12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Fantastic get-away destination
"I am a return guest to Crystals. All the villas are different and original in decor and feel; this time I stayed in Lemon Grass which is a spacious one bedroom villa with plunge pool and balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea. There are great views of the Pitons too. Monica and Martin have developed a super boutique destination with friendly staff and relaxed ambiance. Breakfast is served in your villa and sets you up for the day. Monica and her team are always ready to help and advise about excursions and trips, however it is hard to leave if only to explore the flora and fauna. There are also guest cocktails in the bar to meet other guests as well as pre-arranged dinners a couple of times a week. So whether you want to really get away from it all or have a gentle socialise, Crystals has it all!"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of April 2018
"After weeks looking for a hotel to sty in in St Lucia we found this property by accident I have to say and wow what a find.
It is small only 6 units so not for everyone it is however for us just what we wanted,located in the hillside just outside the Town of Soufriere it offers it all, amazing views of the sea and the hills and, private pools and superb food.
our Villa was magical with a large 4 poster bed it must be a king size I am sure aand the furniture very different.
The staff at Crystals were all wonderful and could not be more helpful and the owners Monica and martin were great Hosts we spend endless hours chatting in the bar over Martin's strong rum punch..........but this should come with a warning sign as the nest day after the rum punch I found it hard to function
love this property and love st lucia "
- Travel date: Fri 24th of April 2009
"The Crystals was the perfect little getaway in St. Lucia. I personally loved it for how different it was from all of the other hotels and such that we had looked at in St. Lucia. Each cottage had an beautiful, warm, eclectic personal touch - very good decorating!! Each cottage equipped with a kitchenette of some sort, with a fruit basket, champagne, and some food fixings in the fridge upon arrival. We stayed in the Mango cottage, and we loved it. Monica and Martin, along with the others, welcome you with open arms and make you feel very at home. Everyone was also very open to giving advice on where to go, and what to see, around the island. Every expectation I had of the Crystals was superceded and my boyfriend and I were very pleasead with our stay. If we come back to St. Lucia, I know exactly where we will return!!
(My photos are on the site, just not attached to my review!!)"
- Travel date: Tue 13th of June 2006
peace and quiet at sugar cane cottage
"stayed at Sugar Cane cottage for three nights at the beginning of honeymoon. Very friendly staff and Monica made us feel very welcome. Cottage had basic bread, cheese and coffee (and champagne!) in the fridge. Spacious cottage for two people with large lounge/dining area and regular double bed upstairs (see pictures). Nice pool and great view of the Pitons. Located about ten minutes from Soufriere by car. Track is bumpy from the road to the cottages. It was dry and we were fine without a 4x4. Monica also arranged our car hire at a better rate than we were able to find anywhere else. Nice place to go for peace and quiet."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of June 2006
I want to move to St. Lucia now!
"I ended up going on this trip alone and was slightly worried before I got there as to how I would fare (I'm a 25 year old female). Not only was everyone at Crystals wonderful, St. Lucians in general are very friendly and helpful. Crystals is gorgeous--beautiful views, wonderful cottages, privately tucked away in the forest, friendly pets, and friendly staff. Monica and Martin do everything to make you feel welcome, including meeting you when you arrive, furnishing your kitchen with the essentials, and offering advice about where to go and what to do. The first day that you're in St. Lucia, Arlette (Martin's sister) personally takes you into town to show you around and where to go--great introduction to Soufriere. They have cell phones that are available in each cottage, just in case you want to call home or in case you're out and about and need help (I didn't use mine once during the entire trip). I would DEFINITELY recommend renting a jeep (with 4wd)--I relied more on my jeep than anything else on this vacation. St. Lucian roads are quite tortuous and full of pot holes. Check out all the tourist attractions--this is the stuff I did: the Botanical Gardens (GORGEOUS if you're into plants/flowers, and gorgeous even if you're not into plants), the volcano (ask your guide about the mud baths), the warm mineral baths on the way to Jalousie, the beach at Anse Chastanet (walk over the rocks to Anse Mamin), Fond Deux, Balenbouche Estate (very magical, old sugar plantation), Anse la Raye fish fry, market at Castries (I went on Sat. morning-supposedly the busiest day), Touraille Falls, Mamiku Gardens, Sault Falls (the most beautiful waterfall I've ever seen), lunch at Ladera (great views of the Pitons), and the beach at Jalousie (aka The Hilton--they bring chilled washcloths and skewers of fruit to you on the beach). The only thing I wasn't thrilled with was Mamiku Gardens. It was the dry season when I went and Mamiku doesn't even come close to the Botanical Garden in Soufriere. Another thing I would DEFINITELY recommend is taking a guide book with you--mine was Rough Guide to St. Lucia. I relied on this almost as much as I did my jeep. I left it with a couple staying in the cottage next to mine when I left, and I hope it's still floating around Crystals. This was the best vacation I've ever taken and I would recommend Crystals to almost anyone. Here is my disclaimer...I'm easy going, easy to please, and quite adventurous. If you're high maintenance, need a personal assistant during your vacation, and just a generally crappy person, please don't stay at Crystals and ruin it for the rest of us fun people--stay at Jalousie and do us all a favor. If I ever get the chance to return to St. Lucia, I would choose Crystals every time! AWESOME vacation! P.S. I tried to include picture of things that others hadn't already posted. If you have any questions--please feel free to email me!"
