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Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Colorado Springs, CO
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Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

We are thinking about going to St. Lucia at the end of November and I would like to stay at the Coconut Bay Resort because I just think it looks really fun. But it seems like it's kind of far away from most of the activities. Are there things to do around that area? Should we rent a car to make it easier to get to things? Some of the things we would like to do are snorkeling and shopping local crafts.

I read about the two pricey hotels that have the snorkeling, can you snorkel there even if you aren't staying at those hotels?

Is it safe to hike in St. Lucia?

So many questions! Thanks!

San Diego...
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1. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Bumping this up, I have the same questions.

Will we be missing out by staying here and not in "lively" Castries?

We will be honeymooning, there is an adults only section here, correct?

How does this compare to Smugglers Cove and Almond Morgan Beach??

Thanks!

Toronto
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2. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Coconut Bay is closer to most activities. Up the east coast are 3 waterfalls, ATV adventures, botanical gardens, ziplining, Fond D'Or Historic Park, Barre de L'Isle hiking trail. Up the west coast is Soufriere & the Pitons, Sulphur Springs Park (dormant volcano) & mud bath, mineral baths, warm waterfalls, an incredibly scenic short hiking trail and the aforementioned snorkeling. You do not have to be a guest to go snorkeling - all beaches are Queen's Land, meaning they belong to the people of St Lucia, so no one can prevent you from using the beach

Toronto
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3. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Coconut Bay is isolated in a rural part of the island, so nightlife and shopping is pretty much non-existent, however CB has a duty-free shop and I found the evening entertainment was fantastic - a live band every night and a great dance crew kept things pretty lively. There are a few restaurants nearby but the food at CB is pretty good.

We stayed in the Harmony section - except for meals and around the main pool area, you didn't notice the children. The adults-only pool and bar area is far enough from the main pool and patio that you don't hear them either.

Hiking in St Lucia is safe - one of the best trails, Des Cartiers is about a 20 minute drive (or less) from CB.

CB has a long stretch of beach that's great for walking however with it being on the Atlantic side the wind is a little stronger and the ocean is a bit rough. The resort has installed a breakwater that keeps it reasonably calm in that area, so you can swim there, but there's no watersports offered at CB. And the wind can blow the sand at times - it chased everyone from the beach one afternoon while we were there.

Colorado Springs, CO
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4. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

So having a rental car to get to all these places is needed then?

As for snorkeling on those beaches, in Hawaii the beaches are "public" as well, but the best beaches are lined with mega-resorts which makes parking and access for people who are not staying at those resorts very difficult. Where should we park to go snorkeling, and does the parking fill up fast? Should we get there by a certain time in the morning to get a parking spot?

Toronto
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5. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Taxis are pretty expensive, so driving yourself will definitely save you a lot of money. In the past I have rented from Nerv's Taxi and Auto Rental (ntars@hotmail.com) on 3 separate occasions. Nerv offered the services of a driver - I think he quoted $40 for the day for a driver but I didn't pursue it. I only mention this in case you do not want to do your own driving everywhere.

Getting to the beach at Anse Chastanet is easy - there's a small visitors lot near the beach. We have visited it 3 times and the lot was nowhere near full, but it is best to go early.

Jalousie Beach is more difficult to access. The visitors parking lot is a long way from the beach. I don't know exactly how long it takes to walk to the beach from the lot as both times we visited we arrived by water taxi from Anse Chastanet. I have read that it is a good 20 minute walk or more. A water taxi from Anse Chastanet is $40USD round trip.

The resorts treat visitors to St Lucia well but not the locals.

