Tips for saving on eats in St. Lucia ??

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:23 AM
  #1  
Stan
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Tips for saving on eats in St. Lucia ??

Hi folks,

We are staying 9 days at the Jalousie Hilton, and to get the 'MAP' or all inclusive plan would have cost us almost another US$3000 !! I find it hard to believe that we can't do better on our own for food and entertainment.

Anyone have any tips on saving a few bucks while eating on the island?

Meal plans? Local eaterys? Other ideas?

Any info greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Stan

 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:47 AM
  #2  
lisa
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Stan, you are right. You can definitely do better on your own. We ate 2-3 lunches and one dinner at Jalousie Hilton and thought the food there was the most expensive of anyplace we ate on St. Lucia. In other words, you can save money by eating almost ANYWHERE besides the Hilton. The food there was good but not necessarily the best (we liked Dasheene at Ladera better, and while it was pricey too, dinner at the Hilton was still more expensive). Lunches at the beachside grill at the Hilton were pretty reasonable (I think we spent around $10-12 per person for lunch there) and very tasty, so I would not hesitate to eat lunch there. We also enjoyed lunches at Anse Chastanet's beachside restaurant as well, which was comparable in price and also very good. For an inexpensive dinner, try Bang between the Pitons, which is near the Hilton. They have a "floor show" with limbo dancing and fire eaters one night a week, but if you go on a night when they are not having the floor show it is a lot less expensive. The food is delicious (especially the grilled fish) and inexpensive. We also liked the dinner we had at the Hummingbird in Soufriere, which is not inexpensive but still less than dinner at the Hilton or Dasheene, and we thought the food was very good, although I have subsequently heard from others that they didn't care for it as much. Other local places recommended to us were Captain Hook and Camilla's. My number one money saving tip is if you drink wine, bring a couple bottles with you. While Piton beer is cheap and tasty (we liked it), wine is VERY expensive because it has to be imported no matter where it is from, and the selection is not large. When my boyfriend and I went, we each brought one nice bottle of wine with us in our suitcase. That way we were able to have a glass of wine before or after dinner if we wanted to, and just order a glass of wine apiece with dinner instead of a whole bottle most evenings. It definitely saved us a lot of money.
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 11:40 AM
  #3  
Stan
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Thanx Lisa!

Just the info I need to keep us from spending a ton on tourist traps =).

Cheers,

Stan
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 11:44 AM
  #4  
joan
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Stan: That is an outrageous amount of money for MAP... By the way, you will love your location...so beautiful. We rented a home on the hillside just above Ladera (same area as Hilton) and it was breathtaking. My best meal idea: While you are out for the day, enjoy a big lazy long lunch: Jimmy Buffet sings a song called I Wish Lunch Would Last Forever, about "some Pouilly Fuisse, snapper fried light, we'll start with dessert, a little coconut tart..." (I know that doesn't rhyme, but you get the idea) We like to do this, then go back for a beach walk or (my favorite) a nap. Then in the evening, just have appetizers and drinks. While in Soufriere, check out Camilla's for lunch (sit upstairs at the outside table if you can). The Hummingbird is wonderful (slow!) and a nice view. Also, go into Eroline's food store and get some of her fresh French bread and a big hunk of cheese.
But, as Lisa said, DO NOT MISS Dasheene. We called for reservations and were told, "come before sunset so you can enjoy the manager's cocktail party before your meal". Imagine a hotel inviting an outsider (read nonpaying) to their freebie. It warms my heart! We got to meet the old owners and the present owners, a special treat.

Anyway, enjoy and don't worry too much about the moola. You work all year for this, right?
Joan
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 08:33 AM
  #5  
Jeff
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My wife and I are going to Ladera in about a month, over Thanksgiving week. I read this site every week, and I want to thank everyone, particularly Lisa, for all of the useful information you've posted. I've printed off about 20 pages of useful stuff. I feel like I know everything about the island, the people and especially Ladera, Dasheene, Jalouise Hilton, Bang, Captain Hook's, the Hummingbird, Camilla's, and Anse Chastenet already. It will be interesting to see all of these places and how different they surely will be from my mental images. You can expect a long, rambling trip report sometime in the first week of December.

A couple questions: Are there secluded beaches that are reachable either by water taxi or car? I plan on snorkeling at Anse Chastenet and the Hilton beaches, but I rarely read anything about other beaches. Second, we plan on renting a Jeep for a couple days and exploring the island. I understand they will deliver a Jeep to Ladera? Where should we go? We both like to hike and sort of plan to just drive to the center of the island and hike. Is that possible? I would like to see the unpopulated east side of the island as well. What is over there? Third, how would any of you rank the restaurants? We both like to explore and eat at different places and probably want to avoid the resort restaurants, besides Dasheene. Finally, does anyone know of a decent tour guide/book? I have one, but it really isn't very good. We went to Kauai a couple years ago and had a tour book that was incredible...rated all the restaurants and described all the beaches.

Thanks for all the info. Lisa, I've sent many of your posts to my wife just to get her excited about the trip. We really appreciate your efforts.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 10:24 AM
  #6  
lisa
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Hi Jeff. Thanks for your kind words. I will look forward to your trip report.

I am a travel guidebook addict (generally tend to like Frommers the best but use others as well) and have to admit I never found one specifically for St. Lucia. It may be the only time I ever went on a trip armed only with printouts from websites rather than a guidebook! Once we were there we did buy a book about St. Lucia but it was more of a guide to flora/fauna which you can find in gift shops there -- wasn't available here. For info on hotels, restaurants, etc. we looked in general "Caribbean" guidebooks (again, I think we used Frommer's) which generally had a short chapter on St. Lucia and that helped a little.

