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“Unique Tropical Setting”
Review of Crystals St Lucia

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Crystals St Lucia
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 30, 2010

Having travelled a fair bit around the globe, I was thrilled to discover Crystals as the perfect location for our wedding. It had everything we were looking for: a beautiful location, exquisitely decorated rooms and a fantastic host and staff that you do not expect to always find. We spent 6 nights in the Calabash cottage and loved every moment of it (it's hard to complain about mangos falling on the roof from our own mango tree that pierced the cottage deck). The hosts, Monica and Martin went beyond the norm in helping organize our wedding, including drives to Castries, decorating the patio and table and preparing dinner. The local band who played in the tree top bar one evening was great.
There is plenty to see and do around Soufriere; we enjoyed snorkelling on an almost private beach (the second beach at Anse Chastenet), hiking through the rain forest to a waterfall, organized by Crystals and evening dinners at surronding restaurants.
Overall, it was an unforgetable travel experience. The pictures only tell part of the story- this is not a Hilton, which is why we liked it.....and it's better in real life !

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rich L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 28, 2010

We got married at Crystals a couple of weeks ago and can't possibly thank Monica, Martin and their staff enough. We'd never been to St. Lucia before - we chose a desination wedding for the simplicity, St. Lucia for its obvious beauty and romance, and Crystals because it seemed off-beat and a little quirky. We were worried about organizing a group of 30 people - all staying in different resorts and villas - in a place we'd never been and with very little cell phone service. But, Monica is a pro - she arranged everything: the ceremony, flowers, justice of the peace, legal paperwork, guest transportation, food, booze, band (awesome band!) and photographer (awesome photographer!). The ceremony beautiful and the reception was WILD. She also helped arrange a "rehearsal" dinner at The Still and a catamaran cruise for all of our friends.
There's obviously been a lot written about how amazing Crystals is, and its all true...but we just want to encourage couples that are looking for an off-beat, exotic, romantic and amazingly FUN destination wedding to look into Crystals.
Thanks to everyone there for helping to create such a special day.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ALB301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2010

Crystals is a very unique place set in the mountains overlooking Soufriere, and far removed from the impersonal mass tourist resorts in the North of St.Lucia.
My wife and I stayed here in April 2010 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We wanted somewhere individual and personal without the crowds, and a laid-back informal atmosphere, and in Crystals we found it.
I travel "longhaul" overseas a lot on business and regularly stay in large hotels in Africa, the USA, Asia and Australasia, and we have both lived overseas as well (Russia, Egypt, California), and so we wanted somewhere small with a unique identity, and of course a touch of romance and Crystals had it all. Right from the moment we arrived, the friendly staff were welcoming, helpful, and not at all intrusive. Monica had arranged a jeep rental for us, the rate was very good, and I would recommend this to anyone thinking of staying at Crystals, for the freedom of not being dependent on a taxi to get in and out of the town which is about 5 minutes drive down the hillside. (It also works out cheaper than regularly hiring a local taxi.)
The setting is truly very romantic, we were lucky enough to stay in Mango Cottage with its superb views of the Pitons and the caldera around Soufriere. The cottages are all very individually furnished reflecting the proprietor's (Monica) artistic and eclectic taste, with soft and hard furnishings influenced by her experiences mainly in East Africa and the Carribean. Being up in the mountains, the temperature is slightly cooler than down at sea level, with a welcome occasional light breeze. There were quite a few mosquitoes around in the evenings, but nothing that a repellent spray and a mosquito coil lit at night an hour or so before going to bed did not solve, and of course there were mosquito nets around the bed as well. The two or three informal evening meals a week in the bar/restaurant were great fun, (typical St.Lucian recipes), but there was no pressure to be social if one wanted to eat elsewhere. We found the breakfasts delivered to us each morning were more than adequate - the cocoa tea is highly recommended!
Monica, the proprietor, was a wealth of local information, extremely friendly and helpful. The sailing trip organised through Crystals was a lot of fun, and the organised trek to go swimming in the waterfall deep in the rain forest is a must-do experience (and neither felt like mass-market tourism, because it wasn't).
Although we had only booked to stay for 5 days, our return flight was cancelled due to the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland and we ended up staying an extra 9 days! This could have been a major disaster for us, but Monica was extremely helpful and forunately had a spare cottage and very generously allowed us to stay on at a reduced rate in Sugar Cane cottage and another neighborouring cottage until we were able to fly home. She was under absolutely no obligation to help us, but the fact that she did so, and without hesitation, speaks volumes for the friendly and personal atmosphere that was evident at Crystals, and contributed to a very romantic and memorable 25th Wedding Anniversary for us.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mike_the_Geologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2010

