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“Simpley The Best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Calabash Cove Resort and Spa

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Calabash Cove Resort and Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Mission, Canada
Level Contributor
128 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Simpley The Best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2011

I have to start by saying our December trip is our second visit, first was January 2010.

Room
We have seen all the rooms, and most of the cabins.
Room layout with the jacuzzi (or plung pool for cabins) is great. There is more then enough closet and storage space. With the heat reflective coating on the glass there is no need for more window coverings then there is. Rooms are quite.

Food
Contrary to our English friends, I would say the QUALITY and correct quantity of food per serving is there.
If you are a hamburger or bangers and mash type you might find the menu a bit restrictive.
The main menu for lunch and dinner is changed every 3 months, every day they have a sheet of specials that go allong with the main menu, so it never gets borring.
My personal favs. are the lamb, duck, trigger fish, mahi mahi, marlin, and rabbit.
The Christmas meal was one of the best meals I have ever had, started with the chestnut soup, then smoked duck, then Scottish salmon (both had flavours that burst like fireworks in your mouth) and finished with a plumb pudding. You also had the standard ham and turkey to choose from.
Asked French chef Didier to come out, thanked him for such a great meal. My wife to be and him agreeded that both him and I would eat anything with eight legs or less that moved. As he made his way back to the kitchen many of the tables thanked him as well.
Next day had repeat of the smoked duck and the rabitt that arrived to late for Christmas.
Both the red and white wine selection are great.

Before we left we emailed the hotel to make sure they would have Crown Royal and some other liquors that we like on hand, but would not normally have. Konrad and Cris made sure it was there.

This is a place to come and totally relax and unwind. Some people do not actually leave the resort. This time we rented a car.

We have gone all over the world looking for a resort like this, have even gone to the East Winds (both the place and concept should be demolished and redone) not far from the Calabash.

We are going back December 2011 to be married.

Contrary to the review before this I think the resort should be adding a star

Would als like to thank Thmas (talkason), Lilly, Lance, Cris, Jonathon, Barbra (house keeping) and all the girls in the restaurant for the great times and the ones to come.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tripbugbc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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574 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (210)
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English first
Kent
Level Contributor
184 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2011

There are enough reviews here to get the general idea. The resort is very nice, good beach, well gardened, pleasant staff and generally good service. The rooms (avoid 201 and 101) are OK but the inclusion of a jacuzzi in the room and the general open plan arrangement won't suit all (many?). The glass is mirrored so the absence of full curtains isn't completely embarassing and as the hotel faces west early morning sunshine shouldn't be a problem, even so it's a bit odd. And you do need a torch if you get up during the night. The free Wifi is slow, but it works (just).

The problem is the food. It's just not consistent enough - I don't think anything we had was much better than "good" but too much was odd or poor. Portions are large and maybe the style of food suits US palates better than European. As an example my Ceasar salad was made with cheddar (advertised as parmesan, but plainly not) and without croutons. Another guest noted the Coq au Vin had pickled onions in it. Universally the Goat Curry was panned (we avoided that one). Puddings were generally bought in and nothing special; someone complained that the "Sticky Toffee" pudding was neither sticky or toffee flavoured.

The pool bar menu at lunchtime is best avoided in favour of the restaurant (why? it all comes out of the same kitchen!) and because the guy running the pool bar doesn't have a 'phone he has to run to the restaurant to put in orders and run back later to see if the food is done, so service is compromised as well as food quality.

If you go you won't starve but you'll wonder if you could have done better. Taking a taxi out to a Rodney Bar restuarant (US$ 30 return) makes eating elsewhere an expensive option and without any guarantee of sucess.

All in all, unless the food inproves I think they'll not see me again and I suspect there's a star seriously at risk.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark_Elliott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2011

While I did not stay at this resort, I did go for dinner and drinks...the view was absolutely breath taking.....they had a swim up bar, located on their private beach and the restaurant is just surrounded by water....it was absolutely amazing....the food was okay and drinks were average but going here is an experience. I would highly recommend this place to honeymooners or couples....excellent place!

Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Kaylinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2011

We recently stayed at Calabash Cove for 4 days 3 nights as part of our honeymoon (couple late 20’s, from NE US). Our trip was actually postponed due to Hurricane Tomas, but the resort did not show any ill effects from the storm and we were offered the same deal as we had originally booked. We arrived via taxi, and unless you’ve been there before you might question the road in as being the right way. But once you arrive, the resort is really impressive. The lobby, front desk, restaurant, bar, etc are all in one large open air room sitting high up on the mountainside overlooking the bay. Our room, a swim up suite, was very well appointed with a full bar of full size 750ml bottles of liquor, wines, beer, and champagne. The room had a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a spectacular view across the infinity pool into the ocean. The room was smaller than expected, with not so much room for storage or our suitcases. Also, the wall between the room and hallway (and door) were thin and noise easily traveled (luckily there was barely any foot traffic). The resort was 95% full for most of days there; however, it never felt like there were more than 4 or 5 couples staying. There are enough chairs, chaises, lounges, and cabanas around the pool and on the beach that you barely really interacted with other guests unless it was intentional. We enjoyed the quiet and privacy of the resort, and the ability to socialize by the pool bar then go across the terrace and relax in solitude.

We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel restaurant each day with lunch poolside. Food was very good. There was enough variety on the menus and we were impressed with the quality and presentation of the food. We experienced one night of extremely slow service at dinner (we finished a whole bottle of wine between ordering and getting our appetizers, about 1 hour). But on other nights and breakfast the service was very prompt. Dinner at the hotel restaurant is not busy and it is quiet in between the local music or entertainment brought in.

Staff at Calabash is very friendly and courteous. The resort is small so we became familiar with the staff. The bartenders, Lance and Christopher were very friendly, and made great drinks and conversation. They played music at the bar but it was only loud enough to hear if you were sitting at or around the pool bar.

Most people were either from UK or America, with all the Americans we met being from the NE US and also on their honeymoons and everyone was friendly.
We booked our trip through Tripguy Travel after reading reviews about them and seeing their advice on Tripadvisor (many of the great answers and tips about St Lucia we learned from a Tripguy agent who posts in the forums). They made our trip effortless and provided great customer service.

Overall, we really enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness of the resort. Only having 27 or so rooms, it always felt empty which made it easy to relax. We would love to come back to this resort if we needed a vacation to unwind. It looks like they are planning to expand the resort with some condominiums and I believe the place is only 2 years old or so, so I am sure as more people find out about it it will become more popular.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank a_large_farva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2011

Firstly, I would say that this resort is not for those that want to be surrounded by things to do. It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and the only way to get to places is by taxi.

That said, it is a perfect place to get away from everything. Please bear in mind for the rest of the review that I'm English and therefore not naturally gushing - this is a really great resort. Calabash Cove was a truely nice place to go stay. The mix of guests was mostly European (mostly British), almost all couples of varying ages (honeymooning 20s up to retired 60s). It clearly aims at the upper end of the market. We saw a number of other hotels on the way to-from excursions and none of them looked to be in the same league (in particular, be aware of the hotels in Rodney Bay itself, which tend to be little better than motels when you get there. I recommend use of googleearth to check your choice out!)

The rooms are a good size - we stayed in a sunset view room which is the smallest/cheapest and had plenty of space. They are well appointed and kept very clean. Barbara, our maid, came twice a day - once to clean and tidy and once to check if we needed anything before dinner! There were also some great touches like petals on the bed. Barbara also left several nice notes - one wishing me a happy birthday after she spotted the cards that I put up.

The pool was surprisingly cold but then again quite refreshing. Given that there are only 26 rooms, there are plenty of sunbeds around the pool (though we did have a run in with a surly American who thought that he had reserved one of them three hours previously!). We preferred to sit by the beach, however - lots more sunbeds down there. The beach isn't huge but is nice for a swim. (In general, if a perfect beach is your main aim, go to the Madives or the Bahamas)

Food at Calabash is pretty good in my opinion. I eat at Michelin starred restaurants in London pretty regularly and this isn't far off. Service is wonderful - friendly and professional. Do be prepared to work to "island time" though - things are calm, not hurried. We generally ate breakfast and dinner in the restaurant and lunch by the pool bar. We had one disappointing plate of chips but other than that, I think the food was great. I would recommend the all inclusive, though - it'll stop you worrying about the prices.

