CANADIANS Danielle and Steve Unruh felt they were being boiled alive in their jobs as health and safety advisors to the oil industry.
When they sent each other drawings of their ideal place to live, both doodles depicted a house by the sea fringed by palm trees.
The light bulb moment illuminated the way to the pair establishing the aptly-named Boiled Frog Guesthouse, near Castries, on sunny St Lucia.
For many people, holidaying in the Caribbean means an all-inclusive resort with all the associated pampering you fancy.
What Danielle and Steve offer Is a bed and breakfast by the sea, with the option of dining with them and their family at night should you wish.
Arriving at the Boiled Frog feels more like arriving at a friend’s home.
Danielle and Steve greet you with a smile and introduce you to sons Alex, Sasha, little smasher Kieron and Zeus the friendly dog.
You walk, via the sprawling ocean-facing deck, to either a self-contained cottage or one of two large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.
You grab a beer already chilling in the fridge, you hear the waves swooshing on the sand, see a huge illuminated cruise ship crawling by on the horizon and the relaxation begins.
We spent what must be one of the laziest two weeks of our lives at the Frog, and we loved it.
Mostly all we did was take long beach walks alongside the clean, crashing surf of Choc Bay, throw down the sarongs, lap up the 30C heat and cool off in the waves.
The only decisions were whether we turned left or right in the morning, which book to read next, or if we could have a private skinny dip, which was normally “oh yes”.
Having flown all that way from the UK, we did hop on one of the abundant island minibuses and do the tourist bit to the marina and fort at Rodney Bay, as well as to Soufriere in the shadow of the islands famous Piton twin peaks.
We also took in scenic Marigot Bay, marvelling of the hilltop holiday homes belonging to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and boxing champ George Foreman.
But we really were lazy on this trip, which was designed to be a battery charge away from an England on the cusp of another chill winter.
We breakfasted around 7am, helping ourselves to fresh coffee, juice, muesli and toast.
We sometimes had family dinners and enjoyed lovely homemade bread, pasta, Frog burgers, steak and lobster (lobster which two local spear fisherman had caught that very day).
Sometimes we walked the 15 minutes along a busy main road to dine at the Wharf bar and restaurant , where owner’s daughter Liza bent over backwards to make us feel at home and kept to cold beers coming with gusto.
And that was about it.
Plenty of people told us to keep out wits about us for theft, but plenty of people strolled by us on our deserted stretch of beach and every one was polite and civil.
It is a fact of life that you have to keep your wits about you everywhere in the world, even your home town.
Frog gardener Sylvester, who came with the property when it was bought, did appear with a machete now and again – in order to offer us coconuts from the palm tree or golden apples which we chomped on with thanks.
All in all we had restful days capped by interesting chats during family dinners or down at the pub.
The room was clean, the food was great, and hosts Danielle and Steve were on hand to solve the slightest problem should it arise.
Danielle’s parents, Dave and Barbara, turned up for Christmas and enriched the family scene.
Even Zeus the dog smiled for a photo, almost.
We would thoroughly recommend the Boiled Frog to any fellow traveller who feels they are getting a bit boiled by life’s pressures, and fancies the same kind of break.
It you stay there, when the interested locals ask you which hotel you are staying at, you will undoubtedly tell them the same as we did: “We aren’t in a hotel, we are staying with friends.”
- Also Known As:
- Boiled Frog Guesthouse St. Lucia/Castries
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Boiled Frog Guesthouse is a 3 room guesthouse situated on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. All rooms are large, air conditioned with private bath. The cottage room is self contained with kitchenette while the other two rooms share a common kitchen. There is a small beach directly in front of the property and a large beach just minutes down shore. ... more less