Carpe Diem - Reader Reports & Opinion
Marilyn Mcintyre from Canada visited in January 2013 and awarded
We, 2 couples, stayed here Jan. 2013, for 5 nights, and would definitely go back here. We had one of the studios, as well as The Green Room, and it worked out perfectly for us. The owners, Yvonne and Chris, arrived 2 days before we left so we used the kitchen and deck on the upper level until that time, although we were welcome to use it after they arrived as well.
The beds are good...we left the netting around the beds the whole time, as there were mosquitoes around....the kitchens, both up and down are well stocked with cooking utensils. There were spices and such in the upper kitchen, so just borrowed them when we needed them. Showers work good, always hot water, although we did not use an over abundance as it was always nice to have a cool shower after coming back from the beach where it was lovely and hot. No problems with the WIFI.
The deck up is nice and big, with a gorgeous view of the bay....wonderful sunset pics there ! The deck on the studio level is not as large, but still large enough for 4 to sit around the table on it. The view is not as good there, being lower, but there are lots of birds to watch in the trees there. There are so many varieties of birds here, and a bird book to help identify them. We saw more birds here than any other place we visited.
The house is up on a hill, so anyone with walking problems would probably not want to stay here, but we had no issues as it isn't too far a climb. The home is not fancy, but was perfect for us...if you are looking for 5 *, stay somewhere else.
We arranged for airport pick up through the owners, and we had someone from the same family take us over to Speyside for a day, so we never rented a car while in Castara. There are lots of restaurants to walk to from here, we had picked up groceries before we arrived there, but could get some basics in town as well. Order some bread from the ladies baking at the clay oven on Wed. and Sat., or from Hazel just up the road from Carpe Diem...she also has fruit, makes Roti as well.
We walked to the waterfall, had a swim in the natural pool there. The beach was not busy at all, especially compared to farther south...you can rent beach chairs for next to nothing, or just lie on your towel.....beach towels are NOT provided here, so be sure to bring your own. The beach was great....no weeds, not a sharp drop-off...not much for snorkeling right there though.
We really like Castara, from there we moved to Mt. Pleasant, and we all agreed that we liked the feel of Castara better...it is a nice little town...people would soon get to know you here.
Yvonne and Chris were wonderful hosts ! They came for a visit the night they arrived, even though they had had a long day of travel...and invited us to come have Happy Hour with them the following night as well. They are a wealth of knowledge about the town, the country and the people. They are both very down to earth, easy to visit with, and certainly willing to help with any plans you need to make. I can't imagine the work involved hauling all of their supplies up onto the mountain to build their home...but they did !!
I would highly recommend Carpe Diem if you like a relaxing holiday, away from hustle and bustle and lots of tourists :)
Tim Batt from U.K. visited in November 2012 and awarded
We came here in 2010 as a family group, see our previous review on Trip Advisor 14/10/10, and we couldn't resist coming back.
There is so much to see in the world that we generally only visit somewhere once or twice but Castara is going to be the exception to the rule!
As we could only go to Tobago for 1 week this time we originally thought we would just stay in the Crown Point area for a change, but after dithering for sometime and looking at reviews for many different places, the decision was made.... Carpe Diem at Castara it had to be! So happy we made that decision! We had the green room upstairs as Chris and Yvonne weren't in residence, so had the benefit of the lovely big private balcony to enjoy the views. Everything was in good order again and there were no problems at all. It was good to have internet access this time (wifi better than we have at home!) it means you can stay in touch with those at home (if you wish) without running up enormous phone bills.
We mostly relaxed on the balcony, fed the birds, and wandered down to the village to buy a few supplies and enjoy the beach and have a dip in the beautiful clear warm waters. Just what the doctor ordered!
If you want to dive, I couldn't recommend Richie at Wild Turtle Diving highly enough! An incredibly helpful, flexible and friendly guy, more than happy to sort dives to suit anyone.
So next year? I'm sure we'll be back again!
Mike Lloyd from U.K. visited in September 2012 and awarded
Like us, you have no doubt read a lot of glowing reports for Carpe Diem and thought too good to be true. In fact, we found they underplayed it. We went back to Tobago after 5 years and wanted to see more of, what for us, was the real Tobago. Castara delivered that for us. We had planned to hire a car or Taxis for the occasional days we might want to stretch our legs. The reality was we were so pleased with both the accommodation and the village we only went off piste for 1 day (and then only to go the the truly wonderful Englishman's Bay) Other than that Castara, Carpe Diem, Chris & Yvonne made our 25th Wedding Anniversary treat perfect.
The rooms were everything we expected from reading the descriptions and were more than adequate. Everyone was extremely friendly and were more than willing to chat with us and lend their help and advice. Chris and Yvonne were just so helpful and were by far the best hosts we have had the privilege of booking through.
We have been back less than a week and are already planning a return visit next year. That should say it all!
Kimberley Cahill from U.K. visited in March 2012 and awarded
We had a very peaceful holiday in a studio flat that felt a little like a tree house. It was a great opportunity to relax and observe local wildlife. We spent a lot of time sitting on the balcony and watching the beautiful birds and fruit bats feed on the birdfeeders. Chris and Yvonne were very welcoming and were happy to help with advice, information and also organised a boat trip with a beach BBQ and a stop at Nylon Pool. They arranged for a local driver, Denzil, to pick us up at the airport and then at the end of our holiday to drop us back there again. We got to know the village and found that although it was not very 'touristy' there were good restaurants and a very good beach bar and that the locals were glad of our custom and made us feel at home. We had some very good evenings at The Boathouse, a particular evening of drums and limbo dancing will never be forgotten. Thanks to Chris and Yvonne for sharing your home and to Castara for allowing us to see what Tobagan life is all about. My friends described my photo's as a view of paradise, how true!
Mike Milne from U.K. visited in March 2012 and awarded
We’d visited this traditional fishing village on ealier trips to Tobago and liked the laid back “non-hassle” style of the locals - and the fact that our dates coincided with owners Chris and Yvonne being there turned out to be an added bonus.
Their advice on which places were usually worth going to (and which to avoid) was very helpful - plus we thoroughly enjoyed their company on the occasions they invited us to join them upstairs for a drink or a meal or to watch the sunset.
Overall, although the accomodation is fairly basic, it’s certainly serviceable, and the American-sized fridge was particularly useful for keeping all our food and drinks cold and fresh. Clean sheets and towels are provided regularly by the lovely Doris and her husband Denzel (who is also a very efficient taxi driver) and the Wifi connection is much faster than we’d expected.
Sleepwise, we’d warn anyone who is a light sleeper to take a supply of earplugs as the local roosters tend to start the first round of their crowing contest around 4am! But the wonderful variety of tropical birds that will come and eat from the bamboo feeder trays hanging on each balcony is a joy.
We had a great time at Carpe Diem and look forward to staying there again.