|Rental type||Apartment / Condominium|
|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
|Living space||2000 square feet|
Suitable for childrenYes
Suitable for the elderlyNo
|Theme||Adventure, Luxury, Romantic, Ocean, Tropical, Waterfront|
Description from the owner
Castara Retreats offers luxury apartment accommodation on two levels that can be rented as three self-contained apartments if desired, without losing out on privacy, or as a single arrangement. The accommodation is superbly set in lush tropical gardens with the protected rainforest ridge above and to the east and the broad sweep of Castara Bay spread out before you to the north west. Rainforest penthouse has stupendous views which can be enjoyed from the vast, open plan living and dining area with its cathedral ceiling. This area has a real WOW factor and is some 30 x 20 feet in size with gorgeous cypress hardwood floors sitting under a vaul...Read more
Castara Retreats: stunning apartment accommodation
Castara, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Additional Location Information
Castara Retreats Apartment accommodation is set into the hillside above the fishing village of Castara with views to the protected rainforest ridge above and out over the broad sweep of Castara Bay to the north and west. It is about five minutes walk to the beach and village with its little shops and cafes and about 50 minutes drive to Crown Point International Airport.
Location Type Ocean, Tropical, Waterfront
Rates shown in $ USD (change)
|Rate Summary||$165 - $290||$165 - $290||$1,160 - $2,040||$0||7 nights|
|Jan. 1 2012 - Apr. 30 2012||$290||$290||$2,040||-||7 nights|
|May. 1 2012 - Oct. 31 2012||$165||$165||$1,160||-||7 nights|
|Can't find rates for your travel dates? Contact the owner|
Additional notes from owner
We offer generous discounts at the last minute.
We welcome short breaks at the last minute and to fill gaps in our schedule. Please inquire.
AvailableUnavailable Last updated: January 03, 2013 ◀▶
What Past Guests Are Saying
Excellent accommodation, shame about the weather
Stayed in Bird Song. Ample accommodation for 4 though we were only 2. No complaints about the accommodation which was of a high standard & beds very comfortable, though walking to and from the beach involves a bit of a climb if you are not fully mobile.Everything as described in the info provided. Manager and wife extremely helpful. We were very disappointed with the weather. We stayed 10 days. Some rain everyday, with continuous moderately heavy rain for just short of 3 days and frequent heavy showers on 3 others. This limited our planned activities. To be fair we were told that this was the wettest 'dry season' spell for 10 years, we were just unlucky! It brought out the mosquitoes but with appropriate care & protection bites can be minimised. There are bats at dusk, but they were not a problem. Make sure you take enough tt dollars as local access unreliable & then has to be made with credit card, though purchases with Porridge can be made in us dollars or even Sterling. You may only need a hire car for odd days & this can be arranged at short notice with Porridge to suit you. Roads very windy but good careful drivers will have no problem. Be aware that the busier part of the island in the SW is 45 mins away by car. Make sure you take up the meals provided by Jeannel on Tues and Friday, they are good. If you want to chill out this is the place to be, provided you get reasonable weather!
Poppy and family
A Christmas to remember!
I previously stayed in Castara with my husband over a year ago and thought it would be a fabulous place for the family to spend a holiday together. We were really excited at the prospect of a warm Caribbean Christmas. We stayed in Rainforest which was a fantastic space feeling very open and spacious with the high ceiling and amazing panoramic view of the bay. The high quality furnishings and well equipped kitchen made our stay very comfortable and had obviously been very well thought through.
We had a terrific Christmas eve BBQ on the new pagoda. It was really lovely to meet some of the other guests. The fish was as fresh as it gets and we enjoyed sampling some local specialties, especially Sherwin's pumpkin in coriander and ginger Yum! A great way to start the holiday.
The highlight was the boat trip with Porridge and Sherwin who know the best places for snorkelling, a BBQ feast on a secluded beach, fantastic company and a lively atmosphere topped off by spotting a turtle! What more could you ask for? Another great day I can recommend was the Island tour with the lovely Jeanell who was extremely knowledgeable and proud of her beautiful home.
Back home now and already looking forward to our next trip.
I've just returned from another fabulous holiday at Castara Retreats. For one precious week, Castara, and Castara Retreats allowed me to truly relax and 'escape'. It's clear that this property is truly loved by the owners; each time we return, there's something new. This time it was the new pagoda, which has tripled in size and now offers a wonderful space to enjoy a cocktail and watch the spectacular sunsets. The weekly bbq is also hosted here offering delicious Caribbean food - highly recommended.
