All together we cannot say enough about Serrana Villa and our time here…. Worth the two years it took to get here. Thank you, Janus, for the experience and the sunsets.
It took us two years to finally go on our honeymoon and we couldn’t be more grateful to spend it at Serrana Villa in St. Lucia! Janus was an incredible host and we will have memories to last a life time from here.
We feel like we got a lot done in six days here and used many of the recommendations from here as a guide. We spent our first two nights at Fond Doux Plantation which is incredible, before we moved to Serrana- below are some highlights.
Day 1- Got into St. Lucia in the afternoon checked into Fond Doux and drove over (rented a car was a “must” for us) to see the sunset at Ladera Resort. We only had drinks but the view was unreal—out of a movie!
Day 2- Went down to Sugar Beach—like they all say here they will try to set you up to buy a package $50 pp for chairs, drinks and lunch (not worth it to us) We had a couple pitons at the bar, we also walked down past the beach and drank down by another bar to the left (you need to bypass the viceroy security but somehow we were able to ) we also did some dock jumping’s and laid on the hammocks . Sugar Beach is Beautiful!
Day 3- Toraille Waterfall (right up the road past Ruby’s) was a tone of fun for a rainy day. Only $3.00 USD, PP. It was a bit busy so we only stayed a little bit—Great pictures. Checked into Serrana Villa and was greeted by Janus, very excited to call this “home” for the next four days.
Day 4- Our favorite day here--- Spent the day at Anse Chastanet Beach. We ate lunch at the beach bar and had drinks before we went down to the beach area. We wanted to get away from the crowd so we walked to the right past the docks and came upon another beach bar (Jungle Bar) and bought some pitons. We were able to use the chairs (it was kind of late) so they didn’t bother us to pay. We watched the sunset and hurried out there. We had dinner at Ruby’s (closed on Mondays) amazing service and great food!
Day 5 – Hiked Gros Piton---WOW!! Amazing views from the top but not easy to hike at all. Our guide was on her second trip can’t believe she did it twice with us. Drink a ton of water and eat a ton, if you are considering doing it. We have hiked many mountains in New England but found this one to be challenging. Views are worth it but definitely upward hike in most spots.
We came home and rewarded ourselves with dinner at Boucan Restaurant at Hotel Chocolat, I cannot say enough about this place, dinner and atmosphere was 5 stars! The chef came out and introduced himself. Dinner was about $20 USD (dinner and drinks). Go here completely worth it.
Day 6 – Spent the morning at Sugar Beach again and then drove to the Sulphur springs. We did the volcano tour and the mud bath. Mud baths were a bit crowded but definitely a “must do”—you feel great afterwards. Went to dinner at Jade Mountain (Anniversary Birthday) dinner. This place is insane! Views are breathtaking—something I will never forget. Dinner is pre-fixed at $95.00 USD pp but worth the experience. It was tough to get up there (security) overall so beautiful, so worth it!! Prepare yourself for the drive to Anse Chastanet/ Jade Mountain all up hill and very rocky.
We are going to try to see the diamond falls before we leave today. All together we cannot say enough about Serrana Villa and our time here…. Worth the two years it took to get here. Thank you, Janus, for the experience and the sunsets. Enjoy because it goes fast!
ALLEN AND BREE, CHARLESTOWN, MA
We could not have imagined a more perfect honeymoon.The best part about staying at Serrana villa is that you have all the luxuries of home, an incredible view and you are in the best location to truly explore St. Lucia .
First of all, we would like to thank Janus for an incredible stay! We could not have imagined a more perfect honeymoon. If you seriously need anything during your stay (from detergent to this pen we needed to write with) Janus is here in under 5 minutes. The best part about staying at Serrana villa is that you have all the luxuries of home, an incredible view and you are in the best location to truly explore St. Lucia .
First and foremost, do not be intimidated by the roads, especially the steep climb to get to the villa. Once you get to think and drive like a St. Lucian, you will be fine! So, seat back and relax as you read our recap.