- Travel date: Fri 12th of May 2006
Private Retreat and Hideaway
"For those looking for that little something away from crowded beaches, noisy hotel bars and that basic boxed hotel rooms, this is the place.
I came to Crystals as a single looking for a retreat with all the natural beauty and private calm away from work that I could find. It is here. Monica and Martin welcomed me as an old friend with warmth and hospitality and a meal at the end of a long trip. My cottage was delightfully decorated, flowers laid out and a stocked fridge so that grocery shopping was not my first impression of paradise. This is the way to ease into a holiday.
I cannot recomend this hideaway enough. No it is not on the beach , but night up there in a jungle setting with breezes through the palms, a serenade of crickets and tree frogs, watching fireflies dance through the trees. Way better. I visited the beach but lived by my plunge pool. Mango cottage is perfect for single or couple. Arliss and other staff went out of there way to make me feel welcome and part of the Crystals family.
I talked with many other tourists and from what I heard, there accomidations were OK but noisy and they were hearded from one place to another as most of the major natural attractions are in the Soufreire area. Most mentioned that this is the real St. Lucia not the touristized version of the north. I certainly found that even without a Jeep that getting around by taxi was a most enjoyable and informative way to go. Drivers very good and prices not that bad.
I will be going back to Crystals again as soon as I am able and as much as I enjoyed my brief get away in Mango cottage, Papaya cottage is well worth the upgrade if you can get it. I can see any couple or family enjoying this cottage and patio's. Private, peaceful and drop dead gorgeous. Side trips to attractions, town and beach are fun but nothing beats comming back to a home away from home.
All cottages have there own unique charm and staff superb, I loved it and will be back soon."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of May 2006
Wish we could go back!
"I dont know where to start - It will be hard to give crystal's due credit -
My wife and I stayed at the Papaya at the end of March - we had originally booked the Mango, and where pleasantly surprised that we were upgraded on arrival -
As stated before, the accomodations where fantastic - we peeked in each cottage, and would have been happy in any of them (although papaya certainly has incredible views, and very nice side porch).
Part of what made our experience so wonderful was the fact that when we stayed at crystals we felt more like we were staying in St Lucia, not just stuck on a resort. This way we were able to experience the island, the people, the food, everything - On our arrival, the staff at crystals greeted us, and instantly made us feel like family. Arlette took us into town (she is crazy - but the good kind of crazy!) and showed us around, pointing out places to get treats and making us feel right at home. Arlette continued to take excellent care of us throughout the rest of our visit, as did the rest of the staff.
The accomodations are in the rain forest, but the weather is mild, and not as humid and buggy as we expected. There are bugs, just dont leave food out, or leave the bathroom light on at night. The cottages are open (plantation shutters) and there are plenty of little frogs and lizards that run about. If this sort of thing bothers you, you may want to look at a resort that is more like a hotel - however, for us it was part of the fun.
We spend 6 days on the island - the people were incredible, and very friendly. The "begging" was not as bad as I expected, and I only had 2 folks approach us trying to sell something. Ask the folks at crystals where to get good food - they can point you to some great resturants, with local fare.
We went to the beach at Anse Chastanet to snorkel - tried the other beaches, but that was the nicest one - it looks nice, but it feels like you are staying at Disney instead of St Lucia when you are on the resorts.The guests that stayed at the resorts we spoke with were amazed that the island had so much to offer outside the gates of the resort.
We rented a car - something I recommend, but be prepared for some very interesting driving. For example, for some destinations directions from the locals may include crossing over a river a few times.
