Caribbean Eco Lodges
An alternative to traditional Tobago hotels
Nestled on the hillside with rainforest behind, and the ocean below, our eco lodges on the edge of the Caribbean village of Castara invites you to enjoy a ‘living in the landscape’ experience in one of our 17 treehouse-style, self-catering accommodations. Each is built in perfect synthesis with the lush surrounding environment, and angled to absorb the glorious views of the Caribbean Sea. An alternative to all-inclusive Tobago hotels, we invite you to experience the tropical paradise in this unspoilt corner of the Caribbean that so captivated us 20 years ago.
We aim to create a balance between the services of a hotel with the freedom of self-catering. If you are looking for five-star luxury in an exclusive Tobago hotel, we’re likely to not be for you. But if it’s a more subtle sort of luxury you seek, our tropical hideaways capture the simple, exotic essence of Tobago and exude creativity and style. You will find all you need to unwind and recharge. Comfort is paramount with open-air bedrooms, hammocks for lounging, and expansive decks; we strive to deliver a level of quality that sets us apart.
Our local team – led by charismatic Porridge and his wife Jeanell –will do all they can to ensure your stay is a happy one. They have created an intimate, friendly atmosphere, and will call by your accommodation most mornings to say hello and check all is well. Their openness of spirit helps guests connect with the relaxed Tobago ‘go slow’ attitude that has beguiled so many. Strolling down to the village, you’ll find a friendly local vibe and an invitation to experience the relaxed rhythms of Caribbean village life.
Being in Castara encourages a healthy lifestyle: daily strolls up and down the hillside, dips in the ocean, and a diet of fresh fish, mango and avocado, result in our guests feeling relaxed, nourished and nurtured. We run a daily yoga class at 9am for those that want to start the day with an invigorating stretch.
Castara’s golden beach is less than a five minute stroll away. Here, you will find safe swimming in the azure Caribbean, along with mesmerising snorkelling along the coral reef, sun loungers under the shade of palms, and local bars perfect for enjoying a chilled beer at sunset. You will see the fishing boats bobbing into the bay loaded with the daily catch, and the Seine fishermen who pull great nets onto the beach. This is a true spectacle, and anyone wanting to lend a hand is welcome.
At sunrise, awake to the dawn chorus and watch the pelicans swoop over the ocean. Admire the hummingbirds hustling for space on the feeders, spot the rare agouti that has made its home in our gardens, and perhaps glimpse a school of dolphins passing the bay. Twilight brings the glow of fireflies, and you will see the stars rise and the moon casting its light onto the sea. When sleep beckons, you will be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. This is a place alive with nature and buzzing with life.
Still mentally in the Castara zone after a week! Castara Retreats was amazing. They handled our transport from the airport, our changes of date and rooms when we extended our stay, and the staff (heads up Porridge and Judah (massage)) were amazing. On arrival our rooms, with comfortable bedrooms, balcony with an amazing view of Castara bay and the soothing sounds of crashing waves, was perfect...
Have never seen so many birds flittering around. Really felt like an eco resort! And Castara itself was perfect, still a village, but with all the amenities that you would want. A perfect holiday destination!
Peaceful, rejuvenating, welcoming, grounding, refreshing. True escapism. Friendly villagers and fresh off the boat seafood ready at the fish market on the beach. Clean spring water , rainforest showers and fresh air.
Dashes of John Lewis kitchen and home combined with Caribbean style, skilfully and lovingly crafted villas. Great WiFi, epic yoga studio and a lovely cat we called Lulu. Grateful. Namaste.
Located at the heart of Castara Retreats, Caribbean Kitchen offers open-air dining with panoramic views to the beach, ocean and rainforest. It is a magical spot for watching hummingbirds over a light lunch, savouring the sunset over cocktails, or enjoying a candle-lit dinner listening to the lapping of the waves. Open daily for drinks, light bites and dining, Caribbean Kitchen is a place to find engaging conversation with like-minded guests, and a central spot for seeking support from our team.
Our Restaurant Manager – Shneice – is passionate about fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and her menu celebrates the flavours for which Caribbean cooking is known. We champion the fresh fish caught daily and brought in on the small fishing boats. Whether it’s red snapper, kingfish, or barracuda, we serve our fish succulent and ‘just cooked’. Our bar is known for the delicious cocktails that are rustled up – don’t miss the passionfruit mojito!
Each accommodation has a fully equipped kitchen and wonderful spots for al fresco dining. With the village just a few minutes’ walk away, a choice of characterful eateries and bars are on your doorstep. We purposefully choose not to serve breakfast, encouraging guests to make their way into the village and soak up the local scene. For many, morning begins with a wander down to Cheno’s Café, where coconut bake, scrambled eggs, and salt-fish is guaranteed to get the day off to a good start.
We are proud to work as an intimate, family run eco-resort, an alternative to an all-inclusive Tobago hotel, led by our local partners who have a stake in the business. A huge number of guests testify to the warm and friendly atmosphere that they experience during their stay. This is an integral part of our ethos and our team regularly describe the Castara Retreats staff as ‘one family’. Guests are welcomed into this culture, and often leave feeling part of the family too.
We have strived to become an exemplar for sustainable tourism in the Caribbean, and are committed to evolving as an eco-resort and Tobago hotel that takes a responsible approach to the development of our enterprise, to the surrounding environment, and to the local culture. We champion Castara as an authentic Caribbean destination which has retained its identity and traditions, whilst responding to the opportunities of tourism.
In the village are local services to be enjoyed – from boat trips and sunbed hire, to limin’ in bars and eating out local style. Promoting these services is part of our ethos and guests love to spend time in the village and contribute to its economic wellbeing. In return, they have an insight into the life of a Caribbean village. This approach creates a virtuous circle of sharing and good feeling that positively resonates among Castara locals and visitors alike.
After a hugely successful 2022, we are thrilled to be putting together an exciting programme of organised group stays for 2023 – from writers’ groups to yoga retreats – which will be hosted in our purpose-built Yoga Pavilion which enjoys natural breezes from the rainforest and gorgeous views through our gardens to the ocean. Check out our Wellness Page for more information or contact us.
From 4-11 November 2023, we’re running our first home-grown yoga retreat led by our wonderful in-house yoga teacher, Jovander Pacheco, aka Judha. ‘The Power of Now’ is a seven-day vinyasa-style programme, helping us transfer the mindfulness we learn on our yoga mat into our everyday life. Expect twice-daily yoga sessions, wholesome locally-grown meals, and plenty of time on and off your mat to connect to yourself, each other and nature all around you. Find out more here.
Our in-house wellness team, Judha and Leah, have launched their own independent business ‘Island Blue Snorkelling Tours’ offering informative and fun snorkelling tours in the nearby Castara Bay. Whilst exploring beneath the ocean’s surface you’ll experience the beauty of the reef and the magical creatures that live around it – from Caribbean reef squid and spotted moray eels to queen angelfish and green turtles. Get in touch and book here.