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I’m inspired to travel when I hear folks share stories of their adventures. So here’s the next installment of our weekly series where Million Mile Secrets team members shares their travel successes (and failures) with you!
Joseph: Last October I traveled to Saint Lucia with a group of friends. We spent a lot of the time in the northern part of the island, near Castries. But a more interesting part was Soufriere, a tiny town near the foot of the famous Piton mountains on the west coast of the island.
There’s plenty to do in the area. I’ll tell you how I spent my time.
A Trip to Soufriere
Saint Lucia is NOT what I pictured it to be. I’ve been to a few other Caribbean islands, and this was altogether a different experience. I found no crystal clear lagoons or powdered sugar beaches. It has more personality instead of just a pretty face.
There were some things I’d been wanting to do in Soufriere long before my friends and I decided to visit, so I arrived before them.
My Airbnb Stay
I had been eyeing a rarely unoccupied Airbnb called Serrana Villa. There were a few available dates before our group trip officially started, so I excitedly made a last minute booking for 2 days at ~$190 per night.
Serrana Villa is at the top of a hill overlooking the weathered but colorful town of Soufriere. The car ride to the top was just short of a nightmare; the road is lousy with potholes and fractures, and feels like an African safari if you close your eyes. I would NEVER have guessed this treasure would be at the end of the road.
The villa was humongous, with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a dedicated work room.
The deck was stunning, with lots of chairs and a small pool that stares dreamily towards the Pitons.
The master bedroom has a nice view of the Pitons, too.
The Airbnb host, Janus, mentioned that the day after I arrived was a holiday in Saint Lucia. He recommended swinging by a supermarket for food, because many stores and restaurants would be closed. He then showed up the next morning with bread, eggs, and cheese, in the event that I completely disregarded his advice.
Visiting Jade Mountain
Nearly 10 years ago, I was unfortunate enough to discover the existence of Jade Mountain, a 5-star resort with the most amazing suites I’ve ever seen.
I say unfortunate because there is really NO way to justify the price of a stay, even with miles & points. Jade Mountain is NOT part of a loyalty program, and rates start at a flobbityjillion dollars per night. But I was glad to have the opportunity to visit the hotel while in Soufriere!
The road to Jade Mountain from Soufriere is even worse than the one leading to my Airbnb. I would have turned around if my GPS wasn’t swearing on its life that we were going the right way.
Jade Mountain is at the edge of Anse Chastanet Beach. So most guests arrive by boat, and are spared from the jagged fury of the local roads.
The sunset was delightful, and the terrace granted unhampered 360 degree views.
Each room at the resort has dedicated walkways.
Dinner at the Jade Mountain Club was 4 courses, and cost $95 per person (before drinks). Certainly not cheap, but I gladly paid to spend time at one of my bucket list spots. Plus, the restaurant was extremely fancy.
I know it was a quality restaurant, because the meal portions were infuriatingly small.
I don’t have any culinary expertise, but I thought the food was excellent. And fancy looking, too!
There’s plenty to do in Soufriere, and my friends and I weren’t able to accomplish nearly enough.
There are mud baths, waterfalls, and tons of hot springs all within a short drive.
If ever I go back, I’d love to hike the Piton mountains and visit the drive-in volcano. My biggest regret is not making more of an effort to discover the local restaurants.
We were able to take a sunset catamaran ride. The sea was placid, and mirrored the sky beautifully.
I think my favorite activity was night swimming in the Caribbean Sea. The catamaran cut the engine in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black water, and flipped on a bright blue light that illuminated the area around the boat. It was like our own giant swimming pool!
The swim was truly terrifying, as I have a crippling fear of sharks. But the water was warm, the blue light was enticing, and I made sure to stay in the middle of my friends in hopes that they would be the first to succumb to the powerful jaws of what I imagined was circling in for a kill.
Team member Joseph visited Saint Lucia last October. He made some of his fondest memories in Soufriere, a town on the west coast of the island. And was especially excited to see Jade Mountain, a resort he’d been wanting to visit for nearly 10 years!
If you’ve got any tips for a traveler headed to Saint Lucia, I’d love to hear them!