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Don't stay at villa coulibri

Louisville, Kentucky
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Don't stay at villa coulibri

Let me start by saying the Villa is very nice but luxury it is not. If you like the outdoor type with no luxury this is the place. The villa owner is a real jerk and . They will let you use the same towels all week the owner thinks this is ok.(that's just nasty.) the curtains in the room were so dirty they were yellow the place was more a dusty outdoor wooden tent than a luxury villa. The walls in the room we stayed in have black stuff running down them in the room and bathroom it leaves you to wonder is it mold is it mildew or is it something else. Whatever it is it's an eye sore and looks nasty and uncared for. They lie to you about the things they offer then charge you for their poor management. I would not recommend a stay here at any cost. My wedding ceremony was ruined by poor management and I was charged for the poor management and every mislead word of my emails from the owner Alfred. I was recommended a chef by Alfred that did the poorest job that could be done. I provided my own cocktails and the chef was 35 min late even getting started. Dinner service for two ran 3 long hours. Alfred is the owner and is the biggest jerk I have spoke to ever. This owner does not care about his guest only his money. The road to the villa will bounce your kidneys loose it's so rough. The villa staff are not well trained and will use you for rides to town etc I was asked several times to provide rides to staff in my rental car. I was promised via email a beach wedding then at the last minute one day before the ceremony due to poor management that was changed as the villa management in their own error did not secure the beach they offered and we agreed to. At the last minute I was told I would wed at a ghetto beach not becoming of what I would rent. When I stated that would not suffice I was then told they had found a better place more what we were expecting then I was charged for all of the management mistakes made for our ceremony I was told of the charges after I returned home and had to ask a week later for my deposit back to find out they used my deposit for their poor management mistakes. I'm then told by Alfred that he is not a wedding planner and I should pay for his mistakes. Do not get married here do not stay here do not let this owner ruin your ceremony or stay in St Lucia. Alfred you should not offer a ceremony and a beach if you can't follow through. This is not a good destination. I would pick another place there are lots of beautiful villas that are far better than the villa coulibri. The extra staff will stay in the areas that are not rented by you the staff can see your every move there is no privacy for you are always being watched by someone or you turn around and there is a staff member doing yard work etc while you are trying to enjoy your alone time. This is not a private setting. The views are ok but not what I consider breath taking. I have stayed in far better villas where the owners only care about your stay and not their money. My overall, review would be the owner is not a kind person and does not admit nor pay for his own mis management. You will be far happier else where the worst stay I have ever had. The worst owner I have ever dealt with. I suggest reading the on going court case against the villa owner and his partner of the villa. The truth as I read and have found out first hand. Bad management poor business skills and lies that you will as a quest pay for out of your deposit. Then Alfred will be little you treat you like your nothing and just flat out be a complete jerk to you once he has your money. This was a very expensive wooden tent. Very disappointed in the poorly managed and poorly maintained villa and it's owner. You want frogs in your food yup found several in the fridge on my food there are no walls like I said a big wooden open tent. No luxury other than the view. The boat is not worth the 600 dollars you pay for it. It's hot no shade for guest and it's old not well maintained either. Do not stay at this villa there are far better places. The reviews I read must be from people that have never been to a nice luxury villa where you are catered to and luxury is at its finest. This is not that place.

73 replies to this topic
Soufriere, St. Lucia
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for St. Lucia
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1. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Bon jou serpa72,

That's unfortunate you were caught up in the owner's personal difficulties however the villa was renovated/refurbished last year...

Bless up! Paul

Peaks Island, Maine
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1,937 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Sorry to hear about your recent negative experiences while staying at this villa in the Anse Chastanet area. Many of the villas in the area are really nice, owned by good people, and managed by experienced and caring staff. I've been staying quite regularly in this area for years and most people I've talked to who've stayed in the area have been really happy with the area and the villa that they've selected. The views that you'll find in the area are some of the nicest on the island, although they can very from villa to villa.

That being said, things can go wrong at times and not all properties are kept up as they should, and not all owners or managers are pleasant to deal with, especially when you have problems. That's always the problem of using a site like Vrbo or Airbnb to make a booking. You can read past reviews but reviews can be misleading and you never know what you might get. When you have a bad experience such as this, you are basically out of luck because the booking site (Vrbo or Airbnb) won't really do much for you. They leave it up to the owner/manager and the renter to work it out. But it is a good idea to leave reviews where you can, just to let others know about your experiences.

I always find that before selecting a villa it's a good idea to contact the owner, ask all kinds of questions, and see how they respond. It's kind if of like a "hospitality test." Some people get it and really care about their guest's experience but unfortunately others don't.

I have noticed a trend also in the area, where some owners/managers haven't been doing as good of a job as they have in the past about matching up their guests with their properties as this has caused some problems. For example, as I'm sure you are aware, the area is fairly quiet, especially at night. Some of the larger properties have been bringing in guests of large wedding and honeymoon parties, such as the villa you mentioned. They stay up all night, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, play really loud music, and scream until about 4 in the morning, making it miserable for anyone staying in the area. This has been happening more and more. On one trip, we noticed that a small group of family members were renting a villa. The extended family was having a wedding at Sugar Beach but they didn't want to put up everyone at SB. So they rented the villa and had some people stay at the villa. After the wedding, they didn't want to pay to have party festivities at SB so they moved everyone to their villa--over 30 people. They partied all night But it got much worse as the festivities went on for days. It was horrible! The staff at the villa were horrified but they couldn't do much about it. No one wanted to rock the boat and call the police or make an official complaint. I finally had to step in and crack a few villa owners to get the madness to stop.

