Rachel & Nate 6/20-6/25
6/20 – Thursday
Arrived around 5:00pm. Janus came to greet us and gave a tour of the villa. It so happened we arrived on a Holiday so no stores were open. But Janus was kind enough to bring us some eggs, juice and Mac & Cheese. Once we got settled we walked down to the Soufriere Ocean front. We found one open restaurant. Gem Mwen- enjoyed 2 Pitons and a very cheesy pizza for E.C $45. We’re totally in love with the villa. The view is spectacular.
We got up this morning and headed to The Tet Paul Nature Trail. We heard it was beautiful but it really was breathtaking . We got a view of the Piton Mountains and also a panoramic view of the farmlands across the island. Our guide lisa was very knowledgeable and let us take our time to appreciate the view. After we took the car back to the villa and went by foot to Fedos. Both of us got the fish of the day (tuna) and fries. The staff was friendly the fish was okay. From there we decided to walk to the Botanical Gardens. It was pleasant. The variety of plants was impressive. You know it’s a botanical Gardens, haha. We had the falls to ourselves it was really nice to enjoy a moment together. Heads up- someone will be waiting for you at the exit to sell you beads. We then walked to town and stopped at Erolines for groceries and then headed back to the villa for the rest of the day. After so much waling we were very ready to relax by the pool.
We got up early and drove to Anse Chastanet. When we arrived at 8:00am, no one was there, really. Perfect time to snorkel. We rented snorkel gears for US$12 each for 1 hour. Swam around the roped-in portion, it was super cool. I tried to count all the different kinds of fish I saw but I couldn’t there were so many. After snorkeling we walked over to Anse Mamin and rented 2 chairs. Anse mamin was more peaceful and offered more space. 2 chairs were us$12 each, they were just chairs not under a cabana. Apparently to sit under a cabana was more but we chose 2 chairs and sat under the shade. It was perfect. Around 2 pm we walked back to Anse chastanet and ate at the restaurant there. It was really good and prices weren’t bad. After that we went back to the villa and chill. Th around dinner time we walk back to town. Walked by Orlandos and it looked pretty dead. We ended up at the Hummingbird beach resort and it was also not busy at all. We were sat right away. Hence we were still pretty full from lunch. We just got 2 cocktails. King fish fritters, a salad and finally chocolate rum cake with ice-cream, came to about $59.00. Food was good! Later that evening we both realized we’d gotten sun burns on our backs from snorkeling, we thought since it was so early in the morning we didn’t need sunscreen. Not the case. Lesson learned.
today we had planned on hiking the Gros Piton but we woke up to heavy rain outside, since it didn’t seem like it would stop we decided to try the hike tomorrow instead. Also apparently today and tomorrow was Carnival. There was a lot of loud music coming from town started like 6:00am. HAHA! We drove over to the Sulphur Springs to check it out. It was pretty cool. We just did the tour and skipped the mud baths. It smelled so bad. Our guide said rain actually makes the smell worse. Since it was raining so hard we gave up trying to do anything else and headed back to the villa. On the concrete road heading back to the villa I accidentally drove into one of the drains and got the car stuck. Woopps. We called Janus and he was there in minutes. He got some group to pull the car out. He told us it happens to everyone but I think he was just trying to makes us feel better. Haha! For dinner we went over to Boucan, our reservation was from 6:00pm which was perfect. We got to appreciate the gracious view before the sun set. Like others have said the food was amazing . I think the best thing we ate was the scallop appetizers, it wasn’t as expensive as I thought either.
today the weather was perfect again. So we went to Gros Piton. Got there about 8:00amPaid the us$50.00 each and set off with our guide. Definitely got extra water at the refreshment stand. You will sweat a lot. Get some Pitons to. I regretted not getting once we got to the top. Our guide wasn’t overly talkative but she was nice and didn’t rush us. We took plenty of time at each of the rest stops on the way, it was definitely gets hard right before you reach the halfway mark. You will climb 2 stone staircases. Heads up this is pretty much what the entire second half is like. In the end it was very rewarding and we’re glad we did it. We’re also very glad we didn’t do it in the rain. Honestly we think it would have sucked. We got back to the villa around midday and relaxed by the pool. For dinner we walked back to Hummingbird. On the way we got caught up in the carnival parade. It looked like lots of fun. Lots of people dancing in costumes (and one embarrassing drunk white guy. Ooff) Dinner was good again, this time we tried the enterees. The shrimp in coconut sauce was amazing. This was our last day, leaving tomorrow morning. Everything has been great. We’re sad to leave.
Thanks for everything Janus.
We cant wait to return for longer next time. We loved this place, the food, the culture and our experience here. Janus is an amazing host.
June 17- we arrived at 2:30pm from the airport and went to Massy’s Grocery store straight away. We rented a car service through Janus and he was so friendly and helpful to point us to things to do during our stay. Janus met us and he was also so friendly and made us feel at home here at Serrana Villa. It was cloudy and rainy so we stayed in and made dinner at home.
