Tamarind House Villa

Near Soufriere, St Lucia Book from

Reviewed by Viv Monahan
Spacious, staffed villa and cottage on a hill near Soufriere, with glorious Piton views, a private pool and a tennis court (sleeps 4-9)
Tamarind House Villa is a lovingly-built haven of space, perched like an eyrie in the wooded hills west of Soufriere. A shady courtyard with a portcullis door makes you think of Tuscany, but inside the design is pure Caribbean: stone arches, double-height ceilings, flower-filled terraces and louvered shutters.

Nothing is second-best in this beautiful villa. Enormous doors lead to 3 bedrooms with antique beds, gauzy nets and fine linens. Huge modern artwork on the lime-washed walls echoes the harlequin colours of the bougainvillea and orchid trees outside. A separate (and self-contained) white pavilion connected via a terrace sleeps another 2 guests. And it’s all utterly private thanks to the tumbling gardens and gated terraces. Families and groups of friends will love it and, if you’re a large party, you can rent it together with La Bagatelle next door, which sleeps a further 4-5.

The atmosphere is relaxed, with no sense of urgency. Drink in the panorama, drive down to Anse Chastanet (one of the loveliest beaches on the island), explore rainforests and visit the famous 'drive in' volcano. In the evening, sip a rum punch while watching out for the fabled green flash that lights up the St Lucian sky at sunset, before sitting down to a Creole feast on your terrace. We're there in our heads already.

Highs

  • The spacious living room spills out onto a shady terrace
  • The views are magnificent: on a clear day you can see for 60 miles over to St Vincent
  • It’s a peaceful, picturesque setting amid colourful bougainvillea, plus there’s a warm, inviting and totally secluded pool
  • The rooms have antique four-posters swathed in mosquito nets and Egyptian linen
  • You’ll find a collection of DVDs, CDs and games in case the weather turns

Lows

  • The house is on a steep hillside and there are lots of steps - it’s unsuitable for guests with limited mobility
  • There’s no air conditioning, but each room has a fan and you can sleep with the doors open to the breeze
  • It's a 20-minute uphill walk from the nearest beach: better to hire yourself a 4WD to get out and about
  • The WiFi was a little unreliable during our last stay, but we have been assured that this is no longer the case
  • If you’re looking for nightlife, the tranquil location above sleepy Soufriere isn’t for you

Best time to go

Tamarind House Villa is open all year except June and September, but the best time to visit is between November and March. December brings the most sunshine, July has the highest temperatures and April-May is when the bougainvillea blossoms. June to November is the rainy season, when there’s a risk of hurricanes.

Our top tips

Put on a CD from the villa’s collection and sit on the terrace to watch the sun set over the Pitons (that’s if you can tear your eyes away from the multi-coloured bougainvillea). But make sure you bring mosquito repellent - there are no coils at Tamarind due to the fire risk and there are lots of biters around at dusk.

Great for...

Beach
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 4
  • Self-catering; chef 6 days out of 7
  • 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
Room:

Rooms

High ceilings, graceful stone arches and terracotta floors keep things cool at Tamarind, a house built to frame the wonderful views through every doorway. The living room is enormous, with 2 huge sofas and a travertine stone coffee table. Ecelctic art peppers the walls, while cushions and lamps keep things homely. For candlelit evenings, there’s a round antique dining table seating 6-8 on the main terrace, shaded by banana and plantain trees.

The villa has 3 bedrooms: the 2 doubles (one kingsize and one queensize) look straight out to the Pitons and both have a private terrace and four-poster beds dressed in mosquito nets, fiery-hued silk cushions and Egyptian cotton. Minimalist furniture makes each room airy and light, but walk-in wardrobes provide good storage and there are lovely details to prevent the space from looking sterile - the master bedroom has a hand-carved freestanding cheval mirror, the other room has gorgeous white and blue Chinese lamps on its bedside table. One wall in each of the 2 Italian-tiled ensuite shower rooms (there are no bathtubs) is made of louvered doors and opens completely to give showers (and loos) with a view. There’s also a third bedroom for children, with an adjacent bathroom, one double and one single bed and courtyard views.

