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Reviewed 8 June 2018

Immediately after arriving at Richmond Vale, you are treated to an awesome view of the volcano. It's right on their patio, and you'll know immediately that you made the right choice in staying here. I stayed at the Diving & Hiking Centre for 3.5 days. I thought it was a great place because of the relaxed atmosphere and how they promote sustainability. Everyone I met there was super nice and I had a great time scuba diving on one of the days (shore dive) and then hiking up the volcano nearby, which is an amazing experience that you'll want to do if you are in St. Vincent. It's a little difficult to get out there, but worth it because you feel like you have the place all to yourself. There's a waterfall very close by that you can visit and it's actually quite impressive. For those who have more time then you can go to the hotsprings or up to another big waterfall on a separate trail. The beach is super close by too and it's a nice black sand beach with no one on it. David, who has worked there for six years, showed me around the gardens and was always there to help. He help coordinate everything and was very prompt in emailing back/ made sure I was comfortable. I hope to be back soon.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled solo
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Trenton D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper F, Manager at Richmond Vale Diving & Hiking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2018

Thank you Trenton for your very positive review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay and appreciate our work here. You're welcome to book with us again in the future.

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Reviewed 7 June 2018

My husband and I just got back home from a one week vacation in St Vincent. We stayed at Richmond Vale Center for 3 nights. We were interested in hiking the volcano and explore the area and the Richmond Vale Center was the perfect base for us. The accommodation (double room with private bathroom) is basic, as described, so there were no surprises there. David kindly took time to show us the property on arrival and was always available to answer our questions. We found the area surrounding the center gorgeous. Everything is so green, so lush – you find yourself surrounded by fruit trees, coconut palms and other tropical plants at all times. We really enjoyed the hike to the volcano, accompanied by the great guide Sam – he knows the area like the back of his hand! We also hiked to the Dark View falls and loved that as well. But we feel that there is so much more to explore in the area and hope to be able to go back to Richmond soon.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
Thank patri_postigo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper F, Manager at Richmond Vale Diving & Hiking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2018

Thank you for your feedback and your very generous comments. We were glad to host you and make your stay a very positive one. We look forward to your next stay.

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Reviewed 15 April 2018

We wanted to stay near the Dark View Falls and La Soufriere (volcano) and this seemed the only accommodation for the area. Approximately 40 minute walk to Falls and a great start point to hike the volcano (it took us 3 hours 15 minutes from the hiking centre to the summit with our guide).

You do need to bear in mind that it takes at least one and half hours by car to get to the hiking centre from the airport, even with a local driver, and the roads are winding mountainous roads. It cost us $80 each way and this was arranged by the centre.

We choose a basic double room with a private bathroom as we very rarely book a room with shared bathroom facilities.

The room was bigger than I expected and the bathroom was more than adequate with a large shower with good pressure. In the room there was a double bed frame with two single mattresses on it, a desk and chair, and a shelving unit that was more than big enough to store all your clothes etc. There is also a set of washing lines outside the window of the room to dry any wet clothes. The room also had a fan secured to the wall and a mosquito net fixed above the bed.

My only complaint about the room would be the mattress. I found it to be very uncomfortable and could feel the springs in certain places. My husband's mattress felt the same as mine but he wasn't too bothered by it. However the only night I slept well was the night after we hiked the volcano because I was worn out.

We opted to have breakfast and most of our meals at the hiking centre. You need to bear in mind that the nearest restaurant/bar outside of the centre is a 45 minute walk away (one way). The meals were all very tasty but as you are joining the employees and students in their sustainable lifestyle and eating mostly food grown on site, quite often you did not know what you were eating and the portions served were very small. This is not the place for someone who likes to eat a lot and I would say there was a bit of a lack of meat/protein.

Drinking water is available via a water fountain in the main dining area and guests are provided with two glass water bottles in their room to use throughout the stay.

Coffee is available at breakfast but other than this it is only really water that is available.

There was a list of prices in our room for the on site shop for drinks and snacks with a list of opening times but for the 5 days we were there, this shop was not open at all. There is also a little shop (selling drinks) at the bottom of the hill by the main entrance and the beach however this was only open once that we saw. Therefore there is a lack of access to drinks (other than water) and snacks - as I said the nearest town for bar/restaurant and shops is a 45 minute walk (one way).

The nature and peace and quiet at the centre are amazing and the views of the beach and the volcano cannot be described - beautiful and inspiring.

The beach is literally a 5 minute walk but all downhill from the centre and all uphill on the way back. The beach is black volcanic sand and the water is very steep very quickly. The beach is very remote and not at all touristy which we loved.

We used the hiking centre's guide, Sammy, for our volcano hike and we were very glad we took this option! He showed us lots of different things on the hike as well as reminding us when we needed extra caution. The price of the hike included 2 large hiking water bottles each and a lunch (3 cheese rolls and a pack of biscuits each). Just bear in mind with the hike, you need to cross a river before the hike starts so you will need to take your shoes off to cross the river and then put them back on so you may want to take a small towel or something to dry your feet before you put socks and boots back on - although you don't want to carry much as you will also be given a branch to use a walking stick; which you should take as it really helps.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper F, Manager at Richmond Vale Diving & Hiking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Thanks very much Jo for your review and feedback. This will help us make our hiking centre better for our future guests. You are always welcome to book with us again.

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Reviewed 30 March 2018

Sometimes the end of the road is a great place to begin. From the moment I arrived, greeted by a most caring host, David, I knew that I had made my way to a special place. The facility is a marvel of sustainability, the students, hard-working, driven by the desire to make lasting changes in the health of humans and the planet, they were lovely to be around, their stories, inspiring. The gardens are astounding! I spent so many peaceful moments roaming in tranquillity. The views...breathtaking! Fireflies flicker in the trees at night just outside the terrace! It's a magical place, mere minutes from a black sand beach. Hiking the Volcano, La Soufrière, has been a long time goal, with an adept, local guide, I did it! The experiences I had at Richmond Vale are life-changing, a reset to my person, a safe place to restore balance. I can't wait to go back, next time with my beloveds! It is an experience I hope to share soon! Thank you!

Stayed: March 2018
1  Thank Tiffany S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper F, Manager at Richmond Vale Diving & Hiking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Thanks so much Tiffany for your great review. We're glad you enjoyed your long stay and to have hosted you during your time. We look forward to your stay in the future.

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Reviewed 10 February 2018

My wife and I spent six days at Richmond Vale Academy (RVA). We scuba dived for the first time, took a boat/hike to a nice waterfall, and spent almost 8 hours hiking up the volcano. The scuba instruction was very patient and personal. The hiking guides were also patient (we're both over 60) and knowledgeable. The room was basic, as expected, but very clean and quiet. The food was good and healthy. Too much food, really. We were able to chat with students and staff from a dozen countries. I recommend taking a taxi there. We rented a car. But RVA is at the end of a long hilly, winding, narrow road, so everything you might drive to is a good drive away.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Rick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jesper F, Manager at Richmond Vale Diving & Hiking Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2018

Thanks very much Richard for your nice review and for your stay. You're welcome to stay with us again in the future.

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