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“Ian Fleming would have stayed here..and written better novels”
Review of Cap Maison

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Cap Maison
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cap Estate
Certificate of Excellence
Switzerland out of London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Ian Fleming would have stayed here..and written better novels”
Reviewed January 21, 2010

I've been to the Caribbean many times, each island has it's own unique history, culture, people, cuisine and "feeling". For me, St Lucia tops it all and Cap Maison crowns the island, sitting as it does on the northenmost tip of the lush, forested, volcanic paradise, in a region with it's own micro-climate (warmest and driest place on island) and a beautiful vista of azure seas, Pigeon Island to break up the seascape and the shadow of Martinique in the distance hinting at the cultualral diveristy of the Eastern Caribbean (a short boat ride away to have croissants and snobby French service...magnifique...).

Cap Maison is boutique and personal. The Gobat family, owners and creator of this gem of a retreat, work effortlessly to make you feel you are staying in a home from home, like everything is normal yet unique and privileged. The service culture is "laid-back chic", it's the Caribbean right, you expect a bit of a wait, but you also get some personality and engagement from the very well trained and friendly staff...you get back what you put in.

The restaurant is incredible. I'm not a foody and I'd eat beans on toast if the atmosphere is right..and the atmosphere is right, and it isn't beans on toast! A beautiful timber building, built out over the ocean, dark teak and candlelight, open on all sides, the relaxing sound of the surf breaking on the rocks just below, fireflies flashing in the gardens, no need for music...waves and tree frogs chirping...you're there. The menu is fantastic, limited in choice maybe but all the dishes are delicious...I hope they are sill serving the Wagyu beef!!!

The bar is great, intimate, the best selection of rum I've ever seen (and I LOVE rum) and a wine cellar that puts most of the Caribbean (and some supposedly good London and Zurich restaurants) to shame.

The rooms are great. I stayed in a villa, enormous, cool, comfortable, and everything you need...the plunge pool on the roof kinda makes it. Mr and Mrs Gobat and their sons have lived in the Caribbean for a generation, they know how to be comfortable in that climate and they seem to have structured and designed the rooms on that basis...all the luxuries you need, but it feels like being in the Caribbean...when you are in a place that's thirty two degrees every day, you make sure you catch the breeze but keep out the tropical downpours...whilst still having a view of the ocean for your sundowner.

I feel like I'm eulogizing and I am a bit. The first time I visited NYC, with memories as a child of black and white movies of a speakeze with small round tables, lamps on them with small intimate pools of light and a wonderful singer in a sequined dress, mellifluous tones dripping from her lips...I found a place called Sweet Basil's in the East Village that fulllfilled those dreams. Cap Maison had the same affect for me thinking about secret agents in paradise...classy, relaxed and a little bit James Bond.

I'm going again for a break from the European winter this month, and I'm already booking for May for St Lucia Jazz. Pigeon Island is in sight of Cap Maison, one of the coolest natural amphitheatres I've ever been to (even in a tropical deluge watching a pissed Amy Winehouse!!!), Anse La Raye for Fish Friday, Rodney Bay for general nonsense (try the Happy Cock in Gros Islet for a real view of island life)...and all of these insights and much more courtesy of the Gobats...local knowledge is worth it's weight in pearls...

One of my favorite places in the world...go there. If there is a happy guy called Shalesy at the bar drinking dark rum and dry ginger ale with a twist of lime and some demerara sugar, listening to some Bob Marley, that'll be me, I'll buy you a drink.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shalesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Costa Blanca
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2010

We have just returned from a disappointing weeks stay at Cap Maison, which we booked last minute directly with the hotel. Usually I am very reticent to holiday in the Caribbean because many of the hotels are expensive and are not the quality that you would find in Asia or Africa however, in the website of Cap Maison, the hotel looks spectacular so we opted to cough up the extra money and do it in luxury by staying in one of their Ocean view villa suites with roof terrace and pool, which looked and sounded amazing and at the price of $1,250 per night it should be....

