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Little House On The Hill - a myTobago guide to Tobago holiday accommodation
 

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Little House On The Hill, Tobago

Little House On The Hill

2-bedroom Holiday Rental Cottage

Little House on the Hill comprises of two cottages; a 2-bedroom unit and a 1-bedroom unit. The cottages are located on the outskirts of Castara village, on the... quieter Parlatuvier side, and are surrounded by fruit and flower gardens, making them ideal for bird-watching. Both cottages have wooden decks that overlook the hillside and offer private sunbathing by day and tranquil stargazing and cool relaxation by night. Whilst simple, the cottages represent an excellent holiday base for those who aren't bothered about being away from the beach and who, like me, prefer the wildlife and quiet solitude of locations outside the built-up area of the village. [read more]

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Little House On The Hill

2 2-bedroom Holiday Rental Cottages in Castara, Tobago

Little House on the Hill comprises of two cottages; a 2-bedroom unit and a 1-bedroom unit. The cottages are located on the outskirts of Castara village, on the quieter Parlatuvier side, and are surrounded by fruit and flower gardens, making them ideal for bird-watching. Both cottages have wooden decks that overlook the hillside and offer private sunbathing by day and tranquil stargazing and cool relaxation by night. Whilst simple, the cottages represent an excellent holiday base for those who aren't bothered about being away from the beach and who, like me, prefer the wildlife and quiet solitude of locations outside the built-up area of the village.

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Property Description

Provided by the property, or taken from their website

The Little House On The Hill offers one two-bedroom cottage and a smaller one-bedroom unit. The property is located in Castara and surrounded by a fruit and flower garden - ideal for birdwatching.

The house is within walking distance of Castara beach. The larger cottage has a large wooden deck that overlooks the hillside and offers a private sunbathing spot by day and tranquil stargazing and cool relaxation spot by night.

Castara is a traditional fishing village on the Caribbean coast of Tobago, close to the famous "Englishman's Bay". Besides local shops for groceries, there are serveral local restaurants and bars, including the highly popular Marguarite's Local Cuisine which is owned and run by the Marguarite and Sherwin, your hosts at Little House On The Hill.

Castara offers great possibilities to swim, snorkel and take a little hike into the forest to the local waterfall. Several tour operators are located in the village and are ready to show you our beautiful island.

If you need a car to rent, advice for tours, or any help at all, you are in good hands with Marguarite and Sherwin!

The Little House on the Hill offers two accommodation units. The larger offers two bedrooms with Queen-size beds, mosquito nets, fans, and a cot for small children, providing comfortable accommodation for up to four adults and one small child. The bathroom has a W/C, handwash basin, and shower (hot and cold water). The kitchen has a cooker, fridge-freezer, microwave, toaster, and sink. Cooking utensils and cutlery are supplied.

The adjacent smaller cottage offer cosy accommodation for solo travellers or a couple.

myTobago Review

Holiday Rental Cottage, Castara, Tobago

The following review was produced during a 10-night stay at Little House On The Hill in February 2016.

Introduction

Over the years, we have stayed at all the best accommodation in Castara and currently recommend a number of properties in the village. Most of these are in and around the village centre. The proximity to the beaches is a huge attraction. However, village life is far from quiet. Many visitors will prefer the more tranquil experience of properties on the edge of the village, where the incessant sound of reggae and gospel music emanating from homes and car radio is replaced by soothing birdsong.

Little House on the Hill comprises of two small single-level wooden cottages, owned and managed by a well-known couple, Marguarite and Sherwin Clarke. They are best known as the owners of the leading local restaurant in Castara. We first stayed at their two-bedroom Little House On The Hill in 2006. A year or two later, the smaller one-bedroom Little House Two was built alongside. We opted to stay in this cottage for our second visit but this report starts with a review of the original, larger cottage.

Location

Castara is a small fishing village midway along Tobago's beautiful Caribbean coast. Backed by the spectacular rainforest, Castara has deservedly captured the public's heart of the past decade and is now undoubtedly the most popular holiday destination on the island, at least with overseas visitors.

