Bananaquit House

Near Soufriere, St Lucia Book from

Reviewed by Viv Monahan
Family friendly staffed villa with stunning views, set in the blossom-filled hills above Soufriere (sleeps up to 12)
Named after the audacious little finches that eat fruit from your hand, Bananaquit House is a 10-minute drive from both the beach and St Lucia’s former capital, Soufriere. This is a comfy, stretch-out and kick-your-shoes-off villa, where the only thing better than watching the sunset is watching the sunset with a rum punch in your hand. Panoramic views over the Pitons are amazing, and the open living/dining room, with its white walls and candy-striped sofas, is a delight.

This 5 bedroomed summery home is perfect for a large family. Kids will vie for a mezzanine den from which they can spy on the grown-ups playing cards or watching a DVD. Parents will love the fact that they can escape to the main bedroom’s private panoramic terrace. You won’t find too much gadgetry (WiFi’s reluctant to get going and there’s no TV reception), but if you can do without the bells and whistles you’ll find the hours slipping by very pleasantly, accompanied by birdsong, sunshine and children’s excited discoveries.

Some of the nicest staff we’ve ever met will take care of your every need: there’s a fine in-house cook (or you can self-cater), cheery housekeepers, a gardener/security man who keeps the pool clean and the house supplied with good vibes, and, last but not least, a soppy German shepherd, Spike, to fall in love with.


  • Lovely, homely feel - you walk in and you belong
  • Perfect for children of all ages, with hundreds of toys and games, gardens to explore, a pool to play in, and children's bedrooms
  • Staff and Spike are genuinely friendly (it’s a tearful farewell)
  • Lots of room to spread out - with 5 airy bedrooms on 3 floors, a massive living space, tumbling gardens and a pool terrace, you won’t be tripping over each other
  • You’re within easy driving distance of the volcano, beaches and the rainforest


  • The road up to Bananaquit is steep and bumpy - a Jeep to get around is a must
  • The swimming pool is too small to work up a sweat, but a swanky new pool and pool house are planned
  • You’ll need more mozzie spray (and bite relief) than you expected
  • No nightlife to speak of in Soufriere - you'll be hard-pressed to find a local band playing
  • Only 2 bedrooms have air con, and the fans in the other rooms aren't very strong

Best time to go

Open all year. High season runs from December through to April.

Our top tips

  • If you’re travelling as a group of friends, you’ll need serious negotiating skills to grab one of the kingsize bedrooms.
  • Pack tennis racquets, balls and some trainers
  • Great for...

    Great Outdoors
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Villa for 10-12
    • 5
    • Self-catering (chef on request)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Tennis Court
    • Bicycles Available
    • Laundry Service
    • Gardener


    Bananaquit’s open, airy living room is all about light, space and what’s going on outside: it has a pavilion feel, with 2 walls made entirely of shutters. Folded back, you get a 180-degree view that takes you slowly from the Pitons, across Soufriere Bay, right up to the horizon and the sunset. And it’s breathtaking.

    Inside, everything is equally bright: white walls and floors are lifted by ginger-blossom accents, candy-striped sofas, turquoise balustrades. A collection of quirky road signs, various displays and joyfully unminimalist shelves full of books, toys, DVDs, pebbles and games run along the back wall. Grey stone arches lead to the vibrant gardens, the pool terrace and the kitchen.

    There are 3 bright and simple bedrooms downstairs. Bedroom 1 (the fan-cooled master suite) is an absolute sanctuary with a kingsize 4-poster, a large ensuite dressing room with bath and shower, and a sundowning terrace that look out at the Pitons and Caribbean Sea. Bedroom 2 also has a traditional West Indian kingsize 4-poster and a louvered door leading out to a shady arbour (though you’ve also got air-conditioning if you prefer to keep the outsides out). The shower room next door is shared with Bedroom 4 - a children’s room kitted out with bunk beds, a cot, a playpen, a colourful mural and heaps of much-loved traditional toys in the cupboards.

    Up from the living room is Bedroom 3 - this has 2 large antique single beds, air con and an ensuite shower bathroom. And, built like a rookery into the eaves, Bedroom 5 is a fan-cooled mezzanine room with a sloping ceiling and white curtains for walls. With a small double and a single bed, it’s perfect for 2 or (at a push) 3 children, or a couple and young child.