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at Crystals. We originally planned our vacation for Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, but with all of the recent natural disasters we had to cancel our trip last minute and decided on St. Lucia as an alternative. We originally chose Crystals because it looked similar to the hotel we were supposed to stay at in Guatemala – more rustic and less resort.

I’d first like to say that both Monica and Martin are amazing hosts and do everything they can to make you feel right at home. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the tree house bar is absolutely enchanting. We enjoyed spending time with them for a few nights over wine (all drinks were complimentary) and also took a hike with their little dog ‘Storm’.

Throughout our stay we did have some concerns with our room (we stayed in Mango). There was no A.C., which meant we had to keep the windows open to have somewhat of a breeze throughout the day and night. My main concern with this was that there were no screens on the windows or doors, so every huge insect and creature imaginable came into the rooms, not counting the mosquitoes that were constantly biting (from the first day we counted over 130 bites just on my legs alone!) Bugs got into our bed, even with the mosquito netting that was provided. Crystals is located deep in the jungle, so it was difficult to sleep at night with the windows open and the sounds of the tree frogs and insects (imagine hundreds of alarms going off at once). I think if A.C. were available in at least the bedroom, the windows could be shut and that would have solved this problem. Because of the lack of sleep, and my fear of sleeping with the huge moths and other creatures, we made a decision to leave Crystals half way through our trip and try a resort up North. We didn’t want to hurt Monica’s feelings, but we had looked forward to this vacation for a long time and felt more stressed than relaxed. We ended up staying at the Windjammer for the remainder of our trip and found it to be a lot more enjoyable.

If you do decide to stay at Crystals, it’s necessary to rent a jeep (Monica will arrange this for you – our driver Andrew was awesome). The best beach is at Anse Chastanet which is about a 10-15 minute drive. The beach is nice, but you’re secluded to one small area since only those staying at Anse Chastanet Resort are allowed on a majority of the beach there. I would suggest eating at Gee’s which is right down the road from Crystals – great food and good prices. Also, we ate at the hummingbird and the restaurant at Anse Chastanet a few times and both were good. We had an excellent massage at Stonefield which is on the other side of Soufriere and also visited the volcano and sulfur springs which was a great time (luckily we went on a day that it rained, so the water wasn’t TOO hot). We didn’t find the people of Soufriere to be very pleasant – most were offering us drugs or trying to get some cash. We enjoyed the environment up North near Castries a lot better and found it to be more friendly and inviting.

Overall, I would say to only stay at Crystals if you really enjoy camping and the outdoors.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank delicateiam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles3, General Manager at Crystals St Lucia, responded to this reviewResponded June 15, 2010

"Jungle Experience" yes of course being on the edge of the rain forest one must have insects, you can describe this as roughing it but a better term would be being in tune with nature.
most of the hotels in Soufriere have shutter windows ( you have to pull close and push open) like our mango cottage and some of the resorts here in Soufriere have in fact no wall at all and are completley open, this being half the charm.
A fan and mosquito nets works or one can stay in one of our air condition cottages but still one can be subject to insect bites.
Insects have no boundaries you could be on a camp site or in a five star resort insects will come( I have however informed all insects they are not welcome at Crystals and not to bite My Guests !)
insects in general depend on climate conditions and every individual person, some people will not get one bite while others will, if one has any concerns bring a long a good insect spray.

Thank you for your review and understand our type of property "jungle experience was not for you" it was however a pleasure to have you here, and your boyfriend has amazing talent sure can sing.