Castara has no hotels and, despite the claims of some, no 'luxury' accommodation. Almost all the visitor accommodation falls into the "back to basics" self-catering category; simple wooden cottages and apartments rented on a self-catering basis. A holiday in Castara requires a change of mind-set. Time has little meaning. Facilities are almost non-existent. Local shopping is limited to the absolute basics. However, the warm turquoise waters and non-commercialised nature of this friendly village bring visitors back year after year; an experience not to be missed.

The Little Houses perch on a steep hillside in a charming valley beside the road from Castara to Parlatuvier and Englishman's Bay. The location is on the outskirts of the village, a shade under one mile from the entrance to Castara main beach (Big Bay) and less than a 15-minute walk or 3-minute drive from lovely Little (Heavenly) Bay and beach.

Access to the Little House cottages is via a relatively steep and narrow, but well-lit, concrete path and steps. The path passes through lush, well-tended gardens featuring a wide variety of tropical shrubs and fruit trees. This access will be of little consequence to anyone of reasonable fitness, but this property would not be suitable for anyone with walking or mobility problems. It is a long, hot uphill walk from the village, and would only suit the most fit. Having your own transport will enable you to get the very best out of this property.

Two-Bedroom Cottage

The original cottage offers two bedrooms and 600sq.ft. of accommodation, including the front deck. The accommodation is basic, but adequate. It is best suited to a couple or small family.

The interior of the cottage is split down the middle. The main half provides an open-plan kitchen and living area, and the other half the two bedrooms plus a small bathroom with wash basin, shower and toilet. Although room sizes are not vast, the open high ceiling helps to create an overall impression of spaciousness. The painted corrugated tin roof visible on our first visit has now been lined with hardboard. The unglazed windows are all fitted with simple wooden louvers.

The cottage is simply, but adequately, furnished. The white walls may seem a little stark, but a few pictures, shells and other decorations break the austerity. The general maintenance and decorative condition was reasonable.

The main living area is furnished with a dining table with four chairs, and two sofas protected by throws. In addition to a few books left by departing guests and local tourism brochures, there is also a portable radio/CD/tape unit. Don't forget to bring some CDs if you want to take advantage of this. A telephone is availabile for local calls, but not Internet.

The kitchen offers the usual features: a propane gas cooker (oven plus four rings, but no grill), an electric toaster, microwave and a decent-sized fridge/freezer. All of these were clean and in reasonable maintenance order. There was a relatively limited collection of crockery, glassware, cutlery and cooking utensils but you've only got to ask Marguarite for anything extra that you need. The cottages are plumbed for both hot and cold water. The hot water tends to run out within a couple of minutes, but does reheat within 10 minutes or so.

The kitchen is separated from the main living area by small breakfast bar with fitted cupboards beneath. This offered useful extra storage space. Two tall chairs are provided at the bar.

As might be expected, there is no washing machine or dryer. There is an external cold-water sink at the rear of the property which is particularly useful for washing garments after return from the beach. There is a drying line down one side of the property. Marguarite can organise laundry services when required.

The 10-foot-square 'master' bedroom lies to the front of the property and has windows on two aspects. A 7ft high partition separates the bedrooms from each other and the living area, leaving a 3ft gap above for air circulation. The cottage is not air-conditioned, but we found that by leaving the window shutters and internal doors open, we were comfortable both during the day and at night.

The master room is fitted with a comfortable 5-foot queen-size bed. The linen, which is changed every three days, was clean and of reasonable tropical-weight quality. Mosquito nets are provided in both bedrooms. However, we had virtually no issue with mosquitoes during our stay. The only room fittings beside the bed were a single small bedside lamp and a small wardrobe offering 24-inches of half-length hanging and storage space. Formal clothing is simply superfluous in Castara, so this amount of hanging space should be adequate for most visitors.

