Fodor's Expert Review Capella Marigot Bay
South side of the bay, Marigot Bay, Castries, St. Lucia See on Map Fodor's Choice
Five miles (8 km) south of Castries, this ultra-chic—yet laid-back—villa resort climbs the hillside overlooking what author James Michener called "the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean." It also overlooks a marina filled with fabulous megayachts. So the view is incomparable. Add upscale accommodations, excellent dining, personalized service, a full-service spa, two pools and…well, you’ll be hooked. You might even consider chartering a yacht at Capella Marina.
Bedrooms are exquisitely decorated in a contemporary style with dark Balinese furniture, creamy upholstery accented with colorful cushions, a comfy bed with pillow-top mattress, and dark hardwood flooring. Suites have a separate living room with a sofa bed, open-plan kitchen that's fully equipped with modern appliances, dining area, and a Bose music system—even a washer and dryer. All rooms have a private balcony or deck and complimentary in-room refreshments; half the suites have private plunge pools.
Ground-level units are available for anyone with difficulty negotiating stairs, as the upper-level rooms are pretty high up. Either location, however, provides a great view.
Oversize bathrooms have glass-walled, walk-in rain showers and double vessel sinks set in slate vanities. Robes, slippers, and luxury toiletries are there for guest use. Penthouse suites have large soaking tubs.
The gracious lobby is a welcoming space with a reception area off to one side and several comfortable chairs and tables arranged for conversation. The lobby leads to 14°61° restaurant and a lovely view of the bay. A staircase leads to the lower level and the marina.
The resort has two pools. The main pool, shaped like a figure 8, has lounge chairs, umbrella tables, and cabanas on the surrounding deck, as well as a swim-up bar. A smaller pool on the lower level is available to hotel guests but also to those whose boats are docked at the marina.
Attendants bring hourly treats—cookies, ice cream pops, homemade chips, etc.—to sunbathers at the pool.
The Auriga Spa is an indoor/outdoor sanctuary for relaxation. Outdoors, there a steam inhalation room, Jacuzzi, and sauna. Indoors, there are treatments and therapies inspired by ancient French, Indian, Chinese, African, and Amerindian cultures, as well as the phases of the moon. (Auriga, after all, is a constellation in the northern hemisphere!) There’s a hair and nail salon, too. And patrons can opt for a half-day or an all-day spa day, including lunch in the Spa Village Treehouse.
The fitness center has an assortment of machines and other devices, along with a deck for group fitness classes, yoga, and Pilates sessions. Personal training is also available.
Guests can choose among several dining choices: fine dining at the 14°61° Grill, all-day dining at the Bayside Café in Marina Village, light fare at the poolside bar, a special dining experience at the Rum Cave where you can also sample premier rums and cigars—àor a private dinner on your own terrace or patio, in the romantic tree house, or within the peaceful Zen garden.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While meals are good, a la carte dining here is pricey.
The 14°61° restaurant has an open-air lounge that’s popular for pre-dinner cocktails or a nightcap afterwards. And the Rum Cave is the perfect setting for tasting some of the regions fine rums (and cigars) either inside or alfresco. During the day, thirsty sunbathers swim up to the Pool Bar or have an attendant deliver a cold drink to their lounge chair. The adjacent Brut Bar offers snacks to go with those drinks, including sushi, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. At noon, a barrel of coconuts appears, along with a “jelly” man with a machete. (Young, green coconuts are called “jelly” coconuts.) He slices off the top of each coconut to reveal fresh coconut water. Drop in a straw, and you’ve got a refreshing, healthy drink.
Take the ferry to Marigot Beach (also called Labas Beach), a small beach on a peninsula on the north side of the bay. It’s a picturesque spot to sit and watch the boats go by but only fair for swimming. The best bet is to have the hotel arrange a water taxi to Anse Cochon beach, a beautiful spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving (there’s a dive shop on the beach).
A little ferry makes the trip back and forth across the bay—all day and all evening—whenever anyone wants to make the trip. Hotel guests enjoy complimentary ferry rides. To explore the island beyond Marigot Bay, you’ll either need a rental car (a free car park is opposite the hotel entrance) or depend on taxis, tours, or boats. Taxis are always available at the hotel entrance. A boat tour is the best way to visit Soufrière, as the mountain road between Marigot Bay and Soufrière is narrow, winding, and, frankly, dizzying. A water taxi can take you north to Castries, as well.
Walk along the waterfront to Chateau Mygo (5-minute walk), a popular place for lunch on the waterfront or dinner under the stars. The menu is varied, but there’s always fresh seafood. Or take the little ferry across the bay to Doolittle’s (2-minute voyage) at Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, which serves light meals at lunch and Caribbean specialties at dinner.
Each Friday evening in Anse la Raye, a small fishing village a few miles south of Marigot Bay, Anse la Raye Seafood Friday (15-minute drive) is a street festival where residents set up barbecue grills and picnic tables and sell grilled fish, lobster, roasted corn, boiled crayfish, and more. There’s usually live music, too.
The bar is often busy at Doolittle’s (2-minute voyage). In high season, there’s a live band on Saturday nights.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Visitors to St. Lucia always stop by Marigot Bay—by land or sea—to look at the magnificent view. As a Capella guest, you enjoy that view every day from every inch of the property—including your own room or suite.
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