SeaScape - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in February 2010
SeaScape is the most recent addition to the more upscale end of the Castara holiday accommodation market.
Completed in January 2009, this new and striking wooden house is built on a cliff side above Castara's Heavenly Bay. The plot of land on which it stands was originally that of Cliff Hanger, one of the old Blue Mango cottages.
SeaScape boasts beautiful views over Castara Bay. It is less than a one minute walk to the smaller and quieter of Castara's glorious sandy beaches. The property offers two self-contained self-catering apartments; one with two bedrooms and one with a single bedroom. The apartments are American-owned and furnished and equipped to the very highest standards and yet totally compatible with the 'open living' ethos that is so much a feature of Castara holiday accommodation.
SeaScape is located at the southern end of Castara’s Little Bay (more often referred to by the more glamorous but technically incorrect name of Heavenly Bay). Access to the property is via Depot Road, a steep lane leading from the main North Coast Road as it wends its way up and out of Castara on the way to Parlatuvier and Englishman’s Bay. Depot Road is narrow, steep, pitted and potholed but as long as drivers exercise care the road presents little more than a minor challenge.
Two rocky outcrops separate Little Bay from Big Bay and the main beach. At low tide it is possible to wade waist-deep from one beach to the other, but few do. Other than the Boat House Restaurant, there are no shops or restaurants inLittle Bay, so walking to shops and restaurants does mean walking up the hill to the main road, then back down to the rest of the village. Best avoided in the heat of the day, it can be a pleasant walk that shouldn’t faze anyone and a cold beer always tastes so much better at the end of the walk.
As with most accommodation in Tobago, I repeat my regular recommendation that visitors should consider budgeting for the hire a car or jeep for the duration of their stay. There are several small rental agencies in the village and cars and SUVs (4x4) can be rented by the day or week. A self-drive is by far the best way to get the best out of Tobago – but you certainly won't need transport around Castara itself.
Castara is a 50-minute drive from the airport. We would recommend that you arrange for your flight to be met by Rollings, SeaScape’s very helpful manager. Shopping facilities are very limited in Castara and Rolling will transfer you to the property via one of the main supermarkets so that you can stock up. You will probably need to plan at least one trip a week to the populated end of the island for grocery shopping. The golden rule in Tobago is “if in stock, buy it”. Don’t assume that they will have something tomorrow just because it’s on the shelf today.
SeaScape utilises an open and practical design concept utilised by several apartments and cottages in the village. However, it has been built to much higher standards than most. The overall result is a more refined and comfortable version of the very simple houses that dominate the village’s holiday accommodation market and which sometimes seem to view hot water as a luxury confined to 5-star hotels.
The house can only be seen from the sea or beach. Being new, it is still somewhat bright and shiny and arguably rather too visible. I think it will look better in a year or two when the wooden boards are weathered by the salt-laden air and the house melds more into the surrounding landscape. Don’t get me wrong: that is not a criticism – just an observation. What is clear, however, is that this is a more upscale building than many of those in the surrounding areas.
The house appears at first to be two structures on different levels. The overall shape and design is very different from the rectangular blocks of most other houses in the village and help to give this property an air of distinction.
There is no dedicated parking, but we had no problems parking in the sleepy road next to the apartments. From there, around 40 shallow steps take you to the shared balcony that wraps around the back of the house, providing access to both apartments. Needless to say, neither Castara nor SeaScape would be ideal for anyone with mobility problems.
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