Which brings me on to drinks. The cocktails served by the pool barmen are top notch. They do great stuff both alcoholic and not. The wine list is ok, but nothing outstanding - there is a better list but you have to pay and the prices are a bit extreme. We tended to drink by the glass - possibly out only disappointment was that this meant we got very standard glasses in comparison to those you get with a bottle.

The front desk staff were also very helpful when it came to excursions. We booked a catamaran trip and a climb of Gross Piton. I would recommend trying to find a cheaper way of climbing the Piton than the package they offer - we didn't need the additional bits the package gave and some people were clearly paying less than us.

Finally - value for money. It's not cheap, that's for sure. We chose the all-inclusive option, which I'm glad about because, otherwise, I would have been counting the cocktails. Is it value for money - I think, yes. It delivered what I wanted - peace and quiet and an escape from my blackberry for a week. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stevo789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waunakee, Wisconsin, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2011

This review is long overdue! We honeymooned in St. Lucia and stayed at Calabash Cove at the end of August, 2009. I researched for months on places to go for our honeymoon that had a private villa with a plunge pool, on a beach that was part of a boutique or small resort. There aren’t very many to choose from in the world unless you want to pay a heavy price. After we found the resort, Konrad (the owner) recommended we do our travel arrangements with Debbie from Magic Happens Travel to receive trip insurance. We wanted trip insurance as were going during the hurricane season. Debbie was fabulous to work with and we’ve booked numerous trips with her since.

One word to describe Calabash Cove is amazing! When we went it was very quiet and we felt like we had the place to ourselves. Konrad (the owner) and his staff were all wonderful to us! They all made us feel right at home from the moment we arrived! We stayed in one of the cottages, #5 that was the only stand-alone cottage right in the middle of the beach front condos, that had our own plunge pool. If you can afford to pay the extra to stay in one of the nine cottages, it is definitely the way to go! The cottage was wonderful as far as the set-up of it. The bedroom was comfortable (thanks to the air conditioner!) and the bathroom was furnished very well. The outdoor rain shower is a nice touch! We spent the majority of time out on our patio, laying in the hammock and swimming in our plunge pool! It was a perfect place for us as honeymooners to just enjoy each other’s company!

Because my husband doesn’t really care for extreme heat, the outdoor covered patio was a savior! He hung out on his laptop (wi-fi) and read his book in the hammock usually in the morning, while I would go to the spa! I don’t think we ever sat in the living room as we were always outside which was nice and never turned on the television. (We brought a laptop for music :). I would recommend bringing your own laptop and music to listen to for when you are just chilling or to dance under the moonlight!

We did the all-inclusive package and I was very glad we did! It was really nice to just call up to the hotel to order our breakfast each morning which was fabulous! The breakfast was one of my favorite meals and the coffee was delicious! Chef DiDiA (spelling?) and his staff are absolutely fabulous!!! The food is spectacular and comes highly recommended by both my husband and I! I would say the only downfall after being there for a week is that it is a limited menu so you start to run out of options or you need to get creative. The drinks were also really good and nice and strong!

The main pool is absolutely spectacular! The 40 foot infinity pool is a great place to go to watch the sunset! We enjoyed drinks and the sunset before showering and heading up to dinner most nights. The swim-up bar is nice to have if it is open. Otherwise you can just call up to the staff at the main bar and they will bring you drinks down.

As far as the spa goes I would give it a B/C. I am a little bit of a spa snob and go quite often. The first trip to the spa I received a massage and it was decent however the room was really small and smelled a little musty. The rest of the days I stayed I requested to have my massages/wraps outside and this was much better! I had the fresh banana treatment hydrating mask (that I cleaned off in the ocean) followed by a massage all on the private beach which was wonderful! My skin felt so nice and smooth!