A self-contained cottage linked to the main house by a terrace provides accommodation for a (lucky) third couple. Its pavilion-like layout and billowing white drapes create a dreamily romantic feel. There’s a wooden four-poster clad in French linen, an ensuite bathroom and 2 sprawling couches dressed with blue and white stripes, with bright paintings by Kate Spencer lining the stone walls. And in case of an attack of the munchies, there’s also a small kitchenette.

Larger parties can also rent La Bagatelle next door, with accommodation for a further 4-5.

Features include:

  • Barbeque
  • Cd player
  • Clothes dryer
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Microwave
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The housekeepers Anne and Cheryl come to the house from 9am-2pm each day to clean and do the laundry; they’ll also cook and serve a lazy breakfast and lunch on the terrace if required. For a bit extra, a private chef can be arranged in the evenings to whip up a gourmet feast to be served to you under the stars for dinner - perhaps tangy fishcakes or a spicy Creole curry, accompanied by rum punch.

If you want to cook for yourself in the fully-equipped kitchen, you can ask the staff to shop for you (there’s an additional charge for this service) or head out to the market in Soufriere on Saturdays for fresh fish, spices, breadfruit, plantain, mangoes and more.

And so that you don’t arrive to a dauntingly empty larder, the villa’s owner, Nancy (who lives next door), can provide a starter pack of provisions and a light meal on arrival: we were greeted with Anne’s fresh ginger and lime squash, a beautifully cooked chicken stew and seasoned rice to pop into the oven, and a lemon ice cream that we had greedy third helpings of.

There are plenty of restaurants nearby if you want to eat out: the Anse Chastenet resort has several eateries to choose from and the Mango Tree at Stonefield Estate offers simple but tasty Caribbean and continental dishes, with occasional live band performances. For à la carte French cuisine with a Creole twist (such as succulent steak and freshwater crayfish cooked with home-grown herbs), head to the Lifeline Bar & Restaurant at the Hummingbird Resort. It also serves delicious cocktails made using fresh local fruit juices.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Shopping service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Have a game of tennis in the late evening or early morning, when the sun is least strong. There’s a full size court in the grounds (shared with La Bagatelle next door) and racquets are available to borrow
  • Owner Nancy can arrange massages or, if you’re feeling energetic, tennis coaching, cycling, horse riding and fishing trips. A personal trainer can come to the house too; enquire when booking
  • The botanical gardens on the Soufriere Estate are well worth a visit - you’ll find tropical plants, a pretty waterfall and natural mineral baths to swim in
  • Visit the 'drive-in' volcanic crater at Mount Soufriere (you can get within a few hundred feet by car before continuing on foot), where you can bathe in hot sulphuric springs
  • Drive to the stunning dark-sand beach at Anse Chastenet (10 minutes away), which has the best snorkelling on the island. The PADI centre there hires out equipment and runs diving trips to the spectacular coral walls and the wreck at Anse Cochon
  • You can also hire sea kayaks, windsurfing equipment and sailing dinghies at Anse Chastenet, or pay a small fee to sprawl out on a sun lounger
  • Keen windsurfers should head to the beautiful beaches just past Vieux Fort; the white-sand Anse de Sable is popular with both intermediates and experts, and you can hire equipment and join impromptu jump-ups
  • Hike along the many rainforest trails or, if you’re fit, climb the mighty Pitons (a World Heritage site). You’ll need a guide if you want to venture up Petit Piton (the steeper of the 2 peaks), but touts wait at the park entrance so you won’t have to arrange this in advance. Keep an eye out for brightly coloured birds, including the beautiful Jacquot parrot
  • Visit the heritage plantation at the Morne Coubaril Estate, a cocoa and coconut farm, to learn about St Lucia’s colonial past
  • Back at the villa, swim in the totally private 35x15ft pool then snooze in the shaded, cushioned pergola
  • Rainy day? Hole up in the lovely lounge and watch a DVD from the library

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Waterskiing
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are very welcome here and the staff have entertained and fed visitors of all ages for many years. Children must be supervised at all times by the pool and parents should be aware that there are lots of steps around the property. Cots and high chairs are available on request and babysitting can be arranged. Any damage incurred by children to furniture must be paid for before departure.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and high chairs are available on request.

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Tamarind House Villa