The run-up to Carnival is easily the busiest time of year in Port of Spain, and if you intend to stay anywhere in the city during this time it’s essential to book well in advance. Regular Carnivalgoers reserve their accommodation for the following year on Ash Wednesday, and it’s a good idea to book very early if you have your heart set on a particular place – or area, with downtown, Woodbrook, Newtown and St Clair being the most convenient for the parade route. It’s a good idea to check the classified sections of newspapers (also available online), where rooms in private houses are advertised, sometimes at very reasonable rates, alongside last-minute vacancies in hotels and guesthouses.
Carnival prices, which can be more than double normal rates, usually apply from the Wednesday or Friday preceding Carnival through to Ash Wednesday. The majority of hotels and guesthouses insist on five- to eight-night minimum stays, which you’ll have to pay for even if you don’t stay there the whole period.