June 18th – We got up early 7:30am and headed out to Tet Paul Nature Trail. So beautiful. We decided against hiking the Gros Piton for this and was not disappointed. Amazing view and much less work. It took about 45 minutes total and we stopped to take pictures many times along the way. We got a guide and he taught us about common plants and things about the island.
Next stop was the Diamond Botanical Gardens, we were there about 1 hour and a half (they open at 10:00am. We showed up early but they graciously let us in and we had the place to ourselves. Beautiful plants and hummingbirds and Lizards to see in the gardens and waterfall was really cool to see too. We got caught in 10 minutes rainstorm.
Must say if you like nature they have mineral baths there to get in but decided we didn’t want to be wet the rest of our morning. We then headed to Fedos because we were hungry and it was switched to lunch by 10:30am. We both got burgers and it was so good. Best burgers we’ve had and we’re from the U.S.
We got a ride back to the villa to hangout at the pool and play cards. We made a reservation at 6:00pm for Dasheen @ Ladera. The view was breathtaking between the two Pitons and we watched the sun set. We spent and $200 total for 4 drinks and our meals. Absolutely amazing food. Amazing view 100% worth it! I got the catch of the day. Mahi-mahi and Cody got Sirloin and Lamb and appetizers .
We leave the villa tomorrow. We cant wait to return for longer next time. We loved this place, the food, the culture and our experience here. Janus is an amazing host.
Cant wait for next time!
About a week before our stay I had discovered that a friend of mine had stayed there 3 years ago. She made me feel so much better about my first Airbnb Anxieties, so I was back to being excited.
Mike & Mindy June 13- 17 2019 (Michigan USA)
We booked our stay here over a year ago. At the time I felt it must be good because it was booked pretty solid for almost a full year. Leading up to the trip though. I felt like it was too good to be true especially since the price was uneatable. About a week before our stay I had discovered that a friend of mine had stayed there 3 years ago. She made me feel so much better about my first Airbnb Anxieties, so I was back to being excited.
Day 1- flew in from Atlanta which was a 5 hour flight. The landing was a little rough but we made it. We got our rental car and we realized that even with google map navigating in St. Lucia can be confusing. Somehow we totally missed the suggest grocery store but we knew we could survive without going there. Mike seemed to enjoy the challenge of driving in St. Lucia. I on the other hand was a nervous passenger! I think the thing that freaked me out the most was those darn Frenches on the side of the road. We finally made it to the villa and were greeted right away by Janus. He was so kind, he even had one of his drivers take us to the grocery store.
He told us of a local restaurant to go to that evening where we could watch The Basket Ball championship game. The restaurant was okay but similar to any sports bar in the U.S. We believe this bar was formally Ruby’s. By the way, directions SAY ‘’turn @ Ruby’s’’ – there is No Ruby’s! We were a little shocked that evening as to how early the sun sets. Early Sunset. Long day of travel = early bed time 😊
Day 2- So relaxing to wake up and enjoy my coffee in paradise. We read the journal and did our research to determine our plans for the day. On our agenda: The Tet Paul Nature trail. The Sulphur Springs and dinner at Dasheene.
Tet Paul Nature Trail: Perfect trail for non-hikers! The view was amazing over and over along with beautiful plant life. Perfect amount of time and surprisingly not as hot as we expected. Lots of rainforest shade and always a nice breeze.
Sulphur Springs- easy to find, not far off the main road. We expected it to stink but the smell was intense. Way beyond the smell of rotten eggs. We had the guided tour of the springs which was very informative. Totally explained the whole ‘’drive through volcano’’ thing which really made us watch the landscape around the villa in a different light. Nice to know the vendors were the least pushy that weve experienced compared to Mexico & Jamaica. We had plenty of time to visit other places but we decided to chill in the pool before our 6:00pm dinner reservation. By the way the smell of the Sulphur Srping really cling to our skin and hair and was very difficult to get rid of!
Dinner @ Dasheene- the view wa stunning. It was cloudy and rainy so we didn’t see the sunset but that’s ok. We had drinks in the bar area then moved to the dining area for dinner. Honestly I felt the view where we had drinks was better than where we had dinner. So if you don’t have reservations you can eat from the full menu in the bar area. Dinner and drinks were roughly US$150. My husband felt like hotel guests were treated better than us (but honestly for what they pay they should)
Day 3- Today, we decided to make the adventurous trek to Anse Chastanet. Take the trip. Don’t get scared of the road conditions. We were able to take some spectacular pictures of Soufriere from this trip. Some of most Breathtaking by far.
Things to know- 1. The staff never made us feel like intruders. 2. The beach was far smaller than I expected even though I saw pictures and videos on Youtube of the area. 3. The snorkeling far exceeded our expectations. Mike had a great time with his go pro. Was excited to see a cattle fish that was changing colors. Lots of fish. We were hoping to see more coral but not the case here.
Anse Mamin- Yes the burgers were amazing. Drinks were great – strong. Get the drink in the coconut- delicious. Walk on the beach behind the rocks as it is totally secluded. Beach wise I liked Anse Chastanet Better (felt more tropical) but both had very few people. Ess than 15 people on either Beaches.
