Guest Report

3 One and Two-bedroom apartment in Castara (listing)
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Robert Peacock

Guest Report

Post by Robert Peacock »

We stayed at Kurt and Ivy's "Baywatch Apartment" after finding it through the MyTobago website. I have also posted this review on Tripadvisor for them. The apartment is downstairs, at the front of their immaculate home, in the centre (i.e. the non-hilly bit) of the beautifully located village of Castara. Kurt collected us from the airport, and half an hour later we arrived in paradise.

Kurt and Ivy's house is by far the best maintained in the village. You can also walk to everywhere you'll want to go to from here, unlike other places that are up steep hills. The Coffee Shop is a 2 minute walk along the road, the waterfall 15 minutes walk, the beach is right there. It's is also close to the cashpoint, the bus stop, the bar and the restaurants - as I say everything you may need.

The apartment is well appointed, with a bedroom with A/C, with a kitchen just off it, and behind a small eating area, and a bathroom area. It works well for a couple. The bed was comfortable. Outside is a covered seating area (which doubles as the carport - you can keep a rental car locked inside the walled/fenced compound), where you can sit and watch the village go by. Out back there is a pretty garden which you can use, where there are a couple of deckchairs and a table and seats. We would often sit out there in the morning. You have a small seaview from the apartment - the house is set back from the beach, but on the beach side of the main road, so is literally a minute's wander away.

Kurt and Ivy are well known and well respected people in the village - anyone they put you in touch with will be of similar standing, so take their advice when making plans. If you are concerned about safety while in Tobago (you shouldn't be), stay here. Not only is the apartment secure, the garden area is too - while Castara is safe, on top of this, nobody would dare step foot inside Kurt and Ivy's property uninvited because of their professional standing - i.e. the jobs they do. It made us feel reassured.

We preferred the main beach to the smaller beach (Heavenly Bay) in Castara. It was cleaner, the sand wider, and less cluttered by buildings behind. The apartment is in the village area just behind the main beach. Tip - walk to the beach and turn left and walk to the end. A guy there rents beach chairs, or just pop a towel down. It's the quietest bit of beach, but you can still see everything else that's going on. One real advantage of Baywatch Apartment is you could nip back from the beach to use the bathroom, reapply suncream, pick up drinks or books, or whatever - from the end of the beach to the apartment is less than a five minute walk. Perfect.

The apartment is in the village centre - some will love this, others may prefer to be further out. There is a general hubbub during the day (though hubbub in Tobago is relative, and in Castara it's a very quiet hubbub). At night you may here the odd sound - a dog barking, the odd car going by (but not at any speed), and you may hear people chatting out in the road. It didn't annoy us, in fact it added to the experience of being in a small tight knit village. However, if you're a very light sleeper, consider bringing earplugs so if you do get woken you can just pop them in. The only noise we found a little irritating at first was the cockerels, but that will be the same anywhere you stay in Castara because wherever there are houses there will be cockerels crowing! The earplugs blocked this out for us, plus the whirr of the A/C machine. Again, you get used to it, and it's part of the experience. I doubt you'll find anywhere much quieter in Castara than the Baywatch Apartment - when inside you feel quite 'cacooned'. We are very noise conscious, and one of the determining factors of whether we return anywhere is noise disturbance - we would return to Baywatch Apartment in a heartbeat.

It has everything you will need, but without being over the top in any way, and keeping things to the simple things, thereby making for a carefree holiday. The apartment was immaculately clean when we arrived - Ivy and Kurt had even put a couple of beers in the fridge for us! If you're looking for Nespresso machines, or need a kitchen stocked with gadgets, this won't be the place for you. If you need hot water pouring out of the shower from the moment you turn it on, again the apartment won't be for you (the water does get hot, fear not!). The bathroom area is a tad strange, with a curtain across in front of the loo, but as a couple we had no problem with this because if someone was using the bathroom area, the other just stayed in the bedroom and closed the door.

Kurt and Ivy should be one of the reasons you stay here - they are both delightful. Ivy is very chatty and you'll find yourself finding out more about life in Tobago. Kurt is quieter, but has an interesting background, and again will inform you of the real Tobago. They seem to like meeting other people from elsewhere, and hearing about their experiences. We felt that we arrived as strangers and left as friends, even though we stayed in Castara for only a few days. We have been in touch with them since. As I've said above, we would return to Baywatch Apartment, and also to Castara.

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