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4 Self-Catering Apartments
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4 Self-Catering Apartments
Alibaba's Sea Breeze consists of 4 self-contained one-bedroom apartments located directly beside Castara's stunning Little Bay beach. The owners live above the apartments and operate one of the most highly-regarded tour services on the island. These apartments offer comfortable accommodation at a modest rate that belies their stunning location and direct access onto Castara's nicest beach.
We have stayed at Alibaba's Sea Breeze several times and cannot recommend them highly enough. One of our real favourites!
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"Alibaba's Sea Breeze" self-contained apartments are located right on the beach of Castara's "Little Bay" (also known as "Heavenly Bay").
The separate balconies are overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the beautiful reef and both of Castara's beaches.
Every one of the Caribbean style apartments has a well equipped kitchen (stove, oven, family size refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker and toaster) with ceiling fan, a bathroom with hot and cold shower and mosquito nets on the beds.
All four apartments have a king-size double bed with nightstands and lamps and another ceiling fan in the bedroom section.
Bed sheets and towels are provided twice per week, more often for an additional fee (please bring your own beach towels!!!) and we offer a light clean per week (included).
Our apartments have:
Also available for our guests:
PLEASE! Bring your own beach towels.
Please bring adapters for different power plugs!
The following review was produced during a 7-night stay at Alibaba's Sea Breeze in February 2019.
Alibaba's Sea Breeze is situated immediately beside the prettier and nicer of Castara's two main beaches. The property is owned and managed by Brian 'Alibaba' Taylor, one of the most respected and influential local citizens in this popular fishing village, and his German wife Stephanie. Alibaba Tours are well-known for their popular fishing, snorkelling, rainforest and island tours.
The Alibaba Sea Breeze holiday apartments are located at the northern end of Castara's Little Bay (often referred to as Heavenly Bay). Access to the property is via Depot Road, a steep and twisty road that drops down from the main North Coast Road as it wends its way through Castara en route to Parlatuvier and Englishman's Bay.
Two rocky outcrops separate Little Bay from the Big Bay main beach. Other than the Boat House Restaurant, there are no shops or facilities in Little Bay. Visitors must walk up the hill and then back down the other side to access the main parts of the village. Best avoided in the heat of the day, it is a pleasant walk that shouldn't faze anyone, and a cold beer tastes so much better at the end of it.
Although you certainly won't need transport to get around Castara, you will miss so much of the beauty of this beautiful island without your own transport. Conveniently, Castara's best car rental service shares offices with Alibaba Tours next to the apartments.
Castara is a 50-minute drive from the airport. Alibaba's can arrange to meet your incoming flight and transfer you back to Castara via one of the main supermarkets. Shopping facilities in Castara have improved dramatically in recent years. If your tastes are simple, you might even be able to get all you need in the village. However, the golden rule for shopping in Tobago remains: "if in stock, buy it".
Like most of the houses in Castara, Sea Breeze is built on the side of a steep cliff-side on sturdy reinforced concrete supports. The two-storey building is of block and concrete construction, with wooden verandas, balustrades and roof facia.
Although the house is perched some seven metres above the beach, surprisingly little of the building can be seen from the golden sands. Great care was taken to preserve the trees and shrubs lower down the slope; not least because the foliage provides essential shade to beach users. Judicious pruning ensures a good balance between the natural look of the bay and beach whilst preserving the wonderful views offered from each apartment's balcony.
The Sea Breeze apartment balconies enjoy stunning views out to sea and across both beaches. As a working fishing village, the beach is often be a hive of activity. It can be difficult to draw your eye away.
The entrance to the Sea Breeze apartments is immediately behind the Boathouse Restaurant. A narrow concrete driveway leads to the house, through a small car park. Fifteen shallow steps lead up to the entrance corridor at the rear of the building. Due to the mountainous terrain, Castara is not a good option for wheelchair users and no mobility aids are fitted at Sea Breeze.
Inside the entrance corridor, a notice board offers visitors a variety of useful local information and a collection of novels and reading matter, in both English and German. A waterbed suitable for children is also available. The four apartments are basically identical, but each enjoys a slightly different theme and colour scheme.
Three of the apartments offer a comfortably spacious accommodation area of 30sq.m/320sq.ft., plus a 6.3sq.m./70sq.ft. balcony. The fourth apartment is marginally larger and can be fitted with a fold-out divan bed or cot for a small child or baby.
Each apartment consists of a single high-ceilinged room with a partition wall separating the central bedroom area from the bathroom, to the rear, and the kitchen/dining area and balcony to the front.
Alibaba's Sea Breeze offers no-frills accommodation of the highest standard. Those expecting mini-bars, direct-dialling telephones, TV, or room service should limit their search to the more commercialised end of the island. However, the Sea Breeze apartments have all the essentials, including complimentary Wi-Fi with a decent Internet connection. The apartments are serviced every other day and linen and towels, which were of excellent quality and immaculately clean, changed at that time. Unusually, for such modest accommodation, beach towels are provided. A basic laundry service (no ironing) is also available.
The spacious bedroom area occupies some 50% of the apartment floor space and is dominated by a bamboo four-poster, king-size bed with mosquito net and large bedside tables on each side. The overall effect is most attractive.
The bed consists of two side-by-side single mattresses forming a king-size bed. The mattresses are fitted into a recessed base, preventing them from separating. This is a perfect solution, particularly for those with a restless partner. Even better, the mattresses are high-quality orthopaedic units with firm but comfortable cushioning.
The bed sits some 32-inches above the floor. This means that there is a useful storage space for suitcases and other luggage below the bed. What a lovely change not to be falling over suitcases or have them taking up valuable space in wardrobes.
