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“An idyllic retreat with the option of adventure.”
Review of Castara Retreats

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Castara Retreats
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 May 2011

We stayed in Birdsong last July with our 2 children of 14 and 10 years and loved it. we were a little disappointed on arrival to realise we were so close to the car park which had not been lear on th einternet but as soon as we were inside we realised it did not matter in the least. The appartment was beautiful with numerous balconies for all times of day, well provided with all we needed. The views were glorious and I could have spent all day in Castara but my youngest had to explore the whole of Tobago. So we went kayaking, swimming with horses (recommended), mountainbiking (a bit tame for the boys), birdwatching in the rainforest with Newton George (the highlight), snorkelling off Little Tobago (excellent) visiting other beaches and probably much more. Not enough time spent just at Castara and we only discovered the joys of sunset swimming late in the holiday. Due to some bad weather we couldn't go on a boat trip but that didn't really matter. Porridge and Jeanell were extremely helpful and we rented a car as and when we needed to which was really convenient. Many eating places in Castara were closed as it was July but we made use of both Marieta and Veronica to cook for us and their meals often did another day! Sleep quality is only labelled wiht 4 instead of 5 as the cockerels and dogs woke us in the mornings but to me that was the charm and I loved getting up at 6 or earlier and sitting on the balcony watching the birds at the feeders. the others just went back to sleep! If the cockerel didn't wake me I felt I had missed some of the day. The only bad experience of the whole holiday was on the last day at a vilage festival when the 'bread ladies' were so extremely rude and completely ignored me even though I was at the front of the queue. It was the rudest anyone has ever been to me even though she did not actually say anything and was obvious racial discrimination as she served the islanders around me. It sadly completely ruined the end of my holiday and has taken me this long to realise how much I did enjoy the holiday despite it. My advice is expect it to happen and do not make going to buy bread the highlight of your day. Better still send someone else! Everyone else we met was delightful. She was just a very rude old lady and you sometimes meet them in the UK too!

Room Tip: Birdsong was perfect for us.
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  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank h0llygreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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357 - 363 of 441 reviews

Reviewed 16 May 2011

Castara is a getaway we would recommend to anyone truly looking for a
retreat from the daily grind - an inviting community, a restorative
landscape, and a home just like the one we would have built for ourselves.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms here.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank kvyverberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

Five stars ­ I am reborn - this is simply the best holiday I have ever been on. Fantastic. The views from Coasthanger Castara Retreats as well as the village were memorable and exciting. I also felt our holiday benefited local people and had a minimal impact on the environment. One tip: take cash with you as the ATMs often do not work in small villages such as Castara. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Snorkelling is not the best in December but we have seen the trumpet fish as well as Quinn angel fish and some others that I do not know the names of just on the small beach. On other hand we have a photo record of at least 19 different bird species – many of them just around the Castara. Porridge, Jeanell and Sherwin are a great team. We loved food at Marguarite. The lobsters in particular. All in all a great place.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vlad68_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

Castara retreats is such a wonderful place. We stayed in Birdsong which was fabulous - built and equipped to the highest standards with 4 separate deck areas. The village itself is great in a sleepy and relaxing sort of way. You can shop for food, drink at one of the bars or eat out at one of the loc restaurants. Our favourite was the coffee shop for their bacon and egg breakfast. But the real difference is made by Porridge who looks after the place and the guests. He looked after us, invited us to one of his evenings limin' with friends and also to help him pull up fishing pots from around the coast. He was great fun and connected us to the place instantly. We hired a car from him for a day which was very convenient and cheap. We hope to return soon.

  • Stayed: October 2010
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Thank Jenkoxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2010

We recently returned from our 7th trip to Castara Retreats - the paradise we call our 2nd home!!

We first visited Castara Retreats in 2003 and have been back every year since - 1 year we were back there twice! We so love the peace and tranquility of the place and all the stress of work & everyday life just goes the minute we step off the plane in Tobago & see Porridge's smiling face.

Most years we stay for 2 weeks and are usually joined by friends for a week of our time there. It is a good place to meet up with friends we don't often see & chill out together. it is an easy trip from Canade & the USA & we have been joined by friends from both during our visits. Birdsong is perfect for 2 couples as the guest bedroom/bathroom separate & give privacy for afternoon siestas!

We have stayed in Rainforest, Fisherman's & Birdsong. All of the apartments are of the highest standard & well equipped - home from home! The wonderful staff Porridge, Jeanell & their team really do everything they can to make your stay perfect. Boat trips with Porridge & Sherwin on "Sunarise" are just the best days out - excellent BBQ's on deserted beaches. on both trips this year, we had the whole bay to ourselves.

Everything about Castara Retreats is perfect. Steve & Sue have created the perfect haven in a beautiful village & thats why we keep coming back. We have already booked our next trip in 2011!!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LynnUKhertsfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2010

Being used to the hustle-bustle of life in NYC and the "comfort" of concrete we were looking for off the beaten path experience with quality/luxury room and board. We stayed at Castara Retreats for 6 days, and were able to see most of the island as we rented a car for the duration of our visit.

