Looking forward to checking out sugar beach and hiking the pitons (the hills to the villa and anse chastanet are good training for that!!) enjoy your stay, and this great villa, and enjoy St. Lucia!!
So at this point you’ve probably trawled through the fantastic encyclopedia Britannica – Size amount of guest advice and don’t need any more, so I’ll try not to go over too much old ground and just give a few bits of advice! 😊
Quick bit of background – travelled from (a very cold dark and rainy!) London. I don’t really drive (as you don’t need to here) but I do like to hike, so I was curious how you can get around on foot here.
I’m just staying in the (fantastic) villa for a few days after the incredibly friendly Janus gave me a little upgrade from Sapphire Apartments. Due to be going back to those today (sob!) so I’ll share what I’ve found in the last 3 days!
- Go explore the town, get a feel. The walk back up the hill to the villa is the most exhausting bit, but the rest of the town is good to explore, and pretty small – you’ll get your bearings quickly & everyone I’ve met has been friendly – be friendly back and you’ll be fine! 😊 It might seem like the villa is pretty far out of town at first but you soon get used to it (assuming you’re a reasonably strong walker). Learn where the nearest grocery store is – it’s small but you can grab basic essentials (water – stock up, drinks, some cheese to go with the lovely fresh bread Janus will deliver in the morning etc.) on Sunday (esp. Sun. Night) the town is dead – that’s when I arrived – but other nights you should go try a local bar!
- Ruby’s is ok-ish if you’ve just arrived and want something that’s nearby, but I wasn’t that impressed.
- Anse Chastanet and Anse Mamin – ok – reading through the other pages in this book, you’d think the road there was impossible and full of flaming lava, possibly wolves. It isn’t 😊 you’ll have to take it slow if you’ve driving, but it is possible to hike it on foot. It’ll take about 40 mins from the start of the road at Hummingbird Beach (btw that beach is really not worth going to) – so I’d say about 55 minus walk from the villa itself.
There’s a big hill at each end, (i.e. if you’re going there, a big uphill, a flat, and a big downhill – and vice versa), which is the worst bit, but once you’re pas that it’s not so bad. The road condition and incline aren’t great – but I’d say the road that the villa is on is in worse condition and steeper too (if shorter).
In terms of beaches themselves, they’re nice – possibly not the most amazing beaches you’ve ever been on, but of the two Anse Mamin (keep walking past Anse Chastanet for 5 mins or so – there’s a sign posted pat at the end of Anse Chastanet Beach) - is definitely the nicer. I happily spent the day there. The Bar and Burger bar on Anse Mamin are also very nice for a relaxed beach lunch (though a little expensive as they are part of the Jade Mountain resort).
Oh, one other thing, if you’re walking (or driving to be fair). Keep an eye on what time sunset is that day, and give yourself time to get back – you don’t really want to be attempting the road in the dark. When I was here (end of Nov) sunset was about half 5/6.
- Tet Paul Trail: you’ll need to drive to this or get a taxi as it’s a way out by the Pitons. It is extremely short though – more a little path than a real trail or hike – I was done in about 20mins! It’s worth doing, but combing it with something else in the area – (went to Toraille Falls, which was quite good as you could swim in the waterfall (though go/wait until there’s not a big tour group all queuing up to go in it!) but I imagine sugar beach or something else in the area would be good too.
- Jade Mountain: Decided to treat myself and do dinner here. First off, you’ll need to book in advance, so if you’re wanting to do it on your stay, give them a short on the first day you arrive and set it up. I asked at the book by Anse Chastanet at the resort itself while I was visiting the beach, and they were booked up that day. But had a free slot the following evening. The boof staff were a little stand-offish though (to be fair I did look like I’d just rolled off the beach!) so maybe better to ring the resort direct to make the booking.
(Side note: one of the lovely touches Janus has done is put a blackberry in the room to contact him easily or make bookings etc. Really useful if you don’t have a US Mobile!).
So , Jade Mountain – dress up and get a taxi to the resort – definitely don’t hike this time!! try if at all possible to get a booking time before sunset – all the wow factor is in the view, and once the sun goes down you won’t have one. Alternatively, they will let you arrive early for drinks. Do that if you have a later booking.
