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.
- 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