There's a sociable, house-party feel (you’ll be invited to meet other guests and families over drinks) – make friends, and point out frigate birds and Martinique in the distance – but it caters to romantic seclusion too, popular with honeymooners and those looking to propose in style. It’s a dress-up-for-dinner kind of place, a cocktail place, a welcoming-glass-of-champagne kind of a place. Cap was one of those good ideas thought up after a particularly fine dinner which actually came to pass. Built by the Gobat family to resemble a Castilian village, small blocks of white-walled 2- and 3-storey villas are separated by cool passages with barrelled ceilings, wine cellars, courtyards, pools, Ali Baba urns, lawns and gazebos. The top suites in each are huge and have seductive twists: Jacuzzis, private pools and double loungers on the rooftop that are so cosy we spent a night lying on our backs under the stars, trying to name the constellations.
- Rooms and suites range from the smart and simple to the elegantly decadent; pleasingly these combine to make wonderful Villas, some with a pool, a Jacuzzi or a roof terrace
- Enthusiastic, friendly staff balance respect with camaraderie, an attitude that comes from the top down
- All villa guests become members of the Cap Maison Villa Club which means 10% discount on in-room treatments and bars and restaurants
- Fab food: Craig Jones, the white Welsh Rastafarian vegetarian chef, is destined for stardom – we loved his West Indian specialities, modern British cooking and healthier-than-thou salads. Spirited junior chef Zyhim Cadet has also been turning heads, scooping up culinary awards
- Lovely spa offering luxurious treatments; i-escape guests receive a complimentary 30-minute welcome massage!
- The Moorish design of the hotel won’t appeal to those looking for gingerbread cottages
- A few suites are less private than others; choose one of the more secluded rooms – or keep the shutters closed!
- There are 42 steps down to the beach to consider for those less able, but this is not unusual for a volcanic island (neither is the changing colour of the sand, from gold to tawny, throughout the year)
- Noise can bounce around the outside walls, although fences and lush landscaping ensure privacy for all
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Resort
- 49 rooms
- Restaurants and bars (+ self-catering)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
The 3-storey white-washed villas are split into a variety of rooms and suites, which jigsaw together; book individually, or better still combined into Moorish-styled 2- and 3-bed villas. All are airy variations on the theme of creamy walls, cool floors and louvred shutters, and they have enough electronic gadgetry to satisfy the most demanding techno-freak (iPod docks, satellite TVs, WiFi).
On the ground floors, Garden Rooms are the cheapest offering, but still very comfortable with kingsize or twin beds, pretty balconies (with garden views) and hand-painted tiled bathrooms with showers, a double vanity unit and Acqua di Parma toiletries. Junior Suites are slightly bigger, with a daybed and larger balcony; some have outdoor showers, too.
Above, the Villas come in 3 sizes: huge, gargantuan and 'where did I last see my other half?'. All have big living/dining areas, kitchens, powder rooms and generous balconies with sea views. Our absolute favourites were the split-level Villa Suites with Jacuzzi. These have traditional West Indian four-poster beds, and gorgeous terraces with Jacuzzis (Numbers 20 and 32 have rooftop terraces). Numbers 32 and 33 are built at the very edge of the resort so they’re the most private of all and echo magically with the sounds of the waves.
Up another notch, the Villa Suites with Pool each have their own pool in the garden or on a private riad-style roof terrace. Living accommodation includes a sitting room with a formal dining area, a full kitchen and (at least) 2 verandas. The ultimate suites (Oceanview Villas with Pool and Roof Terrace) have their own rooftop verandas which cry out for sociable sundowners, their own wet bars (so you don’t have to go downstairs for ice), plus double loungers and shady seating areas. Our pick of these would be Numbers 22, 28 48 and 50, which are the most private.
The hotel’s layout means that the enormous 1-bedroomed suites can be linked, making them ideal for families or up to 3 couples travelling together. Choose between a 2- or 3-Bedroom Villa Suite, a 2- or 3-Bedroom Villa Suite with Pool or a 2- or 3-Bedroom Villa Suite with Pool and Roof terrace - the perfect family retreat. Note that children under 12 are not allowed in the Villa Suites with Pool or the Villa Suites with Pool and Roof Terrace for safety reasons.
- Air conditioning
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Family friendly
- Ipod dock
- Ironing board
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
We loved the food at Cliff at Cap restaurant. Loved it. Especially ‘Caribbean night’, which might have been one of those embarrassing buffets demanding compulsory elastic waistbands but wasn’t. There were delicious salads (saltfish and green fig, organic leaves), plus pepperpot stew, jerk pork with perfectly crispy crackling, cheesy sweet potato pie, delicate mousses and jellies and fruit.
For the rest of the week, the restaurant is more refined. Craig Jones may not be a celebrity chef yet, but someone will already have marked his card. Ingredients are top-notch and treated with respect: try the Kobe short rib with sweet potato rosti, or honeyed pumpkin risotto which is a proper, delicious main and not just a token nod to vegetarians. Finish with something decadent like the passion fruit soufflé or white chocolate ice cream. Diet later.
But certainly not at breakfast. As well as the usual West Indies buffet (mango slices, crispy streaky bacon with maple syrup and eggs), we discovered carrot and coconut muffins, fresh tamarind juice, and (nervously at first, but gaining confidence with each mouthful), smoked herring with cucumber salad and fried plantains.
For special occasions, ask for a table on Rock Maison, the wooden-deck extension of the restaurant that's set down in the sea. Drinks are 'zip-lined' down; pretty impressive for a flamboyant champagne moment.
