I searched for many hours on TripAdvisor to find what we were looking for in a winter beach vacation - location on a great swimming beach with warm ocean temperatures, not a huge hotel with lots of people and activities, comfortable accommodations, not having to go out to eat all the time, relatively reasonably priced. Villa Beach Cottages popped up in the search - and its many reviews were glowing - so glowing, in fact, that I was a little suspicious. But it's all true. We just got back from a week's stay in early March (we are a married couple around age 60) and had one of the most relaxing, refreshing, and enjoyable vacations ever. Admittedly, we don't need much in the way of activities to be content - but if you want activities and don't mind paying for them there's plenty to do and see on the island. We did an island tour (very interesting and worthwhile), loved having lunch overlooking the Piton Mountains, and yet couldn't wait to get back to what we felt was the best beach in St. Lucia.
1. Unless you have small children, I would recommend getting an upstairs room. The bedroom and balcony views are amazing and it offers a little more privacy. We stayed in a standard room (as opposed to deluxe) and it was luxurious as far as we were concerned.
2. If you're not renting a car, ask the driver who picks you up at the airport to stop at a grocery store before you get to Villa Beach. We had intended to go out for dinners but It's so easy to make simple meals and the setting is so beautiful that we wanted to stay put. That saved a lot of money, too.
3. As far as restaurants go, we loved Laurels - a local place not on the beach but with really delicious food. We had the same fish there as at Jacques (a very pricey place on the water) and honestly, it was tastier at Laurels. The Wharf, next door, is perfectly fine and remarkably reasonably priced - a great choice the first night you're there.
4. Be prepared for some really big waves! We were told it was unusual for March, but the last few days we were there the waves were so big it was a little scary to go in the water. Otherwise the beach was perfect - warm water, sandy bottom with no rocks. Walkable, too - as long as you don't mind getting wet because at times there's not much dry beach.
5. We wanted to take the bus sometimes but upon asking Colin or others at the front desk we found that it didn't go where we wanted to go. But if you're just going into Castries or Rodney Bay to walk around I think the buses would work.
6. Claudius is a great driver for tours or anything else you might want to do - and if you go by the one place on the island that makes cassava bread, get some!
7. Get local fruits and vegetables at the green grocers rather than the larger grocery store. Go early in the day when the selection is better.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.