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Emerald Hill Villa - 270° View of the Bay & Ocean
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Reviewed February 10, 2014

Sure, you could "break the bank" and stay at Jade Mt or Ladera. But you won't find a better view at those posh destinations than what you have at EHV, for a third of the price. Granted, EHV is a private home, so you do not have access to all the resort amenities offered at a 5 star facility but if you desire privacy, prefer to cook a few meals instead of eating out the whole trip, then EHV might just be the perfect option.

The property sits at the top of the cliff at the southwest end of Marigot Bay and offers a 270 degree view of the Caribbean and the Bay. The west side of the home is open to the elements, but comfortable since winds blow from the east. If you get hot, just step around the corner to the north side of the house and be cooled by the breeze.

Anyone who decides to rent this villa should definately read the book "The Man Who Loved Schooners" a story about a man who was an early pioneer of the chartered clipper sailing business who made Marigot Bay his home port. There is a copy at the house, or you can buy it on Ebay. The house you are staying at was built by him and the current owner has retained much of the original footprint while updating the home to make it attractive to people looking for a special vacation alternative.

Since the house sits at the top of the cliff overlooking the Bay, it requires a 15 minute hike to get down to the village. The gradient is somewhat steep in spots, but not a continuous climb. The lower portion is a bit ruff, with gravel and potholes in places. Anyone in reasonable condition should be able to walk up to the house from the village. We are in our late 50's and had no problems, but we also exercise daily. This house is probably not a good option for anyone who has trouble walking or a family with small children. (In fact, EHV really is not an option for children). However, be warned that the bottom half of the road is not well lit at night, so in order to feel comfortable walking at night, you need a good flashlight. We walked back most nights and did not have any problems.

Some have mentioned mosquitos and other bugs since the west side of the home is open to the elements. However, the bedrooms are separate and fully enclosed and also have netting. We found no problems, even though it was wetter than normal for the time of year. We brought along deet, but did not use it(I would bring it just in case). Yes, you may see a few gekcos running around at night, but as long as you do not need any insurance, you should be fine.

One other point I would like to make is that the stereo player is an ipod docking station. We did not think there would be an ipod stereo and therefore brought along CDs and left our Ipods home; the CD's ended up being just excess baggage. The internet service was spotty and slow.

A private small beach called Trou Rolland is located just to the south of EHV about a 12 minute hike down the road. The surf can be a bit rough, but it is a nice private little beach that has a lot of wave action crashing on the rocky cliffs of the bay. The beach is rocky and not a sand beach, but it is a pretty spot nonetheless.

Finally, if you are looking to cook a few meals, the property manager will forward a shopping list that you can fill out so that you will have items delivered and stocked on your arrival.

In summary, this is a great option for a couple who are looking for a private place to unwind, with arguably the best views on the Island. Marigot Bay Village and all its restaurant options are available on foot, but taxi service is needed to explore other parts of the island.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
3  Thank Don S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We booked this only based on the view and it delivered. If you like sunshine and lush trees & flowers this is it. The villa manager was very nice, the housekeeper was very nice. The owner of the villa has created a comprehensive guide of things to do and places to see. Before we arrived we received an email from a local grocer who sent us a comprehensive list of food & drink items that for a very small fee they would shop for us and stock the kitchen. We didn't take advantage of this but we should have, so you should too. We didn't rent a car but that didn't keep us from seeing everything. The recommended cab service was very prompt & very nice. You can rent a car for around $500 for the week (according to someone we met who had one) and we probably spent double that on cabs to and from the airport and on an all day tour of the island BUT we were on vacation and didn't want to mess with parking, driving on the left (with few traffic signs and road markings) and we're not a fan of drinking and driving so we chose the taxi.
Marigot Bay is all you "need" for a week or longer stay. There is a bank, 4 or 5 restaurants, small grocery store with alcohol & various supplies, there is a beach, scuba/snorkel access and don't forget the stunning VIEW from this villa.

Change your money on the island, or use US currency. Everyone there knows the rates and they accept either. All major credit cards were accepted also (but the US government is messing with that so bring at least 2, you can't use AMEX on some islands now.)

The shops are an easy walk down the steep hill you're perched on and the walk up is NOT easy. If you have any disabilities I don't think you'd make it. At the bottom in the shop area there are always taxi's and for $10 US they'll scoot you up to the top and we used them every time. 2 minute drive v.s. 20 minute mountain climb, yuck. If you use the grocery service before you arrive you never have to leave though.

Everyone we met was very nice and spoke very good English. We gauge our vacations somewhat on how we feel at the end and at the end of this stay we REALLY didn't want to go home.

Slight Cons: It IS an open window plan facing the Caribbean so you will get insects, lizards frogs and birds visiting you daily. Maybe the black house cat also. The bedrooms are attached to the villa but you must go outside one of two ways to get to them. Once you're there you can lock out the wildlife. The beds have screen covers that we took advantage of but we didn't see anything in our room the entire time we were there. If you can "get past" the open windows, you should really enjoy this place. We enjoyed it more as each day passed and wish we had stayed 2 weeks instead of one.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Service
5  Thank tom f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

