Old Reviews – Anse Chastanet

My husband Kevin and I took 6 months to research our winter holiday. Our last island vacation was on our honeymoon 22 years ago, so we wanted to make sure our trip was exactly what we wanted. After checking on the internet and going through travel books, we decided on Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia, W.I.

We arrived in St. Lucia on April 9, 2001 at 3:30 p.m. to 28 celcius weather. Hot and hazy. From the airport, we were informed it takes about 45 minutes by mini van to our resort. The road trip to Anse Chastanet was quite an adventure. The twin pitons are spectacular. The roads are windy and bumpy with incredibly steep hills. Along the way we pass beautiful tall palms, flowering bougainvillea, goats and cows grazing, wandering chickens and colourful homes of the native people. Soufriere is a little fishing village we drive through and are informed we are about 15 minutes away from Anse Chastanet.

Finally we are here and are absolutely amazed with the beautiful lush surroundings. We check in and are told our cottage is 8D and are helped with our luggage as we climb approximately 200 some odd stairs. The stairs are not steep, but, a gradual climb, nevertheless we are still winded when we get to our cottage. Inside we are welcomed by the bright island colours of the madras fabric in magenta , yellow, orange and green covering wicker furniture and our king size bed. We have no air-conditioning, which were both worried about, but the trade winds kept us quite cool through the evenings. We have a fridge stocked with a bottle of wine, beer, juice and pop. A beautiful display of flowers native to the island adorns our coffee table, as well as a basket of fresh fruit. Standing on the deck the view from our room is of the Caribbean Sea and lush green surroundings. I can see the pinks and purples of the bougainvilla, pink and red pointsettias. I think I’m in heaven. Kevin and I opted for the all inclusive and were happy we did so. We had breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. For example breakfast included a buffet of fruit, juice, cereal, danish, bagels etc. as well as our choice from the menu. From the menu a few of our choices for breakfast included salmon omelette, banana pancakes, strawberry French toast. Lunch every day was at the beach restaurant where a buffet with choices such as roast beef, roasted cloves of garlic, fruit, salads galore, veggies, etc. etc., as well again your choice from the menu. Lunch was not a big thing with us as we were always quite full from breakfast and quite often just ordered a sandwich from one of the employees on the beach, with of course a rum punch. One lunch in particular I was quite hungry and Kevin was quite content to just lie on the beach, so I made my way to the beach restaurant where I ordered a creole soup with one of their famous rolls, it was awesome and just enough to carry me through to dinner. Afternoon tea as well was great if you just wanted to grab a sandwich, tea, tiny cakes, cookies. Dinner was a choice of perhaps 6 main entrees from the menu, including many fish choices, chicken, beef, pasta etc. Twice in the week a buffet was held at the beach restaurant for dinner, I think that was my most favourite. The blueberry and strawberry crepes were to die for. As well we got to meet the cooks. They were great fun and all had a sense of humour. I think of all though breakfast was our most favourite meal. From the restaurant the view is spectacular, overlooking both Caribbean Sea and the twin pitons. During breakfast we were joined by little birds hoping to pick up some scraps while we weren’t looking. Of course we were all provided with squirt guns to keep the persistent ones away. Every day we checked the news board for activities we would like to sign up for. We decided that we would sign up for the morning activities before it got too hot and get back to our resort for afternoon lunch, snorkelling, swimming, or just lazing on the beach. Some of the events we took in were a trip to the capital city Castries, the volcano, sulpher springs & botanical gardens tour, jungle biking and a trip to the fishing village of Soufriere. Some of the ones we missed and regretted were the tour with Meno (a local guide that knows everything about the island) incredibly interesting to talk to. Also a visit to a local islander that is pretty self sufficient. I can’t remember her name, but I think it may be twice a week that you can take a tour to her home and see the way she lives. As well there are jeep tours and a tour of the plantation. The scuba diving we heard from many was fabulous and although my husband and I don’t scuba dive, one of the other tourists we met did some diving for the first time and felt staff all were very professional and he felt quite at ease as a beginner. For those of you that like to shop, there is the capital Castries where it is pretty much geared to the tourist. This is where the cruise ships pull in to port as such the great number of merchants hoping to sell their wares to the great number of tourists. There were also many other shops such as jewellery, clothing, shoes, crafts etc. It is an interesting city, very busy. If you have a chance get a local to show you the Masav Tree (I’ve probably spelled it incorrectly), but, another name of it is the (I don’t know Tree). It is an absolutely immense tree and has a great story behind it. Back to the shopping, as well there were a few of the locals on the beach of Anse Chastanet selling beads, beach wraps, native carvings, the usual. The resort does not allow alot of these merchants on the beach, perhaps 3 or 4, no more and they were not pesky. There was also a couple of shops right at the resort selling much of the same, as well as sunglasses, suntan lotions, aspirin, candy bars. Towards the end of our stay my husband Kevin and I had decided on this particular day to stay at the resort, no day trips, just a day of total R & R. We had planned on taking in some snorkelling that day. After breakfast we both went to the dive shop to get our gear, but, Kevin wanted to make a pit stop at the Spa. I asked him why we were stopping here because I had no interest in having a massage. He said it’s too late, the girls will take care of you, this is my present to you. So he left me at the spa for a massage and manicure. Well, this was definitely the best present he could have given me. The day before we had been jungle biking and had done the trail 3 times. It was quite strenuous and my muscles were sore, so the spa was absolutely fantastic. Very soothing. My husband said the look on my face after my spa was worth every cent he paid.

On our final day our return home was delayed 4 hours and Anse Chastanet provided a complimentary room, meals and drinks till our departure. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the management, staff, friends and local people we met at Anse Chastanet and St. Lucia. We had an incredible experience, everything we ever imagined. We highly recommend Anse Chastanet and the beautiful island of St. Lucia. Perhaps one day we will go back, though not right now. We are looking to go to St. Vincent the island just south of St. Lucia or St. Maartin to the north.

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