First, the positives: Most of the staff were incredibly nice. The common areas of the resort proved to be a good place to meet other travelers, and the grounds were pleasant -- the greenery was pretty, the sounds of tree frogs in the evenings were nice, and of course there is a great view of the Petit Piton. Though the food at the restaurant was hit or miss, and usually a bit heavy for my tastes, I did enjoy the convenience of having a restaurant right there, and the blended cocktails were always good.
The negatives: First, the bed -- I am not someone who typically notices mattress quality, but in this room the problem was impossible to miss. It was like sleeping on a slab of concrete. Also, the first time I lied down on the bed, I noticed what felt like a crack -- and sure enough, though the bed looked like a king, I was actually sleeping on two twin mattresses stuck together. My first morning, I woke with a crick in my shoulder that never went away for the duration of the trip. I probably should have asked to try a different room, but by the time I seriously started thinking of that, my week-long stay was half over and it just seemed like too much hassle.
Second -- noise. The building I stayed in had a peaked-roof construction, and in one place (the bathroom), the wall separating my room from the neighboring room did not go all the way up to the ceiling. Consequently, I could hear everything going on in the next room which, unfortunately for me, included a lot of loud TV, usually starting early in the morning and going until late evening. Generally the TV was off before I wanted to sleep, but one night I was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by the sound of TV-gunshots from the next room. (I knocked on my neighbor's door and got no answer, but the volume did go down -- and thankfully that was his last night.)
Noise from outdoors was also an issue. My room didn't have glass windows, which in general didn't bother me, but it meant that noise from outside was impossible to shut out. One time, I was kept awake by the sounds of late-night/early-morning karaoke coming from the direction of the beach. With the help of earplugs, I drifted off a few times but was repeatedly awakened by multiple off-key renditions of "I've Had the Time of My Life," among other 90s classics. Another time I was kept up by the sounds of a late-night conversation around the resort pool, which was right in front of my room. Also, the conversations of people walking on the path next to my room came through clear as bell -- it sounded like they were in the room with me.
Third -- security. At first, I thought the resort seemed pretty secure, but there's a gate between the resort and the public beach which I don't believe got locked at night, and which concerned me on the afternoon that I was followed to the gate by a "guide" who regaled me with stories of women being raped in Soufriere and added that he would be spending the evening drinking on the beach outside the Hummingbird and looking for me, should I want to join him. This was at a period during my stay when there was almost no one else staying at the resort, so it was a little creepy. Another time, a random guy who'd tried to talk to me in town showed up on the resort grounds pestering me and trying to sell me his CD. The room itself also didn't seem totally secure -- while the door to my patio had a keyhole, there was no key with which to lock it (and yes, I did ask for one). The door could be secured only with latches at the top and bottom of the door, one of which came apart in my hand the first time I tried to use it. Luckily the latch just had two pieces that screwed together so I was able to reassemble it.
Other problems were more minor -- poor water pressure (there were a few times I could not get water to come out of the tap at all), a somewhat tired dining room (one morning I sat down to breakfast and on my chair found my dirty dinner napkin from the night before), and a dark room (though there was a lot of closet space, the hallway was so dark a lot of that space was almost unusable -- I also arrived to find no hangers in the closet and had to ask twice before any showed up).
I actually was not in one of the ultra-cheap rooms -- I stayed in the Superior Piton room, which was $177 a night after service/tax. I'm sure for some travelers that sounds cheap, but the nightly rate was four times as expensive as the other place I stayed on St. Lucia, so to me it was a splurge. I did mention some of my issues to the staff, but while they were very nice, I never got an especially helpful response to anything. So, even though there were some things about the resort that I liked, if I had known on the first day how bad the overall experience was going to be, I probably would have sought out different accommodations and swallowed whatever penalty was imposed.
- Also Known As:
- Hummingbird Beach Hotel
- Hummingbird Beach Soufrière
- Hummingbird Beach Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hummingbird Beach Resort is a small, intimate resort, located in the scenic town of Soufriere on the south western part of St. Lucia, home to the famous pitons – a world heritage site. Hummingbird Beach Resort has eight (8) beautifully decorated rooms, most of which offer magnificent views of the ocean and the pitons. We also have a Country Cottage which accommodates a family of four (4) comfortably, it is fully furnished and offers breathtaking views of the pitons. We are world renowned for our French Creole Cuisine, award winning cocktails and beautiful batik studio. We are located on the beach and also have a fresh water swimming pool. We do arrange a wide range of tours and excursions. Spa treatments can be made available on request. Let us host your dream wedding or wedding reception dinner. Our tropical island setting and renowned hospitality combine to make your Caribbean wedding and honeymoon an unforgettable experience. Make the charming Hummingbird Beach Resort your choice of accommodation in Soufriere. ... more less
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