Blue Mango, Castara

5 cottage/apartments at Castara (listing)
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Cathy H

Blue Mango, Castara

Post by Cathy H » Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:33 pm

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Tobago. We stayed at various places one of which was the Sea Steps Cottage in the village of Castara. The cottage costs US$ 275 per night ( we were there in early feb) which is extremely expensive for Tobago - the price being on a par with the Coco Reef Hotel the most luxurious hotel in Tobago.

The owner Colin is extremely rude, surly and generally bad mannered. He does no work himself, leaving everything to one manager who is not often about. Guests are left to fend for themselves as Colin does not return calls left on his answer machine. For this money one really expects some service.

We arrived at Sea Steps at 10am and the previous guests were just moving out. This was fine, we left our bags and were told by Colin that the room would be cleaned by the time we returned. We returned at 3pm to enjoy the "very expensive" Sea Steps Cottage only to find it a complete mess. Nonone had been in to clean up, there were dirty pans and old food left in the kitchen from the previous guests and the bed and towels had not been changed. We tried to raise Colin or anyone - to no avail, so we left it and went out again. Finally at 5pm we returned and someone had just started cleaning the room. Still no sign of Colin and certainly no apology.

The next day when we complained to Colin about this lack of service he became extremely aggressive and threatening and said "if you feel like that you can go" so we did.

The one night we stayed there we didn't sleep a wink as the cottage is virtually "in" the sea and the noise of the sea crashing against the rocks below is just too loud and infact terrifying. Also the so-called "private beach" is no more than the sea crashing against the rocks below with no possibility of sitting or lying on a beach.

The whole cottage is extremely run down and in need to some repair, but the main problem is the extortionate price and extremely rude owner Colin. He acts as if his guests are there to please him and not the other way round.

I would strongly suggest you amend any listings of Sea Steps Cottage and all the cottages owned by Blue Mango Cottages that you might have to reflect our very bad experience. Incidentally the guests who were moving out before us also seemed to think that it was a complete rip off.

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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:00 pm

In response to Cathy's post ...


I agree that the price, in comparison with other accommodation in Castara is extortionate if 275 US was the nightly charge.

I understand that the owners could be more popular with tourists and locals according to several unprompted remarks that have been made to me while I have been here.

If the owner was suggesting that you leave ... there have been lots of other options in Castara (believe it or not) ... you just ask around.

I am sorry to hear of the other points ... very unfortunate.

But the waves ... boy oh boy, how can they scare you? I am in the Blue Marlin at the Naturalist ... right on the beach ... and the pounding of those enormous waves absolutely ROCKS 8) and puts me straight to sleep ... each to their own I suppose.

Even better when you get in them.

Cheers
Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

Julia C.
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Post by Julia C. » Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:06 pm

We stayed in three of the Blue Mango Cottages last September and are returning in 11 days to stay at Sweet Point. These cottages certainly will not suit everyone, they are very different to anything we've ever stayed in before. We found their privacy and location fantastic.
We didn't stay at Sea Steps, (beyond our budget) but we did visit there (thought it was magical) and swam from it's beach. Unless global warming has raised the levels of the Caribbean since last year, I think Cathy, you must have only seen it at high tide. Certainly it's a very small beach, but there is a beach there. There was a famiy staying at Sea Steps when we first arrived and their two little girls loved playing on their "private" beach.
I cannot imagine Colin being "extremely aggressive and threatening"! We found him helpful and informative and he was extremely kind to us during and after Ivan (a hurricane) passing close by. He isn't always around, granted, but these are self-catering cottages.
I am wondering if Colin or Rebecca knew you would be arriving so early?

Emma Hetherington

Post by Emma Hetherington » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:45 pm

I agree with Julia totally. We stayed at the Cliff Hanger Cottage (left only last Sunday which seems an age away already) Whilst we didn't get to see any of the other cottages inside, but just viewed Sea Steps from the sea and Sweet Point as we walked past, we cannot comment specifically on these properties.

We found Colin & Rebecca helpful, a fund of information and FUN. We knew that these cottages were built right on the hillside and - as Julie says - were a tad 'eccentric' , they were the most unique and eco friendly place we've ever stayed at.

I have to say that we'd asked Rebecca & Colin to organise a taxi for us on arrival which unfortunately didn't arrive - but with superb help from a guy at the airport, taxi driver etc. we got there, albeit much later than expected. Colin thought we'd already arrived but was very welcoming and after we'd slept and recovered he was at pains to show us about the place, give us it's history since he bought it and lent us bird books.

I do know there was some chat in the village - come on we live in a small village in rural Northamptonshire - there's 'chat' or do we call it gossip? - there, but as has been said on other threads here if you, the tourist 'give' you get back - because it seemed to us that everyone was happy for us to be there.

I'm sorry you hated it but hope that you found somewhere else which suited you better.

Personally, Blue Mango suited us and if anyone's thinking of going there in the future we'd be happy to give more info etc.

Julia - Might have to send you a small something directly to take out if that's OK (promise it won't add anything to your luggage allowance) - Rebecca is in love with anything with snow!!!!! more anon ........

Julia C.
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Post by Julia C. » Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:19 pm

Emma Hetherington wrote:Julia - Might have to send you a small something directly to take out if that's OK (promise it won't add anything to your luggage allowance) - Rebecca is in love with anything with snow!!!!! more anon ........
How intriguing! Send me a PM with more info.
I'm sorry you hated it but hope that you found somewhere else which suited you better.
Me too Cathy. Tell us about the other places you stayed.

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