With our honeymoon package we also received a private dinner for two out on the private balcony of the resort. This was nice but not necessarily needed as dinner usually felt very private in the restaurant. The lobster was amazing, though!

We did a couple of excursions while in St. Lucia and the hotel set them all up which was nice for us not to have to worry about. One of the coolest things by far was the helicopter tour from the airport to our hotel! It’s a great way to see the island without having to spend all day in the car on the windy roads right when you get to St. Lucia! The pilot will point out the sulfur springs, banana plantations and many other things. The best part of the helicopter tour is flying right next to the Pitons to see just how massive and high they are. The other excursion I would highly recommend is the zip-lining through the rainforest. I don’t do the best with heights and was nervous to do it but I was soooo glad when I did! It was breathtaking and I didn’t want it to end! One other excursion that was fun was the sunset cruise with Maurice. He is super knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the history of the islands. It was a very fun night out on the boat and we were lucky having an amazing sunset to view!

It’s hard to come up with a lot of critiques of Calabash Cove. There are a LOT of stairs to get from our cottage to the main pool and then from the pool ALL the way up to the lobby and restaurant. Also, the drive in is an adventure as the road is in unbelievably bad condition. I would recommend also locking up all of your valuables in your safe when you aren’t sitting in your room/patio area. Also one other critique would be that the groundskeeper was always weed wacking. We didn’t mind but it could get annoying when you wanted to relax and read; of course, this why the grounds stay so nice! :)

The weather was gorgeous and never rained (except for one night when we were sleeping). It you are looking for a place in St. Lucia to honeymoon or just have a relaxing vacation with your spouse/significant other, it comes highly recommended! We are in the vacation rental business as well, and own many luxury vacation rental homes, so we are very particular. Everyone is VERY nice, the resort is extremely beautiful and very private. A wonderful option to the crowded chain resorts on the island. The owner of the resort, Konrad, is also very hands-on and even invited us to go with him and his family to a night street dance in St. Lucia! Konrad and his staff were wonderful! Thank you for an unforgettable honeymoon!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TDerb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nottinghamshire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2010

Arriving at Calabash Cove is an experience in itself. About 1½ hrs (max) drive from the airport, the turn to the hotel is steep and very, very rutted. However, once there, a few steps down from the road is a beautiful reception area, with stunning open views over the sea to Castries beyond. It's like an oasis in the middle of the desert!

Our room, 205, had the same views, also taking in the fantastic infinity swimming pool. The room itself was not as large as we had anticipated from pictures of the hotel, but very nice - although, as we found later, you might say rather more style than substance. There is little hanging space for clothes (we don't travel lightly) but plenty of drawers and shelves. A huge Jacuzzi bath separated the bed area from the shower/lavatory/ basins - which were up three steep steps. The lighting was hopeless in as much as there was no switch by the bed to light up the washing area for night visits. One to walk to the door in the darkness to find the one relevant switch - which lit up the bedroom and the shower and the lavatory! Management was sympathetic to this and installed a curtain for us, to help shade the light a bit, which was kind, though not aesthetically pleasing. The Jacuzzi worked but the shower attachment within the bath didn't work at all, it just dribbled water into the bath, the rest leaking from the base, onto the floor of the bedroom.

We could run through a list of little things which weren't right when we arrived - clearly, nobody had properly checked the room - but although it shouldn't have been like that, in fairness they were quickly put right once we pointed them out. The only thing which wasn't attended to was the ceiling fan, which vibrated so much it was unusable. However, the aircon was not too intrusive although, equally, not powerful enough to chill the room at the really hot times of day. On a positive note, the room was spotlessly clean.

The staff were very courteous, friendly, and anxious to help. With the possible exception of Wayne, who seemed to have forgotten how to smile, we were very impressed by them all.

