Everyone on trip advisor talks about what a living legend Porridge is. Having disembarked after an exhausting flight from London, Porridge managed to make us laugh within five seconds of meeting us - always a good sign. We can only agree that it's the owners of this place and the staff that set it apart from others that we've stayed at in the past. If you like five star, all inclusive mega resorts then perhaps Castara or even Tobago isn't the place to be (although you might want to try Coco Reef and the like which are more akin to that style of hotel). However, if you want a slice of peace where you are one of only a handful of tourists in an extremely tranquil setting with unspoilt beaches and excellent company then Castara Retreats is for you.
We stayed in Ginger Lily as some of our party are loathe to sleep without air conditioning. Had this not been a factor, then we would have gone for Rainforest for the space and views. Ginger Lily was gorgeous also with one large room and one smaller room - both with en suites. It's brand new and the kitchen was better stocked with pans etc than my kitchen at home - the living area and master bedroom both looked out to the ocean.
We hired a car through a friend of porridge for 400TT per day and gas was cheaper than water (well, nearly) - it's well worth doing to see the island. We loved Pigeon Point and the Nylon Pool/Buccoo Reef an hour away, but there is tonnes to do within half an hour's driving distance. The rain forest is worth a visit and Englishman's bay (which you could probs walk to in an hour) is picture perfect. Not to mention Castara Beach itself - on the right hand side of the sea by the rocks, we saw manta ray and a turtle when swimming on the first day of our trip - how lucky!
We loved the restaurants in town (especially steel pan night and drumming night - ask Kenny in the restaurant who will actually tell you to go else where if he knows something fun is on: top guy). We also loved buying our own fish from the fishermen and cooking in the apartment in the evenings and generally having a beer and a chat with Porridge. Oh and the mangos, limes and avacados he climbed onto our roof to pick for us. The markets in Scarborough are brilliant for fresh produce, especially on Friday and Saturday market days but on other days you can pick up supplies from locals on the side of the street.
We actually met so many kind hearted locals on our journey around Tobago - it's awesome that the locals and tourists go to so many of the same places and hang out together. Tobago feels like the safest island in the Caribbean that we have visited so far - perhaps because its so small and everyone knows each other.
The Retreat apartments all have wonderful views, are quiet and wonderful for watching birds. They have mosquito nets and plenty of fans. There are some mosquitoes at night (obviously) but the mosquito nets are robust enough so you will sleep really well here with the sound of the ocean and birds to wake you each morning.
We have just one more day left here and can only hope that one day we will return. Thank you so much Porridge, we will miss your dancing and your wise sayings!
- 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