Adjacent to the bed, a large open wardrobe with storage shelves provides 34-inches of full-length hanging space, plus four very large open shelves for smaller garments and sundries.
A wall mirror, colourful prints, pictures and other decorative features enhance the atmosphere and combine to create a pleasing and homely room. The apartments are not air-conditioned – nor have any need to be. A large and quiet ceiling fan above the bed helps keep the air moving and a free-standing floor fan is there when required.
Some may argue that the central location of the bedroom prevents guests from waking to the spectacular views over the beach and bay. True, but on the other hand, it also means that the bedroom remains cooler and is not subject to the glare of the afternoon sun; a feature you will truly appreciate should you wish to rest during the heat of the day. Moreover, when staying in self-catering accommodation, it is a safe assumption that at least one of you will be spending precious holiday time in the kitchen, preparing meals. How much nicer to have stunning views as a backdrop while doing this, and how much more practical to have the kitchen adjacent to the balcony, where most people are likely to enjoy their meals.
The bathroom is equipped with the usual trio of washbasin, toilet and shower. The washbasin only provides cold water, but in recent years, the old instantaneous shower heaters have been replaced with modern hot water showers.
The bathroom is fitted with a double 110v shaver/electricity point and an electric hair dryer is provided. All fittings were serviceable and in excellent condition.
Moving to the front of the apartment, the kitchen is well laid out and very well equipped. Everything was immaculately clean – something that many small hospitality properties in Castara, and Tobago generally, could learn from. Sea Breeze is possibly one of the only properties that we have visited multiple times over many years and can genuinely say that the accommodation and facilities look as good today as they did when they first opened. In fact, contrary to virtually every other hospitality property in Castara, and possibly in Tobago, these apartments have improved with age rather than the opposite.
Kitchen fittings and equipment included a four-ring propane gas oven/stove, a medium-sized fridge with small (ice cube) freezer section, an electric coffee filter machine, electric toaster and a stove-heated kettle. There is a small but adequate collection of cookery, crockery, glassware and cooking and kitchen utensils. The kitchens are now plumbed for both hot and cold water; a big improvement since our last visit when only cold water was available in the kitchen.
A small table with two chairs is available for dining – or easily moved onto the adjacent balcony for al fresco dining, if preferred. A third chair, located in the bedroom area, can be brought into service at the table, if required.
To the front of each apartment is a spacious (3.6x1.75m) covered balcony furnished with two wooden armchairs and a small table. Access to the balcony is via full-width glazed doors from the kitchen area. With the doors, the balcony almost becomes part of the kitchen/dining area. The overhang of the upper floor, plus the shade of a tall tree in front of the property, keeps the balconies remarkably sheltered, even when it is raining.
A washing line is discreetly mounted in front of the balustrade. When viewed from the beach, the frontage adorned with drying towels, swimwear and other garments may not conjure the image that Brian and Steph would ideally choose, but as always, they put the practical requirements of guests first.
The balconies of the four apartments are separated by decorative wood and tapestry-effect partitions, with an angled front. These provide an acceptable level of privacy between the apartments, whilst allowing neighbours to communicate when standing at the balustrade. All four apartments were occupied during our stay and yet we were virtually unaware that we had neighbours. Mind you, the noise of the surf breaking immediately beneath the apartments masks most sounds.
Jill loves the beach and she is always in seventh-heaven at Alibaba's SeaBreeze. Her pleasure at being able to stroll down to the beach carrying nothing more than a towel and a bottle of cold coconut water cannot be described.
One of us needs to remain more objective. Truth is, however, that it is very hard to be objective in such a stunning location. I apologise for being less than original, but I can only repeat our conclusion from previous years:
"As regular readers know, I am not normally given to superlatives. However, the inescapable and honest truth is that in terms of location, service levels, cleanliness, quality of furnishing and equipment, Alibaba's Sea Breeze undeniably represents the best value-for-money beachside accommodation, not just in Castara, but anywhere in Tobago.
Holidaying in Castara remain a unique experience. We genuinely look forward to our return and bid a fond farewell to two of the nicest, most honest people in Castara."
This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 100% . Click below to read the 105 reader reports that this is rating is based on.
Per Urdahl from Norway visited in January 2023 and awarded
Heaven just above Heavenly Bay or Stingray Bay as we named it. Fantastic hosts in Stephanie and Ali Baba. Comfortable apartments with verandas towards the bay.
This is a must come back to place. High five stars from us.
Joachim Drevenstedt from Germany visited in January 2020 and awarded
We stayed there 3 weeks with our two kids (12 and 17) and had the two front appartments. It was a wonderful holyday. Castara is like paradise and Sea Breeze really fits in. Located in the smaller bay you walk 1 minute to the beach and to the restaurant boathouse, where we always had dinner. Alibabas boat trip is a must and Stephanie is very helpful whenever needed.
To view a detailed interactive map showing the location of this property relative to restaurants, shops and sightseeing features, click this link
|Property Type:||Self-Catering Apartments|
|Air-Conditioning:||2 ceiling fans per apartment plus a standing fan|
|Children:||close supervision required, no special family unit available|
|Internet Access:||we do have WIFI connection, just bring your laptop|
|Housekeeping:||Once per week|
|Personal Laundry:||30TT$ per laundry bag (in the room)|
Alibaba's Sea Breeze consists of 4 self-contained one-bedroom apartments located directly beside Castara's stunning Little Bay beach. The owners live above the... apartments and operate one of the most highly-regarded tour services on the island. These apartments offer comfortable accommodation at a modest rate that belies their stunning location and direct access onto Castara's nicest beach.
We have stayed at Alibaba's Sea Breeze several times and cannot recommend them highly enough. One of our real favourites! [read more]