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“View, peace and ... great books”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Chalet La Mar

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Chalet La Mar
Ranked #2 of 2 Laborie B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“View, peace and ... great books”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

Really nice place to stay; just on the hill above the village, still a close walking distance. Laborie is a typical fishermen's village, deliciously quite.
Yves the owner has given us the handy tips before we came; and Evelyne had cooked a delicious meal for dinner on our arrival.
We stayed in the main house, spacious, clean and comfortable; only for two days in transit to Guadeloupe, i would have loved to stay more and read some of the excellent books (in English and French ) on display in the house!

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Olivierdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
76 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2012

This is a unique place to stay in Saint Lucia, quite different from an hotel or resort with all amenities and much more nature oriented, to really live a more authentique a genuine part of the island compared to Rodney Bay or to overpriced Soufriére. I would classify it as a caribbean bungalow experience with a feeling that you are camping even if you have a roof above you!

I will start with the location: you will be overlooking a small and picturesque bay with lush vegetation and pretty much in an isolated place. It's not hard to find if you have the map they provide you, the road is not in great shape and it's quite bumpy - you need to drive to the very end of the road to the last hilltop. Walking a 1 minute or so the left of the house you will have access to a fantastic scenic view of Laborie Bay with its palm tree fringed beach and colourful houses.

You will still be not far from many houses scattered around the surrounding hills but in general the only thing you will hear at night are the many crickets, cicadas and birds. If you are not used to them and you have a light sleep this might be an issue. A rewarding thing is that you will see the most starry nights you could ever imagine, there will be no street or road noise and you feel like you are in the middle of nature.

The only downside on sleep quality and for me it's extremely important (and I believe that for most tourists...) are the mosquitoes. It's not exclusive from this place but I must say that the isolation from the outside is poor, the nets are worn out and there are only a few anti-mosquito coils available that with so many gaps simply don't work... so bring plenty of mosquitoes repellent! Aalso if it rains too much the access will get rougher but you can still manage it.

In terms of dining, Laborie has a few local good options (it's a nice place to eat lobster or any grilled meat, specially chicken) but they are clearly not tailored for tourists, so don't expect any gourmet experience... still its a good atmosphere, just act naturally and be nice, after all it's their island!

The bungalow is overall quite spacious with a nice porch overlooking the small bay, has a small kitchen next to the sleeping/living room and the bathroom is average sized. Unfortunately water supply cuts are frequent so sometimes there might be no hot water available but there is a small reservoir that guarantees you have water. Well after a hot day a cold shower might not be bad, but still it's not that easy.

In terms of distances, if you stay here you must rent a car as public buses are not coming up the hill and it's still a stretch from the main road and from Laborie- surely going downhill and uphill one time will b enough for you. And in general its much better to have your own way of transportation to see all the interesting places in the island.

In terms of driving distances here is my summary:
- Vieux Fort: 15 minutes
- Soufriére: 35-40 minutes
- Marigot Bay: 1 hour
- Castries: 1h15 (through east coast road) ; 1h30 minutes (through west road)
- Rodney Bay: 1h45 minutes
- Laborie - Micoud (Toraille Falls): 30-35 minutes

A couple of notes on the roads:
- The east coast road from Vieux Fort up to Cul de Sac is faster than the west coast even if its less scenic.
- The west coast until Marigot Bay has many sharp and blind bends, plenty of hills and requires lots of horn beeping that is highly advised. The part between Soufriére and a little after Anse La Raye is specially tricky
- From Marigot Bay to Castries the roads come to more flat grounds and have less turns (even if traffic gets heavier)

Best beaches in St Lucia:
1. Anse Chastanet (rough road to get there but totally worth it with good snorkelling)
2. Anse Cochon (also a bumpy road, but the little beach is amazing and snorkelling is spot on)
3. Jalousie Beach (feels like a slice of paradise but it gets crowded specially on the visitors part!)
4. Marigot Beach - busy but beautiful
5. Reduit Beach- very scenic and nice sandy beach but pays the price of having too many resorts in the area...

