We stayed a few nights at Cap Maison after getting a super deal online. It's a small resort (more of a large luxury beach hotel, really) and is indeed quite beautiful. The white stucco buildings with the terra cotta roofs look like an embassy compound somewhere in the Mediterranean. The flowers and trees are also beautiful, and the two beaches both afford a great view of the sunset.
But be warned: This place is nowhere near most of St. Lucia's attractions, so you are going to be spending some *serious* money on cabs. Even going to dinner at Rodney Bay will cost you at least $30 US a couple, round trip, plus tip. If you are planning to do activities anywhere in the south part of St. Lucia (near the Pitons), prepare to spend hundreds on cabs. That is no exaggeration: A ride from the airport to Cap Maison was $80 US plus tip--and they always want a tip--and to one of the Pitons was about the same. Even going to Pigeon Island nearby is $12 US each way. There is zero public transit. And St. Lucia has tiny roads and no sidewalks outside of the cities, so do not even think about walking anywhere. Overall, during our four-night/four-day trip, we spent close to $400 on cabs.
The other wanting aspect of Cap Maison was the service in our otherwise gorgeous, spacious, and well-appointed room. First off, the minibar was warm--and the milk for the next day's coffee was in there. It took about three phone calls and one in-person request to get the fridge replaced with one that worked marginally better. I would not have bothered, but the wife takes cream in her coffee, and drinking milk that has been unrefrigerated all day is not a wise idea. (Why don't they just use the sealed mini-creamers instead of an open porcelain creamer?) Another time, it took multiple calls to get housekeeping to clean our room--we had the "Do Not Disturb" sign up during the morning--and then the housekeeper didn't leave us any toilet paper.
Another weird thing was the LED lights in the ceiling that stay dimly lit all night and day; there was apparently no way to turn them off. At night, I want the room to be dark, not just dim.
There were other minor quibbles that didn't bother us but might bother others: Contrary to the website, the mattress is not a Tempur-Pedic but a conventional mattress--though very comfortable. Also, there is (again, contrary to the website) no DVD player in the room, but that was OK with us. The coffee maker was a French press, to my delight.
One thing to note is that that due to thin walls or the large glass windows, you get a lot of outside noise in the rooms. The first night, there was some kind of event way over at the hotel restaurant, with some announcer on a PA system blaring after 10PM. (We had been up since 4AM that day.) They did turn it down after I complained--but then another staffer actually called me back on the room phone, waking us up again. Also, having a room near the main entrance means you hear every word of early-morning conversation among the hotel staff, as well as the diesel buses that take the housekeepers to work.
One positive thing was the breakfast. On weekends, it's a buffet--and it's great. Omelette station, various types of fruit, sausage, bacon, pancakes (though, strangely, you have to ask for butter), banana bread, etc. On weekdays, you had to order off a menu, but our package included breakfast, so that was OK too.
Lunch at the on-site restaurant was tasty but expensive, like everything else in St. Lucia. The supposedly "large enough to share" tapas were not. But we managed. I will say that the restaurant staff were great; on our last morning, the one gent packed us a nice takeaway breakfast just before it officially opened, as we were about to leave.
Cap Maison also is not near any activities, other than the hiking at Pigeon Island. (which has great views and is worth seeing. Also, it has a fantastic little beach restaurant--Jambe de Bois). Again, that's a $12 US ride each way plus $6 US per person entry fee. There are two beaches--one right below the restaurant and one just north of the main area--but both are sort of a DIY affair; if they had snorkel equipment for borrowing, I wasn't aware of it. And the water was probably too cloudy for that anyway. It is not the white sands/blue water you might think of when you think the word "Caribbean." Still, it was very nice for swimming, and the sunsets were stunning.
My conclusion: If you are not planning to visit Soufriere/the Pitons/anything other than Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island, then this might well be a great option for you. If you do have activities planned at those other areas, just be sure to figure lots of cab fare into your budget--and bring some earplugs. I think that for most visitors to St. Lucia, Cap Maison will only be worth it if you can get a huge discount to make up for all the pricey cab rides.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cap Maison is a new family owned and managed five star boutique resort. Located above a beautiful secluded sandy cove on the north west coast of St Lucia, Cap Maison offers luxury private villa suites, many with private rooftop pools. Facilities include a waterfront fine dining restaurant, spa, fully equipped fitness centre, walk in wine cellar, beach club with chaise lounge service, free non motorised water sports, a hiking and running club, private 46 foot resort boat, club lounge with (computer access) and concessionary golf. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Cap Maison Hotel Cap Estate
- Cap Maison Gros Islet
- Cap Maison Hotel Gros Islet
- Cap Maison St. Lucia/Cap Estate