St. Lucia
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6. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Beaches in St. Lucia do not "fill up" like beaches in Hawaii - we are relatively undeveloped and while there are resorts on the beach front in some places, they are not mega-resorts like Hawaii or Cancun or other places and muct provide access to the beaches - this doesn't mean transportation though. As we are a mountainous island, some beaches are at the bottom of hills - such as Jalousie between the Pitons and parking can be higher up the hillside - which means a long walk down and a longer one back up! The beaches though are public and do not fill up anything like Hawaii. The only beach that even remotely comes close to that kind of crowding (and yes, I've been to all the Hawaiian islands many times) is Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay. Teduit has several beachfront hotels and cruise ships use it as their main "beach break" beach, so during high season (Dec-April) the middle of the day may see crowds, but still nothing like you would see in Hawaii.

Renting a car - no matter where you stay on the island - would save you a lot of money in taxi and tour fares. Coconut Bay is the closest AI resort to the main sights of the island. If you really want to stay near the sights and snorkeling, you would need to look in the Soufriere area - Hummingbird and The Still are both great beachfront hotels reasonably priced there, however they do not do AI packages - they have restaraurants on site, and the rest in walking distance of town.

If you are looking fro nightlife (clubs, bars, casino) and multiple restaraunts and shopping, then I would look to the north end of the island - around Rodney Bay. For AI, Almond Morgan Bay or Smuggler's Cove. These resorts are more than an hour from the main snorkeling, hiking, mud baths, etc. But, much closer to nightlife and shopping malls.

Good luck choosing and enjoy your trip!

San Diego...
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7. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

I noticed that many of the beach pictures of CB have piles of seaweed near the water. Is the entire beach full of it at CB?

St. Lucia
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8. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

yeah, most oceans and beaches have seaweed.

Better they give you an accurate picture than you get there and are upset!

It is cleaned up every day in front of the resort and the beach is "groomed". Over the course of the day, it does tend to come back - not much you can do about it. It is not a seaweed bottom, the beach is mostly a sand bottom, it is floating seaweed. It is heavier on the Atlantic side of the island (C-Bay) than it is on the Caribbean side.

I wouldn't let that stop you from visiting a great resort.

Colorado Springs, CO
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9. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Thanks for the replies! Can't wait!

Soufriere, St. Lucia
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10. Re: Coconut Bay Resort - a bunch of questions!

Bon jou Sashasmommy,

Vieux Fort is the busy main town in the south of the island. Plenty of local-style shopping, Rasta Ital-Vital food stands and good restaurants (google Old Plantation Yard). From town walk up the hill to the Moule a Chique working lighthouse with its 360 views.

From Coconut Bay it's a good walk to VF along a long stretch of white sand beach - Anse des Sables/Sandy Beach - with the Maria Islands Nature Preserve just off shore. Return to CB by taxi or public minibus.

The swimming is good all along this beach. It is shallow water with soft sand underfoot and on-shore currents. Strong surface winds cause the whitecaps (not rough water).

On the way to VF, you'll pass The Reef Kite & Wind Surf Center (The Reef also has an info-reservation desk at CB) with an on-site restaurant. This is considered one of the best kite & wind surf sites in the Caribbean.

Another local-run beach restaurant serving rotis, pizza... is located on the trail behind The Reef leading to...

The St. Lucia National Trust Museum, where you can learn about St. Lucia's ancient history & culture. Reserve a tour to the Maria Islands Nature Preserve (offered exclusively through the SLNT).

You don't need a rental car... from CB take a taxi to VF and then a public minibus northwest to the just-opened Laborie Crafts Center at the north end of Rudy John Beach (at the main road). There is a Beach Bar & Restaurant, newly-opened by a young Laborian entrepreneur just a short stroll from the crafts center. Or try Zoe's a bit further down the beach, back of the playing field.

Go for a swim in the calm bay or a snorkel on the endless shallow reefs.

Or just chill awhile on the beach and you just might see a local man's 2 yr old thoroughbred race horse swimming in the sea! Very different from the Kweyol breed!

Bless up! Paul

PS: A short walk south from CB on the main road leads to Kitch's Bar & Restaurant for fish, chicken...

AND

A short walk north from CB on the main road leads to a popular local dancehall for DJ's/live bands (look for the big beautiful Flamboyant tree out front).

Edited: 2:10 am, July 20, 2011