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Reviewed May 26, 2010

My girlfriend and I just completed our stay at Crystals, and our experience was both unique and fantastic. Upon arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we had been upgraded to a larger suite for two nights, so we had the pleasure of staying in two of the rooms, and they did not disappoint. First of all, the rooms are extremely large, with a kitchen, living area and bedroom, as well as a spacious bathroom, private pool and an absolutely stunning deck. The views from the rooms at Crystals are truly breathtaking--being situated amid the sorroundings of the rainforest and with amazing views of the Pitons. The rooms are most definitely NOT your average run-of-the-mill hotel rooms, they're more akin to apartments that have literaly been constructed in the trees. If you're looking to avoid the mundane, arbitrary sameness of most of the resorts, the rooms at Crystals are a welcome surprise. The only downside is that given Crystals' location, there are quite a few mosquitos and other insects, so bites are inevitable. However, despite being bitten quite a few times, we did find that using the supplied mosquito nets and applying insect repellent with a high DEET concentration gave us some protection.

The hosts, Monica and Martin, are both extremely accommodating; they continually went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and helped us on more than one occasion in planning activities and making reservations. They provide you with free drinks every night and they really take the time to help you plan your adventures.

Overall, our experience was great and we loved our stay in such a tranquil, unique environment. Several of the other couples we met while there were honeymooners and they seemed to be enjoying their experience there immensely as well.

One word of advice: if you rent a car, make sure you get maps beforehand and always get detailed directions from a staff member before venturing out. The roads in St Lucia are generally quite bad, the driving is slow and there are very few road signs, so it is very easy to get confused or lost while exploring the island. If you're not comfortable driving on extremely narrow, windy and unkempt roads, you may want to forego renting a vehicle and hire a driver to take you around instead.

Thank you to Monica and Martin for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank icesheet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2010

After having to re-schedule our much-anticipated vacation from last year to this April due to serious illness, we were obviously full of excitement and the normal expectations having seen Crystal's site. We had selected Crystals because of the incredible photos, and mostly glowing reviews on Trip Advisor. In short, Crystals was amazing.

Yes, amazing--like a dream in so many ways. Not perfection in accommodation, but spectacular in so many other incredible ways considering the reality of a more third-world culture.

The views are more than incredible--they were even more mind-blowing than some remotes places I'd been in Indonesia, an incredible country itself, probably because they were available from most every window in our cottage.

The relaxed, intimate and friendly environment was just what we needed, and we loved arriving in the fun and gorgeous Tree House Bar almost each night (despite the fact we don't usually drink!), and being offered FREE, unlimited wine or punch each time. Not to mention lovely conversation with owners Monica and Martin, and other guests...Oh, and a full, lovely hot breakfast with fresh coconut-topped pancakes, assorted breads, fruit, "cocoa tea" (yum), and sometimes eggs delivered to your cottage each morning.

The owner's suggestions as to what to do/see in the area proved absolutely right on--and we are fairly particular about crowds (don't like them) and how we spend our money. A day-long sail Monica suggested turned out to be only 3 couples including us, and the friendly St Lucian co-captians. What a relaxing time--it actually made the trip for me--as we watched some other tour boats passing by packed with people. The other outing was an amazing hike to a waterfall (one of many there, but I think the best one), where we swam and took photos. Our guide "Ras" couldn't have been more experienced and friendly. Loved this special day. LIke being on a movie set. Thank you Monica.

Having loved our experience at Crystal's, we were disturbed by the last review posted from April (a London couple). We, too, are experienced travelers, and have had the good fortune to stay in many diverse hotels--some very fine and some not--and many B&Bs. Yet very unlike this couple, we certainly did not expect a "first-world" western experience, especially for the generous rate and generous services we were charged compared to other resorts in the same area--most double the price or more.

While the other couple claimed "What we're not used to is being led to believe a honeymoon destination will be heaven, only to be faced with an over-priced disappointment," we respectfully feel very differently.

