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“Secluded, romantic and relaxing off the beaten path rain forest retreat!”
Review of Crystals

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Crystals
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Neptune City, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Secluded, romantic and relaxing off the beaten path rain forest retreat!”
Reviewed 11 April 2011

This review is long overdue...my wife and I stayed at Crystals for our honeymoon, August 18-27th 2010, after much searching on the internet and reading 100's of reviews on this site and others. Neither of us are "Sandals-types" so we wanted a place that was a bit more natural and not walled off or fenced in from the local population. As it turned out we could not have been happier with our choice! Crystals is located in an intimate mountain side setting in the rainforest in the hills above the town of Soufriere. It would not be the easiest to find on your first approach but fortunately Monica had arranged a jeep rental for us and the owner (Benny?) picked us up at at the airport and drove us to Crystals. Highly recommend letting Monica arrange for a rental as they are are the most inexpensive on the island. Plus the driver was a great orientation/tour guide on our 45 minute ride from the airport. Upon arrival we were greeted with rum punch and given a little tour of the property, which I can only describe as unbelievably lush and beautiful surroundings. The cottages themselves are arranged essentially across a little ridge on the hillside beside each other. They offer plenty of privacy, but it was not a huge sprawling property. We had booked Papaya for 7 days and Calabash for 4 days, but as another guest hadn't arrived on our 7th night, we were given the option of staying another night in Papaya at no additional charge which we graciously accepted. I have to say Papaya was worth the extra money, as it has the best views and is a bit larger. I mean all the cottages are spacious and have great views but Papaya had the widest vantage point as well as the largest sundeck and pool. We enjoyed morning and evening dips, occasionally sans swimsuits, and the pool was cleaned daily by a friendly singing staff member. The Calabash tree house cottage was also splendid, the interior furnishings were amazing, nothing standardized or commonplace, lots of carvings, heavy mahogany furniture, beautiful art and furniture thoughout, essentlally the opposite of what you'd get at a Marriott or the like. We also got to see the other cottages, and while all were great, we liked the two we stayed at the most. Sugarcane probably would've been our next choice after that.
During our stay we were invited for cocktails in the Treehouse bar every night that we were around and not out exploring the island. Monica and her husband Martin are excellent hosts, lots of fun, very engaging and just plain good people to get to know. Monica's a sweetheart and Martin is a great musician, entertainer and a pretty funny guy! We also had dinner, prearranged, on two evenings, one of which included a live reggae band, which was also alot of fun, and a good bargain. Oh yeah, the breakfasts that they brought every morning were awesome! Super fresh fruit every day and then either an omelette or biscuits or coconut pancakes, all very very good! Way better than any standard buffet line!
Monica also arranged some great activities for us. We highly recommend the rainforest walk with Ras, one of the Crystals security guards who was very friendly (and also very accomodating of one of my special requests), he even took us to see his garden after doing the hike to an unbelievable waterfall where we got to swim all we wanted. The sailing trip up that they can arrange up to Marigot bay is also not to be missed. Theres nothing like showing up at a snorkeling spot on a private sailboat with only one other couple when you see catamarans full of loud drunk tour-ons staring enviously at you, and you know full well that they paid way more than you did, ha! That was really a great day-trip with a friendly captain and 1st mate as well. Other bonuses at Crystals was the adorable german shepherd puppy that greeted us nightly (we miss you Loki!) and the chance to get to know other guests at cocktail hour was nice too. We even got to meet a St lucia reggae super-star, and friend of Martin's, Ras Afrika and hang with him for an afternoon. Also, another one of Crystals' staff, Wayne, was kind enough to guide my wife on a hike to the top of Petit Piton, (I'm a bit out of shape, but I didn't want to hold her back) I felt completely comfortable letting her hike with him, as he was a really good natured guy and we had got to be pretty good friends during our stay)
We ate at some great restaurants in and around Soufriere, the Hummingbird was great, not the biggest fan of the Mango tree (great view but food was kinda blah imo) Our favorite was the one right on the water in Soufriere, cant recall the name but definitely worth a visit. Snorkeling at Jalousie was also great and we stopped at Ladera for cocktails. We could not believe how much some people that we met paid to stay at Ladera, Crystals was SO much nicer, and for a fraction of the price. Jalousie on the other hand, well if you have tons and tons of money then I would stay there too, place is pretty sweet, but if you're not a millionaire then Crystals is your next best bet! Of course you can just do what we did, go there for drinks, use their facilities, and hang at the beach bar there (the beaches are all public) and then just drive "home" at the end of the day. (we even used their free internet, haha)
I can't say there were any real big negatives at Crystals for us. yes, there will be some insects if you leave food out or leave the lights on with the doors open when it rains, but you're in the rain forest buddy! Just put the a/c on or wear some bug spray. Martin also installed some sort of electric/sonic device while we there that was supposed to keep bugs away, I was skeptical at first but it really worked! The night after he installed it there were hardly any insects at all even with us having a bunch of the lights on and the doors wide open at night! And yeah, you have to drive to the beach instead of walking right out the door, but instead you get amazing views, your own private swimming pool, and a much more personal experience. Overall, this place is no Sandals, and thats exactly why it was so great... SO much more UNIQUE. We did not want to leave and we definitely plan on returning, the sooner the better! Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Room Tip: Papaya is worth the extra money!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank RonJunior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
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English first
Bath
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

