Insight Guides: Pocket St Lucia - Insight Guides (2016)
People who stay in Castries are usually business travellers who need to be in the city. The north of the island is traditionally the place for beach resorts and package holidays, with a wide range of restaurants in and around Rodney Bay, which is also a magnet for those on yachts wanting a good marina. The southwest coast, around Soufrière is the most beautiful part of the island, with spectacular views of the Pitons, picturesque bays and forested mountains in which to hike and watch birds.
Off-season rates (mid-April to mid-December) can be substantially lower than high-season rates (mid-December to mid-April). Be prepared to pay a 10 percent service charge and a government tax of 10 percent, but for all-inclusive package holidays this may already be included in the price you are quoted. Rates are subject to change, so always check in advance.
The price categories quoted below are for a double room a night in high season, excluding tax and service.
$$$$ above US$300
$ under US$100
Auberge Seraphine $$ Vielle Bay, Pointe Seraphine, Castries, tel: 758-453 2073; www.aubergeseraphine.com. Small city hotel close to George F.L. Charles Airport and central Castries. Simple accommodation with view of the harbour. Swimming pool and beach shuttle.
Eudovic Guest House $ Goodlands, Castries, tel: 758-452 2747; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Small, friendly guesthouse run by local artist and woodcarver Vincent Eudovic and his family. Ten minutes from Castries’ centre. Rooms are simple with lovely furniture made from local wood, a kitchenette and fan. The artist’s studio is at the same property.
Rendezvous Resort $$$$ Malabar Beach, tel: 758-452 4211; www.theromanticholiday.com. Couples-only, all-inclusive, medium-sized hotel set in pretty gardens with friendly staff. Cool beachfront and garden suites, spa, swimming pool and whirlpool. The beach is lovely but close to the centre of Castries and alongside George F.L. Charles Airport.
NORTH OF CASTRIES
Calabash Cove Resort & Spa $$$$ Bonaire Estate, Marisule, tel: 758-456 3500; www.calabashcove.com. Quiet, delightful small hotel of rooms and suites on hillside and waterfront. Cottages on the water are large, wood-panelled suites with vine-covered deck, plunge pool, outdoor shower, hammocks and every luxury going. Rooms in the main building are smaller but well-appointed. Excellent food (allinclusive packages available but all meals are à la carte), impeccable service and lush gardens.
East Winds $$$$ Labrelotte Bay, tel: 758-452 8212; www.eastwinds.com. Small intimate, all-inclusive beachfront hotel with views of Labrelotte Bay and stylish cottage accommodation with 30 pretty rooms. This is a long-established hotel in lovely tropical gardens with gourmet restaurant and piano bar. Rates include four meals, snacks, all drinks and watersports equipment.
Villa Beach Cottages $$$-$$$$ Choc Bay, tel: 758-450 2884. Self-catering cottages and suites on Choc Bay. Spacious rooms with air-conditioning, some with four poster beds, all with kitchens. Water sports facilities and pool. You can rent additional equipment from the Sandals Resort next door. The sister property, Dauphine Estate, at Etangs, Soufrière, offers a two-centre experience, with plantation life complementing the beach.
Bay Gardens Resorts $$-$$$$ Rodney Bay, tel: 457 8006; www.baygardensresorts.com. There are three hotels in this locally owned group, all in Rodney Bay and popular with business and leisure travellers alike. The most luxurious is the Bay Gardens Beach Resort, an all-suite hotel right on Reduit Beach with spa, fitness centre, car hire, dive shop and watersports. Bay Gardens Hotel and the smaller Bay Gardens Inn are in the heart of the village close to the road to Gros Islet. They have comfortable rooms and a high rate of repeat visitors, reflecting their popularity.
Coco Palm $$-$$$ Rodney Bay Boulevard, tel: 758-456 2800; www.coco-resorts.com. Stylish mid-sized hotel in the village, a great location convenient for beach, nightlife and shopping, but set back from the road to eliminate noise. Comfortable rooms and suites overlook the pool or garden, the best being on the ground floor with French doors giving direct access to a patio and the pool.
Ginger Lily $$-$$$ Reduit Beach, tel: 758-458 0300; www.thegingerlilyhotel.com. Small hotel across the road from Reduit Beach. Quiet, with simple spacious rooms, continental breakfast included, small pool and lovely gardens.
