Castara Retreats - Reader Reports & Opinion
These reports are a combination of questions and comment posted in our Castara Retreats forum and visitor reports added via the 'Add Report' tab above. The votes awarded are weighted by volume and date to give a truer representation of reader satisfaction [more details].
Reader Satisfaction Ranking: Weighted ranking based on 95 votes = 5 (max 5)
Julian from U.K. visited in January 2014 and awarded
This was a return visit to Castara Retreats and so good was the first visit that we brought our two sons and partners to enjoy Castara staying in both Fisherman’s and Rainforest.
The accommodations and surrounding areas have been well covered in previous reviews so just a few observations from this visit.
The “youth” side of our party had a great time and found Castara a delight to spend time in both in the apartment and on the verandas plus down on the beach. My eldest son was in heaven when on his first day he was able to watch his team, Liverpool, live from the local bar with beer at 70p/bottle and they won!).
The management team are top notch, laundry change and clean every 3 days, both apartments presented and kept in immaculate condition. Porridge, Castara Retreats’ manager, does deserve special note – a daily visit when any problems are immediately resolved – a wealth a local knowledge – a friend more than a manager – the jewel in Retreats’ crown. Also of note was our welcome and interaction with all the staff at Castara was full of smiles – not always a given on Tobago.
The restaurant, a relatively new addition, is a welcome facility – excellent cooking, reasonable prices.
Just a note on the “steep path” to the beach; we have never found this difficult or much of an exertion even in midday heat – however there is an alternative route using the main drive that is more gentle for those who might be worried about steep inclines.
Downsides? Well on a couple of occasions we had extended bouts of noisy strimming (one day commencing at 6 o’clock in the morning) and our final meal in the restaurant was enjoyed with the rather strong whiff of diesel! – this had been sprayed around the property to keep sand flies at bay. I guess this is all part of maintaining the gardens and protecting the guests.
Also since we were last there the restaurant has been extended further (now on 3 levels) somewhat restricting the wonderful views from Fisherman’s and there was on-going construction of a large new apartment along with mention of further plans for development of further accommodation. There is a possibility that with all the new building the hillside is becoming over developed and by virtue loosing some of it’s magic but the owners do have a respect for nature and the environment so hopefully this will be managed carefully.
So to sum up a top recommendation.
Aviance & Steffen from Trinidad visited in December 2013 and awarded
My boyfriend and I visited Tobago for the 1st time and we decided to go out to dinner on the Saturday night. The owner of the place where we stayed recommended us to dine at Castara Retreats restaurant owned by a guy named Kenny.
Upon phoning Kenny, I enquired on the cuisine served as well as shuttle services to and from his restaurant. He told me that he does not "normally" offer a shuttle service but instead tries to accommodate newcomers to the island who don't have transport of their own. This was music to my ears as my boyfriend and I didn't have to worry about getting to the restaurant or returning to the apartment in Parlatuvier.
When we got to the restaurant, my boyfriend and I were the only couple to dine at the time and we were greeted by Will who was our waiter for that evening. The ambience of Castara Retreats restaurant was relaxing, wonderfully poetic and the lighting was just right for a romantic dinner with my sweetheart!
We decided to order the steak and potatoes and that meal was divine!! The steak was cooked to perfection and the potatoes were well seasoned and literally melted in your mouth. For dessert, my boyfriend ordered the one-of-a-kind Chocolate Mousse made from the richest chocolate, and I ordered a Rich Chocolate Torte with a side of vanilla ice cream.
Any one who dines at Castara Retreats restaurant would agree that the meals and desserts are prepared with a tantamount of love and care and prepared to perfection.
I would definitely recommend dining at Castara Retreats restaurant wherever you're staying in Tobago!
Thank you Kenny for your grand hospitality, and a special Thank you to our waiter, Will, who made our dining experience exquisite.