However, the "villa suites" are in fact nice(ish) apartments and are in no way luxury hotel rooms. They are reasonably well decorated but at this price bracket the hotel is competing with stunning places such as The Cotton House in Mustique or the new Aman in the Turks and Caicos. The Cap Maison is just not in the same league.

The rooms overall were a little soulless and the roof terrace and pool were very plain and not very well designed. The swim up bar was a total joke considering the pool is only a few feet long and deep, not big enough for one stroke let alone a swim. Our roof terrace and suite backed on to the workshop for the hotel, where workmen were sawing wood with an electric saw for one entire day and two other mornings making it impossible to stay in our room or use the terrace. The" ocean views" were in general obstructed by the owners house. For this price you should be getting close to the best the Caribbean has to offer, but this was simply not that.

The room service was simply terrible. The rooms were not cleaned well and on one day not cleaned at all. We only got the turn down service three times in the week. Our mini bar was replenished only once in the week. On asking for something to be delivered to our room we were told the bar was too busy and we had to get it ourselves... I have also left out a lot of the small issues in this review so I didn't sound too nit-picky because that's not the point I want to make.

Without getting too long-winded about it, we felt as if we have rented a serviced apartment – but for the price of $1,250 a night (when we expected a high luxury 5 star hotel). If we wanted to rent a property, at that price we could have rented a 3 bedroom villa in Mustique with staff. This is far from that too.

The reason for this is that Cap Maison is primarily orientated towards selling apartments and villas as opposed to trying to make it a luxury hotel experience. The entire complex of around 50 rooms is too high density and feels like just an apartment complex. The two communal pools are very small and if the hotel is busy, get far too crowded. They feel more like an afterthought than an integral part of the hotel design. Maybe the financial attractiveness of selling properties got in the way of designing and running a top class hotel... who knows...

The beach is accessed by several flights of stairs and is pretty enough (but super small) and is shaded most of the day so is unsuitable for sunbathing, although there is a bar and water sports available, along with sunbeds and towels.

The fabled "champagne zip line" is a myth. It is not used and the staff don't know about it.

The Spa at the time we stayed only had one person qualified for treatments except massage. Julian, although a great masseuse is not the person my wife wants for a facial or more intimate treatment but she was told there were no female staff who could do it... on any day.

The saving grace is the restaurant which is world-class and has a nice atmosphere and position over the bluff. The bar also has a nice scene but tends to be understaffed so can get a little slow.

So, if you are after an nice (ish) apartment on a crowded complex (although with pretty gardens) with a very decent restaurant then Cap Maison is for you. If you want a super luxury hotel with all the trimmings (which you should be getting at this price) then I think you will be disappointed.

For me it was really a matter of comparative price. At the same price you can stay somewhere which ticks all the boxes. I think a fairer price for the suite we had would be $750 and at that price you'd get what you expect. We expected more and thus left disappointed, feeling we missed our chance to go elsewhere.

We left a long letter to the manager explaining our views but one week later we have heard nothing (except that he would reply to us in 48 hours), which is a shame as he is a nice guy who works hard to please the guests. The restaurant and bar manager also went out of his way as did the owners son but in the end they have to work with what they have. If they want less mixed reviews on trip advisor then I think they need to improve the service significantly and charge less or upgrade the rooms to match the quality of the competition.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank thewanderers_spain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

We stayed in Cap Maison for a week and I read everything on Tripadvisor before going. On the plus side the property itself is superb, rooms and grounds of a very high quality. The service is good too but a little slow that said you have to remind yourself you are in St Lucia and things just move at a different pace and it really wasn't a problem more an observation. I checked out the beach the first day and it looks good but never bothered heading back as I was doing some diving anyway.

The food is good (especially after we tried some other places) but the menu is a little limited. I note some other people said they didn't find their was pool service but when we were there one of the girls came by regularly and couldn't have been more helpful.

One negative is that it is at the very opposite end of the island from the main international airport and although not too far as the crow flies it's still a 1hr 30 mins transfer to the resort.

We didn't get a tour of the property either but we arrived quite late. One thing I would say is that you should ask what's available at all times. For instance at the continental breakfast they would do toast or bagels or youhurts but we only saw that other people might get them, same kind of thing went for the poolside drinks.