The food is good – if I’m 100% honest not absolutely world-class, but then you’re also paying less than half of that sort of price. It’s still really good though, and the INCREDIBLE VIEW, décor + brilliantly attentive and friendly service all make it an absolutely must do. It’s a 4 course set menu – make sure for desert though you get their full desert menu rather than the set menu option – It’ll still be the same price, and much better! The chocolate and ginger tower ( with their local chocolatier) was the best course of the meal – recommended!
Right, think that’s everything! I’ve still got most of my trip left - looking forward to checking out sugar beach and hiking the pitons (the hills to the villa and anse chastanet are good training for that!!) enjoy your stay, and this great villa, and enjoy St. Lucia!!
And thank you Janus, You’re a star!! 😊
Henry Dalton, London, UK
We normally don’t spend this much time at the “hotel” when we go traveling, but between the pool, the view, and Janus being such an incredible host, our stay has been an absolute dream.
We were so happy we decided to spend our honeymoon in St. Lucia! With the exception of a slight mix up with direction on your way to the villa (which was in no way Janus’s fault, completely our own).
We have had nothing short of a perfect trip. We leave today to go on a sailboat “cruise” for the next week so luckily our vacation isn’t quite over yet, but it is still bittersweet to be leaving Soufriere and Serrana Villa. We normally don’t spend this much time at the “hotel” when we go traveling, but between the pool, the view, and Janus being such an incredible host, our stay has been an absolute dream. We are already planning our next trip to St. Lucia as a gift to my parents.
Janus asked one of his drivers to drop off some local bread for us our first morning at the villa which was so delicious, and thoughtful and perfect for breakfast.
Places for a nice dinner: hummingbird and Boucan. Both were delicious, great service, live music on Saturday nights, and beautiful views. Boucan is located within the Hotel Chocolat Compound so every dish incorporates chocolate in some way. Very creative combinations!
Sulfur Springs Mud Bath – sure it is a little crowded and the tour is a little short as some of these entries mention, but honestly do it anyways. It’s a completely unique experience, super fun, and your skin will feel amazing afterwards. I would recommend going as part of a Soufriere overview tour. So you go with a guide who knows all of the tricks to the mud bath. But either way you’ll have a good time.
Find Simon Says. You can look him up on TripAdvisor. Simply via google, or hanging out at a local bar (which is how we found him). He has been part of the tourism industry in St. Lucia for 34 years and knows everything. He does tours of all kinds (we did a sunset boat ride around the island), has great recommendations (he made reservations for us at both restaurants mentioned as the previous page). And drove us to and from these reservations at no extra charge (we did tip him of course).
Finally, we cannot thank Janus enough for his kindness and hospitality. Constantly going out of his way to make sure we had the most amazing time. thank you!
Taylor + Corey
Chicago, Il, USA
Be sure to hang around the villa, it’s a dream. Take a dip at night and star gaze – watch the firefly’s around you! We have had a wonderful stay and know you will too!
What you need to know:
You get used to the driving, go explore- so if you rented a car – it was a good decision. If you didn’t, no big deal there are options. We rented from who Janus recommended and they were great. We got a cooler which was very convenient for our many day trips.
Ruby’s – is just down the road. It is good, not Jade Mountain or Dasheene good but nice people, good quality for a decent price. The pizza is good, some review scared me away from the pizza our first night, but I think it’s the best on the menu. The location makes it a reasonable option for low key nights.
Mango Tree – Great! We didn’t have reservations but it was a problem. The food was very good and the view was beautiful! Go there.
Orlandos – This was our first stop in town. Orlando himself is wonderful. Very welcoming – the most welcoming we experienced. We ate lunch + the food was very good but a fixed menu when we went.
Anse Mamin Restaurant – great lunch spot on the best beach. Amazing burgers. Probably my husbands favorite meal. Great place to go after hiking the piton.
Gros Piton - Do it. We go ourselves worked up thinking it would be very hard based on what everyone says/writes. Yes, it’s a hike/climb but it is not bad and worth it. We had this in the morning and then went to the beach after + it was a great day. Most of the hike is in the shade. ASK to go to the north side. Bring water, get homemade ice-cream. Very cute community where the hike starts. Support the people! (2 hours up, 1-2 hours down – average).
Anse Chastanet – head there then take the 10 min walk to Anse Mamin! It is to the right – just keep walking to the right and you will see signs for a walkway to Mamin. This beach is quieter and our favorite beach of the trip! Hands down!