As their site states, these are all open-air cottages, exposed therefore to the elements, and likely a challenge to clean. We, as a couple from the US (a country who's general reputation in the world often appears to be that its citizens are spoiled and often demanding--not all of that deserved), do understand that different economies of scale have varying abilities to afford and provide consistent goods and services, and often have limitations associated with unique weather conditions, etc. It is naive to expect otherwise.

Therefore it was shocking and sad to read such a bad review from our friends from London, when the owners of Crystal's very personally offer a lovely, intimate, and totally unique experience--especially for the price.

Having done our homework and compared Crystal's to other facilities online, we clearly saw that Crystals was priced lower than most, so we considered that the accommodation might be more limited in some way. We expected this. Yes, after a long drought there--fortunately followed by much rain--St Lucia was enduring some uncharacteristic heat and misquitoes--similar to summer on the East coast of the US. How this last reviewer chose to complain about this natural circumstance in regards to Crystal's beyond us.

The netting around the bed (again in these OPEN-AIR cottages that we knowingly reserved) could have had more clips to close it tighter, but the netting and the Baygone coils did take care of ALL of the misquitoes (and they do love me). After we got them under control, we settled into our amazing and huge cottage very nicely (Papaya for first 4 nights, then Sugar Cane for 3). We loved it--especially our breakfasts, the kind and hard-working staff, the sweet dogs, and the friendly, personal and good-humored ways of owners Martin and Monica. We miss you!!!

Yes, our shower drain was slow and clogged by hair--so I removed the hair. Big deal. Yes, some of the floors and furniture had a bit of outside dust on them--again, an open-air cottage...

Although I am a neat-freak, I found myself relaxing into this situation as a welcome lesson to accept what is and focus on all that was wonderful inside and out (the fabrics, furniture, our large and yummy breakfasts, the views, the people and, and the topography.) A tip: buy some pineapple jam to go on the assortment of breads for breakfast, and some banana ketchup for your eggs--just great. And remember, someone is cooking FOR you each morning. How lovely.

Our advice? Go, eat drink and DECIDE to merry--no matter what. A lesson my husband is teaching me. We'd go back now if we could.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank intermittantnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2010

Reading the glowing reviews of Crystals on this website is like reading about another place entirely to the the one we experienced. Unbelievable! My husband and I were hugely disappointed by Crystals, and left four nights earlier than planned, covered in mosquito bites and deeply unhappy (more on the mossies later). We are experienced travellers, used to back-packing, camping, basic hotels, the wild outdoors and generally roughing it. What we're not used to is being led to believe a honeymoon destination will be heaven, only to be faced with an over-priced disappointment. Crystals resembles more a compound of poorly built and maintained wood and cement huts than an eco-chic 'tree house experience'. We stayed in 'Calabash' - see photos - to put it politely, the decor was not to our taste: cluttered, grimy and for the most part apparently imported from the far east. We were appalled when we were told that the building materials (including mahogany) had been shipped from the Amazon - so much for the eco-credentials (as for the recycling of rainwater, it's very common on the Windward Islands and not something to be wowed by)! Inside the room, the much-needed mosquito net was little more than dirty 'decorative hangings' around the bed; the room was littered with exposed wiring and broken ornaments. Being home-built, doors didn't fit in door frames, and there were gaps in the floors - little wonder then that by the 2nd morning, despite our burning Baygon coils, covering ourselves with mosquito repellent, giving the 'mosquito nets' a fair trial and sealing the room off as best we could, I had 56 bites on my legs alone, and my husband was nearly as bad. We spent the following 3 days on antihistamines, being sick and generally irritated. When the manager pointed out the visible standing water on the property (a pond under the main building) we were in no way surprised! As for the 'private pool', ours was overlooked by the main building, small, dirty and permanently in shade. The relationship between management and staff appeared strained (we were embarrassed by the tone in which the manager spoke to staff, particularly during their serving of dinner). A lack of communication between staff and management seemed to be confirmed when having left the property in the morning, we spoke with a member of staff who assured us (in a begrudging tone) that she'd tell the manager that we'd gone, and that we'd be back to sort out the money. When we returned that evening, the manager was most surprised to learn we'd left! Finding any staff to speak to amongst the rambling wooden and cement structures proved remarkably difficult, especially given that the management assures guests that the compound has 24hr security (I'm not sure the pregnant German Sheppard dogs count). Aside from the condition of the property and the service we experienced, the breakfast was also of a surprisingly poor standard, and in no way resembled the pretty baskets captured in photographs on their website! On our 1st morning, having explained to the manager that we didn't really eat eggs, but that we'd love some fresh fruit, a grumpy member of staff thumped a tray laden with at least 6 thick omelettes, some glutinous bread and the poorest mangoes we've ever eaten onto our table. On the 2nd morning, after expressing our wishes a 2nd time to management, we at least had a few less omelettes and some pineapple. St Lucia, like the other Caribbean islands we've had the pleasure to explore, is a paradise bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables - we were blown-away by their scarcity at Crystals! All in all, Crystals could have easily ruined our honeymoon. Thankfully, we had the sense to leave early - moving into a well run, well kept, basic, honest hotel in Soufriere. We may have had to pay over 50% of our total stay, as well as $50 each for dinner, but it was worth it to escape. Our trip advise? Go to St Lucia, don't go to Crystals!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank HC2009London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles3, Owner at Crystals St Lucia, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2010

