Sandcastles - Reader Reports & Opinion
These reports are a combination of questions and comment posted in our Sandcastles 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 23 votes = 4.1 (max 5)
Mia And Alex from Norway visited in January 2013 and awarded
We are a family of four, two thirty something parents with two small boys. One of the reasons we decided to contact Sandcastles in Castara was because other families reported that they had had a great stay there and that it is run by a family with small kids themselves.
We were not disappointed! We spent three weeks plus in the large apartment atop the house and enjoyed having a large central space partially open to a big starry or sunny sky, a gorgeous sea view, flanked by two bedrooms that practically separate kids and parents, each side with its own spacious bathroom, fronted by a well equipped kitchen at the entrance. The apartment feels safe to stay in, has sufficient space outside for play and a shady refuge when the midday sun gets too hot.
A big plus was the hosts' willingness to support our stay in ways like giving us good contacts to do exploration tours, car rental connections or take us on a half-day trip to Scarborough market and Pennysavers. It was most welcome and helpful of Adam to take us on a walk though the village and beach area on the first day to point out where one can shop for what. To have a knowledgable and generous host that can explain, suggest and advice readily available allowed us to quickly familiarize ourselves with the area and to understand what this cozy little village is all about.
The location is a bit up the hill, about 500m up a hill along the road to the west, so if pushing a push-cart to the beach or for shopping, be prepared to get some leg-excercise while you're at it. On the other hand, it was great to be able to regularly enjoy fresh and delightful dishes served by the hosts right on the balcony at sunset after a day of Castara beach exploration.
Adam and his family have a couple of friendly pets, a female dog that is friendly and a chicken that laid us one beautiful egg each day. Close to the house there is a little kiosk from which you can buy water and some basic supplies, this is practical since this means that you need to carry less things up the hill. We decided not to have a car during the majority of our stay, this worked fine for us, but if you would like to rent a car there is space for parking in front of the house.
We can warmly recommend Sandcastles apartments and restaurant for anyone that is looking for a genuine Castara vacation. We only found a telephone number to contact Sandcastles on the mytobago site but he set up his facebook info-page (search for sandcastles guest house) while we were there to make it easier to get in touch.
Janet from Canada visited in June 2009 and awarded
Sandcastles was exactly what I expected, simple, comfortable, very affordable, with beautiful views and some wildlife surrounding. I was very pleased with the hospitality of the owner. The room was large, and so was the bathroom, with a comfy bed, and pretty clean. Remember to bring your own beach towels though! The Terrace/balcony was a great chill spot at night after long beach days, and exploring of the local river and Castara waterfall. Just to warn you, the hill is very steep on the way up, but being an athlete it was great to get a small workout in each time we decided to leave and come back. The town is small and quiet. A great place to visit and stay for 3 or 4 days maximum, just because it's a very subtle village, not much action, however that is what we were looking for. My fiance and I had a lovely stay and we recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable place to stay.
B. Pacheco from Trinidad visited in July 2008 and awarded
Just returned from a delightful overnight stay at Sandcastles. If you are looking to stay somewhere in Tobago that is not crowded with tourists then this is a fine choice. While the amenities are limited and rather basic the place has a rustic charm that is quite special and Adam is a wonderful host. Adam's cooking is also fantastic and ensures you have 5 star meals available literally on your doorstep. The two bedroom apartment where we stayed had decent beds and the mosquito nets were much appreciated - not a single bite! On the downside, the patio furniture and kitchen could do with some major updating and guests need to provide their own toiletries. Overall, visitors can expect good basic no-frills accommodation in an unspoiled piece of Paradise.
Sacha Chander from U.K. visited in March 2008 and awarded
2 Largish rooms with balcony with distant sea view and additional shared terrace and kitchen. Lovely sunsets and chilled evenings. (Other rooms also available in other parts of the property)
Long walk from beach, 10 minutes to closest beach, 20 minutes to Little Bay Beach where most travellers go to sun themselves. It's a steep and tough walk back up so you have to be fit or have a car, and it's a walk along the main road so you have to dodge the occasional car too. And you probably won't do the walk more than once a day. Perhaps this is the price for privacy ?
Quiet at night except for the odd car or barking dog (neighbours).
Kitchen is a good size but sparsely equipped.
Food : the red snapper is London style and London prices, about 150-170TT.
The owners are pretty nice although when I told them I was leaving I was told that 'Well the only other rooms I could find on the island were at the Hilton Crown Point. I thought this was a joke at, as the Hilton is 350USD/night and the most expensive hotel on the island. I called round and found rooms everywhere, Castara, Charlotteville and Crown Point ... so I guess this was a pressurising tactic to stay at Sandcastles which is a bit off. Other than that friendly.
We got bitten a lot whilst at the property (other guests too) by some unknown bugs ... never saw anything and thought we were imagining it but other people across said the same thing. These might have been the no-see-ums mentioned in the Lonely Planet.
Christine from U.S.A. visited in March 2008 and awarded
We stayed with friends in the apartment and had the whole upper level to ourselves. We had the best time enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean from the deck, especially the sunset! We hung out a lot on the porch after long days on the beach. The rooms were clean and breezy, and the bathrooms were very spacious. Each bedroom has a private view of the ocean with its own little balcony. There is a kitchen with a stove and fridge that the two upstairs apartments share. Although it is an uphill walk from the beach, it's still very short and there is a nice view the whole way. Castara is also the perfect location, as it's easy to get to a lot of places, the beach is nice, the food is great and the people are beyond friendly.
Overall, it was a wonderful place to stay with the best hosts. Adam and Ria were always on hand to give us advice and help plan our stay, and we indulged in Adam's feast our last night.
We can't wait to come back!
-Christine, Keith, Steph and Jon