Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

5 cottage/apartments at Castara (listing)
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Gabi B.

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Gabi B. » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:28 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 17 February 2003

hi friends, my husband and me will travel to tobago in july and plan to stay one week in Seahorse inn, the other week we prefer to stay in northern part. does anyone have experience with Blue mango cottages and Mom´s bed and breakfast or is it better to stay in Blue waters inn. we don´t want to be too far away from the beach for I´m very looking forward jumping into the nice caribbean water again. we will take a car too, is it necassary to take a jeep ? hope someone can help me, thanks, gabi.

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Steve Wooler
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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:29 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 17 February 2003


Hi Gabi

I have no experience or knowledge of the Blue Mango Cottages, but one correspondent who took a look said the properties are very basic and you are paying an awful lot simply for the location.

Some people love Castara, others find it very insular. I belonged to the former camp, but confess that we cut short a visit there last Wednesday after the ladies in our party experienced decidedly rude manner from the ladies looking after the toilets on the beach. This was followed by an incident with a guy who claimed to be the area's premier tenor plan player. He became quite agitated and refused to accept that we did not wish to discuss Poodle Blair and the Iraq situation. This all came after a 'nutter' walked by, muttering loudly to himself ‘in tongues’ and then prostrated himself over the bonnet of our vehicle. We decided that Castara had been smoking too much ganja and decided to leave. This is the first time I have ever left anywhere in Tobago feeling less than welcome - a truly unusual experience. We must have caught Castara on an 'off' day.

Mom's Bed & Breakfast is listed in our villa section under "Sunset Valley Estate". I haven't visited this villa, but have heard positive reports. It isn’t on the beach though. Have a look at my mini-report "Holiday Report 6 - Blue Waters Inn" on 3 Feb for our impressions of the Blue Waters. You couldn't be closer to the sea than any room at the Blue Water. Strongly recommended - we shall definitely be going back there!

There are limited taxi services in the north of the island and even the cheap shared ‘route’ taxis will be relatively infrequent. To be honest, I always recommend budgeting for a self-drive vehicle here, regardless of where you stay. Tobago is too beautiful to stay cooped up in one area and it is so friendly and welcoming (well, ALMOST always) that driving around can be a positive delight. Jeeps are not necessary - you are unlikely to be driving anywhere that requires a 4WD and if you are, you could well be in contravention of the insurance on the vehicle.
Steve Wooler
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Helen

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Helen » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:32 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003

Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience in Castara. I spent all of last week there (now back at work, and still dreaming of it!). We had a fabulous time, and found the place really relaxed and friendly. We were staying at the Beach House on Heavenly Bay (couldn't recommend it highly enough) but we did spend quite a good bit of time in Castara proper and had no such problems, so I wouldn't think your experiences were in any way typical - certainly not from what we saw and heard from other travellers and local residents. Gabi, I don't have any knowledge of the two places you mentioned (though Blue Mango looked very nice) but I have been to the Seahorse Inn (we were staying near there on the first week of our holiday) and I think that if you liked it, you'd love the Beach House too. Its a sensational place, set right on Heavenly Bay - a lovely little beach with the most spectacular sunsets. Whatever you decide, hope you have a great trip - I certainly can't wait to go back!

Best regards, Helen

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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:33 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003

Thanks Helen - I was hoping that somebody could reassure me and restore my faith in Castara. As I said, we must have caught it on a bad day. Just a little sad that other than an isolated incident with "Mr Blue" (who raps you whilst playing a little guitar, then demands a blue banknote - TT$100), these incidents in Castara were the ONLY less than memorable experiences in four wonderful weeks on the island.
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Jorg Kilian

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Jorg Kilian » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:43 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003

Dear Gabi,

Both, the Blue Waters Inn and mom's B&B are beautiful places. It depends if you prefer the atmosphere of a secluded hotel 5 meters away from the beach (I can confirm Steve's positive comments) or if you prefer a double room in a luxury villa on top of a hill with a magnificent view over Englishman's Bay. This might be the most unspoilt, remote and maybe most beautiful area of the island. You could use living room, the large pool and the hammocks of the house. The owners - original from rainy Seattle - are just great. We just had some friends staying there. They loved it so much - they would like to come back for their honeymoon...

Gabi B.

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Gabi B. » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:48 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003

hi Steve, Jorg and Helen, thank you so much for the information, I think now it`s more easy for my husband and me to decide what we´re going to do in tobago. we are looking for cars now, does anyone know Sherman´s car rental (can also be booked by Paradies Promotions - http://www.tobagocar.com)? they offer CDW of 10 USD/day, that should wave all liability (Thrifty charges 20 USD). the thrifty-cars (booked by yes-tourism.com) have nearly the same rate, but full insurance is 20 USD/day. can that be? bye, friends, for now !

