More about Stonefield Estate
Intimate Villa Resort
Stonefield Estate Villa Resort is an intimate family run property with a spectacular setting and great views of the Pitons and ocean. There are all of the advantages of being able to use the Jalousie Hilton Beach but with a small number of private villas set on a lush rain forest property. There is tremendous privacy, and the villas are spectacular.
The staff is extremely friendly, and there is none of the feeling of a resort that could be anywhere. There is a great pool, and many of the villas have their own plung pools. All in all it was a delightful experience.
Stonefield - big mistake!
What a disappointment! I booked five nights in the Stonefield estate in mid-May as a birthday surprise for my wife. In spite of arriving at the agreed time the villa had not been cleaned, we found it shabby and the bedding smelled musty, this coming from the mattress. We ate at the Mango Tree that evening, their ‘BBQ’ night, the staff were great but the food was not. The mosquito net over the bed was inadequate, did not keep out the smaller midges and some mosquitoes did get through. Arriving directly from the UK at this time of year we were not prepared for the heat and the ceiling fan provided no relief; nor were we prepared for the cacophony of noise from sunset to sunrise provided by the insects! After one night we decided to leave at any cost, needless to say the manager penalised us with his ‘two night cancellation penalty’ and would not budge, so we paid for three nights.
Of the people we spoke to staying at Stonefield, some were enjoying their stay, others were resigned to it. It is secluded and the views are fantastic, but neither is exclusive to Stonefield. Apart from the small pool and restaurant, there is nothing much else within reasonable walking distance, be prepared for seclusion or a shuttle/taxi ride to other locations.
We negotiated a good rate at the local Jalousie Hilton as a drop-in client (you won’t get this in advance), and this place is idyllic, big pool, fantastic beach, excellent food with lots of variety. Unless you are used to temperature and humidity, and enjoy your own company, think carefully. We were sucked in by the Stonefield website, which I now consider misleading. For what they offer, this place is overpriced, and you will be penalised if you want to leave early.
magical place for the anti-resorters
Spent 5 magical days at Stonefield Estate last winter - and need to share a few key notes: the location is drop dead beautiful - between the rain forest, pietons, and ocean. Our villa had an unobstructed view of the ocean with the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen. Restaurant served good breakfasts (and yes the service is slow but you are on vacation) and ok dinners with drinkable wine and views to make it memorable. Imagine breakfast with rainbows, green hillsides, blue ocean and nothing elese around, that's the experience. The management could not be more friendly and helpful and it is small and low key.
Here's the rest of the info you need to know: the south end of St. Lucia is NOT developed. It is extremely beautiful, the sulpher waterfalls are almost worth the entire trip, the volcano, the greenery, the views...but the town is extremely poor and it is very difficult to buy provisions to use in your big kitchen in your villa. Fruit is scarce, dairy usually freezer burned, and meat..well...we ended up not buying anything, and eating all our meals prepared. In addition, like others have commented, the public beach within walking distance is to be avoided.
There are lots of bugs and the mosquito netting is not perftct, bring your own bug spray, but you have to accept that when traveling to this remote section of the island (this is not like the resorts in the north of the island). Some postings complain about the noise of the forest at night - if you prefer the humm of an AC unit drowning out the night then go to Sandals - we loved the noises.
The shuttle to the hilton beach was great, the ameneties perfect for lazy days at the beach, the lunch was great beach food (but it is hotel food).
Dinner at Ladera was very good, with a very good wine list. Lots of local taxis, every place will call them for you and your taxi driver will come back for you if you ask.
Water taxis are the great secret. Took one to Anse Chastenet, and even took one to the airport on the north side of the island (1 hr by boat, vs. 2 hrs by winding road), the views are incredible.
In short, this is not for the resort traveler who needs creature comforts, but if you can put up with bugs, and understand that this part of the island is undeveloped, the scenery, the quiet and the beauty are well worth it, and Stonefield is a great base for experiencing it.
