After passing through security we arrived at Villa 45, which was to be our home away from home for the duration of our stay. August, one of two butlers who looked after guests in Villa 45, showed us around and took care of the check-in formalities in the Villa’s dining room. Before leaving he made sure we had internet connectivity and beach towels. He also organized a rental car for the next day (we were pleased when the rental car company brought the car to our drive way the following morning).
Villa 45 was one of 11 stand alone houses of this type on the property which also offered hotel accommodations. The new looking $1.5 million 2,500 square foot stand alone structure faced north and was four Villas away from the beach. It had three bedrooms, three full en suite bathrooms and two half bathrooms, a walled backyard and garden with lounge chairs and a covered area for shade, a small swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a gazebo and a fully equipped kitchen. Unfortunately, due to water restrictions when we were there, the pool was not completely filled and the Jacuzzi was not usable.
We enjoyed our stay at the new looking, comfort oriented and spacious villa with high speed WiFi. The villa with self catering facilities allowed us the comforts of a home and the advantages of a secure gated hotel. Other pluses of our stay at Cotton Bay Village included its Villa butler service, the proximity to Rodney Bay, secluded privacy, and hotel facilities (including a deli and two restaurants) and easy access to a beach.
Class Of Accommodation A luxury rental villa within a secluded hotel complex that was the only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World association on the island.
Connectivity There was complimentary high speed WiFi in the Villa. The connection was reliable (never dropped during our weeklong stay). We were told there was also complimentary high speed WiFi around the pool and the beach restaurant.
General Manager Michael Mathius
Handicapped Access According to a property representative, “We do not offer any specific features for blind or deaf guests. Some of our rooms are wheelchair accessible, but our fine dining restaurant is not.”
Length Of Stay Seven nights
Location Near the town of Gros Islet on the upper northeastern corner of the island, about ninety minutes by car from the international airport.
Managed Cotton Bay Limited
Owned Cotton Bay Village was owned by World Wide Hospitality Services and Villa 45 was owned John Butt.
Pets Allowed No
Size The hotel had 74 rooms and Villas within a 9.6 acre property with 105 employees. The 2,500 square foot (3,500 square feet including the outer areas) villa with a plunge pool, Jacuzzi and gazebo had three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, two half bathrooms (indoor and outdoor), a living room, dining room and full kitchen.
Year Opened-Renovated Villa 45 was built in 2005 and became available for guest stays in 2006. According to a company representative “regular maintenance and upkeep work is carried out on an ongoing basis.”
A pebbled driveway led a step up to a covered entrance with double wood doors. Inside, a foyer housed a small table. The dining and living rooms were straight in front of the entrance in a single area with a high ceiling,two fans and a chandelier.
Villa 45 had three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a half bathroom indoors and a half bathroom outdoors, a walled backyard with a deck, covered area for shade, six wood adjustable (and comfortable) lounge chairs, two additional wood armchairs with foot rests, two tables with chairs, a small swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a gazebo and flowering plants peppered throughout the garden. A spiral staircase let to a rooftop area that had two additional lounge chairs and a north view to the neighboring field. Although the rooftop also had a view of the bay and part of the beach because of the blistering daytime heat (there was no shade on the rooftop) and the mosquitoes at night we did not make use of the area. We could walk to the beach in a couple of minutes from the front door of our Villa.
The Villa had eggshell color large tile flooring to match its tall walls except in the bedrooms where there was wood flooring and standard ceilings; and the bathrooms which had marble tiles on the floor and part of the walls. Framed artwork including numbered reproductions graced the walls. Artificial flower arrangements were scattered throughout. The three bedrooms had individual and very efficient air conditioning units with digital wall controls which remained on all the time during our stay, providing a constant refuge from the stifling tropical heat whenever needed. The rest of the house had no air conditioning; the temperature was controlled by opening the windows in the kitchen, living area and entrance to allow a cross breeze. In the backyard the shady area was comfortable through the day thanks to a regular easterly breeze.
To lower the hot and steamy temperature we opened the sliding French doors that opened on to the back deck and one of the entrance doors. What we sacrificed in privacy (neighbors passing by within the property could see into the house from the drive) we made up for in comfort. The cooling north south breeze made it possible for us to enjoy the living and dining room and have uninterrupted access to the deck and garden area of the Villa during the day. It was possible to leave the doors open until the early evening when mosquitoes began to arrive. At that time, we closed the doors and retreated to our air conditioned bedrooms.