Our stay at Crystals in early February 2011 was memorable because of the beauty of the lodging/ setting + the outstanding hospitality of the owners, Monica & Martin Charles. There are only 6 cottages & we received very personal attention.
- Beauty. The Calabash room is delightfully decorated but the real beauty in in the view, as others have described. It was wonderful to wake up each morning to see the Pitons, as well as the Caribbean. The balcony also overlooks the rainforest. The view is spectacular.
- Hospitality. We have never experienced the type of hospitality that Monica & Martin offered, as well as the staff. They took care of us - car rental (less expensive that others on island), suggestions about what to see & how to get there, rainforest tour (free), tips on how to get around. The hospitality was capped off each evening when Monica & Martin hosted the guests in the tree house bar (free rum punch, etc.). The conversation was wonderful.
- Location. Crystals is a few miles outside of Soufriere & very isolated (quiet).
- Bathroom. Ours was very pretty, with its double sink & shower that looked like a waterfall.
- Kitchen - well stocked.
- Dinner. This was offered one evening by our hosts & was wonderful.
- Mosquitoes. We had no problem - didn't encounter any, although I did get some bug bites (not sure where I got them).

Downsides:
- Crickets in the room. We got used to the crickets & tree frogs outside our room (after all, this is the rainforest). However, we had a hard time with the crickets who got into the room & were very noisy. We determined that the best way to prevent them from getting in the room was to keep the lights down in the evening. However, there were a couple of nights when they really disrupted our sleep.
- Lighting. As stated above, we kept our lights low in the evening, so it was difficult to read. The bathoom lighting is not good, so shaving was a challenge.

Crystals is not your average hotel & I am so happy about that!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank swtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charles3, Owner at Crystals, responded to this review, 21 March 2011
I would like to thank you for sending in a review, the kind words so well appreciated and believe me the pleasure was all ours having you here with us at Crystals.
I do hope we will see you both again back here soon, take care and blessings for the rest of the year.
Monica and Martin
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Vejle, Denmark
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed 9 nights at Crystals, the room was nice and very homey + bigger than expected, and the view + pool + deck was great.

We rented a car (which is a must when staying at Crystals) through the owner and found the price of the car rental to be very attractive compared to others on the island.

If you are looking for a quite place where you can cook your own dinner and be left alone, only 'interrupted' by the staff bringing you breakfast or cleaning your house and pool each day, this is it!

However we partly chose Crystals because of the restaurant and bar that's mentioned on their web site - so we didn't have to go out each night or cook our own meals - and therefore we were disappointed to learn that it was only open 1 out of 9 nights (at least during our stay)!
The other units were occupied as well so we weren't the only guests, nevertheless we were only told about (complimentary) cocktails at the bar once and another night we learned that the restaurant was open too late (because the staff forgot to tell us). The rest of the nights, the bar + restaurant area was shut and we had to drive to restaurants in town (it's too far to walk).

You're supposed to be able to order lunch (pizzas, sandwiches etc) that can be brought to your unit. Just make sure to do that in the morning when they bring your breakfast because there is no reception and it's not always easy to find a staff member around.

The owners were very friendly. We had hoped to get to know them a little - as we often do when staying at small family-run places - but unfortunately only met them twice in 9 days.

I would have liked to be able to give Crystals a better rating as it is a indeed a nice place and hidden gem - and because the owners Monica + Martin are such friendly people. However I also feel that I need to share my experiences and disappointments with future customers so they know what to expect and what not to...