We stayed at Stonefield in late April of 2004 and found it a terrible disappointment. The website is grossly misleading, and the accomodations are well overpriced for what you get. There are virtually no amenities to speak of. I agree wholeheartedly with the other reviewers who had problems with biting insects during their stay at Stonefield. The villa we stayed in was not screened in to any real extent and we were eaten alive by flying insects at night (and this was during the "dry season"). The mosquito nets did nothing to stop the problem. But far worse was the fact that the master bedroom of our villa was infested by insects which literally drove us into one of the secondary bedrooms of the villa. In fact, the mattress in the master bedroom was infested by small bugs, which did not surprise us since we saw the shed where they stored extra mattresses, and it was filthy. The bath towels were worn, and sometimes unclean, and the kitchen was full of ants which cover any exposed food if left out. Also, we had a termite problem, which caused a leak in the roof. This was remedied by the "management" when they came in and tore out a portion of the roof, spreading debris all over the kitchen. Stonefield's website makes the villas look much nicer than they in fact are. Stonefield bills itself as secluded and relaxing. I agree with secluded, but not with relaxing. Anyone who wishes to stay here should know that the new villas are built on top of one another and directly below the larger and older villas. Given the open design of these villas, there is virtually no privacy and you can hear everything going on inside the adjacent villas. Another problem with Stonefield is that if you want to go to a good beach, you have to go to another resort. The beach closest to Stonefield is dirty and rocky (broken bottles, trash etc.) My wife and I have been to the Caribean several times, and to St. Lucia once before. I recommend staying in Marigot Bay, or if you want to stay near Soufriere, stay at Anse Chastenet or the Jalousie Hilton. We left Stonefield early after our young son was bitten for about the two hundredth time while sleeping at night and we stayed at Jalousie Hilton for the last four nights of our stay. It was like a completely different vacation. In fact, we finally had a vacation. The staff and management at Jalousie were terrific, the accomodations clean and air conditioned, the beach magnificent, and the food terrific (no ants in the sugar bowls like at the Stonefield restaurant). Of course, despite the fact that we were evicted from a portion of our villa by the insects, the manager of Stonefield charged us a two night cancellation fee. Frankly it was worth it just to get out of there. However, we expected that from Stonefield by the time we left. You'd be better off staying at a place that's professionally run if you really want to relax.
Next best thing to Hawaii - and a lot closer!
My husband and I just returned from staying one week at Stonefield (May-June, 2004) and absolutely loved it! We were looking for a place similar to Kauai, HI, as that's where we went for our honeymoon and loved the lush rainforest and mountains. We found through research that southern St. Lucia is the most similar in the caribbean islands to Kauai. After experiencing it firsthand, I'd have to agree. It's like a "mini" Kauai. Absolutely beautiful.
We stayed in Frangipani, one of the new 1-bedroom villas and found it had the largest pool and nicest view out of the 4 new ones. Everything was well kept and clean, and we received a fresh fruit plate which we enjoyed throughout our stay while watching the most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen with an unobstructed view of the pool and ocean in front, and Pitet Piton to our left. It was very private, and for the first time in a couple years I can say I truely was relaxed.
The staff was very nice, the food was excellent-(although the service was slow, but if you've read the reviews you know that before going in so be prepared and give yourself extra time), and it was easy to get a shuttle to wherever you needed to go. We did the Adventure Package which included all our tours, breakfast, and dinner daily. This is the way to go if you are looking to do things. Plus food could add up if you don't have it included to begin with.
We did have issues with the mosquitos, but that was mostly the first night when I thought it would be nice to leave all the doors open. Not a good idea. If you go here, keep in mind you will be one with nature. Bring bug spray and use it before bed. The receptionist gave us a kind of spray they use locally and this seemed to work well. We didn't have too many problems with the bugs after we used precaution. And we also didn't get upset as we knew of this going in-we looked at this trip as a type of "camping" almost, but in really nice accomodations. (think of it as being one with nature, with beautiful surroundings)
We did the challenging hike up Pitet Piton too. This was quite an adventure. It was vertical climbing by grabbing roots and stones all the way up. We are in our late 20's early 30's and are physically fit. I would recommend this tour if you are into hiking as we are, but not if you are out of shape. It's quite the workout, but the views near the top are incredible. We only made it to the shoulder as the very top was a straight vertical climb using a rope-too advanced for our skills. And in case you're wondering, you climb up the side you see from Stonefield.