The dining room had a glass covered round wood table with six armless wood chairs cushioned on the seat and back. The table sat atop a round Persian carpet. In the corner, facing the living room, there was a cabinet that housed an LG flat screen TV, Toshiba DVD player and Sharp sound system with speakers. On the opposite corner of the dining room, there was a small rectangular glass covered table and armless cushioned chair. We used the table, which faced a large round wood framed mirror, for our computer and as a desk. There were several telephones around the house: one on the table, others in the bedrooms and kitchen. A few framed paintings hung on the walls. There were also two small tables set against the wall and one in the far corner of the living area. A large wood giraffe stood, against the wall like a silent sentinel, between the living and dining areas. Three wicker and wood beige sofas, cushioned and comfortable with pillows, were set around a glass covered square wood coffee table in the center of the living area.
The kitchen, to the left of the entrance, perhaps because we initially left the windows closed to keep mosquitoes out, was the warmest room in the house. Although we cooked infrequently, we purchased groceries and took advantage of the kitchen to make snacks and small meals. It was very convenient to have the well equipped kitchen. It had: double door Admiral refrigerator freezer, Neff microwave oven, Siemens washer and dryer, Whirlpool dishwasher (staff hand washed our dirty dishes because of water restrictions), stove and dual (two separate sections) conventional oven, blender, hot water pitcher, coffee maker, pots and pans, silverware, dinnerware, cutlery, and glassware.
Past the kitchen and down a short hallway was one of the bedrooms. It housed two identical closet areas facing each other followed by a sleeping area taken up by a four poster king bed with night tables. A vanity with a chair was across from the bed and an armchair with a footrest took up the corner. Next to it there was a flat screen television in the corner. Sliding glass French doors, identical to those in the living room and second master bedroom, led to the backyard.
Rooms Inside the Villa, there was a split plan. One bedroom was on the left and to the right there was half a bathroom and two other full size bedrooms across the hall from each other. Each bedroom had an en suite bathroom. We were in the two rooms that faced the pool.
My room (Room One) was the length of the house and had wood furniture: a blond wood king bed with matching night tables, a vanity across the bed with a large mirror on the wall above it and a Sharp flat screen 18 inch television on a table next to it.There were two closet spaces across from each other with ample hanging and storage space in each and one electronic safe. On the other side of the room was the bathroom.
My travel partner’s room (Room Two) also had wood furniture: a king bed framed by matching night tables. Across from the bed there was a vanity with a mirror and armless chair. Next and above the vanity there was a Sharp flat screen 18 inch television hanging on the wall and below it to here was a Toshiba DVD player. Across the room a wide opening led to a closet area with sliding shuttered doors painted white. To the left, was the bathroom. French doors in both of our rooms led to the pool area.
A third bedroom had twin beds next to each other and set against a fuchsia accented headboard between matching night tables. A large window faced the front yard, filling the room with light. Across from the bed there was a vanity with an armless chair, a phone and a mirror. To the right of the entrance there was a walk in space with a closet in the rear. To the left of the entrance there was a bathroom.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner were also served at Beach Club 14° 16°. Breakfast was a combination buffet (sliced fruit, cheese platter, boxed cereals and one granola option, self service toaster with sliced bread and other bread options). Dinner was pleasant thanks for the cooling ocean breeze.
The Bruschetta Deli sold sandwiches, pastries, fresh produce and souvenir items. On more than one occasion we visited the deli in search of a soft drink and snacks.
Beach From our house front door we followed a paved road, a minute’s walk away, onto a wood elevated walkway. It led directly to the beach and continued to the hotel’s beach bar and restaurant. We liked the beach for its local flavor. It was shared by hotel guests and locals. The presence of locals was especially noticeable on the weekends. The area fronting the hotel had two rows of lounge chairs tightly squeezed together. There were lots of striped blue and white towels on two self service racks. A constant breeze and gentle surf rocked the beach which was more murky than clear and frequently peppered with copious quantities of seaweed. Tours of horse riders (a strong horse scent followed) came by twice daily, in the mornings and afternoons, leaving horse manure in their wake. Over the course of the morning a hotel representative cleaned the seaweed and horse manure. We also met islanders who brought their dogs along for a beach walk.
