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Cliff Hanger Cottage at The Blue Mango

Posted: Sun May 09, 2004 12:51 pm
by Tony Taylor
Hi To Everyone
It is now two weeks since my wife and I returned from Castara staying in Cliff Hanger Cottage. This is truely the best location on Tobago for those who want peace and tranquility, wonderful views and sunsets and for those who love nature.
The Cottage itself is very rustic but is a true reflection of the type of cottage lived in by Tobagoians. It stands literally on the cliff face, facing Castara North Beach, some thirty feet above the beach and twenty feet from the sea.
The building is mostly of wood with some brickwork and consists of one bedroom, a sitting/dining room,kitchen, seperate hot and cold shower, wash basin and w/c and a verandah.
It is reached by some fairly steep steps but there is a handrail.
The bedroom has the most wonderful 5ft bed complete with four poster style mosquito net and is fitted with a small wardrobe with a mirror alongside. There is space to store luggage. There was a security safe fitted but it didn't work while we were there. With the inner window and the outer verandah door open, you can look straight out to sea from the bed.
There are two comfortable tubular framed armchairs in the dining/sitting room with a slightly rickety shelf come bookcase and a firm wooden dining table which was slightly high for the plastic garden chairs provided.
This room had a dimmer switch on the room light which was perfect for enjoying the evening birds and nature.
Leading from the diner to the kitchen were two quite awkward steps which needed to be remembered at all times, particularly at night when visiting the loo, although there was a door leading off the bedroom for this purpose.
In the kitchen was a large worktop, single drainer sink with cold water only and open storage space for provisions. Appliances included a very large fridge/freezer, a full size cooker with oven and four hob burner complete with with gas bottle, a kettle, filter coffee maker and a seperate toaster come pie heater. There was a full complement of cutlery and crockery/glasses sufficient for four persons.
The shower though prone to leaves being blown in was wonderful with hot water at all times and plenty of pressure and easy control.
What does one say about w/c and washbasin except that they functioned perfectly although the toilet seat was a little low for an old fogey like me. Cold water only in the basin. Although the w/c was entirely private and enclosed the wash basin area looked out to the open forest and beyond. There is a mirror but no shaver point.
With the exception of the washbasin area, all floors in the cottage were covered in ceramic tyles with small rugs dotted here and there.
The Cottage did not have a/c but was provided with a perfectly adequate three speed fan which was portable.
Bed linen was changed every other day and towels as required.
From the dining room through some poorly fitted louvered doors led to a wonderful wooden slatted verandah complete with two sunbeds or if you preferred you could erect the hammock provided. From here one could view the beach and the sea and be visited by so many bananaquits, blue- grey tanagers, palm tanagers, blue crowned motmots, tropical mockingbirds, rufus-vented chachalacas and even the local hen with her four new chicks. All came to be fed twice a day.
This to me was really quite magical.
One had to be prepared for the birds and bats during the evenings, who occasionally fly inside the cottage as the open plan building allowed.
Breakfast was provided in the price, at The Clay Kitchen although this was somewhat haphazard as Rebecca the chef was ill and very rarely present. The menu was set by the kitchen but I'm sure if it had been functioning as normal one could ask for a choice. It wasn't open for dinner during our stay which was a little disapointing.
Access to the beach or village was by way of steep inclines in all directions so visitors need to be fairly fit.
In conclusion, my first thoughts were that the US$85 a night was a bit steep but having then visited most parts of the island we truely believe this must be the most wonderful location in Tobago or indeed anywhere else we have been in the past. To really live and see like the Tobagoians this is the place.
My last thoughts turn to Colin Ramdeholl the owner who was the perfect host always ready to help and offer his dry wit on any subject.
I hope I have been objective and have made no attempt to review any of the other cottages within the complex although we did have quick peak if anyone is interested.
Tony & Helen Taylor[/img]

Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 10:41 am
by Julia C.
Thanks for that reviewTony. We're staying at the Cliff Hanger in late August/September and your review confirms what we thought the Cliff Hanger would be like. :D
Only trouble reading it is that it makes the wait even more difficult.

Cliff Hanger Cottage

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 5:39 pm
by Tony Taylor
Hi Julia
Glad you liked my review, sorry it made things seem further away but it will be worth the wait in the end, believe me.
In order to make things better I can post a photo of Cliff Hanger shown from the beach to show you a different view. Trouble is I'm a bit of a novice with computers and don't know how on this site. How did you manage to post the aerial shot of The Blue Mango?
Did you read my report on Castara?
Best wishes and hang in there!!
Tony Taylor


Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 5:47 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi Tony

For security and other reasons, you can't actually post a photo on our site. You can only include a link to a photo published on your own site. However, if you would like to email me the photograph ([email protected]) I would be happy to add it to the bottom of your post above.