In all honesty, what made me chuckle about your review here (and made me realize that you really stayed here) was your comment about having to give rides to villa staff to take them into town. No one really makes you do this as it is an elective thing, but I hear what you are saying. This is certainly the way it is here on the hill. Life is hard and local people working here work long hours. Walking the hill is miserable after or before a long shift. We always spend some good portion of our trip just giving people rides, and that's why we rent the bigger jeep. It's a great way to meet people and discover all kinds of things about the area. I've made countless friends over the years just giving rides. I once gave a guy a ride in the evening, who I had just met. He was in a hurry to head home to make it in time for his daughter's birthday party in town after working extra hours trying to fix a swimming pool pump that went bad. The next morning as he was heading up the hill to get to work, he noticed that someone in the night did a little damage to my car. So he got out his toolkit and fixed it up perfectly just because he wanted to return the favor. He ended up saving me hundreds of dollars. We've been friends for years since that time and now we always look out for each other. I always look forward to giving that fellow a ride.

Last but not least, when staying in an area of the Caribbean like this, keep in mind that you're living in a different country and things are not all polished and buttoned up as they might be back home. If you want that, consider staying at a northern resort run by a big corporate concern. Things are much slower and not as tight; dinner might take three hours, a chef might show up a little late (cars break down, etc.), many properties are open to the elements and bugs can get in, etc. it's just the way things are and will likely be for years to come. It's why we keep coming back.

Houston, Texas
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1,261 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Congomon - the OP is referring to the Coulibri on Anse Chastanet hill. The villa is brand new - finished only about a year ago.

Keith is right about contacting villa owners. I also urge everyone to actually read the listing before booking and not just look at the pictures! (I'm always surprised at how few people seem to do that.)

The problem is that Homeaway/VRBO recently followed AirBnBs model and have taken away contact information prior to booking. You will only be able to converse via email over the site. So google-search the name of the villa you are interested in to find contact information, and call the owner directly to get a sense of their hosting style. Particularly for a critical event like a wedding.

And, yes, the villas are open-air, so the word "luxury" may not apply compared to what you are used to having.

Full disclosure- we own a vacation/rental villa in Soufriere on the same hill as Coulibri.

Anse Chastanet
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5 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

We are not surprised at the negative review. The couple that left it treated us as wedding planners and wanted an all inclusive experience. We are a very nice villa but not a full service hotel and guests have to be prepared to organise and pay for their own wedding celebrations. These guests left without paying for what they had ordered. They offered to do a positive review if we would ignore $850 of unpaid items and return their full deposit. We declined and the long complaining review above is the result.

Soufriere, St. Lucia
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5. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Yes, pussuskattus, the same Villa Coulibri on the Anse Chastenet Road which we had thought was built out / over the original villa over several years and finished in early 2016...

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Oh, Congomon, I see what you mean. I had forgotten that there was a much more modest villa there before. I usually think of refurbishment or renovations and being much less extensive than what this one underwent.

Boise, Idaho
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7 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

ok, now I'm worried. My daughter has booked Villa coulibri above Anse Chastenet for her wedding. We have been very excited but like I'm said I am worried. That was a horrible review so anything you can tell us to make this celebration a positive one would be appreciated!

Soufriere, St. Lucia
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8. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Bon jou jumper79,

There may be no issues at the villa if your daughter is working with a wedding planner experienced in Saint Lucia...

Bless up! Paul

Oxford, United...
4 posts
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9. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

We had our wedding at Villa Coulibri earlier this year. Everything went absolutely perfectly, whilst we had small issues as explained above - chef being late, transport running behind schedule, this was not the fault of the Villa's and is certainly to be expected and needs to be allowed for when planning.

We used a local wedding planner who liaised and worked with the Villa owner (Alfred), his assistant (Alex) and the on site manager (Shermika), and they delivered on everything and helped above and beyond what they should have. Shermika is genuinely one of the best Villa caretakers around, we've stayed at a lot of high end villas and she was absolutely awesome.

Sounds to me you were looking for a wedding on the cheap and got that, they are Villa owners not wedding planners and your decision to not hire a wedding planner is what ultimately set you up for failure. St Lucia is a wild, beautiful country, but in St Lucia, failing to plan is planning to fail.

On to your expectations of luxury... well some people understand what luxury is, and some people don't. Coulibri is luxury on a different level, it's like being able to live along side nature in a king size bed... waking up with the view of the ocean with a hummingbird sitting on your terrace is luxury that some people will just "get" and others just won't understand. There are many traditional villas not the island, but none as unique and incredible as Coulibri.

I had to jump in and write something, I'm a frequent viewer on these forums and have had some great recommendations and advice, but to see Coulibri get bashed up like this is just not fair and I had to speak up and finally do my first post!

Finally to the OP use some punctuation in your text, it's very hard reading when there is absolutely no spacing.

Edited: 26 July 2017, 12:35
Anse Chastanet
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5 posts
5 reviews
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10. Re: Don't stay at villa coulibri

Cannot thank you enough, Nomadman, for that kind and articulate posting.

You captured the essence of the place.... and the essence of the complaint. Coulibri is not hermetic air conditioned type luxury and nothing gets done quite on time in St. Lucia but it is an exquisite place.

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