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The Beach House Castara
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Reviews (55)
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Reviewed 24 February 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a rest after the fun of Carnival in Port of Spain. It was perfect! The house is literally on the beach - my husband and I would talk to one another, one on the porch, one on the beach. We went to sleep to the sound of waves, after watching beautiful sunsets. The fishermen brought their catch up next to the house - with the provided BBQ, we had the freshest fish I've ever eaten! The beach was often empty, or only had a couple of people. White sand, blue water, and good snorkeling (although it was a little wavy while we were there). Porridge, who manages the house, was very helpful. The owners are quick to reply to emails and the booking process was easy. We'd love to stay here again sometime!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlysonH123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2012

As a family of four we stayed at the two apartments for one week. They are not just clean and functional, but they have a very pleasant unique and personal touch. The garden is dense, so you get a nice shadow and privacy. The view from the patios is incredible. The house is managed by mr. Porridge, which is a really nice and dependable person.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Anders_Hede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

If you, like us, picture your Caribbean holiday in a simple wooden shack right on the beach, and not in a gated all-inclusive resort, then the Beach House may be just what you are looking for. We loved it! We stayed in Breadfruit Grove, one of the smaller ground floor apartments, and found it had everything we needed and though simply furnished was comfortable and attractive with plenty of private outdoor space. It was great to be right on the beach and be able to take a shower straight after swimming – each apartment has an outdoor shower and tap as well as the bathroom. Linen and towels were changed every 3 days, with a light clean, but there is equipment to sweep up etc. in between if you need to. We particularly loved watching the range of birds visiting the feeders each morning (feed them on fruit, bread, fruit juice etc.) and were glad we’d brought a small bird book with us so we could identify them.

Porridge and Jeanelle, who look after the apartments for the British owners, were kind and helpful without being intrusive in any way. They arranged a great walk in the rainforest for us – OK it rained and we were soaked through, but Darlington our guide was really interesting and informative. The highlight had to be the trapdoor spider!

We found it hard to know what we might need to buy when we had our supermarket shop after Porridge picked us up, so I thought it might be helpful to future visitors to give an idea of what you might want to buy. The kitchen at Breadfruit Grove is well-equipped, with good quality cookware, so self-catering when you feel like it is a viable option. In Castara, you can easily buy fruit and veg, eggs, water, beer, rum and soft drinks (though choice of the latter is not as wide as in town), biscuits and savoury nibbles, as well as delicious fresh bread and cakes from the baking ladies on Wednesday and Saturday. However not every shop opens every day, or at the same time every day, and something that was in stock yesterday may not be there for the rest of your stay. My list of essentials from the supermarket in town would include: milk, flora, cheese, flour (banana pancakes!), tea, coffee (there is a cafetiere in the kitchen so don’t restrict yourself to instant - no teapot tho!), pepper, oil, jam, sliced bread for toast, fruit juice, and any meat products you might want. (Some things we would look for in the fridge, such as cooked/cured meats, seem to come frozen.) I’d also recommend a big container of water, since you don’t have to carry it, and any soft drinks/mixers you particularly want.

In restaurants we found it best to ask what was available, rather than for a menu, as there was often little choice. That said, every meal out we had was delicious, especially the fish – we had several species we’d never eaten before! Having the Boat House so close to the apartment was very handy, not least for a cold Carib, and Sharon was a great cook and host. We felt welcomed everywhere we went in Castara, though seldom in an effusive way – it feels like a village that has happily accepted tourism without being in any way in thrall to it. Smile, though, and Castara smiles back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SeafoodQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

If you really want to change your daily routines, get to relax on the terms of the locals, submerge in the lively but kind, gorgeous and perfectly temperate sea and lock your watch inside the safe located in the wardrobe, look no further. The Beach House will make sure you get what you want.

The Beach House consists of three units. On top, with outdoor stairs leading up to the apartment, you will find the one-bedroom apartment. There is a bedroom, with a huge door-opening to the "livingroom", which is actually a terrace. You can lie in bed inside this pittoresque bedroom and watch the sea. You will also hear the waves cascading onto the beach day and night. So soothing. The "livingroom" is as mentioned in fact a huge terrace. There is a roof, and walls on three sides of the apartment, but there is no wall facing the ocean. Only a normal fence like on a real terrace. The walls have jalousie windows in wood on all sides, which, when open, you get a feeling of being outside. The kitchen is well equipped with everything one needs to be self sufficient.
In this apartment you will have total privacy, except that people swimming can look streight into your terrace, so they will see you walking/standing up.

There is a large (room enought for two) hammock on the terrace.

Downstairs there are two Studio aparments, also equipped with all you need. There is a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The little terrace will function as livingroom. There are two/three chairs, a table and a hammock. You are at ground floor, and the terrace faces the ocean so one gets the feeling that the house is lying on the beach itself, and when the water is High, it's like you hear it right outside your terrace. A few low bushes separate the ground floor from the beach. People will see you if they are swimming, and the owner or manager may pop up in front of your balcony with a "Hello" as a warning. So although you may be tempted to live the Robinson Crusoe or Tarzan/Jane life to the fullest, be ware that these are social people.

The chickens wandering around with their mums may think that you are their new owners. The roosters try out for the Opera every morning from three o'clock until sunset.
All the animals around look healthy and well fed.

Next to The Beach House there is a bar/restaurant called Boat House. The music can get loud and you may experience very happy (drunk) tourists that sing along with the CD playing Raggae, but other than this, the only abrubtion you will feel is the sudden, beautiful, tropical rainshowers that lasts for 20 seconds. At least in January.

This being said, life in Castara is not characterized by tourists. We felt like we visited a real life place that had not done anything to adjust to tourists. There are no sun-beds to be found, either on the beach or in any shops (we tried!!!) Our best tip is to drive to Pigeon Point (south of the Capital), follow the beach and you will eventually find some small shops that sell swimming gear. Buy a floating mattress, and you will have sunbed and waterbed in one :) .

The tempo, food and overall service was by and for the habitants of Castara. Every small (charming) reataurant served the same: Goat, fish, beef (stew), chicken and lamb. Rice, black peas, beans an a little salad.

They are strict in their smoking policies in the restaurants: no smoking inside, even though inside is actually outside because there are no walls.

We expected this to be a fruit and vegetable heaven, but no. It's not. Vegetables are very hard to come by, fruit is a bit easier, but don't expect to find everything you may want.

The manager (called Porridge) is very helpful and kind, with a genuine smile and helpfulness and he has a speed about him that is really unparalleled on Tobago. People generally moves in slow motion, and will not go that extra mile for a tourist.

Our advice: blend in with the locals and take every day as it comes. Don't expect Internet access! You may find a restaurant with a sign that states the opening-hours, but realize it is closed when you show up. They may tell yu what's on the evenings menu, just to show up a bit later to tell you the don't have what you asked for. Not today. Maybe tomorrow?

This is the way of life there. Expect to relax, forget your routines and "don't worry, be happy". And you surely will be!!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nordkvinne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2011

Coconut Heights in Castara is a very special place, exciting to drive to and then relax. Once one accepts that Castara is not like some compound resort, it is a perfect location to unwind and have fun. Well, we did anyway, even laughing at the thought of wringing the necks of the cocks crowing at all hours! Coconut Heights has it all, great kitchen, four poster bed with net, eclectic library of books, open plan balcony for sunset viewing, great tips from the manager Porridge and we especially liked the personal touches to reveal that this is a real family holiday home. Highly recommended though personally we'd like to keep it a secret.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SimonAdvice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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