More about Jalousie Plantation
Our guide told us the only way to get to Jalousie Beach was by boat so we were a little surprised to see a van pull up, he then amended the statement to say that only guests of the Jalousie Plantation resort were allowed to come in by car.
All of the beaches in St. Lucia are public, some of the amenities on the beach are reserved for the resort's guests but can be had for an additional fee or there are some sun loungers that are there for non resort guests.
It's a nice beach, snuggled in between the two Pitons, where you can relax on the beach or snorkel in an area free from the motor boats that come in to drop off passengers.
Luxury in the Rain Forest
Set in a future World Heritage Site, this hotel is adapted from an old plantation and has been tastefully hidden among the trees of the rain forest. Most accommodation is in individual villas set on the hillside with stunning mountain and ocean views, but we stayed in the converted sugar mill building, which was also great. Set mid-way between the Pitons, it provided us with a stunning refuge. We spent our HHonors points but even so the stay was the most expensive hotel accommodation we have used in years due to the prices of all the services. As Hiltons go I'd say it was actually pretty good. Location, location, location. The sunsets are stunning, the sea azure and warm and the accommodations extravagant and comfortable. The Spa is not too bad but owes more to its location than any innovation or luxury. One of the restaurants - the Plantation Room - is excellent but the others are indifferent and lack regional colour.
If there are any negative reviews on st Lucia and its hotels ignore them. This island is one of the most beautiful island i have ever been to. The Jalousie resort and spa is quiet calm and relaxing. The people are friendly infact, My whole holiday was perfect.
Walter Helped us to Escape
By taking the helicopter in and out of Jalousie Hilton Resort, we were able to avoid the somewhat treacherous roads.The compound itself is very beautiful but unless you have a car, there is a good chance you might end up feeling trapped there as we did, especially if you stay for more than a week.Our cottage was quite a distance from the beach and the restaurants and having to rely on the onsite van service was restricting even though the service was efficiently run. Fortunately, we met a wonderful taxi driver named Walter who set up several adventures for us outside the Jalousie gate.He took us to many of the tourist sites and set up a guided tour of the Grande Piton for us. If we were to return to the island, we would most likely rent a house overlooking Marigo Bay and rent a car as well so we could get out and about more easily.
My husband and I have just returned from what we would both agree, was a dream honeymoon. Our trip began with an enjoyable drive from Castries to the Jalousie Hilton, we had decided to hire a jeep, since the taxi fare was approximately $80 and a helicopter transfer was around $100 we love to adventure beyond the hotel also! I will say that the roads can be a bit challenging, yes there are pot holes which do make the 26 mile drive quite fun! but certainly not terrible! We were greeted by one of the hotel staff "Charlie" very nice gentleman who offered my husband and I a glass of rum punch! We stayed in room 708 which was absolutely beautiful, champaign & flowers awaited us. We had magnificant views of the piton mountains and breathtaking sunset views. The room was very clean and well maintained! We found the hotel staff to be very friendly especially "Charlie", who on several occaisions was very generous with offerings of rum punch! The beach was white sand, and very beautiful and not crowded. The shuttle service around the Jalousie resort was great, with just a few minutes to wait for each service. The Plantation restaraunt at the Jalousie, was fabulous, great food, romantic music and elegant atmosphere. I will say that it was a bit costly but then we were not cutting any corners for our honeymoon. I would highly recommend the following tours that can be booked at the hotel: horse back riding, soufriere experience (visit local town, visit volcano's, diamond waterfalls). If you are feeling energetic you can also climb the piton mountains which stand about 2,000 ft we declined that one ha!. Take advantage of the free watersports too they are excellent! We are so happy with our choice to stay at the Jalousie, since all the main attractions are right there, we did not choose an all inclusive, since there are some wonderful restaraunts close by: Dasheene at Ladera, Mango Tree, and all the restaraunts at the hotel itself were great! We would definately go back and would request room 708!! Hope this helps with your planning, my 10 years of travelling and travel & tourism background would only allow me to give it to you straight! Have a great vacation!
Eric & Janet Mueller.
Well where do I start? From the time we landed I knew we had chosen the right Caribbean Island (even though we were greeted by an almighty downpour on arrival)...........the road trip is indeed bumpy, the Company employed by the St Lucian Government to undertake these extensive roadworks are Irish, need I say more!!!! I do remember on one occasion that my Family and I actually fell asleep on the way to Vieux Fort taking this same bumpy road, I would say that the road is as bumpy as the Taxi Driver wants to make it!! The Jalousie was/is everything we thought it would be and more........especially when we had chosen this Hotel for Our Wedding (getting married on the Sun Splash Deck at least 100 feet up overlooking the pool and beach, rubbing shoulders with the Pitons was out of this world). Rosina the Concierge took the plans for Our Special Day under her very caring wing and made Sept 19th a day to remember. My Husband Adrian, Daughter Danielle and myself along with 34 Guests were spoilt beyond words. I can only compare the Wedding reception to a Banquet...............anyway by the time we left on Sept 28th we knew a return trip was a definite. The food was always of a high quality and the Team Members were always ready to please and accommodate. My only negative point is that we were unable to finish the contents of our Mini Bar. As previous reviews have stated "I could go on".....but my final comment is that the views, location and capacity to do as much or as little as you like @ The Jalousie gets Our 5 Stars everytime!!!!!