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank piaech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charles3, Owner at Crystals, responded to this review, 8 February 2011
I so appreciate the time you took to send in your kind review thank you, and your view of our bar and restaurant hours.

I would like to agree with you we are more a villa rental and are very private not like a normal bar and restaurant and do not open to outside Guests.

breakfast.........................................we like to pamper so you get breakfast in bed at any time.

lunch you have an option of the restaurant or in the cottage/villa, a menu is placed in each villa/cottage with a selection from homemade soup to dish of the day,or yes you can as well have a homemade pizza and so on,mind you most of our Guests are out at the beach or on a tour so it is not often lunch is requested apart from our traditional Sunday lunch.

Dinner again is served most of the time in the restaurant but on reservations, but you can have your dinner in your villa/cottage should you rather this option.


when we do dinner it is very special as all My Guests will tell you,

1) we are not open to outside Guests at all
2) we open the bar every night from 6 onwards and it is up to My Guests to come and have a drink or not
3) we open on average 3 times for a full dinner in the evening but this can change more or less depending on the demand.
4)the great thing about Crystals is each villa/cottage has a kicthen so one can cook or one can go out and enjoy five minutes drive some great local restaurants.
5) request when one would like dinner , indicated on the arrival letter placed in every villa and cottage.
6) reservations can be made the night before at the bar or at breakfast with any of the staff or even with the pool staff, all this is indicated on arrival,
or call on my phone.

My Husband and I live on property at the entrance and are available,so i find the comment we are not available rather odd, and if I am not on property I have a staff available , plus every night we are at the bar if by 9 everyone has departed, we of course would close

In fact it is funny as I mentioned to My Guests on departure gosh I have not seen you a lot you were always out enjoying yourself..........................................

Crystals is not a resort where hundreds of people are in the restaurant and bar at all times , we are a small private hideaway and I agree with the Guests if you are looking to eat a burger at last minute notice and wants lots of people round you Crystals is not for you.

If you want a small romantic property that offers great service,arrange any tour,help you plan your day , be there for you should you have any questions or special requests ,enjoy a romantic home cooked organic dinner in our tree house with local music and good company , be free to do your own thing then Crystals is for you...............we are not a resort.
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Houston, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2011

Our stay at Crystals in Soufriere was perfect from the time we arrived until we left. We arrived late one evening, rented a SUV(do not rent car, some rough roads) and arranged with Monica to have a driver meet us at the airport and show us how to get to Crystals (about 45 min. drive). The driver was very friendly and knowledgeable about St. Lucia. It was about 11 pm when we arrived at Crystals and Monica was standing out front to greet us and show us to our villas. What a unique place! We stayed in the Papaya, our friends in the Mango and Calabash. We had a huge deck and the view of the Pitons was awesome. Monica arranged for our guide for the rain forest hike (very strenuous if you are not pretty fit). But, our guide was really good about waiting for us to catch our breath. Don't miss the sailing trip! Monica will arrange this too. We snorkeled and sailed to Marigo Bay and back to watch the sun set over Soufriere Bay. Monica and Martin are such wonderful hosts, they can tell you anything about that area and things to do. We had a dinner with the other guests one night of our stay in the Treetop Bar. The cooks made the most wonderful authentic meal for us and Monica was the perfect hostess. And I cannot forget a happy hour or two drinking Martin's rum punch.
I can say that we loved this place, but not everyone will. The doors stay open all the time, the breeze is wonderful. The breakfasts are wonderful. And you feel so welcome.
But, if you are one of the whiney, high maintenance, ritzy resort kind of person, this place is probably not for you. What you will get here is quiet & privacy, wonderful views, uniqueness, and gracious hosts that make you feel very welcome. I would go back tomorrow if I could!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank newmemories
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 26 January 2011

This resort is very nice. The hostess Monica is such fun and welcomes with open arms. The views are excellent, this is also the best part of the island for nature lovers close to the rain forest and volcano. The road up to the hotel needs work and we did have some leaks but overall we really enjoyed this place. Beach is just a short drive away. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wdanemma2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cary, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed 26 January 2011

We stayed in Calabash at Crystals for 7 days for our honeymoon and it was wonderful. Monica and Martin were so hospitable, holding complimentary cocktail hours every evening where all of the guests could meet each other (max. of 6 guests any one night while we were there). Martin entertained everyone with his musical talents and Monica shared the secrets of the island.

