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“Missing you already, Castara.”
Review of Castara Retreats

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Castara Retreats
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 December 2012

At the beginning of November I had my first experience of Tobago (and the Caribbean). I was lucky enough to be invited to stay in the Rainforest apartment at Castara Retreats for a week, and what a lovely surprise it was. Pictures and videos only go so far when trying to get a "feel" for a place - when you are actually there, feeling the heat, humidity, hearing the sounds (both man-made and nature's finest) and inhaling the scents/smells....think of a picture of a bottle of very fine wine, then imagine actually savouring the smell and flavour of it from a glass. A big difference.
Being woken every day by the sounds of Parrots and Mot-Mots, Agoutis nervously foraging in the garden and the cheeky little Bananaquits squabbling with various types of Tanagers over the sugar and bread in the bird feeders.
Looking out from the living area over Castara bay itself you see moored fishing boats and always the background sound of breaking waves on the beach.
A walk into the rainforest to take a swim under the local waterfall, then lunch (or breakfast) at one of the local cafes. Some Snorkelling in the crystal clear waters around the bay. A boat trip, fishing for lunch, swimming with wild Dolphins! Oh look, a Turtle...
Drinks and a Barbeque on the Pagoda whilst watching the spectacular sunset.
This is all made even more special by the people running Castara Retreats (The effervescent Porridge and his lovely wife Jeanelle, inscrutable Seon, the ever smiling and laughing Sherwin - to name but a few) and not to forget the locals who are welcoming and friendly. As a single female I did not once feel unsafe walking about on my own, which just made the experience all the more memorable (Although for me, the definite highlight of the trip was the swimming with Dolphins bit).
I'm now back in a thoroughly wet, cold and miserable UK, and I'm already thinking about when I can go back.
Missing you already, Castara.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
733Anderson, Manager at Castara Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2012

Hello Katie,
Thank you for your review - much appreciated by all of us. We are so pleased you enjoyed your first experience of Tobago and Castara Retreats so much. I loved your image of the bottle of fine wine - looking at a photo is one thing but opening it and savouring the colour and taste and scent is so different. Just like looking at photos and the video of Castara Retreats - you have to be there to really get the true nature of the place. Look forward to seeing you again...
Kind regards,
Jean

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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326 - 332 of 437 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2012

If you want to stay somewhere a little bit different away from the usual tourist resorts this is the place for you. Castara retreats is set in a beautiful location on the side of hill in a fishermans bay with a crescent shaped beach. The wooden houses perch on stilts, a little like being in a treehouse, with open windows (no glass) and shutters making the most of the panaromic stunning views. Each well equipped house have their own private verandahs and outside seating areas so you can relax outside at any time and enjoy your own privacy watching the tropical birds and listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach below. All the staff at Castara retreats are helpful and friendly and will make you feel most welcome throughout your stay. Their website gives a very accurate and honest description of what to expect and we always felt like their customers really mattered to them. We had a fantastic time and have recommended it to all our friends and family.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nicola C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

Castara retreats is a completely divine place to stay. We stayed 7 magical nights in Hummingbird 2 (8-14/11) with the most wondrous and uninterrupted views overlooking the bay. We instantly caught onto the way of life here, line-fishing, snorkelling and laying back with a beer and chatting with the local people. Steve was there at the time of our stay and courteously dropped in on us a few times to see if everything was ok. He is a really warm and down to earth person, sharing a beer with interesting and informative talks about Castara.

The Retreats uses the local workforce in the running and maintenance of their buildings and are a major part of the community. The villagers greeted us with a smile and made us feel welcomed and accepted as part of their community.

Our favourite choice of restaurants was Chino's which offered mouthwatering mixes of both creole and Western dishes. Chino, himself was a real gem in ensuring we were happy customers. And of course Porridge and his wife were an absolute delight. We were invited to their house to share in conversation, and music with his family and friends and to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by his wife. In summary every minute of our stay has been absolutely perfect. A really big thank you to everyone, you are sorely missed.

Room Tip: Use the Retreats website in deciding your choice of rooms.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennifer10WestLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2012

We have just spent 2 weeks here and loved every minute. We don't "do" hotels and Castara Retreats was perfect for us. We had 10 nights in Birdsong and 4 in Fishermans Lodge. It's difficult to say which was best, they both have amazing views and, being quite open, are visited by a lot of wildlife.They were well equipped with everything you need and were spotlessly clean. We loved the fact that there was no A/C, TV or radio, bliss!
We saw so many beautiful birds plus bats, lizards, and 2 quite pretty chickens! We were also visited daily by the Agouti, despite being rare it seems to like the gardens.
Our holiday was made by Porridge and Jeanelle, who couldn't do enough to make sure we had a good time. The beach was fantastic and most days we were the only 2 people there.So many things we will remember about this holiday but mainly it will be the beautiful setting of Castara and the friendly people we met there.

Room Tip: All the rooms have fantastic views.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank weirning55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012

The most relaxing holiday we've ever had! A wonderful place, with wonderful people looking after us (Porridge and Jeanelle). The boat trip with Seon and Shaq and the walk in the rainforest with Newton were highlights of our trip - we were amazed by the variety of birds and fish we saw.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Sophie_and_Matthew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

We had a wonderful holiday. Porridge and his family looked after us very well and were great company. The accommodation and setting are simply stunning. However the friendliness of the locals in Castara made it for us-particularly Bingi the Fruit King and the fishermen on the beach. We liked feeling part of the community with not many tourists about. There is no tourist tat- I struggled to find somewhere to buy a t-shirt. This is the real Caribbean deal.
We had looked at hotels on Tobago but it seemed you would be in a sterile bubble cut off in a gated community.
There is a fine line between relaxation and boredom but this is the most relaxed and yet stimulating holiday we have been on. It's the only holiday where I've taken my watch off for a week and just gone with the flow.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
2  Thank Stuart M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2012

I cannot say enough good words to describe my experience at Castara. On arrival we immediately felt we were on holiday; it usually takes me a few days to adjust. Meeting Steve and Sue on the first day gave an instant impression that we were on holiday with friends and that is how we felt for our entire stay. That feeling included Porridge and his family and the other guests that came through during the stay.
The accommodations were lovely, Steve's love of fishing and Sue's knowledge of the flora and fauna was invaluable. We hired one of Porridge's vehicles for 2 days and toured the Island which was nice but we could not wait to get back to Castara for the company and Steve's Ceviche. All in all we had a ball!!!

Pete and Chrissie Birdsong

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Pete H
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: £91 - £208 (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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