Castara Cottage - Reader Reports & Opinion

Wow   10 Dec 2010

Benjaminbernstein from New York City

Wow. That could be the entire review. Where to start. First off we had some flight troubles and Ann and Yvonne (the owners) were very helpful. We may not have even made it to the island if it wasn't for them. Furthermore, before my girlfriend and I got there they notified us that they were upgrading us to the top suite, the Tamarind. It was amazing. It had an unreal view of the sunset from the porch, an outisde shower in which you could see the sunset, and fun things we discovered throughout the trip (hammock on the porch, windows that opened up in the living room to let birds fly in, etc.) It was a walk away from both beaches and a short walk to town.

Josh who is the manager was extremely helpful throughout the trip. I can't say enough about how he enhanced the experience. Him and his family have a strong foundation in Castara and between Josh and all of his brothers we were treated to an unforgettable experience. One brother (Chino) owns a restaurant (Chino's) where we ate at multiple times. It's a nice place right in the middle of town. His other brother drove us around the island for sight-seeing and waterfall experience (the waterfall is a TON of fun), and Josh himself took us to an island party and drove us around. He was also there whenever we needed him.

We took Alibaba's tour for a boat ride (read: booze cruise) around the island. The two hosts were hilarious. Alibaba himself is a character as well. We went to this place called Nylon Pool where you can stand in the middle of the ocean. Really just absolutely amazing. Caught some fish, had an island-style BBQ, Snorkelling, etc. That's the one thiing you absolutely have to do.

Other Highlights: Bongo night at the Boathouse (I think that's what it's called). The Boathouse was a great restaurant right on the small beach. Live band on our last night at Chino's. Caribs. Rum. Small beach = heaven.

In all honestly there were too many small highlights to the trip to list here. Every day was amazing whether it was chilling at the beach or doing some sort of event. The people that live there are really what put the trip over the top though and are the reason that, without a doubt, we are going back.

Review   23 Feb 2011

Claire from England

Seeing the most recent review about the ‘dog problem’ at Castara Cottage, and the depth of feeling being expressed by those guests, prompted me to write our review - something we had been meaning to do since our return.

Terry and I stayed at the Cottage for one week in Tamarind during January 2011. It was very clean, comfortable, spacious, airy and had a well equipped kitchen. There is a large, semi-sheltered decked patio area, from where you get a pretty good view of the sea.

Sunrise is amazing, as you watch the world wake up and come alive ! We spent hours and hours sitting and watching the beautiful birds feeding on the fruit and crumbs laid out for them. The cottage is conveniently located - just a minute or so from the two beaches.

One week is not enough to tour this beautiful island, as well as soak up the relaxing, friendly Castara ambience. We tried to see as much as our time would allow – but were always happy to arrive back ‘home’ (Castara Cottage).

The day trip up to Englishman’s Bay, Parlatuvier & Charlotteville was the best (these places are unspoilt paradise). Another day into the rainforest, then on to Speyside with the glass-bottom boat trip to Little Tobago was truly memorable. Blue Waters Inn is a cool place to have lunch/drinks, but we did hear rave reviews about the lobster served at nearby Jemma’s Kitchen. Maybe next time !

Our day down ‘south’ was enough ! Pigeon Point has too much noise, fast-food and tourists. You could be anywhere in the world that ticks those three boxes. Thankfully, those holiday-makers who enjoy all that, are unlikely to bother the decent folk in Castara.

Scarborough is a million miles away from its Yorkshire counterpart (except for the sea). It is buzzing and vibrant – especially on a Friday afternoon when everybody gets paid. The shops are busy with the women buying groceries & the men are indulging in beer and local rum. Watch out on the roads, as I hear there are no drink-driving rules.

The market is crowded & colourful with all the locally grown fruit/veg – but not much more, other than household goods. We did struggle to find gifts to take home, so we settled for rum & tee-shirts from the duty free shop at the airport.

We enjoyed our ‘chill-out’ times on the Big Beach of Castara. Sitting up at the far end, with few others in sight, it was bliss. We watched and joined in when the fishermen pulled in their catch and later in the day, watched the small boats returning with large catches of tuna, bonito, snapper and rainbow runner. The fish is taken to a cleaning/preparation building on the beach, where it is sold directly to the public at an amazing price – about $2 US per pound. The taste is unforgettable.

One great feature of being on the Castara beach is that there are no people bothering you to buy items or services. There is no loud music or distracting water sports - just peaceful fishing & watching the diving pelicans and gulls.

None of the restaurants will hit the ‘haute cuisine’ guides – but it’s all good, wholesome, fresh local produce which seemed a little pricey for such simple food. There are enough restaurants to eat in a different place almost every night – but who wants to eat out when you can BBQ on your own doorstep. Or, better still, get Joshua to ‘cook-up’ for you.

We didn’t have time to take the boat-trip – but heard amazing reports about Nylon Pool & Coral Garden. Maybe next time !

Back to the dog...... we agree with some (but not all) of about the comments about the neighbours dog barking. As we felt sorry for the chained-up dog, we enquired about animal welfare organisations, but drew a blank amongst the locals we asked.

Although we did hear the dog barking, we did not feel that it was as disturbing and intrusive as these other guests say/experienced. We mentioned it to the manager (Joshua), but did not feel that the situation was so bad to make a ‘formal’ complaint.

When making the booking, we received a lot of help and information from the owners of the accommodation and felt that all our questions were answered accurately, with no attempt to hide the fact that Castara Cottage is a wooden house and that there could be some noise from time to time.

Anyway, we chose to stay in Castara Cottage and had a good holiday. We may go back to Castara, and if we do, will happily stay at Castara Cottage again – but will first ask if there is barking dog problem.

Claire & Terry (Wakefield, West Yorkshire)

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