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“Somewhere in Paradise”
Review of Carpe Diem Villa

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Carpe Diem Villa
GreenLeadersGold level
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Somewhere in Paradise”
Reviewed 9 April 2013

Out from the seedy airport area and expensive tourist hotels in the SW of the island are small fishing villages dotted around the coast. Castara is on the Caribbean about half way up the west side & perfect for talking part in real village life. Not so many tourists venture up here but it's a wonderful taste of what the real Caribbean is like with amusing friendly locals.

Nestled above the wonderful beach is Carpe Diem. A haven of tranquillity and just the best place to unwind. We shared the upstairs apartment with the owners Chris and Yvonne who are the very best of hosts. Living there for 3 months every year they know all the locals and places to eat and visit.

They built this house a few years back & the breeze blows through the spacious rooms, not a pane of glass in site. A comfortable bed, good shower and cooking facilities add to the comfort of this lovely house together with sharing your breakfast with the vast array of brightly coloured birds that visit you on the veranda each morning and fruit bats in the evening.

Behind the house is the rainforest and we spent many hours here when we got too hot on the beach. Our guide, recommended by Yvonne and accredited by the tourist office, was Errol Roach - not a relation. He was just the most informed man and so willing to part with a ton of information - some unregistered guides just wiz you through but he spent many hours with us.

Food is of a high standard in the local restaurants but avoid pretentious / expensive ones - Sandcastles being a case in point, see a full review on www.mytobago.info.

Fish & shellfish are on most menus depending on the days catch along with chicken and some excellent goat, usually only consisting of 4-5 items but the standard of cooking is high, mainly fresh and generally cheap. Careful with any of the chilli dishes - I mistakenly agreed to one where the option was normal - read extreme!!!

We found a car essential for touring further a field and again Yvonne came up with a great local company. The bays with glorious beaches further north were idyllic and deserted.

Don't forget to check out the direct Monarch flight - 30kgs of luggage and great service. Far cheaper than BA and Virgin who seem to have identical prices!

I can whole heartedly recommend Carpe Diem for that all important relaxing break, so easy to get to and away from our inclement weather in the UK. Such good value.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 14 August 2013
Thank you for a great review, it reminds me of everything that made us decide to build the house in Castara in the first place!
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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English first
Thorpe Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Castara is a great place to stay in Tobago. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Carpe Diem. The view from the apartment was superb and so enjoyed watching the variety of birds from the balcony even the chickens! Yvonne and Chris were perfect hosts, very welcoming and were always happy to answer our questions about local restaurants and places to visit. The Boathouse restaurant on the beach was our favourite. The beach at Castara was good and we did some snorkelling. We also liked the next beach along the coast Englishmans Bay. Walking in the rainforest was very enjoyable. We generally don't go back to somewhere we have visited before but Carpe Diem is the exception and we can't wait to return.

Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Cajah3592600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 31 July 2016
Everytime I read reviews such as yours it just confirms that we did the right thing and build the house here in Castara. We are going back in September for another 2 months of bliss!
Thankyou for the lovely review.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 March 2013

We stayed at Carpe Diem in Castara for a week at the end of February into early March.

What a fantastic place, Chris and Yvonne are great hosts and made us feel very welcome as soon as we arrived.

Castara is a lovely friendly place and we will definitely be back! Much nicer than the southern touristy end of the island. Carpe Diem has everything you need for a comfortable stay and has a lovely view of the bay and plenty of wildlife to watch from the balcony.

Sadly we missed the drum night at The Boathouse on the first night as we were too tired from travelling but we ate there on our last night and the food was very good with the biggest tuna steak I have ever seen!

The steel band night on Saturdays at the coffee shop is a must and the food was excellent and we had the best fish and chips ever at Margarites opposite on our last day.

I fished from the beach when the sea calmed down but didn’t catch anything there apart from hooking a monstrous fish which emptied my reel and then snapped the line. It’s good fun but hot work helping the local fisherman pull in their seine nets so as suggested in the welcome pack, don’t just stand there watching, give them a hand.