You can get delicious tapas at the Cliff Bar (think yellow fin tuna sashimi, jumbo scallops with foie gras, or spider crab souffle). Down in Smuggler's Cover is The Naked Fisherman, open from 10am each day, they feature an extensive drinks menu, as well as lunch and dinner menus, featuring fresh seafood dishes such as lobster and mussels.
The villas are all kitted out for self-catering, with generous well-equipped kitchens and dining areas. As those staying in the villas get automatic Cap Maison Villa Club membership, this means a welcome fridge pack awaits on arrival which includes soft drinks, milk, butter, salt, pepper, bread, cheese and eggs. The hotel offers a shopping service for groceries, a daily shuttle service to the nearest supermarket in Rodney Bay, and a range of fridge packages (the Indulgence, the Healthy etc).
For a change of scene, head into Rodney Bay, a 5-10-minute cab journey. We can highly recommend The Edge, Spinnaker's and The CoalPot.
- Children's meals
- Family friendly
- Organic produce
- Room service
- Vegetarian options
- Lie by the 2 pools and dream, or wander down the 42 steps to the sandy beach for a refreshing sea dip
- Borrow Hobi cats, kayaks, snorkelling gear and windsurfers from the beach club (no charge)
- Recuperate at Spa Maison with a marine salt scrub, a mineral mud mask, then a massage using citrus essential oils
- Charter the handsome 46’ Cap Maison I for a lunchtime trip over to Martinique, an afternoon's cruising past the Pitons and rainforest, or for a 3-day cruise through the turquoise Grenadines
- Photograph little blue herons, hummingbirds, magnificent frigate birds, broadwinged hawks, mocking birds and even ospreys on the estate
- Play golf (concessions are offered) at the nearby championship course at St Lucia Golf & Country Club
- See the rainforest from above by zip-lining above the tree canopy; reception can arrange trips
- For those truly kitsch celebratory moments, have champagne (or flowers, or diamonds) ‘zip-lined’ down to the private dining deck Rock Maison. This private deck is sometimes used for yoga courses, too
- Borrow a bike, have a game of tennis on the hotel court or join the Cap Maison Running and Hiking Club and tone up with a guide on remote beaches of the dramatic Atlantic coast 10 minutes away
- The hotel can arrange kitesurfing and deep-sea fishing trips
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
- Shopping / markets
- Tennis coaching
- Well being
Children are welcome. Under 12s stay/eat for free when sharing a room/meal with parents. Older children will love the swimming and (non-motorised) water sports at Cap and, if they’re into nature, there’s a wonderful range of birds to spot and they can head into the rainforest to go ziplining.
Although younger kids are welcome (and there's lots of baby and toddler equipment available), we don’t think Cap Maison’s the right place for toddlers. There are numerous opportunities for falling down steps and into unguarded pools, and there’s precious little shade at the beach so we think the over-3s will best enjoy themselves here. And unless they’re ultra-well-behaved, you might also be embarrassed by the amplification offered by the courtyard walls.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Various rooms and suites can connect creating the 2 Bedroom Villa Suites, 2 Bedroom Villa Suites with Pool and 2 Bedroom Villa Suites with Pool and Roof Terrace, and 3 Bedroom Villas 3 connecting rooms. All villas have a washer and dryer, which is useful for families
- Baby cots and bedding
- High chairs
- Plastic crockery and cutlery
- Baby bath
- Changing mat
- Black out blinds
- Kitchen can assist with pureeing food and bottle warming
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Family Time Kids Club for 3-11 year olds operational 1 July - early-September every year
All villas have full kitchens, which is great for storing drinks and snacks. You can also pre-order fridge packages when booking. There's also a good kids menu in the restaurant, which has a wide variety of dishes to choose from such as mini-burgers, chicken curry, mini pizzas, pasta, and fish fillet, whereas desserts include banana split and tropical fruit
Kids Activities on site:
- Choice of swimming pools
- Secluded beach
- Non-motorised watersports
Kids Activities nearby:
- Smugglers Cove
- Rainforest tram ride
- Pigeon Island National Park
- Horse riding
- Rodney Bay
- Birdwatching on jungle treks
- Kite surfing
Families Should Know:
Children under 12 are not allowed in the Villa Suites with Pool or the Villa Suites with Pool and Roof Terrace for safety reasons
- Airport: 90 minutes
- Hospital: 6 minutes
- Shops: 6 minutes
For more family-friendly places, see our Kids Collection
Cap Maison is situated above Smuggler's Cove Beach in the north of St Lucia, 5km from Rodney Bay and 15km from Castries. It's a 20 minute-drive from Vigie airport and approximately 2 hours from Hewanorra International Airport.
Vigie Airport is the closest; click on the links below for a list of airlines that fly into St Lucia.
From the Airport
The hotel can arrange a transfer - see Rates.
Car hire is seriously expensive in St Lucia and the hotel doesn't recommend it. If you do decide to hire a car then see our car rental recommendations. You will need to obtain a temporary St Lucia driver’s licence purchased from the Immigration Office upon arrival at the airport or at the car-rental kiosks when you pick up your car. In addition you have to be over 25 years old and show a valid driver’s licence from home. A word of warning: whilst main roads are fine, they can be mountainous and bendy, so travel may take longer than you expect.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to St Lucia and getting around
- George FL Charles (Vigie) 14.0 km SLU
- Hewanorra International 43.0 km UVF
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 6.0 km
- Restaurant 2.0 km