Beach House - Review Page 3

Studio Apartments - Breadfruit Grove & Palm Corner

Balcony views from Palm Corner

The lower floor of the house is divided into two self-contained studio apartments. They are similar, but have slightly different decorative themes. Breadfruit Grove benefits from a slightly larger kitchen, smaller bathroom and bigger deck than Palm Corner, but in every other way, are very similar.

Each apartment offers a reasonable total accommodation area of 370ft2 (230ft2 excluding the balcony/deck). These studios are more simply decorated and furnished than Coconut Heights. However, the stunning location, just a metre or so above the beach, with glorious views out over Castara Bay, will be the main focal point for everyone staying here.

Each studio is dominated by a double bed with attractive bedspread and four-poster mosquito net. Furnishings included a single chair, bedside wall lamps, a couple of wall mirrors. There is also a small bookshelf with collection of reading matter, plus nearly a metre of half-height hanging space and open shelves for other clothing.

The bedroom area of Palm CornerThe small kitchenettes in both apartments are clean and more than serviceable for holiday self-catering. Equipment includes a four-ring gas oven, spacious fridge/freezer, Black & Decker Toaster-R-Oven, coffee maker (cafetière) and kettle. There is a reasonable supply of cooking utensils, crockery and glassware.

As with the upstairs apartment, the plumbing in both units has been upgraded since our 2006 visit. All sinks, basins and showers now have both hot and cold water and, as with the upstairs apartment, are in tip-top condition.. 

Each apartment has a small bathroom with washbasin, toilet and half-tiled shower. Neither bathroom has a shaver socket.

The apartments are not air-conditioned, but have a single oscillating multi-speed floor fan. Shuttered windows and/or doors on three aspects help to keep them light and breezy. Stable style doors lead from the living area onto a wide balcony to the front of each studio. A partition separates the balconies, but a connecting door can be unlocked when friends or family rent both units.

Well-equipped kitchens in the apartmentsThe front balcony of Palm Corner has been extended down the side of the building to form an additional deck area. A gas barbeque unit is stored here. Breadfruit Grove has a larger partly covered deck. The balconies and decks are furnished with a small table, comfortable padded deck chairs and a bench seat, plus a large Mexican hammock. Each unit has a Hessian roller blind that can be used to block the setting sun. Stunning sunsets are a major feature in Castara. You could not ask for a more beautiful spot than the Beach House from which to enjoy the spectacle of the sun dipping below the horizon out over the bay.

Both Breadfruit Grove and Palm Corner were occupied during our week at the Beach House. As a result, we were unable to get new photos of the apartments. We did, however, manage to get five minutes in Palm Corner on a changeover day, so have managed to get one or two new shots.

Conclusion

The Beach House is not a choice that would suit everyone. I must qualify that statement by stressing that it would equally applies to EVERY holiday accommodation property in Castara.

The Beach House apartments are not sealed air-conditioned cells. The entire frontage of the upper apartment is open to the elements, forming what might be described as an inside-outside balcony or terrace. Around 80% of the outer wall space is open to the natural elements, either totally, or via simple wooden shuttered windows. Fruit bats, birds, geckos and even, once, a chameleon, have been regular visitors during our stays – not just outside the house, but also occasionally inside.

Sunset in Little Bay, CastaraIt must be admitted that Little Bay has not been improved by the extensive development (a relative term) of recent years. Up to 75 holidaymakers can now be housed in the immediate area. Despite this, you will seldom find more than a handful of people on Little Bay the beach at the same time. In fact, you will often have the beach to yourself. This is a simple consequence of there being so much else to do and see on Tobago. On top of that, the Beach House is so completely isolated by its own lush gardens that you are almost unaware of the other properties in the valley.

Those who love wildlife and want a “back to basics” holiday experience with good standards of comfort will adore the Beach House. We particularly recommend Coconut Heights. Beach babes, like Jill, will be in absolute heaven. Jill would claim that our week in Coconut Heights was the highlight of our 2013 trip to Tobago. Beaches do not hold quite the same fascination for me, but I cannot argue with her choice. Yes, the Beach House continues to be one of our personal favourite holiday accommodation choices on Tobago.

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