10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Please believe me...Paradise does exist!
"As a child I was exposed to words which described a place or an experience, such as superb, immaculate, beautiful, amazing and ineffable. There was one word which seemed to describe all the previous stated words plus more...and that word was PARADISE. Growing up I actually believed that there was a country called paradise, in which everyone was nice, it was beautiful everyday and life mimicked Thomas More's Utopia. As I grew older I found out that it was only a description of an ideal perfect setting. Well please KNOW paradise was found at the Calabash Cove!
First and foremost, let me start off by saying that I'm a well traveled dude and have stayed at countless 5 star hotels all over the world, as well as my friends who accompanied my girlfriend and I on this trip, and we all agree that it was the best hotel that we've ever stayed in.
We started out at the UVF airport, which is 27 miles south of Castries and about 1 hour and 45 minutes away by car, and hence; we opted to take the helicopter from UVF to SLU, which took approximately 10 minutes. Great ride, I HIGHLY recommend it, simply because it saves time and also provides you with a beautiful view of the island. As we arrived at the SLU airport, a taxi was waiting for us and took us to the Calabash Cove. The ride was about 10 minutes and cost around 40 US for 4 people.
Walking into the lobby of the hotel was mind boggling. It was as if I had awaken from a deep sleep and started to actually live for the first time. We were greeted by Jennifer, who is very nice if I may add and also didn't know how to pronounce the word NO, it just wasn't in her vocabulary. Then Thomason greeted us with his specially made rum punch, which was refreshing. He led us down to our cottages and assured us that we were in good hands. We were the youngest guests on the grounds, age ranges from 21-28, but that didn't bother us at, nor did our age bother any one else.
Our friends were in cottage 8 and we were in cottage 9, we ended up going to their room for a full tour of the place with Thomason and fell so much in love that we couldn't bring ourselves to move to our own cottage.
Finally, we managed to get up and went to explore our own cottage in paradise. Very nice furniture, flat screen TV, nice bar area, the hot tub was huge, mahogany wood all throughout the place, the outdoor shower was amazing, our plunge pool was great, and the view from the room was epic.
The staff was great! It was like we were in a movie, they treated us so well, and you could tell that it was genuine. It gets pretty dark at night, but no worries, the security are there to help you find your way on the grounds. Junior, the security guard was great (call him batman, tell him that you heard good things about him from Julius and Billy), we couldn't ask this guy for nothing that he wouldn't produce. They always kept a smile on their face and treated you like you were their guest in their home, its still unbelievable to this day how nice they were.
We didn't get a chance to eat dinner at the hotel, because we took a taxi into Gros islet both nights (taxi runs about 16 us for 4 people one way). We ate at the Fire Grill and Spinnakers, both great restaurants although at Spinnakers we thought that the food was better. Idea of prices: At the Fire Grill, which has live music, we ordered 2 starters for the four of us, 2 bottles of wine, 4 main courses and 1 desert...which came out to 300 us, which is not bad, but when you compare it to Spinnakers, which is right on the beach and also boasted live music. We had 2 starters, a lot of drinks, such as daiquiris, rum punches, and beers, 4 main courses and no dessert, 170...great deal! Both restuarants were great no matter the prices, but I just wanted to give you an idea. We did manage to eat breakfast at the hotel, which was great and the view made it even better.
Ask the hotel about activities, we went snorkeling with Irwin. Great trip. Also , the hotel has kayaks and snorkeling gear that guest can utilize.
Overall, we all had a lot of fun. With all the crucial elements such as the staff, the view, the room, the food, the beach...etc, a collection of these elements made our trip unforgettable. I done extensive research on all the resorts on the island, and the Calabash Cove surpassed all of them.
If you want to be treated like a celebrity or a rock star, enjoy a tranquil setting and relax at the undiscovered gem in St. Lucia, look no further...I kid you not, this place is paradise."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of June 2009
A wonderful, beautiful and relaxing place to spend time
"Well what can I say!... except it certainly lived up to its expectations.
