More about Crystals
Great way to start a vacation
We stayed at Crystals for the first part of our vacation from August 23 - 26 and then finished our stay in the North. We stayed in the Papaya cottage which had the best views in my opinion. We were able to peek in and see some of the other cottages and they were all unique and different.
First, I will start by saying that pictures really don't do this property any justice at all. This property is hidden in the hills overlooking the Pitons and Soufriere. The views are amazing and it is slightly cooler at this location as compared to other places in Soufriere. There is a nice breeze that comes through the property and the temperature difference is apparent the minute you drive down the hill.
Monica and Martin really do make you feel right at home. We arrived after a very tiring trip and they were there to greet us and show us around. Right away you feel like you are guests in thier home and they treat you very well. They have built a little tree house with table, chairs and a bar. We were immediately invited up for a drink after our arrival. After I mentioned I was a little hungry and we would go into town to the store to get some snacks the next thing I knew later that evening she was cooking dinner for us. That was totally unexpected and my husband and I, a few other guest along with Monica and Martin ate a wonderful dinner in the tree house. They really made our first day in St. Lucia a memorable experience. They also arranged our car rental for the few days we were there. Benny of White Tiger Jeep even picked us up at the airport and everything went smoothly. He even drove us to the North when it was time to leave Soufriere.
We were at Crystals during the tropical depression which would later turn into Ernesto and unfortunately we were in our cottage for most of the second day we were in Soufriere. They do provide a dvd player so luckily we had rented some movies for our plane ride that we did not watch and just had movie night in our cottage that night. We went to the store the night before and had gotten some snacks, beer and wine and still had a nice night in.
The only bad part about our trip was the storm that hit and our ability to really do a lot of the things I wanted to do in Soufriere like hike and climb the Piton. It was much too rainy. We did spend a day at Anse Chastenet and went snorkling there. If you are looking to get away from it all then Crystals is the place for you. We really did feel like we were all alone in the jungle and woke up to the most magnificent views of the Pitons, ocean and hills. The property is charming and it is a very different experience than staying at an all-inclusive resort which we stayed at for the last part of our vacation. We left Crystals feeling very relaxed and rested.
This was our second trip to St. Lucia and our first time staying in Soufriere. There is so many things to do in Soufriere that I do recommend renting a car. However, because me and bugs to not get along well, I felt three days in that kind of tropical climate was plenty for me. My husband and I were glad we split our vacation and stayed a few days in Soufriere. Soufriere is absolutely beautiful and we really got a true feeling for what St. Lucia is all about. The people we encountered were welcoming and friendly. It was one of the best vacations we ever had.
My new bride and I just returned from getting married at Crystals the second week of August. We stayed in the Papaya Cottage and were married on the deck with the most surreal views. Monica and Martin were wonderful hosts and really outdid themselves on all of the flowers, decorations, and cake! We really enjoyed getting to know the both of them as they are very gracious people and supportive parents. If you plan to have a wedding at Crystals, you cannot be a control freak. The people on the island take it very easy and you have to be able to flow with it. I think our Registar's ceremony avergages around 30mins., and if you have things that you really want to say or do in the wedding, you should really just be firm about something you want or need and stress the importance. We hired a photographer ($300US) cash only that Monica set up for us. He brought one roll of 36 exposures then you take the roll to a developer. If you want specific shots you need to ask for them, and if you don't want certain other pictures then tell him upfront. Crystals is a very secluded place, so its nice and quiet and far from substantial buildings. If you need super clean, this is not the spot. Its rustic I guess, but not dirty by any means. Bugs and lizards will come in and out, but its really no problem. You cannot drink the water because its all from collected rain water (so heads-up environmentalists).Monica does have excellent taste with all the artwork, and furniture,etc.. Martin plays and has a great taste in music.
You need to be driven there the first time you arrive or you will not find it! Call Eril at Envirorite in Soufriere. It's a little cooler at night at Crytsals b/c of its elevation.The views were truly spectacular. The Pitons were the most amazing mountains/volcanoes or whatever, that I've ever seen in the world. We will certainly return to Crystals forever hopefully, at least, til we win the lottery and buy the entire place.
Long Overdue Review
My wife and I stayed at Crystals in mid-July during our honeymoon and I've been meaning to post a review ever since we returned home to the States. We never would have found Crystals were it not for Tripadvisor, and we probably wouldn't have booked it without the numerous reviews and positive feedback. The website really doesn't do it justice!
Monica and Martin are just about the most gracious and accomodating hosts you can imagine. They really do enjoy what they do and their personality and character shows in every detail of this property. Monica runs a large resort on the island, but Crystals is very much a labor of love for her and she has really gone above and beyond in terms of accessories and personal touches. The woman, quite simply, has exquisite taste. Each cottage is literally filled with unique touches here and there that somehow come together to give each room a feel of its own, while also contributing to a general style and character. The best way to describe it is that it is a luxury B&B feel in the middle of the tropical forest.
