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“A unique, personal & beautiful place run by beautiful people”
Review of Castara Retreats

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Castara Retreats
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A unique, personal & beautiful place run by beautiful people”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

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!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WaveCatcher2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We stayed at HammingBird 2 cottage. The view of the bay is amazing, specially at early morning and at sunset. 10 minutes walk from the nice and sandy shore (way back is a bit steep), which has very nice fish and coral, and worth a snorkeling at any time of the day, even when raining. The cottage is in good condition, though a touch-up could make it even nicer. The in-site restaurant is at a perfect location just above the bay, with good food, drinks and chocolate moose.
We also took a walk to the Englishman bay (75 minutes walk) - which is also a breath-taking beach.

Room Tip: Bring enough food with you, as the local facilities are poor, unless you plan to dine only at restau...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Meir698
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen Region, Denmark
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

8 years ago i was blown away by this little place on the hillside. Charming and back-to-nature, yet comfortable and well-equipped little appartement with the most beautiful view of the bay.
This year i came back, and the place sure has evolved a lot. More appartements and a new restaurant but still that original unspoiled feeling of being disconnected from the modern world. Strange, as you've got modern commodities such as Wi-Fi, big fridge, pots and pans, running water and everything.
Still, it feels like you can forget about the stressful things that normally bothers you, sit back, waste a couple of hours (or a whole day) without feeling guilty.
A short walk down the hill takes you to the beautiful beach that has nice, soft sand and the bay also offers great snorkeling. The village is small, but still offers fresh fish from the local fishermen, fresh produce and almost everything you might need, if you can be a little resourceful. In the end, fresh plantains, red snappers and a bottle of rum is all you're going to need in the end.

The owners are warm and hospitable people and they are greatly supported by their local team with Porridge (yes, that's a guy), as the go-to-guy. Always ready to make arrangements for trips, giving tips on places to go, who to talk to, what to see, how much to pay for things and so on. A boattrip with snorkeling in deserted bays and a beach BBQ with home-made food and rum-punch is one of the most memorable things you can do.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank StefanElbaek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I stayed at Castara Retreats as the venue for a Raw Food Holiday. It exceeded my expectations in every possible way! The friendly welcome from the owners Sue and Steve, the kitchen staff Kenny and Liliana who could not be more helpful, the lovely accommodation overlooking the bay and the friendliness of the local villagers - it was all perfect. Castara Bay is unspoilt and the highlight of each day was snorkelling in the crystal clear water, among the stunning fish of the coral reefs. I already plan to return next summer.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fyonaseagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I was looking for a quiet getaway after a busy time at work and was fortunate to find the right place at Castara Retreats.
The scenery in Castara is stunning, and a beautiful beach is only a few minutes walk away from the rooms. The locals in the fishing village are very friendly, and I often had the beach to myself to enjoy during the day (I went in early July).
As for Castara Retreats itself, the rooms are comfortable and allow you to enjoy the panoramic views over the beach.
But the best thing was the friendly service. The owners gave me some great insider tips on things to do in Castara, Kenny in the restaurant was always friendly and cooking up a storm, and Porridge is a really funny guy who even managed to cheer me up when things went really wrong (there was a pilot's strike so we had several drives to the airport together).

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paramaribo
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Spent 3 days in Castara Retreat. nothing but praise. We loved it. Everyone was most helpful
A small walk to the beach. This time of the year the beach is yours, no tourists. The locals are most helpful and very honest. They will not overcharge you. We will surely return.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank james h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deerfield Beach, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 July 2014

My husband and I were tired of typical tourist trap summer vacation. Instead, we wanted to wake up overlooking the water, for nature to be surrounding, birds and fresh air, We found paradise at Castara Retreat and so much more. Though only the 2 of us we stayed in the Rainnforest bungalow as a present to ourselves. The pix on website represent very well and we could not have been happier. I will never forget waking in the morning to the sounds of the waves, pulling back the beautiful bed netting to the immediate gorgeous views, & snorkeling every day. The owners Steve and Sue (were on-site that week) and staff Kenny and Lilliana we're beyond gracious and kind. We happen to also chose this due to the Raw Food Retreat so we all bonded and consider all dear friends. The town's people were kind to us as we searched to buy fresh fish catch of the day or misc venturing out. We cannot recommend this paradise strongly enough and we cannot barely wait to return to Castara Retreats.

Room Tip: Range of bungalows can match your desire and budget for each stay. Confirm not time of year of Carni...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AnnaDave2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castara Retreats

Property: 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 11 Speciality Lodging in Castara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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