Generally our visit seemed to coincide with a quiet time for the hotel but the restaurant was buzzing the Saturday night with people coming from all over.

I would certainly recommend the resort but with one or two caveats.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank paddypadi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2010

Like some of the other people who recently commented, my husband and I stayed at Cap Maison over the holidays, and our biggest complaint was weather-related and therefore not Cap Maison's fault.

The sea was the roughest it had been in nearly twenty years all around the island (we heard this from many locals), so the tiny secluded beach and private deck at Cap Maison was over-run by rushing water. This is not typical, which is why no one else has mentioned it in their reviews. But certainly, it was a big disappointment for those of us who experienced it.

Our other complaint, which is consistent with recent reviews, is regarding the service. We also did not receive a tour of the grounds and accidentally ended up in the front yard of the owner's private residence one morning (Helen, who was an absolute delight). Some of our requests were not followed up on in a timely manner; we were also disappointed with no drink service by the pool; and we occasionally had a problem with our food orders at the restaurant (although it was really one problem waiter).

That said, I truly believe that during the mad rush of the holiday season, the staff at this still new hotel was simply overwhelmed. I don't believe it is typical during other times of the year, but we definitely felt that the staff was ill-prepared for the onslaught of tourists that arrive between Christmas and New Years. Sadly, that is also the most expensive time to stay at Cap Maison or any hotel, so it is doubly disappointing, and we expressed as much to the owners.

That said, we still had an amazing time, and the staff (including Matt at the restaurant, Mr. Ross the manager and Helen, the owner) made us feel so welcome, especially at their New Year's celebration, that we are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

We toured the island by boat and saw a lot of the other hotels on the island, and Cap Maison is certainly one of the best in terms of location and beauty. The food is great, the rooms are gorgeous, the spa service is top notch, and the grounds are impeccable. We would recommend this hotel to friends.

We would also recommend two restaurants - Coal Pot and the Rainforest Hideaway. Fabulous!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thaggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2010

We were in a gardenview room. Staff brought us to the room but that was it. The room was modern and bed comfortable. However, it was a lockoff from a 3 or 4 bedroom unit and we did not realize that situation. First off, we walked through one of the doors in our room not realizing we were in someone else's unit and we were wandering about. We saw the maid and asked her if this was part of our accommodation and she said "oh, that's not part of your room, guess I didn't lock it".

There was no orientation to the resort so we wandered about trying to figure out what was on the property and where it was located. We found our way to the beach which is in a nice cove but, again, didn't know how to get a towel or a lounger, what the deal was, etc. We finally figured that out when we found someone to ask. Went back up to the resort and wandered around. Found a small but adequate gym and spa in the main building. The infinity edge pool is in an idyllic setting and we did enjoy hanging there. The loungers there were the best we've encountered and ohh so comfy. The restaurant is right next door. A note of interest is there are other pools on property as well as unit pools.

They advertise a champagne zipline and we went looking for it. None of the other guests we asked knew where it was located and the staff just pointed and said "down there". We went down a very steep staircase and saw ocean crashing against a breakwall. There on the other side was a gazebo sitting on rocks with no apparent way to get there except going across a bunch of rocks that the waves were crashing into. There was no way to get to the gazebo except climbing up large boulders. We decided not to pursue that. Once out in the gazebo we have no idea how you could order anything to come down the zipline in the first place as there is no one manning the area and no apparent way to order in general.

We had dinner at their restaurant and thought it was quite good. They have a fixed price dinner as well as non-fixed price. We chose the fixed price menu and were happy with our choices although at this point in time I don't remember what they were. We also had a plate of 3 mini burgers there that cost US $18 but they were excellent. We really liked the ambiance of the restaurant. The prices are on the high side but we would eat there again.

The next morning at 6 am we were awakened by our "neighbors" in the other part of the unit that we accidentally walked into upon our arrival. We heard every word in detail of their conversation as well as them clanking around in their kitchen. We could only imagine what the noise level would have been had they been there with children.

