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.
- 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