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“Jungle Experience - Definitely "Roughing It"”
Review of Crystals St Lucia

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Crystals St Lucia
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 June 2010

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at Crystals. We originally planned our vacation for Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, but with all of the recent natural disasters we had to cancel our trip last minute and decided on St. Lucia as an alternative. We originally chose Crystals because it looked similar to the hotel we were supposed to stay at in Guatemala – more rustic and less resort.

I’d first like to say that both Monica and Martin are amazing hosts and do everything they can to make you feel right at home. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the tree house bar is absolutely enchanting. We enjoyed spending time with them for a few nights over wine (all drinks were complimentary) and also took a hike with their little dog ‘Storm’.

Throughout our stay we did have some concerns with our room (we stayed in Mango). There was no A.C., which meant we had to keep the windows open to have somewhat of a breeze throughout the day and night. My main concern with this was that there were no screens on the windows or doors, so every huge insect and creature imaginable came into the rooms, not counting the mosquitoes that were constantly biting (from the first day we counted over 130 bites just on my legs alone!) Bugs got into our bed, even with the mosquito netting that was provided. Crystals is located deep in the jungle, so it was difficult to sleep at night with the windows open and the sounds of the tree frogs and insects (imagine hundreds of alarms going off at once). I think if A.C. were available in at least the bedroom, the windows could be shut and that would have solved this problem. Because of the lack of sleep, and my fear of sleeping with the huge moths and other creatures, we made a decision to leave Crystals half way through our trip and try a resort up North. We didn’t want to hurt Monica’s feelings, but we had looked forward to this vacation for a long time and felt more stressed than relaxed. We ended up staying at the Windjammer for the remainder of our trip and found it to be a lot more enjoyable.

If you do decide to stay at Crystals, it’s necessary to rent a jeep (Monica will arrange this for you – our driver Andrew was awesome). The best beach is at Anse Chastanet which is about a 10-15 minute drive. The beach is nice, but you’re secluded to one small area since only those staying at Anse Chastanet Resort are allowed on a majority of the beach there. I would suggest eating at Gee’s which is right down the road from Crystals – great food and good prices. Also, we ate at the hummingbird and the restaurant at Anse Chastanet a few times and both were good. We had an excellent massage at Stonefield which is on the other side of Soufriere and also visited the volcano and sulfur springs which was a great time (luckily we went on a day that it rained, so the water wasn’t TOO hot). We didn’t find the people of Soufriere to be very pleasant – most were offering us drugs or trying to get some cash. We enjoyed the environment up North near Castries a lot better and found it to be more friendly and inviting.

Overall, I would say to only stay at Crystals if you really enjoy camping and the outdoors.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank delicateiam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charles3, General Manager at Crystals St Lucia, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2010

"Jungle Experience" yes of course being on the edge of the rain forest one must have insects, you can describe this as roughing it but a better term would be being in tune with nature.
most of the hotels in Soufriere have shutter windows ( you have to pull close and push open) like our mango cottage and some of the resorts here in Soufriere have in fact no wall at all and are completley open, this being half the charm.
A fan and mosquito nets works or one can stay in one of our air condition cottages but still one can be subject to insect bites.
Insects have no boundaries you could be on a camp site or in a five star resort insects will come( I have however informed all insects they are not welcome at Crystals and not to bite My Guests !)
insects in general depend on climate conditions and every individual person, some people will not get one bite while others will, if one has any concerns bring a long a good insect spray.

Thank you for your review and understand our type of property "jungle experience was not for you" it was however a pleasure to have you here, and your boyfriend has amazing talent sure can sing.

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321 - 327 of 437 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2010

My girlfriend and I just completed our stay at Crystals, and our experience was both unique and fantastic. Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we had been upgraded to a larger suite for two nights, so we had the pleasure of staying in two of the rooms, and they did not disappoint. First of all, the rooms are extremely large, with a kitchen, living area and bedroom, as well as a spacious bathroom, private pool and an absolutely stunning deck. The views from the rooms at Crystals are truly breathtaking--being situated amid the sorroundings of the rainforest and with amazing views of the Pitons. The rooms are most definitely NOT your average run-of-the-mill hotel rooms, they're more akin to apartments that have literaly been constructed in the trees. If you're looking to avoid the mundane, arbitrary sameness of most of the resorts, the rooms at Crystals are a welcome surprise. The only downside is that given Crystals' location, there are quite a few mosquitos and other insects, so bites are inevitable. However, despite being bitten quite a few times, we did find that using the supplied mosquito nets and applying insect repellent with a high DEET concentration gave us some protection.

The hosts, Monica and Martin, are both extremely accommodating; they continually went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and helped us on more than one occasion in planning activities and making reservations. They provide you with free drinks every night and they really take the time to help you plan your adventures.

