Guest Report

3 apartments in Castara (listing)
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Sabine Liehr

Guest Report

Post by Sabine Liehr »

We (three friends) stayed in Castara for two weeks in Jan 2011 and loved the village and it's friendly and helpful locals.
Castara Cottage Tamarind apartment is really as nice as on the pictures, cosy, colourful, fresh with a spacy terrace giving space to all of us.
As the cottage is situated in the middle of two streets leading to beaches very often locals dropped by to chat or leave fruits (Mango, Papaya..) on our table.
We liked the space and interieur of the apartment, even if the bathroom could be much better as it isn't tiled and has a very small washing basin. We have seen much better bathrooms within more economic apartments in Castara- this could be improved, so far the only small critics in a first moment, BUT:
The worst had to come: as the apartment is fully wooden constructure and very open it is also very loud. In Castara there are lot's of Roosters and cheicken and dogs. Roosters start crying at 1 o'clock in the morning, dogs bark all the time, nearby church with loud music early evening, main road behind the apartment with cars and loud music- all this we could have managed and get used to it.
ONE THING HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE: sleep all night long with the neighbours dog barking 4 or 6 times a night almost for half an hour. It seemed as if the dog was standing in our room. The neighbour keeps the dog just 3 meters away and chained in the night- and he was not willing to move it into the house or behind his house. We tried one week with earplugs, one of my friends had a nervous breakdown after 8 nights without sleep, even with earplugs and had to move to another place. Joshua the manager was very nice and tried to help us, he also talked to the neighbour- no chance. Locals tried to find a quiet and not expensive place for us, as they already knew that there was a problem with this dog- they have had complaints before, so also the owner of the place has been already aware about this problem, but nobody had warned us!
We asked the owner of the apartment if she was willing to return at least a small part of the prepayment as we had to move, she was not willing to help.

So we are very disappointed- even if the place is so nice- we cannot recommend this place to other people if the dog problem is not solved.

We were told that all dogs bark, not only the neighbours dog, but we can tell that this is not really the truth: yes, there is some barking in the night- but this dog is the only one you can hear all night through and that loud over whole Castara. And I'm very sorry for the owner of Castara Cottage to have built such a beautiful apartment and then get such neighbours. But this is no excuse for not advising customers in advance that there night be this noise problem, especially as Catsra Cottage is not beneath the most economic places. We paid 1382 USD for two weeks, so minimum one can exspect is that he's able to sleep at night!!!
We work hard all year round, alot of stress, so holidays are HOLY to be able to relax once a year- not possible without sleep.
A nervous breakdown in your holidays because of no sleep? Possible, deprivation of sleep is used as torture method.

My advice: Don't ever book Castara Cottage in advance with prepayment.

For all the rest: after we had partially moved to another place and could sleep there the last 6 days were again beautiful and great.
Good fish from the fishermen, great food at the coffeshop and Boathouse, nice liming and drum sessions and dancing- very friendly and helpful people, beautiful beaches and snorkeling (Saw a stingray in Castara little bay). WE WILL RETURN!!! of course- very sorry- not to Castara Cottage.


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Steve Wooler
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
myTobago Editor & Chief Anorak
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Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Guest Report

Post by Steve Wooler »

The owners of Castara Cottage have asked me to post the following response to Sabine's report:
As the owners of Castara Cottage, we wish to respond to the issues contained in the recent review posted by Sabine Liehr.

This is the first adverse report that we have received about the neighbour’s dog. Since these guests left, the situation has been very closely monitored and, to date, no further complaints have been made.

Our house is not remote, isolated, or within a purpose-built tourist complex - it is within the living, working, local village of Castara. Within this community are all of the associated noises and activities. Castara Cottage is a fresh air paradise, built mostly of wood and, as such, outside noises can sometimes pervade. We know that our neighbour has a dog and occasionally it does bark - but we have never felt the need to issue a warning, as no previous guests have complained or expressed such anger and distress. This review implies that we maliciously withheld information about the neighbours dog - but, this is untrue.

As soon as this guest complained to our manager, she was advised to make direct contact with us - but she refused. Therefore, we were unable to discuss or resolve her concerns. As a result of this complaint, we have now alerted upcoming guests, giving them the option of changing or cancelling their booking.

In the meantime, we’ll soon be in Tobago and hope to discuss the issue with the neighbour concerned, with a view to resolving the problem as quickly as possible.

Yvonne and Ann
Steve Wooler - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

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