Beach House - Reader Reports & Opinion
Steve And Helen Vesty from U.K. visited in January 2006 and awarded
Spent an all too short 6 nights in Coconut Heights. What can we say that hasn't already been said. Overlooking the beach, loads of space and everything you need from hammock to fully equipped kitchen. Castara is really laid back and non commercial and Porridge and Jeanelle couldn't be more helpful, including hire car if you need it. Shopped on the way in but plenty of local choices for dinner if you don't want to cook. We didn't try Jeanelle's cooking but wished we had after hearing the reports. Kelly can take you on an excellent local rainforest walk and the Argylle Waterfall is well worth the climb. Just don't expect much sleep - between the crashing surf, the mad cockerel (thinks sunrise is 3.30 am!) and the occasional late night action at The Boathouse next door, most of our snoozing was caught up on during the day!
Would definitely go back though - a real gem.
Carloline Ladd from U.K. visited in January 2006 and awarded
The beach house is in a stunning location, right on the beach, but beware it is very noisy, especially when the sea is rough!!
Since there is no glass in the windows, we found the moisture from the sea and air made the bed and soft furnishing very damp.
Also, the mosquitoes were quite a nusince.No hot water in kitchen or bathroom sinks so had to boil saucepans, which again was a pest.
David Bray from U.S.A. visited in November 2005 and awarded
Tobago, Castara, The Beach House...I've been to over 50 countries and have never considered returning to the same place until now. The Beach House is everything promised and more than can be described in words. The accommodations were tidy, cozy and romantic. The location was one of the best on earth...breath taking views, secluded beach, tranquil atmosphere. The Beach House isn't beach front front it's a part of the beach. Then there's Castara...just enough amenities to make vacationing comfortable, but not enough to feel like a resort area. It was easy to get to know the community within in a couple of days. The people are willing to offer their services, but aren't yet jaded by the tourist trade. The area seemed to be equally enjoyed by both romantic couples and families with small children. All this for about the same price as Motel 6.
Just a word of advise, although there are a few place in Castara to eat out or get basic food stuffs and sundries, you would be well advised to stock up at the market in Scarborough with everything you will need for your stay.
John & Jude from U.K. visited in September 2005 and awarded
If your idea of a holiday is simply falling out of bed and into the sea, then this is for you!. My wife and I have just returned from The Beach House, and cannot believe that we were actually there!
After pouring over the pictures taken during our stay, we have both vowed to return soon. The wildlife on the 'door step' took our breath away, the birds, lizards, and fireflies at night were always in constant sight. We will never forget the cheeky Bananaquit! What a character this is! Mot-mots called on a regular basis as shy as they are.
The sea contained some of the most interesting sights once we passed D'Original Mayor. Shoals of fish including angel & parrot fish were visible on every visit, my wife experienced snorkeling for the first time and for once I could not get 'her' out of the sea, on one occasion we were surrounded by hundreds of sprats just as curious about us!. We spent relaxing evenings watching the pelicans dive for supper, the sun melted into the sea whilst dinner was cooking in the oven (with a cold Carib in hand of course!). Porridge made sure that we had plenty of supplies and having met new fellow travelers (from Norway and Germany) we organised a spontaneous dinner party to show off our English style roast dinners much to our guests delight!, the kitchens equipment and standards were faultless and if any thing had of been needed I am confident in Porridge being able to get it somewhere!
The property was well maintained and kept spotless thanks to Jeanelle and Porridge who looked in on a regular basis to make sure everything was okay. Porridge was an excellent host and source of information. He made sure that all the guests were happy.
I have read all the other reviews, and holidays are what you make of them, this certainly made ours for us. There was little else that we needed or wanted to do.
Many thanks to all those who made us welcome. And thanks to our new friends, Porridge, Jeanelle, Shaquille, Duck, Anaconda & Duane in Castara, Nils and Irene from Norway and Norbert and Tanya from Germany, all the friendly local shop and restaurant owners and above all to the owners of 'Coconut Heights' who made it all possible!.
Castara Beach House
Post Recreated: Originally posted - 23 October
The Moorhead’s Tobago 8-30 August 2002
We stayed 1 week in Buccoo, 1 week in Castara and 1 week back in Buccoo by popular vote. We are Freya, 14, Chloe,16, Giles, 18, and Janette & Mike.
Castara is classic hilly Caribbean country. Very local, very friendly but also pretty limited.
Castara Beach was not crowded, had beach bar that was only open in daytime and did not appear to be very busy. There was an active fish market. Castara beach has its main entrance off the coast road. The coast road rises to the North East of the beach on the way to Englishman’s Bay. The Castara Falls, across the road from the beach, across the playing field and up the river, were rather good for a fresh water dip. We were promised drumming on Friday nights but it did not materialise.