Botanical Gardens – So peaceful! Worth a romantic stroll through the gardens. You can take a mineral bath there as well and see diamond waterfall. If you want to do some sort of bath I’d do it here - private or public.
Sulphur Springs – Stupid. Yes my skin felt smooth after, but it’s just tourist rubbing in mud on themselves. If it’s a rainy day may be worth checking out but otherwise you are not missing out.
Tet Paul Nature Trail – walking in a park – totally worth it with great views! Do it! But don’t expect a hike – it is very easy.
Lastly, we went to Dasheen (Ladera), for our last dinner – Amazing! Go early and get a drink before the sun sets. Great views! Dinner was also amazing. They also have live music most nights and the people/band there were phenomenal.
Be sure to hang around the villa, it’s a dream. Enjoy the sun on the deck with the rum punch or freeze some orange juice and maia mimosas/screwdrivers – so refreshing. Take a dip at night and star gas – watch the firefly’s around you!
We have had a wonderful stay and know you will too! Janus thank you for everything.
WE HAD A WONDERFUL STAY! THANK YOU JANUS, YOU ARE A TOP NOTCH HOST!
JENNIFER + KEATON
We have had such an amazing time here in Soufriere!! We stayed at a couple of different places before checking in here at Serrana Villa but this is by far our favorite. The views, privacy, and proximity to town is unbeatable!
(arrived in St. Lucia Oct 19. Wedding was on the 22nd at Sugar Beach Resort)
We have had such an amazing time here in Soufriere!! We stayed at a couple of different places before checking in here at Serrana Villa but this is by far our favorite. The views, privacy, and proximity to town is unbeatable! Janus was such a great host and we will recommend this place and write great reviews. I loved having my morning coffee out here on the pool deck and catching some morning sun. here are some of the highlight from our trip.
Day 1 – arrived late in the evening and we were starving. Went to Orlando’s on recommendation. Was not impressed! No one took our drink order, they did not go over the menu, took our menu's before even taking our order, brought out our desert before our entrée’s came out, and was very over priced!
Day 2-5 - we spent the majority of this time at Sugar Beach Resort B/C our wedding was there. We love sugar beach! They were so accommodating. Never heard the word no. a bit pricey but well worth it! Great snorkeling! Great food!
Day 6-7 - Anse Chastanet Beach. Black sand beach. Great snorkeling. Great hamburger, it’s fantastic! Also went to the Botanical Gardens and Sulfer Springs/drive their Volcano. Tip; go to sulfer springs and volcano around 4:30pm to miss all the cruise crowds.
Day 8 – Road trip to Rodney Bay. Did pirate ship sunset cruise (it was great but not so romantic as it was a get drunk kind of scene). It was fun and would recommend it. Stayed the night at Bay Gardens Beach resort for one night. Awesome prices on drinks and food. At a later dinner at Matthew’s.
Day 9 – Took a boat taxi across to Pigeon Island; hiked up the old fort. The views are amazing!!! Go if you can. There is also beaches over there and a restaurant called Jambe D Bois with fantastic food and drinks. Great snorkeling there as well. on our way back to Soufriere we stopped at the local Massy’s to stock up on thing we knew we could not find at Eroline’s.
Day 10 – check in to Serrana Villa! We had to checkout of our other villa by 11am and would not check in here till 3pm so we paid a day pass @ sugar beach to pass the time.
Day 11 – discovered local beach (Malgretoute) very quiet and pretty private. Bring your own towels, food and drinks. You have to park and then walk a trail down to the beach. Parking is off the same road you take to sugar beach. Afterwards we went to Mango Tree for fried calamari and the coconut crusted chicken. Great sunset views!
Day 12 – lunch at Martha’s Table. Fantastic lunch place! Highly recommend going. Then back to Malgretoute Beach. Dinner at Mango Tree.
Day 13 – Lunch at Martha’s again. Tet Paul Hike and Piton Falls. Malgretoute beach and a steak dinner cooked here at the villa.
Day 14 – spent the entire day relaxing here at Serrana Villa. It was exactly what we needed. Love this place!
Day 15 – last full day here in St. Lucia. Went back to Mango Tree for lunch. (The Hotel lets us use their gym) back to Malgretoute for one more beach day.
Day 16 – Good Bye St. Lucia we will be back!!
Thank you Janus for your hospitality!
Josh and Nikki
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