Harmony Suites $$-$$$ Rodney Bay, tel: 758-452 8756; www.harmonysuites.com. Comfortable, moderately priced suite accommodation near Reduit Beach with views of the marina; no children under 12. Meal plans available but there is more variety at local restaurants.
Cap Maison $$$$ Smuggler’s Cove Drive, Cap Estate, tel: 758-457 8670; www.capmaison.com. Luxury rooms, suites and villa suites with full kitchens in clifftop boutique hotel overlooking Smuggler’s Cove. Spacious, comfortable, good facilities and attentive service. Panoramic views to Pigeon Point from the much-praised Cliff at Cap restaurant. Beach bar for daytime snacks, beach towels and water sports.
Cotton Bay Village $$$-$$$$ Cas-en-Bas, tel: 758-456 5700. A compact development on the Atlantic coast but safe for swimming. Suites, townhouses and villas consisting of one to four bedrooms, many with their own private pools, while the most expensive have the luxury of 24-hour butler service. The resort is within walking distance of the golf course but remote from other amenities.
La Panache $ Cas-en-Bas Road, Gros Islet, tel: 758-715 6910; www.saintlucianplants.com/lapanache. A guest house with three simple, air-conditioned, self-catering apartments on a hillside with views from the balconies over Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island. Clean, friendly, relaxed and quiet, with lovely garden. For a two-centre holiday, the owner has another apartment in the south, between Laborie and Choiseul, overlooking a ravine with views of Gros Piton.
The bodyholiday LeSport $$$$ Cariblue Beach, Cap Estate, tel: 758-457 7800; www.thebodyholiday.com. A luxury, all-inclusive spa resort in the far north of the island set on a hillside with a palm-shaded beach; suites are spacious and tastefully furnished for couples or singles. Lots of activities and sports, from archery to yoga. The restaurants serve great food and there is live entertainment. Staff are friendly and give excellent service.
Capella Marigot Bay $$$$ Marigot Bay, tel: 758-458 5300; www.capellahotels.com/saintlucia. Luxury resort on the hillside running down to the waterfront, lovely views of the harbour and the yachts, with every amenity. Gourmet restaurants and boutique shops at The Marina Village, as well as water sports at the marina.
The Inn On The Bay $$$ Marigot Bay, tel: 758-451 4260; www.saint-lucia.com. A small bed & breakfast inn on the hilltop with a glorious view over the bay, run by generous and welcoming hosts who can arrange activities. Comfortable rooms have fans and verandas which catch the breezes. Free shuttle to the bay area.
JJ’s Paradise Resort $-$$ Marigot Bay, tel: 758-451 4761; www.jjsparadise.com. A popular St Lucian-owned and operated resort and restaurant on a hillside close to sheltered Marigot Bay. Clean, spacious standard rooms, or air-conditioned suites and cottages with verandas overlooking the bay. Friendly and helpful staff.
Ti Kaye Village Resort $$$-$$$$ Anse Cochon, tel: 758-456 8101; www.tikaye.com. Remote hideaway on a cliffside south of Anse la Raye. Romantic Caribbean-style cottages. The beach is a short walk down and a long walk up 169 steps. Popular with honeymooners and a good choice for divers; the Lesleen M shipwreck is just offshore. The clifftop spa uses only locally made, natural products.
Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain $$$-$$$$ Soufrière, tel: 758-459 7000; www.ansechastanet.com, www.jademountainstlucia.com. Lovely, stylish and spacious, open-sided but private accommodation set on a hillside with breathtaking views of the Pitons, sea and forest. The Jade Mountain suites on the hilltop are modern, fabulously luxurious, romantic and breezy, each with its own infinity pool. Excellent restaurants and a lovely spa for pampering, with diving, mountain biking, tennis, yoga, kayaking and other watersports available. The resort has a volcanic sand beach, but nearby Anse Mamin has a stretch of fine white sand.
Crystals $$$-$$$$ Soufrière, tel: 758-384 8995; www.stluciacrystals.com. Five rustic, quirky self-catering cottages with colourful décor and homely feel are a mixture of North African and plantation house style, with artwork scattered in every corner. Rooms all have a view of the Pitons, plunge pool, swimming pool or Jacuzzi. The Tree House bar and restaurant is available for guests only, picnic lunches are available and help with excursions offered.
Fond Doux Plantation & Resort $$$$ Soufrière, tel: 758-459 7545; www.fonddouxestate.com. Pretty, traditional chattel houses remodelled as comfortable guest accommodation on this working cocoa plantation. Peaceful countryside location set in tropical gardens around a French colonial estate house. Relaxing, charming, helpful staff and good food with ingredients from the estate.
Boucan (Hotel Chocolat) $$$$ Rabot Estate, Soufrière, tel: UK: +44 (0)3444 932323, US: +1-758-572-9600; www.thehotelchocolat.com. Boutique hotel and restaurant of traditional-style wooden cottages and villas on a working cocoa estate with views of the Pitons. Clean lines with white linen and every luxury and comfort. You can take pleasant walks on the estate through fruit trees to historic battle sites, or tours of the cocoa plantation. Spa offers massages using local cocoa nibs, oil and butter.
Sugar Beach $$$$ Val des Pitons, Jalousie Bay, tel: 758-456 8000; www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/sugarbeach. Luxury resort on lush former plantation extending back from a sheltered bay between the Pitons. Villas are in tasteful clusters each with a butler, every comfort and absolute privacy. As well as tennis, a PADI dive centre and children’s activities, the rainforest spa has treehouse gazebos built among the ruins of the old sugar plantation. Delicious food is offered in the restaurants while the ultra-modern, pop-art Cane Bar stocks specialty rums.
La Haut Plantation $$$-$$$$ West Coast Road, Soufrière, tel: 758-459 7008; www.lahaut.com. A family-run guesthouse with spacious rooms and private balcony from which to enjoy a stunning view of the Pitons. Not on the beach but with a fabulous infinity pool. A self-contained cottage is also available to rent. Good restaurant and great breakfasts.
Ladera Resort $$$$ Soufrière, tel: 758-459 7323; www.ladera.com. Upscale and exclusive hillside property of villas and suites 3km (2 miles) from the centre of Soufrière. Rooms, crafted from stone and rich hardwood, are open on one side with private plunge pools. Lovely tropical gardens and breathtaking views over Soufrière Bay to the Pitons; excellent cuisine at the award-winning Dasheene Restaurant. Spa treatments and warm mineral pools for bathing.
Stonefield Estate Resort $$$$ Soufrière, tel: 758-459 7037; www.stonefieldvillas.com. Small villa complex in beautifully landscaped gardens almost 2km (1.2 mile) from Soufrière. Each villa has 1-3 bedrooms and is individual; some have a garden shower, a veranda and panoramic views of the Pitons, the sea and Soufrière. Swimming pool, a good restaurant and a spa which uses local products, including home-grown cocoa.
VIEUX FORT AND THE SOUTH
Balenbouche Estate $$ between Laborie and Choiseul, tel: 758-455 1244; www.balenbouche.com. Family-run guesthouse with colonial-style self-catering cottages to rent on an 18thcentury sugar plantation that remains a working organic farm. A popular heritage site (for more information, click here) with tropical gardens, containing huge old trees and machinery from the sugar mill including an old water wheel; it is used for weddings and yoga retreats. Friendly, intimate, with a rustic, faded-glory feel. Delicious home-cooked food available.
Mirage Beach $-$$ Laborie, tel: 758-455 9237; www.miragestlucia.com. Right on the beach, this small, rustic hotel in a fishing community is quiet and away from the tourist hustle. Two-bedroom apartment upstairs and master bedroom downstairs, both with kitchenettes. There are good local restaurants in the village or meals can be prepared for you in your apartment by local cooks.
The Reef Beach Huts $ Anse de Sables, tel: 758-454 3418, www.slucia.com/reef. A few rustic wooden huts tucked behind the popular café on the beach. Ideal for windsurfers and kitesurfers who don’t mind basic lodgings. Fans and mosquito nets are provided and breakfast on the beach is included.
Fox Grove Inn $ Mon Repos, Micoud, tel: 758-455 3271; www.foxgroveinn.com. Small country hotel close to Mamiku Gardens. The 12 simple guestrooms and self-contained apartments have en suite showers or bathrooms and ceiling fans. Surrounded by banana and coconut plantations with good views of Praslin Bay and excellent pool. Good restaurant on site.