The Villa is incredible! Such a great home base – very relaxing, peaceful and secluded. It’s at the top/end of a very steep, pot-holed filled road. Janus lives right next door, and the side of his house faces the pool which I wasn’t expecting but we never saw anyone or felt bothered by this.
Other guests weren’t lying about keeping food off the counter in the kitchen. The tiny hard to see ant will find it! We put most things in the fridge and the rest in the oven and that solved the problem. The kitchen is stalked with a few plates and bowls, lots of glasses/cups and pots/pans, a micro-wave, blender, toaster, coffee maker, measuring cups, electric hot water kettle and several other utensils.
The plunge pool is amazing and when it runs into the afternoon/evening it sounds like a waterfall- very peaceful. There is a computer with a desktop computer, laundry room outside and under the house (washer only, some detergent is there) and clothes line under the house to hang things to dry.
The guest room is small with just a bed and small closet and the bathroom is down the hall. Great Bathroom! The master Bed & Bath is very spacious with a large closet and double sinks.
Ok enough about the Villa amenities. In short it is a gorgeous Villa, very private and super Comfy. We slept great. The bed and pillows were very comfortable and with A/C on, it was perfect. Now on to
‘’What to do!’’
We arrived at the airport at 2:30pm. We were through customs super-fast (the only plane there) grabbed our bags and went outside. There are lots of vendors / business establishments at the airport. We were looking for Janus’s car rental services to pick up our car but couldn’t find it. Then we realized his employee Bobby, was with the group of people waiting to pick up guests and he was holing a sign with our names on it! He took us to the car, gave us our permits, showed us the basics and we were off! It was about 1 hour drive to the Villa. Thankfully Bobby led us there or we would have been so confused and lost! He even waited while we got some groceries at a large grocery store on the way. When we pulled up at the Villa Janus came out and gave us the warmest greeting, continuously calling us his ‘’new favorite people’’ He seems to genuinely love what he does and we knew he meant it when he said we could call him anytime.
He showed us everything we needed to know and even had some ripe Mangoes and Papaya in the kitchen for us. We were exhausted from traveling so we decided to stay in for the evening, get settled and enjoy the villa. Having free wifi and Netflix is such a great perk to this place.
We slept in then walked to town mid-morning. Go the end of the road the villa is on then go left then take a right at the stop sign and that will take you into town and down the water. Its about a 20 minute with sidewalks only here and there. There is a great cheap bakery (purity Bakery) and grocery store on church street (runs by the church you will walk by on your way into town). We went to Zaka’s Café which is up the street next to Pitit Peak. Half pond of coffee is U.S $18, smoothies (which are more like just fruit juice) are U.S $6. They have a ton of small hand painted wooden masks you can buy for U.S $30. Service was fine but not overly welcoming.
We weren’t prepared for the kids walking around with the animals made out of palm leaves. They give you one or make one in front of you and then of course want money for them. Even if you say you don’t have enough ash they will insist you keep it and then you just feel bad. So either don’t take it in the first place or be prepared to give them a few bucks. They were all super friendly though and fun to talk with. There’s also a friendly guy down by the water which sells beautiful handmade necklace for U.S $10-$15 (negotiable) The locals are all friendly but can be a little bit pushy/over eager to help. They had private cruises available hut for a half day they were U.S $38 and up!! We went in lifestyles to scout souvenirs then made the hot walk back to the villa. Ate a late lunch in, relaxed all afternoon, then dinner at Ruby’s. We got the Haiwano Pizza and it was good. The vibe was wired---cute little tables but they were playing really bad Spanish music videos. We never met the owner. The waitress was nice but didn’t really make conversation. No desire to go back.
Today was fantastic! We did a castaway tour with Zion Lion Farm with Paul Clifford and his sister JoAnne. If you want an authentic St. Lucia experience, this is a must do! It’s U.S $400/couple but includes so much. Got picked up from Soufriere at 9:00am by water taxi (Captain Jannick) and dropped us off on a very secluded beach where Paul and JoAnne were waiting for us. Jannick showed us the bat cave (so many bats) on the way and we saw Jade Mountain, Ladera and Sugar Beach and the Pitons
The beach at Zion Lion Farm was incredible…so picturesque and peaceful. Paul & Jo-Anne immediately made us felt like family. JoAnne showed us some local vegetables and talked to us about everything we would be having for lunch. Paul gave is a cooking demonstration, showing us how they prepare some of the local vegetables, how they make their own carben to cook with, how everything is cooked in the traditional coal pots etc. He even showed us how he serapes all the coconut out of the shell with his machete, so cool!
Everything we had to eat was grown locally from his farm (about hour up the mountain) and we had fresh tuna fish that he had caught that morning. The meal was incredible especially the coconut rice and we feast under a traditional grass hut right on the beach, just the two of us the whole day (9-3:30) was just for us and there was hardly anyone else on the beach. Paul made us some cocktails and we drank fresh Pineapple juice. After the incredible lunch Paul took us on a walk where e showed us all kind of fruits and local medicinal plants and explained their uses (to treat headaches, hypertension, asthma etc.) Paul & JoAnne had some crazy stories to tell!
