From the comfort of our newly renovated luxury one-bedroom suite we had a front row view of Forbidden Beach, Anse de Pitons bay and its iconic pitons. While we were temped to explore the beach, the lure of the quiet suite and plunge pool was strong. We postponed our beach visit until the following morning and awaited the sunset in the privacy of our deck, relaxing for a while before our much anticipated gourmet dinner.
At 7:20 p.m. we walked to the entrance of our cluster to await a shuttle. After a few minutes we joined another 10 guests in the shuttle on their way down the steep road to the reception building and restaurants. Within the van beads of sweat gathered on the face of several jacket wearing guests in the sweltering Caribbean heat of the early evening. Mercifully after a few minutes we arrived at reception and made a beeline to the Cane Bar, a modern looking and well air conditioned area adjacent to the restaurant, to kill time before dinner (our reservations were for 8 p.m. sharp). Although there was an attractive open terrace we choose to remain indoors as a kind gesture to the men (jackets were required in the open air dining room) in our group and to avoid mosquitoes. We were among the first to arrive and had the bar to ourselves. The barman took our order with alacrity and a few minutes later found us chatting and sipping the bar’s specialty drinks. Soon it was time for the serious business of dinner. Executive Chef Cupertino Ortiz and his staff delivered a delicious, well presented and well prepared tasting menu.
Although sunrise was accompanied by rain, we armed ourselves with an umbrella from our suite and went out in search of transport. After a few minutes wait under the umbrella a shuttle stopped en route to pick up other guests at the top of the hill who, on second thought, decided not to go down to breakfast in the rain. At breakfast, we ran into Chef Ortiz and complimented him on the previous night’s meal, the reason for our visit.
The Jalousie was undergoing a major renovation designed to result in a branding and name change. We enjoyed our overnight stay at The Jalousie Plantation, especially the handsome newly renovated suite with a marvelous view and plunge pool, and meals. We will consider returning when the renovation and rebranding of the estate property are complete.
Class Of Accommodation Luxury four star hotel
Concierge Marcus Joseph and Theresa Blaize
Connectivity Although there was supposed to be high speed WiFi in our suite it didn’t work. We asked reception and they sent our butler who checked and determined the signal was too far from the suite. He said someone would get back to us the next day. By the time we checked out no one mentioned the WiFi connectivity. According to a hotel representative, plans were in place for all suites to be hard wired with ADSL connections.
General Manager Andre Boersma
Handicapped Access According to a property representative, “Due to the hilly nature of the site, Jalousie is not recommended for those with physical impediments or who are wheelchair bound.”
Length Of Stay One night
Location A few minute’s drive south of the town of Soufriere.
Managed Viceroy Hotel Group
Owned Roger Myers
Size The property had 12 rooms and 100 “villas” within a 100 acre estate. There were 280 staff members employed at the hotel.
Year Opened-Renovated The property, created by Persian Prince-Abolfath Mahvi, opened in 1991 on an estate first “discovered” by Lord Glenconner. Renovations were on-going; a $100 million enhancement project was taking place while we were there in preparation for the rebranding and relaunching of the property as The Tides Sugar Beach in 2011. Our suite, described by one of the staff as one of the most sought after on the property, opened December 23, 2009.
The lobby, reception, boutique and gift shop, Cane Bar and Late Night Bar, and The Great Room Restaurant were in a central area part way up the hill and across from the Sugar Mill Rooms. The swimming pool, Bayside Restaurant, water sports and scuba diving area and beach were a short shuttle van ride away down the hill. The Rainforest Walk, a hiking trail, was behind the Sugar Mill Rooms. Past the trail and up the hill to the north there was a fitness center, tennis courts and a spa.
Room We stayed in suite 503, a Grand Luxury Villa Ocean View one bedroom suite, within the Ginger Lily Walk cluster of eight bay facing suites. The white interior was accented by old Caribbean photography on the walls and dark wood flooring. A king four poster bed with mosquito netting drawn over it at night, framed by identical night tables, occupied the center of the room. There was also a small wall facing desk with an armless chair, and a large white cabinet housing a large television. There was a comfortable armchair with foot rest across from the bed next to a large window with a lovely view of the bay.