Overall, our experience was great and we loved our stay in such a tranquil, unique environment. Several of the other couples we met while there were honeymooners and they seemed to be enjoying their experience there immensely as well.

One word of advice: if you rent a car, make sure you get maps beforehand and always get detailed directions from a staff member before venturing out. The roads in St Lucia are generally quite bad, the driving is slow and there are very few road signs, so it is very easy to get confused or lost while exploring the island. If you're not comfortable driving on extremely narrow, windy and unkempt roads, you may want to forego renting a vehicle and hire a driver to take you around instead.

Thank you to Monica and Martin for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank icesheet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2010

After having to re-schedule our much-anticipated vacation from last year to this April due to serious illness, we were obviously full of excitement and the normal expectations having seen Crystal's site. We had selected Crystals because of the incredible photos, and mostly glowing reviews on Trip Advisor. In short, Crystals was amazing.

Yes, amazing--like a dream in so many ways. Not perfection in accommodation, but spectacular in so many other incredible ways considering the reality of a more third-world culture.

The views are more than incredible--they were even more mind-blowing than some remotes places I'd been in Indonesia, an incredible country itself, probably because they were available from most every window in our cottage.

The relaxed, intimate and friendly environment was just what we needed, and we loved arriving in the fun and gorgeous Tree House Bar almost each night (despite the fact we don't usually drink!), and being offered FREE, unlimited wine or punch each time. Not to mention lovely conversation with owners Monica and Martin, and other guests...Oh, and a full, lovely hot breakfast with fresh coconut-topped pancakes, assorted breads, fruit, "cocoa tea" (yum), and sometimes eggs delivered to your cottage each morning.

The owner's suggestions as to what to do/see in the area proved absolutely right on--and we are fairly particular about crowds (don't like them) and how we spend our money. A day-long sail Monica suggested turned out to be only 3 couples including us, and the friendly St Lucian co-captians. What a relaxing time--it actually made the trip for me--as we watched some other tour boats passing by packed with people. The other outing was an amazing hike to a waterfall (one of many there, but I think the best one), where we swam and took photos. Our guide "Ras" couldn't have been more experienced and friendly. Loved this special day. LIke being on a movie set. Thank you Monica.

Having loved our experience at Crystal's, we were disturbed by the last review posted from April (a London couple). We, too, are experienced travelers, and have had the good fortune to stay in many diverse hotels--some very fine and some not--and many B&Bs. Yet very unlike this couple, we certainly did not expect a "first-world" western experience, especially for the generous rate and generous services we were charged compared to other resorts in the same area--most double the price or more.

While the other couple claimed "What we're not used to is being led to believe a honeymoon destination will be heaven, only to be faced with an over-priced disappointment," we respectfully feel very differently.

As their site states, these are all open-air cottages, exposed therefore to the elements, and likely a challenge to clean. We, as a couple from the US (a country who's general reputation in the world often appears to be that its citizens are spoiled and often demanding--not all of that deserved), do understand that different economies of scale have varying abilities to afford and provide consistent goods and services, and often have limitations associated with unique weather conditions, etc. It is naive to expect otherwise.

Therefore it was shocking and sad to read such a bad review from our friends from London, when the owners of Crystal's very personally offer a lovely, intimate, and totally unique experience--especially for the price.

Having done our homework and compared Crystal's to other facilities online, we clearly saw that Crystals was priced lower than most, so we considered that the accommodation might be more limited in some way. We expected this. Yes, after a long drought there--fortunately followed by much rain--St Lucia was enduring some uncharacteristic heat and misquitoes--similar to summer on the East coast of the US. How this last reviewer chose to complain about this natural circumstance in regards to Crystal's beyond us.

The netting around the bed (again in these OPEN-AIR cottages that we knowingly reserved) could have had more clips to close it tighter, but the netting and the Baygone coils did take care of ALL of the misquitoes (and they do love me). After we got them under control, we settled into our amazing and huge cottage very nicely (Papaya for first 4 nights, then Sugar Cane for 3). We loved it--especially our breakfasts, the kind and hard-working staff, the sweet dogs, and the friendly, personal and good-humored ways of owners Martin and Monica. We miss you!!!

Yes, our shower drain was slow and clogged by hair--so I removed the hair. Big deal. Yes, some of the floors and furniture had a bit of outside dust on them--again, an open-air cottage...

Although I am a neat-freak, I found myself relaxing into this situation as a welcome lesson to accept what is and focus on all that was wonderful inside and out (the fabrics, furniture, our large and yummy breakfasts, the views, the people and, and the topography.) A tip: buy some pineapple jam to go on the assortment of breads for breakfast, and some banana ketchup for your eggs--just great. And remember, someone is cooking FOR you each morning. How lovely.