Crystals is isolated; the road into the property is dicey and it's not within walking distance of any of the beaches (or even the town). I think it's mandatory that you rent a jeep if you're going to stay there, but that's something you will know going into it.
Our cottage, Papaya, was the large one in the back and overlooked the Pitons. It was absolutely beautiful. We stayed at Crystals after having spent a week at a larger property in town, and the change of pace was perfect for us. We used Crystals as a little bit of a "home base" from which to venture out, and it was perfectly suited for that.
The views are spectacular from Papaya- not sure about the other cottages, as we didn't see much of them, but I think due to the layout, they can't be quite as good as Papaya, which has an unobstructed view of the Pitons and ocean.
For the money, Crystals is a steal. If you're looking for Sandals, you will not like this property. But if you know what you're looking for, and aren't afraid to venture out for dinner, groceries, entertainment, you can't ask for a better place to come back to in the evenings and just relax as you enjoy the views.
I would enthusiastically recommend Crystals and the Papaya cottage in particular!
We spent a lovely 8-day holiday at Crystals in St. Lucia. Our hosts, Monica and Martin Charles welcomed us to their beautiful property immediately upon our arrival, and they went out of their way to ensure that we enjoyed our stay.
The guest cottages are creatively and uniquely appointed with many amenities. We stayed in both the Papaya and Sugar Cane cottages, both offering exquisite Piton views and private pools. Papaya has a spacious outdoor sitting area and deck. Sugar Cane boasts a lovely upstairs bedroom with windows on three sides allowing for pleasant breezes. This cottage also has a great open-plan kitchen and dining area.
We enjoyed the proximity of Crystals to great snorkeling at Anse Chastanet and also visits to the Sulphur Springs. Monica and Martin also hosted drinks in the tree house bar in the early evenings providing an opportunity to meet other guests and visitors.
We are looking forward to our next visit to Crystals!
If you are seeking a resort-like Caribbean vacation where every moment of your stay is vaguely familiar and planned, Crystals is probably not the place for you. But Crystals would not be "paradise found" if EVERYONE discovered it! Crystals is a remarkable, other-worldly collection of hilltop cottages with breath-taking views of the Piton Mountains. As we hiked up the steps to the Papaya Cottage, we felt as if we were entering some kind of treehouse wonderland. Upon our arrival at Crystals, we were greeted by the ethereal vision of Monica, one of our hosts. She welcomed us warmly and led us to the site of our honeymoon. Our cottage lacked for nothing. Candles, towels, tropical flowers, and champagne awaited us. Yes, it was jungle-y. Yes, small, pale yellow frogs clung to the exterior walls of the house after sunset and sometimes made the journey into our bathroom. Yes, lizards sometimes clung to the warmth of our window panes. Yes, the clicks, hums, and trills of the jungle were the music that lulled us to sleep each night. Yes, it was paradise. To awake each morning to a blue sky, the great mounds of the Pitons, the gentle lapping sound eminating from our small rainwater pool was to feel as if the real world did not exist. The beauty and tranquility of Crystals are only surpassed by the warmth and generosity of Monica and Martin, the owners and creators of Crystals. Each evening as we sipped Martin's freshly-made rum punch and talked with our hosts, we felt truly lucky to have found such a unique place. Both Monica and Martin are fascinating and charming. They are the ones who bring the sparkle to Crystals. The morning we were scheduled to depart, Monica and Martin appeared at our cottage, bearing a gift of rum from the rainforest. We will never know how Martin managed to journey to the rainforest in the wee hours of the morning to retrieve the herbal liquor from his friend, but we will always remember that extraordinary gift and the extraordinary experience of our stay at Crystals. Our only regret was that our stay was too short. Thankfully, we know we can and WILL return.
Relaxed and homely
Relaxed, non-commercial, eco-friendly, beautiful cottages, caring owners, outstanding views. Crystals is for those who enjoy being a little different. The experience at Cystals does not compare to the larger resort whether on St. Lucia or elsewhere. The larger resorts tuck you in behind towering fences and garded gates and offer you all inclusive deals on food and drinks but you will not get any of these at Crystals. Monica and Martin run crystals as an extention of their home and welcome guests as their friends. They are hugely accommodating, friendly, fun and generous with their time and rum punch.
All of the cottages are beautifully decorated by Monica who has a real eye for fixtures, fitting and furnishings. We felt very much at home in the Papaya and after 11 days we were as much at home here as we are back in London. The Papaya has all that you could need and the most amazing views.
In our opinion the South of St. Lucia (around Soufriere) offers the best views and activities and is much less commercial than the North of the island (Castries and around Rodney Bay - which are at least 1 hour drive away). If you are looking for big hotels with their own beaches, nightclubs and bars then somewhere near to Rodney Bay would suit. We visited for one day and found it to offer nothing other than expensive eating, traffic, lots of boats and we felt that the marina area had a souless 'fun park' feel to it.