At the end of the short hike, we got to drink water that was flowing out of the depth of the volcano. We stopped at a beautiful stream on the way back. Later we went snorkeling on the ocean and spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Paul gave us a freshly picked pineapple to go back! It was an incredible day. Can’t recommend a tour with Paul enough (Look up Zion Lion Farm on trip adviser).
After we got back to Soufriere, we went back to the villa to relax, then we went to Pier 28, don’t recommend, there was no ambiance, no new food was mediocre and service was lacking.
Today it was raining. I walked into town by myself (hubs wanted to sleep) and only got a few cat calls, felt very safe. Got more sweets from Purity Bakery but got rained on pretty hard on walk home. Around lunch time the rain cleared and we headed out to see some sights!
Tet Paul Nature Trail- Just do it! Gorgeous views, easy ‘’hike’’. Tour comes with a guide and picked some fruits for us to taste along the way. We were the only ones there!
Diamond Waterfall & Botanical Gardens – This is a must do in my opinion. Almost skipped it because we didn’t find it sounded interesting but it was phenomenal. The vegetation is to lush, colorful, dense and beautiful. I must have taken 200 photos! We didn’t get a guide which was great because we could take our time and move at our own pace. There was hardly anyone else there. It was all so breathtaking and a great time. We also really enjoyed the gift shop. I several little local made soaps and an awesome Christmas Ornament. We each got an ice-cream bar and I shared mine with a friendly little black bird. We took our sweet time and spend 1 ½ hours there total. So, glad we went, don’t miss it!
Sulphur Springs & Mud Baths – We did this because we felt like we should. An experience you don’t want to miss. The water is black and smelly, and is 100 degrees F. But its relaxing and did make my skin feel softer. We covered ourselves with light and dark mud they had available in a bucket. Go at 5/5:30, it wasn’t crowded and was pretty peaceful.
We stayed in for dinner and enjoyed an incredible purple clouded sunset from the deck and great day exploring.
It rained and sprinkled all day off and on but we enjoyed a great day at Anse Mamin Beach. We each got a scrumptious (but expensive) burger which was totally worth it! Then swam and relaxed on the beach, the water was warm and the waves were fun! We tried to snorkel but the water was super cloudy, maybe from the rain? The beach was quiet in the morning but busier in the afternoon with a ton of party boats playing loud music going by. We rented chairs 2 for U.S $33. They were the nicer chairs and we got towel service. Unfortunately the chairs under the huts are for resort guests only :( Would have been nice with the rain. On the way home we stopped by torille Falls (not a must see in my opinion) it’s a wonderful waterfall that you can get into. Its cold and feels like a ton of bricks hitting your head. U.S $3 per person. Many locals there. Okay nothing special.
Spent the rest of the afternoon/evening at the villa
P.S -road to Anse Chastanet/Anse Mamin is similar to road to Serrana Villa but it has hairpin turns and the side of the road is a cliff going into water with not guide trails. Terrifying.
Mystic Man Sailboat Cruise – 9:00-12:30!! We kept going back to see if they had any openings and finally they had. Only 4 of us on the catamaran. Just remember to keep your eyes on the land…I got seasick and a cold lemon-lime beverage saved me. We snorkeled in front of the Ti-Kaye Resort. Great Morning and worth the U.S $66 per person.
Lunch at Pitit Peak – WONDERFUL…I’m not sure why this had so many mixed reviews. Food was good and cheap (lots of options for U.S $10 or less) service was friendly and the breeze right on the water was amazing. Had a great local feel. Totally recommend for good and food and great atmosphere.
We tried to run a few errands but it was a holiday so a lot was closed. We run into our Buddy Dennis down by the dock. We bought a necklace from him on one of our first days. I helped him make a little sale y introducing him to the lady on our cruise who said she was looking for jewelry. He was grateful so he gave me three more necklaces for free!
Dinner at Mango Tree Restaurant (at stone-field Resort on way to Sugar Beach) Dinner doesn’t start until 6:30, but we made a reservation for 6:00 for dinner so we could watch the sun set.
AMAZING!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Stunning views, great service, great staff, good food, half the price of Jade Mountain. It’s an outdoor restaurant and we had so much fun watching all of the little lizards, especially the one on our table eating the bugs for us. The staff is in no rush, all very relaxing, peaceful evening and the perfect final dinner for us!
Time to go Home! We’re going to hit Martha’s for lunch on our way t the airport.
Our stay has been exceptional- sorry for the longest journal entry ever. We will miss this gorgeous Villa and wonderful people here but we can’t wait to be reunited with our two small boys (ages 1 & 3) Thanks for a week to Remember!!!