The second bedroom is fractionally smaller than the first and furnished with a standard double bed. Like the main bedroom, the mosquito net hangs from a wooden frame so that the net drops vertically around the bed. This gives considerably more room and a less claustrophobic feel than the traditional coronet-style nets with a single central fixing point above the bed. The second bedroom has no furnishings other than a small bedside lamp, two shelves for storage and 18-inches of open hanging space.

To the rear of the two bedrooms, leading off from the kitchen, is the shared bathroom. The fully-tiled shower is not exactly a power-shower, but it was adequate. Marguarite provides good-quality bath and hand towels. Like the linen, these are changed every three days. Pleasingly, but unusually for this grade of accommodation, beach towels are available on request.

Wide double doors lead from the living area onto the substantial front deck. Offering stunning views down the valley, the deck is furnished with a pair of plastic sun loungers and an all-weather table with four comfortable chairs.

Little House On The Hill provides simple but perfectly adequate levels of accommodation. Its single biggest asset, however, is the truly tranquil setting of the property. With all the doors and window shutters open, you gain maximise enjoyment from the stunning gardens and surrounding countryside. Regular visitors included two beautiful Motmots who visited our balcony every morning. Had we stayed another week or two, I'm sure we would have had them taking cubes of cheese from our hand. Other visitors included a friendly little red squirrel and numerous hummingbirds – not to mention several hens and attendant chicks from neighbouring properties.

One-Bedroom Cottage

Little House Two was built in 2007. Little more than a metre separates the two cottages. However, the staggered formation ensures reasonable levels of privacy.

This charming small cottage offers around 320ft2 of gross accommodation area. It effectively consists of an 18x18ft square sub-divided into three areas. The covered balcony to the front of the cottage forms the living and dining area. Leading off this, through wide double doors, is a large bedroom with en suite bathroom. A second set of double doors lead from the end of the balcony into a small, but perfectly functional, kitchen area.

The 12x7ft balcony is furnished with an all-weather table and three chairs, plus a comfortable armchair covered by a throw. In shade for virtually all of the day, the balcony looks down on the colourful gardens and out over the hillsides of the steep valley. It is like being in a treehouse.

With the wide (5ft 6ins) double doors of the bedroom and kitchen open, the cottage appears far more spacious and takes on a new dimension. Not only do you get superb views from the bed, but even the kitchen becomes just an extension of the balcony, making everything appear much more spacious.

The bedroom is fitted with a very comfortable 5ft queen-sized bed, flanked by twin nightstands, and a full-frame decorative mosquito net. There is a single chair and a 3-speed electric floor fan. Wardrobe space consists of around 4ft of open hanging space, plus a shelf for smaller garments and accessories. There is a small dressing shelf, with a reasonable amount of space for cosmetics, backed by a large mirror. Overall, it is a surprisingly romantic bedroom and ideally suited to the casual lifestyle of Castara, where formal attire simply means putting on some clothing.

The en-suite bathroom leads off the bedroom and comprises the usual trio of a pedestal toilet and washbasin, plus a fully-tiled shower. The water pressure is relatively low and the hot water heater delivers nothing but lukewarm water after 4-5 minutes, but it also heats up again remarkably quickly. I must confess that this did not spoil our experience in the slightest, even though I admit that I am a sucker for long, very hot, showers.

With the balcony doors closed, the kitchen might be considered oppressively small. However, with the doors fully open and latched back, the kitchen just becomes an extension to the balcony, as mentioned. The equipment and furnishings are much the same as described for the larger cottage. The only difference is that the smaller cottage does not have a microwave oven.

I cannot stress strongly enough how charming this quaint cottage is. When we arranged to return for a re-review, Maggi suggested that we stay in Little House Two rather than the larger original cottage. She kept both cottages vacant so that we would be able to take photographs and video without invading the privacy of other guests. We carry a large amount of luggage and equipment for our six-week review trips, so automatically moved into the larger cottage on arrival. The second bedroom was ideal for laying out the clothing we had brought for the more formal hotel reviews we had scheduled for the final two weeks of the trip.