Calabash Cove is exactly what the website tells you it is - a beautiful five star hotel in St Lucia. The accommodation is out of this world, the food is fantastic and the staff are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to make your holiday a pleasant stay.
We first discovered Calabash Cove in January before its official opening and were given a tour of the hotel. From that moment we fell in love with the place and immediately booked a return trip for May.
My husband and I had booked a swim up pool room, but we were upgraded to one of the Cottages on the beach. It couldn't have been more relaxing, with a stunning view of the ocean and plenty of room in both the bedroom and lounge area of the cottage - it also had a wonderful jacuzzi and an amazing (although slightly daunting at first) private outdoor shower. The cottage came with a spacious terrace / balcony with a hammock and small private pool which was perfect for chilling out on.
The hotel boasts some stunning views and the night time view of Castries from the restaurant area is fantastic. The restaurant is situated on a huge terrace area which over looks the enormous infinity swimming pool and gardens and is the perfect to place to sit and have a nice meal or a few drinks.
Although the hotel is secluded and very private, a 5 minute taxi ride will get you to the busy town of Castries where you will find a range of duty free shops or if you head in the other direction you will find yourself in the fantastic Rodney Bay, where you will find a beautiful although sometimes busy beach with lots of water sports to keep you entertained and an amazing selection of restaurants.
We had a fantastic holiday and will definitely be going back - I cannot wait."
- Travel date: Wed 10th of June 2009
Piece of Paridise
"Calabash Cove is up and coming, so go now before everyone finds it. The staff are wonderful and really take care of you.( Thomason and Chris here is the shout out ). The resort is designed for the ultimate in relaxation for piece and quiet, so be prepared. The only complaint was we could not stay longer."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of June 2009
Great Honeymoon Spot
"My husband and I just returned from our stay at Calabash. Everything was wonderful! The service was amazing and we couldn't have asked for the staff to be any friendlier. The food was really good...especially the yummy desserts. The menu does stay the same, however, we just chose to have something different off of the menu each night and everything we had was great.
We stayed in a waterside cottage. We started in cottage 5 however after the 2nd day we lost hot water. The staff quickly tried to fix the situation, but were unable to do so..so they moved us to cottage 2. Both cottages were great. Cottage 5 was a little more spacious, but cottage 2 had less restricted views of the ocean. Although, I felt like 5 had the best sun exposer because there was a larger deck. Both had hammocks in the shade.
The living quarters were great with the bedroom being air conditioned. The bathroom and sitting area were not air conditioned, but we kept the doors open all day allowing for the breeze to blow in.
We took the helicopter from the south airport to the north airport and then a short car ride to the resort. That was the best decision we made since the roads are really twisty and bumpy (not good for motion sickness).
We were really pleased with our decision to stay there! We were happy to have the quiet, secluded resort."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of June 2009
Serenity at its finest
"From the moment we arrived at the airport in St. Lucia, we know Calabash Cove was focused on service. The driver (ask for Kim) who picked us up was waiting with a cool (air conditioned) vehicle stocked with the local beer - Piton (which is actually quite good) and during the hour long ride from the Vieux Fort airport we were informed of many tidbits of St. Lucian history, lifestyle, and geography.
Upon arriving at the resort, we were greeted by Jennifer, who took care of us throughout our stay. Lilia (sp?) presented us with welcome drinks, which were quite good - St. Lucian rum is definitely the pride of the island.
Wow, the cottages are lush. We stayed in Cottage #5, which is the largest (and first-built) cottage. We definitely recommend #5, as well as #1, for those seeking privacy. The accommodations are top-notch - an amazing outdoor shower was a blessing and beautiful. The bedroom boasted a king size bed that was extremely comfortable, aside from the bothersome mosquitoes (I'd suggest they use mosquito nets as much as possible, as they were quite bad) along with plenty of storage for clothes and other items. A living area was well appointed with a stocked bar, LCD TV, and magazines that outlined the many options available in St. Lucia. The only thing the living area could have used was a fan, as without a breeze it could get quite stuffy. The hammock outside provided for perfect naps for the two of us, and we were even lucky enough to be awakened by a short downpour that was very beautiful and peaceful. The private pools are great - not too cold and not too warm, and the perfect size.