- Arrived in St. Lucia around 2:30pm.
- Picked up car rental and was escorted to local grocery store.
- Conversion rate for EC to USD varies anywhere between $2.50- $2.70 to $1.
- Arrived at Serrana Villa met Janus and received a quick tour
- Petit Peak for dinner
- On the waterfront by Pier, nice view but pricey for average food.
- Realized we had no coffee, so headed to Erolines in town: pretty had same selection as the store in Vieux Fort but definitely smaller.
- Spent the day at Anse Mamin: We felt that the public side to Anse Chastanet was small and crowded so we walked to Anse Mamin, secluded beautiful beach, Jungle bar really has the best burgers(ate here twice), $11 USD per chair cheapest rate we found & worth it if spending the majority of your day here.
- Humming Bird Restaurant for dinner: great view and has a public beach which Is accessible as well, fair prices and excellent food, staff very attentive and helpful.
- Tet Paul Nature Trail: Beautiful views, easy walk/ hike & free.
- Fond Doux Plantation:
. AMAZING!! I was absolutely blown away because we literally had no idea what we were in for.
. Toured the working Cacao plantation & see the whole process from start to finish (also coco dance)
. We also were able to sample different vegetation throughout the plantation, including cinnamon, bread & cheese, flour and fresh almonds.
. Paid $40 USD per person and it came with a light snack, the light snack is seriously no joke, it includes a complimentary drink, sandwiches, fried eggs, fish cakes, bacon wrapped plantain, mango and watermelon. Absolutely worth it!
. Also bought a bunch of chocolate from the gift shop that was reasonably priced.
- Diamond Falls& Botanical Gardens:
. $7USD per private bath ($6USD for public) along with a guided tour.
. Beautiful & the waterfall is totally worth seeing
. Private mineral bath was also very worth it and was a very unique experience.
. Back to Anse Chastanet / Anse Mamin for sunset, had the entire beach to ourselves
Ruby’s for dinner:
. Pizza was excellent & so was the service, also ordered a plate of onion rings that were nice and crispy.
. Nice affordable place to go for dinner
- Hiked Gros Piton!!
. On the right side of the road a couple minutes past Tet Paul, tucked away on a little side road.
. Definitely difficult, but do able (took 4hrs round-trip), please note that we are 2 fit 24 year old, we have done lots of tough hikes before but this one is more of a climb.
. Rocks are mossy and slick so definitely wear good shoes.
. We bought 3L of water each which was more than enough.
. View at the top was absolutely worth all the sweating!
. Going down is very slick and harder.
- Sugar Beach :
. Made an appointment at the Rainforest Spa, so we were able to catch a shuttle down for free.
. Beach was very nice, resort employees were welcoming as well.
. Public side of the beach is right by the entrance of the beach- you’ll pass water spot rental equipment at the entrance to the left.
. Awesome view of the two pitons!
. Rainforest Spa
. Couples massage that was out of this world, like holy shit you guys (10/10)
. Arrive 3o minutes before appointment to enjoy a complimentary steam (also very cool)
. A splurge, but totally worth every minute ( $165 USD PP)
. WOW!! Just wow, the most amazing dining experience of our lives.
.Make reservations well in advance & try to reserve a time around sunset.
. Four course dinner with several surprises throughout.
. $95 USD PP
. Spent another day at Anse Mamin ate at Jungle beach bar again.
. Ruby’s for dinner again
. Obviously a very lazy day
DAY 7 :
Morne Coubaril Estate:
. Walking tour of the plantation.
. Similar to Fond Doux but different enough to make it worth while
. Tour guides are amazing
. Sampled lots of fresh fruit and coconuts
. Pinky and Murphy were awesome guides and made sure we had fun!
. Has an 8-course track with some incredible views of the plantation & petit piton.
. Creole Lunch Buffet: wasn’t the most amazing food, but good flavor & even better price ($ 15)
. Tour, zip lining and buffet all together was $100 USD per person, but totally worth it.
