Naturalist Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion

Guest Report   

Jud, Really from Canada visited in October 2013 and awarded  Five out of Five

We have stayed at the Naturalist several times. the rooms are comfortable and well equipped and you can't be any closer to the beach. Ancle and his daughter are great hosts and will ensure you have an enjoyable stay. We highly recommend it.

Guest Report   

Shako from U.S.A. visited in September 2013 and awarded  Three out of Five

Initially, we were off to a rocky start with The Naturalist Resort. I'll describe this as "two strikes" but luckily, they didn't reach the "three strikes and you're out" point.

We arrived on 31 Aug 2013, unbeknownst to us that this was Trinidad & Tobago's National Independence Day. This didn't really pose a problem for us...luckily. One month prior to our arrival at The Naturalist, I emailed our itinerary complete with arrival/departure times to Ancle George (Hotel Manager). I received a confirmation email from him, stating "Hi , we are excited to meet you next month. Please look out for someone with a sign bearing your name as your depart Crownpoint's terminal." Seems simple enough. However, when we arrived, nobody from the hotel ever came for us. Mind you, we waited in POS for 3 hours as opposed to taking an earlier flight offered by Caribbean Airlines, because we had a specific pickup time with The Naturalist and didn't want to make the driver do two trips. So when I called the hotel, I was casually informed that they never received the itinerary. Strange, because when I called them, I pulled up the exact confirmation email on my phone. We're reasonably flexible and adventurous so we took the hotel's advice and caught a taxi. Here's where we got lucky. As we waited for the hotel driver to arrive, the airport taxi drivers slowly started trickling off. We later found out (via a very kind taxi driver who rearranged his celebration plans) that many taxi drivers were taking off for the evening because of the holiday. Strike 1B -- the hotel originally told us that they were approximately 30 minutes from Crownpoint Airport. The taxi driver informed us that it was at least 1 hour and 10 minutes away AND that we got lucky to find him because most drivers wouldn't have taken us all the way to Castara on the holiday night. This was also disappointing because we wanted to visit the Nylon Pool but had no time on account of lack of transport. Strike 1C: when we arrived, Ancle George was very nonchalant when I showed him his reply email regarding our airport pickup. Stike 2: shortly after the airport pickup conversation, he questioned whether or not we had paid our 1st deposit. Again, I took to my phone and showed him my banking statement, that show the debited amount. All in all, these "2 strikes" were not very good first impressions of The Naturalist. I understand the whole 'laid back, chill' attitude found in and throughout the Caribbean (I'm West Indian, myself) but no apology was ever given at any point during our stay. Something as simple as, "I'm sorry for the mix up" would have sufficed. Even our Tour Guide (Hans Philips) offered his apologies on behalf of The Naturalist and he doesn't even work there! In case you're wondering, the lovely taxi driver's name was "Curtis" - he provides a lot of transport services in and throughout the Tobago area. Plus, just the fact that he went out of his way to rearrange his own personal plans for two complete strangers, shows just how kind and accommodating some folks in Tobago can be.

While at The Naturalist, be sure to visit Ms. Hazel's shop (up the Hill from Naturalist, maybe 100 ft). She and her husband are very lovely people and have great fresh fruits. Visit their sister-in-law just in front of the Naturalist for some cold Carib and great convo. We ended up talking with her for about an hour one evening, learning all about her excursions in Brooklyn and other NY parts.

Hans Philips is HANDS DOWN the best Tour Guide. He has several but we attended the "Little Tobago" tour w/lunch at Jemma's Treehouse. Hans is super energetic and knowledgeable, very down to earth. Having lunch with him (one on one b/c our group was rather small) provided for some excellent conversation and history of the island. Learned lots from him! And yes, we jumped off the boat during our snorkeling session with him :-)

Two other TIPS: check out Shore Thing Cafe located closer to Scarborough for some nice local lunch. The menu kinda caters to tourists (pizza and flatbreads and such) but they have a lovely kingfish "local" lunch offered as well. Their coconut cream pie is to DIE FOR! We went to lunch there with another new friend, Brian, also a taxi driver. He's very shy but once you get to know him, he's full of so much wisdom. Upon getting a ride with him, we were a bit tired, as was he. So the convo was nonexistent. We soon realized that he thought we were upset or something, and vice versa. So much for 1st impressions b/c we soon invited him to lunch and got to know him quite a bit. He's a lovely soul.

Finally, go for yoga with Ginny at her Moonlight Mountain yoga house (also may be called yogacrypt). She's a lovely European woman, possibly 60 + years young but offers a great yoga session, for opening up the body, mind, and spirit!

All in all, Tobago started off a bit rocky but ended up being a great experience and a perfect get away. WE'LL DEFINITELY BE BACK!!

Guest Report   

Laurie Harmon from U.S.A. visited in June 2013 and awarded  Five out of Five

If you are looking for a place to stay that is reasonably priced, comfortable, and want to leave the world behind - this is the place for you! My four siblings, their spouses, my son and I stayed there for a weeklong family reunion. The area is just beautiful, the people are friendly and very welcoming, and we were very well taken care of by the people at the Naturalist. This hospitality followed us just about everywhere else we went in Castara, as well.

The rooms are clean, issues are taken care of immediately, and it is right on the beach! If I am ever lucky enough to visit Tobago again, I will stay at the Naturalist.

Guest Report   

Cynthia W from U.S.A. visited in May 2013 and awarded  Four out of Five

The Naturalist Beach Resort was a fine place to stay in Castara. It was shockingly close to the shore. The village itself is quite lovely with lively soccer games and plenty of fishermen. Two things the Naturalist could do a little better are serve a better continental breakfast (for example the milk was about 2 weeks expired) and provide a more stable wireless internet signal. On the whole, though, for the price, location, and relative cleanliness, the Naturalist was a good value.

Guest Report   

Gerrit Faust from Germany visited in March 2013 and awarded  Five out of Five

We've been already to a lot of places in the Caribbeans, and Castara is one of our favorites. Nice place, nice people, good food, and a very relaxed atmosphere. Plus the Naturalist Beach Resort - directly on the beach and a good place to be. We stayed in the original building. Don't expect a luxury hotel, but the rooms are spacious, clean and very ok. On top, there is Ancle, who is a wonderful, helpful host. One evening (we stayed four nights) we had a amazing barbecue with Ancle and other guest from all over the world, and it was the nicest evening of our week in Tobago. Next time we come to Tobago, we will definitely stay there.

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