It is important to note that this Island is NOT tourist oriented, i.e. unlike most of the Caribbean people here are friendly but not in-your-face - which is good if you want to experience a culture as opposed to visiting a resort.

The island's nature is diverse: waterfalls, luscious flora and fauna, secluded beaches and never ending mountainous winding roads. We made and effort to drive around the entire island and visit different beaches (Pigeon Peak, Englishman's Bay, Pirate's Bay) in addition to chilling in the Castara bay. We would definitely recommend a trip to Argyle waterfalls and the nearby cocoa plantation.

Castara Retreats is hands down the best place on the island in terms of design and location - assuming you are OK with an open living environment and adjust to life with birds, small gecko lizards, and an occasional bat dropping by for a visit :)

They just need to add internet ..... and since the owners are British they will assume that you are OK unless you ask for something (like everyday fresh towels or cleaning) and will let you be - so don't be afraid to ask for stuff as the management (Porridge) is very responsive and friendly.

It took us 2 days to realize that we are on vacation and appreciate the wonderful beaches, lack of tourists, the people, and Castara Retreats. Of course a couple of bottles of Angostura 1824/1919 rums came in handy.

On the way back we stayed for 2 days in Port of Spain at the Hyatt (highly recommended) and did a day trip to the natural asphalt pitch lake with a stopover at the Angostura distillery.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jarac1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2010

2 years ago, my husband booked a trip for us to Tobago. He had always been keen for me to see the island, as his family originated there, and he had wonderful memories of visiting friends and family with his father.
Having travelled a fair bit in the Caribbean, I had various preconceptions, some positive, some negative; however from the moment we first looked down from the green hills over the bay of Castara, I knew this was somewhere really quite special.

The retreats are tucked away on a little hill overlooking Castara bay. The wooden lodgings blend perfectly with their surroundings, nestled in bright and beautiful gardens. Whilst the structures themselves are rustic in style, they are fully equipped with modern conveniences, even down to a dock for your IPod.

The Management team of Porridge and Jeanelle, not forgetting Hermin and Veronica provide a wonderful welcome, and are always available should you need help/information, or just someone to sit off and enjoy a Carib with! Porridge can organise various trips for you, we particularly enjoy the boat trips with Sherwin, where you can catch and cook your lunch. Sherwin and Porridge also host barbecues at the Retreats which are always a great time.

The village is very welcoming, and you'll find yourself slipping into it's slow Caribbean rhythms after a couple of days: A swim on the beach, a Carib, a chat with friends (you will make many!), a stroll down to the beach to buy some of the freshest fish you will ever eat. There are a few great places to eat in the village, but for me the ideal evening is sitting on the candlelit deck, grilled fish, rum on the rocks and a night time display of fireflies.

After that initial visit, we have returned to the Retreats for two further visits, during one of which we were married on the deck of Fisherman's Lodge. We had the wedding of our dreams, all courtesy of the team at Castara Retreats. We have formed a really special attachment to the village and the Retreats, and will return year after year for many more memorable experiences.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Speccy74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castara Retreats

Address: Northside Road | Castara, Castara, Tobago
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Trinidad and Tobago > Tobago > Castara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Castara
Price Range: £95 - £269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Castara Retreats 3.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castara Retreats is a small Tobago eco resort superbly located overlooking the Bay of Castara, with stunning views of the Caribbean and mountains. For those seeking holidays in Tobago the seven tropical hardwood accommodations are built to the highest standards and are set right above Castara beach in lush tropical gardens. Backed by the deep green of the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere and framed by mango trees and bamboo, Castara Retreats offers Caribbean vacations in a lush tropical paradise where guests can relax and live in the landscape around them. The lodge accommodation offers 15 separately available areas, each with wonderful privacy and exclusive terraces, which can be rented individually by couples, or together for larger groups and families. The accommodation is specially designed to create open, spacious living areas that allow uninterrupted views of the beach and rainforest, cool sea breezes and the natural sights and sounds of the ocean, rainforest and village. Each lodge or apartment is constructed of red cedar, a local hardwood, and is from sustainable sources. The bedrooms, each with en suite showers and either queen size or twin beds all have full size mosquito nets on suspended wooden frames. The spacious living areas have panoramic views of the two beaches looking north-west and also to the coastline looking south-west, and stunning sunsets over the Caribbean. Each accommodation has the advantage of free Wi-Fi internet access. There is comfortable and stylish seating with both indoor and outdoor dining and all three areas are equipped to a very high standard for self-catering. We have recently completed open-decked Pavilion Bar and Restaurant - already receiving excellent ratings - perfect for a romantic dinner for two or for family groups and events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castara Retreats Hotel Tobago
Castara Retreats Tobago

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