Beach House - Reader Reports & Opinion
Ray Hargrave from U.K. visited in January 2007 and awarded
We stayed for 7 nights in Coconut Heights, the 1st floor apartment at the Beach House in Castara and we loved it. The setting and view from the apartment make it very special.
The open balcony is a magical place to sit and watch the pelicans and baker birds diving for fish. The whole apartment has a homely feel to it with comfy easy chairs and a good sized dining table. During the day, bananaquits and tanagiers flock to the bird feeder (just put in sugar, bread or fruit) whilst at night, fruit bats flitter by. Fireflies drift past the shutters with their pulsing glow. The bed is very comfortable and the shower and toilet spotlessly clean.
We like to cook for ourselves some of the time and having stayed at 2 other properties over the previous 7 nights, we were pleasantly surprised at the level of kitchen equipment here (though we did pine a little for proper wine glasses and ceramic plates). The owners (Graham & Carol) who were staying in one of the two ground floor apartments were really helpful but never intrusive.
Neither of us could be classed as sun worshippers so during the day, we could walk straight out of the garden and onto Heavenly Bay beach for a swim or snorkel, then back into the garden to shower off the salt and sand before going upstairs to sprawl out with a cold Carib and watch the sunnies sizzle from the comfort of our shaded balcony.
Across the road from the apartment is the Boat House bar and restaurant. I was slightly worried that this might prove noisy at night, but Castara is really such a quiet, laid back spot that this proved an unnecessary concern.
The noise of the surf on the beach more or less cancels out anything from the bar, even on Wednesday's party night (steel pan) you could only faintly here the soothing rhythm. And nobody seems to stay out later than 10.00 pm on other nights (give or take Graham & Carol returning from Sunday School in Buccoo after a rum or two)! Actually, to be fair, you do need a night to adjust to the noise of the sea. We found it soothing, but in the very open accommodation, very light sleepers might need earplugs.
Porridge is Graham and Carol's local agent and general Mr Fixit in Castara. I defy anyone to find a more outrageously charming and helpful man. He even conjured up one of his own chickens and some mangos for us. It was the size of a small turkey, made several meals and he charged us £5. Carline comes in to clean mid week so there is very little housework required. We also bought fresh fish, bread and vegetables locally. You do need to do a supermarket shop if you want luxuries like olive oil, wine and coffee etc. We hired a car for a week, but wouldn't do that again. Why leave Castara?
One last point. Our return flight was delayed by 24 hours and we had to stay at the Tobago Hilton. We found it very bland and sterile in contrast to our wonderful warm and friendly experience of Castara. If you want sophistication, swimming pools and bogus theme bars, the Hilton may be for you, but to live independently, close to the local community and stay in a real home from home, then go for the Beach House in Castara. We've never visited Tobago before (in fact, never left Europe) and this has been our most relaxing holiday ever.
Johanna And Pasi from Finland visited in January 2007 and awarded
We stayed in Palm Corner for two weeks in January this year and we are tempted not praise how fabulous our visit was, which may end up the property being too busy the next time we would like to come. It is our honest minds, which makes us tell the truth.
Like mentioned earlier we really enjoyed our vacation in the Beach House and the place was just so meant for us. After reading all the previous reviews we sort of knew what to expect so there were no big surprises. First thing that hit us was the stunning location of place. We couldn't believe how close the sea was, which gave us a little bit of light sleep during the first few nights, but it was even more weird to be back in your own bed in Finland and not to hear the waves!!!
The apartment was well equipped and everything we needed was there. Even though the apartment was very simple it felt like home from the beginning. It was also very clean and Carleen kept it that way during our visit. A big hug for her dog Sadam who came to greet us every time Carleen was over. We enjoyed all the other animals too who came to our porch; hens, roosters, lizards, cats ...sometimes it felt like a zoo.
Just the a few words about Castara – plain and simple: we loved it. The village was idyllic and the local people very friendly. We rented a jeep from Porridge for a week and drove around a lot but we were always happy to return home and enjoy our “own” beach. Even though Castara may seem a bit far from Crown Point and Scarborough, we didn’t think so. On the road there were always things to see and people to watch. Castara was our place and without a doubt we would stay there again.
