun, Feb, 2012

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Slowmotion66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2012

Yvonne and Chris place fits perfectly its name! Unconventional and peaceful, relaxing and beautiful! The best view in Castara and the best guests around... The sunset is a daily surprise and Christopher knows all the good connections in the village. A real pleasure, that's the british hospitality as the French love it,
Arielle and Pierre

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pierre D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lymington, hampshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2012

A lovely studio apartment with fantastic views over the bays, especially at sunset. Superb wildlilfe all around, you just have to sit still and watch to see some of the most lovely birds. Yes, there are chickens running around and yes they make some noise but so what - this is Tobago life as it is lived! When we arrived I was unwell but sitting and reading and watching all around me was just what I needed to recover. Even if it meant I didn't have a rum until the end of the second week. Chris & Yvonne (the owners) were staying there and were so great and helpful, leaving me to be quiet when in recovery and then including us in a trip etc when I was up to it. The village is so friendly, the walking is hilly but very rewarding. It felt like being part of a community, the locals were very friendly and laid back and the fresh fish caught off the coast and brought in in the afternoon, prepared and sold on the beach was amazing. And there is a proper bread oven on the beach where a couple of local ladies bake twice a week. If we go again we would hire a car just for a few days and see a bit more of the island, although there is bus service into Scarborough (but why would anyone want to leave Castara?) A very happy holiday. ps: Don't forget plenty of insect repellant!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank greenhouse51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Carpe Diem Villa

Property: Carpe Diem Villa
Address: Northside Road | Castara Tobago, Castara, Tobago
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Castara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Castara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the top 5 Speciality Accommodation on TripAdvisor with 129 reviews for last 6 years. All suites have queen size beds and en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold water. Fully equipped kitchen areas with larger than usual refrigerator, real stove/grill, toaster, juicer, water filter etc. Personal safe deposit box. All the rooms have great views of the ocean, without even getting out of bed, and great sunsets as it faces almost due West! ( Banana & Cocoa trees may obscure the studio view a little depending on how they are fruiting!!(House faces 240Degrees). We have just built the "Garden Room" an annex to Studio 2 to accommodate a child/adult so as to give the parents a little more privacy. The 2 safe beaches are 100 yards away and all village amenities are within walking distance. Wi-fi hotspot/5GB broadband! Check with your partner if you are allowed to use it though! A recent couple ended up arguing because he stayed in daily contact with his office...... Ideal for birdwatchers as you can see most of the island's birds from the balcony. We can arrange diving, car hire, rainforest walks etc. Smoking allowed outside on the balcony,( well it is a wooden house! ) A lot of couples seem to get engaged while staying with us so yes we can sort out wedding arrangements as well........................!! We have been awarded the Trip Advisor "Certificate of Excellence" for the last 6 years for which we have to thank our guests for their reviews and trust it means we are getting it right! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Carpe Diem Villa Hotel Castara
Carpe Diem Villa Tobago/Castara

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