Other top places to visit:
- Pitons mountains (through tougher hikes, easier ones or watch them from the sea or mountains above)
- Toraille waterfalls
- Diamond waterfalls and Botanical gardens
- La Tille waterfalls
- Castries
- Pigeon Point

Best restaurants:
1. Ladera Resort (near Soufriére) - the best views ever, affordable value and excellent quality in terms of food and service
2. Chateau Mygo (Marigot bay) - great quality with a good price in a wonderful place
3. Beachcombers restaurant (Soufriére) - pricey but the seafood is incredibly good
4. Anse La Raye Friday night seafood party - local food very tasty with local prices

So overall St Lucia is an amazing island, with plenty of lush rainforest, nice waterfalls, sandy beaches and dramatic scenario namely the Pitons area. Laborie Bay is definitely a great base to explore the beautiful south of the island and to enjoy the real culure of the island!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Martinitraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2012

If you are looking for a remote affordable place to stay with a breathtaking view of your own private beach than look no further. My husband and I had an extremely comfortable stay at this gem in Laborie, away from the typical post card resorts. The kitchenette was well stocked and we used it often since there are few restaurants nearby. If relaxation and quiet is what you seek then you've come across the right chalet. The swimming was also fantastic!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RusoWorldTravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2011

We were craving a unique St. Lucia experience; we did not want to be surrounded by tourists, trapped in the walls of an anti-septic resort. We found amazing and authentic experiences in Laborie - we were thrilled by its breathtaking ocean views, tropical climate, and (most of all) its warm and friendly culture.

This was an incredible trip: and yet this is not an experience for everyone: if you are seeking the same-old-resort, then you might prefer to stick to that type of vacation. Laborie is a small fishing village, untouched by the development that can strip away the very culture many travellers seek out. It is a different world, though not in a dangerous way. We stayed at the Chalet la Mar; and while it is simple in its offerings, the accomodations far surpassed my expectations, best describing it as a quiet, private cottage with stunning ocean views (rather than a hostel).

The people of the town are authentic and kind. We were two, young, caucasian ladies and felt safe the entire time. We made great relationships with the townspeople, they showed us places in the area we might never have found on our own - hot springs, mountain peaks, nightlife, etc. We were treated to local fruit literally picked before our eyes as the locals would effortlessly climb the towering trees. Whether strolling down to the peir/market to chat with the fishermen about the day's catch, at the alley-pub grabbing a Guiness, or relaxing on the beach to the ad-libbed raps of the locals...it is a very special place.

Part of the joy of travelling is experiencing different cultures, and there are some imporant differences to be aware (not afraid of). Marijuana is commonly used, rum is often enjoyed, and men can be (as men often are) attracted to women, and can be more vocal about it than in sexually conservative cultures. The village is highly dependent on fishing, so there are elements of poverty; you may be asked for money, just like anywhere in the world you travel.

If you're up for something different to tag onto a resort vacation, or an adventure in and of itself, consider Laborie and Chalet la Mar.

Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank D T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2011

Tried staying there in May 2011 during the "Jazz in the South" festival but it was booked. We finally got to stay there September 30 - October 4, 2011. What a gem... we had a wonderful relaxing time. You have access to 2 beaches. A short walk to the village for food / drinks and friendly conversation with the local people. Chalet La Mar offers a wonderful view and a place to get away from it all.... a gem.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank savoie51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2011

I am a single, mid-30's female traveler who delights in simplicity in my accommodations. I have stayed at Chalet la Mar twice over two years and had a wonderful, safe time both times and is by far the most peaceful place to stay in Laborie. The view is breathtaking! If you are a off-the-beaten path type of a traveler, this is the place to stay. It has a kitchenette, you can book online (without having to call) and the woman who manages the property is lovely and helpful.

Laborie is a vibrant, traditional and lovely Caribbean fishing village. It has a bakery, easy transit system to get to the nearby town, a couple delicious restaurants, Sat morning market, fresh fish...etc etc. Laborians are the reason for my return and as with any country, as long as you keep your wits sharp, you can develop lifelong friendships and gain insight into a culture that would otherwise be forgone.

Chalet La Mar is the perfect to experience it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SoulFliesFree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2011

I've returned to Laborie twice for vacation and had pleasant experiences. The owner and the property manager are both genuine and gracious, and the local people are quite friendly! The cottage is well maintained and offers simplicity,tranquility and a wonderful view of the sea.

Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank MrCOA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chalet La Mar

Property: Chalet La Mar
Address: Box 16, La Mar, Laborie, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Laborie Quarter > Laborie
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Laborie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have two accommodation options. One is a self-contained cottage with a large room, two beds that can be brought together to make a double bed, a bathroom, a kitchen and a balcony with a beautiful view. The other is a large house with two bedrooms with private bathrooms, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen and a large verandah with a breathtaking view. Laborie is a peaceful and authentic Caribbean village, if you are looking for discos and shopping mall you will be disappointed, but if you feel like bathing at and walking along a deserted beach, enjoying village life (and a cold beer with a fish meal at one of the local restaurants) or going for a hike in the hills, then you will enjoy a visit to Laborie. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chalet La Mar St. Lucia/Laborie

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