We have just returned from a holiday in St Lucia which included a 4 night stay in Kalabash cottage at Crystals. Our decision to stay at Crystals was very much based on the excellent reviews posted on Tripadvisor. I therefore whish to add our experience to the list of reviews.
Martin and Monica are superb hosts; very welcoming and generous. eg, providing a bottle of sparkling wine in the cottage for guests upon arrival, ensuring that the fruit bowl is filled, free welcoming drinks. Monica has gone to great effort to decorate and furnish the cottages in a unique style, clearly spending a significant sum of money on furnishings; upon arrival at Kalabash we were immediately impressed by the decor and the great views from the balcony.
What became quickly apparent however was the impracticality of much of the furniture and some of the shoddiness of the finishes in the cottage; the wardrobe contains only shelving therefore clothes cannot be hung up, the windows have no mosquito screens and the french doors which lead onto the balcony have no handles therefore once the bolt has been undone the door remains open, the toilet is not bolted to the floor and the plugs in the bathroom sinks do not work. These small issues in themselves did not irritate us greatly, however their cumulative effects were slightly wearying.
Our first night sleeping in Kalabash was quite an experience. Rather naively we had left on a kitchen surface, a plastic container of nuts, sealed with a plastic lid. During the night, a rodent (we presume a rat) gnawed through the lid, scattering the nuts across the kitchen and also storing nuts behind cushions in the cottage. Initially we found this a bit funny, kicked ourselves for leaving out the nuts and ensured we did not repeat this mistake! We mentioned to Monica that a rat had visited the cottage and she replied that she advises all guests to keep foodstuffs in the fridge - unfortunately she had forgotten to remind us.
Our preventative measures over the next 3 nights made no difference in terms of deterring vermin from entering the cottage. Every night, the rat/s scampered around the cottage, leaping across surfaces and gnawing noisily on anything and everything. One night my soap dish was even prised apart by the rodent and the soap carried away to be chewed in another part of the bathroom. We remained stoic about the scenario and used our earplugs to ensure a decent night's sleep. We did not use the kitchen facilites at all however.
I would therefore recommend anybody considering staying at Crystals to be aware that the accommodation is rustic and has a faintly grubby air about it. eg although Kalabash cottage contains beautiful Oriental rugs, they are only swept, not beaten and appear a bit matted and dirty; the bathroom shower is built in a sort of rock waterfall style - again difficult to clean due to the abundance of nooks and crannies, and it houses frogs and cockroaches. There are also very large gaps where the wooden walls of the cottage end and the roof begins - it is therefore inevitable that rats, mongooses etc can access the cottage.
I realise that our experience bears no resemblance to those posted on this website; we are a bit surprised by this, particularly as guests are paying $250 a night to stay here. In our opinion, this does not represent value for money.
Finally, and before we are acused of being "Sandals lovers", I would like to stress that we have travelled independently to all parts of the world and have stayed in a diversity of accommodation, including very basic places with a wealth of fauna. I think our concern is not primarily the fact that Crystals is "different" and that its jungle location invetiably attracts associated fauna/creatures, but more to do with the price guests are being charged for the privilege of experiencing this. Once again I would like to stress that the owners are fantastic and despite some of the issues we had, the views and scenery are superb - but manage your expectations and lock away any food.
Julie and Gareth, Ilkley, UK
- 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