Sonja from Germany visited in March 2013 and awarded
Iam sonja from germany. we stay in castara retreats from 25.03. to 08.04.2013. It is the most beautiful place in the world. It is truly a paradise on earth and we totally relaxed and had the best vacation ever. Castara retreats is a beautiful well-maintained complex with very lovely and beautiful guest houses, very clean and very grateful garden with flowers and trees and birds. Kennys restaurant was a very nice place there you can eat very tasty.
Porridge has several daily loving care of us and always asked if everything is ok.
he organized island tours to the waterfall, speyside, charlotteville or any other place as you like, organized a driver for you when you need . Everything was perfect.
Highly recommended are the snorkling and fishing tours with porridge and seon with his boat "Sun Arise".
Porridge ist the warmest and kindest man i have ever met in holiday. He is always friendly and good humored and we see it was very important for him that the guests feel good.
Honestly, it was my best holiday in my life and i'm going again this year to castara retreats.
Porridge thank you for everything and also thanks for the rest from your very good organized team.
Yasmin Kay from U.K. visited in March 2013 and awarded
We are a family of five (nearly six, as I am preganant!) and we wanted a holiday that was safe and comfortable but also exotic and exciting. Our children are all under ten and being boys enjoy a feeling of freedom and a lack of constraints.
Castara Retreats provided the perfect setting for this.
Our treehouse apartment was a dream, delightful sea views, immersed and surrounded by wildlife and lulled by the sound of the sea. Plenty of room and thoughtful touches combined with simplicity (but not too basic).
Our host Porrige and his team were super friendly, helpful and very caring. Our whole family felt relaxed and charmed.
The village of Castara was more lovely than we expected. Quiet, peaceful beach, nestled next to and amid rainforest and full of colour and vibrancy. The people were very welcoming too, all those we met made us feel newly touched and inspired by the world we live in... what a wonderful example of simple living and heartfelt human interactions!
Thank you Tobago, a beautiful holiday!
Yasmin, Boz, Seren, Manu and Jago Kay
Paul Mullens from U.K. visited in February 2013 and awarded
Its my 6th visit to castara retreats over the last 8 years.
i have stayed in all the lodges except the new one.
nice surprise on arrival at fishermans lodge , new cooker , super large fridge freezer, and just below at the new pagoda resturant a large chiller cabinet well stocked with beers, lime coolers even nice dry white wine and even proscecco for us to help our selves to on an honesty basis
a great saving in energy rather than walking up the hill laden with heavy bags.
the roofed seating area had been equipped with new chairs ands other enhancements to make our stay very comfortable.
the pagoda resturant, can be deescribed as fitting in perfectly in a completely un obstrusive way, i liked the natural wood exteriors and this blends very well with the modern kitchen facilities.
i have stayed at the other end of the island usually for a couple of nights on arrival each time we have come, usually at the kariwak, they epitomise be3ing in the caribeen and produce meals using their own vegetables herbs etc, that establishment oozes the better things in life and simple good quality food.
the pagoda resturant for the 10 times i eat there provided very tasty nicely prepared, presented and cooked meals, the fish i had most nights was delicious and its taste wasnt
smothered in other flavours just a light sprinking of herbs from the garden.
my wife tried a selection of the other dishes and found the stuffed peppers delicious. she liked the fish as well
to me the service was perfect, kenny is a delightful mine host and his young assistant tending the bar, alocal school master and scout leader ably assisted him, a nice team ,
i hav e had good wines at the kariwak but nowhere else unless we took our own, but in fairness its a place for long drinks and having tobagos stunning scencery more than makes up for the odd glass of wine.
but i have to say my wife loved the lemon & lime cocktails, and having a decent glass or two of red was an unexpected treat
so overall we eat at the pagoda with odd snacks at chinos, he deserves support as well
i would go back to castara, it means something to me that people come out of their houses and greet us upon our return
and after all i wouldnt have done some 50.000 miles getting to and from tobago unless the island , its people and castara wasnt a special place.
and not least i must not forget porridge and jeanelle, they are very special people who co ordinate things to make it all work.
i would say we are very lucky tourists