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“A Slice of Paradise”

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Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments
Reviewed 16 January 2014

If you are after thriving nightlife and traditional bars this is not the location for you, if you are looking for a slice of paradise then I would suggest you email Stephanie immediately.

From my first email enquire about availability to us leaving the island the level of service was amazing. Stephanie never failed to respond to my numerous queries and questions and after experiencing the internet connection first hand I was even more impressed with her prompt replies.

We were collected from the airport as part of the service by a very knowledgeable Mendales, on route back to the apartment he offered to stop at the supermarket and bank to ensure we would have everything we needed.

Stephanie and Alibaba were fantastic host, always ready to answer any questions but they were not intrusive.

The apartments had everything we needed for our two week stay, they were thoroughly cleaned every 3rd day even down to changing the shower curtain. There are three fans in the apartment these are more than adequate. We never once shut our veranda doors and this allowed a breeze through the apartment. I had read a few reviews complaining about the sound of the waves, I have to say they are loud but I found the sound relaxing and drifted off immediately.

For us the veranda was the highlight of the apartment offering stunning views over the water, providing the ideal place to relax and watch the wildlife.

Alibaba also offers a variety of trips we went on several, the day out on the boat was amazing. My husband couldn’t snorkel but after a few instructions from both Alibaba and Duc he was fine. We also went on a trip to Sunday school, this is on a Sunday evening but to be honest it really doesn’t get going until quite late, we had already settled in to island life and were ready for our beds by 10pm!

Castara itself is a small village, with two small stunning bays surrounded by rain forest. Fortunately as of yet there are no hotels, and only a small number of self-catering apartment ensuring on a small amount of tourists. There are a few small shops selling fruit and veg and in the evenings you can buy fresh fish from the local fisherman very cheaply. The village has a handful of bar / restaurants just don’t expect them all to be open all of the time.

We rented a jeep from Taylors this is located 30 seconds from the apartments. We toured around the island but were always happy to return to Castara after a few hours.

I can honestly say that we thought that Castara was the best place in Tobago, we enjoyed ourselves so much we booked for next Christmas before leaving the apartments.

Thank you to Stephanie, Alaibaba and all of the staff for making our stay so wonderful

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 53 of 116 reviews

Reviewed 6 October 2013

We have just spent a week at the Alibaba apartments. It is the first time that we have tried self catering and certainly not the last. The apartments have to be in the best location in Castara and a stone's throw from the beach. There is a stunning coral reef just there, so it's on with the snorkel, flippers and away you go. It was the rain season - so it was wet but warm and quickly over. Certainly did not stop us doing the things that we wanted to do. The apartments are well equipped (for my culinary standards at least) and it was serviced every other day - try finding that in the UK! We did a couple of the trips - well worth doing since the coastline is stunning and the reefs all just a bit different. The rainforest trip is great (with a very knowledgeable Jackson) and the visit around the island simply divine. Let's hope Tobago does not get spoilt - it certainly is a little piece of Paradise and should be cherished. We certainly will be back. I had read the reviews and therefore did sleep with earplugs. No problems.

Room Tip: We were in Stingway. Highly recommended.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Yasmin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

I stayed at Alibaba at the beginning of June for four nights. I was really looking forward to the trip, Castara is a beautiful village and the beach was gorgeous. The drive up to Castara is also very scenic. I recommend that you stop at the park in Castara en route to Alibaba's (don't know the name) to take in the views for a few minutes and really soak up the beauty of it all.

Initially when I contacted Stephanie she was very friendly and helpful which I loved because I rate customer service above ALL else. But once I paid the direct deposit for the trip that all changed. Before, it took me less than a day to hear back from her but once I paid she never responded to any of my emails. She claimed internet problems (that she sent a response but I just didn't receive it) but I find that rather convenient.

The night before we were bound for Tobago I called Stephanie just to remind her that we were coming and make sure everything was in place. She then told me that we cannot get the sugar bird room that we originally booked because the toilet is broken so she has placed us in the Iguana room next door. Well, good thing I called because I guess I would've only found that out on arrival. Immediate disappointment. She assured me the sugar bird was the most private and quiet etc so that's really what I wanted but I figured I would make the most of it. When we got there however, the room was actually occupied. No toilet problems, just occupied. This is an issue for me not even because that's the room I booked but because I was lied to. If you mixed up the booking then just say so, don't lie and then I get there and people are chilling on the balcony telling us hello. Moved past that with an eye roll.

