The Voice of Rath
Deborah Rath Howell, resident travel-writer with Trade to Travel (www.tradetotravel.com), visited Les Chaudieres in January, 2008, and wrote:
"Just back from one of the best trips ever, . . . Luckily for all of us, one of our Trade To Travel host families—The Durhams—knew about St. Lucia in the '60's and got there in time to claim one of its most beautiful spots on which to build their dream vacation home. Now we can all benefit from their foresight." Click here to see the full Rath review:
Trade to Travel - The Voice of Rath
“My wife and I have visited many Caribbean Islands over the years and always stayed at a Resort, so renting a private home was a stretch for us, not to mention that it was the first time we included our 4 teenagers on this type of trip, and the first time we used VRBO. St. Lucia itself is beautiful, rustic, and exotic. As we drove from the airport, up and down mountains, and then through the narrow street of anse raye, we didn't know what to expect. As we pulled up to the house and got out of our car, the view is the first thing that caught our eye. I didnt even look at the house. I walked out to the pool and stood there for a while soaking in the beauty. This doesnt mean that the house wasn't great, but the view was hard to beat. The staff is what made this trip. We felt like we were home while on vacation, except at this home someone else did everything for us. We had always saved the exotic vacations for my wife and I, but after this trip and this house, and especially the staff, I think my kids would kill us if we ever tried to leave them home again. Thank you Jeff, Christy, Paul, Martina, Bertilia, and even though he wasnt part of the package, Joseph, my boys wont ever forget you. We will definitely be back!! ”
Anse La Raye, June 2013
Our lovely, lovely week at Les Chaudieres
Hi, I'm Cal's wife, I'm writing to thank you for all that goes into making a week at Les Chaudieres so special. Impossible that anyone who has ever stayed there is happier or more touched by the experience than we are. Please, please don't change a thing! That a setting as private and pristine and so finely attuned to nature as Les Chaudieres exists touched us deeply, and then you go beyond! Christy and Martina and Paul and the house pets and the bug-eating bats, and dominoes and croquette and a pool big enough to actually swim in and the sense of the history and vision of your family! You can't buy heart, but Les Chaudieres comes with a big free dose! I hope you will convey to Christy and to Martina particularly how very much they added to our experience. Paul, too, looked out for us, but we were not with him as much as they. From our perspective everything looked effortless, but I'm well aware of all that you watch over to provide such a wonderful time for us. Hoping to return...
Susan C, New Jersey, USA, visited 7/2012
“Your parents were visionary to have built such a house on that spot. I could just imagine them telling the architect to design them a house that captures every breeze and view possible, that seems to blend you with the island. In our week in Les Chaudieres I could not stop marveling at how no matter which I turned my head from any spot in the house I was staring at something beautiful. It is a form of therapy from the pressures of daily life to spend time at Les Chaudieres. I think my favorite room in the house is the outdoor shower - again - the views and breeze stunned me. I took a couple of showers with a big frog who sat by the wall and enjoyed the water run off. He was so still I thought at first he was a little statue. Anyway, thank you very much to opening up your special family home to us for our use. We are all in love with it. I just put the deposit check in the mailbox for our next Les Chaudieres stay :) I am already looking forward to it.”
L&WW, January 2011
We recently visited St. Lucia and had no idea of what to expect upon arrival of this home. Of course the photos were breath taking and the other reviews made the property sound fantastic. Realistically though without the actual experience you are taking a huge leap of faith. So as 9 of us drove up to this mysterious property we had high hopes of a dream vacation. This dream vacation would quickly become reality. Day after day we were indulged in this gorgeous setting. The quality of service from the staff at the Villa matched the impressive setting. Look at the pictures again, for a staff to impress you as much as the view, that is really saying something. We went on this trip with three adventurous young males, 3 slightly less adventurous young females ( me being one, a little more relaxation appreciation on our end), 2 parents and a grandmother as well. The staff had something for everyone and felt like part of the family, as we experienced our own individual pleasures and joined for memorable group moments. This vacation was truly one of a lifetime. If you are wavering back and forth about taking the leap, stop right now, book the trip and make this dream a reality. We did and will always remember it.