The thing I'm finding after reading through the reviews on this site, is that the only people who didn't like it seemed to overlook the fact that these private villas are secluded, don't have AC, and are open air. With that being said upfront on the website, I'm not sure why someone would go there if they were looking for a "Sandals" type resort. It seems people either gave it an excellent rating because they knew they were going in with a quiet, close-to-nature vacation in mind, or a terrible rating because they didn't realize what it entailed, even though the website describes it pretty well.
To compare Stonefield to the other hotels nearby, it is definitely the least expensive and yet it provided free shuttle service to the nearby hotels and town. Friends of ours stayed at Jalousie Hilton and said they felt "trapped" to the hotel because it cost them everytime they wanted to leave as the shuttles weren't included ($30 to go to the town Soufrierre which is 10 minutes away, when it's free at Stonefield).
We really loved this trip. It is the exact opposite of a Sandals type trip in every way, but every now and then you need one of those to get some quiet time and true relaxation.
Enjoy your vacation! It will be wonderful!
ps-make sure you do Fish Fry in Anse La Raye on Friday nights! It was a blast! And the best way to get there is by water taxi.
Tropical Paradise like no other
Like many of you my wife and I wanted to go to the most romantic resort in St.Lucia to relax and enjoy the cool Caribbean breeze. We decided to research as much as possible to find out which was best suited for us. We came up with three with Stonefield being at the top of the list. Have a look at the website and you will see why. However, three reviews bothered us. While everyone gave great reviews these three had the worst to say…mind you they too also had good things to say about Stonefield in one way or the other. We love to travel and try as much to experience more boutique-style resorts so we decided to take a chance and go anyway. I thought I would trust 24 people instead of three.
Well we just got back and it was incredible. The food was great!!! The Mango Tree restaurant was superb. The staff were really friendly and catered to our every need. The views…well you can see from the website and we can safely say you won’t be disappointed. The sunsets were magnificent. The villas…well the layouts are all there to see and it was exactly what I expected, with natural wooden furnishings, very spacious. The balcony was large and the hammocks were one of my favorites. Now after reading these bad reviews we wondered if we had stayed at the same place. Stonefield does not advertise being on a beach and they have gone through the expense of giving complimentary shuttles to both the beach and town and even work with jalousie Hilton to allow its guests to receive complimentary snorkeling equipment. We think the resort offered amazing value for its accommodation. If you are looking for a lot of people around you to help you enjoy this heaven, long lines and TVs then perhaps you should try Sandals. Stonefield has only 16 villas so you feel like this is your very own paradise. On daily walks about the Estate hummingbird sightings, butterflies flitting about the place were common occurrence. What a tropical experience! As for the pesky mosquito’s well they were few and far between. The best advise as an experienced traveler in these climates is to use insect repellant. Many a night was enjoyed gazing at the stars from the hammock on our spacious balcony I am really sorry that these people have decided to trash Stonefield the way they did. Stonefield certainly is beyond the likes of these.
My advise to you…….trust 24 people instead of three.
A Slice of Paradise
My wife and I just returned from an incredible vacation in St. Lucia. We stayed at the Stonefield Villa Estates. Firstly, ST. Lucia is truly a tropical paradise. The Pitons are mesmerizing, the tropical forests are lush and exotic, the people are friendly and outgoing, and the interests and activities are plentiful. I encourage all who enjoy the natural world to visit and experience this magical island.
