Location & Services
Castara is recognised as one of the most attractive places in Tobago for a Caribbean holiday and Castara Retreats for its quality holiday accommodations and beach scene. Castara is a small fishing village facing the setting sun with the beach and ocean backed by the hills of the surrounding rainforest. The views from Castara Retreats along the beach are wonderful and the people in the village are friendly and helpful. Castara faces west so the sunsets present a daily light show of ever-changing colours and textures.
Tobago offers superb Caribbean holidays and is a 20 minute flight from Trinidad, which is a much busier place and has flights to a wide range of destinations. Castara is about 20 miles from the airport at Crown Point where there are three airlines offering direct flights from Britain to Tobago (see Notes for Visitors). We recommend that clients are met at the airport by Porridge who manages the property with his wife, Jeanell, and who charges TT$300 (approximately £29) for meeting our guests and seeing them and their bags into Castara Retreats. Car hire is easy to arrange from Porridge on a daily or weekly basis, in Castara, or from the airport. Porridge is a great source of information and help on all such matters, including guided tours, boat trips, and rainforest tours.
The Mount Irvine 18 hole Par-72 Golf Course, considered by many to be the finest in the Caribbean, is half an hour away by car.
We recently completed a magnificent new pagoda beautifully set in our tropical gardens overlooking the ocean, to offer quality dining with a bit of sophistication and style for our guests.
We started with just two evenings a week in response to our guests seeking a change from local food. These evenings got off to a great start and our guests really appreciated the relaxed atmosphere and opportunity to meet other guests. They often linger into the evening limin' with new friends. As a result, we have now added a kitchen to the pagoda and will be offering high quality food every evening from mid-December. It will also be possible to have a meal delivered to your accommodation if you wish. Prices and menus will be available on request from mid-December. The pagoda is spacious with comfortable seating, atmospheric lighting and soft music. We have also opened a private bar offering cocktails, cold beers, wine and vintage rums. So, if you would like to join in, tell Porridge or Jean – it's a great way to meet everyone – and they will reserve you a place.
Porridge and Sherwin offer boat trips. Have a look at the Boat Trips section in Notes for Visitors in your accommodation, which gives the options and prices.
For food shopping, L&H Supermarket has a surprisingly good range of basics but it’s best to shop on your way from the airport to make sure you get everything you want. Similarly, DJ’s has fruit and vegetables on a daily basis but for a wider range you need to go to Scarborough.
The Village Bakery on the green by the school, is run by local ladies who do really good bread, rock cakes and coconut cakes twice a week. They are just getting used to their new white customers and can be a bit standoffish until they get to know you. They also put most of their attention on their baking rather than on western style customer service. It is a privilege to be able to witness them in this traditional village role. The best time to call is between 11am and 1 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Or, ask Porridge or Jeanell to pick up some for you.
Jeanell (Porridge’s wife), and her team of helpers clean and look after the place and are focused on our clients enjoying their accommodation in Tobago at Castara Retreats. If you want extra cleaning or your bed linen changed more frequently or your laundry looking after, then Jeanell will help for a reasonable charge. Talk to her when you see her or arrange via Porridge.
Porridge has a minibus which he uses to collect people from the airport. It has lots of room for luggage as well as groceries. It is also good for tours round the island. He has jeeps and cars for hire which are mainly used by Castara Retreats’ guests. Porridge is really happy to oblige and his fees are competitive with island rates.
You may also come across Carrington, our gardener. Carrington knows a lot about local traditions and history and is usually up for a chat.
In our “Notes for Visitors”, we have written in much more detail about services and many other topics. Jean sends a copy when you book. If you haven’t received your copy please ask her to send one. Please read these, as you will find the answers to most of your questions regarding a stay at Castara Retreats with lots of suggestions on how to make the most of your vacation in Tobago.