Our advice? Go, eat drink and DECIDE to merry--no matter what. A lesson my husband is teaching me. We'd go back now if we could.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank intermittantnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2010

Reading the glowing reviews of Crystals on this website is like reading about another place entirely to the the one we experienced. Unbelievable! My husband and I were hugely disappointed by Crystals, and left four nights earlier than planned, covered in mosquito bites and deeply unhappy (more on the mossies later). We are experienced travellers, used to back-packing, camping, basic hotels, the wild outdoors and generally roughing it. What we're not used to is being led to believe a honeymoon destination will be heaven, only to be faced with an over-priced disappointment. Crystals resembles more a compound of poorly built and maintained wood and cement huts than an eco-chic 'tree house experience'. We stayed in 'Calabash' - see photos - to put it politely, the decor was not to our taste: cluttered, grimy and for the most part apparently imported from the far east. We were appalled when we were told that the building materials (including mahogany) had been shipped from the Amazon - so much for the eco-credentials (as for the recycling of rainwater, it's very common on the Windward Islands and not something to be wowed by)! Inside the room, the much-needed mosquito net was little more than dirty 'decorative hangings' around the bed; the room was littered with exposed wiring and broken ornaments. Being home-built, doors didn't fit in door frames, and there were gaps in the floors - little wonder then that by the 2nd morning, despite our burning Baygon coils, covering ourselves with mosquito repellent, giving the 'mosquito nets' a fair trial and sealing the room off as best we could, I had 56 bites on my legs alone, and my husband was nearly as bad. We spent the following 3 days on antihistamines, being sick and generally irritated. When the manager pointed out the visible standing water on the property (a pond under the main building) we were in no way surprised! As for the 'private pool', ours was overlooked by the main building, small, dirty and permanently in shade. The relationship between management and staff appeared strained (we were embarrassed by the tone in which the manager spoke to staff, particularly during their serving of dinner). A lack of communication between staff and management seemed to be confirmed when having left the property in the morning, we spoke with a member of staff who assured us (in a begrudging tone) that she'd tell the manager that we'd gone, and that we'd be back to sort out the money. When we returned that evening, the manager was most surprised to learn we'd left! Finding any staff to speak to amongst the rambling wooden and cement structures proved remarkably difficult, especially given that the management assures guests that the compound has 24hr security (I'm not sure the pregnant German Sheppard dogs count). Aside from the condition of the property and the service we experienced, the breakfast was also of a surprisingly poor standard, and in no way resembled the pretty baskets captured in photographs on their website! On our 1st morning, having explained to the manager that we didn't really eat eggs, but that we'd love some fresh fruit, a grumpy member of staff thumped a tray laden with at least 6 thick omelettes, some glutinous bread and the poorest mangoes we've ever eaten onto our table. On the 2nd morning, after expressing our wishes a 2nd time to management, we at least had a few less omelettes and some pineapple. St Lucia, like the other Caribbean islands we've had the pleasure to explore, is a paradise bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables - we were blown-away by their scarcity at Crystals! All in all, Crystals could have easily ruined our honeymoon. Thankfully, we had the sense to leave early - moving into a well run, well kept, basic, honest hotel in Soufriere. We may have had to pay over 50% of our total stay, as well as $50 each for dinner, but it was worth it to escape. Our trip advise? Go to St Lucia, don't go to Crystals!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank HC2009London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charles3, Owner at Crystals St Lucia, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2010

When I read the term "experienced Travellers "I knew from the start this can not be true, as one should know in the tropics you get mosquitos?
The use of nets and the air conditioning should help the mosquito situation.
Crystals is not your average hotel at all, and unfortunatly it looks like our young English couple wanted more the traditional run of the mill hotels,square box room, here the Tree house Calbash cottage is far from that, the name should have given it away
1) the cottage is 40ft above ground on one side ,surrounded by trees, palm, avocado, coconut ,breadnut , papaya and of course the hole in the floor is where a lage mango tree is growing some 30ft up on the sun deck of the deck. Calabash is a tree house
the shower is made as a rock water fall complete with a bamboo shower head, this is in fact a feature of the bathroom, and the art work being one of a kind might be hard for every one to appreciate.
along with the unsual soft furninshings, silk fabricks.
2 )on the other side is the 20ft pool complete with patio and BBQ, and yes part of the day it is in the shade and being so hot here this can be a blessing, and yes it is DIRTY in the morning as being surrounded with trees and the wind blowing the pool is covered, however everyday we have our" Singing Westley pool Guy" who takes care of this.
Oh ref chewing gum, so not true, it was wood glue that was used to hold down the tile on the wood a spot must have landed on the floor.
For the towel wit the quarter of an inch hole gosh, this must have slipped in as My housekeeper do as a rule make sure our Eqyptian cotton and all perfect.
3) communications with staff , a bit odd, we are all very friendly here(half the staff are relatives of My husband) mind you I do have a bit of a selective hearing problem with My husband at times!
4)Ref website, breakfast photos's, none in fact we have no food photos's at all on our site, and have never had any food complaints,Oh and we never give 6 Omeletts for breakfast, very odd.