Generally, locals swam to one side, the one with the gentlest surf, and hotel guests remained in front of the hotel area. The drawback at the beach was the limited shade available. There were two small areas with shade. To one side there was a large tent with several cushioned sofas and loveseats. While we were there, this area was commandeered from early morning until sunset by families with small children (apparently because the kiddie pool was out of commission). There was one additional shaded area with space for two loungers. With the exception of one other couple we saw during our week long stay the guests we saw at the beach were all families with small children.
Because of the limited shade on the beach we spent the majority of our time in the shady area of our Villa and went for early morning and early evening beach walks. A two-minute walk from the hotel area there was a beach restaurant and bar. Locals spent time in that part of the beach, especially on the weekend when the sounds of trucks with locals and island music reached our pool area well into the evening.
Facilities Piano Piano Restaurant and Champagne Lounge, Beach Club 14 degrees 61 degrees restaurant and bar, Heaven Spa, Hummingbird Kid’s Club (it seemed closed during our visit), Bruschetta The Deli (open 9 a.m. to 12 and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily), outdoor swimming pool and children’s pool.
Fitness Center And Spa There was a 1,304 square foot work out area with Life Fitness Fit Series Machines: one Multi Press; one Lat and Row; Leg Press and Calf Press; Leg Curl and Extension; Bicep and Triceps; Nautilus: two Treadmills and two Bicycles; Schwinn: one Rowing Machine; Quantum: Power Crunch 1200 – 2000 power crunch machine; Life Fitness: Free weights between 20 pounds and 65 pounds and TKO: Free weights between 3 pounds and 25 pounds. There was a separate 9,690 square foot spa housing four dry and wet treatment rooms, private couples suite with private grotto and pool, two outdoor treatment cabanas, steam room, Rasul, Vichy shower, beauty salon for hair and nails and an indoor saline pool.
Pool In addition to the outdoor and children’s (it was not working during our stay) pools there was a four-foot deep partially filled plunge pool in our Villa. The staff explained that the water level was maintained low because of a drought on the island.
The number of guests increased significantly on Friday. This was noticeable in the availability of our butlers (where they had checked on us in our Villa daily earlier in the week starting Saturday we barely saw them if we ran into them while walking around the property and once when one of them returned to reply to a question I had asked), the number of guests in the dining room; the amount of traffic on the road adjacent to our Villa (a public dirt road ran next to back wall of our Villa) as well as the music and noise we could hear from the beach area adjacent to our hotel. Although it was noticeable compared to the quiet during the week we still enjoyed time in the backyard.
According to a hotel representative, the property engaged in a number of green practices including promoting and selling local tours and attractions with special recognition of Green tours at the tour desks; inviting local craft vendors to the hotel once per week to display and sell their craft items; Village staff determined suitability of new product before making any purchases and provided full training for staff whenever new chemicals or equipment were purchased for use in the hotel; there were waste disposal practices and procedures in place at the hotel such as recycling of linen and bed spreads, food, office paper, and packages; the property used energy-saving timers on electrical equipment such as Jacuzzi blowers, steam rooms at the spa, outdoor lighting for walkways, and refrigeration equipment in the kitchens; the staff monitored total water use on property (pools, guestrooms, kitchen, dining room and garden areas); and team members participated in workshops and seminars conducted by an environmental committee, local government organizations, and also by non-governmental environmental organizations.
Cotton Bay Village was voted Saint Lucia’s top hotel for spa and relaxation in the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2010. Cas en Bas, the beach at Cotton Bay Village, was named by British Airways High Life magazine as one of The 50 Best Beaches In The World (April 2010)
Date Of Review April 2010
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service The Villa rental included two butlers, August (pronounced oh-geese) and Surage (sir – ahge). August made sure we had high speed Internet WiFi and a converter (there were only 220 plugs in the Villa) the same afternoon we arrived. He also coordinated a car rental for the following morning. The rental company brought the car directly to our Villa and picked it up from our driveway the day the rental expired. Later he lent us a music CD.
The Villa was cleaned thoroughly every morning. August asked that we not run the dishwasher to conserve water because of the drought restrictions at the hotel. Instead when he was working he would pop in to would wash any dirty dishes we had or if the cleaning lady arrived first she took care of them. We saw a pool maintenance person twice. After we settled in our butlers checked in with us occasionally. In the evenings, a staff person would spray the bedrooms with insect repellent.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes
- PO Box 2374
- Rodney Bay
- Saint Lucia
- West Indies
- +1 758 456 5700
- +1 758 450 9518