Staff: Over the duration of our stay, we were catered to completely, with room service walking the 80+ steps down and up to our cottage from the restaurant. Barbara, who cleaned our room every day, left us sweet notes and made sure to spray for mosquitoes at our request (and do request it, as the mosquitoes can get quite persistent). She was by far the friendliest housekeeper (I wouldn't even call her that, for it often gives a negative connotation) we have ever had. The bar and restaurant staff was outstanding. Chris was a blessing, giving great advice on where to go throughout the island and where not to go, and accommodating our every need. He is definitely one for the resort to keep around, as he was the glue that holds every piece of the resort together. The wait staff all paid very close attention to us, cleaning our table, refilling our drinks, and picking up our napkins when necessary. They danced and sang along to the music (which could use a little more attention, in my opinion, as I heard the same songs every time I ate in the restaurant). The only criticism that I may have for the wait staff is that they were not entirely familiar with the menu or what may be available in the kitchen, so when asking about a dish or making a special request, there was a lot lost in translation, if you will. The bar staff was superb - Lilia's dry humor provided constant entertainment and her jokes at the other employees' expense got the entire staff rolling.
Food and Drink:
This is what I was most excited about prior to our arrival in St. Lucia. The prospect of a potential Michelin-star restaurant made my mouth water and I was ready to dig in the moment I arrived at the resort. Many of our meals were outstanding - I definitely recommend the chicken roti, a local dish that is popular street food, and the banana mash, another local dish that had me fooled for a potato on my first taste. The only problem with the food was consistency. A tuna trio on our first try provided fresh, well prepared tartare, sashimi, and ceviche (which really wasn't a ceviche at all, but still was good). A second try resulted in near disaster, with what was likely the same fish that was provided four days prior and was very fishy in smell and taste. The lamb chops on the first taste were also outstanding, although a bit overcooked, with meaty chops seasoned very well (as a matter of fact, our first several meals required absolutely no accompaniment or additional seasoning). On a second try, the chops were quite floppy and meager, with little taste at all. A ribeye, splendidly presented on a wood board, promised a roquefort sauce but was presented with a bordelaise. Coconut shrimp were well-flavored (again overcooked) in a great passionfruit sauce the first time, and seemingly were breaded in simple bread crumbs (and again overcooked), resulting in a very bland shrimp the second time. The restaurant definitely has great potential, and did, on multiple occasions, provide fantastic food, but consistency is necessary in a five-star establishment, especially if they wish to acquire the ever-elusive Michelin star they so desire. The drinks were as expected, wonderfully fruity, yet strong, with many options to choose from. The bar wasn't as complete as many other resorts, but that just makes decision making much easier. I certainly had better drinks at The Coal Pot in Castries and at The Lime in Rodney Bay, but these were far from a bad drink - in fact, I imagine our caloric intake during the week was staggering due to the refreshing nature of anything the bartenders made.
There is not a bad view at Calabash Cove. The restaurant boasts what is likely the best view on the island, with views of Castries across the bay, unobstructed sunsets, and lush vegetation creating a completely serene atmosphere. The grounds were beautiful, although some of the vegetation still needs some time. One drawback we noticed was the constant buzz of weed-whackers - for hours each day the weed-whacker (there was only one, which may be the reason it persisted for so long) made his way through the grounds, often disrupting what we would have loved to be tranquil moments, such as our massage on our veranda, our dips in our private plunge pool, or the time we spent laying on the beach. I attribute this merely to growing pains, and it would certainly not keep us from returning. The infinity pool is quite amazing, although I imagine it will be more amazing when they get busier (there were only 4 of us there at the entire resort at the time).