Calabash is on a very small site - so there is nowhere in which to take a walk if that is your wish - except down a number of steps to a very small beach. When we were there, shortly after Hurricane Thomas, the sea was still very churned up, not pleasant to swim in. However, the swimming pool, with the usual swim up bar, was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, although there were plenty of very comfortable beds, there are no umbrellas by the pool area, so little relief from the sun - a great disadvantage. We were told that they had strong gusts of wind on that level, which blew the umbrellas away. Such a shame they can't put some permanent structures up there because it's a lovely area, and with the beach being so small and less conveniently situated, we would have appreciated some shade.

Although I believe it to be perfectly safe, there is nowhere to walk 'to' outside the hotel. A long, and not very pleasant, walk down to the main road, but nowhere much to go after that.

The biggest downside for us was the food. The French chef, Didier, is, from our observation,
a very egotistical individual - and our experience showed him to be not nearly as good as he appears to think he is. He's a slightly intimidating individual, too, and we witnessed him being extremely dismissive of somebody who dared to complain about some fries she had been served, which had Been kept warm too long and were hard and inedible. Not only was he unpleasant to her, but he talked about her afterwards - directly to us - in the most derogatory terms.

Whilst the food was sometimes very good, it was sometimes really bad - and never exceptional. The menu was quite repetitive over the course of the 12 days of our holiday. It wasn't consistent, either - one could order a starter at lunchtime and really enjoy it, but order it again in the evening and it would be completely different. Lots of things were smothered in (too much) balsamic vinegar, and most things were accompanied by pickled ginger which, whilst not unpleasant, became repetitive. Our own experience was that things seem be kept warm for too long, and ended up tasting overcooked - particularly fish. However there was an occasional delicious meal which kept up one's hopes!

We were on the all-inclusive option, which I'd recommend. The choice of wine was excellent and generous.

For us, it was a very nice hotel indeed (I seem to have mostly emphasised the negatives). We are retired and enjoy a ' sit and stare' holiday. We were interested - and a little surprised - to see that it was mainly occupied by young people during our stay, many of them honeymooners. For those who don't need or want to do a lot, it's very nice indeed - though I would say that a week is probably long enough.

The hotel hasn't yet it been open 2 years. For us it doesn't quite have the polish of the hotel next door, East Winds - but they are very anxious to please at Calabash, and seem to be open to suggestions. However there is no "suggestion box" or a questionnaire at the end of y ones time there are where you can air your views- perhaps because they don't want to hear them? Certainly they seemed to be very busy which might lull them into a comfortable sense of security - but, of course, over time they do need repeaters.

I would recommend this hotel to a friend, but with big reservations food-wise. In fairness, we visited with some friends, one of whom was far less critical of the food than we were.
But, compared to other hotels we have visited in the Caribbean (quite a number) for the price, I think they need to up their game and, possibly, (personal opinion only) change the chef!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kayandhoward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Calabash Cove Resort and Spa

Property: Calabash Cove Resort and Spa
Address: | Bonaire Estate, Marisule, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Gros Islet
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Gros Islet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Calabash Cove Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on gently sloping, tropical beachfront on the northwest coast of the island, Calabash Cove is one of just a select few five-star resorts on St. Lucia. Nestled in the sheltered bay of Bonaire Estate, Calabash Cove is perched on a hillside sloping gently towards the Caribbean Sea, where cool ocean breezes provide a wonderful respite and the turquoise sea is offset by the vibrant green of tropical vegetation and views of Walcott Island. A private beach and nearby coral reef provide the perfect place to rest, reflect and dream. The resort has been designed with great care to complement and exist in harmony with the beauty of the natural surroundings. The main buildings of the hotel, such as the lobby, restaurant, bar, sanctuary, and infinity pool with waterfall lie on a slope, with the villas in the midst of lush vegetation perfectly situated to view nightly sunsets. The natural elements of earth, wind, light and water are represented in the exotic wood, stone and natural materials used in the composition of the buildings. The peaceful and tranquil gardens, under the care of one of the finest landscape architects in the Caribbean, have been created to capture and optimize the natural splendor of the area and are filled with vibrant, fragrant flowers set amid groves of trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Calabash Cove Hotel Gros Islet
Calabash Cove Resort And Spa St. Lucia/Gros Islet

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