We spent two days fishing at the southern end of the Island with Kester Herbert – I could not recommend him enough as a guide, a thoroughly nice chap who really knows his stuff – if you want to catch bonefish or permit then he is the man to contact

http://www.grandslamtobago.com/index.html

- we had a bbq with Chris and Yvonne and provided some fish which we (I say we but it was my fiancé who caught them not me!).

The waterfall just a few minutes walk out of the village is a great place to cool off on a really hot day.

If you are looking for a relaxing holiday in Tobago and would rather avoid the commercial areas and big hotels then Castara is perfect – sadly a week was not enough and we both wanted to stay longer!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Passionforangling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 31 July 2016
Thankyou for the great review ! So when are you coming back ? The fish are still there waiting for you and it takes no time at all to fire up the bbq!
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Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2013

Spent a comfortable week in Carpe Diem apartment with added bonus of having Chris and Yvonne at hand to advise and recommend local places to explore and visit. They were very welcoming and we felt right at home as soon as we arrived. The apartment was well equipped and clean. Castara itself was the perfect location for getting away from it all and seeing the true Tobagan way of life. The local beach was within easy reach and there was a gorgeous view and lovely sunset from the balcony where you could also watch the birds for hours until the banana plant opened at dusk allowing the fruit bats to drink its nectar. The walk to Englishman's bay was delightful and always offered something new to look at within the rainforest, the view from the top of the hill overlooking the bay was breathtaking. Alibaba's boat trip to Bucco reef and mangrove forest was great fun and informative, beware of the rum punch! For independent traveler's this is a beautiful spot which is unspoiled and the locals are friendly and helpful. Will always have very fond memories of our stay and hope to return some day.

Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Threadweavle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 31 July 2016
What a great review thankyou, so you say you want to return some day ? Remember the name we gave the house "Carpe Diem" seize the day !
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 March 2013

Expect a little piece of paradise. We felt right at home in the clean and welcoming apartment. Chris and Yvonne are really helpful and lovely. The apartment was bigger than we had imagined, well thought out and the location is perfect; with rainforest and beaches what more can you want! Feeding the exotic birds and fruit bats and watching the sunsets became our favourite past time.
We loved the fishing village of Castara, people are friendly and the food is brilliant. We didn't want to go anywhere else.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JS11022013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 31 July 2016
So glad you enjoyed our piece of Paradise so much...........we look forward to seeing you again one day, it just gets better and better but harder to leave !!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Faversham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 March 2013

Just got back to cold, wet, grey UK - a whole world away from Carpe Diem. What a great place, everyone so friendly; Chris & Yvonne were great hosts, always on hand if you wanted them and BBQ on their deck watching the sun go down. I can only echo what everyone else says and will definitely be returning. I loved the fact that Castara exists for the locals and we just join in with them, drumming, beach bonfire, steel panning or just chilling and chatting. We had a jeep for a few days but only because the sea was a bit rough for snorkelling. The rain forest is just amazing and the vibracy of the colours in both the greenery and the flowers - ginger, heliconium, orchids, bougainvillea - stunning. Will definitely be returning to Carpe Diem and remember to open the side window in the kitchen to get more of a through breeze at night.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maggie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 31 July 2016
So Maggie when are we going to see you again ? It only gets better, trust me!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2013 via mobile

The most important thing is the way that Chris and Eyvonne make you so very welcome. From the moment you arrive they are so full of local information . Carpe Diem is right in the rainforest but only a minutes walk away from the beaches and restaurants in Castara . Fantastic sights and sounds , good food , fantastic views and lovely people .

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rich4_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GinandtonicSurrey, Owner at Carpe Diem Villa, responded to this review, 9 March 2013
The great part of our "job" is sharing our experiences and knowledge of Castara and it's people and trying to let our guests know and understand why it is we chose to live here.
Always the hardest part is saying goodbye when they have to leave !
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Additional Information about Carpe Diem Villa

Property: Carpe Diem Villa
Address: Northside Road | Castara Tobago, Castara 00000, 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 #5 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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