All in all Calabash Cove was a fantastic experience and somewhere that I will look forward to traveling to in the future. The owners (Robert and Konrad) were both very personable and accommodating individuals, and would go out of their way to take care of you. I wish Calabash Cove the best and I recommend it to anybody traveling to the Caribbean."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of May 2009
Imagine Paradise... multiply that by 10 and you have Calabash Cove
"If you are looking for a beautiful five star hotel in St Lucia, look no further than Calabash Cove. My girlfriend and I stayed in one of the Cottages on the beach in Feb 09, and couldnât have had a more perfect week. The cottage itself was roomy, immaculately cleaned everyday, and boasted a wonderful jacuzzi in the bathroom, (not to mention the ocean view from the private outdoor shower). Other great attributes of the cottage include a spacious balcony overlooking the beach/ocean/ gardens, a private plunge pool and a hammock.
The secluded beach was a stones throw away from your own front door. It was clean, warm water, with beach loungers on the sand.
The view from the restaurant area is absolutely fantastic. The huge terrace area over looks the enormous infinity swimming pool, cottages, beach and ocean, a truly perfect start to your day whilst eating the local fruit plate for breakfast. Not to mention the well presented, smiling staff, who couldnt be more friendly if they tried. (We booked a bed and breakfast basis, but ordered room service on our terrace for dinner one night, and the food was delicious).
A 10 minute taxi will get you into Rodney Bay (a busy tourst area with many restaurants - great to go into for the evening, but the 5 star hotels do not even come close to the secluded wonders of Calabash). 10 minutes in the other direction in a cab, and you are in Castries (check out the coal pot restaurant).
The gym had a perfect view of the ocean, the pool had a great swim up pool bar service, and the sun loungers around the pool were very comfortable.
If you are thinking of going on a boat tour on the island, definately do NOT book onto one of the many over-priced toursisty boats that cram on 100+ people onto their deck. Book a speed boat tour with Del from Exodus Tour, who will take you on a personalised guided tour of the island at your leisure. A truly remarkable experience.
In summary, if you want to spend a holiday in St Lucia in a luxurious, personal, stunning hotel - book into Calabash... If you want to stay in a standard resort that caters to the masses, book into Sandals down the road.
We cannot wait to go back.
Zak & Nora"
- Travel date: Mon 20th of April 2009
A Splendid Stay
"My husband and I were lucky enough to stay at Calabash Cove from Feb. 22 through March 3 and had an absolutely amazing time. After a somewhat disappointing honeymoon in Turks & Caicos a few years ago, we were looking for a private, boutique hotel in the heart of a beautiful location. And we found it. From the moment we arrived to see the open-air lobby and Balinese-inspired decor, we were floored by the beauty of the resort. It's visually stunning and the beauty of the grounds is continued inside the main building as well as the cottages.
Because the suites weren't quite ready, we stayed in cottage three for the first two nights and then in cottage five for the remainder of our stay. We opted for the move after seeing that cottage five (the only stand-alone cottage) was unoccupied. Both were splendid. Cottage three has an unobstructed view of the sunset (even from the glorious outdoor shower!) and, while connected to a neighboring cottage, was extremely private. Cottage five was the first of the cottages to be built, is a tad bigger, stands alone and has a larger patio area than the others. The vegetation around five is much more mature, which adds to its beauty and privacy a bit, but also attracts more mosquitos than three. If you're a mosquito magnet like me, though, those buggers will find you regardless of where you are. So, bring bug spray!
The decor in the cottages is lovely, but temporary. The resort was expecting a shipment of all new furniture shortly after we left, including four-poster beds and other assorted island-y stuff. I guess that means we'll need to plan a return trip to see how it all turns out! If it's anything like what was there during our stay, future guests will be very pleased. The bathrooms are simply stunning. Dark wood, granite and slate all combine to create a spa-like atmosphere. Each cottage also has a huge spa bathtub in addition to an outdoor shower. The rooms were always kept in impeccable condition with fresh flowers sprinkled around our bedroom and bathroom each day.
