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Fodor's Expert Review Calabash Cove Resort & Spa

Bonaire Estate, off Castries–Gros Islet Hwy., south of Rodney Bay, Marisule, Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Jane Zarem

The luxurious suites and individual cottages all face the sea at this inviting boutique resort on Bonaire Bay, down a long dirt road just south of Rodney Bay. The manor house at the top of a tropical hillside has lovely suites, an excellent restaurant, a dramatic pool, and a magnificent view. Walkways meander through lush tropical greenery to access the private, Balinese-inspired cottages—constructed of mahogany, stone, and other natural materials—that spill gently down the hillside to a secluded beach.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The hillside terrain may be difficult for those with physical challenges.

room

Surrounded by lush vegetation for privacy, each of the nine Water’s Edge cottages has a separate sitting room, private plunge pool, a hammock on the patio, outdoor rainfall shower, and full bar. Thirteen large ocean-view junior suites are luxuriously furnished, and four manor house junior suites have swim-up access to the infinity pool. All suites and cottages have a mini-fridge—and, perhaps more importantly, a glorious sunset view.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Only the bedrooms in the cottages have air-conditioning.

bathroom

Cottages have a jetted tub in a corner of the bedroom, his/her sinks and a toilet in a separate room, and a rainfall shower that’s open to the sun and stars. Manor house suites also have an open-concept bathroom, with a jetted tub for two and granite-topped vanity with double sinks open to the bedroom; the rainfall shower and water closet have more privacy.

lobby

The large, airy lobby has a reception area and comfortable seating for guests checking in/out or waiting for friends. Up a few steps, a mezzanine has a small gift shop and an air-conditioned guest lounge with soft couches and chairs and a few books and games. The lobby opens to the restaurant and bar—and the ocean view.

Don’t be put off by the long, bone-crunching dirt road leading up to the hotel entrance. Once you’ve arrived, it’s long forgotten!

pool

The free-form infinity pool, which cascades down to a sun deck with a magnificent view of the sea, has several clusters of lounge chairs, cabanas for two, and a swim-up bar.

spa

Treatment rooms in Ti Spa are set up for couples; candles and soft music on a Bose sound system set the mood. Or you can have a massage, facial, wrap, or scrub in the outdoor garden gazebo, on the boardwalk at the water’s edge, or in the privacy of your own patio or cottage.

Hair and nail salon services are also available—including bridal styling, corn rows, make up application, and French mani/pedi.

gym

The small air-conditioned gym has a handful of Cybex machines: treadmills, stationary cycles, elliptical machine, exercise balls, yoga mats, a bench and free weights—enough to keep you in shape while on vacation, given that you'll be walking up and down the hillside to get to the beach.

dining

The open-air Windsong restaurant, high on the hill and a few steps from the lobby, offers an unobstructed view of the sea (or, in the evening, the twinkling lights of Castries) from every table—and, of course, memorable meals at breakfast (included), lunch, and especially dinner.

drinking

Guests can walk up or swim up to the pool bar—and enjoy cocktails at lunchtime and in the evening at the small bar and lounge adjacent to the restaurant,.

beach

The resort is on a hillside, so getting to the lovely beach on Bonaire Bay requires a stroll down a garden path. Sun loungers and umbrellas await—on the sand and on the broad, palm-studded lawn. The boardwalk and dock are ideal for an evening stroll or romantic dinner. Kayaks and paddleboards are available for guests to use.

LOCATION

Getting Around

A rental car is recommended to explore on your own. Driving is not a problem in the north, as the terrain is fairly flat. To visit the iconic sites in Soufrière, however, a boat tour from Rodney Bay is the most comfortable way to travel. Taxis are always available.

Restaurants

Coal Pot (15-minute drive) is a waterfront restaurant in Castries (Vigie Cove) that serves light lunches and gourmet dinners. It’s tiny, so you’ll need reservations. Rodney Bay Village, however, is restaurant-central. All along Reduit Beach Avenue, from Baywalk Mall to the beach, you’ll find one restaurant after another. For seafood, for example, try Buzz Seafood and Grill (10-minute drive); for French Caribbean dining, try Jacques Waterfront Dining in Harmony Suites Hotel; for barbecue, head for Delirius; and if you have dinner at Ti Bananne at Coco Palm Hotel, you can stick around for the live music.

Bars

For nightlife, you also have to go to Rodney Bay (10-minute drive), where Verve dance club attracts a fairly young crowd. Also at Rodney Bay, try your luck at Treasure Bay Casino—St. Lucia’s one and only casino.

Gros Islet Jump-Up (15-minute drive), the island's largest street party, is a Friday-night ritual. Huge speakers set up on the street blast Caribbean music all night long. You can also buy barbecued fish and chicken from villagers who set up grills along the roadside—along with beer and soda. Take a taxi to Gros Islet. The streets get so crowded that you’re unlikely to find a parking spot for a rental car. Your taxi driver will arrange a pickup time.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Guests can expect a warm welcome, a classy environment, stylish accommodations, delicious dining, and dramatic ocean views.

QUICK FACTS

Romantic, Views
26 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
$$$$
Gym, Pool
yes
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 758-456–3500; 800-917–2683 in U.S.

What’s Nearby


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