Once your reservation is confirmed, you will be sent more detaileds with information on ordering your initial groceries, important things to be aware of about the villa, things to do around the island, transportation, and more.
Are housekeeping and meals included?
Yes, your stay includes all cooking and housekeeping. Christy Holder is our manager as well our chef par excellence at the house. Christy is responsible for lunch and dinner, while Martina and Bertilia manage the housekeeping and breakfast responsibilities.
Will we need to do our own grocery shopping?
Once your reservation is confirmed, we will send you more details on how you can arrange for groceries to be stocked for your arrival. Although Christy and Martina do handle all the cooking and housekeeping, once you have settled in for a day or so you will be responsible for obtaining groceries and beverages of your choice. Christy will sit down with you to discuss your menus anddevelop a shopping list. Christy can also go with you to shop or do your shopping for you, but this is not a normal part of her job, so an extra gratuity would be expected, as well as a fee to cover her transportation, as she does not have a vehicle.
What types of fresh food are available?
Be sure to ask the staff about the fruits and vegetables available locally. Depending on the season, some are available for free from our own backyard, including mangos, coconuts, oranges, limes, grapefruit, bananas, avocados, cashews, and almonds. The Anse Galet plantation below the house may have some items if our backyard is "out of season." Some fruits, vegetables, and freshly baked local breads are available in the nearby village of Anse la Raye.
Much of the fresh seafood goes directly to the hotels, but you can usually get an Anse la Raye fisherman to deliver the catch of the day right to the villa. Ask Christy to arrange for fresh fish or listen for the conch horn blow in the village. Some of our favorites are flying fish, tuna, and lobste (in season only). If you feel adventurous, ask for conch or octopus. Land crabs from the valley are turned into delicious stuffed crabs by Christie. If you are courageous, go on the crab hunt yourself with Hilary!
For everything else, there are a variety of grocery stores n Marigot, Rousseau Valley, and Soufriere, depending on where your day trips might be taking you.The open air market in Castries has fresh vegetables and fruits, fresh herbs, pottery, baskets and local souvenirs. Wine and spirits are sold at the grocery stores or can be ordered for delivery prior to your arrival.
Should we bring any food or drinks?
You might consider bringing special goodies that you love and which may not be available on the island, such as certain crackers, hors d'oeuvres, gourmet cheese, wines, etc. Almost all of the prepackaged goods on the island are imported, and may be more expensive than normal.
Do we need to bring any linens like towels, etc?
All linens are included in your stay, including pool and beach towels. Les Chaudieres also comes stocked with paper supplies (napkins, toilet paper, paper towels), salt, pepper, basic spices, and condiments.
What else should we bring?
Insect repellent and sunblock are highly recommended. Both are available in local stores, but it is always a good idea to have some on hand to start out and if you have any brand preferences.
Otherwise, just bring casual clothes, your Ipod, snorkel & dive equipment, long-awaited reads, winter-weary body & skin, weary souls, a sense of adventure, and open minds.
Is there a TV or internet?
Over the years we have very much enjoyed the ability to truly “get away from it all.” Therefore, Les Chaudieres does not have a TV. However, we do have a high-speed internet connection and a WiFi router, so streaming and communication apps like Skype, Netflix, and Soundcloud will work normally.
What electrical supply is available?
The electrical current throughout the house is 220 volt A.C. - 50 Hz. Although wall sockets look familiar, DO NOT plug in American appliances without a voltage reducing adapter or transformer or they will be ruined. We do not recommend plugging in sensitive electronic equipment like laptop computers without surge suppression. There are several 110 volt A.C. (US) sockets located in the dining area, kitchen, and master bedroom.
How private is the villa?
We have no close neighbors at all which makes the house very private. Christy leaves after she serves and cleans up dinner (but you can certainly send her home earlier if you'd like). Martina prepares breakfast and does housekeeping and usually leaves by lunchtime. Hilary, our caretaker, lives on a separate floor of the house. All of the staff can be as obsequious or as social as you like. They generally take their clues from you, but feel free to let them know your preferences.
Do you have theft protection?
While theft is normally not a problem on the island or at Les Chaudieres, it is not unheard of, and it is best to remove any temptation. While at the house, keep all valuables including cash, travelers checks, airline tickets, and passports, in the wall safe. Life at Les Chaudieres tends to be casual, so bring your costume jewelry instead of family heirlooms.
When is Check In and Check Out?
In order to best allow the staff to prepare for your visit and to respect the stay of guests just vacating the house and of those following you, we ask that you respect the following arrival and departure times:
Check In time not prior to 3 p.m.
Check Out time, no later than 11:00 a.m.
Is transportation included?
Sorry, your stay does not include air or ground transportation. Please see below for transportation details.
The telephone number at Les Chaudieres is 758-451-4228. Calls may be directly dialed from the States to the house. On outbound calls from Les Chaudieres please use a credit card or calling card.
Will I need a passport?
Yes, a passport is required to enter the country. Please be aware that your passports must be VALID for SIX MONTHS from the date of your departure from the island.
Will I need a special driver’s license to drive in St. Lucia?
Yes, a temporary driver’s permit is available from all car rental companies at the airport or a local police station, and can be provided by your rental company when you pick up the car.