We stayed at Hummingbird 1, which offered us everything we needed. The inside is tastefully decorated and well-equipped (now with wifi- another welcome development), but we spent the majority of our time out on the patio, soaking up the fabulous views. The tropical gardens surrounding us were full of flowers, and I had great fun attempting to photograph feeding hummingbirds.
Down on the beach, it was good to see Dorn and Baba (who live in a shack on the beach) are still there, and this time be able to rent a deckchair from them.
We spent some perfect days soaking up the sun and bobbing in the waves. As the sun goes down, it's so special to see the fishermen's boats arriving with their catch - you really can't buy fresher fish. Delicious!
Porridge and Jeanell, who manage the property, couldn't be more helpful and are great fun to hang-out with over a beer.
All in all, once again we had the perfect holiday in Castara.
Perfect as ever!
Well, here we are again at Castara Retreats for 10th time in 9 years. As always the accommodation is beautiful. Many new improvements-new lamps, new chairs on the decks, free wireless Internet, improvements to the beautiful pagoda & now there are excellent food/BBQ nights here twice a week. The views are spectacular and the wildlife & vast number of birds in the gardens keep us entertained
Feeling upset about a recent, less than complimentary review of Castara Retreats, I felt the need to counteract some of the comments, which in my view are very unbalanced!
Firstly, yes, there are mosquitos here, as there are in tropical places. We get very few bites as we come prepared with repellant. Citronella candles, bug spray & high quality mosquito nets provided in every apartment. If you choose to travel to the tropics, expect bugs & come prepared!!
We particularly love Castara Retreats because of the open plan living and the birds & bats flying through. As far as "piles of bat poo" goes, in my experience, this is total exaggeration, as bat poo is about the same size as bird poo & it would take a whole colony of bats to produce "piles"!
The beach - Castara beach is as beautiful & unspoilt as ever & the best on the island! Castara Retreats have provided new chairs and sun loungers for rent at this end of the beach, so there is no need to walk to the other end of the beach to rent chairs/loungers.
Noise. Everything has been very quiet on this visit. I agree, sometimes there are parties in the village. In my experience over 10 years of visiting, the village is very quiet & peaceful.
Basically, Castara is real unspoilt caribbean. We choose to return to Castara Retreats because of the location, the very high quality accommodation and the wonderful people who run it.
Please go to Tripadvisor to see my full review.
Disappointed with Castara - we will not return
What can we say - the couple who look after the 'complex' were faultless; very friendly and helpfull, the accomodation is as described with stunning views. When we arrived we were immediately thinking of re-booking next year, 12 days later we couldn't wait to leave. The things that really spoilt our holiday were issues that the owners can do very little about. Tobago is lush - it rains a lot and therefore there are tons of bity things, copious amounts of sprays, coils etc but you could not sit comfortably on the balcony in the evening. The beach was full of sandfleas so impossible to put a towel down without being bitten - no deckchairs or sunloungers on beach except for hire right at other end. Due to the aspect there is nowhere to lie out at Castara in the sunshine - therefore no sunloungers provided anywhere. The two worst things were the bats and the noise. The villas are open plan - delightful for the breeze and views, however at night the bats are in the villas, on 2 evenings we were sitting on the sofa at the back of the living room and 5 or 6 were sweeping past us missing us by inches until we had to leave. We retreated behind the mosquito net in the bedroom - again all open plan and in the morning awoke to piles of bat poo by the bed. This happened most nights. Being in a village you also have all the associated noise - 3 nights the music was so loud it was difficult to sleep - once from 4pm on one day until 10.00am the next where even with ear plugs we had no sleep at all. Then on 2 other nights we had cars road racing and revving or apparently tyre burning is what they do.
I am surprised that most of the reviews are so good because several of the people that were staying when we were were not happy - one family left early and everyone complained about the noise. We were told it was exceptional but the guest comments book called the apartment a 'bat pooping discotheque' Castara is certainly the prettiest village on the island but it is very quiet - we were often the only people eating in the small restauramts. That did not matter what did was nowhere to lie out comfortably without being bitten and not being able to at least 'secure' your bedroom so that you can sleep without bugs or bats in your bedroom, the owners have fitted all sorts of elaborate sonic devices to deter them but they do not do the job. The noise spoilt the 'paradise'. The owners in their info imply that if you do not enjoy it, it is because you expect 5 star luuxury resorts. This is not the case with us we have trekked throughout India, Nepal and Peru and the noise and bats especially in your bedroom were intolerable. What a pity.
Response from Jean Whieldon - 01/17/2012
A negative review on Trip Advisor can have a catastrophic affect on bookings. We are, therefore, deeply disappointed in this review because it presents a negative impression which seems so out of balance with the majority and with our own enquiries. So we intend to take each criticism in turn and respond.
