Naturalist Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
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.
David And Yvonne Crisell from U.K. visited in May 2008 and awarded
We stayed in King Fish for the first 2 weeks of May and what a delight it was.We are aware that not everybody would want this type of holiday, so far from all modern conviences and night life but for us it was perfect.Nature was all around us the whole time, in the sea ,in the nearby forest and even on our patio.
Castara had all we required small shops, a few bars, fish direct from the sea and the most enchanting bunch of local people you could wish for.
The Naturalist Resort is perfect for such a village as Castara, you could be no closer to the sea without getting wet it is right on the beach.All the staff are friendly, humorous and helpful while Ancle, the unassuming boss, is a star.
Delcie Dobrovolny from U.S.A. visited in May 2008 and awarded
My husband and I just returned from a week-long stay in Tobago. We spent 7 nights at the Naturalist and loved every minute of it. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly. When we had a bit of trouble with our rental car (not from Naturalist) and needed to rearrange SCUBA diving, Marion (manager) went out of her way to help us find phone numbers and make calls. The staff is only around until early afternoon, so if you need anything, take care of it early.
We stayed in Bonito. I have to say for $55 (US) per night, it was a great deal. The room was spotless and cleaned every day. The air conditioning worked well. The fridge was well stocked with drinks (and restocked every day). The rooms are tucked down a hallway. They feel very private and secure, but there are definitely no views Ė you wouldnít want to spend your vacation in them. The kitchenette had a two-burner portable stove and all the pots and utensils we needed.
The hotel internet service was down while we were there and the payphone didnít work. Marion offered to let us use the office phone. As a note, we found it difficult to call to the US. Most of the coin payphones on the island are broken and the only place we found to buy phone cards was at the airport. We tried to buy a cell phone, but were told only locals can purchase them. If you need to call home, I would recommend bringing a cell phone that you know will work in Tobago.
Castara is quiet and fun. On our first night there, several local kids came to tell us about a turtle on the beach. It turned out to be a leatherback that had come ashore to lay eggs. The beach is often busy with fishermen. We found great snorkeling just past the small beach.
I would definitely recommend the Naturalist to anyone heading to Tobago. Itís not the Ritz, but if thatís what youíre looking for, try another island.
Anne Less from U.S.A. visited in May 2008 and awarded
We booked the Blue Marlin Suite for 4 days in May, which was a great time to visit Tobago (no rain!). This location is about as close as you can get to the main beach in Castara, so the view from the wrap-around porch is unbeatable. The suite is really like a small apartment- full kitchen, living/bedroom and bathroom. It was very clean and being so close to the water ensure that we never had to use the mosquito netting. The staff was so accomodating that although we were supposed to checkout on the morning of our last day, they let us stay until our ride to the airport came at 4 pm.
Paul Wise from U.S.A. visited in April 2008 and awarded
The location was excellent and the room was clean, however the staff appeared unfriendly and seemed bothered when we approached them. They had overbooked reservations, and several people we met had to stay in other accommodations. We were surprised that even guests had to pay for lounge chairs on the beach. Somewhat overrated.