In short - I wish we could go back!"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of May 2006
A totally wonderful vacation spot in Soufriere, St. Lucia
"We arrived at Crystals on March 16th and were so warmly greeted by Arlette, Kriscell and Francois that we felt like we arrived home instead of a world away from the snow and cold. We were treated to an impromptu cocktail party with rum punch and mixes by Francois. After unpacking and changing, Arlette and Kriscell accompanied us into Soufriere to get dinner and some basic groceries and tour the town. It was much needed and appreciated as we used their directions the whole week we were there. There was champagne, eggs, bread, butter, cheese and lots of fruit waiting for us in our wonderful little kitchen.
Monica had arranged for a car which was sitting in the parking lot waiting for us. Each day we were out seeing the area (but not too early), snorkeling, hiking the rainforest eating at the great restaurants in the area every day. Crystals gave us the perfect place to have a very exhilarating and at the same time relaxing vacation.
The Mango cottage is the most rustic of the cottages at Crystals, but we enjoyed the peace and solitude of our private little home. Monicaâs decorating taste can be seen in every room, and each room is comfortable and the views are spectacular. The Pitons are in full view as are the mountains of the interior from another window. Every morning it was hard to get going because of the beauty out the windows and each evening was a perfect cap to a full and wonderful day as we watched the sun set over the Pitons and distant horizon. The cool breeze that blew from the mountains each night kept the mosquitoes away and the rustling mango tree outside serenaded us to sleep each night. In the morning we would look out our bedroom window on waking and watch the sun begin to rise and shine on Petit Piton and the Caribbean beyond. A tour of all the cottages proved that every one has itâs own unique dÃ©cor and fantastic view.
St. Lucia is really an island with many diverse landscapes and attractions. Soufriere is the jewel of St. Lucia and if you want a get away cottage with fantastic views, wonderful owners, the very best assistants, then Crystals is the perfect place."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of April 2006
"Having read the previous review I can only conclude that person couldn't possibly have stayed here!
We have recently returned from a week's holiday to St.Lucia where we did stay at this lovely place.
We based our choice of accomodation (as we have many times before) on tripadvisor reviews and were not let down at all.
We booked the Mango however on our arrival Monica (owner) offered a free upgrade to the Coco Palm, mind you after seeing Mango later, we thought that it was almost as good anyway so whichever one you get you won't be disappointed. Obviously the more expensive cottages, Papaya and Sugar Cane are the best ones as they are the biggest and with the best views and this is reflected in price.
The cottage we had was very large and was thoughtfully stocked when we got there with things like salt, sugar, milk, butter, bread, tea, coffee and even wine!
Monica and Martin the owners are a charismatic couple who will do their best to accomodate and please their guests, it is obvious to anyone that this place is their passion (made clear by Monica's interior decorating in all the cottages!).
I lost count of the number of times we were offered free drinks (in their newly constructed honesty bar) and they even arranged a meal one night for all the guests which was nice.
They & all the staff are incredibly friendly and will tell you & even show you everything you need to know while you are there from supermarket shopping, local attractions, rainforest walks, cheapest place to hire snorkels (save a fortune) etc. Staff can even cook homemade meals for you if you require.
Yes the road to Crystals is bad (as are a lot of roads to get to beaches etc) and yes you are in the tropics so don't expect to see no tropical creatures around the place.
Also it isn't a Sandals resort (thank god!) and is a quiet place meant for people who want to get away from it all and not necessarily be part of the tourist conveyer belt.
In summary we had a fantastic time, would definetly go back again and we feel that compared to other accomodation in the area, the owners could charge twice the price and make half the effort and still be the best value for money!
Thankfully though I don't think they plan to do that so if you are after a unique holiday in the most stunning part of St.Lucia, Crytals is definetly the island's best kept secret."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of March 2006
"My husband and I just returned from a weeks stay at Crystals. We put some time into researching which property would best suit our needs, and we chose Crystals. Upon arriving at Crystals we immediatly new we made the correct choice. The other trip advisors reviews were helpful and most accurate. It can be said that Crystals is a unique property, from the decor, views, location etc. but most importantly the staff is what sets Crystals apart from the other resorts.
Upon meeting Monica and Martin you are greeted with warmth, all smiles and hugs! The key to Crystals is the people friendly staff. They all treat you as if they have always known you and are there to make sure your needs are met. Monica has been in the hotel business and gets and A+ on customer relations. She really understands the business and knows what and how people like to be treated.
