Piton View Villa

Near Soufriere, St Lucia Book from Book from £1127 per night

Family friendly staffed villa with stunning views, set in the blossom-filled hills above Soufriere (sleeps up to 14)
A 10-minute drive from St Lucia’s former capital, Soufriere, and the stunning beach of Anse Chastenet, this large and luxurious villa stands out for its amazing views towards the pointy Piton mountains. With 7 bedrooms, 4 full-time staff, a 36-foot infinity pool and a tennis court next door, it's an inspiring and indulgent retreat for a group of friends or a large family (or three). Kids will vie for a mezzanine den from which they can spy on the grown-ups; parents will love escaping to one of the tranquil bedroom terraces. And the airy living room, with its striped sofas, and 2 shuttered walls folding back to offer 180-degree views all the way to the horizon, is a delight for all generations.

It's not overloaded with gadgetry or boutique knick-knacks: the luxuries here are birdsong, sunshine, super-friendly staff and the privileged location. It's the kind of place where the the only thing better than watching the sunset is watching the sunset with a rum punch in your hand. We personally loved the comfy, stretch-out and kick-your-shoes-off, indoor-outdoor vibe, with some rooms half open to the elements. So long as you don't mind a bit of insect life and a bumpy access road, we're confident you'll love it too.

Highs

  • Some of the nicest staff we’ve ever met, including an in-house cook (or you can self-cater) and cheery housekeepers
  • Perfect for children of all ages, with hundreds of toys and games, gardens to explore, a pool to play in, and children's bedrooms
  • A massive living space, tumbling gardens, a pool terrace and a new deck mean you won’t be tripping over each other
  • We love the look of the swanky new pool - we might have to revisit just to check the water temperature
  • You’re within easy driving distance of the volcano, beaches and the rainforest; and they can arrange boat trips too

Lows

  • The road up to the house is steep and bumpy - we advise hiring a Jeep to get around
  • 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
  • One bedroom lacks air-con (but has fans), and one is located under the awnings (without a separate door)

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...

    Family
    Great Outdoors
    • 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
    Room:

    Rooms

    There are 7 bedrooms in total, all bright and simple in decor; white walls and floors are lifted by candy-striped sofas and turquoise balustrades, quirky road signs, and joyfully unminimalist shelves of books, DVDs, games and beach pebbles. 3 are downstairs and 4 upstairs, so the house works fine if you just need 3-4 rooms (at reduced rates).

    Downstairs, bedroom 1 - the 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. 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 and an ensuite shower bathroom. Built like a rookery into the eaves, Bedroom 5 is a 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 also 2 newer bedrooms which we haven't seen, both double-bedded, one of them with a single sofa-bed. Crucially, there are mozzie nets in all bedrooms, and A/C in 6 of them.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Barbecue
    • CD player
    • Cots Available
    • Dishwasher
    • DVD player
    • Fan
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Microwave
    • Mosquito net
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • TV
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The chef 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. There's a more formal table inside, or dine outside on the terrace accompanied by grackles and bananaquits (colourful finches).

    Fresh drinks bring it home you’re in the tropics: tamarind and soursop juice, 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 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).

    There are various restaurants at Anse Chastenet beach a short drive away, and a few in Soufriere.

    Features include:

    • Barbecue
    • Breakfast
    • Children's meals
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • In house cook
    • Lunch by arrangement
    • Microwave
    • Shopping service
    • Vegetarian menu
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Head down to the sandy beach of Anse Chastenet - St. Lucia's loveliest, and just a 10-15 minute drive away; Hummingbird and Jalousie beaches also have safe swimming (but be prepared to pay for parasols and sunloungers)

    • Go diving or snorkelling - the coral reefs here offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean, and Anse Chastenet resort has a 5-star PADI dive centre

    • Explore charming Soufriere - the old French capital of St Lucia, now a photogenic and sleepy fishing town with ancient wooden houses, colourful fishing boats and lovely Botanical Gardens nearby (look out for 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!)

    • Bike hire, Piton guides and island tours can be arranged, as can whale watching trips (ask about recent sightings before you book)

    • Back at the house, book the next-door tennis court (small charge), then jump in the pool or relax on the sunny terrace, with its amazing Piton views

    • 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

    Activities on site or nearby include:

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

    Kids

    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 couple of rooms which have a single sofa-bed alongside the double.

    Babysitting:

    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:

    The chef'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.

    Distances:

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

    Location

    Bananaquit House is set on a hillside, 1.5km outside Soufriere on the Caribbean island of St Lucia. It's a 10-minute drive from Anse Chastanet beach, 45 minutes from the international airport and an hour from the domestic airport.

    By Air
    Hewanorra International (30km) is where you'll land, unless you fly from a different Caribbean island, in which case you'll jet into George F L Charles. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports. Unless included in your airfare, there is a departure tax; check how much it is before you spend all your money!

    From the Airport
    You can ask for an airport transfer - see Rates - but most people hire a car for their stay (a Jeep is definitely advised). Or you can jump in a taxi - the fare’s around US$60 from Hewanorra.

    By Car
    For car hire, 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. Note that the road from town to the villa is unpaved and a 4WD vehicle is needed.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

    More on getting to St Lucia and getting around

    Airports:

    • Hewanorra International 30.0 km UVF
    • George F L Charles (Vigie) 45.0 km

    Other:

    • Beach 2.0 km
    • Shops 1.5 km
    • Restaurant 1.5 km

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