The iguana room was nice, I like the layout of the rooms with the kitchen opening to the balcony etc. The water was literally right there and we could actually see a turtle (I named it Bob) swimming in the water every day. We also got to see Mot Mots, Cocricos, humming birds and many Bananaquits who are very cheerful to listen to. The room was cleaned on our second day there by Joy who was lovely and thorough.

The next day there was no water, we were slipped a note under the door so we didn't use a lot of water that day to conserve the tank water. However when I was about to take a shower (my first of the day!) we were rudely disrupted by someone BANGING on the door, who I thought was the police for how loud it was but later discovered was Alibaba, shouting at us that there was no water. First of all, as a Trini, we all know about taking one shower a day when there's no water and we're running on tank water, but do not bang down someone's door like it's against the law or something when I was actually doing everything in my power not to use a lot of water. There were no buckets so I had to turn the shower on - period. On our day of departure he was apologetic about this but I found it unacceptable that he did it in the first place.

The balconies at Alibaba also need to be more private. There were people looking over our balcony from the neighbouring rooms which was VERY uncomfortable. You're just sitting there in your pjs or whatever and someone is peeping over the barrier into your room like it's nobody's business. Ugh. There is also no kind of soundproofing so every time a chair or something moved upstairs in Alibaba's house you could hear it very loudly downstairs. Even heard a child running etc.

There were Tassa drummers at the bar on Wed. (which happens every Wed.) and they were really great, you can hear them from the rooms but they stop by 9pm which I think is very respectable. I recommend that you wash all your dishes before you use them because there was a kind of mouldy smell in the cabinets and in a few dishes we found black pellets like little rat droppings.

In a small establishment like this I thought Stephanie and Alibaba would be more friendly. Even after all the emails and phone calls she never came to introduce herself to us upon our arrival. If it was a big hotel it wouldn't even have crossed my mind but for a small place they really aren't very welcoming. I couldn't even find her on my first day there as she wasn't at the information booth and we weren't sure which of the houses was Alibaba's until we asked a fisherman nearby. No one was there to greet us or anything of the sort but we met a friendly cleaner who showed us to our room.

Is Alibaba cozy and all that? Yes, the room is quaint and comfortable and the beach and views are priceless but as I said in the beginning, I rate customer service above all and that was seriously lacking in this experience. I probably would not go there again but if you don't care about those things, it's good value for your money.

Room Tip: The sting ray is the first room in the lineup so you will have the best all-round views but for priv...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank nemequittepas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alibabatobago, Inhaber at Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2013

We usually are not upset about a not all the way positive review and open for constructive criticism, BUT we do not let it stand when guests do not stick to the facts. Just to set a few things straight:
- we we usually have no problems during booking, but when an email gets lost, either direction we have always been able to sort it out!
- we DID have a broken toilet and had to make some changes in the plan. the room offered was right next door to the one originally planned and was SAME standard and size.
- the whole area of Parlatouvier and Castara was experiencing water problems at the time and apart from a brief moment when we had to switch tanks there was always water available to our guests. We just POLETELY asked to be considerate and save water.
- there are NO rats on our premisses (thanks to a very clean house and a very active cat).
- we do show our balconies on the website and so far all our guests loved the partitions that give you privacy but also chance to step towards the front rail and mingle with your neighbours (many accommodations in the village have no partitions whatsoever)
- we do not hide the fact the we have a little child in the house, he is the first thing you see on our homepage. we would try to keep him even quiter if guests should complain, but yet again...no complaints so far... Alibaba's Sea Breeze is an apartment building. if you need total privacy and no noises around you, you would have to book a villa in the bush!
- our cleaner is also our receptionist and was told to be there for your arrival. we are booked all year around and make a point of MEETING all our guests, but sometimes we do not manage to see them at arrival.

we feel that you might have chosen the wrong accommodation for your purpose and are dissappointed. we do understand that! but it should be no reason to go around and try to damage a business with an otherwise good reputation.
PLEASE, next time you have problems, complain instantly and give your host a chance to fix or change (or at least explain) whatever is wrong. choose your next accommodation wisely and actually read the information given on a website and look at the pictures.
we hope you have a better time in a different part of Tobago in a different type of accommodation next time!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013

Recently with our family 4 kids and wife we spent 13 nights in Alibaba's apartments and we only have one thing in mind when are we comming back. What a fantastic place the aprtments had all you need and the best of all the view and friendship of Ali who made sure we had what we needed. We have 4 kids ages 20, 12, 8, 5 and they all agreed that they had a wonderfull time and would like to go back. This is a place for all family, couples and groups just go you will have a great time.