Final word about the people of Castara. We were lucky to get to know the owners of the Beach House, Carol and Graham. It was always pleasant to chat with them and they gave us a lot of useful information. And then there’s Porridge, the guy is awesome. He took very good care of us and we had such a good time riding with him to Sunday School. Graham did also his best to entertain us on late night Sunday – and he succeeded.
Beach House and Castara, we fell in love and will be back some day.
Pam Rotheisen from U.K. visited in November 2006 and awarded
When we arrived in Heavenly Bay, Castara, on a day trip in 2005 we were captivated and were determined to return this year!! We had explored the whole island by car in 2005, because we were staying at a friends Plantations apartment near the golf course at Crown Point.Plantations is quite a new, stunning complex , near the Hilton and although we enjoyed our stay there, we were looking forward to finding a more natural resort . . .somewhere without aircon, somewhere simple, yet in it's way both cosy and luxurious,, and with everything we would need to cater for ourselves if we so chose, somewhere seconds from the beach and beautiful Caribbean ocean, somewhere with magnificent views and sunsets, somewhere where the sea breeze would cool us, somewhere where we could get involved with the local community, somewhere we could 'live' for weeks on end, relax and enjoy and feel 'at home '.
We found everything and more at Beach House . . .it was fabulous!We loved our stay both in one of the smaller apartments downstairs and at the end of our stay, in the larger Coconut Heights upstairs!!We found Beach House by chance having arrived by boat[ a brilliant way to travel!] from Charlotteville! We immediately met a friendly Australian lady who had been staying there and was leaving that morning . . . she introduced us to Carole and the rest is history!!!What a find !.. . . we are now completely addicted to both Castara and Beach House!!
Before I close I must add that we had intended spending 4 weeks of our 7 week adventure in the Caribbean, on Tobago . .. but, after experiencing the wonderful friendliness of Castara and the very special warmth of the locals, plus our enchanting location and beautiful Beach House, we decided not to move on to explore other islands, because we had already found paradise in Heavenly Bay.
Joanne Grose from Australia visited in October 2006 and awarded
What a truly superb slice of paradise Beachhouse is!! Situated right on the beach at Heavenly Bay, Castara, Beachhouse is the most beautiful place to stay in Tobago. The property is beautifully decorated, very comfy and homely - so much so we felt we were in our own home. Nestled in beautiful gardens the views and sunsts from this open air property are amazing, and the constant sound of the waves is so relaxing. The property is excellently maintained and spotlessly clean, and the attentive managers, Porridge and Jeanelle, ensure all your needs are catered for. We will definitely return to Beachhouse, Castara, as it was a truly memorable stay. Thank you Graham and Carole (owners) for providing a unique and romantic holiday home.
Christine from U.K. visited in June 2006 and awarded
We stayed at Palm Corner in June and couldn't believe how lucky we were to find such a relaxing, friendly and beautiful place. The accomodation is simple and perfect for those wishing for a holiday where you can do exactly as you please. We were lucky to meet Carole and Graham who own the Beach House and they made us feel more than welcome as did Porridge.
When we read the reviews before we came to Beach House we couldn't believe that there would be so much on one island but it really is all here. The village of Castara is very friendly and a great base from which to visit the whole island. Hire a car from Porridge and you can travel to great beaches and across the rainforest (would recommend King David for this!) which gives a refreshing break from the heat. Much of the time we spent on our verandah watching the stingrays come right in to the shoreline and feeding the tropical birds (and the chickens!). Snorkelling is great right off the beach.
Although we visited in the low season (still hot and sunny!) and only a couple of the restaurants were open we always ate well and I have to recommend Vera's roti at the Almond Tree! Also, Dexter at the Tree House on the far end of Heavenly Bay was great and even opened the restaurant early on Saturday morning so we could watch England in the World Cup! The food here is great too. I've never tasted such good fish as I did on Castara.
Overall, if you visit Tobago and the Beach House you will meet plenty of people who will give you good advice on where to go and what to do.
I would love to go back and that is the best recommendation I can give.