St. Lucia is a beautiful island and Crystals is right in the middle of it all. The view of the Pitons is incredible and those stars at night, wow!
If you are looking for an out of the ordinary place, then Crystals is for you. All of the cottages have a kitchen (ours had a granite counter top), living room facility as well as a bedroom and bath. Each one has its own personality and charm.
We really enjoyed St. Lucia all around. The beauty of this island is outstanding, the local people very friendly, the beaches are fantastic. The only negative (But we did get used to them) were the roads, yikes, those hair pin turns and drop offs really took my breath away.
We do not like to repeat vacations, there are so many places to see but St. Lucia is a keeper and a major part of that is Monica and Martin. Keep up the great job and see you next year!
Crystals is a real hidden gem, don't overlook this property, it is a real find!"
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006
Great Family Vacation
"We stayed at Crystals for 1 week and had a wonderful experience. My wife and I and two daughters (13 and 18) stayed at the 2 BR Papaya cottage. This cottage had a plunge pool, sundeck, and fantastic panoramic views of the pitons, rain forest, and volcano. The view is incredible... 1300 ft above sea level. There was also a very nice shady porch for meals and refreshments. The inside of the cottage was nicely decorated and spacious though the 2nd bedroom does not have much natural light. On arrival, the cottage was stocked with fresh fruit, eggs, milk, bread, cheese, and bottled water. We had breakfasts in but ate our other meals out. The cottages are built with natural materials and somewhat open air so lizards and bugs will make their way in (you are in the tropics). There is also a friendly and well behaved dog, Sheba, that enjoyed visiting.
Besides the incredible location, the staff at Crystals made our vacation excellent. Our first evening, Martin made a wonderful chicken dinner with many local vegetables. Monica brought wine and rum punch and they provided a great welcome to Crystals. The next day, Arlette the housekeeper took us into town to get a driver's license, groceries, and stop at the local bakery. This was very useful so that we knew how to get in and around Soufriere. Later in the week, Rass the handi-man took us on a rainforest tour. This is a must do. And he grows the most delicious grapefruit on his property which he happily shares.
We highly recommend a jeep. Monica can arrange this and there is much to do in and around Soufriere. The driving is an adventure. Even getting up the driveway to Crystals is exciting. Getting through Soufriere can be a challenge with tight streets and deep drainage ditches. We found the locals for the most part to be very friendly. Things we really enjoyed: Rainforest tour, botanical gardens, dinner at the Mango Tree and Fedos, and Anse Chastenet and Jalousie beaches."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of March 2006
Wonderful 10-year anniversary experience
"My wife and I just recently returned from a wonderful trip to St. Lucia for our 10-year anniversary and stayed at Crystals (the Mango Cottage). I tried to plan most of this trip in secrecy as a surprise for my wife, and I immediately found the perfect co-conspirator with Monica. We coordinated everything over email, and the only thing I had to go on was the reviews here at trip advisor and my emails with Monica.
My wife and I were not disappointed at all.
We had a fantastic experience through and through. Now, we have to admit, when the driver picked us up from the airport and turned into the Crystals "road" we were a bit nervous. We shortly discovered, however, that pretty much all roads on St. Lucia resemble moon craters. Rent a jeep!!
Anyway, as soon as we got there, Monica and Martin came to our cottage and greeted us with wine, rum punch, and some wonderful seafood spread and crackers. An hour and a half later, we were still laughing and sharing stories and had even joined up with another couple staying there! So from the first moment we knew we were in the right place. We wanted accommodations that let us go out on our own but that had staff that were available for answers, suggestions, recommendations, etc. when needed. Crystals was perfect.
Cottage -- very open and rustic. We stayed in the one with the Jacuzzi in the mango tree. Jacuzzi was a bit cold for this time of year, but we braved it a couple times.
View -- From the Jacuzzi, we could gaze on the piton's on the water, then turn around and view the mountains of the interior. Excellent.
Staff -- Very friendly and helpful. One day we wanted to go scuba diving and one of the staff's boyfriend was a GREAT instructor and got us in that same day (Adventure Scuba). Another staffer was a singer at one of the local restaurants, so we got to hang out there a bit too.
Seclusion -- If you want to hang out with people in other cottages, you can, but you have to make the effort. If you want romantic time alone, this place is perfect.
Monica and Martin -- Wonderful people. They made us feel at home and never let us down.
Crystals Website -- Terrible. Doesn't do them justice at all. They really should do something about that thing..."
- Travel date: Mon 6th of March 2006