Boucan for dessert
. Pricey, so just went for dessert and it was great!
. Beautiful views & breezy deck to sit on.
Sulphur Springs/ Mud Bath
. Decided to just do the bath based on the reviews of the tour in the book.
. $5.50 USD pp mud bath.
. Definitely touristy, but we had fun painting each other with mud.
. Found a nice worker who took tans of pictures.
. Don’t forget towels and a change of clothes.
. We washed everything as soon as we got home and there were no left-over stains or smell from the Sulphur.
Dasheen for Dinner
. Located in Ladera’s resort (across from boucan)
. Our second favorite meal/ dining experience (Jade Mountain is the 1st of course)
. Delicious food and even better views of sunset
AND THAT’S OUR TRIP! Here are a few tips…
1. Roads can be scary at first but after a few days of driving you’ll get the hang of it!
2. Most grocery stores have prices listed in EC & most restaurant menus will tell you if it’s EC or USD. Everywhere accepts USD.
3. Everywhere in Soufriere is very friendly! People will wave to you or honk to say hello. The only time we encountered people asking money was whenever we were at the waterfront for dinner. Politely say no thank you & go about your business.
4. Piton Beer is a must. Better than Bud weiser & that’s coming from a couple St. Louisans.
Once Again, we thank you Janus for the best honeymoon! We’ll be back someday!
Love, Adam & Danielle Beckendor ( St.Louis,MO)
My husband and I are wrapping up our stay here at Serrana Villa, and are moving just down the road to one of Janus’s other AirBnb. We came here to St.Lucia for our honeymoon and could not have been happier with this AirBnb! The view is spectacular, the pool is perfect, villa comes well equipped and Janus is so helpful and instantly made us feel welcome and at home.
We also found this book to be our main reference while mapping out our itenary. Since we traveled all night and morning before arriving . we took the chance to relax and catch up on sleep the next day.
Saturday we took a walk into Soufriere, to see the town, grab some ice cream, we picked up a few groceries at Eroline’s . We also went to the Botanical Gardens which probably took 20 minutes each way to walk (on flip flops) .
On Sunday we spent some time at the Botanical Gardens, only about 6 minutes’ drive from here and cost $7 USD per person on entry. You can pay extra for a guide but we chose to wonder through by ourselves and were perfectly happy with that .
The rest of our week was filled with activities, including zip lining at Morne Coubaril, Sugar Beach, dinner reservations at Mango Tree, mud baths and more. Since we haven’t yet done the rest of these activities, we can’t share our experience yet.
But again we followed the advice shared in this book.
Thanks so much Janus for our stay at the best AirBnb we've ever been to! It's been such a treat.
Emily & Justin from California
We enjoyed our stay at La Toc but we did not get the local feel for the local food or culture. Serrana was just what we were looking for!! THIS IS ONE OF A KIND PLACE!
My wife and I stayed here as part 2 of our honeymoon. Janus sent a driver to pick us up from Sandals La Toc. We enjoyed our stay at La Toc but we did not get the local feel for the local food or culture. Serrana was just what we were looking for!!
As I mentioned Janus sent a driver to pick us up from La Toc. He then met us to check in. We relaxed at the villa the rest of the day taking in the view from the deck. We did go to Ruby’s down the road for dinner. It was good although a little expensive.
The next day we went to Anse Chastanet + Anse Mamin. We stayed Anse Mamin and payed for an umbrella. The water was clear, the sand was soft, and there weren’t many people so it was very peaceful. That evening we went back to the villa and ate dinner on the deck. I should mention that we had some great burgers at Anse Mamin for lunch.
The next day we went to Tet Paul Nature Trail and the Botanical Gardens/ Diamond Waterfall. Small fees to get into both. The views from Tet Paul were spectacular! We did the hike in about 45 minutes. The Botanical Gardens were ok as well as the Diamond Waterfall. You cannot go into this waterfall like you can at Toraille waterfall. We got some more supplies and ate on the deck back at Serrana.
