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“Alibaba Tours”

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Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments
Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Alibaba Tours”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Just a note to say thank you to Brian "Alibaba" and Duck for a great experience in Tobago. Spent a great day on a tour of the island with Jackson and a fun day on the ocean with Alibaba and Duck. All of the staff made us feel welcome and were a lot of fun to be around. We are six Canadians who would highly recommend contacting them on a visit to Tobago.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BrodieCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Leawood, Kansas
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

We stayed nine nights in January in the delightful village of Castara at Alibaba's. The location of these apartments is a once in a lifetime perfect beach house. Crashing surf as a constant companion and open lattice work throughout the apartments make for easy breezy comfort. The actual apartments are architected for easy living with lots of shelves and hooks, massive king bed made up of two twins placed next to each other, and a well supplied kitchen all arranged with an eye towards maximum efficiency of space. Housekeeping services throughout the week spoiled us. The units could use a bit of fresh paint and it's time to treat for termites leaving tiny trailings in several of the walls and other wood structures. Smokers on each side of us were annoying as their smoke infiltrated the sweet breezes. Also, we would have appreciated a welcome book of printed material like a village map of shops and restaurants with a little info about each one and the planned events for our time there as it took us several days to figure out where things were and only felt like we knew about the village towards the end of our stay. The tour we booked through Alibaba's to the rainforest and cocoa plantation and Argyll waterfall was excellent.

Room Tip: On the end is less chance of smokers smoke wafting into your room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kimberly-from-KS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alibabatobago, Owner at Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Since we have no way of rating our guests, award stars and write them a review, we would like to take this opportunity to send a word to all our guests, former and future.
Castara is a working fishing village in the first place and a tourist destination in the second.
the people of Castara invite you to join their lives and their culture. It is not a resort or club or hotel-kind of place. It is not organized or fakes "plastic smiles". If you want to experience all there is, you have to talk to people, to other tourists, to us (and also to our girls in our information office right here in the bay!). There is no handbook or catalog that that tells you what to do and where to go! Things change on a daily basis....just go with the flow!
As for us, we try not to be intrusive, but we are always ready to assist you in any way possible if you give us a shout. We wont come knocking, but we like YOU to do so if you have any questions!
We want to thank our guests who come back year after year after year... You are the reason why we do what we do!
We like to get your opinions and criticism and best right here to our face so we have room to fix things, better them or make up for the otherwise!
If we ever fail to provide you with the perfect holiday you had in mind, we apologize.
We do believe that there is the perfect holiday destination for everyone and hope that all of you will find theirs sometime, someplace - happy travels to everyone!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2014 via mobile

We spent 8 days in beautiful Tobago! Alibabas apartments were not only private they we're comfortable and well kept. To have the beach underneath us was heaven . Falling asleep to the waves each night was refreshing. Waking up to my husband making coffee for us on the balcony and enjoying the breath taking views I will never forget. Stephanie and Brian were so helpful and resourceful and I must say Brian we had the best time on the all day boat tour! Nilan Pool was incredible. We had no issues at all and can't wait to go back!

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Peaceful F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bromley, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 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.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Yasmin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trinidad
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Santiago, Chile
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank dacre r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alibaba's Sea Breeze Apartments

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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