Castara Cottage - Reader Reports & Opinion
Nigel Fearnley from U.K. visited in March 2011 and awarded
My wife and 3 year old daughter had a fantastic two week stay in the Tamarind Apartment back in March. The whole experience from beginning to end was very easy and relaxed. Ann, the owner, prides herself on customer care and couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful in responding to all my queries before we booked the apartment as well as providing some very useful information packs. Joshua the manager was also fantastic, he regularly called by to check we were ok, but without being intrusive, he shared his local knowledge with us and we also asked him to cook us a fish bbq one night which was really tasty and a nice authentic experience.
The apartment was comfortable and well-equipped with attractive local character. It had a spacious and airy lounge, and a large private and shaded veranda, where you could eat outside, and sit and relax enjoying the local birdlife and the view and lovely sunsets over little Bay. The location was also perfectly positioned for easy access to both beaches less than 5 minutes walk away, and also the main village centre.
Yes there are the occasional sounds of dogs and chickens at night, but you can also hear the relaxing sounds of the waves breaking, the cicadas, and occasional rain showers in the night. None of this was ever a serious issue for us, if anything it only adds to the authenticity of the expereince. All in all, the Tamarind apartment and the village of Castara offer the perfect place to spend a holiday that is much more immersed into the local surroundings and way of life than staying in a hotel resort in a much more tourist developed area.
Sabine Liehr from Austria visited in January 2011 and awarded
We (three friends) stayed in Castara for two weeks in Jan 2011 and loved the village and it's friendly and helpful locals.
Castara Cottage Tamarind apartment is really as nice as on the pictures, cosy, colourful, fresh with a spacy terrace giving space to all of us.
As the cottage is situated in the middle of two streets leading to beaches very often locals dropped by to chat or leave fruits (Mango, Papaya..) on our table.
We liked the space and interieur of the apartment, even if the bathroom could be much better as it isn't tiled and has a very small washing basin. We have seen much better bathrooms within more economic apartments in Castara- this could be improved, so far the only small critics in a first moment, BUT:
The worst had to come: as the apartment is fully wooden constructure and very open it is also very loud. In Castara there are lot's of Roosters and cheicken and dogs. Roosters start crying at 1 o'clock in the morning, dogs bark all the time, nearby church with loud music early evening, main road behind the apartment with cars and loud music- all this we could have managed and get used to it.
ONE THING HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE: sleep all night long with the neighbours dog barking 4 or 6 times a night almost for half an hour. It seemed as if the dog was standing in our room. The neighbour keeps the dog just 3 meters away and chained in the night- and he was not willing to move it into the house or behind his house. We tried one week with earplugs, one of my friends had a nervous breakdown after 8 nights without sleep, even with earplugs and had to move to another place. Joshua the manager was very nice and tried to help us, he also talked to the neighbour- no chance. Locals tried to find a quiet and not expensive place for us, as they already knew that there was a problem with this dog- they have had complaints before, so also the owner of the place has been already aware about this problem, but nobody had warned us!
We asked the owner of the apartment if she was willing to return at least a small part of the prepayment as we had to move, she was not willing to help.
So we are very disappointed- even if the place is so nice- we cannot recommend this place to other people if the dog problem is not solved.
We were told that all dogs bark, not only the neighbours dog, but we can tell that this is not really the truth: yes, there is some barking in the night- but this dog is the only one you can hear all night through and that loud over whole Castara. And I'm very sorry for the owner of Castara Cottage to have built such a beautiful apartment and then get such neighbours. But this is no excuse for not advising customers in advance that there night be this noise problem, especially as Catsra Cottage is not beneath the most economic places. We paid 1382 USD for two weeks, so minimum one can exspect is that he's able to sleep at night!!!
We work hard all year round, alot of stress, so holidays are HOLY to be able to relax once a year- not possible without sleep.
A nervous breakdown in your holidays because of no sleep? Possible, deprivation of sleep is used as torture method.
My advice: Don't ever book Castara Cottage in advance with prepayment.
For all the rest: after we had partially moved to another place and could sleep there the last 6 days were again beautiful and great.
Good fish from the fishermen, great food at the coffeshop and Boathouse, nice liming and drum sessions and dancing- very friendly and helpful people, beautiful beaches and snorkeling (Saw a stingray in Castara little bay). WE WILL RETURN!!! of course- very sorry- not to Castara Cottage.
Jenny And Henry Fay from U.K. visited in November 2010 and awarded
My husband and I first stayed at Castara Cottage for a few days in 2006 and loved it so much that we promised ourselves that we would return... and we did, this time with my sister and her two-year old daughter. We rented two apartments, Tamarind and Saffron, which gave us lots of space and meant that the little one could sleep undisturbed while we stayed up chatting. The provisions for a toddler (cot, potty, high-chair) were great. This apartment is good for accessing both of Castara's fabulous beaches. We also had fresh fruit delivered most mornings by Bengi, a local "greengrocer", which was a lovely treat. The apartment is cool and airy because if its wooden construction and the spacious balcony is great for lounging in the hammock, eating or just sitting watching the tropical birds. Although, do beware, birds are tempted indoors by ripe fruit!
Sarah Turner from U.K. visited in September 2010 and awarded
After doing some extensive online research, I chose to stay at Castara Cottage in the village of Castara.
I have to say I loved every minute of my stay and the layed back vibe in Castara.
I stayed in the Tamarind apartment and for me it was the nicest of the three. Lots of space, and a large balcony and with all mod cons.
It's really close to Castara beach and with a car you are only 5 mins to Englishmans Bay, which for me was the best beach.
I can't wait to return and explore more of the island.
Maxine Noel from U.K. visited in August 2010 and awarded
We - my husband, myself and our two children aged seven and nine,- have just returned from a two-week holiday in Tobago where we had an absolutely fantastic, time. It was our first visit to the island, but it certainly won’t be the last.
We stayed at Castara Cottage in the Tamarind apartment which was exactly as we imagined it would be. We especially enjoyed relaxing on the patio and feeding the different birds which came every day for the bits of fruit nuts, biscuits and other tit-bits which the children especially liked to put out for them.
Other great experiences were buying freshly caught fish from the fishermen‘s co-op in Big Bay, and being lucky enough to get freshly – baked bread and delicious cakes from the mud oven.
The apartment was clean and very well-equipped with everything we needed, and we loved the fact that it was so well-placed for both of Castara’s beautiful beaches and the great snorkelling near the rocks in Heavenly Bay.
As we were ‘Tobago virgins’ we really appreciated the quick responses and useful information on everything we wanted to know from Ann, one of the owners. Joshua, the manager not only looked after us very well, but it was also very re-assuring that he lived just down the road - near Chino’s café where the food is delicious.
We hired a car so were able to travel around the whole island and can honestly say that Castara and Castara Cottage are great places to stay if you are looking for a friendly and relaxing holiday in Tobago.
Maxine, John, Tim and Justin from the Uk