Myself and my girlfriend stayed at the Reef Beach Huts for 9 nights at the end of April. It is worth pointing out that St Lucia had some HORRENDOUS weather that week which, if continuous in the Caribbean like it was with us bar 4 days, means there is quite literally nothing to do, especially down at the Reef.
However, having said that, there are some serious issues with the Reef that need to be addressed. Firstly , I understand that it's $60/night for a room and thus basic and trust me, I have stayed in simple huts on beaches in Central America & Africa for more like $15 a night which are FAR better.
On more than one occasion the power went down, the water stopped working, our toilet was blocked almost continuously even after requests to have it fixed, the water backed up in our shower from the drain outside (thus smelling), our room was cleaned only once and the rooms were insanely dark which means that when it rains (and boy did it rain), it is a very depressing place to be as you cant even read a book in your own room.
The main reason we went there was to learn to Kite. I'm at an intermediate level so didn’t need the basics, more the board work. However, by the time we arrived, the foreign instructors had left and the centre seemed like it was being run for the 3 local guys, who were supposed to be working there, rather than the paying guests / Kiters. In all 9 days I was there, I went out for 90mins. On more than one occasion, when the wind was good in the mornings, the local guys would go and ride for an hour, leaving the guests waiting........there is NOTHING more annoying. For the experienced Kiters, they had to pay for Kite storage, safety, launching and landing.....I don't think I saw the employees launching or landing a kite once.
Nevertheless, by far the most upsetting / annoying / oppressive factor of the stay is the fact that there is a local bar / dance hall next to the huts. For 3 of the 9 nights we were there, they had some of the loudest music I have ever heard. Don't get me wrong, I love Ibiza and loud music, but when your shack is shaking due to the base and you can't sleep through silicon ear plugs then this is totally unacceptable. I spoke to the owners about this and it seems to be a genuine problem they have with the owner of the bar renting it out for "birthday parties" but it came very, very close to ruining our entire holiday. We actually checked into a very nice hotel for our 2nd last night (this saved the holiday) and on coming back for our last night, were told at 8pm that a party would be happening.....no call / email earlier in the day to let us know so we could stay on in the other hotel. The last night at the Reef left a very sour taste in our mouths.
I don't want to be too negative and there are some positives. The beach is beautiful (in the sun), its lovely seeing the locals hanging out and swimming, some of the staff at the Reef (especially Shelly, Elisa & Vincent) are fantastic and the food / drink is cheap, albeit OK in taste.
In short, the weather is a massive factor. We checked into a nice hotel for one night and were left wondering why we didn't stay there for the whole holiday. I think it’s great to be staying in basic cheap rooms on the beach but you have to get the balance right. The rooms have to be clean, the toilets have to work and you HAVE to be able to sleep at night, otherwise it is just torture.....quite literally.
- Also Known As:
- Reef Beach Huts Hotel
- Reef Beach Huts Hotel Vieux Fort
- The Reef Beach Huts St. Lucia/Vieux Fort
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Looking for a place to stay? The Reef Beach Huts offers cheap & cheerful accommodation to kiters and non-kiters alike, in rooms located within a courtyard under the sea grape trees, on the roadside of the beach cafe. The rooms are secure, measure 4x4 meters, each room has its own shower and toilet and you can get two single beds or one double (140cm wide). There is no air-conditioning, but all rooms have electric fans. There is a kettle to make hot drinks but no fridge. There is free wireless internet which usually reaches into the rooms also. ... more less
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