We've never been to a place with more character than Crystals, each of the cottages was beautifully and uniquely decorated.

Breakfasts at Crystals were delicious! Delicious doesn't begin to describe them actually. You should look forward to breakfast!

Restaurants on St. Lucia are expensive and the quality of the food one gets for the price isn't worth it. We were able to cook in our cottage most nights of the week with food bought at aerolines grocery in soufriere which was an experience in itself.

Be sure to make the extra walk from Anse Chastanet to Anse Mamin

Overall, it was such a wonderful place to stay. Fantastic honeymoon location. We'd do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ieatmashedptatas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pembroke Pines, FL
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2011

Well first of all my wife and I did stay here in August (but it was August, 2008). We were there for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We stayed at a different location for the first couple of days (between Castries & Gros Islet) We wanted to get a couple different perspectives of the island. It was my intention to return for our 30th Anniversary. However, from time to time I go on line and read reviews of St Lucia in general (and of Crystals in particular). During a recent perusing on this website, I decided I couldn't wait that long. We will be going back later this year to celebrate our 28th. On this return visit we have no intention of splitting up our trip. We will spend our whole time in the Soufriere area (and stay at Crystals of course). Obviously most of the reviews for Crystals are favorable. It seems that the few reviews that I've seen from time to time that are not 4 or 5 star go on to mention things such as bugs. NOTE TO "BUG" PEOPLE....... You're on the edge of a rainforest!! Just a brief detail of our arrival and highlights of our visit to Crystals. When we arrived Monica and Martin were up in the tree house dining with some personal friends who were visiting them (more on that in a minute). They led us to the room we had requested (Calabash). We were instantly thrilled and impressed as we walked thru the wood privacy fence into the area which had a hammock, our own private plunge pool, a bar-b-que, and a gorgeous view. We then walked thru the French doors into the room. I thought it was funny to read a recent review critiquing this particular room. This was the room we wanted to get when we looked at the choices on line and all the little things that the reviewer was criticizing were things that my wife and I found charming, unique, and part of the overall enjoyment of staying in this room. There are plenty of pictures of the Calabash. Take a look and you'll see what I mean. From there we were asked to join them and their friends for lunch. Within minutes we felt like we were part of the gang. Bottles of wine were poured, delicious food was consumed and delightful conversation was had. We came back up later that night and listened to Martin play guitar. We sang along (when we could) and enjoyed Martin's rum punch (also known as "Rocket Fuel"). Again, wonderful conversation in the midst of a beautiful environment.

The next morning we went and visited the Diamond Botanical Gardens for a while and then off to the Anse Chastanet area. While there we spent a good part of the day snorkeling (gear is rented there for a very affordable price), had a late lunch right off the water and then back to Crystals. That night we took a cab to the Dasheen restaurant at the Ladera Resort. Fabulous food with a breathtaking view. (Not cheap, but what the heck? My wife deserved something nice for tolerating me for 25 years!!)

We just relaxed around Crystals the next day before catching our ride back towards the airport. We had the cab driver join us for lunch at Debbie's Place. It's on the way to the airport and well worth the stop. A terrific (and affordable) lunch to send us on our way.

So, if you are folks that stay at the Hilton or Ritz wherever you go...... this place is probably not for you. If you want to stay with people who treat you like family in one of the most beautiful places I've been to (and I've traveled to many places around the world)..... then Crystals is for you.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KEITHCOTTER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crystals

Property: Crystals
Address: Colombette Drive, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Spa Hotel in Soufriere
#8 Family Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Crystals is a one of a kind Tree House property with a cluster of unique cottages and Villas built into the trees. It is nestled away in the hillside of Soufriere with most spectacular views of the piton mountains, ocean and the picturesque town of Soufriere. Crystals is not an all inclusive resort. Here, you can take advantage of your own BBQ and full kitchen, or enjoy a wonderful feast at our Treetop Restaurant. Private chefs are also available. Our one of a kind cottages and villas are equipped with Air Conditioning and stylishly furnished with 4 poster king size beds, art from around the world, private pools and offer amazing, panoramic views of the ocean, the majestic Gros and Petit Piton and the drive-in volcano. Visit Crystals soon and allow yourself a moment to relax in a hammock and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your lush surroundings, or get pampered with a full body massage in the privacy of your own cottage. Then join us every night for complimentary cocktails at our tree-top bar and dance the night away to the rhythms of a local band. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Crystals Hotel Soufrière
Crystals St. Lucia/Soufriere

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