We loved Nature's Paradise! It was an ideal "home base" for our nine day honeymoon in St. Lucia.
Dave and Wanda really went out of their way to make everything "just right" for us. Seamless pickup from the airport, transportation to a restaurant before our jeep arrived, a lift to the jeep rental place on our second day, an orientation session over a map of the island, a nice breakfast each morning, tips on the best snorkeling beaches and where to rent snorkel gear. We definitely had the sense that we were "taken care of," and if we needed anything we could just walk up to the main house and ask.
Also, the cottages really are quite private from the main house, so we really were able to drop in to our own private honeymoon paradise. The clock on the wall has days of the week around it's edge instead of hours of the day, which is a great metaphor for the kind of relaxation we were after.
We did the South/ Soufriere tour with Dave, and I would highly recommend it. That got us familiar enough with driving around, getting to the South of the Island, and finding a restaurant in Soufriere that we were then comfortable driving down again on our own later in the week to hike Gros Piton mountain. Dave's very knowledgeable about the history of St. Lucia, the current politics and vegetation and locals and is a great storyteller. That day definitely gave us a stronger connection to the island. Then we spent the rest of the week exploring on our own (via our jeep - absolutely necessary to get to dinner, let alone to the nice beaches and hikes).
Our very very very favorite spot was Pigeon Point, about a 40 minute drive from Nature's Paradise. Beautiful beach, not too many people, beach chairs and snorkel gear for inexpensive rental, fantastic snorkeling just 20 meters off the beach (the second beach, further from the welcome gate). And the restaurant there was our favorite too - great pina coladas and fresh fruit juices, nice sandwiches and rotis, fun outdoor seating built of driftwood and old ship parts, and some extremely adorable cats.
Another highlight was a daytrip to Gros Piton. Driving to Soufriere was easy (we had gone with Dave previously so the road was familiar), then in Soufriere we asked for directions and somebody hopped into the car (a nice guy; and Dave had mentioned this sometimes happens and is OK to let happen) - he helped us find the two remaining un-marked roads that led to the Gros Piton trail head. We tipped him a few bucks and seemed happy to have gotten a lift to the Pitons, and the directions were helpful.
The Gros piton hike was much more challenging than we'd expected (but really fun), and we're regular hikers! It seems that the technology of "switchbacks" hadn't made it to this remote part of the island, so the trail just... went... straight up. It's steep! Lots of clambering over rocks, and climbing up steps built of roots and branches. They require you to follow a guide for $60, and it's worth it. Took about 3.5 hours round trip (up and down), and though strenuous it was really fun, very pretty, some great views, gorgeous rainforest, and felt like we "really earned it" when we got to the tippy top for the grand view of the island and ocean.
Another highlight! Were the finches that are all around Marigot Bay, and especially the finches at Nature's Paradise. They are very cute, have a lot of personality for a small bird, and fly in pairs (a black & red male with a brown female). They also love eating crumbs left for them, and some will even come to your hand to eat for a moment.
Restaurants - there are a handful of restaurants in Marigot Bay, and all are good. A touch pricey, but I think that's mostly because a lot of food ingredients need to be imported (St. Lucia grows bananas, mangoes, and not much else). We tried almost all the restaurants, spending around $70 per dinner (for two people, i.e. $35 a head). On the last night we found the best though - Julietta's. It's the most modest decor, but the best cooking, a little hard to find but ask Dave and Wanda. Dave recommended the coconut shrimp which we had and was awesome, along with some curried chicken.
All in all a very fun and memorable trip!
~Daniel & Karen
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- NATURE'S PARADISE at Marigot Bay A St. Lucia Eco-Lux vacation with a breathtaking Caribbean Sea view. Avocado Cottage and Banana Cottage are located on a quiet ridge high above the sea at Marigot Bay. The spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea creates the mood. Marigot Bay is what you have in mind when you think "Tropical Paradise". Our lush Tropical Gardens surround your private one-bedroom Cottage. Palms and Bougainvillea offer shade and color. You awake in the morning stunned by the breathtaking brilliance of the Caribbean - a turquoise like you have never imagined. PARADISE on a BUDGET Your Cottage is designed with romance and privacy as the keys to a great vacation. The French Provincial Four-Poster Queen-Size bed is draped with netting from Thailand. Constant trade winds make air conditioning unnecessary. Our large ceiling fans guarantee your comfort. The roofing is high and angled to allow plenty of light and airflow. The bathroom features a glass block shower and a built-in hairdryer. The sliding glass door opens onto a large balcony with those fabulous ocean views. Our Tropical Breakfast (Mon - Fri) begins at eight and lasts until you have finished dining on our fresh breads & muffins. Fresh fruit is always available. The seasons dictate which fruits are on the table. Dining is in the Villa. NATURE'S PARADISE Eco-Lux, Adventure, Relaxation, Romance. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nature`s Paradise Hotel Marigot Bay