We chose the breakfast-only option instead of going all-inclusive because of the length of our stay and because we like to explore a bit. This worked well for us since we ended up venturing into Rodney Bay most nights for dinner (the resort will happily arrange taxis for guests). And because the resort was still not booked to capacity (we were one of only two couples in the entire place!), the menus at Windsong were kept small. Breakfast ended up being our favorite meal because of the wide selection of morning favorites, as well as the cheery smile and wonderful company of Kenisa -- the world's most fabulous server. We had lunch at the resort a few times and enjoyed the jerk chicken Caesar salad and club sandwich during most visits. We did have three dinners at Windsong and ordered room service one evening, which we enjoyed on our veranda with our new friends from cottage four. The meals were delicious. The kitchen uses extremely fresh ingredients and really knows how to put together tasty dishes. Favorites included the chicken roti, the tuna trio and the shrimp and pasta entree.
The beach is splendid and private with ample room for guests and a beautiful pier to lounge on or to watch sunsets from. We opted, however, to spend most of our time on our deck and in our private pool.
Along with the other couple at the resort, we took a day-long boat trip with Del from Exodus Tours. If there is one thing you venture off the resort to do, make it a boat trip. It's well worth the expense and you'll really get a stunning view of the island. Del took us south to the Pitons with stops along the way to see Marigot Bay, Soufriere and Anse La Raye. We had a delicious lunch at Hummingbird near the Pitons and then traveled north to Castries Harbor, Rodney Bay and other areas of Gros Islet. It was a wonderful way to see the island and to spend a day.
After seven glorious days at Calabash, it was time for us to leave. Back to the airport we went -- an hour and fifteen minute ride up and down hills, through the rainforest and along the coast. Once we arrived, we learned our flight out of St. Lucia had been canceled due to a snowstorm moving up the East Coast of the U.S. Delta offered to put us in touch with a few area resorts, but we opted to call Calabash instead. Thankfully, we had met one of the owners while we were at the resort and he gave us his card as we were leaving. He was kind enough to arrange for a driver to take us all the way back to Calabash and we were able to move right back into cottage five for two more nights. The staff couldn't have been more accommodating and helpful in what could have been a stressful situation. We were able to use their computers to email our offices and families to let them know of our change in plans. Two more days in paradise was fine by us and everyone at Calabash continued to take wonderful care of us.
Rarely have found a location that has met and exceeded all of our expectations, but Calabash Cove succeeded in doing just that. We are already talking about a return trip and our tans haven't even faded yet!"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of March 2009
Absolutely beautiful location-must stay here!
"Fantastic place, absolutely beautiful property and location, incredible staff (friendly, efficient). stayed at calabash in feb. amazing place! stayed in the cottage. it was right on the beach yet steps away from the beautiful and big cascading pool. watched the sun set into the sea every night right from the spacious porch. the view was incredible. very peaceful and relaxing. sunbathed on the pier and on the beach--water was beautiful and calm to swim in. recommend this place to everyone especially for the beautiful property and location. definitely do the hike up the pitons. really beautiful."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of February 2009
Calabash Cove - Paradise Delivered
"My wife and I were the first ever guests at Calabash Cove in St. Lucia. Any reservations we had about this fact were quickly eliminated as the private car (arranged by Calabash) pulled up to the breathtaking view of Choc Bay from the beautiful open-air lobby. After a champagne toast with some of the property's ownership, we knew the next 5 days would be nothing short of extraordinary.
The property is stellar and the pictures on Calabash's website only begin to do it justice. Calabash ownership and senior staff have decades of experience in the resort industry and it is obvious they are committed to making Calabash Cove one of the premier boutique resorts in all of the Caribbean, not just St. Lucia. We stayed in Waters Edge Cottage #1 which was simply immaculate, but were able to see all the other rooms/suites and are convinced no room (once complete) will be short of spectacular.