When I read the term "experienced Travellers "I knew from the start this can not be true, as one should know in the tropics you get mosquitos?
The use of nets and the air conditioning should help the mosquito situation.
Crystals is not your average hotel at all, and unfortunatly it looks like our young English couple wanted more the traditional run of the mill hotels,square box room, here the Tree house Calbash cottage is far from that, the name should have given it away
1) the cottage is 40ft above ground on one side ,surrounded by trees, palm, avocado, coconut ,breadnut , papaya and of course the hole in the floor is where a lage mango tree is growing some 30ft up on the sun deck of the deck. Calabash is a tree house
the shower is made as a rock water fall complete with a bamboo shower head, this is in fact a feature of the bathroom, and the art work being one of a kind might be hard for every one to appreciate.
along with the unsual soft furninshings, silk fabricks.
2 )on the other side is the 20ft pool complete with patio and BBQ, and yes part of the day it is in the shade and being so hot here this can be a blessing, and yes it is DIRTY in the morning as being surrounded with trees and the wind blowing the pool is covered, however everyday we have our" Singing Westley pool Guy" who takes care of this.
Oh ref chewing gum, so not true, it was wood glue that was used to hold down the tile on the wood a spot must have landed on the floor.
For the towel wit the quarter of an inch hole gosh, this must have slipped in as My housekeeper do as a rule make sure our Eqyptian cotton and all perfect.
3) communications with staff , a bit odd, we are all very friendly here(half the staff are relatives of My husband) mind you I do have a bit of a selective hearing problem with My husband at times!
4)Ref website, breakfast photos's, none in fact we have no food photos's at all on our site, and have never had any food complaints,Oh and we never give 6 Omeletts for breakfast, very odd.

perhaps with time and more experience with a different type of Travel, our Charming couple will appreciate a property like Crystals

Management and staff would like to thank everyone for sending in reviews

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Additional Information about Crystals St Lucia

Address: Colombette Drive, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
#4 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Spa Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range: $185 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Crystals is a one of a kind Tree House property with a cluster of unique cottages and villas built into the trees. It is nestled away in the hillside of Soufriere with most spectacular views of the piton mountains, ocean and the picturesque town of Soufriere. Crystals is not an all inclusive resort. Here, you can take advantage of your own BBQ and full kitchen, or enjoy a wonderful feast at our Treetop Restaurant. Private chefs are also available. Our one of a kind cottages and villas are equipped with air conditioning and stylishly furnished with 4 poster king size beds, art from around the world, private pools and offer amazing, panoramic views of the ocean, the majestic Gros and Petit Piton and the drive-in volcano. Visit Crystals soon and allow yourself a moment to relax in a hammock and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of your lush surroundings, or get pampered with a full body massage in the privacy of your own cottage. Then join us every night for complimentary cocktails at our tree-top bar and dance the night away to the rhythms of a local band. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Crystals Hotel Soufrière
Crystals St Lucia St. Lucia/Soufriere

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