I defentivly would go back and recommend to visit this paradise it is unbelivable the only recomendation is take sunscreen beacase we did not find any in Castara. Also a must is a boat trip with Alibaba tours where he shows the other part of the Island only reachable by sea.


Thanks you Alibaba and grettengs to little Ali

Room Tip: Any room is a good room.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank dacre r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2013

Having visited many Caribbean locations in the past 20 years this is the only place to which we have returned. From the moment we stepped out from the airport everyone was helpful. Our driver stopped to allow us to get local currency and shopping and took our cases to our apartment (which we had previously occupied and which has the best view over the bays).
When we had a problem with the toaster not working Steph. replaced it immediately. The housekeeping was more frequent than we had expected - with bedding, all towels and even the shower curtain being changed.
No need to reiterate the comments made by other reviewers - they say it all.
Worth going on the Sunset Cruise with Brian, although perhaps it should be renamed Sunset Experience. Don't expect to sip a cocktail watching the sun go down!

Good to meet Lilttle Alibaba.
Thanks Steph. & Brian (Big Alibaba)

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank doglover02_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We stayed here for 11 nights with our 8 year daughter. We were really impressed with our apartment. The balcony and the views are tremendous. We really felt at one with nature and thoroughly enjoyed feeding the many delightful birds, chickens, lizards and iguanas each day. None of us wanted to come home! I think this is the most restful holiday we have ever had.

The apartment is well equipped and we lacked for nothing. We were very impressed with the maid service every 2 days. We went on 1 full day trip with Alibaba Tours to the cocoa plantation, Argyle Falls and the rain forest which we highly recommend (Jackson, we thought you were brilliant)!

We'd love to come back again one day. The people of Castara in general are so welcoming. Brian and Stephanie are wonderful hosts and Rachel in the office was also really helpful.

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view. Privavcty is assured as the sea noise drowns out any noise - you feel t...
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2013

Positives :

- Fantastic views of Castara's beaches and bay from the balcony
- Great position by the excellent boat house restaurant / bar
- Well designed rooms. For example, dedicated space under the bed for luggage; good size bathroom including good size shower (and always plenty of hot water)
- Decently equipped kitchen including microwave
- Helpful owner who responded to any queries we raised promptly. Particularly kind was that she allowed us to shower in her private premises on the day we checked out (after the check out time). This meant that we could enjoy the beach fully on our last day before going back to the airport

Negatives :
- Bit noisy. While obviously some noise from the sea is naturally to be expected, this was considerably louder than the gentle lapping of waves. We stayed for 11 nights. While we got used to it by the end, the noise of crashing waves meant we did not sleep well for the first nights (I've lived in cities most of my life and under flight paths, so am not unused to noise). If sleep quality is very important to you, don't stay at Alibaba's sea breeze
- Toilet a bit smellly and with a dodgy flush
- While not the owners fault at all, sea / wave conditions meant that snorkelling was only possible on 2 of the 11 days we were there. Don't assume that you will be able to gain the benefit of snorkelling every day at the reef / beach in front of the accommodation.

Overall, for the price charged, Sea Breeze is very good. We paid $USD 80 a night

Room Tip: Stingray, the room we had, was the best
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Camber74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlibabaSeabreeze, Inhaber at Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2013

hello there....
good to hear you still had a good time and thank you for your review.
just need to clarify 2 tiny points that you made:
the sea is usually not that loud, we had a very unusual swell (that unfortunately kept people from snorkeling along the whole coastline at that time) and we have many guests every year that have no problem getting a good night sleep.... maybe persons who have a light sleep should consider earplugs throughout whole tobago though.... we have a waves, others have traffic, dogs barking, music, crowing cocks and other noises ;-)
secondly I wish you would have told us if something was less than perfect with your toilet. we always take criticism very seriously and try to fix and better problems as soon as they arise! the rooms get a light clean every 2-3 days and if that was not enough for you we could have done a more thorough one easily! so to all our future guests: please let us know if anything is the matter while there is chance to react on our part!
again, thank you for your input and we hope you still went home relaxed and had chance to enjoy your time here with us!
sunny greetings from the beach
stephanie & alibaba

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments

Address: Depot Road, Castara, Tobago
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Castara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Castara
Price Range: £59 - £66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Alibabas Sea Breeze is located in Castara at the Caribbean Coast of the island. About an hour from the airport with stunning views from the balconies, a few steps distance to the beach, hot water showers, fully equipped kitchens, back support king size beds with mosquito nets, big fridges to always enjoy a cold drink or do some cooking with the fresh produce and fish you can buy in the village and also a restaurant close by. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments Tobago/Castara

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