The next day- Pack up and leave ☹
Things to know:
- Walking into town is not bad, getting back is much tougher especially in the heat
- The people are so friendly- they are so eager to tell you about their beautiful country.
- Janus was so nice and helpful. He brought us bread and answered our questions, set up rides and even picked us up at the bottom of the hill when he saw us.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR AN AMAZING STAY JANUS! THISIS ONE OF A KIND PLACE!
TOM + ZOE FROM MICHAGAN
People laughed at as for staying at an Airbnb for our honeymoon instead of an all- inclusive resort, joke is on them!!! We wouldn’t have had it any other way. This villa is perfection.
First Off Janus Thank you for everything! We couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon. People laughed at as for staying at an Airbnb for our honeymoon instead of an all- inclusive resort, joke is on them! We wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Instead of repeating what everyone else said we will still just summarize some of our experiences.
The good, the kind of bad, the weird….
Gros Piton Hike- It is NOT a Hike!! Definitely be prepared for a Climb! We are two 23-year old’s in semi good shape but the climb is tough! But it is so rewarding. Our guide let us take our time and break when needed, it took us two hours up and two hours down. Wear comfy workout clothes and shoes. We’d recommend bringing a small towel and change of clothes (at least a new shirt to change into) because you will definitely get sweaty. We went at 7am. Be prepared for an equally difficult climb down, rocks are mossy and slippery and your legs will be jello. Do this hike if you’re considering it the slightest bit!!! So worth it! Highlight of our honeymoon.
Snorkeling- Started off at Anse Chastanet. We were not a fan. We were stung by tiny jelly fishes the whole time we were in the water. We couldn’t tolerate it. They left small red bumps all over our body . They went away in a few days. The drive to this beach is intense, but do able. All up hill on a two track if you’re driving , just honk your horn around turns and take your time. Anse Mamin is worth walking to from Anse Chastanet. It was rainy when we went so the beach was pretty rough. We were unable to snorkel here, but this beach was more of our taste, quiet and relaxing and took some awesome pictures.
Sugar Beach- Do it!!! We were also given the option of $50 voucher pp or $10 to park in the dirt lot and walk down. We couldn’t bare to paying $100 to get shuttled down regardless of lunch being a part of the deal, so we chose to pay $10 and walk down Its all downhill on a paved road, so the walk wasn’t that much an issue, but walking up was a challenge, we gave up about 5mins in lol ! (still sore from our piton climb). We flagged down a shuttle and payed $20 for a ride up. Some may think that’s crazy but cheaper than $100 for a ride both ways. Snorkeling at Sugar Beach was pretty cool definitely worth a day trip! Snorkel equipment can be rented. Rocky beach so bring water shoes if you have them. Buy a smoothie from the locals selling them out of a kayak. Just do it 😊
Tourist Traps- We did the drive-in volcano which was ok. Smelled horrible because of the Sulphur so mentally prep for that. Mud bath isn’t that cool. Made our skin soft, but nothing special. Wear a not so nice swim suit. The chemicals stained ours.
The piton warm mineral falls – We went on a St. Lucian Holiday and it was busy with locals. Our guide was bloated out his mind and was pointing out obvious things such as “this is a mango tree” and was super pushy for a tip.
Zaka’s Atr Café – Is a must!! If you like fresh smoothies and the tastiest iced coffee go there!! Reasonably priced and we were never disappointed. We also purchased quite a few of the art pieces that are for sale Super cool place, 10-minute drive from the villa. We parked near the water, near Rubis Gas Station and Zaka is about 2 min walk from there.
Overall- Skim this book for tips, but go out and make your own adventures. This villa is perfection and is placed in a town nearly untouched by tourists. Enjoy the culture and don not be afraid to sway off the beaten path.
Thanks again Janus!! We will see you again. 😊
Jessica & Issac Schever
May 28-June 3,2018
Detroit, MI, USA
WEATHER IN SAINT LUCIA
While most places in the world have four well-defined seasons, its proximity to the equator means that this is not really the case for the island of St. Lucia.
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