Alibaba's Sea Breeze - Reader Reports & Opinion

Guest Report   

Anne Householder from U.S.A. visited in September 2007 and awarded  Five out of Five

First of all, my previous puny review does not do this place justice so I am going to try again. Imagine waking each morning in a suite called the MotMot and not even wondering once what a MotMot is.... then one day, whilst eating breakfast that had been cooked in a kitchen where one can enjoy the Caribbean's Heavenly bay, I see a beautiful bird near the balcony. We soon discovered from pictures in the suite and birdwatching books from Brian and Stephanie's extensive book collection, that this vibrantly feathered gem was indeed a Mot Mot.

Brian, though busy on his boat (as most have noted) was indeed a truely fabulous host, giving us 4 eggs one day when we found ourselves low on provisions.

Stephanie has a great wealth of knowledge about the island, restaurants, where to go, what to do, and let us borrow her cell phone to extend our car rental.

The restaurants serve local interesting fare. Though we always made breakfast in the room, we particularly enjoyed ALL of the restaurants at least twice, with the exception of Sandcastles.

We took a Nature Boys boat tour one day from Castara to the southern tip of Tobago but our favorite times were probably the ones spent eating breakfast on the balcony of the MotMot watching the village awake from slumber, watching the sun rise and set.

Castara is, quite simply, an unspoiled paradise and I hope to return as soon as I can!

Guest Report   

Doug Brown from U.S.A. visited in July 2007 and awarded  Five out of Five

Loved this place - Steph is a great host (Brian was working on his boat so saw little of him) and the location can't be beat - the apartments are basic but comfortable, clean and well laid out - we spent the entire time out on the balcony - you are up off the ground and feel safe (we did anyway) leaving the door open - kitchen is just off the balcony so could fix dinner and never lose sight of the wonderfull view - there is a net on the bed to keep the flying insects away - in our 5 weeks on the island this was one of our top 2 places to stay

will be back here next year


Guest Report   

Filip Naruniec from U.K. visited in July 2007 and awarded  Five out of Five

We stayed for two weeks and everything was just mind blowing. castara is a gem and I do have to admit that if it wasn't for brian and steph i would never put this review here. i simply want people to stay away from this place :)

we flew direct from LGW with Virgin, 3 movies, 4 meals and we were there. Mendeles (works for Alibaba) picked us from the airport, we stopped for a roti (a must!) and he drove us to castara. we were given the sting ray apartmenet straight away and after 5-10 minutes we were in the sea :D

the sea breeze has everything you need: fully equipped kitchen with ustensils(although we only cooked once), comfy bed with a mosquito net, toilet with shower and most important a balcony with a view over the little beach. every morning we were having breakfast with birds(we were leaving them breadcrumbs, banana, watermelon and even sugar in a bowl), some of them became regulars and during the evening the smell of fruits was attracting even small bats.

as we were there in low season you could litteraly just be by yourself on the beach or share it with few people (englisman's bay during the week at 11:00 about 10 at 16:00 ZERO!!!). castara has wonderfull people (hello to everyone we've met: mendeles, cheno, spanish, bobo, marvin, jackson, shaman, orlando, the lady from cascreole, all the ladies from d'almond tree and everyone we met) and the best thing to do is just to lime with them. the food is supreme, the weather was perfect and we will definitely be back.

as for brian and steph, you can ask them anything you want. brian was often busy but his knowledge is very impressive (ask him anything and you will get an answer; btw first important thing to ask about are sandflies, it will help, believe me) but steph is always there to help you with everything. we did the off road tour, a boat trip and the sunday school with them and everything was really nice and proffesional. we also did a donkey ride tour and we were the first tourist to do that with the nature boys (spanish and bobo) and it was great fun!

i could probably go on and on for ages but as I not go to castara...leave it to me, please

Guest Report   

Marc Jones from U.K. visited in July 2007 and awarded  Four out of Five

To truly get the most out of Tobago, in my experience, you need a base to travel out from whilst discovering the island.

What then for the traveller that has been before and to a certain extent "been there done that?". The only thing to try was something away from hotels and all inclusive isolation - a true taste of Tobago if you will.

Castara had been visited but not experienced. Ali Baba's Sea Breeze to the rescue.

The location is perfection. All the money in the world couldn't buy a better site to spend two idyllic weeks. The view is stunning, rain or shine, day or night. It might not be in the most convenient of places if you are coming and going a lot unless you are driving and even then nerves of steel are required for the turning road that winds into Heavenly Bay.

The rooms are clean, comfy and homely. Fans do their best to keep the heat away but the only thing I really missed was the escape of air conditioning. I know that'll have many recoiling in horror that I couldn't take the heat but it is something an honest review should mention to those considering paying Steph and Brian a visit.

Speaking of the hosts, just when you think things can't get better you bump into cheery, helpful and friendly owners of the enviable 'top floor'. Both were more than accommodating - even going as far as inviting me and the family upstairs for a beer and a chill. I think if I win the lottery I'll try and make them an offer they can't refuse and take over their stunning property!

Before booking Steph was extremely helpful and patient when I was bothering her to bits by email and so it's fair to say that the friendly welcome extends even before you book the room!

Sadly the cost of four long haul flights will keep me in Europe this summer but it's fair to say that every day since staying at Ali Baba's Sea Breeze I cast my mind back to a great location just steps from a perfect beach and what was a holiday of a lifetime - in no small measure to the owners and their massively affordable and comfy accommodation.

I know one day I'll be back to Tobago and can't think much farther than Castara and the Sea Breeze as the perfect destination!

Guest Report   

Wayne Griffith from U.S.A. visited in May 2007 and awarded  Five out of Five

My wife and I stayed at Alibaba's the first week in May of 2007 and found a delightful place and delightful people to go with it. There may be more accomodating people on the planet than Brian and Stephanie, but I haven't encountered them yet. We corresponded with them via e-mail for our reservations after reading about them in this forum and discovered they had a cat. We told them we would stay but only on condition they loan us the cat for our stay, which they did :-). Their place is just magic and the wonderful people we met in the other apartments were fun to hang out with. The five of us hired a car and got one of the Brits to drive as she was accustomed to driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Our group also did a snorkeling expedition together with Alibaba's tours and had a terrific time with Captain Anaconda as the skipper for the voyage. The expedition included a beach picnic with great food and scenic boat riding. <---Highly recommended if you don't do anything else in Castara, do this.

There are numerous restaurants in Castara and the Boathouse Restaurant which is on the beach right next door to Alibaba's is very accomodating also. Sharon will fix you an excellent meal until pretty late at night.

Two words of caution to Americans. If you rise early and expect breakfast at one of the restaurants, you will be sorely disappointed. You need to either stop on the way to Castara and buy coffee, soda, or whatever your eye opener is, or you ain't gonna get any. There ain't any soda machines on the beach either. Nothing opens until 9:00 AM or so and I do mean nothing. This is not a criticism, it is just a fact. Second, you also need to buy some basic food on your way in if you want to cook any meaningful meals in your apartment. Alibaba's is well equipped for cooking your own meals, there just aren't any supermarkets in Castara. Brian will provide transport to Castara from the airport and there are excellent markets on the way.

Castara is a laid back place where children can run around in safety, there is no noise on the beach, no peddlers selling junk, beaches are absolutely immaculate and kept so by the people who live there. I hope they can keep it this way forever.

I will be back there as soon as possible. Planning it now!

Wayne Griffith

Alabama, USA

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