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North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Boulder, CO
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12 posts
22 reviews
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North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

My husband and I just returned from a fabulous week in St. Lucia (first time) and I had so many questions before I went, and I see so many of the same questions, so I thought I would post my opinions and, of course, open to others.

First, we rented a Suzuki Jimny from Drive-A-Matic at the UVF airport for about $400 USD for a week, plus 1/2 tank of gas for about $38 USD (return empty), did not purchase any additional coverage thanks to what Visa provides, and had a great experience with them. Easy peasy, new car, no hassles. My husband is a good driver and did just fine on the mountainous roads (we do live in Colorado, but not in the mountains). I'll tell you what though, that road to Anse Chastenet/Jade Mountain is a joke. I'm pretty sure that they leave it that way because they want to keep people out. (beautiful beach!)

We stayed for 5 nights at Villa Eluna in Margretoute, near Soufriere and it was wonderful! Spectacular views, great location (though tough to find on the first try), rustic but very nice, and peaceful. Except for the construction at Freedom Bay. There was one day we were hanging out at the villa most of the day and it was distracting. The walk to the beach wasn't too bad and though it's a more 'raw' area, we really enjoyed it. Yikes to the mosquitoes however. I tried candles and natural deterrents, but it was finally Cutter that did the trick. We did rent a car because we like to have freedom to do whatever we feel like at the moment.

Grocery shopping in Soufriere is interesting, not much parking and we did feel harassed several times, not enjoyable. The fresh fruit from the vendors around the square is divine - a bit early for mango season, but they were delicious! We didn't really care for Soufriere for the most part or how unfriendly we found most of the people. Not mean, but not friendly either. We're nice, quiet people...

We chartered a sailboat for a day with Mystic Man (will do a separate review) and that was simply amazing and completely worth the money. What a day! Dolphins swimming under the bow, nicest crew, gorgeous shoreline, on and on.

Restaurants in the area - we found that our favorite food and views were at Boucan (ah-may-zing), Dasheen, and Mango Tree.

On to the north of the island, for a 2 night stay at The Landings in a beach-front 'villa' (more like a luxury condo). It's a stunning beach that they have definitely cleaned up and I can't say enough about the property and the luxury experience. Very wonderful in a different way from staying in the wonderful Villa Eluna - sadly without the Piton views. We really couldn't decide which we liked better and probably would split our time more equally on a future visit.

We couldn't stand the market in Castries, the people are SO pushy, it was awful and we couldn't wait to get out of there. We did find the workers at the resort and in the Rodney Bay area to be incredibly friendly. It's a different vibe altogether from Soufriere.

Truly an amazing vacation and experience of St. Lucia - I really hope to get back someday!

England
Destination Expert
for St. Lucia
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3,406 posts
207 reviews
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1. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Thanks for posting re your trip and it sounds like you got out and about and experienced the "real" St Lucia. Some good and some bad. I go shopping in Castries every trip so have got used to the vendors and yes, some are very pushy. Rodney Bay is geared up for tourists and is a bit artificial but nice. soufriere can be intimidating. We have had mostly good experiences there but there are a few guys that hang around the bank that get very intimidating. On my first visit I encountered a scary bloke who sat on our car bonnet and demanded money. Other locals scared him off but it was a bit scary. These days I would be less polite and tell him firmly where to go! Glad you liked St Lucia and villa Eluna sounds lovely!

Edited: 22 May 2014, 07:41
Syracuse, New York
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10 posts
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2. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

I'm traveling with my family to St Lucia on July 1. Your review was extremely helpful!

Joe

Toronto
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5,119 posts
54 reviews
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3. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Walking around Soufriere we weren't hassled at all, but I think it may be due to my size - I'm 6ft 3in and weigh about 200lbs so my appearance, especially with the full beard, is probably more intimidating than most tourists. Either that or these people just weren't around when we visited the town.

Boulder, CO
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12 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Ha! gdbear65, that gave me a good laugh! They're still there ;-) My husband and I are short people, not intimidating at all. We had someone 'guard' our car while we sailed for the day. The guy was nice, not intimidating, just annoying. My husband thought it best to give him something, so it was just $5 ECD, but then I felt like we couldn't park in that little lot again... We had more than one step in front of our car and put out a hand to stop us in the middle of the road. Mostly were able to drive around, but scary nonetheless.

There was also the man who sat next to us on the beach while we were watching the sunset, he lives outdoors and is a 'mountain goat', climbs the Petit Piton twice a day (that's an accomplishment). I'd say he wasn't 'all there', but still managed to scare me a little. We made sure to get back to the villa before dark.

Mindy

Woking, United...
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416 posts
38 reviews
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5. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Glad you had a good trip. Also very pleased to see I am not alone in my views on & experience in Soufriere. I have upset quite a few people by giving my honest opinion, so it's always nice to see someone post that has had a similar experience, even if it is just to show I'm not alone, although it is not pleasant for anyone at the time. Also glad to see it didn't put you off & that you'll be returning to St Lucia in the future! As we have visited St Lucia on numerous occasions, we don't snorkel or dive & we've seen the sights on more than one occasion we tend to stick to the Rodney Bay area where as you say the vibe is so friendly & welcoming & just visit the South on the odd occasion.

Chicago, Illinois
1 post
1 review
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6. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

Did you have any problems getting ahold of the owner at Villa Eluna? We've been trying to book for the last month and have received no response.

Boulder, CO
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12 posts
22 reviews
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7. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

We booked back in November and have only had a few communications since, but no, they've been great. Did you use the email address: reservations at villaeluna dot com ?

Mindy

8. Re: North vs. South, Villa vs. Resort

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