Naturalist Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Penelope Duda from U.S.A. visited in April 2009 and awarded
The Naturalist is a lovely Guest House, very comfortable and inviting. The beach in Castara is beautiful, great for swimming and snorkeling, and the Naturalist sits right on its edge. Any closer and you would be swimming to your bed! It is a great place to stay with children, very safe, with plenty to do and explore. The town of Castara is very laid back, but with plenty of restaurants to keep your stomach busy. Ancle George, the owner of The Naturalist, is a great host. He really made us feel welcome and went out of his way to help us in any way possible. Unfortunately we missed the local's breakfast at the Naturalist's Cafe Delight because of the Easter holiday, but that will give us another reason to go back!
Anette And Benny Thorsen from Denmark visited in January 2009 and awarded
We stayed a week at naturalist beach, in the kingfish appartment, and we had a great stay. Clean linnen every day, helpfull staff, shady terrace and lots of birds.
The owner mr. George is helpfull and attentive.
Castara is a very pleasent place. The snorkling is fine and the hole area has a friendly atmosphere, we loved it.
We were in the rainforrest with Harris McDonald and he was a knowing and very charming guide.
The best place to eat, in our oppinion, was the coffeeshop , great dinner and breakfast. and at a very low price - try it!
it is on the main road, to the right, just opposit marguritas restaurant (which also serves nice meals).
Also the wednesdaymusic in the boathouse is a must, dinner, free rumpunch, steelband and drums. very nice.
Naturalist beach has a simular arrangment on sundays. It is also very fine, very tasty bbq and the rumpunches are better, but the band is not that exiting.
We will defenetly be coming back to Naturalist Beach, if we are travelling to Tobago again.
Jenn Ifer from U.S.A. visited in December 2008 and awarded
The facilities at the Naturalist are well-appointed and comfortable and the location is quite nice.
Otherwise, we had a very unpleasant experience at the Naturalist.
Prior to arrival I had contacted Ancle via email (on this site) and been quoted a rate of $55 a night. When we arrived in Castara, the office girls (who were neither friendly nor unfriendly) informed us the rate was $60 -- regardless of what we'd been told. We took a room -- (the Salmon) still a little unsure of what the price would ultimately be.
As we prepared to go into town -- (and after the girls had left for the day) Ancle returned. We chatted briefly and more or less pleasantly, but several minutes later as we were walking down the driveway, Ancle stopped us (accosted us really.) And began deriding us as one would expect an unkind boss to do to do to an employee -- in other words, in a way that was completely unacceptable between an owner and a guest... He wanted to clarify what the girls had written about the cost earlier in the day -- and, again his tone was that of an unpleasant supervisor talking down to someone -- Once he was comfortable with our answers... My bf asked him why he had quoted $55 in the email if that wasn't in fact the price -- Ancle snapped back "Did you confirm that price with me?"
At that point we realized that we weren't going to get anywhere rationally and $5 is only $5. We left and enjoyed our evening in Castara -- HOWEVER, knowing that Ancle was back at the premises made us rethink our initial plan to cook dinner in the room and we ate in town instead. I don't think that anyone should be made to feel uncomfortable in a place they are paying to stay. Perhaps he was having a bad day -- but taking it out on your customers is a sure way to ensure bad worth of mouth among former guests. While we wouldn't hesitate to recommend other places we stayed in T and T... Ancle's gets a huge thumbs down! Oh -- and I should add that we aren't 4 star travelers accustomed to fine service -- but we've both felt much, much more at home in divey hostels the world over than at this "resort."
Ken Greene from U.K. visited in August 2008 and awarded
Very clean and tidy apartments. Very friendly and helpfull people.
We stayed in both the King Fish and Blue Marlin Suites, with the Blue Marlin having the fantastic view, especially the sunsets.
The water pressure was very low on some ocassions, but that did not spoil a very enjoyable holiday.
Diane Adams from U.S.A. visited in August 2008 and awarded
Our trip to Tobago started off a little late as two of the three Caribbean Air 'bridge' aircraft from Trinidad to Tobago were down for repair. Still Ancle waited at the airport for an additional 3 hours. We hopped into our Blue Daihatsu, which was in great condition, and made the trek to Castara. Note for Americans - if you DO chose the manual remember that the stick will be on your left hand, since Tobagans drive on the left side of the road. I also recommend making the drive in the day time if possible. We later got to see all of the amazing views and vistas but missed them on the initial drive in the dark.
We stayed in the Blue Marlin Suite which was pretty much as described in the full review. I must warn though, at least in August, if you don't like creepy crawlies then you might want to opt for one of the other apartments. Since the suite is over the kitchen and not air conditioned (it never got too warm that we couldn't sleep), we had some unwelcome visitors. That being said, the location on the beach and incredible view made it all worth it. We considered changing rooms but the deck was just too nice to give up.
We brought our 8 month old who had a great time crawling around the room and deck while we lounged on the deck or took turns snorkeling. We did have to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't get too close to the railings or find the stairs. As it turns out, she was mobile but not too mobile so it worked out. I wouldn't have been as comfortable with a toddler.
The snorkeling was quite good on the right side of the bay. We also tried Black Rock and Englishman's Bay and ended up preferring what was a couple of steps and an easy swim to beautiful corals and fish in Castara Bay.
We checked out most of the island via our car rental. Castara was by far our favorite spot - there's food, nice people, not too crowded, boats to rent, and a gorgeous beach. If you're looking for a large resort try Turtle Beach area. If you're looking for something a little more authentic but with all the necessities nearby, Castara is just right.