This property is as advertised. It is absolutely beautiful. We took many pictures at the property that looked like they should be on postcards! We spent most of our time in the pool (it gets very deep)! The staff are wonderful and are willing to share their knowledge of the island. The food, oh my gosh! We were absolutely in love. We were so sad to leave this beautiful place and beautiful island. We felt like kings and queens! It was wonderful to spend a week with my family and to really feel like we were a part of the island (food and culture). We cannot THANK YOU enough. Wow!
Jennie, WI, 5/10
A Sun-Drenched Elsewhere: Les Chaudieres
M.M., January 2008
M.B., September 2007
J.B., February 2007
D.B., February 2007
i wanted to write and tell you what a wonderful time we had at your place in st. lucia. thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us. i also wanted to tell you what a wonderful staff you have. we had sooo much fun with paul. his smile and laugh are contagious to say the least. our boys really enjoyed him. he went with us several times, the boat trip, to soufrieres, to castries, the fish fry, anse la raye. he seemed to know everyone which helped us a lot. we had so many laughs with him. he stuck the tail end of a boa in the window of the car and scared our son to death (we all laughed) and ask him sometime about the lizard that made him jump. he never had a bad word to say about anyone. he fired the cannon for us and showed us things we would have never seen otherwise. martina was great with her "good morning and how are you this morning?" we enjoyed her and her cooking. christy was a dream also. we had plenty of good conversations with her and she was willing to do anything to make our stay more enjoyable. i can't say enough about any of them. thank you again for allowing us to get to know these people and use your fine home.
p.e., January 2007
The following are some of the reasons to visit Les Chaudieres:
Bingo (the dog), boat ride, bat cave, breathtaking, backgammon, Bagshaws
Castries, Christie, chistophene, coral, Caribbean
Drinks, dinner bell (calling to wonderful meals)
Eggs – scrambled, omelets, sunny side up
French Toast, frogs, glorious food fixed by Christie & Martina
Grapefruit, giggles (lots of those), grill, games, green flash!
Inviting, ideal setting
Key lime pie (frozen)
Lobster, laughs, lizards, les Chaudieres, Ladera
Martina, mango, moon, massages, music
North Star, noodles
Orange Juice (fresh squeezed), outside shower, Orion’s belt
Peace, Paul, Pitons, pool, palm trees
Rainbows, relaxing, rum, rainforest, reading
Sunsets, stars, snorkeling, swimming, The Steps, sea, St. Lucia
Tranquility, Ti Kaye, tarantulas (not), torches, tropical breezes
Vodka, Venus, volcano
Waterfalls, wine, waves, wildlife
Xtremely wonderful week!!
We all agree this is the most relaxing and beautiful place to experience. Thank you.
D.C. Family & Friends, Newark, DE 2006
B.H., May 2006
Our family has spent many weeks in Caribbean villas, but this one is by far the most amazing – beautiful setting, great people, tons of things to do . . . We’ll be back to do it again – soon!
S.T., Newtown Square PA June 2005
A.C.L; Jacksonville, FL, December 2004
What a wonderful way to start the new year with good friends, new acquaintances and the most beautiful view this side of heaven. This must be paradise!! Paul, Martina and Christy were most helpful and accommodating and delightful to work with.
Allen & Kathy Hayes, N.C., January 2003
This was our fifth year at Les Chaudieres and I’m sure not our last… We all live in such a fast paced world – its nice to know places like this exist… To those of you who come after, I know you will find that a week is not enough time!
Macon & Duane White, N.C.
As I sit here looking out to the ocean, on my last morning in St. Lucia, I am still amazed by all the beauty of this island. This house is perfectly situated providing amazing views in every direction. I must have taken two rolls of film just of the views of the house...
Erika Tiedemann, Wilmington, Delaware April 2002
The photos in the brochure could not even touch the majesty of this place. In a world filled with cell phones, telephones, faxes, and computers - where people are rarely silent and listen to nature (if they could hear it over the traffic) - staying at Les Chaudieres affords the opportunity to wake every morning to the birds and go to sleep to the cadence of the tree frogs. What's more, what could be more relaxing than having a staff provide for your every need. We return to Delaware with wonderful memories and restored spirits.