perhaps with time and more experience with a different type of Travel, our Charming couple will appreciate a property like Crystals

Management and staff would like to thank everyone for sending in reviews

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Reviewed 17 April 2010

if you value life experiences that you'll never forget, then you must go to St Lucia and you MUST stay at Crystals. We chose Crystals because we dont care for the cookie cutter hotel experience, and at Crystals you get anything but. The aura of Crystals is one of relaxation, romance and sheer fun. From the moment you arrive you'll be welcomed as a guest and as a friend by the owners Monica and Martin. The accommodations are storybook like : unique, spacious, clean, tastefully decorated, and with all the comforts of home. We stayed in the Mango which had a magnificent view of the Piton Mountains and the Caribbean Sea from every window, a private plunge pool, two bedrooms (one was a suite that was on the entire 2nd floor and had a balcony) and more square footage than you can make use of. At night we'd gather at the common 'Tree House' area with the other guests and our gracious hosts Monica and Martin would serve drinks and play live island music. Every morning you'll be served a breakfast like you've never tasted before : home cooked pancakes with dried coconut flakes, the sweetest fruits grown on the property, totally original omelets, and fresh baked breads you'll crave when you get home. Crystals is located about 10 minutes from the town of Soufriere where the local beaches, boating, fishing, natural mud baths, volcano, rain forest and other major attractions are located. There are plenty of fine restaurants within minutes of Crystals as well. The owners will make sure you are taken care of every step of the way .... be it transportation, reservations at the restaurant you want, day trips such as sailing up the coast, they take care of you and ensure your vacation experience is one you'll never forget. If you go to St. Lucia you must consider Crystals. Monica and Martin , THANK YOU for turning our vacation into a cherished life time memory. We look forward to seeing you again !

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank c00per40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2010

On one hand we feel bad that it's taken us this long to write a review, but on the other hand the 8 months that have passed since our honeymoon have only reaffirmed the very special and unique time we had on the island because of staying at Crystals.

When planning our honeymoon we knew that we didn't want the typical all inclusive resort and wanted to be able to have some freedom with exploration and experiencing the culture. As we boarded our plane in Atlanta we soon found out that we were surrounded by Sandals guests and kind of began questioning our opposite decision. But when we pulled up to Crystals and were greeted by Monica & Martin and their friendly dogs, we knew we had made the right choice. It was as if they were welcoming us to their home, which they really were. The personal touches they put into each of the houses and the pride they have for this place is inspiring and so special.

We stayed in the Sugar Cane and we may be bias but believe it was the best one. So cozy and the views are amazing. A pool all to ourselves facing the Pitons, are you serious?! Showing photos to family and friends, they couldn't believe where we stayed and that it was in fact a better monetary choice for us compared to all inclusives, though an experience you really can't put a price on. You truly feel like you are in St Lucia, not just another commercial resort that might be anywhere else in the world.

This is a very organic-rainwater in your pool-make sure to use your mosquito net at night-natural breeze in your face-one of a kind-type of place. The people that stay at Crystals are as extraordinary as the place itself. We made some wonderful friendships as well with the other guests, something we weren't expecting. Those that enjoy this place for what it is have the same goal in mind, to have a true to the island and it's natural beauty, type of stay.

To Monica, Martin, Christine, and the rest of the family at Crystals: thank you so much for bringing us breakfast every morning, made getting out of bed so much easier. Thank you for hosting happy hours and dinner, for taking us to the hot springs at midnight, and for being generally nice people and hosts that really wanted to get to know who is staying with them. Your suggestions and insight made our honeymoon all the more special. We relive our trip & memories constantly....thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

All our best,
Bobbie & Ben

p.s. Please don't go anywhere! We're coming back for our 5 year anniversary ;-)

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank bb080109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We had a 12 night stay at Crystals and could not have had a warmer welcome from Monica and Martin and their team.
Wonderfully planned dinner partys a couple of times a week and a chance to socialise with the guests in the other cottages. Great fun !

A day out sailing, snorkling and swimming around the island was truly memorable. Lots to do and plenty of relaxation made this a very enriching experience that we don't feel could have been achieved in a typical 'resort' hotel. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brehova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crystals St Lucia

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: £137 - £296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 St. Lucia/Soufriere

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