    There are mozzie nets in all bedrooms (an essential) and, where lacking, air-conditioning is planned.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Barbeque
    • Cd player
    • Cots Available
    • Dishwasher
    • Dvd player
    • Fan
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Microwave
    • Mosquito net
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Tv
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi


    Bananaquit’s chef, Cyrille, has a reputation as the best home-cook in Soufriere, and we think it’s richly deserved. Arrive to a simple welcoming meal - perhaps jerk chicken with a green fig salad, and lime pie for afters. The formal table seats 8 comfortably, but you can also dine outside on the terrace where you’ll be joined by grackles, the eponymous bananaquits and Antillean finches.

    For drinks that bring it home you’re in the tropics there are fresh juices (tamarind and soursop), rum punch (of course), or cocoa tea - a supremely indulgent local drink made with milk, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves as well as freshly ground cocoa.

    You can cook for yourself after that (there’s a full kitchen with a proper batterie de cuisine including a juicer, blender and BBQ), or ask Cyrille to prepare your meals from your own ingredients (in our view, definitely the best option). Breakfast and lunch can be served at a time to suit you; supper is prepared during the day then left ready for you to heat up or have cold later. Suggestions include callaloo soup with island bread, barbequed snapper, green mango salad, pepperpot, coconut shrimp and St Lucian fishcakes.

    A shopping pack can be supplied to get you started (extra charge). If you’re happy to do your own shopping for everything else, Soufriere has 2 small supermarkets, a fruit and veg market, a bakery and a weekly fish market. Or make up a list and ask staff to collect groceries (there's a 15% charge on top of cost of groceries).

    Recommended eating out options include the various restaurants at Anse Chastenet beach a short drive away (including a specialist vegetarian one), Gees and Hummingbird in Soufriere, or, for something really authentic try the street food at Anse la Raye every Friday, a village about 40 minutes away.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Children meals
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • In house cook
    • Lunch by arrangement
    • Microwave
    • Shopping service
    • Vegetarian menu


    • Relax on the lovely sunny terrace by the pool, with its amazing Pitons view, and when you warm up, take a dip

    • There's a tennis court next door which you can use for a small charge; bring racquets and balls

    • Bike hire, island tours, and scuba diving lessons or expeditions can be arranged for your stay; enquire in advance

    • The steep garden’s a perfect place for hide and seek, and there’s a ‘Tarzan’ swing for dare-devils

    • If the weather turns, there are games, DVDs, books and toys to keep you occupied

    • Take a picnic down to the lovely sandy beaches just a 10-15 minute drive away - Anse Chastenet, Hummingbird and Jalousie, all of which have safe swimming. There’s a charge for the resorts’ amenities, such as parasols and sunloungers

    • Go diving or snorkelling - the coral reefs around the coast offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean. The Anse Chastenet resort (a 5-minute drive away) has a 5-star PADI dive centre

    • Explore Soufriere - the old French capital of St Lucia, it’s now a photogenic and sleepy fishing town with ancient wooden houses and colourful fishing boats

    • Visit the Botanical Gardens in Soufriere with their ‘walking’ trees and stunning flowers - at the right time of year, you might see wax roses, lobsterclaws, chenille plants and cats’ whiskers

    • Visit St Lucia's famous 'drive-in' volcano and sulphur springs to enjoy a mud wrap (dark swimwear is advised!)

    • Most marine activities (including whale-watches) can be arranged through local hotels; it’s a good idea to check whether there have been any recent sightings before you book

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Scuba diving courses
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Waterskiing
    • Whalewatching
    • Windsurfing


    This is beyond doubt the best villa we’ve found in St Lucia for kids of all ages (and their parents!)

    It's got a fantastic garden, plenty of toys, books and baby kit, and there are several family beaches nearby. Warning: there will be tears on departure.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    There's a bunk room for kids, a twin room and a room with a small double and single bed as well as the luxury 4-poster bedrooms for parents.


    Babysitting (separately charged) may be arranged with staff who are excellent with children (but not trained as nannies)

    Baby equipment:

    • Cot
    • High chair
    • Booster seat
    • Child's life jacket
    • Steriliser
    • Stair gates where necessary
    • Child's car seat
    • Playpen

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    Cyrille's fabulous food will tickle even fussy tastebuds; the kitchen is fantastically equipped if you want to self-cater, and there are supermarkets and bakeries a short walk away.

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Great garden for hide and seek with a tarzan swing and birds, fruit trees and animals
    • Toys, games and DVDs
    • Fenced pool
    • Spike, the soppy German Shepherd

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Family-friendly beaches including Anse Chastenet, Hummingbird
    • Volcano
    • Tennis courts next door (bring your own racquets and balls)
    • Bike hire
    • Island tours
    • Scuba diving and snorkelling on the reefs

    Families Should Know:

    Mozzie repellent is essential.


    • Airport: 40 minutes
    • Hospital: 50 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

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