Overall, we have mixed feelings about Cap Maison. It does have some redeeming qualities and a beautiful location. However, when you have a room that is advertised as $400 a night you don't expect to hear every word of your neighbor's conversation or them using the bathroom for that matter. Our feeling is that if you book don't just book a room, make sure you book one of the full units where it's not likely you will encounter that kind of disruption. It is with hesitation that we recommend Cap Maison but we are hopeful that they figure out how to resolve their teething pains.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nevera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2010

The Complex looked lovely as it's only a year old, but the rooms are very expensive and the only Restaurant was very expensive too for what you got. We only ate twice there and
went out to Rodney Bay the other evenings as a lot of guests did. There was no Pool Service for the first 3 days we were there, luckily they employed a waitress after that who
was excellent. The swimming pool is too small for the amount of guests the complex takes. Although about 10 of the Suites had their own private pools that still leaves about
40 Suites to share the main pool, and as there is no beach as such, you are quite limited
to where you can sunbathe when the Complex is full. On the plus side. the Management
and staff were very pleasant.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SusieFx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RossCS, General Manager at Cap Maison, responded to this review, January 12, 2010
We are as ever very grateful for the comments received from our guests both through direct comments and also through these Tripadvisor reviews and I wanted to touch on a couple of points from this review.

1) We were fortunate to have a full hotel over the holidays and there was pressure in some areas of service which we reacted to - pool service was one in question and Vanessa was brought into strengthen service and I have been delighted with guests responses to our newest member of staff

2) One of the attractions of our location is our proximity to Rodney Bay and its many restaurants and bars and we encourage our guests to try other restaurants which we believe helps to enhance the experience of our island. On average 50% of our guests choose to dine with us in the evening. We operate with a daily changing menu priced at US$40 for two courses and US$55 for three courses. There is also Chefs signature a la carte menu

3) We have 20 pools of which 17 are dedicated to our villas and 3 are communal. With the heavy swells the island experienced from the 30th December until 4th January the beach was unsafe for swimming and the pool areas catered for many more guests than it would usually. We provided a complimentary shuttle service to more sheltered beaches during this period

4) We review our pricing alongside many of our competitors both in the Caribbean and other regions of the world and at all times try to provide value for money. On our website you can find competitive value added offers

Ross Stevenson
General Manager - Cap Maison
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
65 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

We were really looking forward to our stay at Cap Maison having read all the rave reviews but have to admit we felt a little let down, the hotel rooms were fine but cleaning was a little inconsistent, the beach is tiny with little or no sun on it during the day(the beach actually got destroyed by a storm during our stay) the food was really expensive and little choice and no change to the menu after Christmas when the hotel was full it became battle for the sunbeds as there was not enough around the pool. My biggest complaint was prior to Boxing Day there was no service around the pool at all and you had to go to the bar yourself to order a drink or food this is not what you would expect of a hotel of this calibre. This problem was solved after Christmas with the arrival of Vanessa who worked round the pool like a Trojan well done Vanessa!

This hotel has the potential to be good but needs to tidy up round the edges where service is concerned

If you visit this area you must try The Big Chef in Rodney Bay they do the best steaks in the world
If you need a taxi use Charlie [--] he is really helpful and reliable and can sort out excursions and restaurant bookings
If you want a boat trip or deep sea fishing use Exodus boat charters [--] or email [--] Vincent and Tom are really helpfull guys

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rohas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cap Maison

Property: Cap Maison
Address: Smugglers Cove Dr, Cap Estate, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Cap Estate
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cap Estate
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cap Estate
#2 Spa Hotel in Cap Estate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Cap Maison 4.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cap Maison is a new family owned and managed five star boutique resort. Located above a beautiful secluded sandy cove on the north west coast of St Lucia, Cap Maison offers luxury private villa suites, many with private rooftop pools. Facilities include a waterfront fine dining restaurant, spa, fully equipped fitness centre, walk in wine cellar, beach club with chaise lounge service, free non motorised water sports, a hiking and running club, private 46 foot resort boat, club lounge with (computer access) and concessionary golf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cap Maison Hotel Cap Estate
Cap Maison Gros Islet
Cap Maison Hotel Gros Islet
Cap Maison St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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