We hired a jeep, which is required for driving on many of the roads in St. Lucia and needed for getting up the track to Crystals. The island is very easy to navigate having only a handful of main roads and one which circles pretty much the whole of the coast (save the North East part). The beaches are in the main owned by hotels/resorts. Those that are not can be beset by hawkers or or extremely difficult to get to other than by boat and do not have restaurants/bars that you would want to use for food/drinks. There is a beach/restaurant at Anse Chastanet which is about a 5/10 min drive from Crystals - a great beach and the snorkelling isn't bad either but the hotel will charge you $10US for a sun lounger and you are only allowed on the left of the beach, which is not as nice as the right side. You can however lie on the sand on any part of the beach, which is what we did. The salad bar is very good here for lunch. The beach at Jalousie is about a 15 min drive from Crystals, being between the Pitons it is probably one of the most stunning on the island. You will be made to park your car in the 'guest' car park and wait for a shuttle to take you to the beach which can be a pain. We used this beach 2 or 3 times and never once paid for a sun lounger -I think it helped that we had towels that looked like the ones Jalousie provided for their guests! The other beach we really enjoyed was at the Ti Kaye resort, about a 30 min drive North from Crystals. There is a long set of steps down to the beach and their are a few hawkers but the sea, snorkelling and views are good.
The are some super places to eat on the island. We ate at pretty much every restaurant once and the best two or three times. Those that we would recommend are Hummingbird - 5 mins south from Crystals, Mango tree, 10 mins south of Crystals just the other side of Soufriere, Ladera - 15 mins South, and Debbie's - 30mins South - which is well worth the trip - We went their on our last day for Sunday lunch and were treated to an outstanding all you can eat buffet (only on Sunday's) which should not be missed. For a daytime snack Treasure Cove on the front in Soufriere is also good (used to be the old courthouse).
Think that's my ramble over. Have a great time in St. Lucia and if you do decide to go to Crystals say hello from us. Mark and Sophie.
P.S. - have added a couple of photos of the view from the Papaya and of the new cottage at Crystals 'The Kalabash' (I think that's what it's called)!
Paradise made Precious...
My Husband and I found Crystals through Trip Advisor and we were not disappointed. Monica and Martin are fantastic hosts, welcoming us upon arrival December 11th. Each Bungalow is designed and decorated individually with a little touch of both them. The week prior to our arrival at Crystals, my husband and I got married at Sandals Regency on the other side of the island. We were delighted by the change in atmosphere from "Party Central" to utter seclusion. You are always welcome to join in for happy hour and meet the other guests with Martin and Monica, perhaps a little sing-along, "musicians and artists are welcome" and Martin is a very talented musician. Or just disappear into the landscape, which is equally easy to do. The driveway is not for the faint of heart, but good things are only appreciated more by the challenge.
We were pleasantly surprised with our Calabash bungalow. It is the newest addition to Crystals. Decorated in neo-Balinese, organza and Island flavor complete with kitchen, sun deck and private pool with fountain. The bathroom literally rocks! We are torn because when word gets out there will never be another vacancy so we booked for next year. As far as advising on the local restaurants and sites both Monica and Martin are well versed. We can't wait to return to precious Crystals.
what a great view in the morning
i stayed here with my wife, and what a great time we had. waking up in the morning to the local sounds and the most fantastic views you can imagine. i will definatley be going back
Loved St. Lucia, but loved Crystals more!
My boyfriend and I stayed at Crystals St. Lucia, and we had a magnificent time. Monica and Martin were wonderful! They truly make you feel like family, from the moment you walk in to the minute you have to leave. Monica has had experience managing some of the other larger properties in St. Lucia, so she was able to bring her expertise to a much more personal level with Crystals. The cottages are large and spacious, with decorations that are just amazing. You feel like you're in a completely different world, separate from everyone else. I highly recommend it! I can't wait to go back.
Can't ask for anything more!!!!!
This was my second stay at this property , I had to return because of the serenity of the place. My last visit was quite remarkable and so I had to share this place with my soul mate. Staying at Crystals one cannot compare, this place is defintely a work of art.
The owners Monica and Martin makes you feel at home, away from home. My boyfriend was so excited when he got to Crystals he said it was everything i described it to be. There is a bar on the roof top that the owners have put in between the trees it is absolutely fabulous the atmosphere and veiw from up there is breathtaking. The cottage i stayed in (Calabash) had the most beautiful decor one can imagine with furniture from Indonesia. Monica really has great taste.
My stay was really relaxing and makes one forget there is a world around them. You are totally lost in another world when you are at Crystals. I highly recommed this property and to Monica & Martin I will keep on coming back.