Maggi was keen for us to try Little House Two, so to please her, we moved into the smaller cottage for our first night. Waking shortly after dawn and after an excellent night's sleep, we made a cup of tea, opened the wide bedroom doors, sat back in bed and savoured the beautiful views across the valley and the magical morning serenade of the birds. We were enraptured. Later that morning, we moved our supplies and daily clothing and took up 'permanent' residence in the smaller cottage.

The Gardens

The gardens extend to about half an acre and are a picture of colour and life. You can help yourself to any mangoes, bananas or other fruit in season. Although built on a steep hillside, there are pleasant flat areas beside each cottage where you can stretch out on the sun loungers to take the sun. The gardens are reasonably secluded, but guests need to know that local residents sometimes take advantage of the cottage's concrete pathway and steps as a shortcut to properties higher up the hill. Therefore, you should not be too surprised if someone suddenly appears from nowhere and passes by with a simple "cuttin 'tru".

Your Hosts

Marguarite and Sherwin are excellent hosts. They live less than two hundred metres away but are never "in your face". Arrangements are all very relaxed and they are very keen to ensure that guests have a good time. If you want or need anything, or something is not quite satisfactory, talk to them. They can often also arrange airport transfers, baby-sitting, laundry, local tours and excursions, car hire, etc.

Conclusion

We had a lovely 10 days at the Little House OnThe Hill. It may be simple, but that is one of its attractions. You are staying deep within the local community, with your own space, surrounded by local people who have shown us nothing but friendliness and courtesy.

I can understand that many people dream of staying on a beach, but I think they will miss so much. Castara's best beaches are less than a two-minute drive from Little House, but no beachside property can offer the wonderfully colourful flora, fauna and animal life that surrounds us here. Whether it is the beautiful pair of colourful Trinidad Motmots that visited our balcony every morning, or the cheeky red squirrel that constantly made his way up and down the path, Little House is a place of wonderful contrasts and deep relaxation. We would gladly stay here for an extended holiday.

Reader Reports

This property has a weighted Reader Satisfaction Rating of 90.9%   . Click below to read the 37 reader reports that this is rating is based on.

Cherie Lamont from U.K. visited in March 2017 and awarded   

We had a wonderful relaxing time in Castara from the friendliness of the locals to the excellent snorkelling in Heavenly Bay but made all the better by staying in Marquerite and Sherwins Little House on the hill. It is a real gem amidst the trees and shrubs visited daily by birds, red squirrels and chickens. The cabin was well equipped for our needs. we even didn't mind the walk to and fro to the village, up and down the hill especially as we frequently grabbed an ice cream on the way up! if you don't mind walking or getting a taxi then Little house is a real gem of a find with Maggi and Sherwin a stones throw away just in case plus Sherwin is a great chef at their restaurant in the village. We loved it for the peace and quiet and getting to know the neighbours.

Seth Kallman from U.S.A. visited in February 2015 and awarded   

This is the second year we have stayed at the Little House. We are very happy and plan to stay there again. The hosts are lovely people and we count them among our friends

Location Map

To view a detailed interactive map showing the location of this property relative to restaurants, shops and sightseeing features, click this link  

One-Bedroom Cottage:$45 - $50
Two-Bedroom Cottage:$55 - $65
Minimum Nights:0 nights
Property Type:Holiday Rental Cottages
Cottages:2
Bedrooms:2
Maximum Guests:4
Bathrooms:1
Air-Conditioned:None
Children:Children welcome
Hair Dryers:None
Telephone:Yes
Internet Access:Public internet access available in the village
Television:Yes
Safety Deposit:No
Wheelchair Access:No
Swimming Pool:None
Catering Options:

Housekeeping:3 times per week
Baby-Sitting:Available at additional cost
Personal Laundry:Available at additional cost
Personal Cooking:By Arrangement
Location:Castara
Region:Upper Caribbean
Location Type:Village
Airport:50 minutes
Beach:11-15 minute Walk