Alice Smith, May 2001
Collectively our little group has languished in many places worldwide, including Hawaii, Barbados, Mexico, Spain, France, Bahamas, Costa Rica and America's sunbelt...none compares favourably with Les Chaudieres...This is as close to paradise we have yet discovered.
The Adelmans, Andersons and Wilks, Toronto, Canada, February 2001
Chazz & Susan Salkin, Mary Davis, Mike Sultzbach, Delaware, November 2000
We loved this house. What an incredible site with so many places to explore. Our four children - 9, 8, 6 and 5 - had the best time - we never wanted to leave the property! Christy, Martina and Paul were all wonderful and helpful. We hope to return again to this paradise on earth,
The Crocketts, August 2000
Paul, Martina and Christy are not just a trio - they are an orchestra, making beautiful background music for our visit.
Thank you all!
Susan McLaren, Pennsylvania, August 2000
Carolyn & Mike Lindberg, Oregon, February 2000
We came… we looked… we drank… we ate… we swam… sailed… dove… sang… listened… heard… tasted Christy's love of cooking… smiled… learned of island ting's from Paul… bathed in the waterfall… so beautiful… In all, soaked up the peace and beauty of this one of a kind location… and leave for home feeling a new revived sense of life to be lived.
Captain John-bad Kaiser, Annapolis, Maryland January 2000
This trip has gone way, way, way too fast. It was instant love when we saw this place!! Its absolutely amazing and Martina, Christy and Paul kept me in constant awe! From drinking coconut water straight from the coconut, to snorkeling in beautiful, crystal blue water,playing backgammon on a built-in table, laying in a hammock in front of our own pool, overlooking pure beauty, the list is endless...Martina was so wonderful and always ready with fabulous breakfasts. Christy - all I can say is "Can I take you home with me?" And Paul - he never failed to constantly find some new and incredible thing I had never seen or done. The three of them made this trip.
Stephanie Dean, July 1999
Kevin Cox, Philadelphia, July 1999
Had the best family times in the most exquisite of locations! All of the preparation and vivid description from our friends who spent the best of all honeymooned here three years ago did not adequately prepare us for the reality - such beauty! Such views! Charm, night sounds, lights on palms, lit torches, candles, great reading, music, games, wine and drinks - and best of all, food for kings! Thanks to Christy, Paul, Martina, you are exceptional! "
Mrs. Peruvian Prince," July 1999
Wow, wow, wow!! What an absolutely wonderful week - the staff was tremendous! Christy we all just adored your company, not to mention your desserts. Martina was just wonderful to all of us, and her banana french toast - yum! Snorkeling on private beach is very good!! Charter boat around island excellent!! Boat trip with Paul we recommend very much! Pool was awesome after hike up the stairs. The outdoor shower is fun, too! The views from every part of the house were spectacular.
Shelby, Angie, Linda, Tammi, Kelly & Brenda, "From all over the U.S." June 1999
Macon & Duane White, North Carolina, October 1998
This was our first, but I doubt our last, visit to Les Chaudieres. The whole setting of this house is more than anyone could dream of, the food, the weather, and the spectacular snorkeling… Don't refuse Paul's trips on the boat to the Pitons and up to the depths of the rainforests to see the waterfalls. Special thanks to Inez for making us feel most welcome. Her meals were unforgettable and it is not advised to go out for evening meals when the service and food is better here.
Sarah Ray, U.K., June 1998
The four of us sit quietly, we watch the sun set, just as we have every night that we have been here. But this one is different. It is our last. The next sunset we see will be back in New Jersey, yet now during our last night in paradise it seems that we are caught in the "neither world." That world that is somewhere between dreams and reality. Our bodies and souls are still here, here in this house, here in its dreamlike world of swaying coconut palms and ocean breezes. Here with Martina, Inez and Paul. It is amazing how much we have come to rely on them. To awake to Martina's "sunny smile" and banana pancakes. Lunch and dinner with Inez and those fabulous desserts give you a few extra traveling pounds. And when you feel it is time to work them off, Paul will arrange your days to keep you as active or inactive as you wish. Here among some of the most wonderful people we have ever met, from the village of Anse la Raye to the "city people" of Castries. Our many thanks to all who have made this a special and most memorable of vacations.