Our stay at Stonefield was terrific. The location of the villas provide clear and precise viewing of Petit Piton as well as the undulating mountain ranges nearby. The lush landscapes surrounding the compound are well designed and maintained. Our villa, Jacaranda, was just perfect. It offered a comfortable master suite and bath. Actually the shower was located immediately outside the bathroom. This was a great experience for both of us and privacy was no issue at all. The restaurant offered the most consistent and best meals we had on the island, and we tried all of the highly recommended spots. The entire staff was always friendly, cordial and actually seemed to revel in their work and new relationships. The Stonefield permitted us to delve into the island's unique characteristics with their comfortable accomodations, ever hospitable environment, subtle yet quality service and keen management. Both the island and hotel ensure a once in a lifetime experience- paradise found.
My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Stonefield Villas in June and it was perfect. Every morning we woke to a gorgeous view of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea -- it was the most beautiful view I've ever seen, and I've travelled all over. My husband loved it too, and he's really fussy. Our villa was lovely, it was spacious, airy, private, it was just like having our own house, we even had a kitchenette. I loved the outdoor shower, my husband loved the hammock. Everything was exactly as we had expected it to be.
The pool is right next to the restaurant, and after having some breakfast we would lie out on the chairs next to the pool and enjoy the gorgeous view and soak up some sun with a glass of "local" juice like guava or passionfruit. It was sooooo relaxing.
We like to be adventurous, and the staff were really great about arranging our excursions, we went scuba diving at Jalousie, we went on a rainforest hike, we even got a taste of "Seafood Friday" in a little village north of the resort, that was fun, it was like a low-key street party where they serve food outdoors. We also went on an intense hiking excursion, which I think is called "the adventure tour."
We highly recommend it, and we're going to go back for our anniversary.
We would have to try very hard to find anywhere better than Stonefield. The views and villas are just as it says on the web, but experiencing them for real cannot be beaten.
Firstly the villas, large spacious and well furnished, no they are not air conditioned, we would rather take the noise of the frogs than the hum of an A/C unit all night long. The showers are fantastic, Jacaranda has a bannana plant growing in the shower. We took several family and friends and they all loved it, all the villas were nice in their own way, but Jacaranda and Flambouyant had the best views that we saw. The villas are spoltless the bedding clean and fresh. There are ants, billions of them, but only if you leave the food out other than that the bugs did not bother us.
Within minutes of arriving we went to the Mango tree to soak in the views and we could not drag ourselves away until it was dark. The sunsets are fabulous.
Speaking of the Mango tree the food is excellent and plentiful, the chef Catherine prepares a wonderful selection of food. Although we ate there most nights for all of our 14 night stay we were not bored of the menu. With "Special" nights and Bar-B-Q the menu is frequently changing.
The owners Aly and Patricia and all the staff were extremely helpful, nothing was too much and it was like leaving family when we finally came to leave. We had offers of baby sitting aplenty, a cake was summoned for a birthday party.
We had our wedding and honeymoon in Stonefield, our wedding day was plagued by rain but Stonefield camely arranged the beautiful setting of plantation house for the ceremony and the arrangements were perfect. The photographer was thorough and the results were excellent, we had the sunset cruise (again the rain!).
If you have not been to St Lucia before the Island is lovely, the people friendly. Many of the towns including Soufriere are little more than shanty towns, and to be honest its not a place you would want to stay that long, at night I found myself not wanting to stop - I am sure it is safe, but it doesn't feel too friendly. Other negatives, the local beach Malgretoute is not very noce, lots of rubbish, a pity as the setting is fabulous.
We strongly recommend hiring a jeep (we had a car and it was a challenge to keep the exhaust on!) it is more fun and more relaxing to arrange your own trips. Definitely see the Botanical gardens, the volcano if you can take the smell.
Inevitably you will use the shuttle to the beach at Jalouise. As you sit there on the imported sand of the beach, eating your overpriced beer and food, you can relax and top up your tan knowing that at 16:00 you will be back up at Stonefield in the peace and serenity whilst the guests at the Hilton are stuck their all night !
All in all, setting, friendliness, location and value for money you cant beat it, we wil definitely be going back.