Also good to know it rained far less at the beach than at the villa. We were still full from the burgers well into the evening. We ended up not going out and just snacked back here. Very low key and relaxing until… I had a bat fly really low, (like almost touched my head low!) while we were in the pool. Then we were in the house with the doors open. Guess who took a detour through the house? THE BAT!!! OMG!!! Thank goodness he quickly found his way out!
Day 4- Its Sunday and it appears that most of the city is closed on Sundays. So having said that we decided to go back to the beach today. This time we asked at the dive shop where to snorkel. Go to the left of the dive shop up the stairs and down the side walk. There is a ladder to get into the water. This is a great spot to see lots of fish. We hired the private chef for dinner. We order the d=grilled seafood in garlic lime butter sauce. Chef Ramsey, former chef at Anse Chastanet. The food was amazing. The portions were extremely filling. I only ate half of my dinner. This was the best meal we’ve had in a very long time.
Day 5- getting ready to return to our reality. Life here has been great. We hope to return with our family 😊
Thanks Janus, this has been our best Vacation to date!
Mike & Mindy
We missed our flight in DFW :( it was crazy. I only mentioned this unfortunate event to brag on our Super Host Janus!
Evelyn & Veah
Sat June 1st- Sun June 9
Day 1: We missed our flight in DFW :( it was crazy. I only mentioned this unfortunate event to brag on our Super Host Janus!
Day 2: Since we ended up arriving on Sunday, all the grocery stores were closed, so we couldn’t go buy anything. Janus Brought us Milk, orange juice, eggs and arranged for Janus to bring us a pizza, water and sodas for dinner. Woah, we were so thankful!!! Id like to specially mention or give a shout out to Eric with Islander cars/ St. Lucia Car rental. He was so patient giving us directions to Serrana, but we still managed to get lost.
LOL. Janus came to our rescue quickly. We enjoyed dinner by the pool and read through Journal to better plan our week. We quickly realize we should make reservation for almost everything and sometimes weeks in advance. Hopefully you set a travel notice with your bank or have a lot of cash (tip the people that help you)
Day 3- We had a quick breakfast. We drove to Sugar Beach Resort. Just go back to the main road, take a left and it was up the road to the right. We paid U.S $50.00 per person for a voucher. This basically gave us a $100 credit for lunch and drinks on the beach. Great food (pizza yumm) and frozen daiquery (sp)- Very good. The view is phenomenal, set tight between the Pitons. You have an option to the right for free chairs but we went left. U.S $50.00 per chair with a free towel each. Personal umbrella table. Well worth it for us. Leah snorkeled and loved it. Lots of different fish, lion fish, lobsters, crabs, octopus, jellyfish, scorpion fish etc. By the end of our day. We still had money from our voucher so we order dinner, came home to Serrana to chill and sleep. Zzzzzzzzz
Day 4-Breakfast here. Janus brought us Mangoes Yesterday and bread. Nice addition. We drove to Tet Paul trail. Paid us$10.00 pp for admission and tour guide. Very easy hike. I feel like any level of fitness could do this hike. Also very short. Then off to Spiderman waterfall. Few minutes down the road. U.S$15 pp but so worth it. Wayne was our guide and another man both very sweet and knowledgeable . Wayne took fruit from every tree for us to try. Had homemade banana bread, juice etc. So Tasty. Once you get to the waterfall, you take pictures, cover with mud from the volcano then wash off in the waterfall (this is optional) This hike is a bit more strenuous but totally doable. We of course went back to Sugar Beach after. Just too perfect!!
Tonight is out last night here. Tomorrow we’re off to Anse Chastanet to see the rest of our family and finish out the week
Lunch tomorrow @ Jade mountain
Janus, thank you for your kindness. Your home is beautiful and we hope to see you again.
All of our love
Evelyn & Veah
We looked at a lot of islands, cruises and other destinations but the charm of this place won. Thank you Janus you and your team have made our 20th anniversary truly special.
Mandi & Jason 20th Anniversary
We had been planning this trip for quite a while. I think we found Janus’ Airbnb almost two years ago. We looked at a lot of islands, cruises and other destinations but the charm of this place won.
After staying here a week I have to say we are truly sad to go. The beauty of St. Lucia and The Serrana Villa have a lot to do with that—but the people even more so. Everyone was very friendly and it was easy to just relax here.
Janus sets the stage by personally greeting his guests. He will tell you ‘’Tell me if you need anything’’ I believe he is very genuine in this. We called and asked where to get milk for our coffee… he personally delivered a carton within minutes. He has to be busy guy but his guest are obviously his priority.
Thank you Janus you and your team have made our 20th anniversary truly special. We will be back
Ps. Please help us figure out the best way to come back with the kids. There are 4 of them. We wont book with anyone but Janus!
THINGS TO DO:
Villa dat: grab some drinks and east to make food and just hang out the pool is great and it is so quiet here
Browse the books- lots of great tops throughout. Ask Janus and other locals for recommendations
Google maps worked just fine for us to get around.
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.
Other Property Journals
Best Things to Do in St. Lucia According to Our Guests and Locals