While we chose to do the breakfast only option, we ate all but one meal in the hands of Chef Dierdier. And even our one meal out had us questioning our decision. When we return to Calabash we will do the all inclusive without a doubt, which is something we typically shy away from. However, the small capacity of Calabash allows Chef to prepare all items with an attention to freshness and detail that you cannot find anywhere else on the island. We were also pleased with the selection of wines and spirits the resort had to offer.
The staff is very friendly and committed to enhancing your stay in any way they can.
As they knew one day was my wife's birthday, they suggested and helped me arrange a surprise breakfast followed by a private massage all on the ocean side deck of our cottage. Definitely an experience my wife will never forget (and I am still receiving brownie points for!)
All of our activities and transfers (Piton Trek, Ocean Horseback Riding, Anse-la Raye Seafood festival, Gros Islet Street Party,) were arranged by Calabash. During one of our excursions that lasted longer than expected, Calabash even contacted our driver to ensure we were OK and enjoying ourselves. You WILL NOT get this kind of attention at most any other resort.
The private beach is fantastic and Calabash provided complimentary snorkeling and kayaking equipment for mini-adventures right at your doorstep.
Yes, this is a new resort which (when we were there at least) was still addressing a number of areas (Spa, Exercise Room, Sunset Suites were not finished) and property vegetation/landscaping needs more time to be fully grown in. But I can imagine most of these are complete by now (we were there 3 weeks ago) and even if they aren't, this would in no way deter us from returning next week if we could.
My wife and I spent two great weeks in Hawaii on our honeymoon, have been to other islands in the Caribbean, and definitely have experienced our fair share of fine restaurants. So hopefully the fact that we are telling our friends that are getting married this year or just looking for a getaway to choose Calabash Cove and St. Lucia over any other destination (including Hawaii) is a sign that you will not be disappointed if you decide on Calabash Cove for your getaway. Whether you are looking for absolute tranquility, tropical island adventure, or a combination of both (as we were), Calabash Cove will deliver your Paradise."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of February 2009
Great Potential to be premiere resort in St. Lucia
"Stayed at Calabash Cove Mid-Feb 2009. Though a bit jittery at first due to delayed opening, the resort is fully operational sans the spa and some minor finishing work on the grounds. Here is a summary:
View and grounds are splendid. The main infinity pool overlooking Choc Bay is wonderful with beautiful sunsets and views of cruise ships sailing in and out of Castries. There are a bit of stairs though it was probably a good thing with all the tropical drinks that we had. Vegetation will need another six months or so to fully grow in.
We stayed at Watersedge Cottage number 5 and once again the view so awesome. Plunge pool is great and room and lounge was great size. Outdoor showers and jacuzzi along with double sinks in bath. Overall very nicely laid out. Veranda is very roomy as we even had a dinner there one night. Only recommendation would be a mosquito net over the bed as the island is very lush.
Though we opted for the breakfast only plan, we found ourselves dining at the resort on most days. The food is excellent and kudos to Dierdier the chef and his team. Again the restaurant overlook the bay and dinner was under the stars.
Staff and Service:
As this property was opened recently, I feel the staff is a bit rough around the edges and will need a few months to get confidence and comfortable around guests. That being said, as the resort bills itself as a five star property, I rated the service a 4 out of 5 and feel that with more experience under their belts, they will surely reach 5. You can feel that the staff truly does enjoy your patronage and try very hard to please and fulfill your desires. Excursions and transfers were seamless. Special thanks to Konrad Wagner (Hotel Manager), Allison, Aaron and their team.
This property reminds me of an updated version of Laluna in Grenada with the teak woods and layout of the property. I would recommend staying in one of the Watersedge cottages though all accommodations have a great view. Service wise, I feel that the resort will achieve a Four Seasons vibe without the stuffiness. Go there while you can before the word gets out! Would love to go back once the spa is up and running."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of February 2009