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
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