There are definitely more secluded beaches that you can get to by water taxi. We never did that, but one of the water taxi drivers who took us between Soufriere dock and Anse Chastanet listed for us the rates he charged to take people various places, and one he offered was a trip he creatively described as "deserted beach for your privacy" where he would drop you off and pick you back up at a designated time. I have no idea what that was actually like, but ask around once you get there -- the people at Ladera may have suggestions too, in addition to the water taxi drivers. I would use the water taxi drivers Ladera uses or recommends because then you know they are reliable (because obviously you're depending on this person to come back and pick you up!). I don't know about snorkeling at other beaches besides AC & JH but even the locals told us that there was noplace on St. Lucia better than AC for snorkeling.

I think you could probably drive anywhere on the island and hike yourselves, although having gone with a guide, I really recommend that because they can tell you more about what you're seeing and it's pretty interesting. Also, they know where the waterfalls and things are! Unfortunately it's not like Kauai where there are lots of books and maps that tell you those things (I just got back from Kauai by the way).

Have a great time.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 10:32 AM
  #7  
lisa
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Forgot to mention -- the website I used the most for St. Lucia was http://virtualvoyages.com/carib/st_lucia/stl_guid.htm.
It has links to dozens of St. Lucia-related websites, including many with restaurant reviews.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 10:46 AM
  #8  
mary
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I found two great books on just St. Lucia which I called and ordered from my local bookstore. Amazom.com has them too. They're about $13/$15 each and have great info. and pictures: St. Lucia by Don Philpott (July 2000) and Indigo Guide to St. Lucia (March 2000) - both paperback.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 10:51 AM
  #9  
mary
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I should add that both books have tons of info. and tips on all sorts of things, including where the best cheap eats are.
 
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 08:00 AM
  #10  
jeff
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Lisa & Mary, thanks for the tips. I am going to try to order the books from Amazon. Can't wait to give everybody a report.
 
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 09:29 AM
  #11  
Kay
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Hi Jeff:

About your question on renting a jeep. We were there in June on our honeymoon staying at Ladera. We rented our jeep form Cool Breezes. We loved their service and employees and will definately rent form them again when we go back to St. Lucia and Ladera. Cool Breezes will deliver the jeep then you ride back into town with them to get your St. Lucia drivers license and take care of the paperwork. then you ar all set. Remember to drive on the left! My husband had a blast driving the jeep. As for driving to secluded beaches for snorkeling. I would not recommend you drive to them instead get a water taxi to take you and pick you up at a predetermined time. The drivers are very knowledgeable and it is eser to get to remote beaches by water.

I agree with Lisa about the restaurants. Be sure to call first thing in the morning to reserve a table by the edge for dinner.

I can't wait to read your trip report.
 
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 10:54 AM
  #12  
Rachel
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Stan - Enjoy your trip, but please be careful as there has been some serious crimes to people driving/exploring on this island. It has happened recently. If you want check the St. Lucia newspaper for the details. Just don't be naive about potential danger.
 
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 11:41 AM
  #13  
anon
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Getting around that island is one of the worst in the caribean-the roads are very steep and winding,it is hair raising not fun-think about it on your ride from the airport.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 07:32 AM
  #14  
jeff
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Thanks for the info, Kay. I'm quite sure that driving on the island is harrowing and hair raising and all of that. Sounds like fun.

Also, I've read about the recent horrific crime. Of course, 4 people were murdered about 1/4 mile from my house in Kansas City, and a clerk was shot and killed at the convenience store I frequent last month. I plan on taking my normal precautions while in St. Lucia. If the island didn't have any crime, or poverty or unemployment, it would be too crowded and most of us wouldn't want to go there.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 09:24 AM
  #15  
Kay
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Jeff:

Good response. I agree with you! Have a great time in st. Lucia and be sure to file a trip report when you get back!

Kay
 
Old Nov 12th, 2000, 07:59 PM
  #16  
sim
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stan:

DH and i stayed at anse chastanet in sept 98 and we are returning to stay at ladera in early december. the first time we were there, we did the EP (european plan, no meals) and since we were going into soufriere almost everyday (rented a cool breezes jeep) we just picked up some fruit at a local market and some pastries and bread at a bakery. made for really inexpensive breakfasts. i'd second the mention for camilla's in soufriere. we also enjoyed dining at hummingbird and anse chastanet's treehouse for dinner. the beach BBQ was "ok", nothing to write home about. definitely check out the wednesday show at Bang! Between the Pitons. ladera was closed teh week we were there (we were actually SUPPOSED to stay at ladera) so unfortunately, we missed dasheene.

JEFF: re jeep rentals: we rented one for the whole week we were there last time, this time, i dont think we will, except for maybe a day to drive down to choisuel (sp?). although Dh was comfortable driving during the day, he didnt want to risk those roads after dark. definitely get an automatic transmission, as the prospect of driving on the left with all the controls reversed on challenging roads with a manual transmission can be a bit intimidating. otherwise, you'll probably want to take a few hours to get used to driving. we hired a local to drive us around to some of the nearby touristy sites and along the way he gave my hubby a crash course in st lucian driving. you'll certianly want to honk as you come around the blind curves. dont try to go too fast, as the potholes WILL get ya..

sim
 

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