Carpe Diem - Reader Reports & Opinion
Chris And Sarah from U.K. visited in August 2014 and awarded
For the second year running we have stayed at Carpe Diem in Castara and are intending to go back again and again! The villa and location are everything you could want when you're ready to escape from your hectic daily lives and relax, the locals are friendly and welcoming and can't recommend it highly enough
Pascal from Germany visited in March 2014 and awarded
My wife an myself spent 9 nights at Carpe Diem Villa. It was the perfect place to relax after those busy Carnival days in Trinidad. We stayed in one of the Studio Apartments which was absolutely clean and fully equipped for self-catering. The bed is big and very comfortable. The balcony has a lovely view over Castara Bay and is surrounded by lots of pretty plants and birds. Everything is well organised, fresh linen and towels are provided every 3-4 days. Within short walking distance you can find little shops for your basic needs. The few restaurants in the village offer excellent fresh and cheap dishes. The locals are very friendly and entertaining. Just have a "lime" at the little rum shop across the road on a friday evening and find out by yourself. PS: Beware the Puncheon!
Jaime Reich from U.S.A. visited in March 2014 and awarded
The accommodations were stellar: clean, well appointed, and inviting. Yvonne was instrumental in helping us to make connections in the area for daily outings, tours, activities, transport. Carpe Diem was the perfect "home base" from which to explore Castara and the island. I could not imagine having been more fortunate in our lodging for this beautiful time away from home. I would love to go back and I would absolutely stay here again and again and again.
Imtiaz And Corinne from U.K. visited in September 2013 and awarded
What an experience! Phenomenal!
The hospitality is 100%. If any business wants to be successful, meet Yvonne and Chris and try to bottle the formula! Although you might find it difficult to bottle that secret ingredient!
The veranda...open those shutters in the morning and drink in the view, put food in the bird feeders and watch them flock to the breakfast table, walk to the beach, nothing better than a swim in water which is warm and a different colour depending on how the night has been. Do nothing but spend your day walking through the village saying "hey maan" to the locals or relax on the beach. Perfect. Fish fresh off the boats that doesn't smell of fish, sweet potato, yam and pumpkin will do for your meals! Snorkel off the beach...sensational. Spoilt, with 2 beaches 2 minutes walk from Carpe Diem Villa.
Please be warned:
The Rum Punch carries a "punch", the sunsets are unbelievable, different everyday, the locals are very friendly, fish you buy from the local fish co-op on the main beach (in the afternoon) or from little bay in the morning is too fresh, time just stands still every so often, limes fall off the trees on the path up to your room for you to make fresh lime drinks with, Bingi the Fruit King will bend over backwards to give you the "best price" (be nice to him his wife Hazel makes some good pizza and roti to order), the ATM is erratic, giving you reason the go into Scarborough, brilliant day out, Alibaba does the best all day boat trip ever, Wild Turtle Scuba's Ritchie is the best guy to take you diving and Newton George is the King of the Rainforest and knows a thing or two about attracting the birds, the beaches are deserted and beautiful and that couple Yvonne and Chris, words can't describe these 2!!!
Don't say I didn't warn you!!!
Best holiday in the Caribbean!Carpe Diem Villas Castara Rocks
Patrick Roach from U.K. visited in March 2013 and awarded
Out from the seedy airport area and expensive tourist hotels in the SW of the island are small fishing villages dotted around the coast. Castara is on the Caribbean about half way up the west side & perfect for talking part in real village life. Not so many tourists venture up here but it's a wonderful taste of what the real Caribbean is like with amusing friendly locals.
Nestled above the wonderful beach is Carpe Diem. A haven of tranquillity and just the best place to unwind. We shared the upstairs apartment with the owners Chris and Yvonne who are the very best of hosts. Living there for 3 months every year they know all the locals and places to eat and visit.
They built this house a few years back & the breeze blows through the spacious rooms, not a pane of glass in site. A comfortable bed, good shower and cooking facilities add to the comfort of this lovely house together with sharing your breakfast with the vast array of brightly coloured birds that visit you on the veranda each morning and fruit bats in the evening.
Behind the house is the rainforest and we spent many hours here when we got too hot on the beach. Our guide, recommended by Yvonne and accredited by the tourist office, was Errol Roach - not a relation. He was just the most informed man and so willing to part with a ton of information - some unregistered guides just wiz you through but he spent many hours with us.
Food is of a high standard in the local restaurants but avoid pretentious / expensive ones - Sandcastles being a case in point, see a full review on this site.
Fish & shellfish are on most menus depending on the days catch along with chicken and some excellent goat, usually only consisting of 4-5 items but the standard of cooking is high, mainly fresh and generally cheap. Careful with any of the chilli dishes - I mistakenly agreed to one where the option was normal - read extreme!!!
We found a car essential for touring further a field and again Yvonne came up with a great local company. The bays with glorious beaches further north were idyllic and deserted.
Don't forget to check out the direct Monarch flight - 30kgs of luggage and great service. Far cheaper than BA and Virgin who seem to have identical prices!
I can whole heartedly recommend Carpe Diem for that all important relaxing break, so easy to get to and away from our inclement weather in the UK. Such good value.