Alibaba's Sea Breeze - Reader Reports & Opinion
Brenda Bell from Canada visited in February 2007 and awarded
My husband and I stayed at this multiple-unit beach house for one week. It was very basic and rustic. It had a gas stove and small fridge and a toaster. It did not have a TV or a radio. It had open-air windows overlooking the beach. It had a beautiful deck overlooking the water with a comfy hammock. It had no air conditioning, but it was not really needed because of the breeze from the sea. The shower had warm water which was adequate. The bed had a functional mosquito net which was required if you read at night because the bugs would come into your room as they were attracted to the light. Alibaba and his wife were very gracious and accommodating.
The beach was amazing! It was private. You can snorkle and see many fishes. The beach restaurant had decent food when it was opened. There is an internet cafe nearby, but it does not have regular hours. The fishermen bring in their fresh catch daily - bring your own baggy if you wish to purchase some. The bakery ladies make awesome bread but it must be preordered or you will not get any. These ladies hate to have their picture taken so do not even show them a camera! If coming from Crown Point, I suggest stopping at the local grocery store to purchase your supplies as they are very limited in Castara.
We did not feel particularly safe walking the streets of Castara at night. It was very dark and the town is so small that the locals know you are a tourist. Most locals are very friendly, but you just don't want to take any chances.
There is a waterfall nearby that you can walk to. Just ask the locals how to get there. You can also take a short drive to the rainforest.
We enjoyed our stay at Alibaba's, but we would not go back simply because we found it too boring at night. There was just nothing to do! Some people may like that, but we didn't. Six nights felt like forever!
Bill Brunner (Bill B) from U.S.A. visited in January 2007 and awarded
Mary Lou and I stayed at Seabreeze Jan 15-19 and had a ball. Steph & Brian are friendly and helpful and did everything necessary to make our stay enjoyable. The accomodations are as previously reported by others; basic but very clean and comfortable. The view from the balcony is to die for and access to the beach and to The Boathouse Bar is very convenient. At the rate charged one could not ask for a nicer place to stay. We would highly recommend Castara and Seabreeze to anyone who wants to have an authentic Caribbean holiday.
Phil Strange from U.K. visited in November 2006 and awarded
Steph handed me the keys for my Jamaican friends who were arriving late at night the apartment was spotless even ice ready in the cooler all appliances were ready to go wiht no hitches the fantastic bed linen with cow print cushions were great, they had a wonderful stay in mot mot my bride was banished there for her last night as a hen with karen (the bridesmaid from jamaica) before our spectacular day on the beach at heavenly bay at the Boathouse thanks to Brenton & Sharon, (if you could let them know were on the exel 23 dec at 1730) thanks once again.
Jason Newton from U.K. visited in September 2006 and awarded
We chose to stay in Castara on the basis that we wanted to stay somewhere quite in the northern half of the island, but somewhere close to facilities. We chose the Seabreeze mainly on the basis of The MyTobago review and reports from readers.
Probably its main attraction for people is its advertised view over Castara bay. The pictures on the web don't do it justice. Brian a.k.a. Alibaba picked us up from the airport in the evening, which was ideal, as we had a good long chat about Castara, where to visit in Tobago. He also stopped us at the Penny Savers supermarket to do some shopping before we got to Castara. The first time we saw the view therefore, was at sunrise the following day - what a scene to wake up to! Fantastic. After 2 weeks we still marvelled at its beauty.
Brian and Stephanie have added an apartment for themselves on the upper floor, which is almost finished - this means that advice is now closer to hand.
We mainly went to Tobago for the wildlife, and even here the Seabreeze didn't disappoint: bananaquits and tanagers regularly coming to the feeders on the balcony (Brian tells me he is installing hummingbird feeders shortly), hummingbirds in the shrubbery below, woodpeckers/creepers in the tree, bats in the trees at night, various lizards etc.
We rented a car which we picked up the next day, but we spent 3 full days in Castara without it, and regularly came back early enough to do some snorkelling on the reef in Little Bay – lots of fish, a few turtles etc. It takes approximately 1 minute to walk to the sea from the apartment (just watch out for falling mangoes!). It is a ten minute walk into the centre of Castara, mainly because of the steep hill which separates the two bays; although steep there is a short cut which joins Depot road to the Naturalist - it is still possibly a shorter journey to swim from one bay to the other.
There are a couple of parking spaces about 6 metres from the apartment block. The apartment itself was very clean, and the rooms are serviced every three days. The bed was very comfy and supplied with a mosquito net - although most of the mozzies which came visit were in my imagination, and the apartment is high enough above sea level to exclude sandflies. There is no aircon, but the sea breeze, two overhead fans and a plug-in one, which are ample.
The bathroom contains toilet, shower and sink, with lots of storage space under the sink. There's a shaver point and a hairdryer (not that I needed it!). The shower was good with hot water- gravity fed but not one of those "drips" that you sometimes get in rural areas. Kitchen equipment was excellent - I hate it when the knives are all blunt - we had a good carving set and steak knives. There's a propane gas stove (top tip - matches will not light with the overhead fan on!), a fridge with an icebox.
There is no noise from the other apartments apart from the odd chair being moved on the balcony, and in any case the sound of the sea masks everything. Despite the fact Brian was working on the uppper floor intermittently, we never heard a thing. Brian and Stephanie have accumulated a large book collection in the corridor outside the apartments which we made good use of, and it's also possible to borrow beach towels and snorkels.
On our last day we were taken to the airport by Brian (we were staying for 2 weeks so pick-up/drop-off free). While we chatted, Brian heared we hadn't bought enough souvenirs kindly stopped us at Stores bay for a quick shop before taking us onto the airport. So, you can understand that one of the main reasons we loved the place was Brian and Stephanie, who were always on hand if we needed any help with the facilities, any advice about Castara in particular and Tobago in general.
Jan Schlaeger from Germany visited in March 2006 and awarded
We have been at Alibaba`s Sea Breeze for our second time (last march and now) and definately not the last time! In fact we are sitting in an internetcafe in Scarborough and are sad that we have to leave on sunday.
Since last year they improved the apartments again. In addition to the already great equipement we rememberd from last year, we found a well stocked bookcase in the hallway, umbrellas in the room, hanging seats on the balconies and beautiful bamboo four posters with mosquito netting, although we did not need that!
We are looking forward to see how next year Alibaba & Stephanie will be living in their apartment on top of the now existing building. They have been great hosts as usual.
Although a lot of these reports seem german we met a nice mix of nationalities (british, norwegian, swiss, italian and american).
We met a lot of local friends from last year and felt very safe at all times.
The shops in the village are getting more reliabel and better stocked every year. Especially Ralph`s shop (DJ) has great choice and the service is outstanding.
Castara is the perfect location to base your holiday and explore Tobago on tours (for example Alibaba Tours)or with a rentalcar.
See you their next time. (later, later)