Naturalist Beach Resort - Reader Reports & Opinion
Naturalist 9th October... 25 Oct 2004
Paul Williams from Hamble,Southampton,England
From the moment Ancle George the owner of Naturalist Beach Resort in Castara picked us up from the airport I knew I had met someone who fully understood my requirements for a weeks valued holiday and relaxation.
We travelled during the evening via Pennysavers where we bought the basics to keep us going for the week, we arrived at about 9.00 and after a couple of cold beers went to bed early.
We awoke at first light to look around and could not believe what a beautiful place we had found ourselves in, we were staying in a room called Kingfish which was basic but very comfortable and had a lovely covered terrace with 2 sunbeds and a table and chairs and was a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
It was only about 25 paces from our front door to the stunning beach which was good for my wife Leita as it meant she did not have far to walk with a cold beer while I was fishing.
Ancle has just finished his new building which is right on the edge of the beach and has a coffee shop on the lower level (serves great cappucino so Steve will be happy when he visits Castara next year) and a new apartment called Blue Marlin upstairs which is extremely well appointed and must have one of the best views in Tobago from its balcony.
We ate there on 2 evenings when the staff arranged barbecues which were extremely good with a choice of lamb, chicken, pork and different types of fish and were good value for money.
All of the staff were very helpful during the week and helped to make our stay so enjoyable but I must say that the rapport is set by Ancle who is a great guy to sit with and have a few beers with and discuss many world issues, he really understands what is required in Castara both by the residents and also the visitors.
Overall I believe that if you are looking for comfortable accomodation at good cost in a beautiful location you will have to go a long way to beat the Naturalist.
Naturalist - Where's Mr.ancle??!!
First time I sent an email to Naturalist Beach Resort, at Castara, Mr.Ancle gave me a prompt answer, on the some day! On the other day, I wrote some note, and once again, he replied very quickly!
Now, since I decided the final dates to stay at his appartments, I wrote him an email... no answer yet, since 20th December!!
Does any one knows if he spend Christmas an New years vacations out of Castara?!
I'm trying to phone him, but have no sinal!! is the Tobago indicative +868, isn't it?
Naturalist Beach Resort 02 Mar 2005
Joanne Green from Ohio, USA
We just returned from an 8 night stay & it was everything that Paul Tallet said it would be! We had booked early, so got Kingfish. It was a large room with a double bed with very good mattress, a fold-out divan, a kitchenette, shower room and covered sea-view porch. The porch has 2 chaise lounges, 2 padded chairs and a table and chairs. The shower worked, as did the toilet and fridge and the air conditioner. All this incl. tax for $US55/night. Incredible!!! Our friend rented Jacks, which was smaller, with no porch, but had A/C for only about $US43/nt. The rooms were kept very clean and the staff was very responsive to any request we made. The owner, Ancle George, has obviously trained them well. The grounds were cleaned daily and there are nice plantings all around. The low price is even more incredible when you consider that the property is right on one of the prettiest beaches on Tobago. Needless to say, we'll be back!
Naturalist Beach Resort ... 2005 Update 09 Apr 2005
Paul Tallet from Yorkshire
I am pleased to update the forum about the Naturalist Beach Resort following my recent stay in Castara.
The Naturalist Beach Resort
A 6 room Guesthouse situated at the northern end of the main beach in Castara and with some rooms looking south down the length of the beach.
The business is owned and operated by Ancle George who has developed the business organically over the last several years with some substantial upgrades and improvements over the last 12 months.
I understand that this is one of just a handful of businesses in Castara that does not depend on overseas investment and therefore Ancle has been able to develop the business under his own steam and with no outside influence.
Much of the management of the business is now handled by Ann Marie under which a growing number of loyal staff maintain the Guesthouse and Café.
The main Guesthouse comprises of 5 rooms of different sizes that can cater for between 2 and 4 guests.