Heavenly Bay was small and, except for piles of rubbish at the entrance, lived up to its name as far as rocks, sand and fish were concerned. It was the best snorkelling we experienced including Buccoo reef. The two beaches are separated by a small headland. You can wade/swim between them easily. Either side of the headland there are two steep access roads, a second access to Castara Beach and the only access Heavenly Bay. The headland has 5 or 6 holiday houses on it. One of the houses right on the end of the headland has another very small beach with its own access. All the houses, except Beach House, seem to be run by the people at Blue Mango which is central on the headland. Bookings appear to be independent.
This is right on the beach at Heavenly Bay. We were going to stay here but didn’t because the owner went on holiday to Devon just as we were about to book. It looked very good. A traditional wooden built house with fretwork screens. Seemed airy and spacious, better than the web photo suggested. We were looking for three bedrooms and this is what it has.
Situated up the hill from the beaches, at the centre of the three roads, the coast road and the two access roads. It is built into the side of a steep hill just to one side of the headland about 200m from either beach. A house with many contrasts, not our best Tobago experience. The accommodation we were offered for 5 was, we thought at first, the whole house. A two bedroom apartment and a one bedroom studio connected to the apartment. We were then offered the rest of the house at an additional price at the last minute. This added another, downstairs, two bedroom apartment. We did a recce from Buccoo and decided that the initial offer was inadequate for 5 and insisted on the whole house, which we eventually got. In the event we narrowly avoided a disaster. The upstairs apartment had a pleasant double bedroom with a rather small double bed with baby space attached, hanging space, shelf but no drawers. The other “bedroom” was a passageway to the studio with no ventilation and no windows. There was no hanging space only a cupboard. There was a small double bed and a single bed leaving just enough floor space to walk across the foot of the double bed which was also the side of the single bed. There were two doors, one to the apartment and one to the studio with steps in the room. In our view, it was not useable as a bedroom other than for very small children. It should have had one single bed in it at most.
There was a bath room, which flooded through the shower drain when the washing machine was used, with a rather small basin. There was a reasonable kitchen area with oven and large fridge freezer but very short on utensils and crocks. The tap dripped monumentally throughout despite the attention of a plumber who replaced one shot washer with another shot washer and did not know how to regrind the seat. A new tap was going to be bought..... . The living area, adjacent to the kitchen area, had a sofa and 2 armchairs and opened onto a deck outside with a table and 5 chairs. This living space was OK for 4/5 but not spacious. By the front door was an outside shower, useful after the beach, and a washing machine that washed.
The definition of inside and outside is blurred because there were no complete walls, there were ventilation spaces above every wall and double doors from bedroom to sitting room and to deck; when all windows and doors were open it was all effectively outside. Birds moths etc flew in and out at will and when it rained that came in as well! From the deck there are views of the sunset over the sea through the trees but you are almost sitting in the road. In consequence we were an easy target for King David and his salesmen! There is also a fabulous mango tree opposite visited by parrots and other birds. The house is occupied by several small yellow birds that flit in and out most of the time and sleep in the trees overhanging the deck. We mended many of the wind chimes that are at every door. We were adopted by a dog who after a few days invited a mate to join him. On one occasion another dog arrived on the roof which is level with the main road above. The studio bedroom was a separate apartment for 2. It had hanging space, double bed and bathroom. There was a fridge, sink and some kitchenware but no kitchen as such. There was a lot of floor space and some huge shuttered windows and an upstairs gallery with a low roof. One could paint there, the view is mostly of trees.
The downstairs apartment was in better condition that the rest. This had a pleasant double room but a second very cramped room with two single beds had no floor space and a small window with a view into the hill a few feet from the window. Again it should have had one single bed. There was a small living area and a shaded terrace outside. Comfortable for 2/3.
Mosquitoes were vicious in spite of burning coils, spaying with jungle stuff and lotions. All beds had nets but most had seen better days would easily let in butterflies and moths.
The catering supplies on the welcome list were not provided, the bedding didn’t get changed as often as was said and it was difficult to keep clean without better brooms etc. By pooling equipment from all three apartments we had enough. The four slice toaster says it all, it toasted two slices on one side only!
Our peace was severely disrupted by tree clearing as a result of shorts on the local power lines. This removed some of the shade from the deck and our screen from the road. This was followed by strimming and cutting at 7am for three mornings which brought fresh waves of insects! Codrington Wallace’s bar 10m up the hill was quiet and good for a chat or drink supplies. The shop another 10m up the hill had daily bread deliveries and a few essentials but played music from 8am to 10pm which, being just above the Mango House roof meant we had to like whatever music they liked! The roti a further 100m up the hill went down very well.
To be continued ...