What about money and valuables?
St. Lucia uses Eastern Caribbean (EC). $1.00 US equals approximately $2.70 EC.
EC and U.S. dollars are accepted anywhere on the island. Travelers checks, can be used but not quite as widely, nor with the best exchange rate. If you prefer E.C, you can trade in some US dollars at the bank in the airport upon arrival to get through the first few days, and on your first trip to Castries exchange your US for EC at one of the banks, keeping in mind that they close for lunch at noon. Bring your passport into town if you will be cashing travelers checks. There is also an ATM at Marigot which will give you EC.
What is the Time Zone in St Lucia?
During summer months, it is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the U.S. St Lucia does not have Daylight Savings Time, so St. Lucia is an hour ahead of Eastern Time Zone during winter months.
What airports are available?
Although the George Charles Airport in Castries is certainly the closest airport to the villa (about 20-30 minutes), it does not have any jet service. The most commonly used airport, Hewanorra in Vieux Fort, is about a 75-90 minute drive.
What ground transportation is available?
Almost all of our visitors rent a car for the convenience; it makes planning your day much easier. Taxis are not readily available from the villa and require some advance planning, so that option does not allow for spontaneous trips. Some larger parties use both taxis and rental cars - taxis to get extra people and luggage back and forth to the airport, but also rent a car for their own use at the house. Cars typically hold at most 5 people, so taxi vans might be a better option for larger parties. Christy can help arrange taxi service as needed. Taxis from Hewanorra are approximately $100 U.S. but be sure to confirm the price in advance.
Note: All traffic in St. Lucia drives on the left side of the road, and the steering wheel will be on the right side. For guests hailing from the US and other right-side traffic countries, this may take some getting used to. As St. Lucia’s roads are very curvy and precipitous, we recommend only experienced drivers do the driving.
Also, bear in mind that most cars in St. Lucia are not as large as American cars and have smaller trunks or luggage compartments, so pack light and casual!
For car rentals we recommend Drive-A-Matic which has cars and great four-wheel drive vehicles. They can be reached at 1-758-452-0544 or check out http://www.drivestlucia.com. They will need to know which airport you will be coming in to, as well as the airline, flight number, date and time. Be sure to let them know you are staying at Les Chaudieres. Almost all of the other large car rental firms (Avis, Budget, Hertz) can also be found at either airport.
The electrical current throughout the house is 220 volt A.C. - 50 Hz
Although wall sockets may look familiar, DO NOT plug in American appliances, computers or phone chargers without a voltage reducing adapter or transformer or they will be ruined. The island's electric supply is very "dirty" with unpredictable surges at times, therefore we do not recommend plugging in sensitive electronic equipment like laptop computers without surge suppression. There are several 110 volt A.C. (US) sockets located in the dining area, in the kitchen,and in the master bedroom at the desk. DO NOT use the plug for the stereo for any reason. It is a special low wattage circuit for the stereo only and will be harmed by any other use.
We have no close neighbors at all which makes the house very private. All of the staff can be as obsequious or as social as you like. They generally take their clues from you, but feel free to directly communicate your preferences. The caretaker's quarters are on the bottom split level floor of the villa.
All beaches in St. Lucia are public. Even if there is a resort at a particular beach, the beach itself is public and no ne can be prevented access. The "Queen's Chain" is a 100' setback ringing the island from the high tide line and is public property.
The beach just below the house, Anse Galet, is often deserted and offers some of the best snorkeling around the island. It is enjoyed best in the morning or the early afternoon as the sun goes down behind the ridge later in the afternoon bringing shade, which you may or may not prefer. Tevas or water sandals might also be good here as the round river rocks make it hard on the feet to wade out in some spots. If you are fairly limber you can clamor down the many steps (132?) off the pool terrace. Down is relatively easy (but by no means handicapped accessible), coming back up earns you a rum and a dip in the pool! We often take our snorkeling gear and pool floats down to lounge in the Caribbean Sea. For the less nimble, you can also drive around on the road in a couple minutes.
Anse Couchon is the next beach just south of our valley. A very nice small, private resort, Ti Kaye is located there, and provides a beach bar and other amenities. It is a fabbulous beach with excellent snorkeling and usually gentle, waves with sandy access. Our ritual is to head over there after afternoon naps, abotu 4 p.m. to enjoy the beach after many hotel guests have retreated and the sun is less overbearing.
These are the closest beaches to the villa. Of course there are many others on the island.
Anse Chastanet (Hotel) has a good dive program. There is also a dive operation at Marigot Bay.
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For a change of scene, there are many dining options near and farther, but we think you will always happily return to Christy's cooking and Les Chaudieres' unbeatable ambieance. We recommend enjoying a couple lunches out, combined with grocery shopping or sightseeing, and stay closer to home and avoid driving at night. Feel free to experiment and add your own conclusions to the guest book.
Dining closer to home:
North (Castries and farther north)
The open air market in Castries - best for fresh produce and some handmade crafts, but increasingly full of cheap Chinese-made trinkets.
Point Seraphine in Castries has many duty free shops.
For additional information on Les Chaudieres or to check availability contact:
901 Mt. Lebanon Road
Wilmington, DE 19803