Part of the context for our feedback is that the overall review rating for Castara Retreats has been overwhelmingly positive over many years so Cookie Queen’s review sits within the tiny 4% of negative reviews. We hope that readers will pause long enough to have a look at our detailed response to these comments before they move on. It may also be relevant to bring to readers’ attention that Cookie Queen has also given “terrible” marks for two hotels in other parts of the world both of which had previously had a high percentage of excellent or very good ratings.
In our welcome letter found in every accommodation at Castara Retreats we encourage clients to speak to Porridge, our manager, immediately should any part of our accommodation or service not be satisfactory. Over many years, feedback from all our clients both positive and occasionally negative has been fundamental in helping us to understand what our customers want and to adapt what we offer to meet that. More importantly we want each and every one of our clients to have a fabulous time when staying with us and inviting them to speak to us if there are any problems enables us to respond as quickly as possible to make sure their expectations are met.
We respond to each of Cookie Queen’s criticisms as follows:-
1. “Tons of bitey things”. We are in the tropics so of course there are mosquitoes and we give extensive advice in our Notes for Visitors on how to manage insects by using appropriate repellants, and wearing appropriate clothing. All accommodations also have the highest quality, full size new mosquito nets brought specially from Australia.
2. “There are no deck chairs or sun loungers on the beach plus nowhere to lie out at Castara in the sunshine”. This is nonsense. Every accommodation has quality outdoor furniture imported from the US that provides laid back comfortable seating on every deck. We don’t provide sun loungers because the quality in Tobago is so poor. Sun loungers are available for hire on the big beach from The Naturalist and on the Little Beach. Dorn and Baba, who live on the corner of the beach below Castara Retreats, offer comfortable beach chairs for hire on a self-service basis. Rainforest apartment, where Cookie Queen spent the majority of her time with us, has four comfortable outdoor chairs on a new private deck with sea and village views and sunshine throughout the day unless the weather is cloudy. Decks catch the sun either all day or for most of the day in all our accommodations.
3. “Not able to secure the bedroom so you can sleep without bugs and bats.” One of the joys of Rainforest apartment is its spectacular open aspect and this does allow birds and bats to fly through. Many clients are excited and pleased by this and we appreciate that Cookie Queen does not like it. Some years ago, this one accommodation had a problem with a bat roosting in the roof and leaving an unacceptable level of droppings overnight. Hence our introduction of the sonic deterrents, which to our knowledge are quite successful and have massively reduced the problem. Since the review has appeared, we have checked with the clients currently staying in Rainforest who were surprised to read the comments made by Cookie Queen and confirm that droppings are not a problem. Rainforest has a second bedroom looking onto the tropical gardens and deck. No bats are able to enter and we do not understand why Cookie Queen, knowing her discomfort, didn’t move in there. Although mention was made to Porridge during one of his daily visits to clients, her husband told Porridge not to worry about it. Had we understood how significant an issue this was, we would have installed additional sonic deterrents. There has not been evidence before or after Cookie Queen’s visit of the piles of bat poo to which she refers. All bedrooms are secure from bugs with spacious and high quality mosquito nets imported from Australia on full size frames over every bed.
4. “Music was so loud it was difficult to sleep”. During their stay there was one night of all night music at New Year and we alerted our clients before they arrived and as soon as we heard about it. This happens about three times a year – Carnival in February and Fishermen’s Fete in July and this year also at New Year. We apologise to clients but of course there is nothing we can do and this kind of thing happens everywhere from time to time. Very few of our clients would have enjoyed the all night music but they all said they understood it was unavoidable at that time and there were no complaints about this or any other aspect of our service.
5. “People staying at the same time were not happy and one family left early”. In fact, the family left one night early to avoid the party. We happily paid for them to stay in a hotel as it was their last night and they had two small children and didn’t want to be disturbed. They have since written to us to thank us for our consideration and their happy holiday.
6. “Castara is the prettiest village but very quiet”. Some readers may understand our exasperation where Cookie Queen now complains about it being too quiet and not enough people in the restaurants.
7. “The owners imply if you don’t enjoy it, it is because you expect a 5 * luxury resort”. We hope readers will go to our website and read first hand how we present what we offer as we can make no sense of this statement. Consistent feedback says that many feel we understate the place and their expectations were exceeded. We obviously did not achieve this with Cookie Queen and can only leave readers to form their own view. In the meantime, our occupancy for the next few months is almost 100% and we hope that our excellent reputation to date for quality and service will be sufficient for new clients to find their way to our doors. Anyone with concerns is invited to make contact with us and we will do our best to give you an accurate picture of how we and many others experience their time at Castara Retreats and the village and beach.
