“A romantic, adults-only, hillside hotel with a cluster of 1-5 bedroom cottages: private pools, total peace and awe-inspiring sea and mountain views”
Scattered throughout the 26-acre tropical grounds are various cottages, many with their own pools and names that reflect the lush surroundings (Frangipani, Hibiscus, Rain Tree, Bamboo and Ginger Lilly). They range from charming 1-bedroom villas with stunning Piton views to larger 2- or 3-bedroom houses overlooking the mountains and the sparkling sea. Largest of all is the 5-bedroom Chez Anista. Constructed from stone, with high-beamed ceilings and ceramic tiles or stone floors, the theme throughout is light, space and air. Louvre screens on the windows and doors filter out the hot Caribbean sun and keep rooms cool enough to make the air-conditioning or ceiling fans provided largely unnecessary.
Most bedrooms have kingsize or queensize beds (many are antique four-posters), all have mosquito nets, walk-in wardrobes, phones, CD players and either full kitchens or basic kitchenettes (with tea and coffee provided). All but the original Plantation House - which has 3 indoor showers - have wonderful semi open-air bathrooms with exotic garden showers. Each villa also has a shady wooden veranda kitted out with hammocks, chairs, sun loungers, day beds or sofas for private sunbathing and evening sundowners.
We are yet to personally view La Rose, which was added since our visit; though it doesn't have a swimming pool it does boast far-reaching views and 2 double bedrooms.
The Plantation House and Lime Mill Cottage are particularly good for groups of friends or older families (over 18s only); the latter has the ruins of an old stone mill within its garden. Both sleep 7 in 3 double bedrooms, and have a huge living space and a fully-equipped kitchen/dining room. Chez Anista is enormous and great if your planning a group holiday (sleeps 10).
Stonefield Estate is a little off the beaten track, so come prepared if you're embarking on a self-catering adventure. If you e-mail your shopping list before arrival, staff will kindly arrange for your first lot of groceries to be bought for you. The nearest shops are in Soufriere, a 10-minute drive away (you can walk, but it’s a steep climb in the heat and humidity). You can help yourself to fruit on the surrounding trees - mango, avocado, lime, papaya, coconut and breadfruit.
If all this sounds too much like hard work, head to the estate’s poolside restaurant, The Mango Tree. Here you’ll find simple continental and fried breakfasts, all day baguettes and a selection of home-cooked Caribbean dishes for dinner, eaten to the sound of live local bands. There are also different themed menus every night. The bar is open all day and the views from this bright pastel-coloured venue are simply stunning.
For a change of scenery, you can eat out at one of the great hotel or local restaurants which lie within a (rather pricey) 10-minute taxi ride.