George & Carol Steissman, Frank & Genevieve Cipoline, New Jersey, June 1998
This is our first visit to Les Chaudieres - truly a monument of imagination and courage in its construction - and one of themost spectacular locations in the world. The staff are wonderful. You've created a wonderful haven. Thanks for sharing it with us. The early morning "symphony" is just glorious. And the sunsets - each singular - are something to behold!
Bonnie and Arie Seidler, New York, May 1998
Scott Sullivan and friends, Cherry Hill, NJ, May 1998
Wow! Our first trip to Les Chaudieres, St. Lucia and the Caribbean - even better than we had anticipated! Inez and Martina spoiled us with great meals - wish we could take them home with us. Paul - always ready with a story or tour or both. The boat trip was truly memorable. We tried to capture every moment on film, but unfortunately too many kodak moments. It was great to not have to make any decisions - only, what book to read, when to go for a swim, snorkel, etc. Too bad it's time to get back to reality. At least we're leaving with ideas on how to make more money - work harder - to get back to St. Lucia as soon as we can!
Michele and Mark Adams, Tabernacle, NJ, May 1998
We have enjoyed a wonderful week here, getting the rest we needed, enjoying the sun and water and having time for the two of us to relax and be together. I'm taking wonderful memories back home. We have been well-cared for by the staff. This is such a special place.
Julie & Homer Hal, Littleton, CO, April 1998
Although we leave tomorrow, we all agreed on the following pact: not to be sad, but to look at this exposure to St. Lucia as responsible for shaping us into the grateful living. I am savoring each remaining moment, hoping to burn the essence of this trip in my mind. This essence, if bottled, could be the saving grace to an American mindset. Slow, warm days, punctuated by belly laughs is the recipe. Yes, this is not our last visit to St. Lucia, the land of simplicity and the truly free. It has stolen our hearts and souls. Martina greeted us every morning with "How is your stay?" Paul willingly ran errands for us and walked with us through the valley in search of the long lost boa. He is the fastest "I'm ready" person in the house. Inez treated us to savory dishes which we quickly devoured. We love the three of them equally. You are lucky to have them. This island is enchanting and Les Chaudieres is spiritual. Our nature alarm clocks, the birds, sang of the day's mysteries to behold. After breakfast, we snorkeled the coves stirring up a sea turtle, fish of every color, eels and a southern ray. A local dive operation, Frogg's, taxied into the cove taking us on underwater adventures. The nearest thing to a complaint we can think of is the 273 steps back up to paradise. My compliments to the architect and builders. The natural design of the place is so beautiful. The open living area offers breathtaking views from any seat. When one looks around, you can't help but think, "yes, there is a god."
Gayle Hendy, Bruce Hendy, Colleen & Bob Walker, Aaron Hendy, Grand Lodge, MI, April 1998
Outrageous and unbelievable!!! We love St. Lucia and the people!!! Martini, Inez and Paul all went out of their way to make sure that we had a wonderful time! The food was fantastic thanks to the special talents and smiles of Inez and Martina. Thanks to everyone…we made lots of memories!
Linda & Michael Cashman, and MaryLou & Bruce McCurdy, Ellicott City, MD, March 1998
We approach our last evening with appreciation for the use of your lovely paradise home. This has been a family time for us to fortify bonds and nurture our stressed lives back to a recognizable state of equilibrium. Special thanks to the great staff you have acquired. We enjoyed taking in different parts of the island, great snorkeling and a couple of dives that were incredibly clear and beautiful, but we mostly loved being perched on this little kingdom unto itself watching the sea traffic, night stars and lights, treks down to the beach to swim, , but mostly to enjoy the great pool. The food preparation and serving was wonderful, and not to be missed is the lobster and for breakfast - banana french toast! Both Martini and Inez indulged our adventure for food and helped us experience many new and exciting tastes. The staff did everything possible to make our stay as enjoyable as they possibly could.
Anonymous, March 1998
Let no one tell you paradise does not exist on "mere mortal earth" - it does, and it is here!
Denny Popa, Canton, MI, March 1998
Marge and Stephen Kafoury, Portland, OR, March 1998
Again, this wonderous place and its caregivers have worked magic on us!
Audrey Burt, Wilmington, Delaware, March 1998
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