Re: Cliff Hanger Cottage

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 6:56 pm
by Julia C.
Tony Taylor wrote:How did you manage to post the aerial shot of The Blue Mango?
As Steve says I linked from another site using the "Img" tags. I don't actually have a web site, I use msn groups, which is free and you can post pictures there, which you can then link to.
Did you read my report on Castara?
Tony Taylor
Yes, twice so far and will proabaly read it quite a few more times before August! :D
One really, really silly question and I'm already embarrassed about asking it, are there plenty of coat hangers in the wardrobe? :oops:
Oh and another one, is there a line where you can hang washing and if so are there any pegs?
(I usually pop a few coat hangers in my suitcase as well as a length of cord and some pegs, just in case, but if I don't need to take them I'll have more room for the kitchen sink! :lol: )

Cliff Hanger Cottage at The Blue Mango

Posted: Sun May 23, 2004 2:39 pm
by Tony Taylor
Hi Julia
Thanks for the info.
There are no silly questions when you need to know otherwise you'll be kept in the dark.
Plenty of hangers in the wardrobe but the hanging space is perhaps a lttle short for a lady.
Yes there is a washing line with pegs and the local kiosk sells them. You'll want for nothing.
Best Regards
Tony Taylor

Posted: Mon May 24, 2004 7:30 pm
by Julia C.
Great picture Tony - I can see it's not called the Cliff Hanger cottage for nothing! :D
Thanks for the answers to my questions too.
but the hanging space is perhaps a lttle short for a lady
Oh well - I wasn't planning on taking my ball gowns anyway. :lol:
Could you answer a couple more questions?
Is there a shade for the verandah? and are there bedside reading lights?

Cliff Hanger Cottage at The Blue Mango

Posted: Tue May 25, 2004 1:30 pm
by Tony Taylor
Hi Julia
One thing we mentioned to Colin. There is no shade on the verandah but with the double louvered doors open, one can pull the sunbeds back into the living room. Perhaps by the time you arrive this may have been sorted.
There are lamps either side of the bed.
Just keep asking

Posted: Thu May 27, 2004 9:48 pm
by Julia C.
Oh well I suppose we could rig up a "Ray Mears" type banana leaved pagoda! :lol:
Good news on the bedside lights.
Thanks for the answers - no more questions from me for the moment.
With the amount of information on this site I almost feel I've been there already. 8)

Well - what was it like?

Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:18 am
by Emma Hetherington
We've just joined this most fantastic site - wish all BIG holidays had somethig like this - helps the addiction specially when the British weather closes in!

Out plan is to go to Tobago in late Feb/early March 2005 and of course because of cost etc et we're trying to find out as much as poss about potential places to stay.

Thouht that Blue Mango - Cliff Hanger might be for us - 2 people (lets say the other side of 45!!!_ who want to r&r, read a book, let the world go by BUT who enjoy good food, a bit of goss and interchange - is this for us???

Ian, the other half, likes to sail - dingies, cats, etc - anything about here?

All comments gratefully received.

Thanks guys :?:

Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:52 am
by Steve Wooler
Hi Emma

Thanks for the kind words.

As far as accommodation goes, I can but suggest that you work your way through our accommodation listings and then check the owner's web site for more details, until you find something that suits your fancy and pocket. Of course our readers will be delighted to answer questions about specific properties, I'm sure.

The nature of the seas around Tobago mean that these waters are very much for the "serious" sailor, rather than the weekender. Brilliant for heavy-duty racers, as during the Angostura Yachting World Tobago Race Week. Refer to our Sailing article, available through the 'Activities' link on the site, for a complete run down on sailing around Tobago and what's available. There's some brilliant sailing/boat excursions and a couple of outlets for HobieCats and Aquafinns, but only at Mt.Irvine and Pigeon Point, I'm afraid - nothing around Castara.

Blue Mango

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:14 pm
by Emma Hetherington
Hi Julie

We've just booked @ Blue Mango for Feb next year so would love to hear all about your trip late Aug/Sept and any comments/recommendations re: what to take, where to eat (other than @base) etc etc etc also any photos might just keep us going through the awful English 'summer' (what???!!!!) :oops: and for the next few months of winter till we find the sunshine again! :P


Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
by Julia C.
Hi Emma
Sure thing, we'll be posting all about our trip on our return.
4 days to go! :D

All I have to say is ....... un repeatable

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:15 pm
by Emma Hetherington
Am SO jealous - as we sit here and mop the water AGAIN and more rain forecast!

OK now here's the list Julia - nah .... go have a wonderful hols and tell us all about it when you get back!!!
But.... tell us which crappy books you left there for us to read so we don't double!!


from jealous in cold, wet Kings Cliffe!!! :oops: