For our first visit to St. Lucia we were looking for a well located, up-to-date, self service villa by the beach. We narrowed our selection to Villa Beach Cottages based on information from traveller reviews and the web site for this pretty boutique hotel. Importantly, we can confirm the extensive traveller and professional photo galleries give a very complete 'picture' of the property for those trying to imagine the facilities down to room decor, pool size, layout of deck areas (sun and shade), and style of colonial architecture. Most certainly we enjoyed spending full days on the property because of the comfort, consideration for guest privacy, expansive ocean views and refreshing sound of the surf.
The one bedroom, upper level, self-service suite was very satisfactory and more than met our needs as a couple. The kitchen was well equipped, the bed luxurious, the linens pristine, and the bathroom very clean. Notably, the well furnished balcony overlooking the ocean became our primary living space for the week. Fantastic! Given outside breezes and inside ceiling fans, we kept the french doors to the balcony open (no bugs) and never had to use the air conditioning unit during our stay (even during short tropical rains). Thoughtful design of the units is evident in that dual electrical outlets allow for use of either European (DC) and North American (AC) appliances without converters. The bathroom however had no electrical outlet (although there was a wired in hair drier).
We found the close proximity of the villa suites to the beach terrific for so many reasons. Easy access to the water made it fun to go swimming, attempt body surfing, and even do some kayaking (good quality rental readily available) when the tropical spirits moved us. The beach is long enough for a short barefoot stroll to stretch one's legs and a good place to watch the sunset.
The location of Villa Beach Cottages seemed suitable given our plans for a few days out and about the island. Indeed the most pleasant surprise of our stay was the excellent concierge service provided by the friendly and capable staff. Colin Hunte, proprietor and manager, has a charming manner and within minutes of his warm welcome is engaged in listening to your plans and responding with suggestions and recommendations. During this initial meeting he produced a well annotated map for us. Throughout the week we booked day trips, made dinner reservations, and arranged for transportation with the concierge staff who were attentive and efficient. A highlight for us was a visit to the sister property, La Dauphine Estate, to tour the cocoa bean processing operation on this working plantation. While small in scale, for any chocolate lover it is a treat to suck on the sweetness of the bean fresh from a pod cluster and then sample the dark centre of a bean after it is fermented and sun dried.
In counterpoint to the awesome Pitons, it would be fair to say some main roads of St. Lucia are awfully bumpy and poorly maintained. So based on our experience, it is well worth using the (taxi) driver services offered by Villa Beach Cottages especially if you venture south to Soufriere for the mud baths, etc. We had an excellent driver, Claudius, who was good company and a thoughtful guide. Fortunately there are grocery stores within walking distance of the property, so you can take foot and experience life as a St. Lucian trying to deal with traffic at ground level while going about daily routines.
We definitely recommend Villa Beach Cottages as a top travellers' choice based on the property facilities, amenities, and concierge service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An intimate, boutique, beachfront hotel featuring deluxe fully self-contained one and two bedrooms villa suites nestled among the coconut trees and lush tropical gardens at Choc Bay with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and offering comfortable, casual luxury with friendly, impeccable service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Beach Cottages Hotel Castries
- Hotel Beach
- Villa Beach Cottages St. Lucia/Castries