Carpe Diem - Reader Reports & Opinion
Barry McGovern from U.K. visited in October 2009 and awarded
This, my second stay at Carpe Diem carbon copied the fantastic time I had first time round. Troy, Carpe Diems' caretaker, kindly picked us up from the airport in very easily arranged, pre booked taxi. Once we arrived in Castara it didn't take long to settle back in to a relaxing routine that had been well honed the year before. Rum punch on the balcony eased us off on a two week 'don't be stressin' yourself' vacation.
The next morning we woke to the sound of mangoes falling to the ground. Caribbean room service I guess....perfect. These very mangoes became breakfast. Then, an easy walk to the beach, followed by an easy swim and then an easy beer at Marvin's. To be honest it's all easy in Castara. Marvin, one of the very friendly locals remembered us from the year before which was a very pleasant surprise. We had no choice but to catch up over the beastly cold Stag beer on offer.
The fishing village of Castara commands the perfect Caribbean panorama - palm trees, the white sandy beach and turquoise blue water. This can only be trumped by the view of the sunset from Carpe Diem. It's a very strong runner for one of the best I've seen.
Carpe Diem is brilliantly equipped with everything that could be needed, right down to a smoothy maker in every room. Making those mango/banana breakfast smoothies an unavoidable must. If I had one complaint about Carpe Diem, it would have to be that, the comfort it affords you makes it extremely difficult to venture to far from home.
We did however manage to make a few trips. These were easily arranged with one of the locals which gave us invaluable inside knowledge of were to go and what to see. The island of Tobago is beautiful with friendly people and a lot fun to be had......SUNDAY SCHOOL pops to mind. Once again the trip to this awesome party at Buccoo Point was kindly organized by one of the locals, Marvin many thanks for a great night out.
This trip has simply become an annual staple. I have always returned home fully revived with my wheels firmly stuck back on my wagon.
Thank you Castara and hugs and kisses to Carpe Diem.
Harriet from U.K. visited in September 2009 and awarded
I spent two weeks at this guest house in September this year, and was very impressed by it. We stayed in one of the downstairs rooms, and although the upstairs rooms are bigger (and probably better for families), we found it very clean and spacious, with easily enough room for two people. Each apartment is fitted out with a kitchen and bathroom, with a deck outside which looks over the village and out onto the ocean. The views are spectacular - particularly during evening sunsets. The beach is five minutes away, and there are plenty of nice local bars. Troy, who looks after the guest house (and lives next door) organised transport to and from the airport for us, and was helpful in recommending who to go to for tours and boat trips. We went to Argyle Falls (about 40 mins away), and to a gorgeous beach called No Man's Land by boat. We also snorkelled, and a few of our party went diving. For a Tobago-style party, check out Sunday School. It's a bit of a drive, but well worth it for lots of late-night fun and drinking. We also visited a local waterfall in Castara (15 mins walk), which was gorgeous and very peaceful. Overall, we had a fantastic holiday, and very much enjoyed both Castara and our lovely guest house.
Emily from U.K. visited in September 2009 and awarded
Iíve sadly just returned from spending two weeks in one of the studio apartments at Villa Carpe Diem. It was in a great location tucked far back enough to be quiet but you can still see all the action (or lack of it) going on down at the beach from the balcony. It was such a great spot to watch the varied sun sets over castara bay.
The rooms were really spacious with big doors to open up if you wanted a breeze. Still very hot but the fans in the rooms ensured a good nightís sleep. The bathrooms were pristine with nice powerful showers, which were well needed after a day in the sun. And the kitchen was really well equipped for cooking, it even had a blender for making smoothies.
Castara is a very chilled out place but there was also a lot to do if you felt more energetic. We managed to fit in a day scuba diving, a couple of boat trips and a trip to the argyle waterfalls. However if you fancy spending the morning having breakfast and admiring the view, followed by a gentle stroll down the beach (5 minutes) or to the nearby waterfall (10 minutes), which is the perfect way to cool down, then you can do that as well. I have to admit i spent quite a few days the latter way.
Castara Bay is essentially a fishing village so i hadnít envisaged it as a great place for making friends more as somewhere my friend and me could wander round without bumping into a soul, except when the fisherman came in at 3. Well I was wrong. Within a couple of days we had a regular crowd of other holiday goers and locals to chat to down at one of the rum shacks.
However that was just on quiet nights, on jump up Friday you had pretty much the whole village down at shirmaís bar dancing in the street. We were in luck with a local village holding a fishermanís fete whilst we were there. For starters it was on a gorgeous beach, secondly there was non-stop entertainment from tug of war to big belly competitions and thirdly there was a bar that didnít sell rum by the glass but by the bottle- sounds like my kinda party.
All in all I would thoroughly recommend a stay at villa carpe diem and castara in general as a holiday destination.
Matthew Snowden from U.K. visited in September 2009 and awarded
Just returned from my second visit to the small village of Castara, where I shared one of the bright & airy studio apartments with a friend. They have such great views of the bay & are really close to the beaches & bars-perfect. Really enjoyed my stay & hope to visit again soon!!!
David Fontaine from U.K. visited in August 2009 and awarded
I really believe this is THE place to stay in Castara. We stayed in the upper apartment and can't believe there are better views in Castara. The mainly wooden building is full of character and contains everything you need including lovely hot showers, that not everywhere has. The view from the bedroom was idyllic, throw open the doors, lie in bed and enjoy a fantastic view. Great birdlife around Carpe Diem and mangoes everywhere, a new supply almost every morning lying on the balcony. Troy, who looks after Carpe Diem, lives next door and is friendly and helpful.
Carpe Diem is well situated, just a couple of minutes down to both bays. Get your fish from the fishermans' co-operative and don't forget to buy bread from the ladies running the village bread oven near to the beach - order it from about 9 am and pick it up early afternoon, try the coconut tarts - superb.
Castara is well situated and away from the touristy part of Tobago. All the sites are within easy reach and although we didn't use it every day appreciated having a car (from Taylors) for the two weeks - the roads were fine. There are some local stores to buy provisions, although we did go into Scarborough a couple of times for a bigger shop. Most of the time we ate fruit and fish though.
We did 2 trips. We went with King David to the rainforest, he was really enthusiastic and knowledgeable even though in August there weren't as many flowers etc as at other times in the year, there are others who are cheaper but I would recommend staying with the well known recommended guides. We also did Ali Baba's boat tour down to Pigeon Point stopping off for snorkelling at several bays on the way - again, really recommended.
Carpe Diem - sieze the day, enjoy Tobago from this perfect place.