Castara Retreats, Tobago
If you're looking for places in Tobago to stay, below I share my review of Castara Retreats
Castara in Tobago, the West Indies is the most sustainable area in Tobago. Guesthouses here are locally owned, as are the Tobago restaurants and the locals work together to keep this area clean and as eco-friendly as possible.
If you're searching for a resort in Tobago, Castara Retreats has been carefully designed so that each accommodation feels as though you are naturally living in the landscape. It's one of the Tobago hotels that feels tucked away in the Tobago rainforest.
Made up of 14 treehouse lodges, each angled for a beautiful view of the ocean and Castara Bay, this place feels as though you are in the thick of nature with the clever design of the open-air kitchens where you can hear the parakeets sitting in the nearby trees and the ripe mangoes as they fall from the trees above.
If you want to cook your own food at this hotel Tobago you can, or there is the option to dine in the resort’s restaurant run by Kenny, who mixes a fab cocktail. Keeping to the same tree-house style, the restaurant has an even wider view of the bay, where you can dine on organic food and the catch of the day for supper.
Castara also caters for vegetarians with imaginative vegetable dishes which I had not tasted before. This is one of the best restaurants in Tobago and the place is magical at night. It's easy to strike up a conversation with the other guests too.
The locals are really friendly too. Pop into DJ’s local shop for anything you need, Miss Jacksons for drinks and alcohol, or visit Bingi the Fruit King for fruit and veg.
The Rooms at Castara Retreats
The Castara Tobago accommodation has two different types of rooms. Ones with wooden slats which you open for ventilation or others with air conditioning. All rooms come with fans and each accommodation has a view of the ocean so you can just open your curtains in the morning and see the sea and the village.
The open-air kitchen is really unique and you can sit in your open-air kitchen and listen to the sound of the waves below. It had everything I needed to cook my meals including a large fridge. Plus the water was drinkable. The kitchen was spacious and as was the living room which was decorated with pretty fairy lights. There was even a hammock for me to relax in.
I had an outside decking area where I could sit during the day and there were also sun loungers throughout the retreat if I didn’t want to walk down to the beach to sunbathe.
My queen-sized bed had a mosquito net and the bedroom came with two giant fans as well as air-conditioning plus a hairdryer which is always a bonus. There was a safe for my valuables too.
The sounds of nature sent me straight to sleep and if you stay on the weekend, the sound of music at local bars can drift up the hill but I still found it very easy to sleep with the windows closed.
Why I love it!
If you're wondering where to stay in Tobago, I really recommend Castara Retreats. What I really like about Castara is that it feels as though it’s part of the community. The retreat encourages you to take part in the local life such as liming with the locals (chilling out), and walking around the village to observe local life.
This is one of the Tobago resorts that offers stunning views of the sea and the village of Castara below. Plus each accommodation has its own name such as “shady mango,” which makes it even more special. This is one of the best Tobago hotels and I felt so safe here.
Cons: If you have mobility difficulties, it may not be suitable due to its location.
Friendly Staff: Porridge and Jeanell are so friendly. Both are really upbeat and Porridge also arranges any tours that you want to do in the area with his own company Sunarise Tours.
The Tobago coastline is stunning and Castara is a great spot for sunbathing and snorkelling, and there are steps leading down to the bay where you can spot turtles and angelfish if you snorkel.
You’re on the edge of the village, up here by yourself and within two minutes, you can be with others. Men and women sit outside together so expect to meet locals as you venture into the village. Just say good morning or good evening and people smile and are friendly back. There’s a wonderful sense of community.
Cleanliness: Castara Retreats is one of the cleanest resorts in Tobago.
Security: This hotel in Tobago is so safe that you can even leave your door open (although you probably won’t want to). You can be alone and when you want to engage with others, you can.
Castara offers group yoga classes on Sundays or you can arrange your own private class with an appointment. Massages are also available for those who need to unwind after a long day snorkelling or sunbathing.
Restaurants in Castara
In addition to Castara's restaurant, there are a few restaurants in Tobago including cafes in the village.
- Enjoy breakfast at Chino’s – a popular coffee house.
- The Almond Tree near the beach sells great rotis at lunchtime.
- The Boat House is open for lunch and dinner.
- Marguerites is a restaurant where you can take your own bottle of alcohol.
- Cascreole is situated on the beach and is a great place to watch the sunset.
- Or buy your fish fresh from the fishermen. The daily catch returns by boat between 2 and 5 pm and the fisherman cleans and de-scales the fish. Just order your fish filleted, in steaks or whole. You can’t get much fresher than that!
N.b. You would need to check the opening days and times of these restaurants Tobago as they may not be open when you expect them to be.
Activities in Castara
- You can take a boat trip with Sunarise Tours where you can snorkel on coral reefs, try your hand at fishing and enjoy a barbecue with the Caribbean favourite of chicken and rice and of course, rum, all whilst making friends with other visitors from Castara.
- If you prefer to stay on land, Castara recommends Newton George for bird-watching trips or a rainforest walk.
- There is also the option of taking an island tour with Jeanell or Porridge. Visit Parlatuvier waterfall or the Tobago Cocoa Estate to find out how chocolate is made on the island.
- Argyle Falls is just one hour away as you head up the coast past Englishman’s Bay or you can choose to walk to the waterfall behind Castara where you don’t need a guide but you may feel more comfortable with company.
- Watching the fishermen during their daily catch as they trawl a net into the bay.
- Snorkel in the bay or just lay on the beach and enjoy the scenery.
How To Get to Castara
The retreat arranges transport from the airport which take approx 30 minutes. There is a bus from Scarborough which takes 1.5 hours. You can ride the bus all the way up to Anse Fourmi to see the bays but they do have an unreliable schedule.
Type of Solo Traveller
Those looking for a slower pace of life where they can interact with the local community and experience life in Tobago first-hand. Whether you choose to spend the time alone and relax in your gorgeous tree-house or sightsee instead, there is as little or as much as you desire to do here.
Visit The Village Bakery and observe the local way of making bread in a hand-built clay oven by local ladies in Castara. You place your order and then ask the ladies which time you should return to collect it.
I was only here for 2 nights but loved the place. The whole area just felt safe and had a ‘holiday’ feel to it with a vibrancy that is infectious. The food in the restaurant was the best that I had tasted in Tobago and I definitely recommend this property to any woman looking for a special place to stay in The West Indies.
N.b. My stay at Castara Retreats was complimentary but as always, each opinion is my own and I only include the best accommodation for solo females within the hotel review section. In my opinion, this is one of the best holiday resorts in Tobago, especially for solo travellers.