What a wonderful holiday. The apartments are perfectly situated on the hillside nestled on the edge if a beautiful rainforest. The wildlife around castara retreats is amazing.
Casara itself is a lively fishing village with some of the friendliest people you'll meet-porridge and his family and sherwin all prime examples!
It is well worth doing a fishing trip with porridge and sherwin and the snorkelling around little Tobago was brilliant.
Sit back and relax and enjoy every moment in this beautiful place!
Learn what life is really about
Tobago has a self sufficient air about it which tells you that the positive reception you can get from the locals isn't just because they are looking to sell you something. Rather, they are happy to welcome you as a guest so that they can share their amazing island with you. If you expect service with a reverential feel, Tobago won't suit you because Tobagonians are self confident and even perhaps slightly arrogant in their manner. However, break through this and the warmth is genuine. If you want the feel of the 'local', to eat food which has travelled a few hundred yards from the sea or from trees growing right next to the simple restaurant where you're eating, then Tobago is for you. If you require corporate, standardised service this may not suit you because Tobago is about the personal. Tobagonians know what is important- good company, good food, good music and a simple shelter over your head- literally. Most buildings are just that and they reinforce the notion that this island isn't out to impress, it doesn't need to because nature is everywhere. Humming birds, whales, manta rays, and forest are what make an impression. People living within bountiful nature. What is more, Tobagonians may make friends quickly but you know when they do, they are friends for life. When they ask "when are you coming again?", they mean it. If you want to understand what life is really about, go to Tobago, maybe even leave your iPads and Blackberries at home.
Castara Retreats is an absolutely wonderful place!
A Paradise on earth!
The apartments are placed in the middle of a beautiful garden packed with exotic flowers and hummingbirds.
Its on a hill so the view of the bay its amazing as you can see from the pictures of the website, which strongly understate how breathtaking it is.
Its also extremely close to the beach (about 3 min walk) making it an ideal garden/beach combo.
The Staff are not only very kind and friendly but Porridge and his family are amongst the nicest and friendliest people I 've ever met.
Finally I really recommend the boat trip to Big Bay to have a bbq on the beach with very cold Carib.
We had a very nice stay at castara retreats! For everybody who likes a quiet and pristine place it is a must be! Thank you very much Jean an Porridge for the nice days. We will surely come back. Sorry for teh short review, but my english is not the best.
Views one can only dream about
As we sat on the deck overlooking the bay, eating some fish we'd bought from the local fishermen from that day's catch, we smiled at each other, "Does it get any better than this?" "I don't think so, although the waves could be a little quieter at night." "You think? Actually, I'm glad we're this three minute walk from the village. That way we can hear the music coming up from the beach, but it's not too loud." "I think we like it here." "Right; let's not go home."
The best holiday I've ever had
This was easily the best holiday I have ever had. From beginning to end it was just perfect. We stayed in Rainforest and it was amazing. The views were breathtaking, the accommodation was wonderful and the local people were so lovely. You had everything you could possibly need in these beautiful apartments. Castara itself is just the most fantastic village. You can get fresh fish from the fishermen most days and the bread ladies do fresh bread on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from these amazing big bread ovens, very tasty! Don't get me started on the rotis you could get in D'Almond Tree beach side caf?, I still dream about them most days. Castara beach was just beautiful and only a minutes walk from the apartments. We had some amazing trips out on the boat as well. We spent one day in a bay close by where Sherwin and some of the other guys made a fantastic fish stew while we relaxed on the beach, played in the water and had a little too much rum punch (it goes does down so easily!)
We had dinner one night at Marguarite's and that was fantastic, and we were able to take our own booze. Another night we spent at the Boat House watching a drumming group, while we danced the night away. Sooo much fun!!! I could just go on about how wonderful this place and the people are forever.
I can't wait to go back soon.
To waken up in the morning to hear the sounds of the sea, birds chirping and sun, what could be better, my idea of heaven. Easy to book, porridge will collect you from the airport and take you back. The apartments all have stunning views over the bay and Castara is a sleepy fishing village where you feel totally relaxed and safe. This will be our second visit and will continue to return.
Our holiday in Castara exceeded every expectation we had. The village is quiet and friendly yet fulfilling every need, from dining to buying fresh fish for home cooking. The apartment, the beach, the service of the crew, everything was just perfect and we are only sorry we could not stay longer.(And if this review is clumsy, please excuse the Norwegian English.)