We spent our honeymoon at the Jalousie, and were very happy with the whole experience! If you can (especially if you arrive at the Castries airport) definetly take the helicopter. The ride is a thrill, the view is breathtaking, and you are at the hotel in less than 10 minutes! One word of advice: pack your bathing suit in your hand luggage as they can't always take your luggage on the same flight, and as was our case, our room was not ready on our arrival. Oh well, we had to spend 2 hours at the pool/bar!! :) Great way to unwind after a long flight!
The villas are very comfortable and spacious, and the plunge pool was a great way to realx privately. We had alot of privacy du to a nice tall hedge, but not all villas are alike, so if skinny dipping is a priority, make sure you let them know! :) The shuttles were plentyful and I don't think we ever waited more than 5 minutes for a ride.
The food was always good, and the menu changed half way thru our stay.
We were on the all inclusive plan so we ate our money's worth, but plan on spending around US$200 a day per couple, more if you are a drinker.
Breakfast is a buffet, decent but not great, lunch is by the pool/beach and the menu is small but changes around mid week. We had dinner at the Pier once, and at the Plantation twice (again we were all inclusive so why not eat at the nice joint as often as possible!). They have different theme nights going on during the week, which are published on a schedule you recieve at check- in.
The service is slow. But when you are in the Carribean there is no hurry, just realx and enjoy the view!
We were there for R&R as well as some diving, which by the way was great, lots of coral, cool fish and just beautiful warm water. We only left the hotel twice, once to check out the view from The Ladera resort. Very cool place ,beautiful view, but no beach and a very small pool. We had drinks at the bar but didn't stay for dinner. We asked to see one of their rooms, and although they are very cool looking, the openess( read bug nets on the bed and lack of moving air )was a turn off, we were happy to be by the beach in a room with AC! We also went to the volcano, botanical gardens and Diamond waterfall, a trip well worth it! It took us about 4 hours and cost $70 for a taxi /guide. We also saw the town of Soufriere a couple of times, and there really is nothing there, it's a very poor town, and the shopping is very limited to t-shirts and knick knacks.
I would definetly reccomend the Jalousie for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation, but if sight seeing and going different places is on your agenda you may be better served staying on the north end of the island, as the property is very secluded.
We loved it and would go back in a heartbeat!
Soufrie, St Lucia - a great romantic escape
"Trip Report: Mago Estate Resort and Soufriere, St."
Dates: February 10 – 17, 2007
Photo Gallery (100+ photos): www.samdobrow.110mb.com/StLucia/]
My wife, Janice and I decided to travel to St. Lucia to see the Pitons for Valentines Day. We are late 40’s with 2 kids and live in Atlanta, GA. Janice refuses to travel unless we stay in the nicest accommodations (4 stars or better) which can sometimes limit our options. I researched St. Lucia to discover most rooms near the Pitons are not air conditioned or are over $400/night. Eventually I decided to book a room at the Mago Estate Hotel in their air conditioned Eden Suites rooms. I booked directly with the hotel, by phone, to negotiate the best possible room rate. I recommend talking to Sonya, the hotel manager, when booking your room.
We found discount airfare on Delta by booking through Air Jamaica, actually $250/person less than Delta’s best fares for the same exact flight. Delta flies from Atlanta non-stop to Vieux Forte in about 4.25 hours. Since we booked the Mago for 7 nights the hotel arranged for a taxi to meet us at the airport and transport us to the hotel (round trip) at no additional charge.
Mago is a small hotel with about 9 rooms built into the side of the mountain and is walking distance to the beach. The road is very steep so you need to be in good health to make the climb back to the hotel as well as up the stairs from the Eden Suites to the pool, bar, restaurant, and lobby. The views are spectacular and the service is similar to a B&B environment. Our Eden Suite “Kabir” was quite large with a very private plunge pool on the balcony. The beds are very firm with excellent pillows. Voltage is 220 and we were able to get a heavy duty transformer and power strip to operate our hairdryer and electronic devices. There are no phones or Internet in the room; though there is an international pay phone in the lobby. The air conditioner kept resetting to economy mode which was a little annoying as was the ungrounded electrical fixtures in the room. The only real drawback is that the noise from town carries up the side of the mountain like a natural amphitheatre and some people staying in the open air rooms were complaining. A very loud nightclub could be heard until 3 or 4 am on the weekend nights. The Mago is a unique resort and I highly recommend it to young and middle aged couple for its integration with nature and value in the area. It is not the place for kids or anyone with mobility issues.