There was a white convertible sofa in the adjacent living room which housed a second white cabinet with a large television and DVD player. Across the room from the cabinet there was a wet bar with a mini refrigerator and hot beverage service. The bay-facing suite had 1,068 square feet of interior space and an additional 800 square feet of exterior deck and pool area. A hallway on the opposite side of the bedroom from the living area led to an exterior door to the deck area. In the middle of the hallway, on the right, there was a double sided walk through closet with an electronic safe. The deck and pool area could also be reached from the entrance of the suite.
Executive Chef Cupertino Ortiz, a quiet and purposeful man, prepared a lovely tasting menu for our table of five. Just before dinner we visited the Cane Bar where I ordered a sampler of three St. Lucia rums, one white and two aged rums (Element 8 Silver, Chairman’s Reserve and Admiral Rodney).
Dinner began with a selection of breads, whole wheat, olive herb and baguette to accompany an olive tapenade. Soon a well chilled non vintage Piper Heidsieck arrived. Next, we had Chilled cucumber and avocado soup, with a fritter of fresh crab and salmon roe paired with a 2007 Australian Rosemont Diamond Sauvignon Blanc; Tuna carpaccio on a bed of avocado; Pan fried Mahi-Mahi served on a puree of creamed cauliflower with roasted cherry tomatoes and a glass of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon from California; Seared beef tenderloin topped with Roquefort and served on a puree of garlic potatoes and grilled asparagus which was served with a 2003 St. Helena, California Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon; and rounded up the meal with a Traditional Sweet corn tamale with a crème Anglaise sauce and almond praline served with a glass of French Chateau Haut Valentin Cadillac Manon from Bordeaux.
Facilities There were two restaurants, two bars, spa, beach, water sports and dive center.
Fitness Center And Spa There was a Multi-System Gym with cardiovascular equipment in the fitness area. The spa had seven treatment rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi, and relaxation deck. A new spa was under construction.
Pool In addition to our private suite infinity plunge pool with two lounge chairs and an umbrella, there was a common area infinity pool 4.5 feet deep, and 12 feet long by 6 feet wide.
The hotel was named Leading Hotel on the island by the 2009 World Travel Awards. At the time of our visit fish was delivered directly to the hotel jetty by fishermen from the nearby villages.
In terms of responsible tourism and social responsibility, the management had policies in place and plans for future updates to the property to stimulate employment and protect the environment. Each of the villa clusters had a water meter which allowed maintenance staff to detect and repair leaks to the lines quickly, before much water loss could occur. The hotel policy was to encourage guests to re-use towels and change their linens every third day, rather than every day, to save water usage in the laundry. In terms of waste management, the hotel was in the process of setting up a large garden where organic waste from the property could be used as compost.
The management attempted to keep plastic and other non-compostable waste to a minimum. The executive staff worked closely with the Piton Management Area, the Soufriere Foundation and the Soufriere Marine Management Area to ensure the land resources and the important reef ecosystems off the hotel beach are protected for future generations. According to a spokesperson, the owner of the hotel is committed to preserving the environmental integrity of the Val des Pitons, and the hotel operating company endeavors to ensure that activities do not have an undue impact.
The management worked with local boat operators to ensure they monitor and control the number of outside guests they bring to Anse des Pitons to prevent damage from over utilization of the delicate coral structures and marine life in the National Marine Reserve.
The primary contribution to the local economy was from the salaries and wages paid to the predominantly local work force, about 95 percent of the staff at the time of our visit were St Lucian. According to a hotel representative, the hotel regularly donates to community concerns, scholarship programs and training initiatives to develop the talent of young people in Soufriere and its environs.
- Val Des Pitons
- Forbidden Beach
- La Baie de Silence
- Post Office Box 251
- Soufriere, Saint Lucia
- + 1(758) 456 8000
- +1 (758) 459 7667