180 degree view of the Caribbean sea, and then extra the whole of the beautiful Marigot Bay and the mountains beyond. We had a fantastic week at Emerald Hill Villa. The highlights were:
- Just sitting watching the view.
- The guided tour around La Toc Battery, carefully restored by the villa's owner, Alice Bagshaw. Where she also keeps her bottle collections found when diving around the island.
- Walking and swimming on Pigeon island, a great view from Fort Rodney and a good meal at the Jambe de Bois.
- A sailing trip to Soufriere, (we recommend do the trip by sea not car as road very windy). This trip included a trip around the beautiful Botanical gardens, the Sulphur springs and snorkling in a bay on the return trip. NB. It can get a little crowded on the yatch and watch out for Fire Coral it looks like sea weed.
- Meals at Doolittles, the Hurrican Hole, JD's in Marigot Bay.
- And a special aniversary meal at The Rainforest Hideaway, where the ambiance was wonderful and food excellent.
Thanks to Floretta for keeping the villa so clean and doing the washing up. To Uriel, the villa manager for looking after the villa, and Albert who collected us from the airport. A special thanks to Alice for sharing her lovely house.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
2  Thank Cherry2548
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

Incredible, incredible, incredible! You really can't say enough about an amazing honeymoon trip to the Emerald Hill Villa in Marigot Bay. For starters, the view of the bay and sea is even better than the pictures you've seen on the internet. Waking up to the sun shining in the bay every morning was a blessing. You can meet neighbors while walking home but you won't hear or see them from the house (even your next door neighbors on each side). The pool is just right for two people and the seating around is great. The house is optimized for comfort, offering plenty of seating for meals or lounging. In all likelihood you'll have some bird friends staying with you, but they are very pleasant and don't make but so much noise. The refrigerator is fine and the kitchen is functional but do yourself a favor and go out down the hill to the marina, get a drink enjoy the cuisine. My last comment before getting to a whole laundry list of tips and tricks is simple: get to know the people who live in Marigot Bay - they know all the great things to do in St. Lucia and they are all incredibly nice. My wife and I had such a great time chatting with Melinda (her husband, Bob, runs the Marina, you'll see him running around daily), catching a ride up the hill with Pierre, speaking with Judith when we were at the Rainforest Hideaway, and of course then there is Alice, who while she doesn't live in Marigot Bay will be sure to stop by and visit. I'm sure there are so many others you'll meet, especially the many men and women who work and serve and bring the Bay to life, I hope you enjoy their conversations, stories, and pleasantries as much as we did! You won't regret this trip!

Here are some items that I wanted to know as I planned my trip but didn't see in the reviews:

-the beds are both large and very comfortable
-the mosquito netting around the four-poster is not intrusive, you'll be fine (we didn't see too many bugs, but there were a few)
-the house is very open (even the bedrooms have some screened venting) and it is windy on top of the hill, but this too is a plus as the breeze keeps you nice and cool at night without keeping you awake
-there are north american outlets in the kitchen (we didn't use our converter at all)
-you'll be provided with a cellphone and some credit for calling various people/places
-there is wifi (if you really.... really need it)
-you'll be plenty safe
-we walked down the hill (not a perfectly paved road, but neighbors can drive cars on it) to the marina most mornings and back UP the hill a few times each day, but we are a young couple. While I did see older folks walking up and down the hill it is not for the weary (this is not a bad thing, but very good to know); rent a car if you think you'll get sick of it, but the exercise was nice
-there is a grocery store but it is not extensive, you'll be able to get milk, coffee, fruit and the like, but it is not huge like you're probably imagining; it is good for a quick item or two (drinks snacks, etc). If you need a grocery cart full of things to cook a meal for several you'll want to drive 10 minutes to the IGA (the prices are better there too)
-there is a bank in the same centralized marina location
-there is a great breakfast spot right in the marina, fresh baguettes, wonderful omelettes, and other assorted breakfast foods will keep you full for a fairly low price ($10-12 US)
-the other restaurants are equally pleasant and all right in walking distance along the docks, very quaint
-quiet at night, the restaurants are where you'll find people that aren't enjoying their boats
-speaking of the boats, they only add to the view! The most wonderful yachts (sailing and motor) stay in the bay
-it is rare to see cruise ships from either the bay or your house, maybe one or two per day, it is more pleasant than a pest (they sail from Castries and don't obstruct the view)
-the beach is small, good for a day, but really gives you an excuse to go visit the other parts of the island (even if you are honeymooning). Marigot Bay is an ideal location for going north to the Rodney Bay area and south to the Soufrière area.
-taxi service in St. Lucia is fairly regulated (though not metered) and can be expensive (this is coming from a New Yorker); rent a car or expect to pay (this is actually another plus for Marigot since it is in the middle of the island on the Caribbean side and thus closer to the areas you will want to visit).
-just because the island is only 27miles long doesn't mean it won't take you 40 minutes to travel to the places that seem close as the crow flies. The island is very mountainous in the center and it just takes time to get to places.
-go snorkeling in Anse Le Cochon (one of the nicer beaches that is close by), the water is clear and you won't be in any danger (unlike in Reduit where my foot happened upon a spiny urchin-like creature)
-read "the Man Who Loved Schooners"; a copy is provided at the house. It is a bit campy at times, but the author is the son of the man who first took a chance on turning Marigot Bay into a tourist location back in the 60s. He also owned the property you'll be staying on. You'll learn so much history and gather a better appreciation for the locale.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
4  Thank Stephen0408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2012

We've been visiting Emerald Hill for years and consider it a "Home away from Home". Walking in the door we shed our cares and instantly become honeymooners again (we've been married 33 years). Watching the boats coming into the bay, feeding the birds, reading books in the hammock, dips in the private plunge pool easily become part of our daily routine.
Now that the internet is reliable we can visit more often and still keep up on our business. We consider a car necessary, but still take daily walks down to the village for fun and exercise. Exploring the island and fishing trips with Captain Tom on the Exodus are "must do" for us, but we're always happy find our way back to Emerald Hill Villa.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
3  Thank Crazycarkip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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