The food at Mago is good and fairly priced. The chef cooks up something special each day based on what is available at the local market. The best part about dining at Mago is the view which I can only describe with pictures (see my gallery). Every meal is served up in what I call “minimalist cuisine”. Each course is beautifully prepared but doesn’t really satiate an appetite. Breakfast is included. Lunch and dinner are extras ($10 - $30 per person). We found 2 local restaurants worth mentioning for their taste as well as portions (1) Beachfront restaurant at “The Still” resort at Hummingbird Beach, and (2) The “Green Room” one block from the church in downtown Soufriere. Both offer excellent local curries which need spicing up with the local hot sauce to really bring out the flavors and the price is right ($8 - $12 per person). The beachside restaurant at Anse Chastanet has an excellent menu of Indian-Caribbean fusion food; its pricey ($50/person) but worth it.
"The Price of Paradise"
Prices in St. Lucia are outrageous. Everything is priced like New York City but the service is very Caribbean; slow and deliberate. Much of the local tourist economy is entrepreneurial meaning cash not credit cards. Bring lots of cash and be prepared to pay $100 for just about anything, that is the magic number for 2 people. What I found hard to understand was the lack of understanding of economics (supply and demand). There is so much poverty but nobody is willing to undermine the NY price and as a result tourists spend less money and the people live a lower standard than is possible with a better price structure and work ethic.
Taxi drivers will scam you for the local tours to the “Drive in Volcano” and “Diamond Falls” with a stop at Ladera for sunset. It is not so much that the tour is a rip-off as much as it is excessively hyped to get you to take the taxi ride for $100. The volcano is nothing more than a pit of noxious smelling fumes at the top of a hill. Diamond Falls is a quaint place to swim in a small pool where hot spring water mixes with cool mountain water; judge for yourself whether the mud bath makes you look 20 years younger. Ladera is beautiful but snobby and very expensive resort; dinner will easily run $100+ per person and I heard much complaining about the poor service. Taxi is the only way to get to Dennery for the seafood festival on the Pacific coast.
Transportation by car is challenging and time consuming; use only when absolutely necessary for your destination. I recommend the charter of a “water taxi” for the day. The Caribbean waters are calm and protected so you will be able to explore from Rodney Bay in the north to Vieux Forte in the south and reach many pristine beaches for swimming and scuba. We stopped at Marigot Bay, Ti Kaye, Anse La Raye, Jalousie Plantation, and Anse Chastanet. It is beautiful to see the stars and coastline after dark. A water taxi will run $150 to $250 for a day depending on how far you want to go. You can find Chile (our water taxi driver) on the beach or dock at the Hummingbird Resort.
Shopping opportunities are virtually non-existent in Soufriere outside of the grocery store. There are a few craft shops and boutiques but most of the stores cater to local people. Anse La Raye offered the best prices and selection of T-Shirts and local crafts.
We also visited the Seafood Festival in Dennery which I recommend to experience the local culture but would not suggest eating there. The food is very inconsistent from vendor to vendor. I sampled great Mahi Mahi steamed in foil, average seafood stew, mishandled and overcooked tuna, and nasty turtle soup. Each portion costs from $2 to $7 and should be purchased in the local currency. About four ounces of straight liquor after the food may have saved my life by killing the bacteria. I did not get sick but felt queasy. Get there early (7 PM) for the best food and stay late (1 AM) for the cultural experience.
Overall Soufriere and the surrounding area is indescribably beautiful. As a developing country with minimal infrastructure, there is a sharp contrast between the poverty of mostly black villagers and the opulence of the white tourists and yachtsmen. Unfortunately, the St. Lucian government has done only a little to protect the natural resources, endangered species and marine life of the island. I hope you will visit my photo gallery (above) for more information and to enjoy the sights of Soufriere as I saw them.
St Lucia - lush, beautiful and needy
Our quick visit to St Lucia involved flying to Castries from Miami, transferring by helicopter to the Hilton at Jalousie near Soufriere and relaxing there for three days. My reflections on the experience can be found in my weblog, at http://www.webmink.net/2003_02_23_oldblog.htm#90393331
On the ground at Jalousie between the Pitons
Jalousie Plantation new owner & construction in May 2010?
I've read Tide Sugar Beach now owns Jalousie and that construction will end in 2011. I called Jalousie and they said there will be light construction this May 2010 when we arrive. Does anyone know if light construction is a bad thing here and we should avoid it? Prices seem reasonable plus they are giving the 7th nite free and a $200 per day food credit so I want to make sure they aren't adding all these incentives because its a bad time to be there:)