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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:49 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003


Hello again, Gabi

Yes, I was trying to do some basic research on this just before my trip to Tobago. Its a total nightmare. Every rental company offers different CDW terms - it doesn't always mean that it absolves you from all liability. If you look at the Yes Tourism online reservation service for example, you can see that you have two CDW options with Thrifty - the first at US$10 per day limits you to US$500 liability; the second at US$20 per day absolves you of ALL liability. However, Auto Rental and Rollocks offer totally different CDW rates and liability. You really have to look at the whole package and try to make a balanced decision. No, I don't know Shermans so will refrain from comment. By the way, I've received an email from Patrick at Yes Tourism telling me that they're adding Sheppy's to their system and possibly dropping another who's not performing the way they would like - the whole point of the brokerage service, I guess. Sheppy is great - he really tries to give good service and is undoubtedly one of the very best 'small' operators on the island. He is much cheaper than the others, but he will be the first to admit that his cars are not exactly Thrifty cars. Like everywhere, you largely get what you pay for. However, Sheppy's a pleasure to deal with and I wish him every success. I don't know when his details will be on the YT site, but email them (info@yes-tourism.com) and they will answer your questions, I'm sure.
Steve Wooler
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Glyn Kirpalani
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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:51 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 18 February 2003

Hello Gabi, my wife and I have usually used Shermans for our numerous trips during the last few years - rated in the Rough Guide as the best on Tobago. Its cars are in much better condition than the other two smaller firms we tried, and Camella the owner gives excellent service and back-up. So far we have used their Cars, Jeeps and 6 seater Carry at various times, enjoying 100% reliability and cleanliness. We have never bothered with CDW - it is not compulsory. Drive slowly and stay off the booze and you might not need it! Tip - if you work for the travel industry, or just haggle, Camella is likely to knock 10% off as well as giving one day free every seven. She won't be offended by haggling - the culture is that "business is business". Email her direct is my advice. Have a great trip,

Glyn and Caroline (no, I am not on commission!).
Glyn Kirpalani

Gabi B.

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Gabi B. » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:52 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 19 February 2003

thanks Glyn and Steve, i´ll contact sherman´s and yes-tourism to compare their offers. after studying the comments in this forum i´m sure that we will have a great trip. best regards from wintery austria !

Helen

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Helen » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:53 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 19 February 2003

We also met "Mr Blue" whilst staying at the Grafton in our first week. I think he must really take advantage of all-inclusive guests there and possibly elsewhere, who maybe haven't figured out quite what a blue note is worth! Would advise others to avoid him. He seemed kind of sweet on first encounter but was really quite hassly the second time we encountered him.

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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:54 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 19 February 2003

Hi Helen

You're so right - he can be so charming and polite and he launches into his serenade before you can stop him - and once he's started, how do you stop him, even though you know where its heading. We were having dinner with some people one evening when his name came up. They had encountered and had problems with him that morning somewhere in the Plymouth area. That same afternoon we had our encounter with him at Bacolet Bay, the other side of Scarborough. He'd obviously worked his way right along the beaches. Surely he couldn't have walked it? Mind you, at TT$100 for a 1-minute serenade, he probably had a chauffeur-driven Cadillac waiting for him near the beach
Steve Wooler
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oonarose

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by oonarose » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:55 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 20 February 2003

We just got back from 11 heavenly days in Tobago. On one day, we drove to Castara to check out the Blue Mango, as we were considering staying there for our sixth trip next year. We had lunch there, and the owner, Colin, gave us a tour of their most expensive cottage -- a two-bedroom called Sea Steps. The views from Blue Mango are sublime. You're up on a hill looking out at Castara Bay, with its fishing boats, to the left. To the right is a smaller beach that looked perfect for swimming and relaxing. This cottage was very open air. The furnishings are kindly described as basic. The beds have mosquito netting. (My husband felt that staying there would be like "camping out," a U.S. tern that I hope translates well into British English. He thought we'd have enjoyed it if we were a decade or two younger.) The small dining area has no views or any particular charm. Our lunch -- kingfish for h im, curried shrimp for me with tea for both of us was USD15 each and quite tasty. The staff was very welcoming. As it's on a hill, there are many steep stairways and some steep pathways, which possibly could be muddy and slippery in the rain.

On this trip, we spent five nights at the Blue Waters Inn -- our second stay there -- and six nights at the Hilton -- our second stay there -- in a suite with two balconies (one with Jacuzzi), two bathrooms, two televisions, etc. (It was a special wedding anniversary.) We, too, had our first disturbing incident in Tobago this year, which occurred when we lost our way in Plymouth, on the way to Castara. A man stepped in front of our rental car, then inserted his head, shoulders, and arms into the driver's side window so that we could not drive away. He rambled for a while about fish and turtles, then asked for $10 TT for food. He acted drunk, but I did not smell liquor (it was 10:30 a.m.). I suspect crack cocaine as I read an article that said it was a growing problem on Tobago. His eyes were very bloodshot. We gave him the money, just to get away safely. Then a couple of youngsters trailed us, asking us to give them money, too. By the way, do NOT take Arnos Vale Road to Castara unless you enjoy hairpin turns, etc. The road to the west of Arnos Vale Road is much less frustrating and dangerous.

oonarose

Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by oonarose » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:56 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 20 February 2003

Oops! I meant the road to the east (not the west) of Arnos Vale Road is better. It's a main road and well maintained.

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Blue Mango Cottages / Mom's B&B

Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:57 am

Post Recreated: Originally posted - 22 February 2003


Well, let's not split hairs. Let's just say that it's the side that avoids you driving into the sea. Funnily enough, I had a similar 'incident' in Plymouth about two years ago when a druggy stopped us by walking in front of the car. He gave us a sob story and asked for money, but I politely refused saying I would take him to a cafe and pay them to give him a meal, but I would not give him cash to spend on drugs or drink. He just wandered off mumbling. The truth is that Tobago has nowhere near the drink or drugs problem of the UK. Suspicious characters - and advanced druggies in particular - look the same wherever you go in the world and they're generally easy to avoid. When driving in London, I automatically lock all the doors of my car. I've never done that in Tobago. Equally, I've never wound my window up because I've felt that anyone approaching could be a 'threat', but I guess there's always a first time. Plain common sense is all that is needed. The bottom line is that if you take the same precautions that you would do in the UK/North America, you will considerably safer than at home.
Steve Wooler
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