All rooms offer clean, simple and basic accommodation with double/twin beds, basic cooking facilities (including a microwave and 2 ringed stove, kettle, pots, pans and cutlery) and a fridge (that can be stocked with drinks on request).
Each room has a bathroom including a hot shower, toilet and washbasin.
Furniture includes tables and chairs and storage cupboards (i.e.; wardrobe and drawers).
I think all the rooms have air conditioning apart from one.
All rooms have TV for some reason, I never use them but I guess some may like watching TV.
The most popular room is the ‘Kingfish’ that has an outside porch in which you can sit and enjoy the view down the beach. You would be lucky to get this room at short notice during peak times.
The Blue Marlin Suite
Situated above Café Delight this accommodation was opened in April 2004.
The suite is very spacious and much more comfortably appointed with a full kitchen (with cooker/oven) and a much larger bathroom suite.
A large and sheltered balcony provides panoramic views south over the main beach in Castara and further south down the coast.
Furnishings include a double bed with mosquito nets, a single bed, a 3 piece suite and ample cupboard and storage space.
No air conditioning is provided and it is not needed because the whole suite can be opened up to the outside elements and this allows the sea breezes through and a large ceiling fan can be switched on during particularly humid times.
With all the shutters open, the views from the suite are quite stunning (even if you are lying in bed) and the ambience is quite awesome due to the suite’s proximity to the beach (i.e.; it is on the beach) and the pounding waves can be felt as well as heard.
The suite includes a TV, Mobile Phone and a hire car although I guess the price could be reduced by declining the hire car if other arrangements are in place.
Honeymooners are the first to come to my mind when I think of the appeal of the Blue Marlin Suite.
The panoramic views can only be bettered by some rooms of the nearby Blue Mango apartments and marginally better at Alibaba’s Sea Breeze in Heavenly Bay, however the Blue Marlin is really in a class of it’s own due to it’s location on the beach.
All rooms are cleaned and fresh linen provided regularly every 2 days.
If you want drinks in the fridge, these are kept stocked up.
The whole area is hosed down and swept each day, plants watered and bird feeding implements replenished.
A small library exists in the former Breakfast Bar of the main building which is lighted all night for the benefit of those insomniacs that like to read or lime all night.
Breakfast and Lunch is optional in the Café Delight where there is access to the Internet for $20TT per hour in an air conditioned room ... I used to go there just to cool down sometimes !!
Situated right underneath the Blue Marlin Suite with lovely views of the main beach.
Café Delight is open all week for breakfasts, lunches and soft drinks. They even make nice ground coffee there.
On Fridays and Sundays (this could change!) the café hosts barbecues and entertainment is provided by a group that plays old style African Drums.
Being below the Blue Marlin Suite, the café has beautiful views down the length of the main beach and out to sea.
At the time I was there, this was the only place to go for breakfast in Castara.
The Naturalist Beach Resort seems to have cornered all the commercial opportunities available to it in Castara with the rooms, a café, internet facilities and it’s excellent location right next to the main beach.
Don’t expect Gourmet Cuisine or Luxury (arguably with the exception of the Blue Marlin Suite).
Expect simplicity with clean and comfortable accommodation in an excellent location, convenience for meals and a good and reliable host (Ancle) and his staff who are always on hand if you need them.
Naturalist Beach Resort
I've noticed that you've removed the link for hotel websites and e.mail. I'm having trouble with the Naturalist link. Is this just a temporary blip?
We are now going to be going to Tobago with our 3 kids aged 18/16/9 and thought the Naturalist might be worth a look as you speak so highly of it for your family. It's only got a few apartments so is it too late for us to book for early April 06 (just before Easter) or will they have been booked up by now? If it is booked any other kid friendly (well at least other kids to hang out with) places to stay in Castara? We've set our heart on Castara but may have to re-think now the brood are tagging along!!!
Thanks in advance, guys.
Yearning for Tobago all the more as I'd be their now if we hadn't had to cancel.