It's all about the view—the Pitons, of course—and the appeal of staying in an intimate and affordable family-run inn. Nestled within a former mountaintop cocoa and coconut estate, the century-old guesthouse was once the cocoa house, where cocoa beans were fermented and dried; an adjacent cottage had been the copra house, where the coconuts were processed. Guests are encouraged to roam the 52 acres of gardens and grounds, where they're likely to come across goats, cows, birds, and a couple of donkeys.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some units require a lot of walking on hilly ground.
Room décor could be characterized as “charming but old-fashioned.” Each room in the main six-room guesthouse has a private balcony with a to-die-for view, king beds draped with rather romantic mosquito netting, a small kitchenette, and shutters or French doors that open to the breeze. A two-bedroom unit is ideal for families or two couples, while the two-story cottage—gaze at the Pitons, the rain forest, or the sunset from the huge upstairs balcony—is honeymoon heaven. Halfway down the mountainside, the owner's mansion has six additional guest rooms, an infinity pool, and that picture-postcard view.
YOU SHOULD KNOW No room TV; several units have either no air-conditioning or air-conditioning only in the bedroom.
En-suite bathrooms in most units have tiled shower stalls and vanities with a single sink. The three-bedroom villa, located 400 yards up-mountain, has en-suite bathrooms for each bedroom; one has a tub/shower combination.
The lobby is a large gathering space with comfortable seating and access to the bar and dining room. There’s a pool table and piano in a common area behind the restaurant, along with books, magazines, and board games. Anyone who plays the piano is invited to tickle the ivories on the old upright.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi access is available in the lobby and restaurant but spotty elsewhere on the property.
A few steps lead down from the main guesthouse to a pool and garden. Lounge chairs are lined up on the pool deck to maximize the striking view of downtown Soufrière, the harbor, and the Pitons. A second, infinity-edge pool is directly in front of the six-room owner’s mansion, along with an observation deck—perfect anytime of day but magnificent at sunset. The three-bedroom villa has a small, private swimming pool.
When you’re not swimming in the pool, take a complimentary tour of the plantation to learn all about its history.
There’s no spa, but in-room massages, manicures, and other services can be arranged.
A small gym near the lobby has just three machines—treadmill, stationary bike, and weight-lifting—and free weights for guest use.
Delice, La Haut's open-air restaurant, offers breakfast and lunch daily—no dinner. The lunch menu, which attracts guests and locals alike, features Creole specialties such as rotis (flatbread turnovers with curried meat or vegetables), fresh-caught fish, homemade fishcakes, coconut or curried chicken, and green fig and saltfish pie. The view from the dining room, like elsewhere on the property, is spellbinding.
Fresh fruit is delivered daily to each guestroom.
While the hotel is not on a beach, several beaches are in the Soufrière area: Anse Chastanet Beach has a dive shop and other water-sports activities, Hummingbird Beach is in town, and Sugar Beach is nestled between the Pitons. The resort offers a free shuttle to Anse Chastanet Beach and Hummingbird Beach. A water taxi will take you to Sugar Beach and back.
A rental car is recommended to access the iconic sites in Soufrière and elsewhere, as well as to get to restaurants for dinner or to the market to stock your in-room kitchen/kitchenette. Otherwise, taxis (land or water) are available. The resort offers free shuttle service to town and to the beach. Airport transfers can be arranged (extra cost).
Guests have a few nearby options for lunch or dinner. At the bottom of the hill, just as you enter the town of Soufrière, The Hummingbird (5-minute drive)—in the resort of the same name—is a popular restaurant specializing in Creole cuisine. Nearby, Orlando’s (5-minute drive) specializes in exquisite Caribbean cuisine using local, sustainable products; it’s fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Farther afield, on the south side of Soufrière, Dasheene at Ladera Resort and Boucan at Hotel Chocolat (10-minute drive)—across the road from each other—offer unique dining experiences: the majestic Pitons view from Dasheene and the chocolate-inspired menu at Boucan. A little farther south, Bamboo & Cocoa Pod at Fond Doux Estate (15-minute drive), a historic plantation, offers a purely local experience.
Each Friday evening in Anse la Raye, a small fishing village a few miles south of Marigot Bay, the main street is blocked off for a street festival, called Anse la Raye Seafood Friday (30-minute drive). Residents set up barbecue grills and picnic tables and serve up grilled fish, lobster, roasted corn, boiled crayfish, and more. There’s usually live music, too. (Take a taxi to/from Anse la Raye…the winding mountain roads are not safe at night for novice drivers in St. Lucia.)
The bar at Hummingbird Beach Resort (5 minute drive) is open every day and evening—and has live entertainment and dancing on Wednesday nights. It’s recommended that guests not visit local bars in town.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The breathtaking Pitons view makes this a wonderful spot for weddings and honeymoons—but also for families with kids, as the property is huge.