My wife and I visited St Lucia for the first time earlier this month as a brief escape from the notorious Seattle climate.
After initially researching options through various resorts on the island, I stumbled upon Nature's Paradise (via Trip Advisor actually) and was immediately drawn to the intimacy - not to mention the outstanding reviews.
A few things that need to be stated up front. Nature's Paradise is not a resort. It is not for those who wish to experience a foreign country partitioned off from the culture or those who prefer to view the action from afar. On the contrary, this B&B is for those who wish to immerse themselves in the natural environment of St Lucia (it is called Nature's Paradise, after all). Nature's Paradise is located up a steep hill overlooking Marigot Bay, a hike away from any restaurant, grocery, or other establishment. It's beautiful and scenic, and very private hillside.
This brings me point two: as another reviewer already stated - you will need a rental car. For some this can be tricky considering the British driving style, but believe me it's worth it and you will become accustomed to the driving after a few short minutes. Having a vehicle gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want it, and also empowers you to explore more of the island and break away from the groups. I have to give credit to Dave for stressing this point. The rental was worth every penny.
Now, for the accommodations itself.
From the moment you arrive in Nature's Paradise, you feel as though you have entered… well… Nature's Paradise. After the long flight and drive, we were well worn in from the road and needed relaxation. Dave and Wanda warmly greeted us with fresh squeezed tropical juice and kindly toured the house, cottages, and gardens with us (we were also graced with the presence of their two cats Mango and Papaya, who we were visited by regularly). After a brief tour Dave walked us down to the Banana Cottage, located just down the hill from the main house. We were instantly taken with the amazing view, the hush, and the remoteness of it all. Immediately the weariness of travel washed away and we were ready for our vacation.
The cottages are quaint and functional. Each comes with a nice bed, couch/chair, full kitchen, fridge, and full bathroom. It's worth noting for some here that these are not hotel bathrooms. They have a few very minor quirks that come with being as remote and secluded as you are – primarily with consistently hot water and pressure. This was minor for my wife and I but I note it as some may take issue with this. Keep in mind the days and nights are very hot so a tepid shower is actually preferable.
Breakfast is served every morning in the main house at 8am. Dave and Wanda are gracious hosts and use this time to learn more about their guests, plan the day, and organize any outings as required. Dave is a great resource for the island's history, restaurants, and culture. More than anything I urge those who stay at Nature's Paradise to put trust in Dave to help you plan the trip that is right for you. He is a personable and knowledgable guide who is keen on avoiding crowds/tourist pitfalls and giving the best possible experience to his guests.
The afternoons can be as busy or as free as you like. We opted to spend our time taking advantage of two of the available Eco Tours Dave will book on your behalf – the first being a day filled with roadside coconut tasting, snake charming, a hike to a secluded natural hot mineral bath (fueled by the islands volcanic activity), and a beautiful lunch overlooking the islands iconic Pitons. The second: a full day sail, snorkeling trip, and gourmet lunched cooked on the boat by your personal crew - all booked through a Marigot Bay local restaurant, Chateu Myggo, and recommended by Dave. It was absolutely splendid and the day ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.
We spent the late afternoons and evenings lounging around Nature's Paradise's beautiful pool, overlooking a stunning sunset, beach, and distant banana plantations.
In the dusk, the surrounding jungle comes alive with hermit crabs, frogs, lizards, and bats. We would often sit on the deck of our cottage and listen to the sounds echoing up from the forests around the hill. The air itself seems to vibrate with life and one can truly feel a sense of awe and wonder for the environment you are surrounded it. It is at once engaging, exciting, and peaceful.
All told our St Lucia adventure was incredible, made all the more so by Nature's Paradise: the location, the accommodations, the hosts. My only regret was not staying a second week!
A couple tips:
-Utilize your full kitchen to plan a couple meals back at the cottage. Pick up some fresh fruit or food from the local markets. Enjoy some time at the cottage and really settle in.
-Ask questions. As already stated, Dave is your resource. Learn more about the island and it's rich history. Talk to the friendly locals. They have a great demeanor and the conversations I had with some were very memorable and provided perspective.
-Because of the remoteness of Nature's Paradise, I caution those checking their toiletries/essentials with the airline to pack some small essentials/extras in a carry on. I only mention this because American Airlines lost my wife's bag en route. This meant going without a change of clothes and some essential toiletries until the next daily flight to St Lucia over 24 hours later. To Dave/Wanda's credit, they offered my wife a change of clothes and some base necessities while we waited for the airline to taxi the bag across the island to the North side. Again - something to keep in mind as it was not easy to simply get replacements due to the remote location.
-As another reviewer pointed out, there are some great beaches right next to the airport in Vieux Fort. It's definitely worth checking in for your flight, then heading out to grab lunch at one of the local restaurants on the beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- NATURE'S PARADISE at Marigot Bay A St. Lucia Eco-Lux vacation with a breathtaking Caribbean Sea view. Avocado Cottage and Banana Cottage are located on a quiet ridge high above the sea at Marigot Bay. The spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea creates the mood. Marigot Bay is what you have in mind when you think "Tropical Paradise". Our lush Tropical Gardens surround your private one-bedroom Cottage. Palms and Bougainvillea offer shade and color. You awake in the morning stunned by the breathtaking brilliance of the Caribbean - a turquoise like you have never imagined. PARADISE on a BUDGET Your Cottage is designed with romance and privacy as the keys to a great vacation. The French Provincial Four-Poster Queen-Size bed is draped with netting from Thailand. Constant trade winds make air conditioning unnecessary. Our large ceiling fans guarantee your comfort. The roofing is high and angled to allow plenty of light and airflow. The bathroom features a glass block shower and a built-in hairdryer. The sliding glass door opens onto a large balcony with those fabulous ocean views. Our Tropical Breakfast (Mon - Fri) begins at eight and lasts until you have finished dining on our fresh breads & muffins. Fresh fruit is always available. The seasons dictate which fruits are on the table. Dining is in the Villa. NATURE'S PARADISE Eco-Lux, Adventure, Relaxation, Romance. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Booking.com, Hotwire, Hotel.de, Cheap Tickets, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd and HRS so you can book your Nature's Paradise reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Nature`s Paradise Hotel Marigot Bay