My husband and I booked an all inclusive birdwatching and wildlife exploration through SAGA (over 50's) staying at the Bel Jou for two weeks. The hotel sits high on a hill overlooking Castries and has great views. We ate meals on the verandah at breakfast and lunchtime, and in the evening we ate in the restaurant. Six meals a week are buffet style with one night being Gala night, therefore waiter/waitress service. All staff at this hotel are very friendly. The food was good with plenty of choice, roast and fish, pasta dishes etc. As a vegetarian I found some of the meals limited but made up for it by having dessert e.g. gateaus, ice cream or fruit cobbler and custard! A good selection of cheeses was available. At breakfast there's a wide selection of food, cold meat, cheese, bread, cereals, yogurt, sausage, bacon and eggs cooked to order etc. At 4.15pm each afternoon there was an English tea of fabulous scones, hot from the oven, with jam and cream, and sandwiches, enough to keep you going until your evening meal..
Rooms are very spacious with plenty of room for your clothes etc. A nice bathroom with a useful clothes line so you can dry your swimming costume, a very good shower and plenty of hot water. All the rooms overlook the gardens and most have a seaview. The housekeeping staff did and excellent job and the hotel grounds and external areas are kept exceptionally clean. The evening entertainment was good with the opportunity to dance it you want to.
As our party had it's own tour host, Dee, who was exceptional, we had little to do with Henry, and on the occasions when he was asked for advice it wasn't always forthcoming. We therefore thought we were treated differently because we were there as a specific holiday group.
The manageress Camilla and her husband were very friendly.
Many of our group made the same comment as us that it's a shame of the location of the hotel as most of us like to have a walk in the evenings, but once you see the surrounding roads you understand why it's not safe to walk. We used the courtesy bus which takes you into Castries, Rodney Bay or Pigeon Island (great for snorkelling but mind the black sea urchins).
We had a wonderful time and met some great people. SAGA only runs this wildlife trip once a year (May) at present, but if you are able to get a place and you have Dee Doody as your tour host you will have a fantastic holiday. Some of our group were new to wildlife holidays, some were experienced 'birders', others like me just want to see it all! Fabulous!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Saga guests can now enjoy a holiday at Saga’s own hotel on the Caribbean island of St Lucia. Boasting stunning views over Castries from its setting atop a steep hill, the 4-star Bel Jou provides a tranquil, tropical retreat for today’s over 50s, free from the distractions of the more overrun resorts. With many opportunities for sightseeing and sampling island life, the hotel’s relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a leisurely holiday or a lively Caribbean experience. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bel Jou Castries
- Bel Jou Hotel St. Lucia/Castries