Oddgeir and Berit
We'd go back tomorrow
Having never been to Tobago before we had no idea what to expect, but arriving at Castara Retreats after a long flight we were warmly welcomed and felt instantly at home. The accommodation was very comfortable but not fussy -?which suited us perfectly. We loved the open wooden construction and the open-plan living. With the shutters up to let in the breeze off the bay we could be inside and still feel part of the rich natural world surrounding us, and we felt equally relaxed outside for breakfast or evening drinks of Rum Punch on the terrace, or with other residents for a barbeque or impromptu partying. From the apartment terrace we could watch the humming birds feeding from banana plants literally feet from us. A five minute walk and we were on the beach or five minutes more in the delightful village of Castara. We lived on a feast of fresh fish, fresh baked bread, pawpaw, mango, and bananas -?all bought from the village. For anyone wanting an active holiday there is plenty to do, from snorkeling and fishing, to hiking in the rainforest (you can do all this without driving anywhere) - or if you just want to chill out for a few days or few weeks Castara Retreats is like a home from home. We'd go back tomorrow.
An unforgetable trip :-)
We put a lot of work into organising our two week trip to Tobago and we were not disappointed. Castara Retreats is a fabulous place in every way imaginable, and for once our expectations were exceeded. They have a terrific website with lots of information and photographs, but nothing prepared us for the stunning locations, with tropical gardens with wonderful views. We've stayed in Humming Bird 1 apartment for our first week, and then moved across to Fisherman's Lodge. Each offered a "living in the landscape" experience with high quality airy living spaces sitting snuggly and naturally into the surrounding landscape of gardens and rainforest backdrop.
The beach is a 2 minute walk along a windy path along the hillside and the village with places to eat and shops is five minutes away. We made friends with locals, Chinos for breakfast, great meals of curried goat down at Margarties little restaurant. Best of all was meeting the other guests staying at the Retreats when we all went on a boat trip with Sherwin down to Big Bay for a beach barbeque, where we snorkelled and saw our first turtle! Later that week we all got together again for barbeque, this time at the Retreats where Porridge got us all dancing and "limin" local style.
Tobago is beautiful, unspoiled and underdeveloped. We took a couple of trips around the island with visits to The argyle Falls and a wonderful cocoa plantation next to them. We also took a bird watching trip with Newton George into the rainforest, who was so brilliant at spotting.
There are lots of interesting places to visit, and the people there put a new meaning to being laid back, best of all is Castara; with its two golden beaches, great snorkelling and for us, the accommodation couldn't have been better. Porridge took us under his wing, checked us each day and nothing was too much trouble - he was an absolute star!
An Unforgettable Caribbean Beach Holiday
My partner and I enjoy visiting new places, and rarely return to the same place, choosing instead to visit other parts of the world. However, Castara was an exception. Seven years ago, we were captured by the Caribbean village's natural, uncomplicated beauty, and after a magical fortnight at Castara Retreats, we vowed to return. I am so pleased that we did, this time to Coasthanger Lodge. Castara is a lovely, slow paced, relaxed Caribbean village, and Castara Retreats is beautifully located on a hill just above it, just a two minute stroll from the beach.
Since 2003, the property has been transformed. The standard of the accommodation has been dramatically improved and garden has also been developed, with exotic trees and flowers beautifully landscaped into the property. With the plant life has come even more birdlife, and hummingbirds were a daily spectacle as we breakfasted on fresh mangoes and pineapple. We were also happy to find that there are several new dining options in the village since we last visited, offering good-value, tasty local food.
Porridge was just as we remembered; great fun and he couldn't have been more helpful. The property and its team have expanded since we last visited, and we found all staff we met to be friendly and happy to say hello.
We spent some wonderful lazy days on the beach, soaking up the sunshine, watching the fishermen as they pulled in their nets, and drinking a beer as the sun went down. We also enjoyed a fantastic boat trip with Porridge and Sherwin. This was a wonderful outing, and provided a good opportunity to meet and get to know other guests. We all had great fun catching our own fish, and later cooking it up on a beach bbq. We snorkelled in the coral reefs saw a shoal dolphins playing around our boat on the way back. Our Caribbean holiday was unforgettable, and I think we will have to break our rule and return!
Bella in San Francisco
Amazing! Can't get any better
My October visit was my second visit to Castara and Castara Retreats. I was there in September 2010, yes 2 visits in less than 8 weeks!!! I can't say enough about the wonderful time I had in this magical place. It is my best kept secret for relaxation and going back to nature. The village is idyllic and the lodging is so comfortable. I kind of not want to tell too many people about it because I am afraid the place will loose its serenity. But hopefully people will go, enjoy it and leave it the way they found it. Beautiful!!